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Peter Pearson


B: March 13, 1938 in Toronto, Ontario

Peter Pearson studied political science and economics at the University of Toronto and went to film school in Rome, Italy. He first landed a job as a journalist then as a producer-director with CBC-TV. He joined the National Film Board in 1966 where he made several documentaries, including three with the American social activist, Saul Alinsky. He won scores of awards for his early dramas, including his stunning debut film, The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar, which won eight Canadian Film Awards including Film of the Year and Best Director. After teaching film at Queen`s University in Kingston for one year (1982-83), Pearson was hired by The Canadian Film Development Corporation`s Broadcast Program Development Fund from 1983 to 1985. The corporation became Telefilm Canada and Pearson served as its Executive Director from 1985 to 1987. Also a skillful scriptwriter, Pearson`s screenplays have included Snowbird, adapted with Margaret Atwood from his original story, and One Man, which he co-wrote with Robin Spry and which won the Canadian Film Award for Original Screenplay. He was nominated for two Gemini Awards; in 1987 for Best Writing in a Dramatic Program or Mini-series (for Heaven on Earth) and in 1990 for Best Documentary Series (for Ken Dryden’s Home Game). In the late 1990s, Pearson turned more of his energies toward Executive Producer projects including the popular series, Big Wolf on Campus (1999-2002) and Seriously Weird (2003-2004). Speaking to Cinema Canada about his 1973 feature, Paperback Hero, Pearson said, “Making movies is a great growing up process because it’s like putting your hands out in front of you and walking. It really is a process of feeling your way out of the darkness.”

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

Inmate Training: Part 1 (1966)
Inmate Training: Part 2 (1966)
Whatever Happened to Them All? (1966)
The Accessible Arctic (1967)
The North Has Changed (1967)
Chain of Command, Leadership (1967)
Compassionate Leave? (1967)
The Defaulter (1967)
Encounter with Saul Alinsky Part 1 (1967)
Challenge for Change/Société nouvelle series (1967)
Encounter with Saul Alinsky Part 2: (1967)
A Question of Priority (1967)
The Tactless One (1967)
The Best Damn Fiddler from Calabogie to Kaladar (1968)
Building an Organization (1968-Co)
Deciding to Organize (1968-Co)
People and Power (1968-Co)
Saul Alinsky Went to War (1968)
Through Conflict to Negotiation (1968-Co)
The Dowry, 1969

Seasons in the Mind (1970)
Paperback Hero (1973)
Only God Knows (1974)
A Thousand Miles of Holidays (1974)
Along These Lines (1974)
The Insurance Man from Ingersoll (TV-1975)
Kathy Karuks is a Grizzly Bear (TV-1976)

The Chairman (1980)
The National Crime Test (1982)
Mario, Mike and The Great Gretzky (1988-Co)
Heaven on Earth (TV-1987)
Bananas from Sunny Quebec (1993)
L’Or et le Papier (1994)

TV Series:
Adventures in Rainbow Country (1969)
The Beachcombers (1973)
The Littlest Hobo (1979)
Tales of the Klondike (1981)
Urban Angel (1992)