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John Kastner (filmmaker)

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Title: John Kastner (filmmaker)  
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Subject: List of International Emmy Award winners
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

John Kastner (filmmaker)

John Kastner is a four-time Emmy Award winning Canadian documentary filmmaker whose recent work has focused on the Canadian criminal justice system. His films include the documentaries Out of Mind, Out of Sight (2014), a film about patients at the Brockville Mental Health Centre, named best Canadian feature documentary at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival;[1] NCR: Not Criminally Responsible (2013), exploring the personal impact of the mental disorder defence in Canada;[2] Life with Murder (2010), The Lifer and the Lady and Parole Dance, and the 1986 made-for-television drama Turning to Stone, set in the Prison for Women in Kingston, Ontario.[3][4]



Non-documentary work

Early in his career, Kastner occasionally took a break from making documentary films on serious topics with lighter fare, which included co-hosting a short-lived children's series for CTV in the early 1980s, Just Kidding, as well as doing comedy segments for the CBC-TV late-night talk show 90 Minutes Live.[5]

A former child actor, Kastner's first screenwriting credit came in 1983, when he co-wrote The Terry Fox Story, starring Robert Duvall.[6]

Awards and honours

Kaster has won four Emmy Awards. He won International Emmys for his 1978 film Four Women, a look at breast cancer for the CBC-TV investigative news series The Fifth Estate; the 1980 documentary Fighting Back, about young people with leukemia; and most recently, the 2011 film Life With Murder. He also received a News & Documentary Emmy Award for The Lifer and the Lady.[5][7]

Life with Murder also won the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary at the 2011 Gemini Awards,[8] a Special Jury Prize at the Houston Worldfest Film Festival and the awards for Best Political Documentary and Special Achievement in Directing at the Chicago International Film Festival.[6]

Lifetime achievement awards

Kastner received the Academy Achievement Award at the 22nd annual Gemini Awards, for his contributions to Canadian television journalism.[9] In 2012, he was the subject of a “Focus On” retrospective at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival.[4][10]

Personal life

He is the brother of actor Peter Kastner.[11]


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  11. ^ Martin Knelman "Peter Kastner, 64: Actor recalled for role as rebel", Toronto Star, 20 September 2008. The Rick Salutin article in the Globe and Mail takes issue with this obituary.

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