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3 Concordia alumni Oscar bound!

Jérémy Comte, Evren Boisjoli and Marie-Hélène Panisset nominated for Best Short (Live Action) at 2019 Academy Awards
February 1, 2019
By Richard Burnett

Filmmakers Jérémy Comte, Evren Boisjoli and Marie-Hélène Panisset have been nominated for Best Short Film (Live Action) at the 2019 Academy Awards.

Jérémy Comte, BFA (film prod.) 13, wrote and directed Fauve, which Evren Boisjoli, BFA (film prod.) 13, co-produced. The cinematographer was Olivier Gossot, BFA (film prod.) 10.

Marie-Hélène Panisset, BA (comm studies & journ) 95, of Les Films de l'Hydre, produced the film Marguerite, with cinematography by Marc Simpson-Threlford, BFA (film prod) 99.

Fauve poster

Fauve is about two young boys playing a dangerous game of one-upmanship in an abandoned quarry in Thetford Mines, Que., while Marguerite tells the story of an aging woman and her lesbian nurse who develop a friendship that inspires the title character to come to terms with her past.

“This is a dream come true,” Comte says. “Growing up, something like this seemed so distant and obscure. But our film has won all kinds of prizes, from student juries to professional juries around the world. The film has universal appeal. People say they don’t make films to win awards, but awards can increase a film’s visibility, and give you more credibility as a filmmaker.”

“It’s real surreal being nominated for an Oscar,” says Boisjoli. “And going back to Sundance when we won a Special Jury Prize for Fauve, Sundance not only launched this film, but also our film careers.”

Boisjoli adds, “I come from a very high-achieving family. When I got into [the Toronto International Film Festival] for the first time back in 2013, I remember my Dad said, ‘Why not Cannes?’ So it was pretty awesome to tell my family I was nominated for an Oscar!”

Marguerite poster

Panisset is thrilled with the nomination of Marguerite, written and directed by Marianne Farley. Says Panisset, “Our film has had an incredible journey, from its premiere at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie, in Moncton, N.B., where it won Best Canadian Short Film in 2017, to the 2019 Academy Awards. It truly has been an incredible ride.”

Marguerite has been selected in some 70 festivals worldwide and won more than 35 awards, while Fauve appeared in about 125 festivals internationally and won more than 65 awards, including a Special Jury Prize at Sundance in 2018.

Film school at Concordia

Comte, Boisjoli and Panisset remember their time at Concordia fondly.

“Jeremy and I met at the at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, so to work together and now be nominated for an Oscar together is pretty cool,” says Boisjoli. “What I have realized is while not everybody will become the biggest filmmakers, everybody there was a really interesting filmmaker.”

Marie-Hélène Panisset Marie-Hélène Panisset | Photo: Josiane Farand
Jérémy Comte Jérémy Comte
Evren Boisjoli Evren Boisjoli

Comte says Concordia was a “milestone” in his life.

“I wanted to be a filmmaker since I was 12, so I did whatever I could, from working as an assistant on film sets to attending Concordia,” he says.

“I really wanted to study at Concordia — and to be nominated for an Oscar five years later is quite incredible. Concordia helped me strike up some important working relationships. My best friends are from there. That’s where I met Evren, and where I met my network,” says Comte.

Panisset says her Concordia experience — studying both communication studies and journalism — was also very positive. “It is where I learned my passion for film.” She also points out that Marguerite and Fauve’s Oscar nominations illustrate how dynamic the Quebec film scene is.

Both Fauve and Marguerite are distributed by Montreal-based non-profit H264 Distribution.

All three will attend the 91st Academy Awards on February 24 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. Plus the filmmakers get to meet and mingle with their peers at an Oscar nominee luncheon at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on February 4.

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