Don Owen (filmmaker)

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Don Owen
Born(1931-09-19)September 19, 1931
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
DiedFebruary 21, 2016(2016-02-21) (aged 84)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
OccupationFilm director
Years active1962 - 1988

Don Owen (September 19, 1931 – February 21, 2016) was a Canadian film director, writer and producer.

Owen worked for Canada's National Film Board, producing short documentaries in the 1960s, and the dramatic film Nobody Waved Goodbye (1964), which was the NFB's first full-length feature. A sequel, Unfinished Business followed in 1984.[1][2]

He and fellow NFB director Donald Brittain co-directed the 1965 documentary portrait of Leonard Cohen, Ladies and Gentlemen... Mr. Leonard Cohen. The same year, he also completed High Steel, a fifteen-minute colour documentary about the Canadian Caughnawaga First Nations peoples who worked on Manhattan skyscraper projects. On July 31, 1965 in an interview with Dusty Vineberg of the Montreal Star, Owen attributed the success of High Steel to the fact that he wrote, directed, and edited it himself, calling this "a welding of three aspects of filmmaking that many young filmmakers increasingly insist is vital to integrity."

For his film on the Canadian Olympic runner Bruce Kidd he persuaded poet W. H. Auden to write and voice the narration. In 1966 he directed the acclaimed Notes for a Film About Donna & Gail and the following year he directed The Ernie Game, which was entered into the 18th Berlin International Film Festival.[2][3] In later years, he directed a documentary titled Cowboy and Indian (1972), Partners (1976) and Turnabout (1988), along with an episode of the series Danger Bay (1988).

Owen was the subject of a retrospective at the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival.


  1. ^ Ohayon, Albert (18 September 2013). "Nobody Waved Good-bye: The Little Film That Could". blog. Montreal: National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  2. ^ a b Howell, Peter (23 February 2016). "Don Owen blazed Canadian film trails". Toronto Star. Retrieved 23 February 2016.
  3. ^ "NFB mourns death of 'risk-taking' filmmaker Don Owen". 680 News. The Canadian Press. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 24 February 2016.

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