Jeanne Crépeau was born in Montreal between
the election of President Kennedy and
the erection of the Berlin Wall.
Her father, Jean-Baptiste was a lawyer in Plateau Mont-Royal, who became an MP in Jean
Lesage's team. Her mother, Paulette, was a housewife, which was a relief after having had twelve brothers and sisters.
After several years of happy childhood, Jeanne Crépeau moved to the suburbs with her family. Full days spent at the
Laval» mall constitute a period of lost time from which it would be very difficult to extract a literary work.
In the summer of her sixteenth year, she worked at a factory. It was a
shock: she understood the deep origins of the blues, thanks to the
sumptuous black female workers who sang to the rhythm of their
repetitive gestures, and thus made the work less tiresome for all their
At the age of 17, she became an usherette at the Planetarium,
which offered her the twofold advantage of providing a few notions of
astronomy, while giving her the financial independence that allowed her
to leave home shortly afterwards.
A long trip to Europe then ensued, backpacking, then she was in and out
of cegep while most of the time active with numerous environmental
groups, such as Monde
à bicyclette and Alliance tournesol.
In 1979, she participated in the Radio
Centre-ville programme on urban
ecology “Frappez fort, la sonnette ne fonctionne pas” [Hit hard, the
doorbell doesn’t work] and discovered her passion for this medium. At
23, she studied Communications at the University of Quebec in Montreal,
with the aim of obtaining the requisite diploma and making this her
career. She emerged as a filmmaker, with no diploma.
In the interim, she worked with Rock&Belles Oreilles, co-directed a
short film, travelled to France, and spent six months in the Studio D of
the National FIlm Board.
Several hours after having been
hired as a trainee by the assistant director, for the preparation of the
film “Un Zoo, la Nuit”, she met Jean-Claude Lauzon in a
on Dante street, entirely by chance.
The following year she was again working as a trainee, this time with Francis Mankiewicz then Léa Pool.
In 1988, Jeanne Crépeau brought together a dozen colleagues and
friends from various backgrounds to discuss the idea of a shared cinema
production house and founded, Les
films de l’autre with
Manon Briand, Benoit Pilon and several others. Gradually, the collective
began to stand out as one of the leading independent production houses
The following year, she travelled to Berlin, Brussels, and Paris. Then
stayed in Toronto at Norman Jewison’s brand new Canadian Film Center. By
now, she was able to master the art of holding a glass of wine, petits
canapés, and a cigarette all at the same time.
In 1990, at Parlimage, she learned not to cross the shooting axis with the great Michel Brault, then spent the summer at the FEMIS
then on the shoot of Chantal Akerman’s
“Nuit et Jour” where she learned to skilfully circumvent axis problems.
following year she undertook her last shoot as a trainee director, with
Jacques Doillon, where she had the opportunity to help Thomas Langmann
rehearse his lines, and serve coffee to Charlotte Gainsbourg.
In 2005, she finally obtained a diploma from the
Basically, since 1985, Jeanne
Crépeau has explored the various genres, types and formats of
cinema. From video installation to animation, documentary and fiction,
her eclectic and singular path has allowed her to develop a personal
style full of humour.
Since 1993, alone at the helm of boxfilm,
she has developed, produced, directed, and distributed independent
films and audio productions, in a world that is less and less interested
in marginal cultural experiences. She simply can’t get over the fact
that she’s survived more or less unscathed, to celebrate the twentieth
anniversary of the company.
Before 2020, she will most likely enrol for a mechanics apprenticeship.
Jeanne Crépeau thinks that
writing her biography in the third person is a weird exercise, but
probably a necessary one.
But if you prefer, there is also the traditional resume
1. 1963 photo booth
2. © 1989 Pierre
3. © 1990 Hélène
4. © 2012 Linda Dawn Hammond