Born 1960. Atom Egoyan occupies a distinct position within Canadian filmmaking — that of auteur. His unequivocal authorial vision and inimitable style are sustained throughout a body of work that includes 10 feature films. Raised in Victoria, B.C., Egoyan moved to Toronto at 18 to study international relations at the University of Toronto. While studying, two formative encounters fused to inform his life work — fluency with his ethnic heritage and the cinema. Egoyan produced several short films at the Hart House Film Board while furthering his knowledge of Armenian history and politics.
His films relentlessly highlight the act of looking from both structural and thematic perspectives, fully exploiting possible implications from knowledge to voyeurism, to comprehension and insight. At the same time, the oft-used Canadian filmic tropes of identity and its uncertainty, image and technology, and communication or the lack thereof compete for equal thematic screen time. Key Egoyan sensibilities emerge in Next of Kin and continue throughout Family Viewing, Speaking Parts and The Adjuster.
The films of the mid-1990s offer a more profound exploration of contemporary anxieties. Calendar wrestles with belonging and identity from here to Armenia and back again. With Exotica, perhaps an apt title for all of Egoyan’s enterprise, original trauma (Armenian genocide) shifts into the more familiar terrain of terrifying psychic dispossession. The adaptations of The Sweet Hereafter and Felicia’s Journey (novels by Russell Banks and William Trevor, respectively) effortlessly mesh with Egoyan’s preoccupations, as both stories' claustrophobic worlds turn on the themes of loss and violation. With Ararat, Egoyan widens the standard intimacy of his palette to produce the first film to wrestle with the Armenian genocide of 1915. Egoyan has won five major prizes at the Cannes IFF (including the Grand Prix), two American Academy Award nominations, and numerous other honours. His films have won over 25 Genie Awards, including three Best Film Awards, from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television.
Lust of a Eunuch (1977, short), Howard in Particular (1979, short), After Grad with Dad (1980, short), Pip Show (1981, short), Open House (1982, short), Next of Kin (1984), Men: A Passion Playground (1985, short), In This Corner (1985, TV), Family Viewing (1987), Cupid’s Quiver (1987, TV), The Final Twist (1987, TV), Looking for Nothing (1988, TV), There Was a Little Girl (1988, TV), The Wall (1989, TV), Speaking Parts (1989), The Adjuster (1991), Montrռal vu par... Six variations sur une thème (Montreal Sextet, 1992, segment En passant), Gross Misconduct (1993, TV), Calendar (1993), Exotica (1994), A Portrait of Arshile (1995, short), Bach Cello Suite #4: Sarabande (Yo-Yo Ma Inspired by Bach, 1997, TV), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Felicia's Journey (1999), The Line (2000, short), Krapp’s Last Tape (2000, short), Diaspora (2001, short), Ararat (2002), Where the Truth Lies (2005), Citadel (2006), To Each His Own Cinema (2007, segment Artaud Double Bill), Adoration (2008), Chloe (2009), Mundo Invisivel (2012, segment Yerevan), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013, doc.), Devil's Knot (2013), The Captive (2014), Remember (2015), Guest of Honour (2019).