Canadian filmmaker dies at 48 – .

Charles Officer was an award-winning Canadian writer, documentarian, and filmmaker who was nominated for 10 Genie Awards for his 2008 film, “Nurse.Fighter.Boy,” and who directed episodes of “The Porter,” an historical drama series. 

Charles Officer’s legacy 

Officer studied communication design at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and acting at Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City, leading to stage and screen appearances throughout the 2000s and 2010s. However, he was best known as a filmmaker. Officer’s directorial debut came in 2000 with “When Morning Comes,” which played at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). 

His 2008 feature film, “Nurse.Fighter.Boy,” received wide acclaim. Inspired by his sister’s struggle with sickle cell anemia, the movie was recognized at the 57th Berlin International Film Festival, won the Audience Award at the International Filmfestival Mannheim-Heidelberg, earned a jury prize and the audience award for Best in World Cinema at the Sarasota Film Festival, and was nominated for 10 Genie Awards, which later became the Canadian Screen Awards. 

Officer’s work on documentary films also won acclaim. His 2010 film, “Mighty Jerome,” chronicled the life of Harry Jerome, Canada’s most decorated track and field star. His 2017 documentary, “Unarmed Verses,” explored the experiences of Black youth in Toronto and race relations in the city as a whole.  “Unarmed Verses” was named Best Canadian Feature at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Best Canadian Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival. 

His success continued with the 2020 feature film, “Akilla’s Escape,” which won for Best Original Screenplay at the Canadian Screen Awards. It was his final film before his death. 

Tributes to Charles Officer 

Full obituary: CBC News 

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