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Bernard Émond

Bernard Émondb. September 1, 1951, Montreal, Quebec

One of Quebec’s most accomplished and acclaimed documentary filmmakers, Bernard Émond has contributed to more than thirty films and videos as a director, screenwriter and editor since 1972. While arguing that Émond’s “remarkable unity and extreme sensitivity make him one of the main heirs [to] Pierre Perrault,” film professor Pierre Barrette has commented that “Émond looks at the world with a mix of wonder and deep emotion, a gaze that combines the scientist’s desire for knowledge and the artist’s desire for beauty.”

Trained as an anthropologist, Émond lived in the Canadian Arctic for a number of years, where he worked in the Inuit television industry. His documentary films include Ceux qui ont le pas léger meurent sans laisser de traces (1992) – which translates as “Those Who Tread Lightly Die Leaving No Trace” – L’Instant et la patience (1994), L’Épreuve du feu (1997) and Le Temps et le lieu (2000). Barrette has noted how Émond’s “documentaries and fiction films are parts of the same integral design and share the same recurring themes: the fragility of life, destruction by fire, and the sense of place and memory. And in all of Émond’s work, we find the voices of ordinary people, emerging with the strength and profound grace of all things true.”

Though he began making feature films relatively late in his career, all three of his fiction features – La Femme qui boit (2001), 20h17 rue Darling (2003) and La Neuvaine (2005) – are among the finest Quebec films of their time. La Femme qui boit and 20h17 rue Darling both debuted in the International Critics’ Week at the Festival de Cannes, while La Neuvaine won three major prizes at the Locarno International Film Festival. All three films garnered much acclaim at the Toronto International Film Festival® and were named to Canada’s Top Ten in their respective years by an independent, national panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.

By Andrew McIntosh

Film and video work includes

La Manière des Blancs, 1991 (director; writer)
Ceux qui ont le pas léger meurent sans laisser de traces, 1992 (director; writer; additional cinematography)
Requiem pour un beau sans-coeur, 1993 (script advisor)
L’Instant et la patience, 1994 (director; writer)
Octobre, 1994 (script advisor)
Windigo, 1994 (script advisor)
La Terre des autres, 1995 (director; writer)
L’Épreuve du feu, 1997 (director)
Le Temps et le lieu, 2000 (director)
La Femme qui boit, 2001 (director; writer)
20h17 rue Darling, 2003 (director; writer)
La Neuvaine, 2005 (director; writer)

Note: Updated to December 31, 2005

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