John Kastner
John Kastner has won four Emmys for his documentaries—more than anyone else in the history of Canadian television. He received the awards for his work producing, directing, and writing the documentaries Four Women, about breast cancer, Fighting Back, about leukemic children, The Lifer and the Lady, about a convicted killer’s romance with a middle-class woman, and Life with Murder, about the agonizing choice two parents must make after their son murders their daughter. Kastner has also won more than 75 international awards for his films, which include Monster in the Family and Rage Against the Darkness. He was honoured by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television with the Academy Achievement Award in 2007.

Entries by John Kastner

'Not Criminally Responsible' Patients Come Out of the Shadows

(2) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 1:28 PM

Most high-profile NCR patients -- that is, sufferers of mental illness who have committed horrific acts of violence and have been declared "not criminally responsible" by the courts -- are usually kept well-hidden from public view. NCR patients may be the most unpopular people in Canada at the moment --...

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What Do You Do When Your Star Quits Your Film?

(0) Comments | Posted April 29, 2014 | 9:17 AM

It was a shocker. The star of my documentary, Out of Mind, Out of Sight: Inside the Brockville Psych, was quitting. Michael Stewart, my dream subject, the patient I wanted more than any other of the 59 forensic psychiatric patients -- the people they used to call the...

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Not Evil, Just Ill: A Woman Makes Peace With the Man Who Almost Killed Her

(7) Comments | Posted April 27, 2013 | 8:50 AM

One day in October 2011, Andy Bouvier, whose daughter was stabbed repeatedly by Sean Clifton, the mentally ill man who is the subject of my current documentary, NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (premiering at Hot Docs this Sunday), is standing in my apartment in Brockville and he is angry.

He is...

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"I Can't Believe I Caused So Much Suffering": An Attempted Murderer Relives His Crime

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 6:05 PM

It's the part of the filmmaker's job I dread the most: screening the documentary for the subject of the film.
Today I am screening a film for Sean Clifton, who, in a psychotic state, tried to stab a complete stranger to death in in front of scores of...

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"I Am a Monster": Life In a Forensic Psychiatric Hospital

(10) Comments | Posted April 23, 2013 | 2:57 PM

It is early 2010 and I am starting research for my film NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, which is having its world premiere at Hot Docs this week, the first major film shot inside a forensic psychiatric hospital (the places they once called asylums for the criminally insane) in maybe three...

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