GUYLAINE DIONNE | Film Director and Associate Professor Film Production
A native of the Province of Quebec, Guylaine Dionne has been working steadily in the film and television industry for more than 20 years, ever since she graduated with honours from Montreal’s Concordia University where she studied film production.
Ms. Dionne is currently teaching at Concordia University as an associate professor, where she is also the Head of the MFA Film Production Program at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada. Since May 2005, Ms. Dionne is a member of Hexagram, the digital research center. Ms. Dionne received a three-year bursary from the Government of Quebec to research the impact of new technologies on new narrative forms in cinema. Since 2011, she has been working with Dr. Rosanna Maule (Associate Professor of Film Studies) on a new project, Women’s Cinema: A Virtual Archive.
In 2004, Ms. Dionne directed a television documentary, Mary Shelley, produced by Michel Ouellette and Cine Qua Non Media Inc. This film was selected by major festivals, such as the Festival international des productions audiovisuelles (FIPA) in Biarritz, and the Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) in Montreal. Mary Shelley was invited in competition to the L’Encre à l’écran film festival in Tours (France) where it won the “Lanterna Magica” Prize for Best Documentary.
Her first independent feature film, Les Fantômes des trois Madeleine (The Three Madeleine), a highly personal project, is an ode to the beauty of the unspoken. The film was selected by the Directors’ Fortnight and had its World Premiere at the 2000 Cannes International Film Festival. This was followed by an international tour of prestigious festivals in Portugal, Korea, Argentina, Belgium, Italy and Canada. Les Fantômes des trois Madeleine received the following awards: Grand Prize at the Figueira da Foz International Film Festival (Portugal), the “Don Quijote” Award from the European Federation of Cine-Clubs and Special Mention from the international Critics’ Jury of the FIPRESCI.
Ms. Dionne’s resume boasts an impressive body of work. In 1989, she produced and directed her first short fiction film, Les Frissons d’Agathe, which won many awards in various festivals. She then went on to work for the National Film Board of Canada, where she honed her skills as a camera operator. This period at the NFB allowed her to refine her style, her aesthetics, as well as her capacity to adapt to the most unexpected situations. This experience proved very useful later on working on independent projects as a director and producer.
In 1991, Ms. Dionne took on the challenging roles of researcher, location scout and production supervisor for the television series Amérique 500 for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. For the following three years, as she travelled throughout both American continents, she demonstrated that she was just as comfortable meeting members of the Yanomami tribe in the Amazonian jungle in Venezuela, as she was interviewing music greats Milton Nascimiento and Gilberto Gil in Brazil, or Luis Buñuel’s legendary cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa in Mexico City. In 1994, while still in Mexico, she wrote and directed the documentary Les Rêves secrets des Tarahumaras, which received a Best Documentary Series nomination at the Gémeaux Awards.
In the following years, aside from her filmmaking activities, Ms. Dionne also pursued doctoral studies at the University of Strasbourg, in France, where she successfully completed a thesis project entitled Le Buñuel mexicain (Buñuel: the Mexican period) DEA in June 1997.
While working on the screenplay and development of Les Fantômes des trois Madeleine, she also directed four documentaries: two episodes for the series Îles d’inspiration, one dedicated to legendary poet and singer-songwriter Félix Leclerc, the other to historian and author Louis Caron; an episode of the series Through her Eyes entitled Jess Goes West, a road movie about a young Québécois woman on a trip throughout Western Canada, produced for Canada’s Women’s Television Network (WTN); and an episode of the series Les Histoires oubliées entitled La Mémoire des lieux, broadcast on La Société Radio-Canada and the Réseau de l’information (RDI).
In 2009, she directed and wrote the screenplay for the feature-length drama, Serveuses Demandées (Waitress Wanted). The film has been described as a highly complex and compassionate drama. In 2011 she completed the short film, Les mercredis de Rose (Rose’s Wednesdays). Currently, she has two feature films in development, Tango and The Last Harvest.