Céline La Frenière's bio

Céline La Frenière (2022) photos by Shogo Hino

Author's bio

Céline grew up in a crowded tenement in Montreal. Her neighbourhood may have been in a rough area, but the sense of community was very strong. At the age of 16, her life suddenly took an unexpected turn. Her charming but elusive father, a small-time gambler, got into trouble and had to relocate the family to a remote place in the far north of British Columbia in Canada, 3,000 miles away. During the long train ride that took her across the country to her new fate, Céline had plenty of time to reflect. Overnight, her academic ambitions were dashed. After losing her home, her friends, her French language and her culture, she had to start all over again. This involved learning a new language, English, and reluctantly adapting to a wholly different way of life. Her sense of isolation first inspired her to write. And yet this was only the start of her travelling experiences and resettlement. She has since lived and worked as a scriptwriter in Vancouver, Los Angeles, and London and travelled far and wide. She now resides in North London at Solar House, the house she and her late husband Peter Cuming built and is currently in partnership with actor/director/producer Peter Dinklage. Glaston Town is her debut novel.

Notes from the past

Writing Delta of Venus (1989)

The front cover of Delta of Venus.

Céline La Frenière in 1989.

Michael Radford's and my film adaptation of this book was rejected by Alliance and New Line Cinema, which was a pity because Radford's take on the book was, in my opinion, totally original and brilliant. He went on to direct "Il Postino", which won him critical acclaims, including a BAFTA award and an Oscar nomination for best film.

Working with Ronnie Neame Productions (1982-1987)

Céline La Frenière with Ronald Neame.

Ronald Neame on the set of Foreign Body with Warren Mitchell and Victor Banerjee.

On the set of Foreign Body with Amanda Donohoe and Victor Banerjee.

Ronnie Neame and Céline La Frenière attending the 1987 Golden Globe Awards where Neame presented an eulogy about his old friend and colleague Alec Guinness receiving a Life Achievement Award.

Poster for the film Foreign Body.

Ronnie Neame and Céline La Frenière working on a script.

Celine La Frenière with Director Robert Wise.

The UK Film Premiere at the Brighton Film Festival.

The US Film Premiere at the Breckenridge Film Festival.

Working on Judy for Polymuse Inc and Robert Goldston (1980-1982)

Robert Goldston.

The cover of the screenplay Judy, written by Céline La Frenière in 1982.

Between 1980 and 1982, Céline La Frenière wrote a screenplay based on the book Judy by Gerold Frank. Robert Goldston was the producer and she worked with his production company Polymuse Inc.

Working with Sandy Howard/Astral Bellevue Productions (1978-1982)

The film poster for City On Fire.

Montreal Matin 1978 article on Céline La Frenière.

Céline La Frenière with Sandy Howard and Susan Clark on the film set in Montreal

La Presse, Montreal 1978 article on Céline La Frenière as she was the first female French Canadian screenwriter to write a Hollywood blockbuster.

Journal de Montreal 1978 article on Céline La Frenière.

Working with Leonard Cohen (1977-1978)

Céline La Frenière with Leonard Cohen in Los Angeles.

Leonard became a friend and an inspiration. I pay homage to him in my novel Glaston Town.

Working with Pulitzer Prize winning Playwright, Howard Sackler (1975-1977)

Céline La Frenière with Howard Sackler and Bernie Cornfeld in Los Angeles.

Howard Sackler.

Howard Sackler is known for winning the Pulitzer Prize for the play, The Great White Hope. Howard edited my screenplay entitled: "BreakAway" and introduced me to his agent Ben Benjamin at ICM. The latter, a total gentleman, became my agent for the duration of my stay in Los Angeles.

Projects by Céline La Frenière in Canada (pre Hollywood)

Céline La Frenière as the lead actress in Entre les Rocheuses et le Pacifiques for Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. This was one of her many projects during her time in Canada.

Céline La Frenière working in the Film industry as a teenager in Canada.