Life and career
Côté was born in Perth-Andover, New Brunswick, Canada. He studied film at Collège Ahuntsic in Montreal and founded nihilproductions around 1994. He made a number of short films, including Kosovolove (2000) and La sphatte (2003). He has also been a film critic on radio, at ici magazine from 1999 to 2005, and vice-president of the Quebec association of film critics (Association québécoise des critiques de cinéma, or AQCC).
In 2005, his first feature film, Les états nordiques (Drifting States), won the Golden Leopard - Video at the Locarno International Film Festival (in a tie with The Masseur), as well as the Woosuk Award (Indie Vision) at the Jeonju International Film Festival.
His 2007 film Nos vies privées (Our Private Lives) was filmed in Bulgarian. The 2008 film Elle veut le chaos (All That She Wants), his third feature film, won the silver Leopard for best directing at the Locarno International Film Festival and Best Canadian film at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie. Jean-Michel Frodon, editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma at the time, made it one of his top 10 picks for best film of 2008.
In October 2008, there was a retrospective of his work at the Cinémathèque québécoise.
In August 2010, his feature film Curling was presented at the Locarno International Film Festival, where it won the prize for best directing as well as the prize for best actor (Emmanuel Bilodeau). It was released in France in October 2011, to positive critical reviews.
Côté also produced the film Le Cèdre penché by Rafaël Ouellet in 2007. His 2013 film Vic and Flo Saw a Bear premiered in competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival, where it won the Alfred Bauer Prize. Vic and Flo Saw A Bear was screened in about 90 film festivals, was released in a dozen countries and to this day, Denis Côté's work has been offered more than 20 retrospectives around the world. In 2014, he returned to Berlinale with a new essay film Que ta joie demeure.
For his 9th feature film Boris sans Béatrice (2016), Denis Côté teamed up with local star actor James Hyndman and imagines the life of fictitious businessman Boris Malinovsky. The film premiered at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival in 2016.
In 2015, Ministry of Culture and Communications (France) officially named Denis Côté a Knight of the Order of the Arts and Letters.
Ta peau si lisse (A Skin So Soft) features six real-life bodybuilders and had its World Premiere on August 4, 2017 at the 70th Locarno International Film Festival. Variety praised the 'eclectic approach' of the film. The Upcoming UK called it a 'bewitching and admirable piece of work'.
- 2005 - Drifting States (Les états nordiques)
- 2007 - Our Private Lives (Nos vies privées)
- 2008 - All That She Wants (Elle veut le chaos)
- 2009 - Carcasses
- 2010 - The Enemy Lines (Les lignes ennemies)
- 2010 - Curling
- 2012 - Bestiaire
- 2013 - Vic and Flo Saw a Bear (Vic + Flo ont vu un ours)
- 2014 - Joy of Man's Desiring (Que ta joie demeure)
- 2016 - Boris Without Béatrice (Boris sans Béatrice)
- 2017 - A Skin So Soft (Ta peau si lisse)
Short films (selective)
- 1997 - Des tortues dans la pluie
- 1999 - Old Fashion Waltz
- 2000 - Seconde valse
- 2000 - Kosovolove
- 2001 - Rejoue-moi ce vieux mélodrame
- 2002 - Mécanique de l’assassin
- 2003 - La sphatte
- 2005 - Les jouets
- 2005 - Tennessee
- 2007 - Maïté
- 2015 - Excursoes
- 2015 - Que nous nous assoupissions (May We Sleep Soundly)
- 2001 - Seconde valse: Best editing at the Atlantic Film Festival (Halifax, Canada)
- 2004 - La sphatte: Bronze prize at Brno B16 (Czech Republic)
- 2005 - Les états nordiques: Golden Leopard - Video at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland)
- 2006 - Les états nordiques: Indie Vision grand prize at Jeonju (Korea)
- 2008 - Elle veut le chaos: Best directing at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland)
- 2008 - Elle veut le chaos: Special mention from the youth jury at Locarno (Switzerland)
- 2008 - Elle veut le chaos: Best Canadian film at the Festival international du cinéma francophone en Acadie (Moncton, Canada)
- 2010 - Curling: Best directing at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland)
- 2010 - Curling: Leopard for best actor (Emmanuel Bilodeau) at the Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland)
- 2012 - Bestiaire Best experimental Feature Greenpoint Film Festival (US)
- 2013 - Vic and Flo Saw A Bear Alfred Bauer Preis (Innovation Prize) 63rd Berlinale (Germany)
- 2013 - Vic and Flo Saw A Bear Best Script FIFF Namur (Belgium)
- 2014 - Vic and Flo Saw A Bear Jutra Award for Best Actress - Pierrette Robitaille (Quebec)
- 2014 - Joy of Man's Desiring Jury Special Mention FICUNAM Mexico
- "Berlinale 2013: Competition Now Complete". berlinale. Retrieved 2013-01-24.
- "Prizes of the International Jury". berlinale. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
- Pierre-Alexandre Fradet, "L'expérience ordinaire chez Denis Côté : un renouveau philosophique", Nouvelles Vues, issue 17, winter-spring 2016 : http://www.nouvellesvues.ulaval.ca/no-17-hiver-2016-cinema-et-philosophie-par-s-santini-et-p-a-fradet/articles/lexperience-ordinaire-chez-denis-cote-un-renouveau-philosophique-par-pierre-alexandre-fradet/
- Pierre-Alexandre Fradet, "Après le médiationisme : une réinterprétation de Bestiaire", Spirale, issue 255, issue 2016, pp. 52–55 : https://www.academia.edu/20572679/_Après_le_médiationisme_une_réinterprétation_de_Bestiaire_Spirale_no_255_hiver_2016_p._52-55
- Denis Côté on IMDb
- Brendan Kelly (February 12, 2012). "The dichotomy of Denis Côté". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved February 18, 2012.[permanent dead link]
- Jean-Michel Frodon (July 10, 2011). "Escale à La Rochelle". Slate.fr (blog: Projection publique) (in French). Retrieved February 19, 2012.