Pete McCormack (born January 27, 1965) is a Canadian author, filmmaker, screenwriter and musician. He is best known for directing the Academy Award short-listed documentary Facing Ali and the Leacock Award-nominated novel Understanding Ken.
In 2003, McCormack directed and wrote his first feature film, the award-winning See Grace Fly starring Paul McGillion and Gina Chiarelli. Chiarelli won multiple awards and was nominated for a Genie Award for her role as Grace McKinley, a woman suffering from schizophrenia.
In 2006, McCormack wrote and co-directed (with Jesse James Miller) the award-winning documentary Uganda Rising, about the plight of the people of Northern Uganda. The film was narrated by Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey. For UNICEF in 2007, McCormack wrote and co-directed (with Tim Hardy) the 25-minute Pierce Brosnan-narrated short film Hope In The Time of AIDS about the HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and the potential of antiretroviral drugs.
- Whirlygirl, 2006, directed by Academy Award Winning producer Jim Wilson (Dances With Wolves)
- Plague City: SARS in Toronto (TV movie), 2005
- The Blue Butterfly, 2004, directed by Léa Pool and starring Academy Award winner William Hurt.
McCormack’s first novel, Shelby, about a university drop-out who falls for an exotic dancer near the end of her career, was published in 1994.
McCormack’s second novel, Understanding Ken, was released in 1998. The novel focused on a young boy who creates a mythology around hockey, the Montreal Canadiens and Ken Dryden in order to deal with the trauma of his parents’ divorce.
McCormack has released three independent CDs. His debut CD, Breathe, was released in 1995. Paul Hyde of Payola$ fame, and members of Spirit of the West, Geoffrey Kelly, Hugh MacMillan and drummer and producer Vince Ditrich played on the CD. Renowned jazz musician and two-time Juno Award winner Brad Turner played the trumpet solo on the opening track “Stay With Me.”
McCormack released a second CD, Trust, in 1998. The track, Be Brave Tonight, was screen-tested in Los Angeles as the proposed song to close the Kevin Costner-film Message in a Bottle. The song was ultimately not chosen because the screen-test audience reportedly found the song combined with the film’s ending “too depressing.”
McCormack recorded an unplugged third album, Wide Open, in 2008.
In 2009, he contributed the closing song to the Academy Award-shortlisted documentary, Facing Ali, which he also directed.
McCormack was born in Thetford, Norfolk, England. His father was a doctor. In 1966, his family emigrated to Canada where he grew up mostly in the West Kootenay area of British Columbia. His parents divorced when he was six.
McCormack attended Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia from 1984 to 1986. McCormack dropped out of university after three and a half years and started writing songs.
McCormack currently lives in Vancouver and is married to Samantha Reynolds, also a writer, and CEO of Echo Memoirs, a custom book publishing company. In September 2010, Reynolds gave birth to their first child, a boy, Booker.
- IMDB: Awards for Gina Ciarelli
- YouTube: excerpt from Hope in the Time of AIDS
- New York Times: Fifteen Documentaries Eligible for Oscar Nod
- VIFF: 2009 Awards
- "I Am Bruce Lee". IMDB. Retrieved May 11, 2012.
- Amazon: Understanding Ken
- Hansard, BC Legislature: Ministerial Statements
- Robert J. Sawyer: The Ottawa Citizen Best Books of the Year
- Pete McCormack: music