Known for his films like Exotica (1994), The Sweet Hereafter (1997), and Calendar (1993), Atom Egoyan is a film director, producer, writer and actor from Egypt. His film The Sweet Hereafter got him two nominations for the Academy Awards. One for the Best Director and the other for the Best Adapted Screenplay.
Atom Egoyan’s Early Life
Atom was born on 19th of July, 1960 in Cairo, Egypt to the family of Shushan and Joseph Yeghoyan. Both of them were artists. They migrated to Canada and settled in Victoria, British Columbia. Atom has a sister whose name is Eve. She currently works as a concert pianist based in Toronto. Atom preferred to be assimilated into Canadian culture and society rather than his native Armenian culture as a kid. But later on, he became more interested in his culture and ended up studying Armenian culture in his college. Inspired by the works of Samuel Beckett and Harold Pinter, Atom started writing plays in his teenage. However, he credits his engagement and interest in the filmmaking to Persona, a film by Ingmar Bergman. He was only a fourteen-years-old boy when he watched the film that changed his life.
After completing high school, Atom joined the University of Toronto for his college education. He studied Armenian Culture and history at the Trinity College. There he met Harold Nehabeduan who was also known as the “Armenian-Canadian Anglican Chaplain of Trinity College”. He inspired and introduced Atom to study the culture, history, and language of his ethnic heritage.
Although Atom wanted to be a playwright in the early days of his career, he became famous through his films. He was introduced to this visual medium while he was in his college, still trying to break in as a playwright. However, when he made his first short film, he was completely hooked and fascinated by the films. Atom started discovering that he was more comfortable in expressing through the images. Rather than jumping to make feature films, Atom gained enough knowledge and experience as a filmmaker by making numerous short films during the initial years of his career.
Atom Egoyan’s Career
Atom has worked as a film director, producer, writer, editor, and cinematographer. He has directed more than 35 feature films, feature documentaries, TV series, TV movies and short films. Atom has written about 25 of them. He has produced roughly the same number of projects. He has been awarded numerous awards such as Prize of Ecumenical Jury, Independent Spirit Award, Cannes Grand Prize of the Jury, etc.
Career as a Director
Atom started his career as a short film director at the tender age of 17. From 1977 to 1982, he made five short films Open House, Peep Show, After Grad with Dad, Howard in Particular and Lust of a Eunuch. Atom debuted as a feature film director in 1984 with his film Next of Kin. It premiered at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival. The film won a major prize in the festival.
After ten years in 1994, he won the Grand Prix Award in Brussels for his film Exotica. The film was his first commercial success. However, Atom’s best piece of work no doubt his 1997 film, The Sweet Hereafter. It was his first attempt at the adapted screenplay and got his first Academy Award nominations. In fact, he was nominated for two categories the Best Director and the Best Adapted Screenplay. After that, he went on making few short films, documentaries, and TV series. His attempt on thriller Chloe (2009) was a big hit. His latest film as a director Remember released in 2015.
Career as a Writer
Atom is an Academy Award-nominated screenplay writer. He prefers writing his films by himself rather than letting other do it. He has written more than 25 feature films, documentaries, short films, and TV movies. Atom’s screenplay for The Sweet Hereafter (1997) was nominated for the Academy Awards under best adapted screenplay category. He has written most of his films.
Career as a Producer
Even though Atom is more of a creative person, he says he does not like to lose control over his projects. So, he works as a producer as well. Atom has produced more than 23 projects. He works as a producer or an executive producer in his films.
Career as an Editor
Atom has edited 11 of his films. However, six of them are his short films. He edited his first film Next Kin (1977) by himself.
Career as an Actor
Atom has acted in 8 films including a short film. Many people know him by the characters he has portrayed in his films.
Atom Egoyan’s Personal Life
Atom is married to Arsinée Khanjian, an actress who has worked in most of his films. They named their son Arshile after Arshile Gorky, an Armenian-American painter. Atom currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
Atom is available on Twitter. He has about 550 followers. However, he does not tweet much and is not available on Facebook or Instagram.
Atom Egoyan Net Worth
Working for more than 30 years in the entertainment industry, Atom has made a good amount for himself. He has worked under various professions throughout his career. However, his exact net worth is not disclosed.