Canadian Directors to Keep on Your Radar - Raindance

In an ever changing industry that has been dominated for so long by American hollywood us Canadians are hungrier than ever to consume content that comes from home. Many Canadian filmgoers will know the more popular northern filmmakers like Cronenberg but how are we supposed to identify the directors not in the spotlight?  As Canadians we have a unique and diverse voice and this year we have a slew of directors new and veteran who have interesting stories to tell. Here is a collection of a few of those Canadian directors that you should pay attention to in the coming years.

Mary Harron

American Psycho

The Moth Diaries

An Ontario native, Mary Harron is a force to watch out for in 2017. She has made her mark in both film and television. Many will know her most popular film American Psycho which has a massive cult following and was a breakout flick for its star Christian Bale. This year Harron’s talents have been turned on the Alias Grace six part mini-series. Originally a novel written by Margret Atwood this new show will be written for the screen by another Canadian goliath Sarah Polley. Alias Grace sounds like some of the most promising Canadian content of 2017 especially when you also consider that the cast includes Canadian talent like David Cronenberg and Sarah Gadon. 

Kim Nguyen

Two Lovers and a Bear

The Empire of Scents

Another rising director who hails from Montreal is Kim Nguyen. Jumping between documentary and fiction is one of his greatest skills and Nguyen’s most recent project is his feature Two Lovers and a Bear which combines the narrative of a feature film with the natural beauty of a documentary. The feature (which stars Tatiana Maslany and Dane DeHaan) premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and was shortly picked up by 20th Century Fox. Two Lovers and a Bear is scheduled for a Valentines Day 2017 release so save the date. Many viewers who are in search of a film that is engaging emotionally and visually should not miss a chance to enjoy this director.   

Xavier Dolan

Its Only the End of the World


Xavier Dolan is one of the most astonishing filmmakers in Canada and to many across the industry. Being a young man of only 27 with six feature films under his belt it is easy to see why many expect great things out of this Montreal born director. Each of his powerful films are clearly personal and Dolan has carved a name for himself by being so true to his own stories. You may not have seen much of his work yet but you may be surprised to know that he is behind the Adele: Hello music video which has accumulated over 3 billion views globally. In 2017 he has the opportunity to push his career to the next level and into the main stream with his new film The Death and Life of John F. Donovan. This mainstream promise comes from the star power of the films cast. Actors like Natalie Portman, Jessica Chastain, and Kit Harington.

Gail Harvey

Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire

Looking is the Original Sin

Gail Harvey has had a varied international career as a well known television director and a talented photo journalist. Her ability to balance out a  career with strong commercial success and outstanding passion project has given her a unique voice as a director. Her skill is recognized in her 2016 feature documentary Rickie Lee Jones: The Other Side of Desire and which premiered at the 2016 Raindance film festival in London, England. Harvey shows no signs of slowing down and her new feature film Never Saw it Coming is set to start filming early 2017. She also has a very gifted daughter in Katie Boland who appears in The Master and has begun to pursue her own career as a director with a few shorts. The most recent being Lolz-ita which releases in 2017. Keep an eye out for this pair who are sure to continue making their mark.

It is clear from this list that there is no one way at achieving your filmmaking goals. All it takes is the desire to create and a good idea. There are many more amazing directors in Canada who have carved their own niche. If a director you adore hasn’t made our list let us know about it on Facebook or Twitter.