Phillip Borsos

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Phillip Borsos
Born(1953-05-05)May 5, 1953
DiedFebruary 2, 1995(1995-02-02) (aged 41)
OccupationFilm director
Spouse(s)Beret Paulsen Borsos

Phillip Borsos (May 5, 1953 – February 2, 1995) was a Canadian film director and film producer.

Life and career[edit]

His family moved to British Columbia from Australia in 1958.

Borsos showed an early interest in film-making while attending high school in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. He studied film at the Banff Centre School for Fine Arts and at the Vancouver School of Art, now the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

His early work included several shorts notable for their cinematography and pacing. In 1976, he incorporated his own company, Mercury Pictures, to produce commercials and sponsored films. Borsos established himself as a filmmaker to watch in the 1970s with three assured short documentaries: Cooperage (1976), Spartree (1977) and Nails (1979). All three won Best Theatrical Short at the Canadian Film Awards, and Nails received a nomination for an Academy Award in the Documentary Short category.

In 1982, he emerged as a major directing talent with his feature debut, The Grey Fox. It told the story of Bill Miner, Canada's first train robber, and starred Richard Farnsworth as Miner, along with Jackie Burroughs as his mistress.This dramatic, authentic dissection of the Canadian West won seven Genie Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director, as well as being nominated for two Golden Globe Awards, including Best Foreign Film.[1] It is still regarded as one of the best films ever made in Canada.

He followed that success with the serial killer thriller The Mean Season (1985), which starred Kurt Russell and Mariel Hemingway; and the family drama One Magic Christmas (1985), starring Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. Production problems dogged his biopic Bethune: The Making of a Hero (1990), which starred Donald Sutherland as Dr. Norman Bethune, and took four excruciating years to make. His final film, Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog, was released in 1995.

In early 1994, he was diagnosed with acute myeloblastic leukemia.[2] He died February 2, 1995, at age 41.[3]


Year Film Director Producer Writer Awards and Nominations Notes
1995 Far from Home: The Adventures of Yellow Dog Yes Yes Nominated - 17th Youth in Film Awards (1996) Best Family Feature: Action-Adventure
1990 Bethune: The Making of a Hero Yes Nominated - Genie Awards for Best Achievement in Direction (1991)
1985 One Magic Christmas Yes Yes Yes Nominated - 8th Youth in Film Awards (1986) Exceptional Feature Film - Family Entertainment: Drama
1985 The Mean Season Yes Won - Cognac Festival du Film Policier TF1 Special Award (1985)
1982 The Grey Fox Yes Yes Won - Genie Awards for Best Achievement in Direction (1983)

Won - Montréal World Film Festival Best Canadian Film (1982)

Nominated - 41st Golden Globe Awards (1984) Best Foreign Film[1]

Nominated - Taormina International Film Festival Golden Charybdis (1982)

1979 Nails Yes Won - Genie Awards for Best Theatrical Short (1980)

Nominated - Academy Awards for Best Documentary, Short Subjects (1980)

Nominated - Genie Awards for Outstanding Direction in a Documentary (Non-Feature Film) (1980)

Documentary Short
1978 Spartree Yes Documentary Short
1976 Cooperage Yes Nominated - Chicago International Film Festival Gold Hugo for Best Documentary (1976) Documentary Short
1975 The Barking Dog[4] Yes
1974 Cadillac[4] Yes

Borsos Awards[edit]

The Whistler Film Festival annually confers a set of juried awards named in honour of Phillip Borsos, for which Canadian films screening at the festival are eligible.[5][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Grey Fox, The". Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  2. ^ "Tribute to Phillip Borsos".
  3. ^ "Philip Borsos; Film Director and Writer, 41". The New York Times. 1995-02-05. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-20.
  4. ^ a b ";id=349528;type=701". Retrieved 2018-01-20. External link in |title= (help)
  5. ^ "Awards & Juries". Whistler Film Festival. Retrieved 7 February 2016.
  6. ^ Etan Vlessing (2 December 2012). "Kate Melville's 'Picture Day' Wins Best Canadian Feature at Whistler Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 7 February 2016.


External links[edit]