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Atom Egoyan Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3) | Mini Bio (2) | Spouse (1) | Trade Mark (5) | Trivia (14) | Personal Quotes (15)

Overview (3)

Born in Cairo, Egypt
Birth NameAtom Yeghoyan
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (2)

Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he was raised in Western Canada. Both his parents were painters, and he planned to be a playwright, but after making a short film, he became hooked on telling stories visually. Returned to ethnic "homeland" when he filmed Calendar (1993) in Armenia. Won attention at the Sundance Film Festival for earlier work, then broke through critically and commercially with Exotica (1994). Afterwards, The Sweet Hereafter (1997) led him to receive two Academy Award nominations, and then Chloe (2009) became his biggest moneymaker ever (after the film's DVD/Blu-ray release).

- IMDb Mini Biography By: mwprods@mindspring.com

Atom Egoyan's parents were painters and he studied International Relations and music at the University of Toronto where he began making short films: Howard in Particular (1979), After Grad with Dad (1980), Peep Show (1981) and Open House (1982).

While he has several distinguished Television and Opera works on his resume and such pictures as his debut Next of Kin (1984) , Berlin and Moscow International Film Festival-winning Family Viewing (1987) and Exotica (1994) -- his most critically acclaimed picture is The Sweet Hereafter (1997) and his biggest commercial success is the erotic thriller Chloe (2009).

Egoyan's Ararat (2002) -- about the 1915 Armenian Genocide perpetrated by Turks in the Turkish Ottoman Empire -- depicted the consequences and suffering of a child survivor Arshile Gorky, who became the pioneer of the American Abstract Expressionism. Ararat (2002) won five honors at Canada's top Genie Awards.

Egoyan has also collected numerous awards at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: PARAJANOV.com

Spouse (1)

Arsinée Khanjian (19? - present) (1 child)

Trade Mark (5)

Frequently incorporates TVs, video monitors, computers, cameras and other media devices into his films.
Frequently repeats voice-over sequences thoughout the course of a film.
Many of his films deal with the complicated nature of human sexuality.
Frequently tackles the subject of past wrongs and/or injustice (ex. Ararat (2002), Where the Truth Lies (2005), Exotica (1994), and Devil's Knot (2013))

Trivia (14)

His wife Arsinée Khanjian is an award-winning actress and appears in most of his films.
His parents Joseph and Shushan (nee Devletian) were painters, but also ran a furniture store.
Graduated University of Toronto, B.A. International Relations, 1982.
Plays classical guitar.
He and his wife, Arsinée Khanjian, have a son, Arshile Egoyan.
Appointed to the rank of an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor-General Romeo Leblanc. [Sept. 23, 1999].
One of his favorite films is Sergei Parajanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1969).
Member of 'Official Competition' jury at the 49th Cannes International Film Festival in 1996.
Head of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 53rd Berlin International Film Festival in 2003.
Member of the 'Dramatic Competition' jury at the Sundance Film Festival in 1995.
According to Egoyan his thriller Chloe (2009) had made more money than any of his previous art house films. [Toronto Star, 2010].
Atom Egoyan is a Canadian citizen of Armenian descent and lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
His sister Eve Egoyan is an artist and pianist.
Appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest honor the Canadian government bestows to its citizens, by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, for his contribution to Canadian culture. [February 17, 2017].

Personal Quotes (15)

I think with all directors there are ideas that recur, at least for the ones that have creative control of their films.
This idea of clarity and that people should know at all times what's going on is obviously very attractive from a marketing perspective, but I think it would completely eviscerate the power of what these movies are about... We are still discussing what the opening sequence in Persona (1966) might mean and the wealth of possibilities that can be read into this piece of work. I believe that's why it endures.
[on The Captive (2014)] We're sort of inside this eternal present and it becomes a torture machine, where people are playing scenes over and over in their mind.. In terms of the mood, it feels like the world we live in. That's what I'm trying to do with this film - to create an expression of the space that we live in. I understand that it will create a wide variety of criticisms.
I started in theater and I wanted to write plays, but I never really found an original voice as a playwright. I still write plays. I still do theater and opera, but the moment I started making films, which I have to say I started in college because the college dramatic society turned down one of my plays, and out of spite, I went to the film club and said, "Okay, I'll make it as a movie." But the moment I held that camera, it just felt like "Oh, this is another character. This is someone watching the drama." It was always a character for me. I think in the really early films, it literally is the missing person. It's the person watching. So, it's what I feel most natural doing. But I love all these other worlds. I'm about to go into rehearsals for an opera. I love that world as well. [2014]
Sometimes you get the opportunity to make a film that actually is touching or explores a part of history that is uncharted. With Ararat (2002), the transmission of trauma reverberates through four generations. How the pain of that is, and the echoes are, felt 100 years later. [2016]
I'm just really grateful I had this career to make these films. Whether or not particular films connect, I'm proud of the body of work that I've done. [2014]
There have been reviews that have profoundly affected me, because someone so deeply connected to the film. Those are so gratifying. [2014]
I started my career, thankfully maybe, with a first feature that I'm really proud of, that got some really dismissive reviews at the time. I realized I had to have a really thick skin if I wanted to pursue this. You can't be vulnerable. It's just the nature of it. [2014]
[on Remember (2015)] What I respond to - as a grandchild of survivors of a genocide that hasn't been recognized - I can really respond to that feeling of rage. It's something that is still living for these people. Max will not get satisfaction. For him it's still about the magnitude of that loss. We cannot allow ourselves to become inured or callused to horror, to the ability of people to abstract other human beings if sanctioned by the State. We were telling this story at a time when we still have survivors and perpetrators in our midst, and we were very aware of that. [2016]
[on Exotica (1994)] To me, the obvious definition of the exotic is something outside our immediate experience. But ultimately, what really drives the film is the exoticism that we feel towards our own experience, that point at which our own memory, and our own relationship to the things that are closest to us become exotic.
My first film, Next of Kin (1984), was made 15 years ago for $ 20.000, my second [Family Viewing (1987)] for $ 100.000 and then Speaking Parts (1989) was $ 500.000. I was never aware of commercial considerations, and each film found enough of an audience to justify its budget. I'm more aware of those things now... [Nov.1998]
[on the online sabotage attempts by Turkish denialists after the premiere of the Armenian Genocide epic The Promise (2016)] It's going to be a tough ride. The denialist lobby is very well-organized. [2016]
[on Ararat (2002)] I don't think this is a film about the Armenian Genocide. This is a film about the denial of it and the consequences of it generations after the event. (...) This is a movie that is about people negotiating history and what it means to carry this history and what it means to resolve and try and find some way of coming to terms with it. [2004]
[on the Turkish reaction to Ararat (2002)] All through the making of this film I received threats but I didn't bother taking any of them seriously and I suppose I have the convenience of being here [in Canada]. (...) The real enemy of the Turkish people in this situation has been a government which has suppressed this [the Armenian Genocide and his film] from its own population. [2004]
[on targeted down-voting on IMDB against The Promise (2016) and other films about the Armenian Genocide] Especially for people who are not familiar with the subject matter...you're going to look for the rating. You can't downplay it. It probably does have an effect. (...) You just have to have a really thick skin. You just have to realize that the good thing about films is that they have a long life. You hope that at a certain point the dust settles down and then people actually see the movie. [2017]

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