It is part of my happiness to take care that many share my way of understanding, so that their perceptions and desires align with my perceptions and desires.”

-—Spinoza

Fernand Dansereau

2022 Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award (Broadcasting and Film)

Film and television screenwriter, director and producer

Fernand Dansereau is a pioneer of Quebec film and television. Highly respected within the industry, he has written, produced or directed landmark works that have been acclaimed by colleagues and audiences alike; he has moved thousands of viewers with such television series as Le parc des Braves and Les filles de Caleb, and, more recently, with his trilogy of films on aging. With a keen understanding of the working classes and an instinct for hope in all things, he takes a clear and compassionate look at contemporary realities and strives to make the language of cinema accessible to everyone. As the founding president of the Institut national de l’image et du son, a professional multimedia training centre in Montréal, he continues to inspire the next generation today.
 
Fernand Dansereau was born in 1928 in Montréal. After a few years as a labour reporter for the newspaper Le Devoir, he joined the National Film Board in 1955, ultimately becoming head of French production.
 
From his first documentary in 1956, about Montréal’s Jewish community, to his recent trilogy on old age (Old Age and Laughter, 2012; Old Age and Eroticism, 2017; and Old Age and Hope, 2019), Mr. Dansereau has tackled subjects as diverse as the environment, education, Quebec’s Indigenous peoples and Alzheimer’s disease. His television screenwriting credits include the series Le parc des Braves, Les filles de Caleb 1 (which was so popular that, he recalls, “they closed the shopping centres on Thursday nights because everyone was home watching TV”), Shehaweh and Caserne 24. In all, he has directed more than 90 films and produced about 50, and scripted nearly 200 hours of television.
 
A passionate advocate for government support for the sector, Mr. Dansereau served as vice-president of the Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec and president of the Institut québécois du cinéma, and was on the advisory committee for the drafting of Quebec’s law on the status of the artist.
 
He is also a writer and painter: his first novel, Le cœur en cavale, was published in 2003, and the city of Saint-Bruno presented an exhibition of his artwork in 2019.
 
Fernand Dansereau is a Member of the Order of Canada, an Officer of the Ordre national du Québec and a Companion of the Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec. His numerous awards include a Jutra, two Gémeaux, and the Prix Albert-Tessier.