Atom Egoyan

Atom Egoyan is a Canadian-Armenian director. Egoyan was born in Cairo as the oldest child of Armenian parents, who chose his first name on the occasion of the construction of the first Egyptian nuclear reactor. His parents were trained artists who made their living from a furniture store. In 1984 Egoyan's film Next of Kin was honoured at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg. Wim Wenders helped Egoyan's Family Viewing garner international attention by rejecting the jury prize for Wings of Desire at the Montreal Festival of New Cinema in 1987, requesting that it be given to Egoyan instead. Ararat, in which the auteur film maker Egoyan addresses the Armenian genocide, was distributed in Germany in 2004, with only five copies. Egoyan has also made a name for himself as a video artist and opera director: he staged Wagner's Die Walküre (The Valkyries) from the Ring cycle in Canada in 2004, as well as Salome in Houston and Vancouver. In addition to various projects for television, he has also created art installations and worked in publishing and as a journalist. His film The Sweet Hereafter was nominated for two Oscars for direction and screenplay. In 1988 he was honoured at the International Film Festival in Berlin. He also received four awards at the Cannes film festivals in 1994 and 1997.