Michael Ostroff has been producing documentaries and educational videos since
1973 when he joined Crawley Films as a film editor and assistant director. Michael had just completed two years of intensive film studies at the Programme in Film (York University) with James Beveridge, Jay Leyda and others. His interest in exploring aspects of Canadian culture was influenced and encouraged by Beveridge, Leyda, the legendary Canadian filmmaker Budge Crawley.

Of late, Michael has specialized in narrative historical documentaries exploring issues relating to history and development of Canada’s cultural voice. His films are known for their emotion and intelligence and the understated, lyrical approach he takes to storytelling; relying on sequences of atmospheric and poetic ruminations and impressions to drive the narrative structure.

Ostroff’s previous work as a director, the feature length documentary, Pegi Nicol: Something Dancing About Her was premiered at the National Gallery. It was an Official Selection – In Competition – of the prestigious Festival International du Film Sur L’Art (2006) and was referred to as ‘quite simply one of the best films ever made about an artist.’ (Ottawa Xpress)

The affectionate but unblinking portrait of Canadian pioneer filmmaker Budge Crawley, Budge, released in 2003, was described by the Globe & Mail as ‘a gift…a long-overdue but terribly well-executed profile of one of this country’s groundbreaking filmmakers.’

With Winds of Heaven, a ninety-minute documentary, Ostroff explores the world of Emily Carr and her relationship with the First Nations people of the Northwest Coast. The film was invited to the Vancouver International Film Festival  last autumn and will be In Competition at FIFA, [International festival of Films on Art] Montreal this spring. It is produced with the support of BRAVO, Knowledge Network, TV Ontario, Rogers Documentary Funds, Telefilm Canada, the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, The Art Gallery of Ontario, the McMichael Gallery, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, the Art Gallery of Hamilton and the City of Ottawa.

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