Born in Egypt to Armenian parents, he was raised in Western Canada. Both his parents were painters, and he planned to be a playwright, but after making a short film, he became hooked on telling stories visually. Returned to ethnic " homeland" when he filmed Calendar (1993) in Armenia. Won attention at the Sundance Film Festival for earlier work, then broke through critically and commercially with The Sweet Hereafter (1997).
Atom Egoyan's parents were painters and he studied International Relations and music at the University of Toronto where he began making short films: "Howard in Particular" 1979, "After Grad with Dad" 1980, "Peep Show" 1981 and "Open House" 1982.
While he has several distinguished Television and Opera works on his resume and such pictures as his debut "Next of Kin" 1984, Berlin and Moscow International Film Festival-winning "Family Viewing" 1987 and "The Adjuster" 1991 - his most critically acclaimed creation is The Sweet Hereafter (1997) and his most famous work is the astonishingly clever film-in-film Ararat (2002).
4 time Cannes Film Festival winner and the most famous Armenian filmmaker since Sergei Parajanov, the Egypt-born, Canada-bred, Oscar-nominated master of indie cinema, has collected an impressive 4 awards from the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival.
A 7 time recipient of Canada's top Genie Awards, he is one of the most remarkable figures of the contemporary independent filmmaking.