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April 2017

Alberta Trailblazer: Colin Low (1923 – 2016)

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Cowboy, artist, storyteller and pioneering Canadian filmmaker; director, animator, producer, mentor and collaborator at the National Film Board of Canada, Colin Low was born in Cardston, AB on the borders on the Kainai Nation Indian Reservation, which became a subject of two of his later films. Low attended the Banff School of Fine Arts and the Calgary Institute of Technology, now known as SAIT. His career at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal spanned over six decades, on more than 200 productions, most often as director, producer or executive producer. IMAX 3D exists as a format largely due to the initiatives of Colin Low, who headed the National Film Board’s push to continue its experimentation in 3D during the 1970s and 80s.  Mr. Low earned two Oscar nominations as a producer, and worked on another six Oscar-nominated films.

Colin’s personal theories and opinions on the value of an extra large screen and the logical compatibility of IMAX and 3D were presented to the Society of Motion Picture and Television engineers. Colin’s sustained energy in promoting and testing his theories over the course of more than a decade led directly to the creation of the first IMAX 3D film for Expo 86. Low received his second Palme d’Or for best short film at the Cannes Film Festival, along with another BAFTA award and Oscar nomination for his 1957 documentary, City of Gold, on the Klondike Gold Rush, co-directed with Wolf Koenig. City of Gold made use of slow pans and zooms across archival photos and has been cited by Ken Burns as a key inspiration for the so-called ‘Ken Burns’ effect.

In 1960, Low and Roman Kroitor co-directed Universe, capturing the attention of Stanley Kubrick, who was preparing to make 2001: A Space Odyssey. Low was invited to work on 2001: A Space Odyssey but had to decline due to his work on “In the Labyrinth”, an experimental multi-screen production for Expo 67 though some of Low’s ideas were incorporated into Kubrick’s film. Collective brainstorming in the aftermath of “In the Labyrinth” gave rise to the inspiration that created the IMAX format, which overcame the technical challenges of multi-screen projection by combining them of a single large negative. Low was involved in a series of firsts in the wide-screen genre. He co-directed the first IMAX 3D production Transitions for Expo 86 in Vancouver, as well as co-directing Momentum, the first film shot and projected in 48 frames per second IMAX HD for Expo 92 in Seville, Spain – anticipating HFR cinema by more than two decades. 

Colin Low excelled at the kind of informative, intimate documentaries of ordinary people’s lives for which the National Film Board became world famous. He will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award posthumously during the Rosies Gala and 43rd Alberta Film and Television Awards. 

Albertan Filmmaking Pioneer: A Colin Low Tribute

Sunday, April 30 at 1:00pm
8712 109 St, Edmonton, Alberta
Free Admission

Event Info – Metro Cinema

The National Film Board (NFB), Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) and the Metro Cinema present a retrospective of some of Colin Low’s most famous short films.

Fil Fraser: A History of the Rosies

By AB Film & TV Awards

AMPIA celebrates 43 years of the Alberta Film & Television Awards, aka The Rosies.  Few people know Alberta lead the way to establish the first film and television awards ceremony in Canada and it all started with Fil Fraser.  

Fil Fraser is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, writer and human rights activist with an impressive career spanning more than half a century. Born in Montreal, Fraser headed west at the height of his career in the media industry, a time where he says, “you couldn’t turn on the radio or TV without seeing me there.” He was a Co-Anchor for CBC Edmonton’s news and public affairs program, the host of Talk Back – the most highly rated talk show on CJCA – from 1974-1979 and hosted his own program on ITV, The Fil Fraser Show.

The Alberta Film & Television Awards were founded in 1974 as a result of Fil Fraser’s conversation with Minister of Culture Horst Schmid. Fil shares on that experience and the very unique sculpture that became the first Rosie Award…

The Rosies, 43rd Alberta Film & Television Awards

Saturday, April 29, 2017
Shaw Conference Centre, Hall D
9797 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, Alberta
Hosted by Michelle Thrush

Click here to Purchase Gala Tickets
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Canadian Premiere: Chasing Evel

By Uncategorized

Chasing Evel: The Robbie Knievel Story
Friday, May 12 at 7pm 
Metro Cinema at Garneau Theatre
8712 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB
Purchase Tickets Here

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Producer Adam Scorgie and Director Jesse James Miller will be in attendance at the Canadian premiere of Chasing Evel: The Robbie Knievel Story, as part of NorthwestFest in Edmonton.

The feature documentary film explores Robbie Knievel’s life through his personal pursuit of sobriety and the need of continuing his father’s legacy by jumping once again. Chasing Evel intercuts between a contemporary storyline and historic past, following Robbie’s need to prove he’s still “the best show on two wheels” combined with never seen before archive footage and photographs of his family’s past, creating a story that explains how one of American’s iconic families fell so far from grace, but the forgotten son relentlessly continues his quest to keep the name alive.

NorthwestFest is Edmonton’s Non-Fiction Film, Music and Art Festival that runs from May 5-14, 2017.

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