2017 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award
Hailed as a consummate director of Quebec literature, Jean Beaudin has delighted film and television audiences throughout his career as a director and screenwriter. From his early days at the National Film Board to his monumentally successful historical film dramas and TV series, his work stands out for its authenticity, simplicity and visual beauty, and has been instrumental in transmitting our cultural heritage and shaping a distinctive voice in Quebec and Canadian cinema. “The key is to make films with a lot of love, about things you feel strongly about,” he says.
Mr. Beaudin was born in Montreal in 1939. He studied photography in Switzerland before joining the National Film Board in 1964. His first experimental feature, Stop (1970), was followed by two shorts and two medium-length films, including Cher Théo.
He then directed his first masterpiece, J.–A. Martin, photographe (1975), about an itinerant early 20th–century photographer whose wife accompanies him on tour. The film was selected at the Cannes Film Festival, where it earned actress Monique Mercure the Palme d’or and won the Oecumenical Jury Prize. It was followed by the historical drama Cordélia and a series of films based on works by Quebec writers: Mario, based on the novel by Claude Jasmin; Le matou, from the novel by Yves Beauchemin; Being at Home with Claude, from the play by René–Daniel Dubois; Souvenirs intimes, from the novel by Monique Proulx; and Le collectionneur, from the thriller by Chrystine Brouillet. His most recent film, Sans elle, was released in 2006.
For television, he directed such popular series as L’or et le papier, Shehaweh, Miséricorde, Ces enfants d’ailleurs, Willie, and the phenomenally successful Les filles de Caleb (1990–91), based on the novels by Arlette Cousture. One of the most popular series in the history of television, it reached nearly four million viewers a week, was sold to more than 25 countries and won 14 Prix Gémeaux.
Jean Beaudin’s awards and distinctions include 19 Prix Gémeaux, 5 Genies, a People’s Choice Award and a Jury Award from the Montreal World Film Festival, and the Los Angeles Film Advisory Board Excellence Award.