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Roger Frappier

Director, Producer
(b. January 1, 1945 St-Joseph-de-Sorel, Quebec)

In the early 1970s, the talented and often politically militant Roger Frappier directed films that emphasized the social and cultural fabric of Quebec, such as his shorts on Quebec poets and his features Le grand film ordinaire (1970) and L'infonie inachevée (1973). He also edited a number of key Quebec social documentaries, notably Faut aller parmi l'monde pour le savoir (1971). After his early work as an editor and director, he discovered his true vocation as a hands-on producer. Frappier has been associated with some of the most successful films to come out of Quebec in the last two decades. He is the only producer to win three Golden Reel Awards (which recognize films with the highest box office returns). He has also won four Genies for best Canadian film to date.

Frappier directed two features and a documentary before going to the United States to work as an assistant to Robert Altman on Nashville (1975). After returning to Canada, he joined the NFB and worked on Première question sur le bonheur (1977) under an NFB co-production agreement with Mexico.

In 1984, he became director of Studio C at the NFB and assembled a group of writer-directors who collaborated on developing edgy urban dramas. The script for Denys Arcand’s Oscar-nominated Le déclin de l’empire américain (1986) emerged from the process that Frappier had set in motion. He also produced Carle's Cinéma, cinéma (1985) and Une guerre dans mon jardin (1985), and
co-produced Lea Pool's Anne Trister (1986) and Yves Simoneau's Pouvoir intime (1986) with Claude Bonin.

He left the NFB in 1986 and founded Max Films with Pierre Gendron, producing Jean-Claude Lauzon's Un zoo la nuit (1987), a film that quickly established the dynamism and creativity of the company. They also produced Denys Arcand's Jésus de Montréal (1989), which won the Prix du jury at the Cannes Film Festival in 1989 and was nominated for an Oscar. Max Films continued by producing films for television, such as Micheline Lanctôt's Onzième spéciale (1988), Charles Binamé's Un autre homme (1990) and Jacques Leduc's L’enfant sur le lac (1991).

At the beginning of 1991, Gendron and Frappier ended their association and Frappier continued as head of Max Films. He promoted the company on the international market, co-producing with the Argentinian filmmaker Eliseo Subiela on El lado oscuro del corazon/Le côté obscur du coeur (1992) and producing Denys Arcand’s first English feature Love and Human Remains (1993).

In the 1990s, he founded the Cosmos collective (Marie-Julie Dallaire, André Turpin, Jennifer Alleyn, Manon Briand, Arto Paragamian and Denis Villeneuve), a group of young and talented filmmakers who received a lot of attention from the public and media. In 1986, Frappier produced and launched the film Cosmos by the collective, which was selected for the 1997 Cannes Film Festival's Quinzaine des Réalisateurs and won the International Art and Experimental Cinema Award. Cosmos was also nominated for an Oscar for best film in a foreign language.

In 1997, he produced André Forcier's La comtesse de Bâton Rouge, one of six films selected to represent Quebec in Paris for the "Semaine du Québec" in November 1997, and in 1998, Frappier was one of 12 producers honoured by the Cannes Film Festival. From 1997 to 1999, he was president of the Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois, and from 1998, president of La soirée des Jutra. Frappier’s reputation as an outstanding technician and champion of Québécois cinema have made him a celebrity in the Quebec film industry. In 1999, he was awarded the Prix Albert-Tessier for exceptional achievement.

The Cosmos collective went on to produce some of the most celebrated recent works in Québécois cinema — including Un 32 août sur terre (1998) and Maelström (2000) (both by Villenueve) and La turbulence des fluides (2002, Briand) — underscoring Frappier's eye for young talent.

Film and video work includes

Le grand film ordinaire, 1970 (director, producer)
Alain Grandbois, 1971 (director)
Gaston Miron, 1971 (director)
Pizzagone, 1971 (editor)
La gravure, 1973 (director)
L'infonie inachevée, 1973 (director, editor)
Réjeanne Padovani, 1973 (actor)
On a raison de se révolter, 1974 (producer)
Yannis Xenakis, 1974 (director)
Lundi: "Une chaumière, un coeur", 1977 (co-director with Jacques Leduc)
Le Manitoba ne répond plus, 1977 (producer)
Première question sur le bonheur, 1977 (producer)
Samedi: "Le ventre de la nuit", 1977 (director)
La bataille de la Châteauguay, 1978 (producer)
La fiction nucléaire, 1978 (producer)
Une journée à Forillon, 1978 (producer)
Une journée à la Pointe Pelée, 1978 (producer)
Kouchibouguac, 1978 (producer)
La loi de la ville, 1978 (producer)
Sols du Canada, 1978 (producer)
Cordélia, 1979 (producer)
De la tourbe et du restant, 1979 (producer)
Le deal mexicain, 1980 (producer)
L'habitation, 1981 (producer; TV)
Le parc des hautes terres du Cap Breton, 1981 (producer)
Voyage de nuit, 1981 (director)
Le dernier glacier, 1984 (co-director and co-writer with Jacques Leduc)
Cinéma, cinéma, 1985 (producer)
Cochez oui, cochez non, 1985 (producer)
Double vie, 1985 (producer)
Une guerre dans mon jardin, 1985 (producer; executive producer)
Haïti (Québec), 1985 (producer)
Rumeurs sur la ville, 1985 (executive producer)
Un témoignage gravé sur... Pas de deux, 1985 (executive producer)
Le vert de terre, 1985 (executive producer; music video for Marie-Claude de Chevigny)
La familia latina, 1986 (executive producer)
L'homme renversé, 1986 (producer)
Pouvoir intime, 1986 (producer)
Sonia, 1986 (producer)
Onzième spéciale, 1988 (producer; executive producer)
Le chemin de Damas, 1989 (executive producer)
Un autre homme, 1990 (executive producer)
Ding et Dong, le film, 1990 (producer; executive producer)
Moody Beach, 1990 (executive producer)
L'enfant sur le lac, 1991 (producer)
Lapse of Memory, 1991 (producer)
El lado oscuro del corazón, 1992 (producer)
La vie fantôme, 1992 (producer)
L'avaleur de sable, 1994 (producer)
L'enfant d'eau, 1994 (producer)
Sous-sol, 1996 (producer)
La comtesse de Bâton Rouge, 1997 (producer)
Une voix en or, 1997 (producer; TV)
2 secondes, 1998 (producer)
Nguol thùa, 1998 (producer)
La grande mouvée, 1999 (executive producer; TV)
Lumière des oiseaux, 1999 (executive producer; TV)
Mack Sennett, roi du comique, 1999 (executive producer; TV)
Matroni et moi, 1999 (producer)
La vie après l'amour, 2000 (producer)
L'ange de goudron, 2001 (producer)
Mémoires de la terre, 2001 (producer)
Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant sa ménopause, 2002 (producer)
La grande séduction, 2003, in production (producer)