Peter Raymont

Peter Raymont left the NFB to form his own company, Investigative Productions, in Toronto, and has since produced and/or directed over 100 independent documentaries and television series and won numerous awards.

Raymont, Peter
Peter Raymont has produced and directed over 100 documentary films during a 34-year career, many involving provocative themes such as politics, the environment and social issues (photo by Peter Bregg, courtesy White Pine Pictures).

Peter Raymont

Peter Raymont, director, producer, editor, writer (born at Ottawa 28 Feb 1950). Peter Raymont majored in political science and received a bachelor of arts from QUEEN'S UNIVERSITY in 1971. He joined the NATIONAL FILM BOARD (NFB) and remained there until 1978. He trained as a producer/director and was responsible for a dozen films, the most notably being Flora: Scenes from a Leadership Convention (1977), a behind-closed-doors account of Flora MACDONALD's aspirations for the Tory leadership in 1976; The Art of the Possible (1978), a look at Ontario premier Bill DAVIS and his cabinet; and Magic in the Sky (1981), a film documenting the creation of an Inuit-language TV network in the Canadian Arctic.

Peter Raymont left the NFB to form his own company, Investigative Productions, in Toronto, and has since produced and/or directed over 100 independent documentaries and television series and won numerous awards. He collaborated with James Cullingham of Tamarack Productions in producing As Long as the Rivers Flow (1991), a series on native self-government; A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada (1998-2002), featuring individual immigrants to Canada; and The New Ice Age: A Year in the Life of the NHL (1997), following professional hockey from behind the scenes.

Peter Raymont's films have covered a wide range of topics, from the American manipulation of news from Central America in The World Is Watching (1988) and The World Stopped Watching (2003), to the Rwandan genocide in Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire (2004). With his wife Lindalee Tracey he produced The Anatomy of Burlesque (2003), a history of burlesque. In 2004 he co-directed Bhopal: The Search for Justice, an examination of the aftermath of the world's worst industrial accident in terms of lives lost and long-term genetic damage. Until her death in 2006, many of Peter Raymont's documentaries, produced through White Pine Pictures, were made in collaboration with Tracey.

Peter Raymont prefers the unobtrusive approach of American direct-cinema pioneers Frederick Wiseman and D.A. Pennebaker as opposed to inserting himself in the film à la Michael Moore or Nick Broomfield. Along with John WALKER and Rudy Buttignol, he was in 1982 a founding member of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (now the Documentary Organization of Canada), a lobby group for point-of-view documentarians.

Some of Peter Raymont's many awards include the Peace Award (honorable mention) at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Genie Award for best documentary for The World Is Watching; the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) Team Award and the Sundance Film Festival Audience Award for best world documentary for Shake Hands with the Devil; DGC Team Award for A Promise to the Dead: The Exile of Ariel Dorman (2007); the Gold Hugo for best social/political documentary from the Chicago Film Festival for The World Is Watching; and an ACTRA Award for best writing in a television documentary for Prisoners of Debt: Inside the Global Banking Crisis (1983).

His GEMINI AWARDS include best direction in a documentary for The World Stopped Watching, best biography documentary for Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould (2009), best sports series for The New Ice Age (1999) and the Donald BRITTAIN Award for A Promise to the Dead.

Raymont's other films and television productions as either director or producer include Abby, I Hardly Knew Ya (1995; Genie nomination for best short), A Scattering of Seeds (2000; series), The Undefended Border (2002), Triage: Dr. James Orbinski's Humanitarian Dilemma (2008); The Border (2008-10; series), Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel (2009), Prosecutor (2010), The Team (2010), Cracked (2011) and West Wind: A Vision of Tom Thomson (2011).