About the Film - Bios - Credits

SHEONA MCDONALD: producer, director, writer, narrator

A noteworthy producer, director and writer, Sheona has always had a passion for documentaries. In 1994, she made her first student short, With My Boots On, the story of author Rosalin MacPhee’s fight against breast cancer. She followed that production with Breaking the Cycle, an examination of domestic violence in the Aboriginal community in Vancouver. Sheona then began a five-year odyssey independently producing LIFERS: Stories from Prison, an hour-long documentary about men serving life sentences in Canadian prisons. She also wrote, directed and narrated this project, which was broadcast on CBC Newsworld in 2001.

For her last documentary, Capturing A Short Life, Sheona was nominated for a Gemini award for the writing.

Sheona continues to develop and produce documentaries while also starting to branch out into more dramatic work.

ADAMM LILEY: producer

A producer, director and cinematographer, Adamm has written and produced segments for This Hour Has 22 Minutes, directed half-hour specials for the Trailer Park Boys and worked on various projects for CTV, Showcase, Vision, the Discovery Channel, Global Television, the CBC and National Geographic.

Adamm has been awarded two Gemini awards and an International Emmy as a member of the team that produced Street Cents for CBC Television, a Golden Sheaf Award for best Youth Production and was recently nominated for the 2008 Gemini Awards for his feature documentary Heads Up. Along with developing new film and television projects, Adamm is now a Professor of Advanced Filmmaking at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario.

BOB CULBERT: executive producer

Bob has over 30 years experience in documentary filmmaking.

Before spending nine years, as VP of Documentaries of CTV, Bob had a distinguished 29-year career at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

In addition to his television journalism experience, he also worked in print media in Northern Ireland and the Winnipeg Free Press (1968-1970), after immigrating to Canada in 1968. Culbert is a member of the Board of Directors of Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival.

Culbert was also the recipient of the Academy Achievement Award at the 2006 Gemini Awards.


As Creative Head of Digital Channels, Bruce is responsible for running bold and documentary channels at CBC. He returned to the corporation in 2008 after a successful tenure at CTV where he headed up Animal Planet, Discovery Civilization Channel, and travel and escape. Under his leadership, these services became among the most successful new specialty channels in Canada.

In addition to helping launch Discovery Channel in 1994, Bruce served as producer and executive producer for one of Discovery Canada’s most successful TV franchises: Eco-Challenge with Mark Burnett Productions. Bruce continued to serve as Executive Producer and Production Executive on several Discovery Channel projects where he established strong relationships with independent producers across Canada.

Bruce has commissioned and guided several award-winning documentary projects since rejoining the CBC in 2008 and continues to oversee all creative and production considerations for bold and documentary.

ROBIN LUPITA BAIN: cinematographer

Robin began her career in the film industry more than 30 years ago at the National Film Board of Canada.

As a documentary cinematographer, Robin has gained recognition for her creative approaches to subject matter; from hunting narwhales in the North to fighting the revolution with guerrilla forces in the South.

Recent feature documentary credits include: Min Sook Lee’s Toxic Baby, Albert Nerenberg’s Laughology, Cache Film’s 4 Paths to Peace: Inspiration from the Dali Lama, Sheona McDonald’s Capturing A Short Life and Brenda Kovrig’s award-winning film Relativity.


Robert Swartz is an award winning picture editor with a unique story telling ability. Over the last 12 years he has cut a variety of documentaries and dramatic films, both short and feature length, which have been screened around the world. He edited the film ‘Milo 55160’ which won a Genie award for best short film in 2005. In 2009 he won a Gemini award for editing the documentary feature ‘The Young Romantic’ produced and directed by Barbara Willis Sweete. He is passionate about creating compelling stories, and collaborating with other filmmakers to make it all happen. Robert studied Philosophy and Communications at Concordia University in Montreal, and also studied the art of editing at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto. Besides picture editing Robert has produced and directed documentaries for CBC and BRAVO, which have also screened at film festivals worldwide. He lives in Toronto with his wife MinaRose and their son Benjamin.

MARK ALBERTS: vfx design and creation

Mark has been animating most of his life, starting with plasticine monster movies at the age of 11. He has refined his style significantly since then, and has spent the past few years working primarily in Toronto's documentary scene. He has contributed work to the TV series Things That Move, Working Over Time and Ancestors in the Attic. Most recently he has designed the visual effects and animation for the films We Will Remember Them, Tafelmusik; The Galileo Project, How To Build Your Own Country and the 2009 HotDocs Special Jury Prize winner, Waterlife.



Owner and lead-composer of Vertigosound Music, Richard Pell began playing and studying guitar at age 5, and by age 14 he was writing for and playing with several different local bands. Studying jazz and classical harmony as well as composition under such notables as Brian Katz and Michael Cusson at the Royal Conservatory, Richard learned to write and perform in a variety of styles ranging from Baroque to 20th Century Avante-Garde to Jazz to Electronica and Pop. Today he continues to write music for Film and T.V. at Vertigosound Studios. To date, he has worked on over 20 television series.

Recently, Pell and co-writer Dylan Heming completed the first season of the new HBO comedy series Call Me Fitz starring Jason Priestly and are currently working on the Season 2 of the critically acclaimed series. The duo also did additional music for the Sci-Fi Thriller Splice starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley.


