Rhombus Media Inc

Rhombus Media Inc. An independent producer of television programs on the performing arts. The company was founded in 1979 at the York University film dept by Barbara Willis Sweete, Niv Fichman, and Larry Weinstein.

Rhombus Media Inc

Rhombus Media Inc. An independent producer of television programs on the performing arts. The company was founded in 1979 at the York University film dept by Barbara Willis Sweete, Niv Fichman, and Larry Weinstein. The first production was Opus One Number One, featuring Fichman's brother, pianist Yuval Fichman. By 1990 the company had produced 24 films and TV programs, many about music but others dealing with dance, personal portraits, and human rights and social action. Fichman and Sweete both have musical backgrounds (Sweete taught piano in Victoria, BC before moving to Toronto). Their films aim to humanize classical music and the arts generally for the wider audience. The company released its first theatrical feature length film, The Top of His Head, in 1989.

Rhombus has collaborated with such networks as BBC London, TVE Madrid, DRS Zürich, CBC, TV Ontario, and the NFB. Its films have been shown in over 30 countries in North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia. In 1987, increased international attention led to the formation of the distribution company Rhombus International, headed by Sheena Macdonald. Many of Rhombus' films are available on videotape from the NFB.

Rhombus films have won critical acclaim worldwide. In 1986 the company received the ACO Award 'in grateful recognition of extraordinary contributions to the orchestral community in Canada,' and its film, Making Overtures received an Academy Award nomination for best documentary short. In 1989 the company was honoured by a seven-day festival entitled 'Rhombus: 10 Musical Years' at the Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montreal in 1989. By 1990 Rhombus films had been shown, often by invitation, at festivals in 11 countries, frequently winning awards, and eight films have received a total of 12 Gemini Awards. Four films, Making Overtures and Magnificat in 1986, World Drums in 1987 and Music in the Midnight Sun in 1989 received Canadian Music Council awards.

Rhombus Media's films about music include:

Opus One Number One (1979); Music for Wilderness Lake (1980); Zivjeli - to Life (1982);. Opus Two (1983); A Sense of Music (1983); Making Overtures - the Story of a Community Orchestra (1984); Magnificat (1985); All that Bach (1985); Inner Rhythm (1986); Whalesong (1986); Eternal Earth (1987); World Drums (1987); Guitar (1988); Ravel (1988); Masterclass with Menuhin (1988); Music in the Midnight Sun (1988); Carnival of Shadows (1989); The Radical Romantic (1989). (See also Films for descriptive annotations.)


Further Reading

  • Michael, Patricia. 'Rhombus Media,' PfAC, vol 23, Sep 1986

    Lacey, Liam. 'Filmmakers set out to demystify the arts,' Toronto, Globe and Mail, 7 Mar 1987

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