Drawing on over twenty years of experience in film production, Ginette Petit has worked on about five hundred short films and many features, among them And the Birds Rained Down by Louise Archambault (2019), Ça sent la coupe by Patrice Sauvé (2017), The Ring by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette (2007), The Collector by Jean Beaudin (2001) and Kabloonak by Claude Massot (1994), which were lauded by critics. Known for her attention to detail, rigor and infectious enthusiasm, Ginette Petit sets herself apart thanks to her generosity toward creators, her thorough understanding of the creative process and her sharp artistic eye, which she notably honed in her early years as a set designer and window dresser.
It would be nearly impossible to dissociate Ginette Petit’s professional journey from her deep-rooted passion for emerging and up-and-coming talents. She spent nine years as director of L’inis’ cinema program, where she also served as a guest producer and instructor, in addition to taking part in restructuring the program in 2002. Through her involvement with L’inis, she produced several hundreds of short films, many of which reaped prizes worldwide, and launched the careers of young creators such as Frédéric Ouellet, Yan Lanouette-Turgeon and Chloé Robichaud. An honorary member of L’inis, she still teaches to fledgling producers enrolled in its cinema program.
From 1992 to 2012, Ginette Petit sat on numerous film festival juries, in addition to serving as an external analyst for SODEC. The in-depth assessment of one hundred projects allowed her to acquire considerable experience in the development of cutting-edge works. Never afraid to take the road less traveled, she put her stamp on many bold multidisciplinary projects as scriptwriter and artistic producer.
In 2004, she teamed up with Nathalie Bissonnette, who became her partner and director of business development at her production company, OUTSIDERS Films. Together, they co-wrote and co-produced a first documentary entitled Bombardier: sur les sentiers de ma famille, with Bissonnette also taking on directorial duties. On the basis of this fruitful experience, the women then developed many innovative projects for museums and companies in the aviation sector, including the portrait of eight renowned test pilots, which accompanied visitors as they made their way through the Canada Aviation and Space Museum.
They also created a multidisciplinary experience for Bombardier Aerospace, bringing to light the history of aviation with an emphasis on Bombardier’s evolution in Quebec before and after its dramatic take-off on the international market. That initiative was rolled out around the world in order to raise awareness and increase the motivation of people employed at the factories of multinational manufacturer Bombardier.
They were also invited to work with Moment Factory on the scripting for the multimedia room at the Museum of Ingenuity J. Armand Bombardier, which packages the history of Bombardier as an immersive journey.
Upon stepping down as director of L’inis in 2012, Ginette Petit fully dedicated herself to OUTSIDERS Films. Without wasting a second, she released a heartfelt documentary that same year: Le vieil âge et le rire, directed by the accomplished filmmaker Fernand Dansereau. Demonstrating his considerable talents, the artist portrays the experience of aging with much humour and authenticity. The film was a resounding hit, taking home both the Audience Award at the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois and the Coup de Coeur prize from the APCQ (Association des Propriétaires de Cinémas du Québec), in addition to its impressive six-week run at Cinéma Beaubien.
Always on the hunt for singular and profoundly human projects, Ginette Petit acquired the rights to an assortment of best-selling works: Ça sent la coupe, a novel by Matthieu Simard, adapted for the screen by the author himself and directed by Patrice Sauvé; And The Birds Rained Down, a novel by Jocelyne Saucier, written and directed by Louise Archambault; Space Cadet, an illustrated musical tale by Kid Koala (Eric San), directed by the artist with a screenplay by Mylène Chollet. More recently, she acquired the Canadian broadcasting rights for Dernières nouvelles du cosmos, a documentary of rare poetry that immerses us in the fascinating mind of a young woman with nonverbal autism.
At the end of 2015, two of her theatrically released documentaries were met with resounding success. The first, Le pays qui dit NON, is a poignant portrait of Canada’s declining foreign policy during Stephen Harper’s reign, directed by veteran documentarian Hélène Pichette. The second, Hôtel La Louisiane, directed in Paris by Michel La Veaux, and screened in many cinemas both at home and in Europe, was awarded the Communications and Society prize at the 38th edition of the Festival du Cinéma International en Abitibi Témiscamingue.
On February 24, 2017, Ça sent la coupe (distributed by Les Films Séville) was released theatrically across Quebec and chosen as the opening film for the Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois. The film stars Louis-José Houde, Maxime Mailloux, Julianne Côté, Émilie Bibeau, Louis-Philippe Dandenault and Patrick Drolet.
Serving as a board member for the AQPM (Association Québécoise de la Production Médiatique) Ginette Petit continues to work at various levels of the industry. Shortly prior to the filming of the feature film And The Birds Rained Down, shot exclusively in rural areas in the summer of 2018, Petit recruited two young producers who’d just finished their training in the cinema program at L’inis. As trainee producers, both have since remained at OUTSIDERS Films. Always eager to encourage young talents, she supported them in the creation of their production company Cosmos Films, which became a subsidiary of OUTSIDERS Films.
The theatrical release of the feature film And Birds Rained Down, on September 13 2019, reached unexpected heights at the box office (over 2 000 000$). The film is directed by Louise Archambault and stars Andrée Lachapelle, Gilbert Sicotte, Rémy Girard, Eve Landry, Éric Robidoux, Louise Portal and Kenneth Welsh. The film earns a vivid success in many film festivals abroad. It will be selected in San Sebastian International Film Festival’s official competition. It will win the Dragon Award for best international film at the Göteborg festival in Sweden as well as 3 Iris at the 22nd Gala Québec Cinéma in 2020 (the Audience award, Best actor in a leading role (Gilbert Sicotte) and Best actress in a leading role (Andrée Lachapelle)). To this day, the film was sold in Spain and in Japan.
Ginette Petit is presently working on developing different projects, as always, more audacious, ambitious and authentic as always. She will dedicate her artistic life to establish a link between profound subjects with relatable, sensitive stories capable of bringing together a vast public. In 2020, she translates and adapts in French Space Cadet’s script so that the project can finally move on to its production stage. She will have an important, creative function within the production of this ambitious, multifaceted project.