Return to tiff.’s home page

Canadian Film Encyclopedia

Shopping Cart

John Walker

Director, Cinematographer
(b. January 1, 1952 Montreal, Quebec)

John Walker represents the best in a new generation of Canadian documentary filmmakers and his work is a natural successor to the lyrical tradition created by Colin Low.

Walker launched his career behind the camera in 1970 as a photographer based in Montreal; his photographs were published, collected and exhibited internationally. He began working as a cinematographer for Crawley Films in 1975 and directed his first film, the multiple award-winning Chambers: Tracks and Gestures (about Canadian artist Jack Chambers) produced by Atlantis Films in 1981. The following year, his passionate commitment to the documentary form led him to co-found the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (now the Documentary Organization of Canada), a lobby group for point-of-view documentaries.

Walker has credits on more than sixty films as producer, director or cinematographer. Walker’s films have received international acclaim, have been widely broadcast and have appeared at many of the world’s major film festivals.

Walker’s numerous international honours include a Genie Award for Best Feature Length Documentary (Strand: Under the Dark Cloth, 1990). He has also earned five Gemini Awards: Best Photography in a Documentary Program or Series (A Fragile Tree ... Has Roots, 1986); Best Direction in an Information or Documentary Program or Series (The Hand of Stalin, 1992); the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program (Place of the Boss: Utshimassits, 1997), Best Performing Arts Program or Series or Arts Documentary or Series Documentary, and Best Photography in a Documentary Program or Series (Men of the Deeps, 2004).

Film and video work includes

A Song for a Miner, 1975 (cinematographer)
Elliot Lake Northern Lifestyle - Scenes from a Mining Town, 1977 (co-cinematographer with Peter Emmerson)
Mountain: The Work of James B. Spencer, 1977 (co-cinematographer with Martin Duckworth, Carol Betts, Patrick Crawley)
Celtic Spirits, 1978 (co-cinematographer with Kent Nason, Grant Crabtree)
Tree Power, 1979 (cinematographer)
The Food Connection, 1979 (cinematographer)
Bike Busters, 1980 (co-cinematographer with Mark Irwin, Barry Stone)
Great Moments in Canadian Sports, Volume III. The Sensational Sixties, 1980 (co-cinematographer with Robert C. New)
The Market in Action, 1980 (cinematographer)
A Piece of Sunshine, 1980 (co-cinematographer with Peter Emmerson)
Acid Rain: Requiem or Recovery, 1981 (co-cinematographer with Rick Mason, Bill Kerrigan)
Chambers: Tracks and Gestures, 1981 (director; cinematographer)
Sunshine for Sale, 1983 (co-cinematographer with Richard A. Stringer)
The First Canadian Astronaut, 1984 (co-cinematographer with Martin Duckworth)
Neon, an Electric Memoir, 1984 (co-cinematographer with Rudy Buttignol, Chris Terry, Rene Ohashi, Mark Irwin)
Making Overtures, 1984 (co-cinematographer with Douglas Kiefer)
A Sense of Music, 1984 (cinematographer)
To Sense the Wonder, 1984 (co-cinematographer with William H. Carrick, Tim Sale)
The Start of a Lifetime, 1985 (cinematographer)
Dad's House, Mom's House, 1985 (co-cinematographer with Len Gilday, Douglas Kiefer)
Getting Married... Staying Married, 1985 (co-cinematographer with Michael Ellis, Paul Caulfield)
On to the Polar Sea: A Yukon Adventure, 1985 (cinematographer)
A Fragile Tree Has Roots, 1985 (cinematographer)
La Grande Aventure de la vie, 1985 (cinematographer)
Blue Snake, Canadian Composers series, 1986 (cinematographer; TV)
Inner Rhythm, 1986 (cinematographer)
Whalesong, 1986 (cinematographer)
Eternal Earth, Canadian Composers series, 1987 (cinematographer; TV)
Home to Buxton, 1987 (co-cinematographer with Joan Hutton)
The Legacy of Mary McEwan, 1987 (cinematographer)
Mr. Nobody, The Elderly at Risk series, 1987 (cinematographer)
Calling the Shots: Women in Cinema, 1988 (co-cinematographer with Sandi Sisseli, Judy Irola)
Growing Up in the World Next Door, 1988 (co-cinematographer with Richard A. Stringer, Len Gilday)
A House Divided: Caregiver Stress and Elder Abuse, The Elderly at Risk series, 1988 (co-cinematographer with David Meyers, Charles Konowal)
Imperfect Union: Canadian Labour and the Left - Part 1 - International Background - Canadian Roots, 1989 (co-cinematographer with Eugene Boyko, Joan Hutton)
Imperfect Union: Canadian Labour and the Left - Part 4 - New Party, Old Problems, 1989 (co-cinematographer with Joan Hutton)
The Hand of Stalin, BBC series, 1990 (co-director with Murray Battle; cinematographer; TV)
Leningradskaya: A Village in Southern Russia, 1990 (director; cinematographer; producer)
Distress Signals, 1991 (director; co-cinematographer with Ned Burgess, Nigel Markham; co-producer with Tom Perlmutter, Kent Martin, John Taylor; TV)
God's Dominion - Shepherds to the Flock, 1993 (director; co-cinematographer with Vic Sarin, Charles Konowal, Kirk Tougas)
Out: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth in Canada, 1993 (co-cinematographer with Joan Hutton) Hidden Children, 1994 (director; cinematographer)
Orphans of Manchuria, 1994 (director; cinematographer; TV)
Tough Assignment, 1995 (director; cinematographer; co-producer with Tom Perlmutter, Adam Symansky, Don Haig; TV)
Referendum: Take 2, 1996 (co-cinematographer with Nigel Markham, Susan Trow, François Beauchemin, Dean Brousseau, Jean-Thomas Bédard, Zoe Dirse, Stéphane Drolet, Cheryl Sim,
René SiouV Labelle, André-Luc Dupont, Louis Durocher, Julie Warren, Paul Cowan, Wes Doyle, Ivan Gekoff, Bruce Clayton, Stefan Nitoslawski, Richard Wilmot, Martin Duckworth, Louise GiguPre, German Gutierrez, Martin Leclerc)
Place of the Boss: Utshimassits, 1997 (director; co-producer with Mike Mahoney, Peter D'Entrement; TV)
And So to Bed, 1999 (cinematographer)
The Fairy Faith, 2000 (director; writer; co cinematographer with Nigel Markham; co-producer with Kent Martin, Sally Bochner)
Ted Allan: Minstrel Boy of the Twentieth Century, 2002 (co-cinematographer with Donna Dobbs, Alex Hanson, Stefan Nitoslawski)
The Nature of Things: Changing Ground, 2001 (director, co-writer; TV)
The Nature of Things: Years from Here, 2002 (director, co-writer; TV)
Men of the Deeps, 2003 (director; writer; cinematographer; co-producer with Kent Martin, Terry Greenlaw)