filmography

2016

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How to Prepare for Prison – Matt Gallagher – Border City Pictures

Fuelled by fear, regret, defiance and redemption, this film follows the story of three people facing prison for the first time. By exploring fundamental questions of fairness and justice, the film challenges simplistic notions of crime and punishment. It forces us to consider the purpose of incarceration – are we seeking justice or deterrents or revenge?


2015

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This Changes Everything – Avi Lewis – Louverture Films

Making the changes we need to avert climate chaos is our best chance to build the more equitable, livable and healthier societies that we want and need. Based on the best selling book by Naomi Klein.


2014

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Monsoon – Sturla Gunnarsson – Arte, CBC

Part road movie, part spectacle, part human drama, Monsoon is a documentary exploration of chaos, creation and faith in the land of believers.  


2013

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War Story – Barry Stevens – History

Personal stories of the men and women who fought in war.


2012

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Echoes – Sun Kyung Yi – TVO

A look at the international adoption of Chinese “orphans” through the experiences of the Chinese mothers who felt forced to give up their babies and the North American mothers who adopted them.

Payback – Jennifer Baichwal – NFB

Debt as a mental construct and traces how it influences relationships, societies, governing structures and the fate of the planet. Based on Margaret Atwood’s bestselling book Payback: Debt and the Shadow Side of Wealth.


2011

Wiebo’s War – David York – NFB

Reverand Wiebo Ludwig’s epic battle with the oil and gas industry.

Grinders – Matt Gallagher – TVO

The stakes are high and risk is everything for the men who play the odds for a living in this insider’s safari through Toronto’s illegal gambling clubs.


2010

Force of Nature – Sturla Gunnarsson – NFB

At 74 years of age, David Suzuki, the iconic Canadian scientist, educator, broadcaster and activist, delivers what he describes as “a last lecture – a distillation of my life and thoughts, my legacy, what I want to say before I die.”

March of Remembrance – Fern Levitt – CBC

Follows a diverse group of sixty university students as they journey through Nazi death camps in Poland.


 2009

 Thay: The Teacher – Leslie Weiner – PBS

The story of one man’s fight against AIDS in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and his attempt to help street children survive

Pushing The Line – Julia Fong – Bravo!

Northwest Coast artists Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas and Marianne Nicolson spend their days creating work that pushes boundaries, redefining what society has come to expect of Indigenous art. 

Experimental Eskimos – Barry Greenwald – APTN

The untold story of how an social engineering experiment, not only changed three Inuit boys, but changed a nation.


2008

Air India 182 – Sturla Gunnarsson – CBC

On June 22, 1985, a bomb ripped through Air India flight 182  and the plane disintegrated at 30,000 feet, killing all 329 people on board. Air India 182 is a first-person account of that conspiracy and the lives that were altered by it, as told by those who were directly involved.

Dark Years – Steven Silver – History

This animated film looks at the impact of the Great Depression years on Canada and its people.


 2007

The Rise and Fall of the Grumpy Burger – Matt Gallagher – TVO

Obssessive film­maker Marshall Sfalcin as he attempts to make a movie about his family and their once legendary fast-food empire.  Grumpy Burger delves into the madness of amateur film­making, the complexities of family ties, and the “truth” about fast food.

Huracan Chavez – Felix Zurita – TV3 Catalunya

Long time Latin American journalist Felix Zurita examines whether the vilification of Hugo Chavez is, in fact, creating a monster.


2006

EMPz 4 Life – Allan King – TVO

Allan King turns his attention to the high-risk lifestyle of four young men from a Toronto suburb and to the forceful and committed individuals fighting to safeguard their futures.

Actuality – John Haslett Cuff  – TVO

This affectionate tribute looks back at pivotal moments in the filmmaker’s life as it chronicles the seminal works (Warrendale, A Married Couple, Dying at Grace) that have established him as a pioneer of cinéma-vérité.


 2005

 The Degrassi Story – Mike Sheerin – CTV

Through interviews and behind-the-scenes footage, The Degrassi Story reveals how the Degrassi television franchise has thrived over 25 years.

