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Gil Cardinal


B: 1950 in Edmonton AlbertaD: November 21, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta

Gil Cardinal was an award-winning filmmaker known for exploring raw subject matter such as substance abuse, the foster care system, and his struggles with his own cultural identity. Cardinal directed episodes of hit TV series such as North of 60 and The Rez, as well as the Gemini-nominated miniseries Big Bear. In 2009, Cardinal wrote the pilot for the TV series Blackstone, starring Michelle Thrush and produced by Prairie Dog Film + Television, after gathering extensive research on the issues facing many Indigenous communities. Earlier in his career, Cardinal worked for many years with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) as a freelance director, researcher, writer and editor. His first film for the NFB was Children of Alcohol (1983), a documentary about a group of teenagers and pre-teens focusing on the effects of parental alcoholism.

Gil Cardinal passed away after a lengthy illness.

Also see: The Gil Cardinal Legacy Fund.

Features & TV Movies:
VR indicates Direct-to-Video Release

Children of Alcohol (documentary, 1984, short)
Discussions in Bioethics: The Courage of One’s Convictions (1985, short)
Hotwalker (1986, short)
Foster Child (documentary, 1987, short)
Bordertown Café (TV-1988, short)

The Spirit Within (documentary, 1990)
Tikinagan (documentary, 1991)
David with F.A.S. ((documentary, 1997)

Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole (documentary, 2003)

TV Series – at least 1 episode of:
North of 60 (1994-1997)
The Rez (1996)
Big Bear (mini-series, 1998)

Mentors (2000)
Chiefs (documentary mini-series, 2002)
Moccasin Flats (2005)
Indian Summer: The Oka Crisis (mini-series, 2006)