The Sweet Hereafter
The Sweet Hereafter

The Sweet Hereafter

Director Atom Egoyan

Production year 1997

Length 112min.

Country Canada


A tragedy in The Sweet Hereafter unites the residents of a small town. Soon after, a big-city lawyer, driven by his own demons, stirs up the anger of the townspeople. In an atmosphere of suspicion and doubt, a teenager manages to regain her dignity and re-unite the community. Because of her courage, the townspeople are led to the ''sweet hereafter'', a realm reserved for those who are at peace with their fate. In the face of tragedy, we are tested for our fortitude and faith.


Grand Prize of the Jury, FIPRESCI Prize, Prize of the Ecumenical Jury | Cannes IFF, France, 1997

Golden Spike, Best Director of Photography, Youth Jury Award | Valladolid IFF, Spain, 1997

Jury Award Best Film | Ft. Lauderdale IFF, USA, 1997

Best Motion Picture, Best Achievement in Direction, Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role (Ian Holm), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Music Score, Best Overall Sound, Best S | Genie Awards, Canada, 1997

Toromto City Award for Best Canadian Feature Film | Toronto IFF, Canada, 1997

Best Acting by an Ensemble | National Board of Review, USA, 1997

Best Foreign Film | Independent Spirit Awards, USA, 1998

Best Picture, Best Canadian Film, Best Director, Best Performance | Toronto Film Critics Association Awards, Canada, 1998

WGC Award | Writers Guild of Canada, Canada, 1988

Best Foreign Film | Sant Jordi Awards, Spain, 1999


Atom Egoyan
Atom Egoyan



Atom Egoyan, Camelia Frieberg


Atom Egoyan, story by Russel Banks

Director of Photography

Paul Sarossy

Production designer

Philip Barker

Music by

Mychael Danna


Steve Munro


Susan Shipton


Ian Holm, Tom McCamus, Sarah Polley, Bruce Greenwood, Gabrielle Rose, Alberta Watson, Arsinee Khanjian, Earl Pastko, Maury Chaykin, David Hemblen, Brook Johnson, Stephanie Morgenstern, Peter

Production company(ies)

Aliance Communicqtions, Ego Film Arts, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit (CPTC), Gort of Canada, The Harold Greenberg Fund, The Movie Network, Telefilm Canada

Atom Egoyan

Born 1960. Atom Egoyan occupies a distinct position within Canadian filmmaking - that of auteur. His unequivocal authorial vision and inimitable style are sustained throughout a body of work that includes 10 feature films. Raised in Victoria, B.C., Egoyan moved to Toronto at 18 to study international relations at the University of Toronto. While studying, two formative encounters fused to inform his life work - fluency with his ethnic heritage and the cinema. Egoyan produced several short films at the Hart House Film Board while furthering his knowledge of Armenian history and politics. His films relentlessly highlight the act of looking from both structural and thematic perspectives, fully exploiting possible implications from knowledge to voyeurism, to comprehension and insight. At the same time, the oft-used Canadian filmic tropes of identity and its uncertainty, image and technology, and communication or the lack thereof compete for equal thematic screen time. Key Egoyan sensibilities emerge in Next of Kin and continue throughout Family Viewing, Speaking Parts and The Adjuster. The films of the mid-1990s offer a more profound exploration of contemporary anxieties. Calendar wrestles with belonging and identity from here to Armenia and back again. With Exotica, perhaps an apt title for all of Egoyan’s enterprise, original trauma (Armenian genocide) shifts into the more familiar terrain of terrifying psychic dispossession. The adaptations of The Sweet Hereafter and Felicia’s Journey (novels by Russell Banks and William Trevor, respectively) effortlessly mesh with Egoyan’s preoccupations, as both stories' claustrophobic worlds turn on the themes of loss and violation. With Ararat, Egoyan widens the standard intimacy of his palette to produce the first film to wrestle with the Armenian genocide of 1915. Egoyan has won five major prizes at the Cannes IFF (including the Grand Prix), two American Academy Award nominations, and numerous other honours. His films have won over 25 Genie Awards, including three Best Film Awards, from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television.


Lust of a Eunuch (1977, short), Howard in Particular (1979, short), After Grad with Dad (1980, short), Pip Show (1981, short), Open House (1982, short), Next of Kin (1984), Men: A Passion Playground (1985, short), In This Corner (1985, TV), Family Viewing (1987), Cupid’s Quiver (1987, TV), The Final Twist (1987, TV), Looking for Nothing (1988, TV), There Was a Little Girl (1988, TV), The Wall (1989, TV), Speaking Parts (1989), The Adjuster (1991), Montrռal vu par... Six variations sur une thème (Montreal Sextet, 1992, segment En passant), Gross Misconduct (1993, TV), Calendar (1993), Exotica (1994), A Portrait of Arshile (1995, short), Bach Cello Suite #4: Sarabande (Yo-Yo Ma Inspired by Bach, 1997, TV), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), Felicia's Journey (1999), The Line (2000, short), Krapp’s Last Tape (2000, short), Diaspora (2001, short), Ararat (2002), Where the Truth Lies (2005), Citadel (2006), To Each His Own Cinema (2007, segment Artaud Double Bill), Adoration (2008), Chloe (2009), Mundo Invisivel (2012, segment Yerevan), Venice 70: Future Reloaded (2013, doc.), Devil's Knot (2013), The Captive (2014), Remember (2015), Guest of Honour (2019).

FILMS 2010