(Toronto) Toronto-born filmmaker Charles Officer, whose portraits of the lives of Black Canadians earned him numerous accolades over the past two decades, has died, according to several media reports.
The Globe and Mail was the first to announce his death on Sunday.
The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) remembered Officer as an important Canadian talent, while the National Film Board of Canada said it mourned his loss.
The filmmaker’s 2008 feature debut, Nurse. Fighter. Boy (Mother. Protector. Innocence), premiered at TIFF and was nominated for ten Genie Awards, the precursor to the Canadian Screen Awards.
He went on to direct numerous feature films and documentaries focused on Black stories, including Akilla’s Escape, in 2020.
Most recently, he won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Director in a Drama Series for the first episode of the critically acclaimed CBC/BET Plus series The Porter.
Sarah Polley, another director and film school classmate, said in an Instagram post that Officer made masterpieces.
“It’s a great loss. For all of us. And a call, in his gaping absence, to live up to his optimism, his dedication, his constant elevation of others, his mastery of his craft,” she wrote.
“I’ve seen him in environments where he was rejected and disrespected. I never once saw his generosity falter. Seeing him recognized for the genius that he was filled me. »