John comes to the video industry from a very
Born in North Africa in 1944, from a Dutch
father and French mother, he grew up during the final years of the French
colonial era. At the age of 15, he moved to Paris, France.
After graduating from
the French Institute of Photography in 1962, he was drafted into
the Movie Division of the French Army based in Baden Baden, Germany. Twenty
months later, John found himself on the streets of Paris covering general
news, theater life and the fashion world.
After only seven months, John had
had his fill of photographing the so-called Paris "elite" and volunteered
to do social work in the slums of Calcutta through a Paris- based relief
organization. For a year and a half he managed a food distribution centre
in conjunction with local schools, providing around 8000 meals a day to needy
children. At times, cooperation with Mother Theresa and her workers
became a privileged experience. In order to enable the relief program to
continue, John produced hundred of photos and 16mm films depicting the progress
of the project.
In 1967, after meeting Lota Hitchmanova of the
Unitarian Service in the famine-ravaged state of Bihar,
he immigrated to Canada and worked for two years as a news photographer
with the Ottawa Journal. He then started his own photographic news
agency in Ottawa in 1969, producing general news stories, photo
features and magazine articles with the help of several other news photographers.
Five years later, while on a two-week tour
of the Maritime Provinces, John fell in love with Nova Scotia, the
sea, and the men who plough the sea. So began a 10-year career as an inshore
fisherman in the village of Jeddore, where he still resides.
In 1982 he was selected by CUSO
to open the first village fishery program on the tiny island of EPI, in Vanuatu, South
Pacific. Following this "adventure" , he travelled around the world
and rediscovered photography.
Three years later, in 1985, John was
selected as one of 12 expert European Community photographers to
conduct an advertising seminar in Communist China. This well documented
experience convinced him that the world was about to see the awakening of
a giant. On a personal level, it was the return to full time creativity.
When he returned to Nova Scotia, John opened
a video company called
in film and slide transfers to video, foreign cassette conversions and much,
Two years later he created a video production
company called Global Video Inc.
Although he produced mainly commercial
videos through Global, John's first love was the documentary.
In 1987, he received an Award of
Excellence at the Atlantic Film Festival
for the 105-minute "The
Gambia Project ", his first documentary.
In 1988, John produced and directed....Cerebral
Palsy, A Misunderstood Condition! ,
a 30-minute documentary , which was shown across Canada
Canadian Cerebral Palsy Association.
In 1989 John found himself in Calcutta
once more, not as a volunteer this time, but as a filmmaker.
Beyond Charity, documented the activities
of a street clinic in the heart of Calcutta.
In 1990 it received a CANPRO
for second-best public affairs
documentary in Canada!
and was later broadcast
throughout Atlantic Canada on ATV
In 1992, John produced a 30 minute documentary
on Peggy`s Cove, Nova Scotia.
60...except for the summer months when over 200.000 tourists converge to
it from the World over
In 1993, John focused on the 75th
anniversary of the Halifax Explosion.
The result was... "THUNDER IN THE SKY" a 97-minute documentary which
covers many aspects of the tragedy. It incorporates striking interviews,
three original songs, unique photographs and archival film taken the day
after the disaster, as well as the use of dramatic illustrations created
specifically for the production.
In 1994, John teamed up with Janet
Beaton, a survivor of ANOREXIA BULEMIA,
and co-produced a 40-minute Video
called "Anorexia Bulemia...It`s OK to talk about it!"
December 1996, John released
...."THE AUSCHWITZ CONNECTION",
a 57-minute documentary which
examines the plight of a local Holocaust survivor
as well as the efforts
of some local youth at coming to grips with their inheritance...
work has received great reviews from teachers, professors, the Media (CBC Television,)
and many young people alike...
In 1999, John released a 30 minute documentary on Saint-Pierre & Miquelon.
Those islands are located on the east coast of Canada, directly below Newfoundland, and...
are French Territory right here, in North America!
on this and much more soon..