FIL FRASER is an award-winning filmmaker, journalist, writer and human rights activist with an impressive career spanning more than half a century. He is a leading pioneer in Alberta’s film industry, responsible for founding the Alberta Film & Television Awards in 1974 and producing Alberta’s first feature Why Shoot The Teacher? (1977), which became the highest grossing film in Canada that year. Why Shoot The Teacher? will be screened during this week’s Alberta Culture Days so we checked in with Fil Fraser on the 37th Anniversary of the film and where he feels our industry is headed.
The David Billington Award Luncheon and Watch Canada Roundtable held on Saturday October 27 were enjoyed by all that attended. The luncheon celebrated Tom Radford and his many contributions to media production in Alberta and Western Canada. Congratulations to Tom Radford and thank you to all his guests that came out to help celebrate. We are receiving many accolades from our guests, many of whom were touched by the event, and who were grateful they had the opportunity to come together to celebrate Tom.
Thank you to the Master of Ceremonies Peter Brown, Speakers Jim DeFelice, Ken Brown, Anne Wheeler, Peter Raymont, and Niobe Thompson for providing laughs and memories. A special ‘Thank You!’ to David Billington Award Producer Lisa Miller and also to editor Brenda Terning for the video tribute.
Thank you to our 2012 David Billington Award Luncheon Patron Sponsors Global, Shaw Media, and CTV; Bronze Sponsor CBC; Audio Visual Support Cine Audio Visual; and Dessert Sponsors Calgary Film Commission and Edmonton Film Commission.
More pictures of the toasting and roasting of Tom Radford can be found here.
The ‘Watch Canada’ Roundtable Discussion, which took place earlier in the day, was also a great success. With an enthusiastic audience of over 50 people, ranging from students to experienced producers, the event provided a fascinating insight into the many challenges facing Canadian content creators in connecting with audiences, both within Canada and abroad. Thanks to participants Valerie Creighton (CMF), Dave Forget (Telefilm Canada), Michael Hennessy (CMPA), J. Joly (Overinteractive Media) and Neil Campbell (Landmark Cinemas). Video and powerpoint presentations from the event can be found here.
Alongside the Master of Ceremonies, CBC Radio Personality Peter Brown, AMPIA has added veteran writer-director Jim DeFelice, Edmonton playwright and performer Ken Brown, and producer and co-director of Radford`s Gemini Award-winning films Tipping Point and Code Breakers, Niobe Thompson to help toast Tom Radford at the 2012 Billington Award Luncheon. They will be joined with a special video greeting by Edmonton filmmaker and long-time Radford collaborator, Anne Wheeler. The event will be held on October 27, 2012 from 12:30pm – 2:30pm in the Quartz Ballroom of the Matrix Hotel in Edmonton (10640 100 Avenue) with a pre-award reception beginning at 11:30am.
Jim DeFelice worked with Tom Radford as writer and actor on the National Film Board drama documentary, Wings of Time. He received an Etrog for his screenplay for the Canadian classic film Why Shoot the Teacher. He was nominated for a Genie Award for his screenplay Angel Square (co-written with Anne Wheeler). Other writing credits include This Mortal Coil, directed by John Juliani, for the series Stony Plain; The River Rages for Wind at My Back, 4th Season; Letting Go, Golden Gate Award, San Francisco International Film Festival, and Prisoners in the Snow, both directed by Jack Emack for CBC Television. He has also written a number of radio dramas broadcast by the CBC.
Ken Brown is an Edmonton-based theatrician. He has written over 30 produced plays. His writing has been performed in four countries in 3 languages. He has acted in most places in Canada, and performed in seven countries abroad. His recent trilogy about a Canadian WW2 fighter pilot (Spiral Dive) won honours across the country. A dedicated teacher, he has proudly mentored many wonderful young talents in the transition from student to theatre professional. In 1985, Ken wrote and performed a little one-man show called Life After Hockey at the Edmonton Fringe. It has endured as few pieces of Canadian theatre have. Ken went on to perform it some 900 times, and it has been remounted by many other people. It was made into a highly acclaimed film in 1989-90 by Tom Radford. The film was the surprise success story of the 1990 AMPIA awards.
Anne Wheeler graduated with a Science Degree in Mathematics from the University of Alberta. She entered the world of filmmaking as a film and television writer, producer and director. One of her feature documentaries, A War Story, showcased Donald Sutherland narrating her father’s diary from the time he was a doctor in a Japanese Prisoner of War Camp. Her direction of The Diviners won the Genie for Best M.O.W. in Canada. Wheeler also directed the pilot and several episodes of the award winning series Da Vinci’s Inquest. Now living in White Rock, B.C., she teaches at UBC and is finishing Mail Order Bride, a western/romantic comedy/drama set in the days of early ranching, starring Daphne Zuniga and Cameron Bancroft.
Niobe Thompson is a Cambridge-trained anthropologist and filmmaker with a reputation for bringing cutting-edge science to the screen in ways that delight, inspire and challenge his audiences. The Perfect Runner, his most recent film, won five Alberta Film & Television Awards and was CBC’s most popular documentary of the 2012 season. Since founding Clearwater Documentary with veteran filmmaker Tom Radford in 2007, Niobe has directed, co-directed, produced and hosted a series of award-winning documentaries. Last year, Code Breakers won double Gemini Awards for “Best Cinematography” and “Best Science Documentary”. The same year, Niobe produced and co-directed (with Tom Radford) the feature documentary Tipping Point: Age of the Oil Sands, which won two Gemini nominations. He is currently in pre-production on a three-part international co-production called Human – The Miracle of a Species, as well as a feature documentary for the National Film Board called The Plutocrats.
Tickets to the Billington Award Luncheon are still available at $90 for members and $110 for non-members. Order your tickets to the Billington Award Luncheon today