Apr 24, 2016
By Bob Sheppard
Veteran Canadian film producer and director Michael Spencer has died at the age of 96.
Spencer was born in Britain and came to Canada in 1939.
He made his mark with the National Film Board of Canada, starting as a cameraman in 1941, and becoming a producer in 1945.
By 1960 he was the NFB’s Director of Planning, and backed early films by directors like Denis Heroux, Gilles Carle and academy award winner Denys Arcand.
In 1968 Spencer became the Canadian Film Development Corporation’s first executive director. The CFDC eventually became Telefilm Canada, the film financing arm of the Canadian government
Spencer was responsible for the financing of Indie films like Ted Kotcheff’s Canadian classic, The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, which starred a young Richard Dreyfuss. He also financed David Cronenberg’s Stereo and Crimes of the Future, as well as Don Shebib’s Goin’s Down the Road.
In 1980 Spencer sat as a member of the Cannes Film Festival Jury, the first Canadian to do so.
He’s survived by his wife, Maqbool Spencer.