La Ruelle Films (formerly Productions de la Ruelle) is an award-winning documentary film production company based in Montreal, Quebec and led by Guylaine Maroist and Eric Ruel. La Ruelle not only produces feature-length documentaries and TV series, but also interactive digital projects and urban video projections. Thanks to the extensive research and rigorous work carried out by their multidisciplinary, experienced and extremely curious team, La Ruelle produces large-scale projects which offer new and powerful perspectives.
Since its foundation, the team has created content for Quebec, Canadian and International audiences with several partners, including The Documentary Channel, Télé-Québec, Radio-Canada (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), CTV, Canal D, Historia, Global television, Bravo, MusiMax, History, TV5 monde, The Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, The Old Port of Montreal Corporation, Odace Événements, the National Film Board, Canal Lachine, Canada’s History, Les Éditions Québec-Amérique and the STM.
Founded in May 2002 by Guylaine Maroist, Jean-François Perreault and Eric Ruel, Productions de la Ruelle (La Ruelle) quickly made their mark with Singing to Drown Out the Sea (Radio-Canada, Bravo). Their first film garnered critical acclaim in both Canada and France, and earned three Gemini Award nominations in 2004.
After this first success, Maroist and Ruel produced the shock documentary Time Bombs/Bombes à retardement (Global, Canal D, TV5 World) which earned the prestigious Gold Ribbon Award for Best Documentary in 2007 from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. It was also selected at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) in the same year, and at the Palm Beach International Film Festival and the Rendez-vous du cinema Québécois (RVCQ) in 2008. Time Bombs spurred the Canadian government to provide a compensation package for atomic veterans and their families. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival in 2008.
In 2008, the La Ruelle team started making documentary series, starting with TV series Les Wizz du Showbizz (10 episodes), which was a resounding success on Quebec TV channel Musimax.
This series goes behind the scenes of the Quebec music industry to meet the bigwigs working in the shadows. Each episode features a high-profile artisan facing a major career challenge and shows what it takes to deliver to demanding clients such as Celine Dion, The Lost Fingers, We Are Wolves and many more.
In fall of 2009, the duo launched the series J’ai la mémoire qui tourne on Historia (12 episodes). The series made up of home videos is an instant hit among Quebec viewers. More than just a TV series, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne is a safeguarding project for the home videos of Quebec families from the 1920s up until the ’80s.
After hitting the airwaves, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne won numerous awards, including the Boomerang prize by Infopresse in 2009. The series was also nominated in five different categories at the 2010 Gemini Awards, selected at the 2010 Banff World Media Festival and nominated for Best Convergent Production at the 2011 Numix Gala.
With partners Turbulent Media and Historia, La Ruelle co-produced a large website featuring close to 10,000 home movies and more than 80 original web episodes, hundreds of articles and dozens of personal accounts by Quebec celebrities. They also developed an educational section for elementary and high school students and teachers, which got a nod from Japan’s national public broadcaster (NHK) and was nominated in the youth category of the Japan Prize International Contest for Educational Media in 2010.
In 2011, the multimedia project J’ai la mémoire qui tourne earned Maroist and Ruel Canada’s highest honour in the field of history, the Governor General History Award, also called The Pierre-Breton Award. It was presented by the Governor General of Canada himself, the honourable David Johnston. In honour of the legendary Canadian host and historian Pierre Breton, this award recognizes those who making our history known to greater audiences. This is the second time the award is presented to a francophone Quebecois artisan (1996, Jacques Lacoursière, historian).
Fall 2012 was a busy couple of months for La Ruelle. First, they released Gentilly or Not to Be, a documentary on the Gentilly-2 nuclear power station which attracted much attention and sparked a heated debate around the possible refurbishment of the plant. The film, which was broadcast on Télé-Québec, revealed the serious security and public health issues brought upon by the plant. After extensive media coverage, this investigative documentary ended up contributing to the permanent closing of the only nuclear power plant in Quebec. Gentilly or Not to Be went on to win two Gemini Awards in 2013 for Best Research and Best Editing. The film was later broadcast to the francophone population on TV5 Monde, and was shown in several festivals and educational institutions.
Then, a few months after Gentilly or Not to Be, La Ruelle released a second feature-length documentary called Disunited-States of Canada/Les États-Désunis du Canada on Canadian separatists outside of Quebec. The controversial topic instantly attracted the media as well as the general public. Within a few hours, the film’s first explosive trailer reached over 140,000 views online. The filmmakers were brought to the foreground of the media landscape and invited to participate in radio and television debates. Director Guylaine Maroist was also invited to Quebec’s flagship talk show Tout le monde en parle. The film was presented in December 2012 on Canal D and on the Documentary Channel the following year. It went on to win the Gemini Award for Best Documentary in 2013.
