Sarah Polley has been writing and directing in Canada for the last six years. In 1999, she directed the short films The Best Day of My Life, and then wrote, directed and produced Don’t Think Twice, starring Tom McCamus and Jennifer Podemski. In 2001, she wrote, directed and co-produced I Shout Love, starring Kristen Thomson, who won an Actra Award for her performance in the short. The film also won a 2003 Genie Award for Best Live Action Short Drama. In 2002, Sarah wrote and directed The Harp, one of the episodes of The Shield Stories for television.
As an actor, Sarah’s breakthrough role was her portrayal of Nicole in Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter. The Sweet Hereafter was her second film with Egoyan, after Exotica, and he had written the part with Sarah in mind when he adapted Russell Banks' novel. She received her first Best Actress Genie nomination from Canada's Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and the Best Supporting Actress award from the Boston and Chicago Societies of Film Critics for The Sweet Hereafter. The buzz continued at the Sundance Festival, where her starring role in the film Guinevere was showcased, and the entertainment media crowned her the "It Girl" of 1999. Polley chose to return to Canada and appear in unusual, independent films such as Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Weight of Water, David Cronenberg’s Existenz, Hal Hartley’s No Such Thing, Thom Fitzgerald’s The Event, and Isabel Coixet’s My Life Without Me as well as Dawn of The Dead, based on George A Romero’s original script. By the end of 2004 she had filmed two additional projects, Wim Wenders Don’t Come Knocking with Sam Shepard, Jessica Lange and Tim Roth, which premiered at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival and Isabel Coixet’s The Secret Life of Words, opposite Tim Robbins. Both films were shown at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. She maintains a home in Toronto.
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