The Red Violin is a 1998 drama film directed by FranÃ§ois Girard and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Carlo Cecchi and Sylvia Chang. It spans four centuries and five countries as it tells the story of a mysterious red-coloured violin and its many owners. The instrument, made in Cremona in 1681 with a future forecast by tarot cards, makes its way to Montreal in 1997, where an appraiser identifies it and it goes to auction. The film was an international co-production among companies in Canada, Italy, and the United Kingdom.
The screenplay was written by Don McKellar, who also acts, and Girard, inspired by a historic 1720 Stradivarius violin nicknamed the "Red Mendelssohn". The film was shot in Austria, Canada, China, England and Italy and features a soundtrack by John Corigliano, with solos performed by violinist Joshua Bell.
After premiering in the Venice Film Festival, it received some positive reviews from critics and grossed $10 million in the U.S. box office. It received numerous honours, including the Academy Award for Best Original Score and eight Genie Awards, including Best Motion Picture.