Writer / Director

Canadian auteur William D. MacGillivray has been writing and directing independent cinema since the early 1980’s.  An alumnus of THE LONDON FILM SCHOOL, 1970/1, he returned to Canada to become one of the founding members and first president of the Atlantic Filmmaker’s Cooperative, opening his own production company, PICTURE PLANT in 1981.

Trained as a visual artist, MacGillivray’s work has been described as being instrumental in the development of English Canada’s Cinema. His feature film STATIONS was named one of the 10 best debut features in Canadian Cinema. LIFE CLASSES (in competition for the Golden Bear, Berlin) has been sited a Master Work of Canadian Cinema and one of the 20 English language features listed in TIFF’s 2017, ‘Essential Canadian Cinema’.

MacGillivray is an eminently versatile filmmaker and besides his award-winning features, he has written and directed many acclaimed documentaries and shorts and a 13 part ‘cult’ Canadian television series.

MacGillivray’s cinema has been called deceptively simple in its complexity, with a mise-en-scène that appears unaffected, but is in reality detailed and multi-layered.  The intelligence of his writing and the sensitivity of his work with actors has given him a reputation for slowly drawing audiences in and rewarding them with deeply emotional cinematic experiences.

In 2013, MacGillivray was awarded one of Canada’s highest Arts Award, The Governor General’s Award, for his career achievements.

Working closely with his longtime producer/partner, Terry Greenlaw, MacGillivray continues to create vital and insightful cinema.

Some Critical Responses: 

“William D. MacGillivray has been responsible for some of the most singularly resonant, poignant and stylish films made in Canada. His films are those of heart and head, emotionally engaging and deeply thoughtful.”  Piers Handling, CEO TIFF

“With a startling combination of courage, wit, and sensitivity, William D. MacGillivray has fashioned some of the most mature, intelligent and evocative films ever made about this country.” Tom McSorley, Cinematheque Canada / Canadian Film Institute

“I write about LIFE CLASSES because I love it: I went so far as to include it in my list for the last Sight and Sound International Critics Poll as one of the ten best films ever made. With LIFE CLASSES I am aware of no incongruity in giving it a place beside the works of Ozu, Renoir, Ophuls, etc.” Robin Wood, “Sexual Politics and Narrative Film / Hollywood and Beyond”, Colombia University Press.