The general director and co-founder of Wapikoni mobile, Manon Barbeau is a Canadian filmmaker, writer, and director. She has made numerous documentaries and short films throughout her career. She has produced few shorts as well. Manon is the writer of the novel Merlyne: roman Manon Barbeau which came out in 1991. The main objective of Wapikoni mobile is to teach the youth of the First Nation the art of film-making. She was awarded Prix Reconnaissance UQAM for the contributions she has made in the field of documentary film-making.
Manon Barbeau’s Early Life
Manon was born on the 8th of May, 1949, in Montreal, Canada. She is the daughter of famous Canadian painter and sculptor, Marcel Barbeau and poet Suzzane Meloche. Her parent’s marriage had a lot of hardships. The major reason was her mother’s romantic affair with another man. They abandoned her at the age of 3. So, she did not have a very beautiful childhood and does not have many memories or her parents.
After she finished her high school, Manon Barbeau went to the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM). After few years, she graduated from the university with a degree in cinema and communications.
Manon started making films after she graduated from college. Her first film was a short documentary titled Comptines which she made in 1975.
Manon Barbeau’s Career
Manon wanted to make films since her young age. So, she went to study cinema in the university. After she graduated from college, she started making the films that she really believed in. She was not attracted by the glitz and glamor of the show business nor did she wish for fame and money. What she really wanted to do was make such films that were really close to her heart and had complete conviction. She has eight films in her name as a director. Her list of films includes Barbeau, libre comme l’art (2000), L’armée de l’ombre (1999), and Les enfants du refus global (1998). Before she had released Nous sommes plusieur beaucoup de monde and Comptines. She has also directed some TV movie documentaries like Happiness Bound (2007), L’amour en pen (2004), and De mémoire de chats – Les ruelles (2004).
Career as a Producer
Manon has also produced more than five films. All of them are either short films or documentary shorts. Her latest film as a producer was the short movie The Guest which was released in the second half of 2015. She has also worked in the production of Growing (2015), Neka (2014) and Un Nouveau Souffle (2014), all of them short documentaries. She also produced another short film called Call and Response, also in 2014.
Career as a Writer
Manon has written few scripts for documentaries and features. She wrote the screenplay for De mémoire de chats – Les ruelles (2004), the TV movie documentary which she also directed. Her other works as a writer include Escale à Kitcisakik (2010), Les enfants du refus global (1998), Raymond Lévesque: D’amour et d’amertume (1997), and Le marché du couple (1990).
Manon has also tried her hands in book-writing. She wrote a book titled Merlyne: roman Manon Barbeau which was published in 1991 by Borâeal and has been translated into few languages.
Manon Barbeau is the co-founder of Wapikoni Mobile, an organization that helps the young people of First Nations who want to learn filmmaking. She has been working as the general director of the organization since 2004. Wapikoni Mobile has a mobile film studio that travels to the remote communities. The main objective of the organization is to support the Aboriginal youths to make films and tell their stories. It encourages them to express their feelings through films. Manon has been advocating for the Aboriginal youth and the essence of their documentary filmmaking for a long period of time.
From 2006 to 2008, Manon worked as the president of the Documentary Network, L’Observatoire du Documentaire. She became a member of Culture Montréal’s Board of Directors in 2010. She became the president of the organization after four years in 2014.
Manon Barbeau’s Personal Life
Manon is married to Philippe Lavalette, a well-known cinematographer in Canada. He has already earned a nomination in Canadian Screen Award for Best Achievement in Cinematography. They have a daughter Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette who is also a film director, writer, and actress. She was nominated for the Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short Drama.
Manon gets to her fans and followers through her twitter account. She has about 1500 followers on her twitter to date. She also has a Facebook account. People can get to her through her organization, Wapikoni mobile’s social networking sites as well. 12,284 people have liked the Facebook page of Wapikoni Mobile and more than 3000 people follow its twitter account. It has a YouTube channel where the short videos about the documentaries and other works are uploaded. About a thousand people have subscribed to its YouTube channel.
Manon Barbeau Net Worth
Manon has worked as a filmmaker and the general director of Wapikoni Mobile. Her net worth is $84 million.