Born in Saint-Jean-d’Iberville and raised in Québec City, Yves Bélanger moved to Montreal to study film production at Concordia University, where he became part of a new wave of Canadian cinema artists and also became bilingual. Beginning in 1989, he made his mark in the music video industry, working as cinematographer on rock and country videos, which in turn earned him commercial work. In 1995, he began shooting feature films and television shows; with directorial collaborators including Alain Desrochers, Louis Bolduc and Jean-Claude Lord. Telefilms that Bélanger filmed have included The Growing Pains Movie, reuniting the original series’ cast and directed by Alan Metter.
Among the feature films that he has been director of photography on are Alain Desrochers’ Gerry, Wushu Warrior, Cabotins, and La Bouteille [The Bottle]; and Patrice Sauvé’s Cheech, for which he received Canadian Society of Cinematographers (CSC) and Jutra Award nominations. Among the short films that he has been director of photography on are Tara Johns’ Killing Time, for which he was a CSC nominee, and Geoffrey Uloth’s Wildflowers, for which he won a CSC Award.
Another feature credit as cinematographer was Xavier Dolan’s emotional epic Laurence Anyways, starring Melvil Poupaud and Suzanne Clément, who was honored at the 2012 Cannes International Film Festival for her performance. Bélanger was again a Jutra Award nominee for his work on the movie.
More recently, Bélanger worked with Jean Marc Vallée on three films; Dallas Buyers Club starring Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, the winner of best cinematography at the Rome International Film Festival and three Oscars®; and Wild, starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern. Bélanger completed his third collaboration with Jean Marc Vallée in 2015; Demolition, starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Chris Cooper. He also completed in 2016 ,with Vallée, the HBO series Big Little Lies starring Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Zoe Kravitz. The series is up for 16 nominations including Best Cinematography at the 2017 Emmy Awards. The duo teamed up again this year for a new HBO series called Sharp Objects with Amy Adams.
In 2015, he lensed Brooklyn, directed by John Crowley and Starring Saoirse Ronan, Domhnall Gleeson and Emory Cohen. The movie garnered 3 academy award nominations for, Best picture , Best actress and Best adapted screenplay.