Garry Beitel

Course LecturerGarry Beitel

Areas of interest:

Jewish themed documentary films, refugees and minority cultures, artists and their creative process


B.A. McGill University
M.A. (Film and Communications) McGill University


Garry Beitel is a Montreal based documentary filmmaker. His probing portraits of individuals and communities have been screened in theatres and broadcast on Canadian television for almost 30 years, winning national and international awards. He works primarily in Canada – both in English and French - but has also made films in China, Africa, South America, Mexico and the Middle East.

His acclaimed Bonjour! Shalom! won three Gémeaux awards including Best Quebec Documentary (1991). Vive le Québec … Anglé! was nominated for a Gémeau (2004) for best direction in a public affairs documentary and The Man Who Learned to Fall won two Freddie Awards at the International Health and Medical Media Awards (2005). My dear Clara (2002) and The “Socalled” Movie (2010) received the J.I. Segal Award from the Jewish Public Library for best film on a Jewish theme.

Other noteworthy awards and distribution for Garry’s films include: both Chez Schwartz and The “Socalled” Movie were distributed on Air Canada flights in the fall of 2010; Chez Schwartz was chosen to represent Quebec films at the Cinema du Quebec a Paris in 2007; On Wings of Song and Endnotes were nominated for the Vision TV Humanitarian Award at Hot Docs in 2002: More Than Half the Sky won the Audience Choice Award at the Council of Social Work Education Film Festival in Washington in 2011; Bonjour! Shalom! was included in the Contemporary Documentary Series, “ a seris of outstanding documentaries” selected by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles in 1992.

Garry has participated in numerous peer juries – for the Canada Council, the Québec Arts Council (CALQ), the Genies, the Jutras and the Rencontres internationales du documentaire de Montréal. He has been an external script reader for the SODEC, a story consultant for the NFB and was the filmmaker jurist in 2003 for the selection of documentaries for the Rendezvous du cinéma québecois.

He has an MA in Film and Communications from McGill University where he has been a Course Lecturer since 1988 teaching courses on Documentary Film and Cultural Studies in the Departments of English and Jewish Studies. He has conducted workshops in documentary filmmaking for the Canadian Screen Training Centre and the Quebec Writers Federation.

In 1995 Garry and producer Barry Lazar started their own documentary film production company, now under the name reFrame Films (

Garry is the 2011 recipient of the Bourse de carrière (for lifetime achievement) awarded annually by the Conseil des arts et des letters de Québec. He is the first Anglophone filmmaker in Quebec to receive this prestigious award.

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