Hélène Magny was editor, researcher and interviewer at Radio-Canada for 17 years. She also worked on public affairs programs for radio and television such as Présent National, Sans Frontières, Le Point and Les Grands Reportages.
In 1990, after receiving an award from the Quebec Federation of Professional Journalists (Fédération Professionnelle des Journalistes du Québec), she went to the Amazon in north-eastern Brazil to direct a feature radio documentary about the assassination of landless peasants, for the Radio-Canada program Dimanche Magazine.
In 1999, Hélène Magny and Pierre Mignault directed their first documentary, Le Sentier du Milieu, which describes the quest of a man from Quebec who became a Buddhist monk in Burma. Following his progress along the middle path, we discover the role Buddhism plays in maintaining the social and political order in Burma, a country inaccessible to most foreigners. The film was broadcast by Télé-Québec.
For seven months in 2003-2004, Hélène Magny directed two United Nations regional Radio Okapi stations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. As editor-in-chief, she accompanied Congolese journalists in their work and was able to see for her eyes the enormous impact this radio has on the Congolese population. This marked the start of the documentary Shock Waves, released in 2007.
Since 2005, the two filmmakers established CINÉDIT Productions, their Montreal-based documentary production company.
Produced by InformAction and broadcasted by Radio-Canada, Shock Waves follows three journalists at Radio Okapi, an independent UN-backed national radio station in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In a land where silence is imposed at gunpoint, the film provides moving testimony to the struggle for freedom of expression and democracy in a country torn apart in the aftermath of war. The film won two Awards: Film Most Likely to Change the World Award (Detroit Docs International Film Festival 2007) and the CIDA (Canadian International Development Agency) Award: Prize for Best Canadian Documentary on International Development (Hot Docs, Toronto 2008). It was also nominated for Best Documentary: Society at the Gémeaux Awards in 2008.
Born To Be Here, their third documentary, directed in 2008 and also produced by InformAction, was selected at the Montreal International Documentary Festival 2008, to the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois 2009 and won the Gémeaux Award for Diversity 2010. Born to Be Here is the story of three first-generation Quebecers struggling to affirm their identity. Caught between their immigrant parents and Québec society, both of which fear assimilation, these teenagers face special obstacles in defining who they are. Their honest, forthright and affecting stories offer a whole new vision of what it means to be a Quebecer.
For Breaking the Silence: Burma’s Resistance, the two filmmakers went back to Burma 10 years after their first film. Undercover, Pierre Mignault and Hélène Magny were able to enter one of Burma's most dangerous zones, penetrating into the heart of the Karen Nation, where civil war has been waging for 60 years. In this dangerous region very few foreigners have dared to venture, they meet displaced people hiding in the jungle in order to resist forced relocation by the military regime. Breaking the Silence: Burma's Resistance demonstrates the strength of the Burmese people's resistance and takes us deep into the country, disclosing the secret networks of militants fighting along the Thai border. The film was selected at the Montreal International Documentary Festival 2009 and at the Vancouver International Film Festival 2010 among others.