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Atom Egoyan's 'Next of Kin'

A young man seeking family therapy via videotape views another family's tape, and enters their lives by masquerading as the son they gave up for adoption. This is the plot of director Atom Egoyan's first feature film, 1984's Next of Kin, and it has earned him a Genie nomination at the tender age of 24. The achievement is even more remarkable given that the movie cost just $37,000 to make. But, as Egoyan tells CBC Radio's Peter Gzowski in this 1984 interview, it was possible only because of the "tremendous sacrifices" of the movie's cast and crew. 
• Born in Cairo in 1960 to parents of Armenian heritage, Atom Egoyan was named to commemorate Egypt's first nuclear reactor, built the year of his birth. He immigrated to Canada with his family in 1962.
  • At 24 Egoyan was the youngest person ever nominated for a Genie (Canada's best-known film award) for Best Director for Next of Kin. It was the first in a trio of films &ndash the other two were Family Viewing (1987) and Speaking Parts (1989) &ndash that film critic Jay Scott described in 1989 as "a trilogy united by a gelidly distanced, increasingly sophisticated approach to human interaction."

• Among Egoyan's greater success was 1997's The Sweet Hereafter, based on the Russell Banks novel of the same name. Egoyan was nominated for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards, and the film won seven Genie Awards, including Best Director and Best Picture.

• Egoyan met his wife and frequent collaborator, Arsinée Khanjian, when he cast her as the daughter in Next of Kin. She was married at the time but divorced her husband to be with Egoyan.

• In 2009 Egoyan was scheduled to appear at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote his film Chloe. The film stars actor Liam Neeson, who was filming the movie when his wife, actress Natasha Richardson, died of a head injury after falling at Quebec's Mont-Tremblant. 

Medium: Radio
Program: Morningside
Broadcast Date: Feb. 19, 1985
Guest(s): Atom Egoyan
Host: Peter Gzowski
Duration: 12:10

Last updated: February 22, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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