Al Purdy Was Here

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Al Purdy Was Here
Directed by Brian D. Johnson
Produced by Brian D. Johnson
Ron Mann
Jake Yanowski
Written by Brian D. Johnson
Marni Jackson
Cinematography Nicholas de Pencier
Edited by Nick Taylor
Purdy Pictures
Rogers Documentary Fund
Distributed by Documentary
Films We Like
Release date
  • September 15, 2015 (2015-09-15) (TIFF)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Al Purdy Was Here is a Canadian documentary film, released in 2015.[1] Directed by Brian D. Johnson, the film is about the A-Frame Campaign, a literary and artistic project to raise funds for the restoration of influential Canadian poet Al Purdy's cabin in Prince Edward County as a writer's and artist's retreat.[1] It also touches upon Purdy's quest to become a great Canadian poet, and the artists wrapped up in his legacy.

In addition to archival footage of Purdy, the film also features writers Leonard Cohen, Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, George Bowering and Joseph Boyden, actor Gordon Pinsent, and musicians Gordon Downie, Bruce Cockburn, Jesse Zubot, Sarah Harmer, Tanya Tagaq and Doug Paisley. An album of songs inspired by Purdy, to be titled The Al Purdy Songbook, is also slated for future release as a companion piece to the film.[1]

The film debuted at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival,[1] where it finished third in audience voting for the documentary category.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "Al Purdy lives in the present in film premiering at TIFF". The Globe and Mail, September 14, 2015.
  2. ^ "Toronto International Film Festival Announces 2015 Award Winners" (PDF) (Press release). TIFF. 2015-09-20. Retrieved 2015-09-21. 

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