Atom Egoyan is surely the most famous and beloved Armenian-Canadian film director who has many outstanding and noteworthy achievements in his career.
One of the most celebrated contemporary Armenian-Canadian filmmakers on the international platform is Atom Egoyan. The works of this talented stage, film director, writer, and producer dig into the topics of memory, isolation and the influence of technology and media on modern life.
Furthermore, Atom Egoyan has directed 15 full-length movies and several television episodes. His career breakthrough was the film ‘Exotica’ and his most critically acclaimed film is ‘The Sweet Hereafter’. ‘Remember’ the movie is another huge accomplishment in Atom Egoyan’s filmography.
So, if you want to find out more about this remarkable Armenian-Canadian, just stay tuned with us.
Atom Egoyan is One of the Most Prominent Figures of the World Cinematography
Showcasing his great skills and excellence, Atom Egoyan has won numerous prizes and awards at international film festivals. Some of them are the Grand Prix and International Critics Awards from the Cannes Film Festival, the Dan David Prize for his outstanding and innovative achievement in the film industry, two Academy Award nominations and numerous other honors.
Furthermore, the movies of this remarkable Armenian-Canadian have been introduced in various retrospectives around the world; including the Pompidou Centre in Paris the Museum of The Moving Image in New York, the Filmoteca Espagnol in Madrid, and the Royal Cinematek in Brussels.
A Little Bit about Atom Egoyan’s Biography
Atom Egoyan was born in Cairo, as his parents, Shushan and Joseph Yeghoyans were Armenian-Egyptian. As you can guess, Egoyan’s real surname is Yeghoyan.
When the family moved to live in Victoria, British Columbia in 1962 they changed their last name to Egoyan in order to make it easier to pronounce.
Atom Egoyan graduated from Trinity College at the University of Toronto, where he studied International Relations and Classical Guitar.
After that this Armenian-Canadian was chosen as one of the participants of the Playwrights Unit at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre. It was in his early twenties when he wrote his first feature film, called ‘Next of Kin’.
It is important to highlight that Atom Egoyan has been President of the Jury in Cannes, Berlin and Venice, as well as a jury member at several other festivals, including Toronto, Yerevan, Montreal, Sundance, The Tribeca Film Festival, Shanghai, the 2011 Glenn Gould Prize, the 2015 Marrakech International Film Festival and President of the Jury at the Yamagata International Documentary Festival in Japan.
Also, he was a Governor of TIFF’s 2016 Talent Lab for emerging filmmakers. His articles and essays were printed in such famous magazines, as The New York Times, The Guardian, The Telegraph, BOMB, The Village Voice, Aperture and several other publications.
He was a Distinguished Professor at The University of Toronto for three years and is currently on the faculty of the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.
He has lectured at Tate Modern in London, as well as delivered seminars at The University of Chicago, Columbia University, The Sundance Institute, University of Southern California, and The Marshall McLuhan Lecture at The New School in New York.
It’s noteworthy that he has a production company, EGO FILM ARTS that has supported projects by such respected and famous Canadian filmmakers as Peter Mettler and Guy Maddin. The company also helps to produce first and second features by a new generation of Canadian talent.
Egoyan is a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of America, the Directors Guild of Canada, the Writers Guild of America, the Writers Guild of Canada, and the Royal Canadian Academy of Art. Currently, Atom Egoyan is based in Toronto.
His wife is Armenian-Canadian actress Arsinée Khanjian, who appears in many of Egoyan’s movies. They have a son, Arshile who is named in honor of the Armenian-American painter Arshile Gorky. Atom Egoyan is an Officer of the Order of Canada and Companion of the order that is the highest grade of the honor.
Atom Egoyan’s Best Movies #1 | Remember
Want a movie from Atom Egoyan that you won’t easily forget? We’ve got one. It’s a revenge drama, called ‘Remember’ that was released in 2015. Remember the movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.
The film won the Vittorio Veneto Film Festival Award, Best Film, and Best Actor at the Hanoi International Film Festival, a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Italian Academy Awards, the Cinecolor Audience Award at the Mar del Plata Film Festival and several other awards.
Oscar Winners Christopher Plummer and Martin Landau play Auschwitz survivors who meet in a nursing home and plan the murder of a former guard from Auschwitz.
“Remember” the movie is written by famous American casting director and screenwriter Benjamin August. The main motive of this movie lies in that it is never too late for revenge. The elderly man, Zev Guttman goes in quest of the person who was responsible for the death of his family.
So, Zev has a mission to restore long-delayed justice with his own hands.
Atom Egoyan’s Best Movies #2 | Ararat
Atom Egoyan investigated the subject of genocide deeply in his powerful 2002 film Ararat, whose subject was the Ottoman extermination of approximately 1.5 million Armenians beginning in 1915.
After Henri Verneuil’s famous movie Mayrig, it was the first major motion picture that concerned directly with the Armenian Genocide. The storyline of this film is that an art historian based in Toronto lectures on Arshile Gorky, a prominent Armenian painter who lived through the Armenian Genocide.
A director invites the historian to help him include Gorky’s story in a film about the genocide. Meanwhile, the historian’s family is under stress starting from the fact that her son is in love with his step-sister, who blames this historian for the death of her father.
This awkward position makes the son of this historian, Raffi, travel to Turkey to discover truths about his family’s cultural past. Upon his return from Turkey, Raffi has problems reentering the country, which leads to recounting much of his time in Turkey.
This film is also remarkable by the fact that many prominent and celebrated actors are starring in it, such as Charles Aznavour, Simon Abkarian, Christopher Plummer, Arsinée Khanjian, Brent Carver and many others.
Ararat won several awards, including the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review in New York and Best Film on Human Rights by The Political Film Society of Hollywood.
Atom Egoyan’s Best Movies #3 | The Sweet Hereafter
The film ‘The Sweet Hereafter’ of 1997 is widely recognized as the most acclaimed English-Canadian movie ever made. The main subject of this drama is how individuals survive in the aftermath of a horrific tragedy of a school bus accident.
The Sweet Hereafter is a tragic and sad film but it’s still so beautiful that watching it once it is virtually impossible to forget.
The stars of this movie are Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, and Caerthan Banks.
Atom Egoyan’s Best Movies #4 | Exotica
The drama of Atom Egoyan, Exotica, released in 1994, is a tragedy of circumstances. This psychological thriller is quite complex, dynamic and overly dramatic.
Overall, it is very haunting and beautiful movie. By the way, this film is considered to be Atom Egoyan’s best and most successful films by his audience.
The play of the actors, such as Elias Koteas, Mia Kirshner, Victor Garber, Don McKellar and many others make this movie a real masterpiece.
Atom Egoyan’s Best Movies #5 | Devil’s Knot
Based on a true-life story of the West Memphis Three, Devil’s Knot is another succeeded project of this distinguished Armenian-Canadian. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2013. The film stars are well-known Hollywood actors Reese Witherspoon and Colin Firth.
The movie tells a story where three young boys were savagely murdered in West Memphis, in 1993. The local police act rapidly and productively to bring three “devil-worshipping” teenagers to trial.
Investigator Ron Lax (whose role is playing Colin Firth) is trying to find the truth between the people’s need for justice and the guilt of the accused.
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