Mathieu Denis, Simon Lavoie

2017 Achievement in Direction | Meilleure réalisation


Mathieu Denis studied cinema at Université du Québec à Montréal. Initially working as an editor, he eventually turned to writing and directing and released a first short film, Le Silence nous fera écho, which was featured in numerous film festivals around the world. Code 13, his second short, was included in 2007’s Canada’s Top Ten list and won a Best Direction award at the Fantasia Film Festival. He then co-wrote and co-directed a first feature, Laurentie, with Simon Lavoie. This film had its world première at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, and then won the award for Best International Feature Film at the Raindance Film Festival in London, the Jury Grand Prize at the Festival international d’art et de cinéma de Percé, and the Best Direction award at the Polar Lights Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. Corbo, his first solo feature film, screened at the Toronto International Film Festival and at the Berlin International Film Festival, among many others, and was included in 2015’s Canada’s Top Ten list. It also received four Canadian Screen Award nominations, as well as ten Québec Cinema Awards nominations. Mathieu teamed up with Simon Lavoie again for Ceux qui font les révolutions à moitié n’ont fait que se creuser un tombeau,, his third feature film which premiered at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival. A fourth feature titled Le fils du dictateur is currently in development at Max Films.

Hailing from Charlevoix in Québec, Simon Lavoie moved to Montréal in 1998 to pursue film studies at the Université du Québec à Montréal. His early short and mid-range films made between 2003 and 2007 include Une chapelle blanche, which won him a Jutra Award in 2006. Two years later, Simon Lavoie wrote and directed his first feature film, Le déserteur, a period drama that was screened in over 40 cinemas in Québec. In 2011, he co-wrote and co-directed the feature film Laurentia with Mathieu Denis, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and received the Best International Feature Award at Raindance Film Festival in London and Best Direction at the Polar Lights International Arctic Film Festival in St. Petersburg. Launched at the Festival du nouveau cinema in Montréal, Simon Lavoie’s poetic adaptation of Anne Hébert’s novella The Torrent, was released in cinemas in autumn 2012 to high critical acclaim. He is in post-production on his fifth feature film, La petite fille qui aimait trop les allumettes—loosely inspired by Geétan Soucy’s novel of the same name.