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Norman Jewison: Giving Canadian filmmakers a helping hand

"Film is the literature of this generation," says Toronto-born Norman Jewison. Small wonder then the Oscar-winning director is considered a Laureate of the film lens and is a fierce supporter of the Canadian film industry. Responsible for such classics as In the Heat of the Night and Fiddler on the Roof, Jewison cut his teeth in television at the CBC before moving to Hollywood where he became a maverick director who wowed audiences with his storytelling prowess.

Wanting to give Canadian filmmakers opportunities he never had, Jewison forms the Canadian Centre for Advanced Film Studies, a film school for Canada's best and brightest talent. Modeled on the American Film Institute, the school's teaching staff will be comprised of the best directors, screenwriters and cinematographers from across Canada and around the world. "We're talking about a master-apprentice relationship," Jewison tells The Journal in this CBC Television clip, "which is the very basis of feature filmmaking in every country of the world, and it's something we haven't had."
• The Canadian Centre for Advanced Film Studies — now known as the Canadian Film Centre — opened its doors in 1988. Housed in the posh Toronto mansion of former industrialist E.P. Taylor, the school originally handpicked only 12 students a year to take part in the program. By 2003 that number had increased to 85 students per year. The Centre has graduated 530 students and boasts that 85 per cent of its alumni are employed in the film, television or new media industry.

• Teachers and guest lecturers at the Centre have included Gordon Pinsent, Denys Arcand, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Arthur Penn and Martin Scorsese. According to the Centre's Web site, "over 90 feature films and over 50 television dramas have been produced with Canadian Film Centre alumni in significant roles." Centre alumni include director Vincenzo Natali (Cube), writer Karen Walton (Ginger Snaps), writer Tricia Fish (New Waterford Girl), director Clement Virgo (Rude) and former CBC reporter Anne Medina.
Medium: Radio
Program: The World At Six
Broadcast Date: Jan. 21, 1999
Guest(s): Perrin Beatty, Sheila Copps, Allan King, Richard Paradis, Denise Robert
Host: Barbara Smith
Reporter: Brian K. Smith
Duration: 2:36

Last updated: March 23, 2012

Page consulted on December 6, 2013

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