Guylaine Maroist and Mathieu-Robert Sauvé wrote an essay inspired by the documentary titled Les États-Désunis du Canada—Les Mouvements séparatistes hors Québec which was published by Québec-Amérique in 2014.
La Ruelle’s next film, God Save Justin Trudeau, made its debut in November 2015 at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM). This documentary follows MP Justin Trudeau and Senator Patrick Brazeau as they prepare for the boxing match that will change their lives. A metaphor for the ongoing political battle between the Liberals and Conservatives since the founding of Canada, God Save Justin Trudeau is also the intimate portrait of a young politician and a prime example of “showtime politics.” God Save Justin Trudeau was also presented at the Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Québécois and the Salt Spring Film Festival in 2015. It also won the Grand Jury Prize—the “VIFFF d’Or”—in Vevey, Switzerland and was the kick-off film at the Visions du Réel Film Festival, all in the same year. The feature-length documentary toured theatres across Canada in the “Punching for Power Tour,” and was broadcast on Canal D and CTV’s W5. God Save Justin Trudeau, (or How the MP for Papineau became Prime Minister of Canada) was nominated for four Gemini Awards, including Best Documentary, Best Editing and Best Direction of Photography.
La Ruelle have also been designing urban video projections for cultural and corporate events since 2013 and they presented Mon quartier au Cinéma in fall 2015 in Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles.
In 2017, La Ruelle invited us to relive Expo 67 like never before thanks to unprecedented access to over 80,000 archival documents from private and public collections, as well as moving accounts by the “Mad Men” behind this crazy success story. The grand premiere of Expo 67 Mission Impossible was held at Place des Arts’s Théâtre Maisonneuve during the 50th Anniversary Grand Celebration of Expo 67—an event presented in partnership with the Society for the Celebrations of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary.
The release of Expo 67 Mission Impossible also marked the starting point of a mass online broadcast of never-before-seen content. La Ruelle now offers archival images, video footage and exclusive articles: a full immersion into the greatest universal exposition of the 20th century at www.Expo-67.ca.
Guylaine Maroist started working as a freelance journalist for Le Devoir in the early ’90s, after studying in Law, Cinema and Musicology at Université de Montréal. She made her debut in the music industry during this same time playing the guitar for Les Jaguars. She started putting together some hundred compilation records from the Quebec catalogue in 1996, for Les Disques Mérite and BMG, which is how she came to meet almost all the known and lesser-known artists of the ’50s, 60s, and 70s. In 1998, she pitched a biographical series to Musimax, which became the TV channel’s flagship program, Musicographie, featuring Quebec artists. She went on to work on more than 70 TV documentaries for Musimax between 1999 and 2007.
She started her own company in 2002, producing original documentaries alongside filmmaker and producer Eric Ruel. The duo made their mark right away with Chanter plus fort que la mer/Singing to drown out the Sea (Zone libre, SRC and Bravo), which was nominated for three Gemini awards.
In 2007, they released Time Bombs (Canal D, Global), a film about the Canadian soldiers used as guinea pigs for nuclear testing in Nevada in the ’50s. Thanks to this film, the Canadian government finally agreed to provide compensation for the affected veterans after their 30-year struggle. The shock documentary won the prestigious Gold Ribbon Award from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the New York International Independent Film Festival.
The team presented their next project, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne, on Historia in fall 2010. Made from home videos, the series quickly became a favourite among Quebec audiences and Guylaine and Eric ended up winning Canada’s highest distinction in the field of History, the Pierre Berton Award.
President of La Ruelle since 2002, Guylaine has transformed the documentary film company into an incubator for creating content for all platforms, including television, cinema and digital platforms, but also for educational purposes. Led by Maroist, the team has also worked on museum exhibitions, urban projections, interactive experiences and books since 2011.
In 2015, Guylaine Maroist became the first filmmaker in history to serve Pugwash, a non-governmental organization which has been influencing the United Nations and heads of state since 1957 on matters of peace and nuclear disarmament.
More info available on G.M.’s Wikipedia page.
2018 – 2 Prix Gémeaux (Meilleur documentaire et Meilleur scénario) et 3 autres nominations au Gala des Prix Gémeaux pour «Expo 67 mission impossible» (Meilleure réalisation, Meilleure recherche et Meilleur montage).
2015 – Gagnante du VIFFF D’Or Grand Prix du jury pour le documentaire «God Save Justin Trudeau» au Vevey International Film Festival en Suisse.
