As part of a new wave of emerging Canadian filmmakers, Quebec-based actor turned director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais caught the attention of the international film community with his first feature film, "Whitewash" ... Read more »
As part of a new wave of emerging Canadian filmmakers, Quebec-based actor turned director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais caught the attention of the international film community with his first feature film, "Whitewash" (2012), which earned him the Best New Narrative Director prize at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2013. The multitalented Hoss-Desmarais honed his aesthetic directing over 100 television commercials, which earned him numerous accolades in the advertising industry. After doing commercial work for over a decade, he wrote and produced his own short films, which then led to his first feature.
A native of Montreal, Hoss-Desmarais's interest in film and visual arts came as no surprise considering that filmmaking runs in the blood. His father, Gabriel Hoss -- a writer and director -- taught film and created the successful series "How It's Made" (Discovery 2001-), which was later adopted for Discovery's American channel. His film "Whitewash" also featured his brother, actor Vincent Hoss-Desmarais, and his sister, costume designer Myriam Hoss-Desmarais, who handled wardrobe for the film. Before directing, Emanuel divided his time between his commercial work and acting in plays, movies and television series in both Canadian and American productions. He had small roles in the television biopic "The Reagans" (Showtime 2003) and the disaster blockbuster "The Day After Tomorrow" (2004).
After dipping his toe in Hollywood, Hoss-Desmarais redirected his efforts into producing and directing his own material. He directed the two short films "Table 13" (2004) and "Magasin" (2005) before teaming up with his brother to produce the short film "Marius Borodine" (2010). His mockumentary screenplay centered on an eccentric inventor whose life-altering invention had unexpected consequences. The film was well received internationally, earning a top ten spot in the Toronto International Film Festival and a Genie Award nomination in 2011. With the success of his short, Hoss-Desmarais was ready to tackle a feature-length format. An homage to his hometown's brutalizing winters, "Whitewash" told the story of a snowplow operator who must battle his own guilty conscience and the extreme winter elements after a tragic accident.
After "Whitewash" made the festival circuit, Hoss-Desmarais was ready to develop his next feature. Once again exploring the intersection of science and human nature, his film "Birthmarked" told the story of a scientist who raised his three children contrary to their genetic tendencies in a battle of nature versus nurture. While his subjects may veer into darker territory, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais managed to strike a balance between deeper conflict and a humorous subtext.