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James Beveridge

Director, Producer, Editor
(b. August 12, 1917 Vancouver, British Columbia - d. February 16, 1993 Toronto, Ontario)

In 1938, James Beveridge was a young journalism school graduate in London, England, researching a book on the history of film when he met John Grierson, who encouraged Beveridge to abandon the book and come to Canada to work for him instead at what would become the National Film Board. Grierson sent Beveridge to the GPO Unit in London to learn about documentary filmmaking, then sent him to Ottawa at the outbreak of World War II to begin work at the NFB.

Beveridge worked on the World in Action and Canada Carries On series and was Grierson’s choice to take over from him as Government Film Commissioner. Instead, he was made Executive Producer and head of production from 1947 to 1949, then sent to London to head the Board’s European office from 1951 to 1954.

He resigned from the NFB in 1954 to create a documentary film production unit in Bombay (now called Mumbai), India for the Burmah Shell Corporation, where he produced forty films in four years. He returned to Montreal in 1958 and worked as a freelance editor for the NFB and as an independent producer. He was also the host and moderator of the CBC-TV public affairs programme Let’s Face It.

In 1962 he was invited to establish and administer the North Carolina Film Board, which produced several remarkable documentaries dealing with that state’s racial integration. When the North Carolina Film Board was shut down in 1965 by a newly elected Republican government, Beveridge returned to Montreal, where he was commissioned to create the “Man the Producer” pavilion for Expo ’67. He worked as a film professor at New York University in 1968 and, as a UNESCO consultant, created a film institute in Poona, India dedicated to documentary production.

In 1970 he became the founding chair of York University’s film department, the first of its kind in Canada, and spent the next several years commuting between Toronto, Bombay, Poona and New York City. He returned to India from 1975 to 1978 as part of a UNESCO programme called SITE, which broadcast educational television by satellite to rural India. In 1978, he published a book on John Grierson – John Grierson: Film Master – and in 1979 he and his wife, Jane Marsh Beveridge, established India’s first graduate programme in Mass Communication at the Jamia Millia Islamia University in New Delhi, where they lived until the late eighties. James received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy of Canadian Film and Television in 1991. The Idealist – James Beveridge, Film Guru, a documentary on his life and work made by his daughter, Nina Beveridge, aired on TVO in 2006 and played at many international film festivals.

