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Robert Lantos

(b. January 1, 1949 Hungary)

Robert Lantos was raised in Montevideo, Uruguay, after his family fled the 1956 revolution in Hungary. He immigrated to Canada in 1963, and several years later, he graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. from McGill University. In 1972, he formed his first company, Vivafilm, with his close friend Victor Loewy. His first venture into the film business was to purchase the Canadian rights to a New York Erotic Film Festival compilation film and distribute it on the university campus film circuit. He made a profit.

In 1975, Lantos and Loewy joined forces with entertainment lawyer Stephen Roth to form RSL Productions. They quickly moved into production during the tax-shelter era with Gilles Carle’s L’ange et la femme (1977) and George Kaczender’s In Praise of Older Women (1978). In a clever bit of promotion, Lantos made the most of the Ontario Board of Censors initial refusal to allow In Praise of Older Women to be screened at the Toronto Festival of Festivals. On the night of the gala screening there was a near riot at the theatre as the tickets had been oversold.

RSL went on to produce over 15 films in 10 years, including Agency (1979), starring Robert Mitchum and Lee Majors; Suzanne (1979), with Jennifer Dale; the MGM musical Heavenly Bodies (1983), with Cynthia Dale; and Ted Kotcheff’s Joshua Then and Now (1985), based on the novel by Mordecai Richler and starring James Woods and Alan Arkin. Lantos merged RSL in 1985 with Denis Héroux and John Kemeny’s International Cinema Corporation to form Alliance Communications. International Cinema was a very successful Montreal-based production company – the Oscar-nominated, Genie-winning Atlantic City (1980) and Oscar- and Genie-winning Quest for Fire (1982) were among its hits.

Lantos became sole chairman of Alliance in 1987. Since then, Alliance has grown exponentially into Canada’s largest production and distribution enterprise with a succession of hit television shows (such as Night Heat, E.N.G., Due South) and feature films. The list of acclaimed features includes Bruce Beresford’s Black Robe (1991), which won the 1992 Genie for best picture and the Golden Reel Award; Robert Longo's Johnny Mnemonic (1994), which won the 1995 Golden Reel; David Cronenberg’s Crash (1995), winner of a Special Jury Prize at Cannes as well as five Genies; and Atom Egoyan’s TheSweet Hereafter (1996), the most honoured Canadian film at Cannes to date, receiving both the Grand Jury Prize and the International Film Critics’ Prize. It also won eight Genies, including best picture, and two Oscar nominations for Egoyan. It was the first time a Canadian-produced film had been so favourably honoured.

In 1998, after a carefully orchestrated merger of Alliance with Atlantis Communications, Canada’s second-largest television production house, Lantos stepped aside as the head of the company he had created. He continues to produce features in Canada and abroad with his new company, the Toronto-based Serendipity Point Films; works include István Szabó’s Golden Globe winner Sunshine (1998), Paul Gross’s Men with Brooms (2002) and Egoyan’s Ararat (2002).

Film and video work includes

Agency, 1979 (producer)
Suzanne, 1979 (producer)
Paradise, 1981 (producer)
Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, 1981 (producer)
Scandale, 1982 (producer)
Bedroom Eyes, 1983 (producer)
Heavenly Bodies, 1983 (producer)
Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, 1983 (producer; TV)
Night Magic, 1984 (producer)
Separate Vacations, 1984 (producer)
The Execution of Raymond Graham, 1985 (producer; TV)
Night Heat series, 1985-1989 (producer; TV, 96 episodes)
Sword of Gideon, 1986 (producer; TV)
One Night Only, 1986 (producer; TV)
Perfect Timing, 1986 (producer; TV)
Diamonds series, 1987 (executive producer; TV, 44 episodes)
The Gate, 1987 (executive producer; TV)
Mount Royal series, 1987 (executive producer; TV, 17 episodes)
Bordertown series, 1988-1994 (executive producer; TV, 78 episodes)
E.N.G. series, 1988-1994 (executive producer; TV, 96 episodes)
American Boyfriends, 1989 (executive producer)
Counterstrike series, 1989-1992 (executive producer; TV, 66 episodes)
Buried on Sunday, 1992 (executive producer)
On My Own, 1992 (executive producer)
La Florida, 1993 (executive producer)
Ordeal in the Arctic, 1993 (executive producer; TV)
Paris, France, 1993 (executive producer)
Whale Music, 1993 (executive producer)
Woman on the Run: The Lawrencia Bembenek Story, 1993 (executive producer; TV)
Family of Strangers, 1994 (executive producer; TV)
Another Woman, 1994 (executive producer; TV)
Broken Lullaby, 1994 (executive producer; producer; TV)
A Change of Place, 1994 (executive producer; TV)
Frostfire, 1994 (producer; TV)
Johnny Mnemonic, 1994 (executive producer)
The Mighty Jungle, 1994 (executive producer; TV)
Reboot series, 1994 (executive producer; TV, 40 episodes)
Treacherous Beauties, 1994 (executive producer; TV)
North of 60 series, 1994-1998 (executive producer; TV, 90 episodes)
Due South series, 1994-1998 (executive producer; TV, 68 episodes)
At the Midnight Hour, 1995 (executive producer; producer; TV)
Eldorado, 1995 (executive producer)
Never Talk to Strangers, 1995 (executive producer)
Taking the Falls, 1995 (executive producer; TV)
Family of Cops I, 1996 (executive producer; TV)
Beast Wars: Transformers series, 1996-1999 (executive producer; TV)
The Cold Equations, 1996 (producer; TV)
Mother Trucker: The Diana Kilmury Story, 1996 (executive producer; TV)
Gridlock, 1996 (producer; TV)
The Morrison Murders, 1996 (producer; TV)
Turning April, 1996 (executive producer)
Strike, 1997 (producer)
All I Wanna Do, 1997 (executive producer)
Family of Cops II: Breach of Faith, 1997 (executive producer; TV)
Fast Track series, 1997 (executive producer; TV, 22 episodes)
The Hunchback, 1997 (executive producer; TV)
The Inheritance, 1997 (executive producer; producer; TV)
Northern Lights, 1997 (executive producer; TV)
Twilight of the Ice Nymphs, 1997 (producer)
Shot Through the Heart, 1997 (executive producer; TV)
At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story, 1997 (executive producer)
Da Vinci's Inquest series, 1998-1999 (executive producer; TV, 26 episodes)
Hard to Forget, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
Loving Evangeline, 1998 (executive producer)
Nô, 1998 (executive producer)
Recipe for Revenge, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
This Matter of Marriage, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
The Waiting Game, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
Total Recall 2010 series, 1998 (executive producer; TV, 22 episodes)
Family of Cops III, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
Milgaard, 1998 (executive producer; TV)
Power Play series, 1998-1999 (executive producer; TV, 26 episodes)
Nothing Too Good for a Cowboy, 1998-1999 (executive producer; TV)
15 moments, 1999 (producer)
Cover Me series, 1999 (executive producer; TV, six episodes)
Stardom, 2000 (producer)
Picture Claire, 2001 (producer)
Escape From the Newsroom, 2002 (producer; TV)
The Statement, 2003 (producer)
Being Julia, 2004 (producer)