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Fernand Dansereau

Fernand Dansereau

Reporter, screenwriter, director, producer and head of French production at the NFB—Fernand Dansereau pretty much did it all. Between 1955 and 1969—a period during which he was a trailblazer in many areas—Dansereau directed and produced no less than 80 films! By the turn of the 1960s, he was the linchpin of the French-language team that would revolutionize the way documentaries were made, contributing to the advent of direct cinema. He produced Pour la suite du monde (1962) by Pierre Perrault, Michel Brault and Marcel Carrière, the first feature-length Canadian film screened in official competition at the Cannes Film Festival. Dansereau left the NFB at the end of the 1960s to pursue a career as a filmmaker and screenwriter in the private sector. But he would return in the early 2000s, making two feature documentaries: Quelques raisons d’espérer (An Ecology of Hope, 2001) and Les porteurs d’espoir (Hope Builders, 2010). Dansereau won the Albert Tessier prize in 2005, was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the Festival des films du monde de Montréal in 2007, and won the Jutra for lifetime achievement in 2009.