2013 Vanguard Award
Kim Nguyen is a Québécois film-maker, scriptwriter and producer whose films have gained international recognition. Born to a Vietnamese father and a Québécois mother, Nguyen pursued film studies at Concordia University and earned a Master’s degree in cinematography from the Université de Montréal. Fascinated with writing screenplays, he trained as a screenwriter while developing his knowledge of standard and digital photography. He has taught cinematographic arts and script writing at the Institut de création artistique et de recherche en infographie (ICARI) in Montréal.
Concerned with increasing his production, he founded his own company Shen Studios giving him a free hand to delve more deeply into the techniques of image manipulation and artistic postproduction methods. He then made three short films: La route, Soleil glacé, and Le gant. In 2002, he wrote and directed his first feature film, Le Marais. The film won six Jutra nominations, in the categories of “Best Film” and “Best Director”. In 2008, he wrote and produced Truffe, staring Roy Dupuis and Céline Bonnier. A low budget black and white film, it earned Nguyen recognition as Best Fantastic Director at the Fantastic Fest in Austin, Texas (2009). The film won the Fresh Generation Prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Nguyen followed this with La Cité, shot in the Tunisian desert about a doctor who tries to save the population of a village stricken by the plague and madness.
Man without Frontiers, Kim Nguyen then points his camera brilliantly to child soldiers in Africa for his film Rebelle. This fourth feature film of the director is shot in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It follows the terrifying journey of a child soldier as she tells her life story to her unborn child. The wonderful actors performing for the first time make this film a straight shooter. Rebelle has received numerous honours, including the Silver Bear award for best actress to Rachel Mwanza (Berlin Film Festival, 2012) and the best full length documentary at the New York’s TriBeCa Film Festival, an international film festival founded by Robert de Niro, among others. Rebelle received a nomination at the 2013 Oscar ceremony in the best foreign film category for 2012. As for JUTRA awards (2012), Rebelle won eight honours including three prestigious ones for Kim Nguyen: best film, best director and best screenplay.