McDonald at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
|Born||May 28, 1959|
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
|Alma mater||Ryerson University|
|Occupation||Film director, writer, producer|
|Known for||Hard Core Logo, Roadkill|
He was part of a loosely-affiliated group of filmmakers to emerge from Toronto known as the Toronto New Wave.
McDonald was born in Kingston, Ontario, and later graduated from the film program at Ryerson University. His first movie was The Plunge Murderer, followed by a feature-length zombie flick, Our Glorious Dead, made with his grandfather's Super 8 camera and shot on location at his Rexdale high school, North Albion Collegiate.
In 1991, for his film Highway 61, he won Best Director at the highly regarded San Sebastián International Film Festival. Roadkill won most Outstanding Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and McDonald earned some notoriety and media attention when he quipped, while accepting his $25,000 prize from TIFF for Roadkill, that he planned to spend the money on "a big chunk of hash".
1990s: Breakthrough with Hard Core Logo
Hard Core Logo (1996) has been frequently ranked amongst the greatest movies ever to come out of Canada and as McDonald's breakthrough film; it won numerous awards, including Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards in 1996 and Best Screenplay at the Vancouver Film Festival.
Hard Core Logo 2 premiered at the Whistler Film Festival on December 4, 2010 with the members of Die Mannequin and McDonald walking the red carpet. It had its second screening at the Victoria Film Festival on February 6, 2011.
Since the late 1990s, McDonald has directed dozens of film and television productions; he completed shooting The Tracey Fragments (2006) in Toronto, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. While shooting the scenes took him only two weeks, he spent nine months in post-production. He then directed the horror film Pontypool, which was selected as one of the best Canadian films of 2008 by the Toronto International Film Festival and was released in March 2009. Since then, he has directed episodes of many television series, including Lonesome Dove, Twitch City, Degrassi: The Next Generation, Instant Star, Queer as Folk, ReGenesis, This Is Wonderland and Cracked.
In 2009, McDonald directed three short films for the cross-platform project City Sonic. McDonald, along with six other directors, shot 20 short films about Toronto musicians and the places where their musical lives were transformed. McDonald directed films starring Die Mannequin, the Cancer Bats and Geddy Lee of Rush. His 2010 film Trigger was the first film ever screened at Toronto's new TIFF Bell Lightbox.
In 2014, he directed the horror thriller Hellions (2015) starring Chloe Rose, which premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival and later screened at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. His next film Weirdos, was released in 2016.
Between 2017-2019, McDonald was a director for the British-Canadian teenage anthology series Creeped Out. He directed the Canadian-set episodes, whilst Steve Hughes directed the British-set episodes. During the latter part of 2017, McDonald was filming Dreamland in Belgium and Luxembourg, with Juliette Lewis and Henry Rollins leading the cast. It was released in 2020.
He currently resides in Toronto with his wife, cinematographer and filmmaker Dany Chiasson, and their daughter.
- Roadkill (1989)
- Highway 61 (1991)
- Dance Me Outside (1994)
- Hard Core Logo (1996)
- Picture Claire (2001)
- The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess (2004)
- The Tracey Fragments (2007)
- Killer Wave (2007)
- Pontypool (2008)
- This Movie Is Broken (2010)
- Trigger (2010)
- My Babysitter's a Vampire (2010)
- Hard Core Logo 2 (2010)
- The Husband (2013)
- Hellions (2015)
- Weirdos (2016)
- Dreamland (2020)
- Heartland (2014-2018; 8 episodes)
- Dark Matter (2015-2017; 5 episodes)
- Creeped Out (2017-2019; 8 episodes)
- Ransom (2019; 2 episodes)
- Malory Towers (2020; 6 episodes)
- WISE, WYNDHAM. "Hard Core Logo". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Zombies bring out the best in Bruce McDonald". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Feldbloom-Wood, Rachel. "Bruce McDonald – Bravo!FACT – Director Bio Biography | Watch Drama, Documentary Movies Online". Archived from the original on May 29, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Bruce McDonald's Pontypool: Canadian zombies, eh | Metro News". metronews.ca. Archived from the original on May 13, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Torontoist. "Director's Cut: Bruce McDonald | culture | Torontoist". Torontoist. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Playback :: Egoyan tops Canada's all-time best movies list[dead link]
- "Citysonic.tv". Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. Retrieved December 8, 2009.
- "How the film Trigger underwent a sex change". The Globe and Mail, September 11, 2010.
- "The Strip's musical heyday; Documentary 'Yonge Street – Toronto Rock &Roll Stories' uncovers an era when 'truth was stranger than the publicity'". The Telegraph-Journal, March 21, 2011.
- Festival, Toronto International Film. "TIFF.net | Hellions". TIFF. Archived from the original on May 7, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Tobias, Scott. "Toronto Film Review: 'Hellions'". Variety. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- Gayne, Zach. "Sundance 2015 Interview: Bruce McDonald, Chloe Rose, and Robert Patrick on HELLIONS' Bad Moon Rising". TwitchFilm. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved April 25, 2016.
- "Dany Chiasson taps into the mystery that is Joan of Arc". The Globe and Mail, March 24, 2011.