For thirty years Donald Winkler has been making documentary films that capture the many faces of Canadian cultural life. He authored the series Poets: A Sestet, six films that feature the life and work of the senior generation of Canadian poets. These include Poet: Irving Layton Observed (1986), Still Waters: The Poetry of P.K. Page (1990), plus films on Earle Birney, F. R. Scott, Al Purdy, and Ralph Gustafson.
Winkler's films also include In Praise of Hands (1974), a survey of indigenous crafts from around the world and The Summer of '67 (1994) wherein ten Toronto baby-boomers who participated in a 1967 documentary look back on their younger selves. More recently Winkler directed Thank you for the Love You Gave (1997), a moving portrait of the brilliant Cree playwright and novelist, Tomson Highway.