Sparling, Gordon

Gordon Sparling, filmmaker (b at Toronto 13 Aug 1900; d 19 Feb 1994). Sparling was a pioneer director, writer and producer of some 200 films, especially the Canadian Cameo series of short films (1932-55). These were Canada's first major films with sound and in the 1930s represented virtually the only reflection of Canada on its own and the world's screens. Sparling graduated from U of T and joined the Ontario Motion Picture Bureau in 1924. After a brief period as assistant director on the feature Carry on Sergeant! (1928) and with the federal Motion Picture Bureau, he moved to New York in 1929. He returned to Canada in 1931 to make sponsored films for Associated Screen News in Montréal on condition that he could also produce short films for theatrical release. During the war, he supervised newsreels and training films for the Canadian Army, rejoining ASN in 1946 and remaining until its production department closed in 1957. He later worked for the NFB.