Denise Filiatrault

Denise Filiatrault, actress, producer (b at Montreal 16 May 1931). Primarily an accomplished cabaret artist, Denise Filiatrault attained star status on TV in the 1960s, by working as a duo with Dominique MICHEL in Moi et l'autre (1967-71) and in numerous "Bye Byes" (end-of-year performances). She had further success in Chez Denise (1978-1982), Le 101, avenue des Pins (1984-85) and Denise... aujourd'hui (1990-91).

Parallel with her television career she performed in films and on stage, notably in works by Michel TREMBLAY. She is comfortable in both comic and dramatic roles, such as André Brassard's film version of Tremblay's Il était une fois dans l'Est (1973), in Denys ARCAND's Gina (1975), in several Franco-Canadian co-productions, specifically Gilles CARLE's La Mort d'un bûcheron (1973), Fantastica (1980) and, in 1981, Carle's Les Plouffe, playing the tormented Cécile. She then took a break from film. During this time she confirmed her interest in writing and directing for theatre and made summer comedy a staple.

Filiatrault then decided to take the leap to directing cinema by adapting Tremblay's novel C't'à ton tour Laura Cadieux (1998), a film that presents the world of overweight women yearning for love and affection. Filiatrault opted for a simple yet effective style that showcased the talents of the film's strong female leads. This dramatic comedy scored such success that the filmmaker immediately made the sequel Laura Cadieux... la suite (1999) in which she further developed the characters and their world. In 2002, she produced a new comedy, this time the fantasy world L'Odyssée d'Alice Tremblay.

The reception was lukewarm. Then, taking advantage of the success of her motion picture characters, she produced a miniseries, Le Petit monde de Laura Cadieux (2003), before tackling a new film Ma Vie en cinémascope (2004). This biography of singer Alyse Robi enabled her not only to present the moving portrait of an artist with a tragic destiny (superbly played by Pascales BUSSIÈRES) but also to accurately conjure up the performance milieu of the years 1930-1950. This time it met with success. Whether in television or cinema, Filiatrault makes actors the focus of her productions, counts on the efficiency of clear staging, and uses all the stops in situation comedy. In 2006 she received le Prix Jutra for her overall career.