Rock Demers

Rock Demers, producer (b at Sainte Cécile-de-Levard, Qué 11 Dec 1933). After studying education and audiovisual techniques, he began to work in the film industry in 1960, first in the area of distribution and second for Montréal's International Festival of Film, which he managed from 1962 to 1967.

Rock Demers, producer (b at Sainte Cécile-de-Levard, Qué 11 Dec 1933). After studying education and audiovisual techniques, he began to work in the film industry in 1960, first in the area of distribution and second for Montréal's International Festival of Film, which he managed from 1962 to 1967. He founded Faroun Films in 1965, a company specializing in the distribution of films for children. In the early 1970s the company extended itself by distributing art and experimental films (notably Gilles Carle's Les Mâles) and by undertaking production. Demers was induced to have a hand in producing Le Martien de Noël (Bernard Gosselin, 1970), a long feature film for children in which he invested. The film's success heralded "Contes pour tous," the series which brought Demers fame.

In 1977, Demers was named president, then director general, of the Institut Québécois du Cinéma (IQC), an organization created to support the Québec film industry. He left his post in June 1979 to found Les productions la Fête (1980). Then he launched the series "Contes pour tous," in which he nurtured co-productions with Poland (Le Jeune Magicien, Waldemar Dziki, 1986), Hungary (Bye Bye Chaperon Rouge, Marta Meszaros, 1989), Rumania (La Championne, Elizabetha Bostan, 1991), and others. The best moments of this series for family viewing come from André Melançon (La Guerre des tuques, 1984; Bach et Bottine, 1986; Fierro...l'été des secrets) and Michael Rubbo (The Peanut Butter Solution, 1985; Tommy Tricker and the Stamp Traveller, 1988; Vincent and Me, 1990).

Over the years, the 13 feature films in the series have carried off more than 100 prizes, citations and nominations around the world. In the early 1990s, Demers broadened his company's scope, producing a documentary on the Czech writer and politician, Vaclav Havel (Why Havel?, Vojtech Jasny, 1991), and long films by Micheline Lanctôt (La Vie d'un héros, 1994) and by Arthur Lamothe (Le Silence des fusils, 1996).

A courageous producer and distributor, Rock Demers has contributed hugely to the development of the Canadian film industry.