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Donald Brittain: Filmmaker


" The documentary crew is a small band of adventurers thrown together in a desperate enterprise, totally reliant on each other for survival and charged

with the job of bringing something

back alive and thus hopefully illuminate some corner of the human spirit. " 


  -  Donald Brittain



Gemini Award for

Best Documentary

Gemini Nomination

for Best Direction


Montreal World Film Festival

Hot Docs 












Donald Brittain was among Canada's greatest filmmakers and a true hero in the

history of the enterprise of the documentary film. He was the Director and Writer of such

classic works as Fields of Sacrifice, Memorandum, Bethune, PaperlandLadies and Gentlemen

Mr.Leonard CohenThe Champions, and the Academy Award Nominee, Volcano: An Inquiry into the Life and Death of Malcom Lowry, narrated by Richard Burton.


Donald Brittain; Filmmaker is a close look at this brilliant and irascible filmmaker. Both a biography and a retrospective of Brittain films, it offers a glimpse of the man and the restless energy that informed his work. Dedicated and hard-working, Donald Brittain left nothing to chance, driving himself and his colleagues at the NFB and the CBC until perfection was achieved, or until airtime, whichever came first.


Directed and Written by: Kent Martin

Produced by: Adam Symansky

Cinematography: Kent Nason

Editor: Hannale Halm

Associate Producer: Ray Harper

Sound: Arthur McKay

Sound Editing: Les Halman

Narration: Douglas Rain

Executive Producer: Colin Neale


Watch Film:


Many of Donald Brittain's films can be viewed at:


Also read an essay by Adam Symnasky about working with Donald Brittain;


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