Memory for Max, Claire, Ida & Company – Allan King  – TVO

For four months, Allan King follows the daily routines of eight patients suffering from dementia and memory loss; the result is searing, compassionate drama that can bring to the viewer a greater understanding of his or her loved ones.

Rocket Man – Christine Neilson – History

Canadian industrial designer and inventor Geoff Sheerin decides to risk everything — his life’s savings, his home, his day job, and his credibility – to rebuild the dreaded V2 missile and turn it into a vehicle for space tourists. 


 2004

Hogtown – Min-Sook Lee  – TO1

A riveting blow-by-blow six-month exposé of the politics, power brokers, bad behaviour and downright dirty tactics when trying to police the police.

Hermit Kingdom – Sun-Kyung Yi – CBC

This film explores filmmaker Sun Kyung-Yi’s native Korea’s emotionally wrought, fractured relationship with its renegade sister state which George Bush had then recently characterized as part of the Axis of Evil.


 2003

Dying at Grace – Allan King – TVO

An extraordinary, transformative experience, Allan King’s Dying at Grace is quite simply unprecedented: five terminally ill cancer patients allowed the director access to their final months and days inside the Toronto Grace Health Centre.

Crimes of the Heart – John Haslett Cuff  – TVO

In an attempt to understand why he suspects his girlfriend is cheating on him, filmmaker John Haslett Cuff interviews his mother and a number of other women who have a wide range of experiences with adultery about their affairs and their relationship with their spouses.

Made in Hong Kong – Sun-Kyung Yi – AMC

Profiles of three young people who travel to Hong Kong looking for a break in martial-arts movies. 


 2002

 Soul of India – Steven Silver – PBS

What is the meaning of anti-Muslim violence in India?

Inside Information – Steven Silver – CBC

A rare and revealing journey into the world of foreign correspondents and international news.

War Surgeon – David York – TVO

A veteran triage surgeon for the International Committee of the Red Cross, Canadian Chris Giannou shares his experiences, his views on Middle East politics, and his concerns about the changing face of humanitarian aid.


 2001

Vanishing Acts – Sun Kyung Yi – CBC

The man who went out for cigarettes and never returned home.

El Chogui – Felix Zurita – BBC

Emblematic of many young Mexicans, Luis dreams of becoming a professional boxer to escape from this life of poverty.  Filmed over a period of eight years on both sides of the border, this documentary retraces the destiny of a family divided by poverty.


2000

Divorce What I See  –  Sun Kyung-Yi  –  TVO

A story about modern divorce in the voices of its most obvious casualties, the children.


1999

Western Eyes  –  Ann Shinn  –  NFB

The pain that lies deep behind the desire for plastic surgery.

Hand of Fate  –  Scott Morgan  –  Luminous

Many people wish they could see into the future, but Scott Morgan’s documentary Hand Of Fate examines six individuals who claim to actually possess powers of clairvoyance. With original music by Tori Amos.


 1998

Dragons Egg  –  Allan King  –  TVO

The coming of democracy to eastern Europe through the experiences of a small group of Estonians.

It Takes a Child  –  Judy Jackson  –  TVO

The inspirational story of Free The Children founder Craig Kielburger and the birth of a lifelong human rights mission.


 1997

Some Kind of Arrangement  –  Ali Kazimi  –  NFB

The age-old tradition of arranged marriages takes a modern twist when three second-generation South Asian women decide to marry.

Nica Libre  –  Felix Zurita  –  TVSuisse Roland

Ten years later after the revolution, what has happened in Nicaragua?

My Feminism  –  Laurie Colbert  –  TVO

An essential component of women’s studies curricula, My Feminism introduces feminism’s key themes while exposing the cultural fears underlying lesbian baiting, backlash, and political extremism.

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Drowning in Dreams  –  Tim Southam  –  NFB

A story of greed and redemption, guilt and death, the film charts the course of a fatal dream as Fred Broennle plumbs the chilly depths of Lake Superior in a quest to raise a shipwreck.