Film and video work includes

On Guard for Thee, 1940 (editor)
Fight for Liberty, 1941 (producer with Stanley Hawes)
Iceland on the Prairies, 1941 (editor)
Peace River, 1941 (co-director with Michael Spencer; producer with Michael Spencer)
Waterways of Canada, 1941 (editor)
Battle of the Harvests, 1942 (producer)
Fur Country, 1942 (producer)
Inside Fighting Canada, 1942 (producer)
Inside Fighting Russia, 1942 (writer; editor)
Northwest Frontier, 1942 (producer; co-editor with Stanley Hawes)
Road to Tokyo, 1942 (co-cinematographer with Julian Roffman, Leon C. Shelly)
Ukrainian Winter Holidays, 1942 (producer)
Voice of Action, 1942 (director)
Banshees over Canada, 1943 (director)
Pincers on Japan, 1943 (co-cinematographer with Julian Roffman, Leon C. Shelly)
Thought for Food, 1943 (producer)
Break-through, 1944 (producer; editor)
Future for Fighters, 1944 (producer with Stuart Legg)
Hands for the Harvest, 1944 (producer)
Land for Pioneers, 1944 (producer with Margaret Perry)
Look to the North, 1944 (director; producer)
Northwest by Air, 1944 (producer with Margaret Perry)
48 Hours Leave, 1945 (producer with Sydney Newman)
New Faces Come Back, 1946 (producer)
Peoples of Canada (Revised), 1947 (producer)
Primitive Painters of Charlevoix, 1947 (producer with Jean Palardy)
Going North, 1948 (producer with Robert Anderson)
A New Map for Canada, 1948 (producer with John H. Tyo, Robert Anderson)
Maps We Live By (Revised), 1948 (producer)
The Royal Canadian Army Service Corps, 1948 (producer)
Stand By to Jump, 1948 (producer)
Photo Canada, 1948 (producer)
The Royal Canadian Artillery, 1948 (producer with Donald Fraser)
Abitibi, 1949 (producer)
Canada Calling, 1949 (producer)
Fibre Flax, 1949 (producer)
Harvests on the March, 1949 (producer)
Pulp and Paper from Canada, 1949 (writer; producer)
Peoples of the Skeena, 1949 (producer)
Saint John Valley, 1949 (producer)
Skeena River Trapline, 1949 (producer)
Youth in Your Town, 1949 (producer)
Alberta Family, 1950 (producer)
Farmers' Union, 1950 (producer)
A Friend at the Door, 1950 (producer with Tom Daly)
From Tee to Green, 1950 (producer with Jack Olsen)
Local 100, 1950 (producer)
North Shore, 1950 (producer)
Success and the Sewing Machine, 1954 (producer)
Living with Steel, 1954 (producer)
Making the Best of It, 1954 (producer)
Portrait in Mosaic: Village in Punjab, 1954 (producer)
Look to the Sky, 1954 (producer)
700,000 Villages, 1954 (producer)
Craftsman of Kashmirt - A Himalayan Tapestry, 1954 (producer)
Outside the Walls: Tanners of Jharauta, 1954 (producer)
The Man of the Land, 1954 (producer)
In the Mill: Textiles, 1954 (producer)
The Goddess Come Home - Village in West Bengal, 1954 (producer)
A Family in Bangalore, 1954 (producer)
A Family in Travancore, 1954 (producer)
A Family in Andhra, 1954 (producer)
Spray for Better Crops, 1954 (producer)
Training for Athletes, 1954 (producer)
Keep It Clean, 1954 (producer)
Indian Industry Fair, 1954 (producer)
UJALA, 1954 (producer)
Oil, 1954 (producer)
Air India, 1954 (producer)
Shellubrication, 1954 (producer)
The Shining City - Children's Refinery Film, 1954 (producer)
The Lorry Driver, 1954 (producer)
Runway Surfacing and Shelcrete, 1954 (producer)
Trombay, 1954 (producer)
Destination Konkan, 1954 (producer)
Bottled Health, 1954 (producer)
Aerial Spraying in Bhopal, 1954 (producer)
A Rajasthan Tapestry, 1954 (producer)
Earth, Water and Oil (Oil and Agriculture), 1954 (producer)
Village and small scale industries - Sports Goods, 1954 (producer)
Folk Dances of India - The Oraons of Bihar, 1954
Folk Dances of India - The Fisherfolk of Bombay, 1954 (producer)
The Weavers of Maindargi, 1954 (producer)
The Vanishing Tribe, 1954 (producer)
The Sportsmen and the Carpenter, 1954 (producer)
Country Threshing, 1958 (editor)
Police, 1958 (co-editor with Bruce Parsons)
City Out of Time, 1959 (writer)
Glenn Gould - Off the Record, 1959 (editor)
Glenn Gould - On the Record, 1959 (editor)
A Is for Architecture, 1960 (writer)
Four Religions, 1960 (producer with Guy Glover)
Aspirations, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
The Awakening, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
The Contest for Power, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
New Voices, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
The Rough Road to Freedom, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Sun, Sand and Sea - The Region, 1961 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Algeria, 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Aspirations (Revised), 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Buddhism, 1962 (producer with Guy Glover)
The Contest for Power (Revised), 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Hinduism, 1962 (producer with Guy Glover)
The Impact of the West, 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Islam, 1962 (producer with Guy Glover)
New Voices (Revised), 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
The Rough Road to Freedom (Revised), 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Sun, Sand and Sea (Revised), 1962 (producer with Nicholas Balla; narration)
Background to Latin America, 1963 (producer with Nicholas Balla)
The Ayes Have It, 1963 (executive producer)
The Road to North Carolina, 1963 (executive producer)
Food for the Future, 1964 (producer)
North Carolina's Tribute to John F. Kennedy, 1964 (executive producer)
The Search for Excellence, 1964 (producer)
Welcome to Work, 1964 (executive producer)
The Vanishing Frontier, 1964 (executive producer)
Mirror of the Past, 1964 (executive producer)
Goodbye to Carolina, 1964 (executive producer with George Hall)
A Knocking at the Gate, 1964 (executive producer with George Hall)
Vote and the Choice Is Yours, 1964 (executive producer with George Hall)
We're Not Alone, 1964 (executive producer with George Hall)
Big Fish, Little Fish, 1965 (executive producer)
Land of Beginnings, 1965 (producer; co-writer with Rebecca Scott)
Why We Kill, 1965 (executive producer)
The Outer Banks, 1965 (executive producer)
Communist China, 1965 (producer)
Townscape Rediscovered, 1966 (producer)
Bismillah Khan, 1967 (director)
1967 Man in Control, 1967 (producer, as James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
The Piedmont Crescent, 1968 (producer, as James Beveridge / James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
Dr. John Grierson, 1970 (interviewer)
Satyajit Ray, 1970 (director)
Amjad Ali Khan, 1971 (producer, as James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
Bhimsen Joshi, 1971 (producer, as James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
Pandit Jasraj, 1971 (producer, as James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
Vijay Raghay Rao, 1971 (producer, as James Beveridge and Associates Ltd.)
The Transformation of a Way: His Holiness the Dalai Lama, 1974 (producer)
Hands, 1975 (director; producer)
Visitors Are Coming!, 1978 (writer)
Military Firearms in Canada 1812-1885, 1979 (director; producer)
The Much Defended Border, 1979 (writer)
A Day at Fort George - 1812, 1979 (producer)