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Manon Briand

Director, Screenwriter
(b. January 1, 1964 Baie Comeau, Quebec)

One of the most talented and acclaimed filmmakers to emerge from Quebec in recent years, Manon Briand has distinguished herself with a number of films that centre around strong female protagonists solving the mysteries of their new environments in order to make a life for themselves.

Briand grew up in Baie Comeau and in 1981 began her studies in graphic arts at the CÉGEP de Vieux-Montréal. She put her skills to use making posters, including one for Cinoche, her hometown’s film festival. She then studied fine arts at Concordia University with a specialization in film before beginning her career as a screenwriter in 1987. Her first short film, Les Sauf-conduits (1991), which she wrote, directed and produced, earned a number of international awards, including nods for Best Film and Best Director at the Yorkton Film Festival and the award for Best Canadian Short Film at the Toronto International Film Festival7in 1992. After directing two more acclaimed shorts – Croix de bois (1992) and Picoti Picota (1995) –she contributed a segment titled "Boost"to the feature film Cosmos (1996), an omnibus film comprised of short segments by promising young Québécois directors. The film screened at the Director's Fortnight at the Festival de Cannes, where it won the Prix de la Confédération Internationale des Cinéma d=Art et d=Essai.

Her promising debut feature, 2 secondes (1998), about a female mountain-bike racer, was widely acclaimed and won four awards at the Montreal World Film Festival, including Best Director, First Film Prize, and both the audience and jury awards for Best Canadian Film. Montreal’s La Presse also named her Person of the Year in the arts and theatre category. After directing the popular television movie Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story (1999), Briand went on to direct her third feature, the critically heralded La Turbulence des fluides (2002), which also proved highly successful at the Quebecbox office, where it enjoyed a four-month run. The film won a special Jutra award, as well as the audience award for Best Canadian Film at the Montreal World Film Festival.

Film and video work includes

Croix de bois, Histoires courtes à dormir debout series, 1992 (director; co-writer with Isabelle Marcil)
Un Film de cinéastes, 1994 (co-directed with Claude Fortin, Catherine Martin, Benoît Pilon, et al.)
Picoti Picota, 1995 (director; writer)
2 secondes, 1998 (director; writer)
Heart: The Marilyn Bell Story, 2001 (director)