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Chloe Robichaud

The 2013 10 To Watch: Chloe Robichaud

At just 25 years old, the Quebec-based director is already a festival veteran, with her latest, Sarah Prefere la Course, premiering at TIFF this week.

One of Canada’s most promising young directors, Chloé Robichaud is on the film industry fast track with a series of festival hits and the upcoming bow of her first feature, Sarah Préfère la Course, at TIFF.

To say that the past few years have been fast-paced for Quebec-based director Chloé Robichaud would be understatement. Since 2010, the 25-year-old has seen three of her short films and her first feature, Sarah Préfère la Course (Sarah Prefers to Run), make it all the way to the Cannes International Film Festival, putting her on the radar alongside rising Quebec-based talent such as fellow 10 to Watch alumnus Xavier Dolan (Tom à la ferme).

The Concordia University film grad began her Cannes career with the short film Moi Non Plus (Me Neither), which screened in the Coup de Coeur category at the fest’s Short Film Corner, and she’s returned every year since.

Nature Morte (Dead Nature) was presented by the Quebec government’s Société de Développement des Entreprises Culturelles (SODEC) in 2011, while 2012′s Chef de Meute (Herd Leader) competed for a Palme d’Or. This year, Sarah Prefers to Run was a selection in this year’s Un Certain Regard category.

Robichaud considers Herd Leader‘s festival success her true breakthrough moment.

“This was the last thing I needed to get financing for my first feature film,” she says.”It was a confirmation that I was ready to go for the next step. It gave me credibility.”

Not one to rest on her laurels, Robichaud is already hard at work on her next feature Pays (Country), which she’s in the process of writing while she travels the festival circuit with Sarah Prefers to Run. Her next stop brings her to TIFF, where her film will screen in the Discovery program.

She’s also interested in working in advertising, a move that makes sense given a childhood spent on commercial shoots with her father, an ad exec.

But for right now, there’s a lot to be said about being in the right place at the right time.

“In Quebec we’re not scared of trying things,” she says. “We’ve had a tendency in recent years to make our films more universal like Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, or Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle. We don’t have frontiers anymore. We want our films shown everywhere.”

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