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The film board executive

John Christou, BA 01, MBA 17
November 6, 2023
By Richard Burnett, BA 88

Black and white photo of a man with a dark beard who is wearing a patterned collared shirt.

John Christou has earned a reputation for producing smart, authentic indie films, including Blood Quantum, which was nominated for 10 Canadian Screen Awards in 2021, winning seven.

The founder of Prospector Films has been an active member of Montreal’s production community for over two decades and, in 2013, was named one of the top Canadian Media Executives under 35 by The Hollywood Reporter.

Christou continues to champion Canadian films and filmmakers as director of production and operations for the programming and creation team at the National Film Board of Canada, where he applies management and leadership skills learned in Concordia’s Executive MBA program

“With my EMBA I was able to marry the creative side of my filmmaking practice with the business side of the industry,” he says. “It brought me full circle because in my work, they complement each other.”

Proudest moment

“Premiering Blood Quantum at the Toronto International Film Festival. That was a film I’d spent 15 years working on, from idea to completion. It was quite a high to premiere at the world’s biggest film festival.”

The Concordia factor

“My undergraduate degree in creative writing has consistently given me a big advantage over many colleagues because I have this solid understanding of storytelling.”

Career advice

“I often tell younger film professionals not to expect anyone to give you anything, and that you have to define yourself from really early on in your career. Own the space that you want to occupy.”

Industry projections

“I think most people are deeply unprepared for the impact that AI will have ㅡ specifically, generative AI ㅡ on the media landscape. We’re on the precipice of a hyper-explosion of content.”

Giving back

“All my life, I’ve supported Camp Nominingue, which provides kids with outdoor experiences in the summer. As technology progresses and colonizes the attention of our youth, it feels more and more important to me that kids be kids and play together, unshackled from technology and social media.”

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