Jennifer Alleyn completed her studies in Fine Arts-Film Production and Literature at Concordia University before embarking on her documentary filmmaking career by participating in the cult program La Course Destination Monde. Born in Switzerland, based in Montreal, she was a journalist at Le Devoir and then on CBC radio. She started out in fiction by directing a segment of the collective film Cosmos, produced by Roger Frappier, which won the CICEA Award in Cannes Film Festival as part of the Directors' Fortnight. Cosmos was followed up by the documentaries The Rossys and The Imagined Life of Jacques Monory.
Probing the mysteries of art is what motivates Jennifer’s approach. My Father's Studio was her first feature documentary as a filmmaker. Winner of the Best Canadian Production Award at the FIFA and of two Gemini Awards, the film has screened in Paris, London and Washington. Since then, she has directed Ten Times Dix, a film about German painter Otto Dix - winner of the ARTV Springboard to the world Award at the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).
Exploring the field of visual arts in parallel of her documentary work, she presented her first installation at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011, as part of the Big Bang exhibition. A collaboration with writer Nancy Huston followed, with the videographic essay A Few Lost Words. Her following work have been presented in Switzerland at Galerie C in Neuchâtel.
From 2015 to 2018, she wrote, directed and produced the feature film IMPETUS, a hybrid film that offers a cinematic dive between fiction and cinema-vérité where Pascale Bussières and Emmanuel Schwartz play interchanging roles. The film had its World premiere in competition at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) in November 2018 and will be released in theaters January 18, 2019.
Jennifer is currently working on several feature film projects on a variety of subjects, including Merveille, a film on the boundaries between madness and creativity, by portraying an artist (produced by L'Unité Centrale). Also in the works, a film about the Montreal musician-philosopher J. Reissner, a living legend of the blues, long crippled in isolation.
In addition to her strong interest in humans and the relationship to art, her studies in anthropology make her a versatile filmmaker and author interested in issues of beauty and difference.