Schools Training

4 Canadian Film Grads Abroad

15 NOV 2013
Career Path : Filmmaking and Film Editing

Though you may not realize it, the film schools in Canada, long overshadowed by their peers in the United States, have graduated some of the finest filmmakers in the world. Here are four of our favorites:

David Cronenburg – After graduating at the top of his class from one of the most prestigious film schools in Toronto, David Cronenburg went on to become a cult icon for horror fans with such films as Shivers and his breakthrough hit, Rabid.

He then parlayed these initial successes into superstardom by directing such horror and sci-fi classic as The Fly, Dead Ringers and Crash. Along the way, he has worked with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars including Jeff Goldblum, Jeremy Irons and James Spader. After 40 years, he is still active in the entertainment business. His latest release, Maps to the Stars with Julianne Moore, is scheduled for release in 2014.

Paul Haggis – Graduates from film schools in Canada work in all over the industry and not just as directors – take Paul Haggis for example. This alumni from Ontario’s largest school of higher learning moved to Los Angeles and found steady work writing for a variety of television shows including The Love Boat, One Day at a Time, the Tracey Ullman Show and L.A. Law.

He then moved up in the world and began writing for film. His earliest work includes the screenplay for the Oscar-winner, Million Dollar Baby. Mr. Haggis then went on to win two Oscars of his own – Best Picture and Best Writing – for the movie, Crash.

Atom Egoyan – For those with a more art-house bent when it comes to film, the career of director, Atom Egoyan, a graduate of one of the most prestigious film schools in Canada, will be of more interest. Mr. Egoyan prefers to work on the smaller canvas of specialty films with budgets under $10 million. In addition, he likes to write his own material and use his Canadian-Armenian wife in many of the starring roles.

Mr. Egoyan’s more mainstream fame, however, derives from films where he “only” adapted the screenplay. His first major success, The Sweet Hereafter, garnered him two Academy Award nominations. He followed this success with the film, Felicia’s Journey, which was a darling at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. His latest work, The Captive is in post-production and is expected to be released in 2014.

Ivan Reitman – This former director graduated from film school in Toronto in 1969. Over the next three decades, he would make millions laugh as the writer, producer or director of such comedy classics as Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters and Old School.

Though primarily a producer these days, Mr. Reitman has always insisted that he will direct again. In one notable instance, he forced his backers to honor their contract and to officially designate him as the director of the next Ghostbusters’ film.

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