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NFB marks the passing of William Weintraub, O.C.: writer, producer, director (1926–2017).


November 8, 2017 – Montreal – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada is saddened to learn of the passing of William Weintraub, O.C., who died in Montreal on November 6, 2017, at the age of 91. Born on February 19, 1926, in Montreal, William Weintraub made enormous contributions to Canadian cinema and literature, as an accomplished journalist, author, screenwriter, director, producer and more.

“For as long as any of us can remember, Bill has been here to capture the life and vitality, the irreverence, the great personalities and stories, in his beloved Montreal and right across this country. The NFB has been privileged to have worked with him and to have been a part of his remarkable artistic legacy,” said Claude Joli-Coeur, NFB Commissioner.

Working with the NFB, Weintraub was involved with more than 150 NFB productions. His NFB credits spanned four decades, including the production of the NFB’s multi-award-winning feature Why Rock the Boat? (1974), directed by John Howe—which was based on Weintraub’s own memoirs of his days as a young reporter with the Montreal Gazette.

Weintraub’s prolific film work also included narration for the NFB’s very first English-language feature film, Drylanders (1963); writing and directing the Canadian Film Award-winning A Matter of Fat (1969) as well as The Rise and Fall of English Montreal (1993); producing Robert Duncan’s Margaret Laurence, First Lady of Manawaka (1978)—to name but a few.

In 2003, Weintraub was made an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Weintraub was interviewed by Montreal filmmaker Joanne Robertson for the NFB’s web documentary Making Movie History: A Portrait in 61 Parts, and despite being in poor health, attended the premiere at the NFB’s Montreal headquarters along with other veteran colleagues. His interview in Making Movie History and a selection of his films are now being featured on NFB.ca.


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  • About the NFB

    Founded in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) is a one-of-a-kind producer, co-producer and distributor of distinctive, engaging, relevant and innovative documentary and animated films. As a talent incubator, it is one of the world’s leading creative centres. The NFB has enabled Canadians to tell and hear each other’s stories for over eight decades, and its films are a reliable and accessible educational resource. The NFB is also recognized around the world for its expertise in preservation and conservation, and for its rich and vibrant collection of works, which form a pillar of Canada’s cultural heritage. To date, the NFB has produced more than 14,000 works, 6,500 of which can be streamed free of charge at nfb.ca. The NFB and its productions and co-productions have earned over 7,000 awards, including 11 Oscars and an Honorary Academy Award for overall excellence in cinema.