Screenwriting Education and Work
Bourguignon graduated from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) with a degree in screenwriting and worked for over ten years as a script writer, creator and head screenwriter for comedy acts such as Patrick Huard, Marie-Lise Pilote, François Morency and Pierre Légaré. From 1991 to 1993, he also taught writing at the École nationale de l’humour.
In 1993, he released his first critically acclaimed novel, L’Avaleur de sable, followed in 1996 by Le principe du geyser. These two fictions, published by Québec Amérique, deal with coming of age, fear of commitment, relationships between men and women, and the wish (or lack thereof) for children and fatherhood.
He later revisited those themes with humour and sensitivity in the television series La vie, la vie, extolled by critics and the public.
Aired on Radio-Canada and directed by Patrice Sauvé, La Vie, la vie recounts the ups and downs of five friends in their thirties. The program won 14 Gémeaux Awards, including the one for Best Script in a Drama Series (in 2001 and 2002). Split into 39 short 30‑minute episodes, it was sold to CBC and also sold in France, Belgium and Switzerland. In parallel to his television work, the author published a third novel, Un peu de fatigue, in 2002, which earned him the Quebec Intercollegiate Literary Prize in 2003.
Starting in 2006, Stéphane Bourguignon presented his new TV series Tout sur moi, this time sweeping up the Gémeaux Award for Best Script in a Comedy (2007). The show starred his partner, actress Macha Limonchik, and two actor friends, Éric Bernier and Valérie Blais. In a criss‑cross of anecdotes and sometimes true, sometimes fictional incidents, Tout sur moi challenged the rather rigid norms of the sitcom. The series aired for five seasons on Radio‑Canada (from 2006 to 2011) and also collected Gémeaux Awards, this time in the categories for acting (Valérie Blais, 2009, and Éric Bernier, 2011) and directing (Stéphane Lapointe, 2011). At the Les Oliviers Gala, it garnered the Award for Best TV Series (Comedy) (2011).
In literature, Bourguignon published the very popular Sonde ton cœur, Laurie Rivers in 2007. Stepping out of the comedy vein, the book looks at a small community in Idaho, deep in traditional, religious America. After going on a trip, the author questioned the image we project, the difficulty of trying to be accepted, solitude, and religion’s influence in that rural region of America.
Directed by Rafaël Ouellet (Camion), its screenplay written by Stéphane Bourguignon (also the show’s associate producer), the TV series Fatale-Station came out in winter 2017 on the platform Extra, part of ICI Tou.tv (Radio-Canada). With a solid cast (Macha Limonchick, Micheline Lanctôt, Claude Legault and Denis Bernard), this western-style thriller tells of a certain Sarah Dembski’s arrival in the town of Fatale-Station. Having elected to hide away in this place — cut off from the world — to escape a dangerous man who is after her, the newcomer transforms the townspeople’s lives bit by bit. The highly praised series also aired in France on the French-German channel Arte.
Honours and Awards
- Gémeaux Award for Best Script in a Drama Series (La Vie, la vie),Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (2001)
- Gémeaux Award for Best Script in a Drama Series (La Vie, la vie) (2002)
- Quebec Intercollegiate Literary Prize (Un peu de fatigue) (2003)
- Gémeaux Award for Best Script in a Comedy (Tout sur moi) (2007)