A Juno award winning pianist, composer, and producer Dylan has been active on Canada’s music scene for the last 15 years working with some of the the country’s top names, appearing on gold and platinum albums, and composing for television, feature films, and documentaries. Dylan’s music has appeared in hundreds of episodes of international television programming for over fifteen networks in five countries. He worked for several years freelancing for David Vanacore Productions in Burbank and Koskenmaki Music out of Los Angeles. During this period, Dylan wrote music for many American series such as American Chopper, Big Brother, Dirty Jobs, Hell`s Kitchen, and The Ultimate Fighter.

Since 2008, Dylan has been working exclusively with composer Richard Pell and Vertigosound Music.


The newest member to Vertigosound is Isabelle Noel. Composer, Producer, DJ and Audio Artist, she has been commissioned by numerous filmmakers, directors, choreographers, designers, architects, and visual artists to create original soundtracks for various projects and installations.

Recent film projects include: Do you Want Out starring Tracy Wright and directed by Martha Burns and The Translator directed by Sonya Di Rienzo.

JOVAN MATIC: still photographer

Jovan Matic is a portrait and documentary photographer from Toronto. He has been featured in Canadian and US publications for his portraits of artists, athletes, celebrities and for travel photography. His portraits from Damascus and Istanbul recently displayed at the Aird Gallery in Toronto.

TODD REICHERT: film subject

Todd Reichert was the pilot and chief aerodynamic designer of the Snowbird Human-Powered Ornithopter.

He completed his undergraduate degree in the Aerospace Engineering at the University of Toronto, with a minor in Cinema Studies. In November of 2011 he will be receiving his PhD from the U of T Institute for Aerospace Studies, for his research on advanced aerodynamic mechanism utilized in bird and bat flight.

In April 2011, Todd and Cameron were awarded the McKee Trans-Canada Trophy, the highest award given out by the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute, for their work and accomplishments on the Snowbird. Both Cameron and Todd were also heavily involved in the founding and development of the U of T Human-Powered Vehicle Design Team, which set college world speed record at 101.5 km/hr with their streamlined recumbent bicycle, one month after the Snowbird’s successful flight. Post-graduation, Todd will be to starting a business based on some of the technologies developed during the ornithopter and streamlined bicycle projects.


Cameron received his B.A.Sc. in Engineering Science (Aerospace Option) at the University of Toronto in 2008, and his M.A.Sc. in Aerospace Science and Engineering from the University of Toronto Institute for Aerospace Studies in 2009.

From 2006-2010, Cameron was Chief Structural Engineer on the Human-Powered Ornithopter Project, responsible for the overseeing the design and testing of the composite structure of the Snowbird.

Cameron is currently still involved with the Engine-Powered Ornithopter Project at UTIAS, as well as the U of T Human-Powered Vehicles Design Team as composites/structural consultant (the team currently holds the collegiate human-powered land speed record and took 1st place overall in the 2011 ASME Human-Powered Vehicle Challenge).

ROBERT DUECK: film subject

Robert Dueck has a B.Sc. and specialty in industrial processing with a particular focus on custom production, installation and testing of the top tier of world class private yachts. He thrives in a team environment, on fast paced projects with rigorous testing. At the team's request he joined in the summer of 2009 during a production critical phase bringing his yacht-based techniques to fruition for the ornithopter. When not working on projects, Robert enjoys distance cycling and family time, to which he brings his contagious optimism and captivating sense of humour.

CARSON DUECK: film subject

Carson Dueck joined the HPO team as a high school student after finishing grade 10 in 2009, bringing his energetic love of flight and passion for physics. His highly attuned instinct and intuition for engineering challenges served to refresh the team’s approach to its late-stage design and construction dilemmas. Having consistently achieved success as a member of school teams in engineering and physics competitions, Carson also enjoys mentoring younger students.

As a natural step in his continuing exploration of aerodynamics and sustainability, he will study engineering at the University of Toronto commencing in September 2011. In addition Carson is a competitive swimmer and an avid cellist.


YVES ROUSSEAU: film subject

Yves was born in the west of France in 1944. He is an artisan: a house painter and interior decorator by trade but he has also been an inventor of ultralights (hang gliders and ornithopters) for many years. He has dedicated all his spare time to the design, the building and testing of his flying machines. Their design is simple and they can be used by anyone.

For two decades Yves worked on building, testing and flying his ornithopters. On April 20th 2006, he flew his “Pulcynamic 2” , a pedal-powered ornithopter: This flight was observed by officials of the Aero-club de France and members of the FAI (the International Aeronautical Federation).

PIERLUIGI DURANTI: fim subject (FAI representative - Italy)

Pierluigi has been involved in aviation ever since he was a young boy.

A competition aeromodeller in the early 60's he first gained a parachutist’s licence, then took up gliding in the 70’s, first as a pilot then as a director and organizer of several competitions including the first FAI European Championships in Rieti (1982). He was secretary of the OSTIV Sailplane Development Panel for a number of years with Prof. Piero Morelli. Vice-president of the Italian Aircraft Homebuilders Association (CAP) in the 80’s, he was the organizer of many national and international fly-ins, being an aircraft designer and constructor himself. For 25 years Italian Delegate within CIACA (Amateur-built & Experimental Aircraft Commission of FAI) he has been its president for around 15 years and is now its President of Honour. In that frame he has actively promoted the development of electrically and solar-powered aircraft and has encouraged the undertaking of social applications of aircraft homebuilding. He was involved with the development and testing of the first Italian electrically-powered aircraft in 1995. Recently he has been co-director of the FAI World Air Games Torino 2009