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Don Owen


B: September 19, 1935 in Toronto, Ontario

D: February 21, 2016 in Toronto, Ontario

Don Owen studied anthropology at the University of Toronto and began his career writing “sponsored films” before joining the National Film Board in 1960. In 1963, while he was with the NFB’s Unit B, he was assigned to direct a half-hour docudrama about a probation officer and a juvenile delinquent. He disobeyed orders and instead delivered the edgy, urgent, now legendary feature Nobody Waved Good-Bye. It was the first film to give Toronto a cinematic identity and remains an inspired work that blends cinéma-vérité with fiction. It received critical acclaim and became an icon of English-speaking Canadian filmmaking. Owen followed up Nobody with two more features: the intriguing Notes for a Film about Donna and Gail and The Ernie Game, a perceptive drama of late 1960s Canuck Zeitgeist. Leaving the Board in 1969, Owen directed several shorts and unsatisfactory dramas for television, including Unfinished Business, a 1984 sequel to Nobody Waved Good-Bye.

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

Runner (1962)
Toronto Jazz (1964)
Nobody Waved Good-bye (1964)
You Don’t Back Down (1965)
High Steel (1965)
Ladies and Gentleman: Mr. Leonard Cohen (1965 – working with Donald Brittain)
Monique Leyrac in Concert (1965)
Notes For a Film About Donna and Gail (1966)
A Further Glimpse of Joey (1967)
The Ernie Game (1967)
Gallery: A View of Time (1967)
Subway or Spain (1970)
Snow in Venice (1971)
Richler of St. Urbain (1971)
Graham Coughtry in Ibiza (1971)
Changes (1971)
Cowboy and Indian (1972)
Partners (1976)
Holstein (1978)
Spread Your Wings: Tanya’s Puppet (1981)
Unfinished Business (1984)

Nobody Waved Goodbye, Northernstars Collection, movie, poster,
This poster for Nobody Waved Goodbye was scanned from an original in the Northernstars Collection.

The Ernie Game, movie, poster,