2015 – 4 nominations au Gala des Prix Gémeaux pour «God Save Justin Trudeau». Meilleur documentaire, Meilleure réalisation, Meilleur direction de la photographie et Meilleur montage.
2015 – Compétition officielle pour le Sesterce d’Argent pour «God Save Justin Trudeau» au Festival Visions du Réel en Suisse. Le film est présenté en ouverture du prestigieux festival.
2013 – Gagnante du Meilleur documentaire société au Gala des Prix Gémeaux pour «Les États-Désunis du Canada».
2013 – Gagnante de la Meilleure recherche documentaire au Gala des Prix Gémeaux pour «Gentilly or Not To Be». Le film a aussi remporté les honneurs du Meilleur montage.
2013 – Nomination pour la Meilleur recherche pour «Les États-Désunis du Canada».
2011 – Gagnante du Prix du Gouverneur général en histoire. Le Prix Pierre-Berton pour les médias populaires.
2011 – Nomination Numix dans la catégorie production de convergence information pour le site web «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne».
2011 – Nomination à Banff dans la catégorie numérique pour le site web «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne».
2010 – Finaliste aux Japan Prize International Educational Program Contest pour la zone éducative du site web «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne».
2010 – Nomination Numix dans la catégorie production de convergence information pour le site web «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne».
2009 – Gagnante du Grand Prix Boomerang pour le meilleur site web média pour «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne».
2009 – 5 nominations pour la série documentaire «J’ai la mémoire qui tourne». Meilleure série documentaire, Meilleur scénario, Meilleur site web, Meilleur montage, Meilleur son.
2008 – Gagnante du Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary pour «Time Bombs» au New-York Internaitonal Film Festival.
2008 – Gagnante du Gold Ribbon Award (Ruban D’OR) for Best Documentary on Canadian Television pour «Time Bombs». Remis par CAB/ACR Canadian Association of Broadcasters.
2008 – Nomination pour la Meilleure recherche pour «Bombes à retardement / Time Bombs» au Gala des Prix Gémeaux. Le documentaire a aussi été nommé pour Meilleur montage.
2007 – Nomination pour la Meilleure biographie pour «Musicographie René Angélil» au Gala des Prix Gémeaux.
2004 – Nomination pour le Meilleur documentaire culturel «Chanter plus fort que la mer» au Gala des Prix Gémeaux. Le film a aussi été nommé pour Meilleur montage et Meilleur son.
2000 – Nomination pour la Meilleure recherche pour «Musicographie Nanette Workman» au Gala des Prix Gémeaux.
2000 – Nomination pour la Meilleure compilation pour «Serge Deyglun en vedette» au Gala de l’ADISQ.
2000 – Nomination pour la Meilleure compilation pour «Renée Martel» au Gala de l’ADISQ.
1999 – Nomination pour la Meilleure compilation pour «Le temps est bon» au Gala de l’ADISQ.
Vice-President, Producer, Filmmaker
Eric Ruel initially started making his name as a film editor working for the National Film Board and the Société Radio-Canada (CBC). After founding La Ruelle (formerly Les Productions de la ruelle) Eric produced, co-directed and edited Singing to Drown out the Sea (Chanter plus fort que la mer) (Zone libre SRC, Bravo). The documentary received praise from critics in Quebec and France and was nominated for three Gemini awards.
He then produced, directed and edited the documentary Time Bombs (Bombes à retardement), winner of the prestigious Gold Ribbon Award for the best documentary of the year from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. The film also won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2008 New York Film Festival and was nominated for three Gemini awards including Best Documentary and Best Editing.
In fall 2009, Eric produced and directed the series J’ai la mémoire qui tourne which became very popular on TV channel Historia. J’ai la mémoire qui tourne is not just a televised documentary series, but also a safeguarding project for Quebec families’ home videos. For this project, Eric Ruel and Guylaine Maroist won the 2011 Governor General’s History Award, also known as The Pierre-Berton Award, the highest honour in the field of history in Canada.
In 2012, Ruel produced, co-directed and edited two documentaries which drew a lot of attention from the media and the public and sparked social debates. Gentilly or Not to Be contributed to the permanent closing of the only nuclear plant in Quebec as it revealed the serious security and public health threats caused by the Gentilly-2 nuclear energy station. The documentary won Gemini awards for Best Research and Best Editing and was broadcast on Télé-Québec and TV5 Monde.
Later in 2012, he produced, directed the photography and edited Disunited States of Canada, a film on Canadian separatists outside of Quebec. This bold documentary was a big hit in Quebec theatres and presented on Canal D and The Documentary Channel. It won the Gemini Award for Best Documentary in 2013.
