Colin Low grew up on a ranch in Alberta. His age kept him out of the service during World War Two and he was able to attend the Banff School of Fine Arts and later, the Calgary Institute of Technology. He was hired by the National Film Board (NFB) in 1945 on a summer training program set up by Norman McLaren in an effort to create a Canadian animation facility. His first assignments as a graphic artist involved hand-lettering titles. In 1948, he left Canada to study in Sweden. When he returned he created two important animation sequences for the documentary The Fight: Science Against Cancer. In 1949, he was recognized as a filmmaker and, in 1950, was appointed Head of the Animation Unit, where he produced and directed some of the NFB’s most popular films, including the award-winning short The Romance of Transportation in Canada. In 1954, Colin Low decided to try his hand at documentary filmmaking. He produced and directed the classic short Corral which went on to win a number of awards, including first prize at the Venice Film Festival. A few years later his film, City of Gold was hailed by international critics as “brilliant”, “rare”, “faultless” and “poetic” picking up a total of 17 international awards. During the 1960s, Low helped develop revolutionary film formats and for Expo ’67 in Montréal, he co-directed In the Labyrinth, a film that used 35mm and 70mm film projected simultaneously on multiple screens, and which is considered the precursor of today’s IMAX and OMNIMAX formats. Low collaborated on almost 200 productions during his long career. He won over 100 awards for his films, as well as several honorary degrees and other honours. He was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1996 in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to cinema in Canada and around the world. In 1997, he was honoured with the Québec government`s prestigious Prix Albert-Tessier, one of the Prix du Québec. The honour was given in recognition of Low’s lifetime contribution to Canadian filmmaking. Colin Low was 89 when he died in Montréal. We have listed only those films he directed or co-directed.
Also see: Stephen Low.
Features & TV Movies:
The Romance of Transportation in Canada (1952)
The Winds of Fogo (1970)
Moving Pictures (2000)