Jean-François Pouliot earned a bachelor's degree in arts and communications, from Concordia University, along with a minor in philosophy. He made his debut in the film industry, as a camera assistant, where he acquired substantial experience by collaborating on renowned productions such as Once upon a Time in America, from director Sergio Leone, and Hotel New Hampshire, directed by Tony Richardson.
In 1982, Mr. Pouliot selected writing as his new means of communication, by becoming a copywriter for Cossette Communication-Marketing, Canada’s primary advertising agency. He was quickly promoted to head of creation for all of McDonald’s French advertising campaigns in Quebec, and was awarded the Grand Prize of the “Mondial de la Publicité Francophone” on two separate occasions and a Clio in New York for “The Italian woman”, a McDonald’s commercial that was later released worldwide.
In 1988, he began working as a director for La Fabrique d’Images, one of Canada’s major producers of advertising films, where he directed ads primarily for Canada, but also for the United-States and for Europe. He was awarded a Silver Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival for one of his Loto-Quebec advertisements. Mr. Pouliot went on to become one of Canada’s most renowned advertising directors, signing, between 1992 and 2005, most of all 137 spots produced as part of the celebrated Bell Canada “Mister B” campaign.
After 12 years in the advertising industry and more than 500 ads to his credit, Jean-François turned to the business sector and co-created in 2000 Eloda Inc, a high tech company specializing in the monitoring of television advertising. Co-inventor of Eloda’s technology, Mr. Pouliot was also president until 2005 and oversaw the company grow from a start-up venture to a publicly traded company with over 40 employees, offering its monitoring services to major Brand companies in the United States and abroad.
Never turning his back to the film industry, Mr. Pouliot released in 2003 his first feature film, La Grande Séduction, a dramatic-comedy featured at Cannes’ prestigious Directors’ Fortnight in 2004. The film went on to receive tremendous success throughout Canada and was acclaimed by critics both in Quebec and internationally. It was also featured in more than 65 international film festivals and projected in over 25 foreign countries, receiving, along the way, many distinguished awards, such as the Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Audience Award, the Seville Film Festival’s Jiraldillo d’Oro Grand Prize and ASECAN Prize, the Namur Film Festival’s Bayar d’Or for Best Film as well as 7 Jutra awards. A box office success both in Canada and internationally, Seducing became one of the highest grossing Canadian films of all time.
In 2006, Jean-François Pouliot released his second feature film, Le Guide de la Petite Vengeance, teaming up, once again, with scriptwriter Ken Scott. The film was awarded the Rouyn-Noranda Film Festival’s Audience Award and received four nominations to the 2007 Génie Awards, including those for Best Director and Best Film. It was also selected as a “Pick of the Week” during the Seattle Film Festival.
In spring of 2008, Jean-François Pouliot wrote and directed Facing Champlain, a film in 3D, in collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada. Using the latest stereoscopic technologies, both in animation and live action, the film was praised by critics during the La Rochelle Film Festival. Facing Champlain is showcased in Quebec City’s Musée de la Civilization until 2018. The film was submitted, by the NFB, to the 2009 Academy Awards.
In 2010, Mr. Pouliot was commissioned by the Canadian Government and Le Cirque du Soleil to write and direct the film Glimpse. This giant semi circular screen production was showcased in the Canadian pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai International exposition.
In 2011, Mr. Pouliot was involved once again in new media productions, commissioned this time by Le Musée du Fjord du Sagnenay to conceive and direct a virtual journey into the Saguenay Fjord, using multiple screens and new visual technologies, such as the innovative FreeD™ technology developed by Mr Pouliot’s company, eSpace W.L. Inc
In 2013, Mr. Pouliot directs Dr. Cabbie, a cross-cultural comedy shot both in Old Delhi and Toronto. Dr Cabbie was a major Canadian Box office success when released in September of 2014.
Jean-François Pouliot is presently working on the animated remake of the iconic Quebec family film La Guerre des Tuques (“The Dog who stopped the war”) which should be released for Christmas 2015 and directed the animated movie La course des tuques.
Several new comedies are also in preparation, such as Les 3 p’tits cochons and Les Bougon, both movies should be released by 2016.