The Passion of Paul-Emile Borduas

A prominent artist risks his family and career to confront the Catholic Church in 1940s and 50s Quebec.

  • michael cutler
  • michael cutler
  • michael cutler
  • Patrick Caux
    Key Cast
  • Roch Carrier
    Key Cast
    The Hockey Sweater
  • Eve Gadouas
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    La Passion de Paul-Emile Borduas
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    25 minutes 42 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 21, 2023
  • Production Budget:
    50,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
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  • Language:
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Distribution Information
  • NA
Director Biography - michael cutler

Michael Cutler was born in Montreal, Canada, and spent his life working as a painter, illustrator, set designer, and public-school art teacher in Canada and the U.S. until he finally found what he truly loved doing; writing screenplays. This makes sense because his favorite childhood pastime was daydreaming and inventing whole story worlds with heroic characters facing formidable adversaries and obstacles. He currently writes dramas based on memories and experiences from his own life and the lives of his close relatives and friends.

He has written over four feature-length film scripts and many different shorts. His short script, "A Family Portrait," has won worldwide awards in festivals and competitions, including London, Amsterdam, Toronto, and Montreal. His short film script "The Passion of Paul Emile Borduas'' was a finalist at the Boston Screenplay Awards, and his feature-length Screenplay "Borduas" was a quarter-finalist at the 2022 ScreenCraft True Story and Public Domain competition. His feature-length script "Art With Me" received a "Consider" rating from the Austin Film Festival Coverage Program for both the script and the writer. "La Passion de Paul-Emile Borduas" is his first film.

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Director Statement

Paul-Emile Borduas was arguably the most important artist to ever come out of Quebec. He was the Jackson Pollock of Canada, having developed the art movement and style of automatism even earlier than Pollock's abstract expressionism. But more than an artist, he was also a revolutionary leader for societal change in Quebec. His manifesto Refus global is one of the seminal literary works in Quebec history and an important seed leading to the "Quiet Revolution". He is well known in Quebec for his art and his manifesto, but little is known about the price he paid for publishing Refus global and his fight with the Catholic Church. This is the first and only narrative film about the man and his manifesto. It is based on exclusive interviews that have never been published with Borduas' wife, family and contemporaries in Quebec and in New York where he moved to in self imposed exile in 1953. The film was made to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Refus global's publishing in 1948 and create renewed interest in this extraordinary man who so influenced the artistic and societal direction of Quebec.