Canadian film director Philippe Falardeau was born in Hull and studied political science and international relations at the University of Ottawa. He worked in French-language radio in Canada and Paris before moving into film production. He rose to prominence already with his first full-length film, La Moitié gauche du frigo (2000), which won Best Canadian First Feature awards at both the Toronto Film Festival and the Canadian Genie awards. He has directed seven feature films, and for five of these he also wrote the screenplay. His best-known work is Monsieur Lazhar (2011), the story of an Algerian immigrant teacher helping his students through the grief of a recent suicide while dealing with his own loss. Monsieur Lazhar won six Genie awards and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.