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Uncommon Hero

Uncommon Hero

| 4 min

This short film pays tribute to Paul Thompson, a man who has created a uniquely Canadian theatrical tradition through his passion, vision and tireless innovation. At 14, he was given a ticket for the Stratford Festival. Fifty years later, it's hard to imagine Canadian theatre without his inspired leadership.

From Theatre Passe Muraille to the National Theatre School, Paul has mentored generations of actors and playwrights, forging a vibrant and distinctly Canadian theatre tradition.

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2011 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

  • recipient
    Paul Thompson
  • writer
    John L'Ecuyer
  • director
    John L'Ecuyer
  • producer
    Lea Marin
  • director of photography
    Jonathon Cliff
  • editor
    Lawrence Jackman
  • sound recordist
    Sanjay Mehta
  • 1st assistant director
    Kevin Walker
  • 1st assistant camera
    Jonathan Staav
  • gaffer
    Sean Paul Hearn
  • key grip
    Rhys Brisbin
  • best boy grip
    Fraser Brown
  • re-recording engineer
    Paolo Amati
  • sound effects editor
    Adam Raley
  • online editor
    Rocky Polidoro
  • colourist
    Colin Moore
  • marketing manager
    Kelly Fox
  • production supervisor
    Mark Wilson
    Marcus Matyas
  • technical coordinator
    Christopher Logan
    Drew Stevenson
  • centre administrator
    Josiah Rothenberg
  • production coordinator
    Rachel Punwassie
  • production assistant
    Chris Niesing
  • senior producer
    Gerry Flahive
  • executive producer
    Silva Basmajian


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Ages 14 to 17

Civics/Citizenship - Ideologies
Family Studies/Home Economics - Feminism
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Media Education - Popular Culture

Discuss what Paul Thompson means by “wanting to join, wanting to belong, but the price was too high”? How was his career shaped by his apparent early failures? What is his message to others about handling failure? Discuss how his message relates to peer pressure and bullying. What is “integrity,” and how did Thompson demonstrate this quality? Why is his work considered unique and “Canadian”?

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