Media Releases

Passage, directed by John Walker

October 19, 2010

TORONTO, ON – A film screen­ing of Pas­sage, a doc­u­men­tary by John Walk­er, will take place at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to on Thurs­day, Octo­ber 28.  The screen­ing will be fol­lowed by a round­table dis­cus­sion fea­tur­ing the film’s direc­tor, John Walk­er; Prof. Dar­rell Var­ga, Con­tem­po­rary Film & Media Stud­ies, Nova Sco­tia Col­lege of Art and Design; and Prof. Hei­di Bohak­er, Depart­ment of His­to­ry, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to. Prof. Kay Armatage, Act­ing Direc­tor of the Cin­e­ma Stud­ies Insti­tute, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, will mod­er­ate.

The doc­u­men­tary con­cerns Sir John Franklin’s doomed 1845 expe­di­tion to dis­cov­er the North­west Pas­sage.  Pas­sage is a tru­ly remark­able piece of his­tor­i­cal film­mak­ing, a lyri­cal mod­el of how to con­struct a his­tor­i­cal project while show­cas­ing both the process­es of mak­ing that his­to­ry as well as the chang­ing polit­i­cal stakes of a spe­cif­ic his­tor­i­cal nar­ra­tive over time. For this, Pas­sage is the recip­i­ent of the Orga­ni­za­tion of Amer­i­can Historian’s 2010 Erik Barnouw Award.

Film Director/Cinematographer John Walker’s films have received con­sid­er­able acclaim. From the Acad­e­my of Cana­di­an Cin­e­ma & Tele­vi­sion he has received sev­en­teen nom­i­na­tions and awards, includ­ing the prized Don­ald Brit­tain Award for the best social/political doc­u­men­tary Utshi­mas­sits: Place of the Boss.  His film on the Cape Bre­ton coal min­ers’ choir, Men of the Deeps, won three Gem­i­ni Awards as well. Pas­sage has been nom­i­nat­ed for Best His­to­ry Doc­u­men­tary and Best Doc­u­men­tary Writ­ing at the upcom­ing 2010 Gem­i­ni Awards on Novem­ber 2nd  2010. The film has received acco­lades from the Banff World Tele­vi­sion Fes­ti­val; The Cana­di­an Film and Tele­vi­sion Pro­duc­ers Asso­ci­a­tion; the Writ­ers Guild of Cana­da; The Atlantic Film Fes­ti­val; The Van­cou­ver Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val; The Reel 2 Reel Inter­na­tion­al Film Fes­ti­val for Youth; The Colum­bus Inter­na­tion­al Film and Video Fes­ti­val; and The Gri­er­son British Doc­u­men­tary Awards.

This event is free and open to the pub­lic.


WHAT: A doc­u­men­tary film screen­ing of John Walker’s Pas­sage, fol­lowed by a round­table dis­cus­sion fea­tur­ing direc­tor John Walk­er, Prof. Hei­di Bohak­er, and Prof. Dar­rell Var­ga. The dis­cus­sion will be mod­er­at­ed by Prof. Kay Armatage.

WHEN: Thurs­day, Octo­ber 28, 2010, 7PM-10PM. Doors open at 6:30PM.

WHERE: Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to, Innis Town Hall, 2 Sus­sex Avenue

Co-Spon­sored by: Cen­tre for the Study of the Unit­ed States at the Munk School of Glob­al Affairs; Cin­e­ma Stud­ies Insti­tute, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to; and the Depart­ment of His­to­ry, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to.


For more infor­ma­tion,  please con­tact:

Dr. Elspeth Brown
Cen­tre for the Study of the Unit­ed States
Munk School of Glob­al Affairs