John Walker – Biography

John Walker is one of Canada’s finest director/cinematographers working in the documentary genre, and his films have won international acclaim. From his fiction film collaboration, A WINTER TAN, described by a “Globe and Mail” critic as “unlike any other film anywhere” to his personal exploration of myth and imagination in THE FAIRY FAITH, Walker defies conventional subjects and approaches. With his provocative film PASSAGE he challenged the form with a complex mix of fiction and documentary – Martin Knelman of The Toronto Star wrote “One of the great triumphs in Canadian documentary film history.” With his latest, A DRUMMER’S DREAM, Walker delivers a film that lifts you into another dimension of pure joy and exhilaration.

Walker’s films have been widely broadcast and have appeared at the major international film festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin and London. From the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television he has received seventeen nominations and awards including the coveted Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary – UTSHIMASSITS: PLACE OF THE BOSS; best documentary director – THE HAND OF STALIN; and best feature documentary – STRAND – UNDER THE DARK CLOTH, a personal portrait of his mentor, the photographer/filmmaker Paul Strand. His film on the Cape Breton coal miners choir, MEN OF THE DEEPS, won three Gemini awards including best performing arts, best documentary photography, best sound and a best director nomination. The film garnered three million viewers in Canada alone.

His passionate commitment to the documentary form led him to co-found the Documentary Organization of Canada (formerly Canadian Independent Film Caucus). Walker has conducted master classes across the country and has mentored numerous emerging filmmakers. He has also served as guest programmer for the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.