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Thursday, March 21, 2013

Independence first

William MacGillivray tells Atlantic Canadian stories, wins Governor General's Award while doing it

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 4:58 PM

William MacGillivray
  • William MacGillivray

Filmmaking: it hasn’t always been as easy as the Vine app. When William MacGillivray started out, making moving pictures required lots of money and more equipment than an iPhone. “In the 1970s, the only filmmaking being done was by the province of Nova Scotia in their little office, or the National Film Board—but there was no place for independent film, nowhere you could make a film about anything you wanted,” he says. MacGillivray was one of the founding members of the Atlantic Filmmaker’s Cooperative, AFCOOP, in 1973. Since then, he’s made dozens of films and has seen big changes in the filmmaking industry. “Back then you couldn’t just make a film to be a filmmaker, you had to be very dedicated,” he says. “We really helped each other learn to make films with an independent voice.” This year, the St. John’s native won the Governor General’s Award for Visual and Media Arts. Currently in Ottawa for rounds of ceremonial brouhaha, MacGillivray is thankful to have been able to build a life around telling the stories of Atlantic Canada. “Something I’ve tried to do over my career is stay true to where I’m from… people ask me why I don’t move to Toronto, but I’m staying right where I am.”

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