In November 2014, Eric co-directed, produced, edited and directed the photography for God Save Justin Trudeau, a feature-length on show time politics featuring Justin Trudeau and Patrick Brazeau as they train for the boxing match that will change their lives. The film was presented at the Rencontres internationales du documentaire (RIDM), the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois (2015) and at the Salt Spring Film Festival (2015). God Save Justin Trudeau also kicked off the Vision du Réel film festival in Switzerland in 2015 as part of the “Sesterce d’argent” competition. It won the VIFFF D’OR at the Vevey International Film Festival in Switzerland in 2015 and was presented on Canal D, CTV and RTS. Finally, it was nominated for four Gemini awards: Best Documentary, Best Direction, Best Editing and Best Photography Direction.
In 2014, Eric Ruel was nominated for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence for Ontario College Graduates. Mon quartier au Cinéma was projected at the Quartier des Spectacles in Montreal in fall 2015.
In 2016, he began producing Jukebox, a feature-length on the Quebec music industry.
In 2017, he produced and co-directed the documentary thriller Expo 67 Mission Impossible. It was presented for 8 weeks in commercial theatres and 5 weeks in Anglophone Canada. 500 showings later, the film is still being presented in the four corners of Quebec and in Quebec schools.
In 2020, Eric is releasing his first participative documentary, the comedy Jukebox. Later this year, he will also release Only Words (working title), a film by Léa Clermont-Dion and Guylaine Maroist.
Eric is currently working on two new films and will travel the world in the coming months to seek funding for his productions. He will be present at DokFest Munchen as well as Eaves.
2018 – Gemini Award winner for Best Documentary and Best Screenplay for Expo 67 Mission Impossible which was nominated in three other categories (Best Direction, Best Research and Best Editing)
2015 – VIFFF D’Or winner—Grand Jury Prize at the Vevey International Film Festival in Switzerland for God Save Justin Trudeau
2015 – 4 Gemini Award nominations for God Save Justin Trudeau: Best Documentary, Best Direction, Best Photography Direction, Best Editing
2015 – Presented for the pre-opening of the Visions du Réel festival in Switzerland, God Save Justin Trudeau took part in the festival’s official “Sesterce d’Argent” competition
2014 – Nominated for the Ontario Premier’s Award for Excellence for Ontario College Graduates
2013 – Gemini Award winner for Best Documentary on Society for Disunited-States of Canada
2013 – Gemini Award winner for Best Documentary Research and Best Editing for Gentilly or Not to Be.
2013 – Gemini Award nominee for Best Research for Disunited-States of Canada
2011 –Governor General History Award winner, also called The Pierre-Berton Award, for Popular Media for J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2011 – Numix nominee for Best Convergent Production for the website J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2011 –Banff World Media Festival nominee in the Digital Media category for website J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2010 – Japan Prize International Educational Program Contest finalist for the educational component of website J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2010 – Numix nominee for Best Convergent Production for the website J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2009 – Boomerang grand prize winner for Best Media Website for J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2009 – Gemini Award nominee for Best Documentary Series, Best Screenplay, Best Website, Best Editing and Best Sound for J’ai la mémoire qui tourne
2008 – Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary at the New York Film Festival for Time Bombs
2008 – Gold Ribbon award for Best Documentary from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters for Time Bombs
2008 – Gemini Award nominee for Best Research and Best Editing for Time Bombs
2004 – Gemini Award nominee for Best Cultural Documentary, Best Editing and Best Sound for Singing to Drown Out the Sea
2000 – Winner of the Amtec Media Festival Award of Excellence for the documentary series Transit, produced by the National Film Board
Léa is a PhD student in Political Science at Laval University where she is writing her thesis on online sexism and the Web as an extended space for gender inequality. In 2016, she won the Vanier Scholarship, one of the most prestigious doctoral scholarships in Canada. She has given more than two hundred conferences in recent years on the status of women, most notably to the Council of Europe.
She has written and directed over a dozen documentary shorts for Radio-Canada in Austria, France, England, Hungary and Germany. Léa also directed Sandra, a short film on prostitution featuring Sarah-Jeanne Labrosse. She created and wrote a documentary on the tyranny of thinness called Beauté Fatale which aired on Télé-Québec. She wrote the script for episodes of Télé-Québec’s series Banc Public. Léa also wrote the Quebec best-seller La revanche des moches, published by VLB, on body image worship.
