President | Executive Producer – Open Door Co.
Executive Producer – Intervention Canada (Launching Season 2 Monday Aug 27 on Slice in Canada)
Producer | Executive Producer – Cracked Not Broken – (HBO Addiction Series)
In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts (Knopf Canada, 2008) – Dr. Gabor Maté
I have been immersed in the world of addiction since 2007 when I released my first film Cracked Not Broken (HBO). This immersion continues to this day through our series Intervention Canada. I had been looking for a coherent explanation to what I had been experiencing while documenting the real world of addicts. Like many people on the outside looking in, I came to this world with an attitude of “smugness” when it came to the addicted. I looked down on them as weak, slothful people that just needed to get up off their behinds, find work and just “say no.” My experience in the intervening years has taught me quite the opposite. What I found in Dr. Maté’s book was a coherent treatise on the causes of addiction, drawing on his many years as a compassionate, effective, front-line physician in Vancouver’s Lower East Side and solid cutting edge research. It helped me understand and explain what I have experienced in a great many of the addicts we deal with – that the straight line between childhood trauma and addiction is overwhelming.
The Shock Doctrine (Knopf Canada, 2007) – Naomi Klein
In 2010, I produced a film called Independent America – Rising from Ruin, which looked at the plight of independent mom and pop businesses in post-Katrina New Orleans. What we found was aptly described in Klein’s book as disaster capitalism. Certain large corporations taking advantage of an incomprehensible, preventable tragedy to take advantage of a “blank slate” left by Katrina to their own benefit. The books thesis inspired to a certain extent elements in the project and in fact we were fortunate to have Ms. Klein as a subject in the film.
Healing Hearts ([Self Published], 2003) – by John Coburn
This is a book of gentle, emotional and healing pen and ink drawings by Toronto artist John Coburn that documented his experiences embedded with first responders and recovery workers following the 9/11 attacks at ground zero. I became involved as an Executive Producer with John in 2011, on a project to have his original artwork used in the book displayed for the first time in New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. John’s originals, which were damaged in a 2006 fire that burned down his Toronto studio, and his book reinforced in me the power that art can have and that art in fact does matter. As a company with a tag line of “Content that Matters,” John’s work was truly inspiring.