(b. January 1, 1962 Toronto, Ontario)
Despite having produced a relatively small body of work, comprising two feature films, several shorts and television projects, Jeremy Podeswa has already risen to the forefront of the Canadian film industry. Part of the same wave of Canadian filmmaking talent that includes Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald and Patricia Rozema, Podeswa was recently listed in “Tomorrow’s Hot Exports,” a survey by Variety magazine. Often dealing with the intricacies, joys and sorrows of relationships, Podeswa’s films have been described by Take One’s Essential Guide to Canadian Film as “a thematically rich and comprehensive body of work devoted to mining the depths of the age-old quest for love.”
In 1983, Podeswa made his first short film, David Roche Talks to You about Love. It won the Norman Jewison Award for best short film, and was screened at the Toronto Festival of Festivals. In 1986, he made another short, Nion (in the Kabaret de la Vita), which also screened at the Festival of Festivals and was nominated for a Genie. Throughout his career, Podeswa has also directed several music videos and performing arts specials for television; among them, the Genie-nominated Standards (1990), a one-hour CBC music special starring Sarah McLachlan, Holly Cole and Jane Siberry.
In 1994, Podeswa wrote, directed and co-produced his first feature film, Eclipse, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened at the Sundance and Berlin film festivals and the New Directors/New Films series at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Eclipse presents a portrait of people whose lives intersect over a 10-day period prior to a solar eclipse; each seeks spiritual and sexual satisfaction in one another’s presence. The film was released in 16 countries and was nominated for two Genies.
In addition to graduating from the film studies program at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, Podeswa completed a directing fellowship at the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film Studies in Los Angeles. The script for The Five Senses (1999), Podeswa’s second feature, about five people who live in a building near a park where a young girl disappears, was developed at the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab in Utah in 1997. The film is Podeswa's most renowned project to date and received its world premiere at the prestigious Director’s Fortnight program of the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. The film was nominated for nine Genies and won the best director award. It also won the Toronto-City Award for best Canadian feature film at the Toronto International Film Festival and screened at more than 20 film festivals worldwide; however, critical response to the film was varied.
Podeswa has worked extensively in the television industry as a director, most recently on After the Harvest (2000), winner of the Directors Guild of Canada Award for outstanding achievement in a TV movie or mini-series, and recipient of nine Genie nominations including best director. He has also directed episodes in several acclaimed television series, including HBO’s Six Feet Under, Showtime’s Queer as Folk and the Canadian series North of 60 and Traders. His most recent projects are shorts 24fps (2000), commissioned by the Toronto International Film Festival on the occasion of its 25th anniversary for the Preludes series, and Touch (2001), a drama about sexual and physical abuse.
Film and video work includes
David Roche Talks to You about Love, 1984 (director; writer; producer)
Nion (in the Kabaret de la Vita), 1986 (director; writer; producer)
Standards, 1994 (director, producer; TV)
Caveman/Rainbow, 1995 (director)
Walls, 1995 (director; TV)
North of 60 series, 1997 (director; TV, one episode)
Traders series, 1997 (director; TV, one episode)
After the Harvest, 2001 (director; TV)
The Chris Isaak Show, 2001 (director; TV, one episode)
The Susan Smith Tapes, 2001 (director; writer)
Touch, 2001 (director; writer)
Queer as Folk series, 2001-2002 (director; TV, three episodes)
Six Feet Under series, 2001-2002 (director; TV, three episodes)