John Grierson

From Academic Kids

John Grierson (April 26, 1898 - February 19 1972) was one of the most influential early documentary filmmakers.

Born in Deanstown, Scotland, Grierson attended Glasgow University and studied communications before moving into film. His first film, titled Drifters (1929), was about herring fishermen. He went on to establish himself as the "father of the documentary", and was the first to use the term documentary. In 1933 he founded the GPO Film Unit.

He was the creative organizer who formed and ran the Empire Marketing Board Film Unit (better known as the EMB Film Unit).

In 1938, Grierson was invited by the Canadian government to study the country's film production. He proposed the government create a national coordinating body for the production of films. In 1939, Canada created the National Film Commission, which would later become the National Film Board of Canada. Grierson was the first Commissioner of the Board. When Canada entered World War II in 1939, the NFB focused on the production of propaganda films, many of which Grierson directed. After the war, it focused on producing documentaries that reflected the lives of Canadians. The NFB is recognized around the world for producing quality films, many of which have won Academy Awards.

In 1957 he received a special Canadian Film Award.

Filmography as director:

Filmography as producer:

Literature

  • Jack C. Ellis, John Grierson: Life, Contributions, Influence, Southern Illinois University Press 2000, ISBN 0809322420
  • Joyce Nelson, The Colonized Eye: Rethinking the Grierson Legend, Between the Lines, Toronto 1988, ISBN 0-919946-91-7


Sources

[1] (http://academy.ca/hist/history.cfm?categid=100008&shownum=9&winonly=0&awards=4&rtype=5&curstep=4)

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