Gerry Flahive leaves the NFB

Longtime National Film Board of Canada (NFB) producer Gerry Flahive (pictured) has left the organization, drawing to a close a career spanning three decades.
May 7, 2014

Longtime National Film Board of Canada (NFB) producer Gerry Flahive (pictured) has left the organization, drawing to a close a career spanning three decades.

Flahive, who was most recently a senior producer at the NFB, chose to leave the film board to pursue other creative outlets and challenges – particularly writing – he told realscreen‘s sister publication.

“That is kind of an itch I really want to scratch – to just do more writing and have more time for that,” Flahive told Playback Daily. His last day with the film board was May 2.

Flahive is a frequent contributor to The Globe and Mail, and has also written for the Toronto Star, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and the Los Angeles Times.

For the past five years, he has been writing as fictional character Bert Xanadu on Twitter (@moviemayor) and at publications like Spacing magazine. He hopes to compile some of that writing into a book this summer.

In addition to writing, Flahive said he wants to continue to produce documentaries and interactive projects, and to teach. He has also says he has already been approached by an American broadcaster to do consulting work.

Flahive’s exit is the latest in a string of high profile departures, and follows the controversial exits of Ravida Din and Tom Perlmutter from the NFB in February.

Din, who was director general of the NFB’s English Program, and Perlmutter – who had stepped down as NFB chair at the end of 2013 but was staying on as a consultant – both left the organization on the same day, without explanation.

In addition, other senior NFB departures have included Cindy Witten, director general of English production, who left in 2012 before her term was up; Silva Basmajian, exec producer for the Ontario region, who stepped down last July; and Monique Simard in Montreal, who departed as director general of the French Program.

During his time at the NFB, Flahive produced more than 75 films and interactive projects, including the multi-year, multimedia collaborative documentary project Highrise. The project included interactive docs, mixed media, installations, films and live presentations.

Out My Window, an interactive doc that was part of the project, won a 2011 Digital Emmy Award.  A Short History of The Highrise, an interactive project of four short documentaries, was featured on Op-Docs, the New York Times‘ portal for short documentaries.

“For me…to have a project premiere on the front page of the New York Times website is kind of the gold standard,” said Flahive of A Short History of The Highrise project.

Other work Flahive produced while he was with the NFB includes Paris 1919, Waterlife, I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors, Surviving Progress and The End of Time.

The NFB is currently searching for a replacement for Flahive.

  • Photo credit: Jaime Hogge/NFB
  • Additional files by Adam Benzine
About The Author
Selina Chignall joins the realscreen team as a staff writer. Prior to working with rs, she covered lobbying activity at Hill Times Publishing. She also spent a year covering the Hill as a journalist with iPolitics. Her beat focused on youth, education, democratic reform, innovation and infrastructure. She holds a Master of Arts in Journalism from Western University and a Honours Bachelor of Arts from the University of Toronto.