An accomplished writer, director, and documentarian, Canadian filmmaker Alain Chartrand wore many hats over the course of several decades. He started his career working as an assistant film director in his native ... Read more »
An accomplished writer, director, and documentarian, Canadian filmmaker Alain Chartrand wore many hats over the course of several decades. He started his career working as an assistant film director in his native Canada, having a rare opportunity to absorb the working methods of such acclaimed filmmakers as Jean-Pierre Lefebvre and Jean-Claude Lauzon, and before long was directing documentaries and television shows such as the autobiographical mini-series, "Chartrand et Simonne" (Radio-Canada 2000). After a nearly 20-year hiatus, Chartrand returned to directing features in 2013, as both co-writer and director of "La maison du pêcheur," lending further credence to his status as a multi-hyphenate filmmaker.
Born in Montreal in 1946, Chartrand went to trade school to become a press operator and photo engraver before stumbling upon his father's clunky 8mm camera. Almost instantaneously, a passion for filmmaking was born. By 1970, the aspiring young filmmaker began was working as an assistant director for some of the biggest names in French-Canadian cinema, including Michel Brault and Jean-Claude Lord, while devoting what little free time he had into directing his own projects. Chartrand made three documentaries during this period, including 1976's "La piastre," before earning acclaim for the 1988 made-for-TV-movie "Des amis pour la vie." The success of that film allowed Chartrand to direct 1990's "Ding et Dong, le film," a feature-length comedy that proved to be a huge earner at that box office. Through the remainder of the '90s, Chartrand focused his attention on television, directing an award-winning autobiographical series about his activist parents, "Chartrand et Simone," in 2000. It would be another 13 years before Chartrand helmed another project, which came with 2013's "La maison du pêcheur." The biographical crime drama detailed the events leading up to a 1970 political uprising in Quebec, known as the "October Crisis." The film was released in September of that year.