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Peter Raymont Gets Don Haig

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Peter Raymont Gets Don Haig, image,
Peter Raymont and director Nancy Lang at the Art Gallery of Ontario in 2016. Photo by Ralph Lucas for Northernstars.

Peter Raymont Gets Don Haig
by Staff
 
(April 29, 2019 – Toronto, ON) Hot Docs has announced that Peter Raymont, President and Co-Founder of Toronto’s White Pine Pictures, has been named this year’s Don Haig Award recipient. A filmmaker, journalist, writer and activist, Raymont has produced and directed over 100 films and TV series during his 48-year career. Raymont will be presented with a $10,000 cash prize, courtesy of the Don Haig Foundation and Telefilm Canada, at the Hot Docs Awards Presentation on Friday, May 3.

White Pine Pictures has two feature documentaries at Hot Docs this year, The Corporate Coup D’État and Toxic Beauty.

“I am deeply honoured to be this year’s recipient of the Don Haig Award,” said Raymont. “Don was a mentor and a good friend. I learned so much from him when I first moved to Toronto 40 years ago. I particularly remember his legendary maxim he’d recite when we said goodbye: ‘Keep smiling’.”
 
In 1979, after eight years making documentaries at the National Film Board of Canada in Montreal, Raymont co-founded the independent production company Investigative Productions, now White Pine Pictures, in Toronto. He is one of the founders of The Documentary Organization of Canada, which led to the creation of Hot Docs and POV Magazine. Informed with a passion for human rights and social justice, Raymont’s films are often provocative investigations of “hidden worlds” in politics, the media, and big business. His work has received 52 international awards including 13 Geminis, Gold and Silver Hugos and The Sesterce d’Argent, among others. His documentary feature Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire received the 2007 Emmy Award for Best Documentary and the Sundance Audience Award.
 
Other features directed by Raymont include 2007’s A Promise to the Dead: The Exile Journey of Ariel Dorfman and 2009’s Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould, both of which were shortlisted for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Raymont’s producer credits include Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr (2016), which was nominated for an Emmy and honoured with the 2017 Donald Brittain Award for Best Social-Political Documentary; and All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception and the Spirit of I.F. Stone (2016), nominated for the 2018 News and Documentary Emmy, and winner of the DGC’s Allan King Award for Best Documentary.

Where the Universe Sings. movie still
Ben Low as Lawren Harris painting Mt. LeFroy, Alberta, from the documentary “Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris”, directed by Peter Raymont & Nancy Lang. (c) White Pine Pictures
Photo Credit: Geoff Ewart. Used with permission.

Raymont has produced and directed several feature length documentaries exploring the lives of Canadian artists, such as West Wind: The Vision of Tom Thomson and Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris, and is currently in production on Season 2 of the CBC series In the Making, a documentary series featuring up-and-coming Canadian artists. Raymont also executive produced the popular TV drama series The Border and Cracked, both of which were broadcast worldwide.
 
As part of the Award, the recipient can name an emerging female documentary filmmaker to receive a $5,000 cash prize, courtesy of Telefilm Canada, and professional development opportunities at the Hot Docs Festival to further her career path. Peter Raymont has chosen to name Afghan-Canadian screenwriter and director Fazila Amiri as the recipient of this prize.

Now in its 14th year, the Don Haig Award is presented to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film in competition at the Festival, and is selected by a jury of independent producers. The Award recognizes creative vision and entrepreneurship, as reflected in the recipient’s body of work and Festival film, as well as a track record of mentoring emerging Canadian filmmakers. Past winners of the Don Haig Award include filmmakers Ina  Fichman (2018); Daniel Cross (2017), Ed Barreveld (2016), Anne Pick (2015), Michael McNamara (2014), Merit Jensen Carr (2013), Mia Donovan (2012), Rama Rau (2011), Philip Lyall and Nimisha Mukerji (2010), Brett Gaylor (2009), Yung Chang (2008), Hubert Davis (2007), and Guylaine Dionne (2006).

Northernstars joins with others in congratulating Peter Raymont on receiving this honour.