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Honorary degree citation - Daniel Langlois

By: Christopher Jackson, December 2004

When Daniel Langlois founded Softimage in 1986, he created a masterpiece of technology and know-how in Quebec. Within the film industry, the company name rapidly became synonymous with innovation and the development of state-of-the-art options for the creation of special effects. Softimage released a wide range of two­ and three-dimensional animation programs that fulfilled the needs and expectations of creators all over the world. Daniel Langlois not only transformed the digital-media industry by developing computer-based tools, but he also challenged the industry by reducing production costs. In 1999, having propelled his company to the height of international acclaim and having brought home the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' prestigious Oscar for Science and Technology, Daniel Langlois decided to pursue his goals for film industry professionals by creating Montreal's Ex­-Centris.

Véritable laboratoire de recherche sur l'image et lieu haut de gamme pour la présentation du cinéma indépendant, Ex-Centris s'est imposé, en cinq années d'existence, comme un espace de diffusion privilégié capable de regrouper dans un même lieu des forces créatrices de la scène cinématographique et des nouveaux médias. La modernité de ce projet, par sa vision avant-gardiste et ses installations technologiques, a participé à renforcer le. caractère international de la scène culturelle montréalaise, en privilégiant la promotion du cinéma d'auteur, du court métrage, de la vidéo et des nouvelles images numériques, ainsi que la production d'oeuvres désormais mondialement reconnues, via la maison de production Media Principia (La Face cachée de la lune de Robert Lepage, Amelia d'Édouard Lock). C'est dans cette perspective de diversité que le complexe Ex-Centris accueille, chaque automne, les oeuvres des cinéastes les plus prometteurs, lors du Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal, événement qui ne cesse de croître en notoriété publique.

At much the same time, the Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology was created. This private nonprofit organization; was born out of the desire to encourage the sensitization of the public to artistic and scientific learning and to bring art and science together within the world of technology. Numerous projects were realized, helping to popularize the contemporary artistic practices associated with multimedia, electronic, and digital arts while also exploring the interrelationships of art, science, technology, and the environment. The foundation's Centre for Research and Documentation (CR+D) continues to foster interdisciplinary research and the collaboration between creation and research worldwide.

Daniel Langlois - visionary and philanthropist - will be known from now on as one of the most active patrons of culture of our time.

Mr. Chancellor, on behalf of Senate and the Board of Governors, it is my priviledge and an honour to present to you Daniel Langlois, so that you may confer upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

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