June 13, 1935 |
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
He was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada and attended Toronto’s Ryerson Polytechnical School (now Ryerson University). His career at the National Film Board of Canada was characterized by an empathic portrayal of his subjects, and he gained a reputation for compassion and honesty through sensitive films and unobtrusive cinematography.
He joined the NFB in 1960 as a camera assistant and in 1966 made his first film, Antonio. This short piece, which uses his own father as a subject to explore the themes of family, immigration and alienation, was shown in schools and institutions for three decades after its release. A prolific and innovative artist, he retired in the late 1990s with over one hundred film credits.
Best known for his quiet empathy and unobtrusive camera-work, he worked with the NFB program Challenge for Change, where he used his skills on such films as Cree Hunters of Mistassini with Boyce Richardson, and other projects in Canada's Far North. One of the first cinematographers nominated to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, he received numerous awards and commendations, including two Academy Award nominations (both for Best Documentary Short, for Blackwood in 1976 and High Grass Circus in 1977), as well as the Order of Canada in 2003 for his lifetime contribution to world documentary cinema.
He is currently retired and living in Montreal.