Jean-Jacques Annaud

Jean-Jacques Annaud (born 1 October 1943) is a French film director, screenwriter and producer, best known for directing Quest for Fire (1981), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Bear (1988), The Lover (1992), Seven Years in Tibet (1997), Enemy at the Gates (2001) and Wolf Totem (2015).

Annaud has received numerous awards for his work, including five César Awards, one David di Donatello Award, and one National Academy of Cinema Award. Annaud's first film, Black and White in Color (1976), received an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.[1]

Jean-Jacques Annaud
Jean-Jacques Annaud par Claude Truong-Ngoc février 2015
Jean-Jacques Annaud in 2015
Born1 October 1943 (age 75)
Alma materInstitut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, producer
Years active1965–present

Early life

Jean-Jacques Annaud was born on 1 October 1943 in Draveil, Juvisy-sur-Orge, Essonne in France.[2] He was educated at the technical school in Vaugirard, and in 1964 graduated from the prestigious film school Institut des Hautes Études Cinématographiques (IDHEC) in Paris.


Annaud began his career by directing television advertisements in the late 1960s to early 1970s. In his first feature film, Black and White in Color from 1976, he used personal experience obtained during his own military service in Cameroon. The film won an Academy Award for the Best Foreign Language Film.[3] His third film Quest for Fire (La Guerre du feu) received two Césars for best film and best director.

After a French film (Hot Head, 1979) that becomes a cult classic in his homeland, he moves to Kenya, Scotland and Canada to shoot Quest for Fire which brings him international recognition (1981, César - French National Award - for Best Film & for Best Director). He then directs Sean Connery on the Italian sets and the German monasteries of The Name of the Rose (1986, César for Best Foreign Film and David Di Donatello for Best Director), based on Umberto Eco’s eponymous novel. 'The Name of the Rose, a film adaptation of Umberto Eco's popular novel of the same name. The film version, with a screenplay written by Andrew Birkin, won two BAFTA Film Awards and was the subject of another 14 wins & two nominations. Jean-Jacques Annaud spent four years preparing for the film, traveling throughout the United States as well as Europe, searching for the perfect cast and film set locations. He supposedly felt personally intrigued by the project, among other things because of a lifelong fascination with medieval churches and a great familiarity with Latin and Greek.

He then adapted The Bear’s P.O.V. (César for Best Director, 1988) in the heart of select locations of the Dolomites, Germany, Canada and Austria. He then shoots, in Vietnam, the adaptation of Marguerite Duras’s autobiographical novel, The Lover (1992), brilliantly recreating the atmosphere of colonial Indochina. He then sets back out to the Canadian Rockies and directs Wings of Courage, the first 3D fiction film ever made in Imax-3D (1995). In 2000 he wrote and produced Running Free directed by Sergei Bodrov.

Jean-Jacques Annaud also worked with Brad Pitt as he directs Seven Years in Tibet (shot in Argentina, Canada, Tibet, Nepal and Tyrol). In 2001, he reunites Jude Law and Ed Harris in the hell of the famed battle of Stalingrad (Enemy at the Gates, 2001) completely reconstructed in Germany. Soon after, he flies to the ruins of the temples of Angkor and gives life to Two Brothers, the shooting taking place in Cambodia, Thailand and France. The filmmaker then sets out to revive ancient Greece (His Majesty Minor, 2007, shot in Spain), then Arabia of the late ’30's, directing Antonio Banderas in Tunisia and Qatar in Black Gold (2011). In 2015, he adapts Wolf Totem, a Chinese literary phenomenon entirely shot in Inner Mongolia. A global triumph, this film wins the most prestigious Chinese awards (People's Hundred Flowers Award and Golden Rooster) and a dozen other trophies around the world.

In 2018, Jean-Jacques Annaud directs in Canada Patrick Dempsey in his ten-part TV adaptation of Joël Dicker's best-seller The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair (2018) to be released in 22 countries.



