After almost fifteen years directing lead advertising campaigns, three of which were spent in London, England, Charles Binamé shifted his focus toward writing and directing for film and television.
His work has been landmarked by many achievements, as well as by an array of awards that reflect the cutting edge nature of his festival features, top of the list box-office films, as well as his very personal approach to television series. The heart of his interests, reflected in the body of his work, is not only character driven stories, but also highlighting actors’ performances with precise style and attentive storytelling.
The multiple prizes and nominations that his actors have earned over the years, both from his films and television series, speak to his approach as a director.
After his first MOW, called The Other Man (Un autre homme - 1991), came his first television hit: the eleven-hour period piece TV series, Blanche (1992), which drew close to three million viewers per episode (within Quebec) and led to a Gémeaux Award for Best Director.
After Chili’s Blues, (1994), which was selected at the Sundance Film Festival, his second feature, Eldorado, (1995), was awarded Special Distinction at Canne’s Director’s Fortnight. Soon after, Eldorado was showcased worldwide in twenty-five different Film Festivals.
He then went on to film part two of his urban trilogy: Streetheart (Le Coeur au poing - 1996) for which he was honored with a rare double prize at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival for Best Film and Best Director.
In 1999, he was appointed by the National Film Board of Canada to write and direct their celebratory 60th Anniversary Film.
To this day, Seraphin, Heart of Stone, (2003), which he co-wrote and directed, remains the Number One box office success in Quebec, grossing close to $10 million. The film was also granted with six Jutra Prizes, and with the Golden Reel award at the 2003 Genie Awards.
With his first English mini-series, H2O, (2004), Binamé won “Outstanding Team Achievement For A Mini-Series” at the Director’s Guild of Canada Awards. It was accompanied by nominations from the Guild and from the Gemini Awards, among others, for Outstanding Achievement In Direction.
Hunt for Justice, (2004), a MOW co-produced with Germany, based on Judge Louise Arbour’s story, as Chief Justice at the Hague International Crime Tribunal, won him Best Television movie at the Gemini Awards that year.
The following year, The Rocket, (2005), told the story of hockey star Maurice Richard, set against the backdrop of an emerging modern Quebecois society, in the fifties. This film won him the 2007 Genie Award for Best Director.
With The Trojan Horse, (2006), a mini-series starring Paul Gross as a rogue candidate for the US presidency, he earned a double nomination by both the Director’s Guild of Canada and by the Gemini Awards for Best Director.
Among the work that Binamé has been pursuing in English television series in the last five years, including Flashpoint, Rookie Blue and Being Human, his episodes on Durham County got him a nomination at the Gemini Awards for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series.
In parralel to his fictional work, Binamé occasionally delves in some personal documentary essays. Both his films on painter Pierre Gauvreau and filmmaker Gilles Carle won him awards for Best direction at the Gémeaux (2003) and for Best Documentary at the 2006 Jutra Ceremony.
His last feature Elephant Song (2017), stars Xavier Dolan, Bruce Greenwood and Catherine Keener.
In May of 2019, he signed the staging of Carmen, at the Montreal Opera.
Charles Binamé is currently working on the development of a feature called Innocence.