Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts

Michèle Cournoyer Filmmaker / animator

Michèle Cournoyer on the intimacy of drawing and the long process of animation.

Video by Claudie Lévesque

“…the surrealistic images that flash by on the screen seem to surge from an inner life that is both theirs and hers.”

Michèle Cournoyer is blessed with a strong and distinctive artistic voice and a highly original style… [Her] films, which are experiences that leave no one unaffected, are some of the most remarkable animated films on the contemporary scene.

Although her films address social issues (incest, alcoholism and sexuality), they do not do so from a prescriptive standpoint. She explores the private lives of her characters in the context of her own private life. Her characters suffer and feel, and the surrealistic images that flash by on the screen seem to surge from an inner life that is both theirs and hers.

She has been continuously conceiving and making films for the past 45 years. In the world of animation, short films and Canadian cinema, she stands out as a flamboyant and unique figure.

Marco de Blois, Cinemathèque québécoise (nominator)

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