Year Title Director Writer Producer Original title
1976 Black and White in Color Yes Yes Noirs et Blancs en couleur or La Victoire en chantant
1979 Hothead Yes Coup de tête
1981 Quest for Fire Yes La Guerre du feu
1986 The Name of the Rose Yes Der Name der Rose or Le Nom de la rose
1988 The Bear Yes L'Ours
1992 The Lover Yes Yes L'Amant
1995 Wings of Courage Yes Yes Yes Guillaumet, les ailes du courage
1997 Seven Years in Tibet Yes Yes Sept ans au Tibet
2001 Enemy at the Gates Yes Yes Yes Stalingrad
2004 Two Brothers Yes Yes Yes Deux frères
2007 His Majesty Minor Yes Yes Yes Sa majesté Minor
2011 Black Gold Yes Yes Day of the Falcon or Or Noir
2015 Wolf Totem Yes Yes Yes French: Le Dernier Loup
Chinese: 狼图腾


Year Title Director Producer Notes
2018 The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair Yes Yes TV mini-series

Awards and nominations

Jean-Jacques Annaud is a member of the prestigious Institut de France and received numerous distinctions : Film Award of the National French Academy, Knight of the National Order of Merit, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters. Winner of the Charlemagne Medal for European Media (Karlsmedaille für die europäischen Medien), he has been internationally awarded and honoured (full list below).

Awards and Distinctions Full List

    • 1970 : Special Effects Award at the 17th International Advertising Festival of Venice for the commercial spot Super Shell (Italy).' (Won)
    • 1971 : EuroTV Prize for the commercial spot Crunch (France).' (Won)
    • 1973 : Golden Lions at the 20th International Advertising Film Festival in Cannes for the spots Christofle – The Chinese and Comédie Materna. Silver Lions at the 20th International Advertising Festival for Le Diner and Travesti. Cinema Diploma at the 20th International Advertising Festival in Cannes for the Roll and Roll for Eram spot. First Prize from the Art Directors Club for the commercials Christofle – The Chinese (France). Clio Award for the commercial Christofle – The Chinese (USA).' (Won)
    • 1974 : Silver Lions at the 21st International Advertising Festival in Cannes for the commercial Look Nevada (France).' (Won)
    • 1977 : First Prize from the Art Directors Club for Advert for the commercial Urgo (France).' (Won)
    • 1977 : Academy Award for Best Foreign Film for Black and White in Color (USA), originally released as La Victoire en chantant (1976, France).' (Won)
    • 1978 : Second Prize from the Art Directors Club for Advert for the commercial Dunlopillo (France).' (Won)
    • 1979 : Best Commercial Award for TV for the spot “The Train” for the Kelton brand (France).' (Won)
    • 1982 : César (French National Award) for Best Film and César for Best Director for Quest for Fire (France). This movie also wins 5 Genie Awards (Canada), The Academy Award (USA) and the The British Academy Award for Best Makeup and Hairstyling (England)' (Won)
    • 1982 : Jury Member at the 35th Cannes Film Festival (France).
    • 1985 : César for the Best Commercial and Bronze Elephant for the commercial Hertz – The Vultures (France).' (Won)
    • 1987 : César Award for Best Foreign Film for The Name of the Rose (France). René Clair Award at David Di Donatello for Best Art Direction for The Name of the Rose (Italy). Bambi Award for Best Film for The Name of the Rose (Germany). Deutscher Filmpreis Award for Best Art Direction for The Name of the Rose (Germany). Silver Award for Outstanding Feature Film at the German Film Awards for The Name of the Rose (Germany). Golden Screen Award for The Name of the Rose (Germany). Jupiter Award for The Name of the Rose ' (Won)(Germany). Actors and other contributors also wins numerous awards for this motion picture (Bafta, Bavarian Film Awards, David di Donatello Awards, Edgar Allan Poe Awards…).
    • 1988 : National Movie Award for The Bear (Ministry of Culture, France).' (Won)
    • 1989 : César Award for Best Director for The Bear (France). Best Director (Bulgaria) for The Bear. Genesis Award for Best Foreign Film for The Bear (USA).' (Won)
    • 1990 : Officer of Arts and Letters Order (France). Guild of German Art House Cinemas Film Award, Silver Foreign Film for The Bear.' (Won)
    • 1992 : Japanese Film Critic Award for Best Director for The Lover (Japan). The film won the Motion Picture Sound Editors's 1993 Golden Reel Award for Best Sound Editing Foreign Feature (USA) and the 1993 César Award for Best Music Written for a Film (France).' (Won)
    • 1997 : Guild Film Gold Award from the Guild of German Art House Cinemas (Germany) for Seven Years in Tibet. Best Film of the Year for Seven Years in Tibet (Germany). PFS Award for Peace at the Political Film Society for Seven Years in Tibet (USA).' (Won)
    • 2001 : President of the 27th Festival of American Cinema in Deauville (France).
    • 2004 : Charlemagne Medal for the European Medias (Karlsmedaille für die europäischen Medien) (Germany).' (Won)
    • 2005 : Genesis Award for Best Foreign Film for Two Brothers (USA).' (Won)
    • 2005 : President of the Jury at the 5th Marrakech International Film Festival (Morocco).
    • 2007 : Member of the Institut de France (Paris), elected to chair #3 of the Académie des Beaux-Arts au siège de Gérard Oury (succeeding René Clément), Knight of the National Order of Merit, Commander of the Order of Arts and Letters and Knight of the Order of Academic Palms (France).' (Won)
    • 2012 : President of the Jury at the 16th Shanghai International Film Festival (China).
    • 2015 : President of the jury at the 37th Moscow International Film Festival (Russia). Moscow Film Festival Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to the World Cinema.' (Won)
    • 2015 : Golden Rooster Award for Best Film for Wolf Totem (China); Moscow International Film Festival Special Jury Award for Wolf Totem (Russia); Prague Film Festival Kristian Award for Wolf Totem (Czech Republic); International Bif&st Award for Best Director at Bari International Film Festival (Italy) for Wolf Totem; The CineMerit Award Filmfest München for Wolf Totem (Germany); Best Director at the Macau International Movie Festival for Wolf Totem (Macau) ; Golden Lotus Award Best Picture for Wolf Totem at the Beijing International Film Festival (China) ; Tiantian Award for Best Director for Wolf Totem (China); Jury Award for Best Director at the Beijing College Student Film Festival 2015 for Wolf Totem (China).' (Won)
    • 2016 : People Hundred Flowers Award for Best Film for Wolf Totem (China).' (Won)
    • 2018 : Cinematographer-Director Duo Award to lenser Jean-Marie Dreujou and helmer Jean-Jacques Annaud at the 26th Camerimage International Film Festival of the Art of Cinematography, Nov. 10-17 in Bydgoszcz, Poland.' (Won)


