White Pine Pictures and Soundings/Steele Inc. present
RADICAL DREAMER: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry
He was a lonely voice in a wild west of broadcasting; a man out of time whose vision shaped our country’s new century.
Peter Raymont and Bruce Steele
Radical Dreamer to have World Premiere with first public television simulcast April 30, 2008 – SCN, TVOntario, BC Knowledge Network, CLT
Tuesday, April 15, 2008: In an unprecedented move to create a temporary “national public television network”, Canada’s four English-language provincial educational broadcasters will simulcast the world premiere of the one-hour documentary Radical Dreamer: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry. The film will air on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 on TVO at 10PM EDT, on SCN at 8PM CDT, on CLT in Alberta at 8PM MST, and on BC Knowledge Network at 8PM PST.
Radical Dreamer: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry explores the fascinating life of the “Father of Public Broadcasting”. Spry was also one of the founders of the CCF (later the NDP) and played a key role at the inception of socialized medicine. But he was considered by those in power to be a “dangerous radical” and spent much of his productive years in virtual exile.
A lifelong advocate of a distinct Canadian society and culture, Spry knew in his bones that public broadcasting could unite Canada and put her on a world stage. Radical Dreamer: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry weaves rare archival material with contemporary voices to unravel the secrets of this nation builder who faced many of the same challenges that confound policy makers today.
Interviews in the film include Graham Spry ‘s daughter, Lib Spry, his grandson, Jeremy Spry, journalist Larry Zolf, former Saskatchewan Premiere, Allan Blakeney, CEO of the National Arts Centre, Peter Herrndorf, and former CRTC Commissioners John Meisel and Robert O’Reilly.
This documentary marks the first collaboration between Regina based producer/director/writer Bruce Steele of Soundings/Steele Inc. and the president of White Pine Pictures, Peter Raymont. Both Steele and Raymont knew the Spry family personally; Steele as part of Spry’s “young legion” in the 1970’s, and Raymont visited the Spry household as a child in Ottawa. He later shared an apartment with Spry’s son, Richard, in Montreal.
Radical Dreamer: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry had been in development by Bruce Steele and Kealy Wilkinson (Director of the Canadian Broadcast Museum Foundation) for 25 years, since Spry’s death in 1983. Peter Raymont came on board in 2004 after meeting Steele at the Banff International Television Festival.
“This documentary has been many years in the making. Without the support of public broadcasters like SCN, TVO, Knowledge Network, CLT, and my partner Peter Raymont, whose belief in the project and reputation helped pave the way for enough funding to make the film, I could not have told this story.” – Bruce Steele
Soundings/Steele Inc. is located in Regina, Saskatchewan. Over the course of thirty years, the company has created thousands of hours of regional, national and international radio one-offs, specials and series, and hundreds of hours of television series. Soundings wrote and hosted 595 episodes of the television series What On Earth (CBC network); produced, wrote and hosted 65 episodes of the series Long Shadows; wrote the series Time and Place (Discovery); wrote the series Wood River Hall (Vision TV) and countless others. Soundings and Steele have won awards and citations from Prix de Monaco, The Agricultural Oscar; ACTRA for writing and hosting, and SMPIA for best television host. www.soundings.ca
White Pine Pictures is an independent Canadian film and television production company based in Toronto. The company has earned over 40 accolades, including Genies, Geminis, Hugos, The Sesterce d’Argent and many other international honours. Their documentary Shake Hands with the Devil: The Journey of Roméo Dallaire was honoured with an Emmy Award and the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentaries at the Sundance Film Festival. White Pine Pictures has produced documentaries for all Canadian broadcasters, and internationally for the BBC and Channel 4 (UK), PBS-ITVS and National Geographic (U.S.), France 2, SVT (Sweden), ABC and SBS (Australia) among others. www.whitepineictures.com
Radical Dreamer: The Passionate Journey of Graham Spry is a White Pine Pictures and Soundings/Steele co-production. Produced in association with SCN, TVO, Knowledge Network and CLT. Produced with the participation of the Canadian Television Fund. Produced with the assistance of Canada Council for the Arts, Star Choice Communications Inc., The Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, The Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit, The Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit. Produced with the participation of the Saskatchewan Film Employment Tax Credit
For further information:
Davida Gragor, White Pine Pictures