Tony Ianzelo

One of the National Film Board’s most talented, reliable and prolific cinematographers from the late sixties through to the nineties, Tony Ianzelo has more than one hundred credits as cinematographer, director and producer. His unobtrusive camerawork and sense of empathy with his subjects are particularly evident in the several films he made with Boyce Richardson, notably Cree Hunters of Mistassini (1974) and North China Commune (1980).

He studied at Toronto’s Ryerson Polytechnic College, joined the NFB in 1960 as a camera assistant, and in 1966 directed and photographed his first film, Antonio, a moving portrait of his father. Always something of an innovator, he co-directed (with Colin Low) Transitions (1986), the first film to be shot in Imax-3D. He also co-directed the award-winning Blackwood (1976) and High Grass Circuit (1977), which were both nominated for Academy Awards® for Best Documentary Short.

Perhaps best known for his many films concerned with the Cree nation and other issues of the Far North, Ianzelo established a reputation as a filmmaker with honesty and compassion. One of the first cinematographers elected to the Royal Academy of Arts and a mentor to countless filmmakers, he was named a Member of the Order of Canada in 2003.