1996

Chronicle of a Genocide  –  Yvan Patry  –  NFB

Recounting a horrifying crime that could have been prevented by the international community and international law. Shot over three years, Chronicle of a Genocide Foretold follows several Rwandans before, during and after the genocide.

Bribe or the Bullet  –  Brian McKenna  –  CBC

This documentary illuminates the dark side of Mexico — the powerful & corrupt impact of billions of narco-dollars.

Invisible Nation  –  Lindalee Tracey  –  TVO

The cat and mouse game of immigration police and illegal immigrants. A world of moral, emotional and legal collisions between illegal and investigator. Between hunter and hunted.

The Danger Tree  –  John McGreevy  –  NFB CBC

Author David Macfarlane weaves the major events of the island’s twentieth century–the ravages of tuberculosis; the great seal-hunt disaster; the bitter Confederation debate, and above all, the First World War.


1995

Hand of God  –  Yvan Patry  –  NFB

This film raises disturbing questions about Canada’s role in Rwanda. Having assisted the former regime, will Canadian aid now sow the seeds for a new crop of killers?

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Hearts of Hate  –  Peter Raymont  –  CTV

The rise of neo-Nazism in Canada.

Little Heroes  –  Ole Gjerstad  –  CBC

The child soldiers of Mozambique.

Sitting on a Volcano  –  Yvan Patry  –  NFB

The child soldiers of Mozambique.Follows the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutus who fled Rwanda to take refuge in neighboring countries. Until those responsible for the genocide are brought to justice, Rwanda cannot begin to heal itself.


1994

Denial  –  Yvan Patry  –  CBC

The entire town of El Mozote including as many as 1,000 civilians – mostly women, children and the elderly – are massacred by the US backed and trained Salvadorian Army. 

People’s Accord  –  Peter Raymont  –  CTV

Can a dozen ‘ordinary Canadians’ iron out Canada’s constitutional problems?


1993

Skeptics Journey  –  Peter Raymont  –  CTV

Four sceptical Canadians travel to the third world to examine first hand the value of foreign aid.

Iron Chief Charlie  –  Charlie Michael Iwan  –  CBC

Aging, love and mortality as seen through the eyes of a veteran Indian Motorcycle mechanic.

Chasing the Dream  –  Peter Raymont  –  CBC

Follows three young professional baseball players through a summer with the Blue Jay’s minor league farm team.


1992

Winds of Memory  –  Felix Zurita  –  TVO

Filmed over three years,Winds of Memory reveals Mayan life and culture in Guatemala today, five centuries after the “discovery” of America.

Cambodia  –  Yvan Patry  –  CBC

Life in a country where there are more landmines than people, Cambodia still struggles with the legacy of its violent past.


1991

Winning the Peace  –  Yvan Patry  –  SRC

The birth of world’s newest independent nation: Eritrea.

Out of the Ashes  –  Magnus Issacson  –  TVO

The people of Ethiopia pick up the pieces after the ousting of their military dictatorship.


1990

Nuit et silence  –  Yvan Patry  –  CBS / TVO
Ethiopia’s cluster bombing of civilian targets in Eritrea during the final days of its military regime.  Patry’s documentary shocked the world and spurred on the negotiations during the Jimmy Carter brokered peace agreement.
Toivo  –  Magnus Issacson  –  NFB
The first days of freedom for ‘Namibia’s Mandela’ and the birth of a nation.
McGarr  –  Brian McKenna  –  CBC

A day in the life of a Montreal detective.


1989

Forbidden Land  –  Yvan Patry  –  TVO
A look at the world’s longest running war – Eritrea’s decades long struggle for independence.

Carmen Gloria Quintana  –  Yvan Patry  –  CBC

A profile of a Chilean woman who suffered severe burns after being detained by an army patrol during a protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.  She survived and became a symbol of hope for democracy.


1988

Electronic Jam  –  Paula Salvador  –  TVO
A pioneering look at the emerging field of computer based music.  My first Gemini nomination.

Alexina Louie  –  Larry Weinstein  –  Rhombus

Larry Weinstein’s profile of the noted Canadian composer.