The following was edited from an excerpt of an article that first appeared in the June 1987 edition of Cinema Canada and is used with permission of the co-author, Northernstar’s Québec Correspondent, Maurie Alioff:
The course of Martin Duckworth’s life and work kept him in constant motion. When he was in his teens, he moved with his family from Montreal to Halifax, which he eventually left for Yale University. After finishing Yale, he took an M.A. in history at the University of Toronto, travelled around Europe, taught in London, and then got a job at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick. His interest in still photography, François Truffault, and in the film society he formed at Mount Allison, led to meetings with Fernand Dansereau, who came to the university to screen National Film Board productions. Several years later, Duckworth had a job at the Film Board as a cameraman. As a cinematographer his ideal was, as he put it, being able to “move with the life in front of the camera.” He moved with his camera through prisons, paper mills, union halls, farming cooperatives, tin mines, Buddhist temples, opera houses, and the apartments of Russian poets. A cinematographer on more than 80 productions, we list his credits as a documentary Director.
Dear Audrey, a documentary by Jeremiah Hayes, focused on filmmaker Martin Duckworth as he accompanies his wife, photographer and activist Audrey Schirmer, through the last phase of Alzheimer’s disease. It was given the People’s Choice Award at the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) in November 2021.
Features & TV Movies:
Passing Through Sweden (1969, short)
Une histoire de femmes (1980)
Oliver Jones in Africa (1990)
Peaceable Kingdom: Nicholas Austin, Quaker Pioneer (TV-2000)