International Conference: “Jean-Marc Vallée: From Quebec to Hollywood”

Cinémathèque québécoise (Montreal), June 8 and 9, 2023

On 25 December 2021, Jean-Marc Vallée left us prematurely at the age of 58. A graduate of the cinema studies program of the Université de Montréal in 1986, Jean-Marc Vallée received posthumously, during a degree conferral ceremony in August 2022, the Insigne du mérite award of the Faculté des arts et des sciences of that university. This honour demonstrates the excellence of his work initially in Quebec and then internationally.

First came the interest created in the French-speaking world by films such as C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) and Café de Flore (2011), consecrating him as one of the most prominent Quebec filmmakers; the success of Dallas Buyers Club (2013), Wild (2014) and Demolition (2015) then established him as one of the most sought-after directors of North-American auteur cinema. The production of series, which now has a preponderant role in the audiovisual industry through the growth of digital platforms and the influence of serial narratives throughout television and cinema, was also a field in which Jean-Marc Vallée stood out: his series Sharp Objects (2018) and Big Little Lies (2017–19) met with great popular success.

As a director, scriptwriter and producer of film and television, Jean-Marc Vallée was one of the most productive artists of a new wave of filmmakers who have contributed to the international visibility of Quebec art. The critical and commercial triumph of his work also established him, along with a few others, as one of the spearheads of a generation of artists from the Belle province who have conquered Hollywood. In recent years Jean-Marc Vallée, Denis Villeneuve, Xavier Dolan and Philippe Falardeau have been sought out to work on intimist projects, genre films, big-budget productions and Hollywood series.

The international conference Jean-Marc Vallée: From Quebec to Hollywood seeks both to study Jean-Marc Vallée’s film and television oeuvre and to reflect on this trend which sees Quebec cinema and its artists being exported abroad, particularly to France and Hollywood. The event is also aimed at both connoisseurs of Vallée’s oeuvre and neophytes to his work who are nevertheless interested in the resurgence of Quebec cinema and in intercultural transfers between Quebec, Europe and Hollywood Through the prism of Vallée oeuvre, this conference seeks, finally, to prompt thinking about questions which today have become essential in research and creation for all those interested in Quebec cinema.

We invite proposals for individual presentations which explore topics specific to the work and career of Jean-Marc Vallée. Presentations can address the following topics, without being limited to them:

  • the evolution of Vallée’s aesthetic, from the earliest short films to the television series;
  • The structuring themes of Jean-Marc Vallée’s work (such as that of female characters and their independence; the presence or absence of a father figure; or the psychological complexity of the characters);
  • Vallée’s growing interest in televised and serial media;
  • the musical world of Jean-Marc Vallée’s film and television work (and in particular the importance of pop rock, jazz and blues in his work) or his collaborations with renowned  composers;
  • pre-production sources of inspiration and scriptwriting and conceptual approaches;
  • study of Vallée’s use of visual effects and digital technologies;
  • the regular collaborations which made up the “Vallée universe”;
  • directing and Vallée’s relationships with actors and actresses;
  • Jean-Marc Vallée’s status as spearhead of the resurgence of Quebec cinema in the 2000s;
  • the reception of Vallée’s work in Quebec, Europe and the United States;
  • the Hollywood working model put in place (in both Montreal and Los Angeles) by Jean-Marc Vallée and his Quebec film crews.

Presentation proposals of no more than 500 words in English or French, accompanied by a brief bio-bibliography, should be sent to by 20 April. Presentations will be allotted 20 minutes.

Organising Committee

Thomas Carrier-Lafleur, Baptiste Creps, André Gaudreault, Santiago Hidalgo, Bernard Perron and Isabelle Raynauld