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Atom Egoyan, born on July 19, 1960 in Cairo, Egypt to Armenian parents, is an internationally renowned film director whose films have appeared at several festivals including Cannes and the Toronto International Film Festival along with being nominated for and winning several awards. In 1997 his film The Sweet Hereafter was nominated for two Academy Awards, Best Director and Best Adapted Screening, and it won three awards at that years Cannes Film Festival: the FIPRESCI Prize, the Grand Prize of the Jury, and the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury.
In 1963 Egoyan’s family moved from Egypt to Victoria, British Columbia. In 1978 he enrolled at Trinity College at The University of Toronto where his studies concentrated on international relations. It was at this point in Egoyan’s life when he became interested in his own culture as an Armenian, an interest which would permeate throughout his personal life as well as influencing the subject matter of films like Ararat (2002), a film which concentrated on the Armenian genocide in 1915. Along with becoming a member of the University of Toronto’s Armenian Society he became an active contributor to the school’s newspaper, The Newspaper. It was also at this time in his life when, with funds from the Hart House Program, Egoyan would create his first short film Howard in Particular (1979). Since the creation of his first short film while attending the University of Toronto, and by the end of 2014, Egoyan had directed 14 feature films, 5 of which (Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter, Felicia's Journey (1999), Where the Truth Lies (2005), Adoration (2008), and The Captive (2014)) have been nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Egoyan continues to make films to this day with his 15th feature film, Remember, set to debut in 2015.
In recognition for his artistic achievements as a Canadian citizen Egoyan, in 1999, was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honour.
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University of Toronto Media Commons
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Created July 8, 2015
"Atom Egoyan - Biography." Atom Egoyan. http://www.egs.edu/faculty/atom-egoyan/biography/.
Romney, Jonathan. Atom Egoyan. London: British Film Institute, 2003.
Wilson, Emma. Atom Egoyan. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2009.