One of the most distinctive members of the film industry -- Canadian or otherwise -- to emerge in the 1990s, director, writer, editor, and producer Atom Egoyan has left an indelible imprint on audiences everywhere with his haunting, beautifully wrought work.
The son of Armenian refugees, Egoyan was born July 19, 1960, in Cairo, Egypt. His family moved to Victoria, British Columbia, in 1963, and Egoyan grew up consciously rejecting his own ethnicity in favor of assimilation into his adopted culture. During his teen years, he nurtured his interest in writing and reading plays, finding particular inspiration in the works of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter. It was also during his adolescence that Egoyan found unlikely inspiration for his future films by working as a hotel employee. He would later remark that preparing a hotel room and making a movie were similar in their creation of an illusion (an idea that would manifest itself most overtly in his 1989 film Speaking Parts, which takes place largely in a hotel).