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Clément Perron

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
(b. July 3, 1929 East Brompton, Quebec - d. October 1, 1999)

Though less prominent than many of his contemporaries, Clément Perron nevertheless made a key contribution to Canadian cinema by articulating themes and concerns of vital importance to the emerging Québécois cultural consciousness of the sixties and seventies. Whether as a producer, director or screenwriter, his films generally conveyed a deeply ambiguous attitude toward the Church while expressing solidarity within the community. As Robert Fothergill explains in Seth Feldman and Joyce Nelson’s Canadian Film Reader, Perron’s work, particularly his script for Claude Jutra’s Mon oncle Antoine (1971), "displays a humane and complex awareness of the inter-relatedness of personal limitation and defeat and a demoralizing cultural condition."

Perron received a classical education from the Jesuits before obtaining a degree in philosophy and literature from Université Laval. He then studied at the Institut de Filmologie in Paris before joining the National Film Board in 1957 as a screenwriter. In 1960, he began his directing career with projects such as Georges-P. Vanier: Soldat, diplomate, gouverneur général (1960)and the better-known Jour aprPs jour (1962), a direct cinema documentary about the working conditions in Quebec’s pulp and paper mills.

In 1968, Perron became executive producer of French production at the NFB and directed three features – C’est pas la faute B Jacques Cartier (1967), Taureau (1973) and Partis pour la gloire (1975) – that figured prominently in the Board’s attempt at a more commercial cinema in the late sixties and early seventies. Often combining the personal with the professional, he related his own childhood experiences in his screenplay for Mon oncle Antoine and drew from contemporary issues and events in his scripts for Jean Beaudin’s Stop (1972) and Jean-Claude Labrecque’s Les Smattes (1972).

Perron also wrote many NFB short documentaries and dramas and frequently collaborated with Georges Dufaux on such features as Caroline (1964) and Taureau. After directing Partis pour la gloire in 1975, he became director of the NFB French programming committee. He retired from the Board in 1986.

Film and video work includes

Une île du Saint-Laurent, 1958 (writer)
Il faut qu'une bibliothPque soit ouverte ou fermée, 1959 (writer)
L'Immigré, Paysages/Temps présent series, 1959 (writer)
Correlieu, Le Monde des femmes/Les Artistes canadiens/Temps présent series, 1959 (writer)
The Magic Mineral, Canada Carries On series, 1959 (documentation)
CollPge contemporain, 1960 (co-writer with Pierre Patry)
La ChaudiPre, Temps présent series, 1960 (commentary)
Georges-P. Vanier: Soldat, diplomate, gouverneur général, Profils et paysages/Temps présent series, 1960 (director; writer)
Wilfrid Pelletier, chef d'orchestre et éducateur, Profils/Temps présent series, 1960 (co-writer with Gilles Carle; co-narrator with Robert Gadouas)
Crossbreeding for Profit, 1961 (co-director with Pierre Patry)
Les Bacheliers de la cinquiPme, Temps présent series, 1961 (co-director with Francis Séguillon; writer)
Loisirs, 1962 (co-director with Pierre Patry)
Marie-Victorin, 1963 (director; editor)
Caroline, La Femme hors du foyers series, 1964 (co-director, co-writer and co-editor with Georges Dufaux)
Salut Toronto!, 1965 (director)
Out of the Forest: The Story of Canadian Timber, Canada 98 series, 1965 (co-writer with Don Erickson; TV)
Les Acadiens de la dispersion, 1967 (delegate producer)
Afrique libre, 1967 (producer)
Le Pavillon du Canada, 1967 (co-producer with André Belleau)
Tattoo 67, 1967 (producer)
C'est pas la faute B Jacques Cartier, 1967 (co-director and co-writer with Georges Dufaux; co-editor with Georges Dufaux and Claude Godbout)
Cinéma et réalité, 1966 (co-director with Georges Dufaux)
Kid Sentiment, 1967 (producer)
Jusqu'au coeur, 1968 (producer)
Étude en 21 points, 1968 (producer)
In the Public Service, 1968 (producer)
Mon amie Pierrette, 1969 (producer)
Swing la baquaise, 1968 (producer)
Bozarts, Collage series, 1969 (producer)
Vertige, 1969 (co-producer with Gilles Bovin)
Les Fleurs c'est pour Rosemont, 1969 (producer)
Multiple Man, 1969 (co-producer with Robert Forget)
Stop, 1971 (co-writer Minou Petrowski)
Notes sur la contestation, 1974 (writer)
Partis pour la gloire, 1975 (director; writer)
Fermont P.Q., 1980 (co-director with Monique Fortier)
La Surditude, 1981 (commentary)
Fait d'hiver, Dictionnaire culturel series, 1984 (co-writer with Claude Grenier)
Métallo Blues, 1985 (co-writer with Michel Macina)
Le Vieillard et l'enfant, 1985 (writer)
La Réfugiée, C'est ton droit series, 1988 (writer)
Vers la citoyenneté canadienne, C'est ton droit series, 1988 (writer)
Les Nouveaux Visions, C'est ton droit series, 1988 (writer)
Le Marchand de jouets, 1988 (writer)
Au nom du pPre et du fils, 1992 (co-writer with Robert Gauthier, Claude Heroux, Richard Martin)
René Lévesque, miniseries, 1994 (co-writer with Annik Perron; TV)