A filmmaker armed with both intelligence and unique vision, French-Canadian writer/director Francois Girard managed to stake a claim for himself on the map of international cinema with only a handful of credits to his name. Girard, who was born in St-Felicien, Quebec, in 1963, started his career as a video artist, and eventually founded a company that became, in his words, his "film school" where he worked on experimental projects like architecture and dance films, as well as short dramas.
In 1990, Girard made his feature-film debut with Cargo, a French-language drama that was unable to get distribution outside of Quebec. Four years later, the director had his international breakthrough with Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, which he also co-wrote with Don McKellar. Its structure inspired by Gould's famous rendition of the "Goldberg Variations," the film was heralded as a visionary take on the life of the iconoclastic pianist that skillfully combined fact and fiction. It earned a score of Genies -- Canada's equivalent of the Oscar -- as well as particular acclaim for actor Colm Feore's title performance.