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George Kaczender

Director, Producer, Screenwriter
(b. April 19, 1933 Budapest, Hungary)

George Kaczender (pronounced KATZ-en-der) worked as an assistant director at the Pannonina Studios in Budapest, Hungary, before emigrating to Canada in 1957. He joined the National Film Board as an editor and began directing shorts in 1963. He made several documentaries and short dramas – most notably Phoebe (1964), about a pregnant teenager – before directing his first feature, Don’t Let the Angels Fall, in 1968.

After leaving the NFB in 1969, he worked in London with producer Oscar Lewenstein, founded the short-lived International Cinemedia Centre in Montreal with John Kemeny and Wolf Koenig, directed a number of award-winning educational films for Learning Corporation of America and established his own production company, George Kaczender Productions, in 1972. He displayed a knack for films focusing on the growing pains of childhood and adolescence, and showed tremendous promise with Don’t Let the Angels Fall, a bleak and spare account of failed relationships, and the often charming U-Turn (1973).

His first commercial success was the controversial In Praise of Older Women (1977), which made a huge splash as the Opening Night film of the Toronto Festival of Festivals (now the Toronto International Film Festival®) before going on to become a box-office hit. Since then, however, he has made mostly routine melodramas. He taught film directing at the University of Southern California from 2002 to 2004, published his first novel, An Unreasonable Notion of Desire, in 2000, and serves as a member of the selection committee for foreign films for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Film and video work includes

Eye Witness No. 97: Service in the Sky, 1957 (editor)
Eye Witness No. 98: Beauty Makes Business, 1957 (editor)
Eye Witness No. 99: Canada's Caribbean Campus, 1958 (editor)
Down North, 1958 (editor)
Eye Witness No. 100: Safety on the Water, 1958 (editor)
Eye Witness No. 101: Learning the Textile Trade, 1958 (editor)
The Hands That Heal, 1958 (editor)
Songs of Nova Scotia, 1958 (editor)
Treasure of the Forest, 1958 (editor)
The World On Show, 1958 (editor)
The Magic Mineral, 1959 (editor)
The Modern Prospector, 1959 (editor)
Portrait of Canada, 1959 (editor)
The Queen's Plate, 1959 (editor)
The St. Lawrence Seaway, 1959 (editor)
The Good, Bright Days (1919-1927), 1960 (editor)
Nigeria: Giant in Africa, 1960 (editor)
The Stowaway, 1960 (editor)
Sunshine and Eclipse, 1927-1934, 1960 (editor)
The Tiny Terrors, 1960 (editor)
Twilight of an Era: 1934-1939, 1960 (editor)
Young Canada at School, 1960 (editor)
Aspirations, 1961 (editor)
The Awakening, 1961 (editor)
Boy Meets Band, 1961 (editor)
Can the Earth Provide?, 1961 (editor)
Challenge to Mankind, 1961 (editor)
The Contest for Power, 1961 (editor)
The Global Struggle for Food, 1961 (editor)
Man and His Resources, 1961 (editor)
New Voices, 1961 (editor)
People by the Billions, 1961 (editor)
People of the Rock, 1961 (editor)
The Rough Road to Freedom, 1961 (editor)
Sea Sprites, 1961 (editor)
Sun, Sand, and Sea - The Region, 1961 (co-editor with Margaret Ellis, Dennis Sawyer)
The Test, 1961 (editor)
Yukon Old, Yukon New, 1961 (editor)
The Impact of the West, 1962 (co-editor with Margaret Ellis, Dennis Sawyer)
Nahanni, 1962 (editor)
Rallye des neiges, 1962 (editor)
Sun, Sand, and Sea, 1962 (co-editor with Margaret Ellis, Dennis Sawyer)
Ballerina, 1963 (director; writer; editor)
La Femme des rĂªves, 1963 (co-writer with Gordon Sheppard; editor)
Three Apprentices, 1963 (editor)
City Scene, 1964 (co-director with Gordon Burwash)
Magic Molecule, 1964 (editor)
Phoebe, 1964 (director; co-writer with Noel Stone; editor)
Return Reservation, 1964 (editor)
Winter Rally, 1964 (editor)
The Red Kite, 1965 (co-editor with David Mayerovitch)
You're No Good, 1965 (director; writer)
The Game, 1966 (director; writer)
Little White Crimes, 1966 (director)
The World of Three, 1966 (director; writer; editor)
Sabre and Foil, 1967 (director)
To Track a Shadow, 1967 (director)
Don't Let the Angels Fall, 1969 (director)
U-Turn, 1973 (director; co-writer with Douglas Bowie; producer)
The Rideau: Colonel By's Peaceable Waterway, 1974 (producer with Joseph Koenig)
Up to Standard, 1975 (director)
Agency, 1980 (director; co-editor with Kirk Jones, Peter Wintonick)
Chanel Solitaire, 1981 (director)
Falcon Crest series, 1981 (director; TV)
Your Ticket Is No Longer Valid, 1981 (director)
Night Heat series, 1985-88 (director; TV, 7 episodes)
Prettykill, 1987 (director)
Tour of Duty series, 1987 (director; TV)
Freddy's Nightmares series, 1988-89 (director; TV, 3 episodes)
Gabriel's Fire series, 1990-91 (director; TV, 2 episodes)
Christmas on Division Street, 1991 (director; TV)
A Seduction in Travis Country, 1991 (director; TV)
Jonathan: The Boy Nobody Wanted, 1992 (director; TV)
Betrayal of Trust, 1994 (director; TV)
Where Are My Children?, 1994 (director; TV)
Ebbie, 1995 (director; TV)
Vanished, 1995 (director; TV)
Devil's Food, 1996 (director; TV)
Maternal Instincts, 1996 (director; TV)
Indiscretion of an American Wife, 1998 (director; TV)
Christy, Choices of the Heart, Part I: A Change of Seasons, 2001 (director; TV)

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