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Velcrow Ripper

Director, Producer, Screenwriter, Editor, Sound
(b. October 20, 1963 Gibson, British Columbia)

Activist filmmaker Velcrow Ripper (Crow to his friends) was raised in Gibson, British Columbia, the youngest of four children of parents of the Baha'i faith, a philosophy he credits with shaping his world view. After graduating from Montreal’s Concordia University, he apprenticed at the National Film Board, where he pursued his interests in social-issue documentary and experimental film.

Often working in collaboration with filmmaker Heather Frise, Ripper has directed more than two dozen films and videos, both fiction and documentary, exploring issues from oppression to the environment. Typically characterized by oral history, activist footage and expressionist soundscapes, his work has received more than twenty awards and has screened at major festivals and on television around the world. Bones of the Forest (1996), an artistic look at the struggle to save the ancient forests of British Columbia, won a number of awards, including a Genie for Best Feature Length Documentary. Other notable credits include In The Company of Fear (1999), Open Season (1998) and sound design on the documentary The Corporation (2003).

His most recent work, the acclaimed ScaredSacred (2004), is the result of Ripper’s five-year journey to sites of human tragedies around the world. The film was named one of Canada's Top Ten of 2004 by an independent, national panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals. Ripper also works as a writer, web artist and sound designer, teaches video and film at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver and is currently writing a novel based on his ScaredSacred journeys.

Film and video work includes

Iran: The Crisis, 1979 (director)
On Campus, 1981 (director)
Grip, 1984 (director)
Are You There? Are You Listening?, 1985 (director)
Autumn Disintegration, 1985 (director)
Fragile, 1985 (director)
No Means No, 1986 (co-director with Cynthia Jervis, Su Lebrun)
Crowsfeet, 1988 (director)
Found, 1988 (director)
Fred's Ded He Sed, 1988 (director)
Absurd Pretexts, 1989 (director)
A Bullet in the Head, 1990 (camera operator)
I'm Happy. You're Happy. We're all Happy. Happy, Happy, Happy., 1991 (director; producer)
The Road Stops Here: The Walbran Valley, 1991 (co-director with Heather Frise, Barb Turner)
Leave Me Alone Don't Ever, 1994 (director)
Funkill, 1997 (co-director with Heather Frise)
Open Season, 1998 (co-director with Heather Frise; TV)
A Place Called Chiapas, 1998 (sound)
In the Company of Fear, 1999 (director; TV)
Pocket Defence: Confessions of a Snake Killer, 1999 (sound)
SsPpLlitT, 1999 (director)
Culture Jam: Hijacking Commercial Culture, 2001 (cinematographer)
Afghanistan Aftermath, 2002 (director)
Burn, 2002 (director)
Lanterns of Memory, 2002 (director)
Rise, 2002 (director)
The Corporation, 2003 (sound)