  1. ^ "The 49th Academy Awards (1977) Nominees and Winners". Oscars. Retrieved 16 May 2013.
  2. ^ "Jean-Jacques Annaud - BFI". BFI. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  3. ^ "The 49th Academy Awards (1977) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 25 March 2012.

External links

Black Gold (2011 Qatari film)

Black Gold (also known as Day of the Falcon and Or noir) is a 2011 French-Qatari epic historical war film, based on Hans Ruesch's 1957 novel South of the Heart: A Novel of Modern Arabia (also known as The Great Thirst and The Arab). It was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, produced by Tarak Ben Ammar and co-produced by Doha Film Institute. The film stars Tahar Rahim, Antonio Banderas, Freida Pinto, Mark Strong and Riz Ahmed.The film had a budget of US$40 million, making it one of the most expensive films backed by an Arab about an Arab subject.

Black and White in Color

Black and White in Color (French: La Victoire en chantant, then Noirs et Blancs en couleur for the 1977 re-issue) is an Ivorian 1976 war film and black comedy directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud in his directorial debut. It depicts French colonists at war with the Germans in Central Africa during World War I, and is set in the then German colony of Kamerun. The film adopts a strong antimilitaristic point of view, and is noteworthy for ridiculing the French side even more harshly than their German counterparts.

The original French title is the first four words (the first line) of the song Le Chant du départ, a French military song.

It won the 1976 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film; it was submitted to the Académie de Côte d'Ivoire, resulting in that country's first and only Oscar.

Catherine Rouvel

Catherine Rouvel (born Catherine Vitale; 31 August 1939 in Marseille) is an acclaimed French actress. Her career spans from 1959 in television to 2004.

She starred in Jean Renoir's Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, Marcel Carné's Les Assassins de l'ordre and in the 1976 Jean Jacques Annaud film Black and White in Color.

Coup de tête

Coup de tête (English: Hothead) is a 1979 French comedy-drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and scripted by Francis Veber. It stars Patrick Dewaere and Jean Bouise, who won the César Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance.

Enemy at the Gates

Enemy at the Gates is a 2001 war film written and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and based on William Craig's 1973 nonfiction book Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad, which describes the events surrounding the Battle of Stalingrad in the winter of 1942 and 1943. The film's main character is a fictionalized version of sniper Vasily Zaytsev, a Hero of the Soviet Union during World War II. It includes a snipers' duel between Zaytsev and a Wehrmacht sniper school director, Major Erwin König.

