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Graeme Ferguson Dies: Canadian Filmmaker Who Co-Founded Imax Was 91

·2 min read

Graeme Ferguson, the Canadian filmmaker who co-founded Imax, died on Saturday at the age of 91.

Ferguson had reportedly been battling cancer, passing away at his home in Norway Point, Ontario.

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Imax took to Twitter today to confirm the news. “We mourn the passing of Graeme Ferguson, visionary IMAX Co-Founder and iconic filmmaker,” they said. “Thank you and rest in peace, Graeme.”

Ferguson founded the Imax Corporation in 1967, with filmmaker Roman Kroitor, businessman Robert Kerr, and engineer William Shaw. His latter two collaborators had been friends of his since high school.

The initial impetus for Imax was Polar Life, an experimental film that Ferguson directed for Expo ’67 in Montreal. In collaboration with Kroitor, Kerr and Shaw, he would develop a proprietary system of high-resolution cameras, film formats, projectors and theaters which would bring a new sense of immersion and scope to the cinematic experience.

A writer, director, producer and cinematographer, Ferguson’s Imax films included Circus World, Snow Job, Ocean, North of Superior, Man Belongs to the Earth, Hail Columbia!, The Dream Is Alive, Blue Planet, Journey to the Planets, Into the Deep, Destiny in Space, L5: First City in Space, Mission to Mir, Deep Sea 3D, Under the Sea 3D and Hubble 3D. His most recent project as an executive producer was 2016’s A Beautiful Planet, an exploration of Earth and beyond, as seen from the International Space Station, which was directed by Toni Myers and narrated by Jennifer Lawrence.

Ferguson also served as president of Imax between 1970 and 1990. The company was ultimately purchased in 1994 by Brad Wechsler and Richard Gelfond, who took it public, and listed it on both NASDAQ and the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In 1983, Ferguson was recognized with the Genie Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Canadian Film Industry. A decade later, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada.

While Ferguson’s wife, whom he married in 1982, passed away two months before him, he is survived by his children, Allison and Munro.

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