(From NFB) It is with a heavy heart that I must announce that one of the most well known filmmakers of Canada has passed away.
Don Owen was born on September 19, 1931 in Toronto. A noble personality in the National Film Board, Owen wrote and directed two incredible features, Nobody Waved Good-bye, and The Ernie Game. Owen has died in Toronto at the age of 84 just this Sunday.
Nobody Waved Good-bye was released in 1964 and starred Peter Kastler and Julie Biggs, telling the story of how a teenage boy started his rebellion against his parents. Using a small crew and improvised dialogue based off a minimal film outline, the film shoot took time over three weeks in Winter 1963, and then Summer of 1963. Cinematographer John Spotton filmed the entire movie on 16mm film so that it had a documentary look and feel. The film was successful and was distributed in many other countries and even had a sequel made by Owen, entitled Unfinished Business.
The Ernie Game had won twice at the Canadian Film Awards, for Best Feature and Best Direction. The classic fictional feature is about a man in his 20s looking for a place to live, but held back by his inability to make anything of his life and find who he truly is.
Aside from his two amazing full length features, Owen has also made documentaries (High Steel) and short films (Runner, Toronto Jazz) which have been considered some of the best work in Canadian cinema. He even was mentioned at TIFF 2005 as a retrospective.
May he rest in peace.