Peter Lynch (director)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Peter Lynch is a Canadian filmmaker, the director and writer of Project Grizzly and Cyberman. "His characters, some real and some fictional, have been punk rockers, cyborgs, inventors, Northern adventurers and artistic dreamers. Audiences worldwide have responded to his work both critically and popularly."[1]

Lynch won a Genie Award for his short film Arrowhead, starring Don McKellar.

“Peter Lynch is one of the most idiosyncratic and unique cinematic voices in Canada.” — Atom Egoyan

Early life[edit]

Lynch, who grew up in the East Toronto neighbourhood of Thorncliffe Park, was introduced to filmmaking by an uncle who obsessively filmed everything and was later inspired by his grandmother, who performed vaudeville with Charlie Chaplin, and a great uncle, who was an art director for Alfred Hitchcock and Michael Powell. Lynch was a ski bum, truck driver and assembly line worker before studying Fine Arts at York University. He then set off for New York City, where, as a V.J. at various nightclubs, he was among the first to combine video art and music in a club environment.


Video Culture International[edit]

Lynch co-founded, co-produced and co-directed with Renya Onasick, Video Culture International, an international festival which showcased the latest in video and new media. Sponsored by Sony, this festival premiered work by Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Gary Hill, John Sanborn, Shirley Clarke, Glenn Branca, Twyla Tharp, Robert Wilson, Peter Vronsky, Sankai Juku, John Giorno, Laurie Anderson and The Talking Heads. VCI also produced specials for CityTV and MuchMusic. These included premieres of music videos such as "Beat Box", Art of Noise; "Relax", Frankie Goes to Hollywood; "Smooth Operator", Sade; "Like a Virgin", Madonna; "Rock It", Herbie Hancock; and "New Frontier", Donald Fagan, many of which were scouted out by Video Culture's 'artist-in-residence' Peter Vronsky. Co-produced a City Limits with Chris Ward 3 hour special which featured acts like Mike Myers playing his Wayne's World character long before Saturday Night Live made it famous. The festival also premiered leading examples of art and technology such as a previsualization of Zoetrope Studios' Rumble Fish; One from The Heart; The Outsiders; and Cotton Club; Lucas Film's animation The Adventures of Wally B; and Andy Warhol's 15 Minutes. First computer graphic Imax film directed by Ed Garrick. The festival highlighted advanced technologies such as the MAVICA, an early electronic camera from Sony and the Framestore TV, a precursor to the PVR. Artists were invited to experiment and produce work with these new technologies. He worked as a consultant for Sony International. He was also a creative director and vice president at Sony Creative Video, a Sony initiative to develop cultural markets for new Sony technology.

Film series[edit]

In 2009 Peter Lynch directed four short films for the cross-platform project City Sonic. Lynch, along with six other directors, shot 20 short films about Toronto musicians and the places where their musical lives were transformed. Lynch directed films starting The Barenaked Ladies, Jason Collett, Lioness, and Laura Barrett.[2]

In 2011, he participated in the National Parks Project,[3] collaborating with Barrett, Cadence Weapon and Mark Hamilton to produce and score a short film about Alberta's Waterton Lakes National Park.


His feature debut, Project Grizzly (1996), is one of the most successful Canadian documentaries of all time: It won best-of-the-festival awards in Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney and was one of the top ten Canadian theatrical releases of 1997. It even had a fan in Quentin Tarantino, who declared it his favourite documentary of the year. It was also referenced the on The Simpsons, in the episode "The Fat and The Furriest".

The Herd (1998), about the six-year Canadian Reindeer Drive of the 1930s from Alaska to the Northwest Territories, Cyberman (2001), about technology activist and University of Toronto professor Steve Mann, and A Whale of a Tale (2004), about Lynch's quest to discover the origin of a whale bone unearthed in downtown Toronto, all premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to festival screenings and television broadcasts around the world.


  • Chinese Concoctions Not Good for TV
  • Toronto Symphony Orchestra making-of process (1992)
  • St Bruno, My eyes As a Stranger (1994)
  • Arrowhead (1994)
  • The Artist and The Collector (1994)
  • Project Grizzly (1996)
  • The Herd (1998)
  • Cyberman (2001)[4]
  • Soccer Fever—A Passion Play (2002)
  • Animal Nightmares (2003)
  • A Whale of a Tale (2004)
  • Dem Bones (2004)
  • Bloodlines (2004)
  • Things that Move—Helicopters
  • Habbakuk Ship of Ice (2006)
  • Who Shot General Wolfe (2007)
  • The Archivist's Handbook (2007)[5]
  • The Robotic Chair (2007)
  • A Short Film about Falling (2007)
  • Three Chords From the Truth (2008)
  • Trend Hunter TV (2008)
  • City Sonic (2009)
  • IFC Media Project
  • Love Is A Dirty Word (2010)


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^

External links[edit]