YORKTON - An icon of Canadian film has died.
Norman Jewison, the acclaimed Canadian-born director whose films included the Oscar-winning "In the Heat of the Night," has died at age 97.
Jewison, a three-time Oscar nominee who in 1999 received an Academy Award for lifetime achievement, has had a definite impact of film in this country and that impact rippled to the Yorkton Film Festival, said YFF executive director Randy Goulden.
“His impact is significant, she said.
Jewison, was honoured by Canada in 2003 with a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award. He founded the Canadian Film Centre in 1988.
Goulden said the training centre has been integral in terms of creating Canadian filmmakers.
“It has provided training to Canadians who want to go into film-making,” she said, adding that trickles down to some of the entries over the years at YFF having a connection to the training.
Jewison’s 1967's "In the Heat of the Night," starred Rod Steiger as a white racist small-town sheriff and Sidney Poitier as a Black detective from Philadelphia. The production won the Academy Award for best picture while Steiger took home the best-actor Oscar.
Goulden said the film was one with a message which is still important tearing down racial prejudices to work together.
“He (Jewison) was one of the first to bring it to the forefront to get us thinking about it,” she said.
Jewison received two other Oscar nominations, for “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Moonstruck”.
Goulden said while Jewison found great success in Hollywood “he still never forgot about his Canadian roots.
Jewison and his wife also created the Norman & Margaret Jewison Charitable Foundation, which provides dollars to film.
“Every year we get funding from the Jewison Foundation,” said Goulden.
That support has included the Director Fiction Award program presented by Norman & Margaret Jewison Charitable Foundation.