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Peter Lynch


B: June 12, 1957 in Toronto, Ontario

Peter Lynch grew up in the East York area of Toronto where he spent a great deal of time fishing, playing hockey and singing in a choir. He was turned on to filmmaking by an uncle who obsessively filmed everything, but it wasn’t until his father took him to see John Ford’s Stagecoach that he knew he wanted to make films. When he was eleven he saw Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, and re-confirmed his desire to become a filmmaker. Raised on as much pop culture as he was high art: from Beatles to Bach, from Picasso to Superman comics, after high school, Lynch spent two years being a ski bum in the Laurentians north of Montréal and then spent the next few years as a truck driver and on assembly lines. He then went to study Fine Arts at York University and found that he was more interested in anthropology than in most film courses. At York he discovered the ‘video revolution’. Lynch headed off to New York City to become a V.J. at various nightclubs, including “The Mudd Club” and “Danceteria.” There he combined images and music together and was amongst the first to show video art. He then moved into staging larger multi-media events, which would combine music, video, performance art and fashion. One of the most memorable was Kitchen Sync (1982) a landmark cultural event in Toronto, which featured performance art by Eric Bogosian, showcased Fab Five Freddy and the Rocksteady Crew and contemporary dance by Trisha Brown. Between 1983-1987 Lynch co-founded, co-produced and co-directed Video Culture International, an international festival which showed the latest in video and the new media expression from around the world. This event included a competition, conferences, exhibitions, symposiums, installation and multi-media performance events.

In the early 1990s, Lynch produced and directed a number of music videos, which aired on Much Music and MTV. He then started to work on short films, notably his first dramatic short Arrowhead, for which he received a Genie Award in 1994. In 1996 Lynch made the wildly successful Project Grizzly, one of the most acclaimed Canadian documentaries of all time. He then co-wrote and directed The Herd, a historical drama that was filmed in the Arctic. Lynch’s films have been broadcast and shown in festivals and theatres around the world.