Toronto filmmaker Charles Officer, chronicler of Black Canadian life, dies
The Canadian Press
Published Monday, December 4, 2023 9:42AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 4, 2023 9:42AM EST
Toronto-born filmmaker Charles Officer, whose portraits of Black Canadian life earned him numerous accolades over the last two decades, has died, according to multiple media reports.
The Globe and Mail first reported his death on Sunday.
The Toronto International Film Festival remembered Officer as a significant Canadian talent, while the National Film Board said it was grieving his loss.
Officer's 2008 debut feature, "Nurse.Fighter.Boy," premiered at TIFF and was nominated for 10 Genie Awards, the precursor to the Canadian Screen Awards.
He went on to direct numerous features and documentaries that centred Black stories, including 2020's "Akilla's Escape."
Most recently, he won a Canadian Screen Award for best director on a drama series for the pilot episode of "The Porter," the critically acclaimed CBC/BET Plus series.
Fellow director and film school classmate Sarah Polley said in an Instagram post that Officer made masterpieces.
"This is a big loss. For all of us. And a call, in his gaping absence, to live up to his optimism, his dedication, his constant lifting up of others, his mastery of his craft," she wrote.
"I saw him in environments where he was dismissed and disrespected. I never once saw his generosity flag. Getting to watch him acknowledged for the genius he was filled me up."
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 4, 2023.