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