With film being the literature of this generation, few have told its tales as eloquently as writer, director, and producer Norman Jewison. His highly acclaimed films such as "The Russians Are Coming! The Russians Are Coming!" (1966), "Fiddler on the Roof" (1971) and "Moonstruck" (1987) have made a distinctive and important mark on film history.
After joining the navy in 1944, Jewison went on to school at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1950. Norman began his career in show business at the BBC, as there were no opportunities for him in Canada at that time. But after a couple of gruelling years writing in Britain, he felt it was time to come home. He enrolled in the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's training program. Before long, Jewison was directing and producing shows for "Wayne and Shuster." He then rescued CBS' failing "Your Hit Parade" and produced "The Fabulous Fifties" for which he also won an Emmy in 1960.
From his first film, "Forty Pounds of Trouble" (1963), the Toronto native went on to establish himself as one of the true visionaries of his time. Jewison's "In the Heat of the Night" (1967) won five Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Screenplay, Best Actor. His films have earned 45 Academy Award nominations, 12 Oscars, cementing Jewison as one of the world's best directors.Though he considers himself a farmer who occasionally makes films, his dedication to Canadian filmmaking is unbeatable. In 1988 he established the Canadian Film Centre to promote and advance the artistic, technical, and business skills of Canada's film and television community.
Jewison says he is "deeply honoured to receive this award, especially since it is in my hometown."