Between 1987 and 1990, François Delisle directed several experimental short films. Some of them were selected for various international festivals. In 1991, François Delisle came to critics’ attention when he was named best new director of short and medium-length films at the Rendez-Vous du cinéma québécois for his medium-length film Beebe-Plain.
In 1994, Ruth, François Delisle’s first feature film, was named best feature of the year and best screenplay at the Rendez-Vous du cinéma québécois. Ruth drew critical acclaim and was screened in Canada and Europe.
In 2002, François Delisle founded the company Films 53/12 to direct and produce his second feature; Happiness is a Sad Song. After winning the award for best feature at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie and named the best film of the year award from the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma, Happiness is a Sad Song went on to international recognition when it toured the world to over twenty festivals and film events.
In 2007, François Delisle released his third feature film, You. In international competition at the Montreal World Film Festival, You was a shock for both audiences and critics. Fragile yet uncompromising, You has done the rounds nationally and internationally.
In 2010, after touring prestigious festivals around the world, Twice a Woman, his fourth film, opened on Quebec screens. A critical and audience favourite here and around the world, the film appeared simultaneously in theatres and through video on demand, a first in Canada. Twice a Woman earned two nominations for a Prix Jutra in 2011.
His fifth feature film, The Meteor, hit Quebec screens in March 2013 after its world premiere at the Sundance Festival and the 63rd Berlin Festival. The film was a hit with critics and audiences in Canada and around the world. The Meteor won the Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma (AQCC)’s Luc-Perreault/La Presse award for best film of the year and the ACIC-NFB – Les Percéides grand prize for best Canadian film.
In 2015, Chorus, his sixth feature, drew unprecedented international recognition. The film, which was in competition at the Sundance Festival and screened at the 65th Berlin Festival, prompted critical raves when it was released. Its success led to it being selected for film festivals and given a theatrical release in many countries around the world, contributing to its major international impact.
At the same time, he produces feature films for directors Catherine Martin and Julie Hivon.
Films 53/12 is a space where François Delisle ardently champions personal, independent cinema through his involvement in both the creative and the production sides of film.
After graduating from the HEC in marketing, Maxime Bernard helped found the Les Films du 3 mars distribution centre and then served as a coordinator on documentary projects at Productions Érezi and a production accountant at Handel Productions.
In 2012, after several collaborations with François Delisle, Maxime Bernard joined Films 53/12 as an executive producer. Since then, he has worked as a producer on every one of the company’s productions.
A graduate of Université de Montréal in cinema and HEC in business management, Mélanie Bouchard has worked for several years in the field of arts and culture as an accountant and administrator.
After stints at Vent d’Est Films and Productions La Fête, she joined the Films 53/12 team in spring 2013. Mélanie serves as administrative director and handles production accounting on the films.