Léa served a few years on the Council on the Status of Women, the Secrétariat à la condition feminine and the Association Munyu des Femmes de la Comoé (AFC/Munyu), a women’s organization in partnership with Oxfam-Québec in Burkina Faso. She was a co-facilitator for the Québec Charter for a Healthy and Diverse Body Image adopted by the Quebec government in 2009, and for the website Les Féministes. She contributed in removing two reality TV shows on child beauty pageants on Musimax with the help of physician Dr. Alain Vadeboncoeur and economist Ianik Marcil, and thanks to a petition which garnered more than 50,000 signatures. Her involvement earned her the first Forces AVENIR award in 2011, the Canada Millennium Scholarship, the Hommage bénévolat-Québec award, the Personnality of the Week from La Presse in November 2011 and the Young Woman of Distinction award from the Women’s Y Foundation.
2016 – Vanier Scholarship
2011 – Forces Avenir award
2011 – Hommage Bénévolat Québec award
2011 – La Presse’s Personnality of the Week (November)
2011 – Young Woman of Distinction award from the Women’s Y Foundation
First and foremost, Sylvain Cormier is Montreal’s best and most-respected rock critic, and has been for 25 years. As senior music editor at Le Devoir, the only independent daily newspaper in the country, he’s reviewed all significant records and concerts, interviewed just about everybody (from local heroes to living legends, Paul McCartney included!), and his byline has appeared more than 5000 times. He’s the one that TV and radio stations call to comment on big events in pop-rock history and current music events. He’s been called on every industry jury you can think of. His reputation has crossed borders and oceans, and he’s been invited to music festivals all over the map.
He’s a journalist, but he could be called (and has been called) a master of poetic prose. His readership follows him like they would a novelist giving us chapter upon chapter of a greater work. He’s got style and wit, rock stars become characters in his continuing story. And he’s got heart: one could say he’s the ultimate fan. A born-historian, he collects anything and everything concerning pop culture. Passion drives him, rock moves him, words flow from him. He’s got the beat, he’s got the storytelling bug.
Awards have been bestowed upon him throughout his illustrious career. University of Montreal (UQAM) has made him an Honor Graduate, for his outstanding level of craftsmanship and style in writing. Les FrancoFolies de Spa, one of Europe’s most important music festivals, has given him its Spa d’Or for his major contribution in spreading the good word about Quebec’s music in Belgium, and Belgian music in Québec. Most importantly, he has been one of very few entertainment journalists to be awarded by his peers the 2013 «Judith-Jasmin Prize», the province’s most prestigious and coveted prize in the written news field.
An integral and pivotal part of La Ruelle’s team, he is our resident storyteller, our in-house historian, the outfit’s main wordsmith. He writes unique and cool, literate and streetwise. He sets high standards, but speaks at heart to the common man. This is where the music man comes in: his words are made to be spoken, he breathes life and meaning and rhythm into them. Storytelling is Sylvain Cormier’s middle name.
His huge amateur films and home movies collection was the starting point of J’ai la mémoire qui tourne, a twelve-part TV series he helped conceive and write as part of La Ruelle’s team. It’s his words, mainly, that give narrator Marcel Sabourin the feel and depth of every episode in this grand endeavor that encapsulates more than 80 years of Quebec’s private images and collective life.
La Ruelle has brought him on board for every documentary film and TV series it has produced since 2004, either as consultant, writer or idea man. He’s worked on L’été c’est pas juste Noël, Les États-Désunis du Canada, God Save Justin Trudeau, to name but a few. And, of course, J’ai la mémoire qui tourne. He’s even more involved in our ongoing projects, and feeds all future ones.
At this time, his attention and talents are mostly tuned on Jukebox, the ultimate inside story of Québec’s music industry’s pioneer days, which promises to be one of 2016’s great TV events, both in its scope, its intimate knowledge of the colorful characters and treatment savoir-faire.
Sylvain Cormier is La Ruelle’s ace in the hole, our official Content Specialist.
Maryse Bellemare has been working in the film and television industry for almost 13 years. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration at the HEC Montréal in 2007. As early as 2002, she was preparing budget reports for cinema students at Concordia University. In 2003, Maryse was hired as an accounting assistant on a movie production. From that point on, she worked as an auditor in an array of productions before joining La Ruelle in 2008.
Maud St-Onge has worked nearly 20 years in multimedia advertising, starting with Quebec advertising agencies before opening her own business more than a decade ago. Brimming with creativity and with full mastery of the available technologies, she offers bold avenues for achieving the objectives of her projects. She designs and programs websites, interactive animations and layouts for printed advertising materials. Maud has been collaborating with La Ruelle since 2003.