Gérard Brach

Gérard Brach (23 July 1927 – 9 September 2006) was a French screenwriter best known for his collaborations with the film directors Roman Polanski and Jean-Jacques Annaud. He directed two movies: La Maison and The Boat on the Grass.

His Majesty Minor

His Majesty Minor (French: Sa Majesté Minor) is a French-Spanish feature film by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud. It is his third film shot entirely in his native language of French since his 1976 Oscar-winning debut Black and White in Color and his 1978 film Coup de tête featuring Patrick Dewaere. It is a mythical comedy taking place on an island in the Aegean Sea before the founding of Ancient Greece.

It was filmed in 2006 in Benitatxell and Benigembla, basically in the district of the Marina Alta, which is located in the Valencian Community.

The film was produced by French companies Studio Canal and Pathé in partnership with Malvarrosa Media and Mediapro in Spain.

Despite its originality, the movie was poorly received, both by critics and the audience.

Institut des hautes études cinématographiques

L'Institut des hautes études cinématographiques (IDHEC; the "Institute for Advanced Cinematographic Studies") is a French film school, founded during World War II under the leadership of Marcel L'Herbier who was its president from 1944 to 1969. IDHEC offered training for directors and producers, cameramen, sound technicians, editors, art directors and costume designers. It became highly influential, and many prominent film-makers received their training there including Paulo Rocha, Louis Malle, Alain Resnais, Claire Denis, Volker Schlöndorff, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Claude Sautet, Nelson Pereira dos Santos, Patrice Leconte, Costa Gavras, Theo Angelopoulos, Omar Amiralay, Rithy Panh, Arnaud Desplechin, Claude Miller, Alfonso Gumucio Dagron Christopher Miles and Pascale Ferran.It was reorganized between 1986 and 1988 and renamed La Fémis.

Quest for Fire (film)

Quest for Fire (French: La Guerre du feu) is a 1981 France-Canada science fantasy adventure film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, written by Gérard Brach and starring Everett McGill, Ron Perlman, Nameer El-Kadi and Rae Dawn Chong. It is a film adaptation of the 1911 Belgian novel The Quest for Fire by J.-H. Rosny. The story is set in Paleolithic Europe (80,000 years ago), with its plot surrounding the struggle for control of fire by early humans. It won the Academy Award for Makeup.

Robert Fraisse (cinematographer)

Robert Fraisse (born 1940) is a French cinematographer born in Paris. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on the film The Lover. Fraisse has been a regular collaborator for directors like Jean-Jacques Annaud and Nick Cassavetes.

Running Free (film)

Running Free is a 2000 film about a horse born into slavery in 1914. The film began production in 1999 and was released in the US in 2000. It was directed by Sergei Bodrov, written and produced by Jean-Jacques Annaud, narrated by Lukas Haas, and distributed by Columbia Pictures.

Seven Years in Tibet (1997 film)

Seven Years in Tibet is a 1997 American biographical war drama film based on the 1952 book of the same name written by Austrian mountaineer Heinrich Harrer on his experiences in Tibet between 1944 and 1951 during World War II, the interim period, and the Chinese People's Liberation Army's invasion of Tibet in 1950. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Brad Pitt and David Thewlis, the score was composed by John Williams and features cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

In the story, Austrians Heinrich Harrer (Pitt) and Peter Aufschnaiter (Thewlis) are mountaineering in British India in an area that is now Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. When World War II begins in 1939, their German citizenship results in their imprisonment by the British in a POW camp in Dehradun in the Himalayan foothills, in the present-day Indian state of Uttarakhand. In 1944, Harrer and Aufschnaiter escape the prison, and cross the border into Tibet, traversing the treacherous high plateau. While in Tibet, after initially being ordered to return to India, they are welcomed at the holy city of Lhasa, and become absorbed into an unfamiliar way of life. Harrer is introduced to the 14th Dalai Lama, who is still a boy, and becomes one of his tutors. During their time together, Heinrich becomes a close friend to the young spiritual leader. Harrer and Aufschnaiter stay in the country until the Chinese military campaign in 1950.

