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Year: 1973
Language: English
Runtime: 58 min
Director: Roger Blais
Producer: Roger Blais
Executive Producer: David Bairstow
Cinematographer: Jacques Fogel, Eugene Boyko, Lewis McLeod, Michel Thomas-d’Hoste, Magi Torruella
Editor: John Kramer, Les Halman, Annick de Bellefeuille
Animation: Raymond Dumas
Sound: Hans Oomes, Colin Charles, Gildas LeSausse, Ron Seltzer, Bev Davidson
Narration: Michael Kane
Production Company: National Film Board of Canada

After being invited to Canada to evaluate the Canadian government’s use of film, the Scottish-born John Grierson was named Canadian Government Film Commissioner before becoming head of the newly formed National Film Board in 1939. Grierson, who coined the term “documentary film,” strongly believed that filmmakers have a social responsibility and that film can help a society realize democratic ideals. His faith in the value of capturing everyday life would influence generations of filmmakers the world over.

Through archival footage of Grierson himself and interviews with people who knew him, this documentary explores the life and work of a man who in the course of shaping the world of film became known as the godfather of Canadian cinema. Grierson won the Canadian Film Award for Best Documentary and the BAFTA Flaherty Documentary Award.

By: Andrew McIntosh

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