Morten Parker

Morten Parker, director, writer, producer, educator (b at Winnipeg 28 July 1919). Morten Parker began his career as a journalist and joined the NATIONAL FILM BOARD (NFB) in 1943 to work on numerous documentaries as a writer and director. Eventually he was made responsible for the NFB's labour films.

Morten Parker

Morten Parker, director, writer, producer, educator (b at Winnipeg 28 July 1919). Morten Parker began his career as a journalist and joined the National Film Board (NFB) in 1943 to work on numerous documentaries as a writer and director. Eventually he was made responsible for the NFB's labour films.

His accomplishments include dozens of films. Family Circles (1949), a film about the interplay of home and school influences on a child's development, produced by his wife Gudrun Bjerring Parker, won the 1950 Canadian Film Award (CFA) for non-theatrical short. Challenge: Science against Cancer (1950), one of the most ambitious films the NFB undertook at the time, explained the complex problem of how cancer cells develop in the human body, using greatly magnified animated sequences designed by Evelyn Lambert and Colin Low (an abridged version, The Fight: Science against Cancer, received an Oscar nomination for best short documentary in 1951). It won the prestigious first prize in documentary at the Venice Biennale. Parker directed The Stratford Adventure (1954), an account of the first year of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario. Written by his wife, the film won CFAs for film of the year and theatrical feature length (documentary), and was also nominated for an Oscar for best short documentary. In 1979 he received Golden Sheaf awards for best directing and best drama at the Yorkton International Film Festival, for The Case of Barbara Parsons, a short film about labour and management struggles.

Morten Parker's most important contributions to the NFB, however, were the 5 films he made between 1953 and 1955 under the series title Labour in Canada. He was responsible for writing, directing or producing the short dramatizations of specific topics: Dues and the Union, The Shop Steward, The Grievance, The Research Director and The Structure of Unions (an animation). Later he produced (and directed 3 of) a second series of 6 films, The Nature of Work (1958), for broadcast on television. He left the NFB to form Parker Film Associates in 1963 with his wife and continued to make films and political commercials into the 1990s.

Morten Parker served as a United Nations expert in film production and in that capacity was the film advisor to Israel from 1959-62. He also served as communications advisor to the government of Jamaica from 1972-76. In 1991 Morten Parker became a professor of film at New York University.