Peter Pearson

Peter Robb Pearson, film and television director, screenwriter, public servant (b at Toronto 13 Mar 1938). He studied political science at the University of Toronto and film at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome.

Pearson, Peter

Peter Robb Pearson, film and television director, screenwriter, public servant (b at Toronto 13 Mar 1938). He studied political science at the University of Toronto and film at the Centro Sperimentale in Rome.

Active in the development of Canadian film in the 1960s and early 1970s, Pearson worked as story-editor and producer for the celebrated THIS HOUR HAS SEVEN DAYS. He was president of the Director's Guild of Canada (1972-75) and founding member and chair of the Council of Canadian Filmmakers, a nation-wide organization that lobbied for a greater presence of Canadian films on Canadian screens (1973-1975).

As a freelance director and producer with the CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION and the NATIONAL FILM BOARD, he has won a number of Canadian film awards. In 1968, The Best Damn Fiddler from Kaladar to Calabogie launched the career of Margot KIDDER and won eight awards, including best picture. A feature film, Paperback Hero, was nominated for best picture (1973) and won three additional awards. For TV Pearson has directed series such as The Beachcombers, Side Streets, Littlest Hobo and Rainbow Country, as well as prestigious television dramas for the "For The Record" series, including Insurance Man from Ingersoll (1976), The Tar Sands (1977), Kathy Karuks is a Grizzly Bear (1977), and Snowbird (1981), written with Margaret ATWOOD. The Tar Sands, an investigative report into the development of Alberta's oil resources, resulted in a lawsuit (settled out of court) with then premier Peter LOUGHEED.

Pearson worked for TELEFILM CANADA (formerly the Canadian Film Development Corporation) from 1983 to 1987. He established the Broadcast Development Fund from Toronto, moved to Montréal to assume the role of executive director in 1985, and resigned in 1987 in opposition to the managerial style of then chairman, Jean Sirois.

In 1989 Pearson produced and directed Home Game, a six-hour mini-series based upon Ken Dryden's book and narrated by the author. For two years, he wrote a weekly entertainment column for The Montreal Gazette. In the 1990s, Pearson directed episodes for the television series, Urban Angel, a one-hour musical special, With Glowing Hearts, and a mini-series for Radio Canada, L'Or et le Papier II. He served as executive producer and show runner for the 44-part Big Wolf on Campus, the top-rated show on the Fox Family Network (1999-2002), and acted in the same capacity for the 26-part Seriously Weird for Granada television (2002). Pearson is currently writing a memoir of his life in Canadian production.


Further Reading

  • Peter Morris, ed, The Film Companion (1984); Wyndham Wise, ed,Take One's Essential Guide to Canadian Film (2001) .