The documentary Danny is as much about Newfoundland and Labrador as it is about Danny Williams. Despite the usual incursions through mass media and recently the Internet, Newfoundland and Labrador remains quite unique in Canada. A part of the North American land mass, it is also a huge, crazily desolate island off the Atlantic coast.
William D. MacGillivray
Born in Newfoundland, Canada, William D. MacGillivray studied Fine Art at both the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and Concordia University in Montreal. He moved to the UK in the 1970s to attend the London Film School, where director Mike Leigh was an important influence. In 1981, MacGillivray created Nova Scotia-based independent production company Picture Plant. Over the years, he has written and directed several dramatic features, documentaries and short films, as well as the critically acclaimed CBC Network television series Gullage’s (1996). His first feature, Stations (1983), is listed among the Canadian Film Centre’s top ten Canadian fiction film debuts and Take One’s 20 best Canadian films of all time. His 1987 drama, Life Classes (which represented Canada in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival), has been named a Masterwork of Canadian Cinema by Canada’s AV Trust, while his award-winning documentary The Man of a Thousand Songs had its world premiere at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. MacGillivray’s work has also been the subject of several retrospectives in both Canada and abroad and, along with producer/partner Terry Greenlaw, he continues to create innovative independent cinema: his feature-length road movie about growing up, Hard Drive, was released in 2014. MacGillivray’s most recent documentary, Danny (2014), about the charismatic former premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, Danny Williams, was co-directed with Justin Simms and produced by the National Film Board of Canada. In 2013, MacGillivray received the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, presented to six Canadian artists annually in recognition of distinguished career achievements.
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