Neil Diamond (filmmaker)

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Neil Diamond

Neil Diamond is a Cree-Canadian filmmaker based in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, born and raised in Waskaganish, Quebec. Working with Rezolution Pictures, Diamond has directed the documentary films Reel Injun, The Last Explorer, One More River, Heavy Metal: A Mining Disaster in Northern Quebec and Cree Spoken Here, along with three seasons of DAB IYIYUU, a series for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network about Cree elders.[1][2]

In the 2008 docudrama The Last Explorer, Diamond explored the story of his great-uncle George Elson, a Cree guide who helped to map Labrador as part of an ill-fated 1903 expedition with Leonidas Hubbard and Dillon Wallace, and a return voyage in 1905 with Hubbard's widow Mina Hubbard.[3]

As of April 2011, Diamond is developing a project with Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk about the 18th-century conflict between Cree and Inuit, which lasted almost a century.[4]

Reel Injun[edit]

Reel Injun was inspired by Diamond's own experiences as a child in Waskaganish, where he and other Native children would play cowboys and Indians after local screenings of Westerns in their remote community. Diamond remembers that although the children were in fact "Indians," they all wanted to be the cowboys.[2] Afterwards, when he was old enough to move south to study, he would be questioned by non-Native people about whether his people lived in teepees and rode horses, causing Diamond to realize that their preconceptions about Native people were also derived from movies. These stereotypes motivated him to help America see the true identity of what a Native American was.[1][5]


Diamond received the award for Best Direction in a Documentary Program at the 2010 Gemini Awards for Reel Injun.[6] It also earned him a 2011 Peabody Award.[4]


  1. ^ a b Skenderis, Stephanie (18 February 2010). "A reel shame". CBC News. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  2. ^ a b Koepke, Melora (18 March 2010). "The real Neil Diamond". Hour magazine. Archived from the original on 14 April 2010. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  3. ^ "Program and schedule". imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Archived from the original on 16 July 2011.
  4. ^ a b Dunlevy, T'Cha (9 April 2011). "Reel Injun continues making waves". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 15 April 2011.
  5. ^ Pevere, Geoff (19 February 2010). "Cree director Neil Diamond's real look at reel Indians". Toronto Star. Retrieved 3 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Reel Injun". Collection. National Film Board of Canada. Retrieved 3 December 2010.

External links[edit]