The Bear (1988 film)

The Bear (known as L'Ours in its original release) is a 1988 French film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and released by TriStar Pictures. Adapted from the novel The Grizzly King (1916) by American author James Oliver Curwood, the screenplay was written by Gérard Brach. Set in late 19th-century British Columbia, Canada, the film tells the story of an orphaned bear cub who befriends an adult male grizzly as hunters pursue them through the wild. Several of the themes explored in the story include orphanhood, peril and protection, and mercy toward and on the behalf of a reformed hunter.

Annaud and Brach began planning the story and production in 1981, although filming did not begin until six years later, due to the director's commitment to another project. The Bear was filmed almost entirely in the Italian and Austrian areas of the Dolomites, with live animals—including Bart the Bear, a trained 9-foot tall Kodiak—present on location. Notable for its almost complete lack of dialogue and its minimal score, the film was nominated for and won numerous international film awards.

The Lover (film)

The Lover (French: L'Amant) is a 1992 drama film produced by Claude Berri and directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. Based on the semi-autobiographical 1984 novel by Marguerite Duras, the film details the illicit affair between a teenage French girl and a wealthy Chinese man in 1929 French Indochina. In the screenplay written by Annaud and Gérard Brach, the 15 1/2-year-old protagonist is portrayed by actress Jane March, who turned eighteen shortly after filming began. Her lover is portrayed by actor Tony Leung Ka-fai. The film features full-frontal male and female nudity.Production began in 1989, with filming commencing in 1991. The film made its theatrical debut on 22 January 1992, with an English release in the United Kingdom in June and in the United States in October of the same year. The film won the Motion Picture Sound Editors's 1993 Golden Reel award for "Best Sound Editing — Foreign Feature" and the 1993 César Award for Best Music Written for a Film. The film was a box office success, and received fairly positive reviews from the general audience along with mostly negative reviews from American critics. Overall, the film's performances and cinematography were generally praised.

The Name of the Rose (film)

The Name of the Rose is a 1986 Italian-French-German mystery historical drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, based on the book of the same name by Umberto Eco. Sean Connery stars as the Franciscan friar William of Baskerville and Christian Slater is his apprentice Adso of Melk; the former being called upon to solve a deadly mystery in a medieval abbey.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair (miniseries)

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair is an American mystery drama television miniseries, based on the novel of the same name by Joël Dicker, that is set to premiere on Epix. The series was directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and stars Patrick Dempsey, Ben Schnetzer, Damon Wayans Jr., and Virginia Madsen. Prior to its debut in the United States, the series was sold and premiered in international markets.

Two Brothers (2004 film)

Two Brothers (French: Deux Frères) is a 2004 British-French family drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and starring Guy Pearce and Freddie Highmore. It is about two tiger brothers, Kumal and Sangha, who are separated as cubs and then reunited a year later.

Wings of Courage

Wings of Courage is a 1995 American-French drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud. The 40-minute film was written by Annaud with Alain Godard. It was the first dramatic film shot in the IMAX format.

Wings of Courage is an account of the real-life story of early airmail operations in South America. The film stars Craig Sheffer, Val Kilmer, Elizabeth McGovern and Tom Hulce.

Wolf Totem (film)

Wolf Totem (Chinese: 狼图腾, French: Le Dernier Loup) is a 2015 drama film based on the 2004 Chinese semi-autobiographical novel of the same name by Jiang Rong. Directed by French director Jean-Jacques Annaud, the Chinese-French co-production features a Chinese student who is sent to Inner Mongolia to teach shepherds and instead learns about the wolf population, which is under threat by a government apparatchik.

The Beijing Forbidden City Film Corporation initially sought to hire a Chinese director, but filming humans with real wolves was considered too difficult. New Zealand director Peter Jackson was approached, but production did not take place. Annaud, whose 1997 film Seven Years in Tibet is banned in China, had his personal ban lifted and was hired to direct Wolf Totem. The film was produced under China Film Group and French-based Reperage. The French director, who had worked with animals on other films, acquired a dozen wolf pups in China and had them trained for several years by Andrew Simpson, a Canadian-based animal trainer. With a production budget of US$38 million, Annaud filmed Wolf Totem in Inner Mongolia, where the book is set, for over a year.

The film premiered at the European Film Market on February 7, 2015. It was released in China on February 19, 2015, for the start of the Chinese New Year, and it was released in France on February 25, 2015. It was originally reported that the film had been selected as the Chinese entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. However, when the final list was announced by the Academy, China's submission was listed as Go Away Mr. Tumor by Han Yan.

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