Norman Jewison addresses guests at the 2012 CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser.

Norman Jewison and Lynne St. David-Jewison with Eugene Levy and Slawko Klymkiw at CFC in LA 2013.

Norman Jewison with Lewis Gilbert and Liza Minnelli.

Norman Jewison and Lynne St. David-Jewison speak to filmmaker Atom Egoyan at the 2012 CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser.

Norman Jewison leads a master class with CFC residents.

Norman Jewison and Lynne St. David-Jewison with Pen Densham at CFC in LA 2014.

Norman Jewison with Tatiana Maslany and CFC alumnus Charlie Carrick at the 2012 CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser.

Norman Jewison and Lynne St. David-Jewison with Slawko Klymkiw, Helga Stephenson and Don Carmody at the 2011 CFC Annual Garden Party.

Norman Jewison and Lynne St. David-Jewison with Harland Williams and Russell Peters at CFC in LA 2012.

Wisdom & Insights

On Storytelling

"I’ve tried to be truthful and entertaining, to write something that’s sometimes serious and sometimes funny, sometimes sad and sometimes joyful, something with passion and anger, laughter and tears, and even the occasional insight … something that’s like one of my better movies, in other words."


- Norman Jewison

From his autobiography This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me

On the Importance of Film

"Film has become the literature of this generation. Canada’s cultural distinction and survival depend on its ability to master the medium and command a place on the screens of the world."


- Norman Jewison

From a feature profile written by Jack Batten for the CFC when Mr. Jewison was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from the CFC.

On His Filmmaking Inspiration

"Every film I make must have a raison d'être, a reason for being there. As well as being an entertaining story, it must have something valid to say about life, that reflects my own private fears or joy. Even though I now know it is a futile and impossible task, I still want to change the world. Well, a little bit!"


- Norman Jewison

Quoted in World Film Directors, Volume Two, edited by John Wakeman (New York: The H W Wilson Company, 1988)

On Collaboration in Filmmaking

"I really believe that films are made by writers, directors, cameramen, and editors. Those are the key storytellers, because all of them are involved in telling the story. The closer those four people work, the more they become one. If you take hands and form a circle, you are now one. […] Making a film requires the individual artists to take hands, and form this circle, and become one with the work, because the work is what's important, so the film is the result of this closeness. And the look, and image and vision of the film has to come from the director, but he's only a part of the circle." 

"Always remember that it's a collaboration between yourself, your cinematographer, your editor, your writer, and your cast. Remember the idea of the circle and try to keep that circle together. Always make a film for the right reason, because you have to. Because you believe in it. Always believe in yourself and your own vision. Never let anyone else tell you that a film can't be done, or that you can't do it, because it can and you can."

- Norman Jewison

From the interview  Norman Jewison: In the Eye of the Storm, by Alex Simon

On How Great Films Are Made

"All writers need sensitive directors, who in turn need talented producers, who need need brilliant editors and the best technical crew you can afford. That's how great films are made!"


- Norman Jewison

 From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On Directing Movies

"It’s you against the world. It's like going to war. Everybody is trying to tell you something different, and they’re always putting obstacles in your way. You have to fight for what you believe in, and you have to defend yourself constantly. It’s a matter of confidence. It’s when you get indecisive and you lack confidence that you get into trouble, because everybody else will take over."


- Norman Jewison

 From IMDB

On Racism and Injustice

"I have always wanted to tell stories that grab an audience, stories that hold your attention. But what really fascinates me are the ideas behind the stories. Racism and injustice are two themes I have come back to, again and again, in my films."

"Every time a film deals with racism, many Americans feel uncomfortable. Yet it has to be confronted. We have to deal with prejudice and injustice or we will never understand what is good and evil, right and wrong; we need to feel how ‘the other’ feels."


- Norman Jewison

 From his autobiography This Terrible Business Has Been Good to Me

On How to Succeed

"All you really need is good timing, a pair of good shoes and a little luck."

"Those who have confidence and belief in their own talent will succeed."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On Wisdom for Emerging Creators

"When young emerging creative film, television and new media artists ask me for a few words of wisdom, I always remind them to remember one thing. The creative artists are the engine which drives the communication industry."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On the Future of Screen-Based Media

"What is the future for screen-based media? The future of anything in this industry is difficult to predict. I remember when everyone thought that the film industry was redundant because television would totally replace the movie experience. It did not happen, and films became the most popular programming on television screens."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On the Universality of Storytelling

"As technology rapidly changes our lives certain things will remain constant: Remember that everyone loves a good story. Regardless of what language we speak, storytelling is as ancient as the beginning of human existence."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On Winfields Estate

"I remember, in 1987, that first meeting with Charles Taylor in his coach house office at Windfields [Estate], where I presented the idea of a Canadian Centre for Advanced Film Studies to be established on his family’s large Bayview Avenue estate. There were horses grazing in the paddock and someone playing tennis when I was asking him to give over EP Taylor’s home for a future film centre. I was overjoyed when Charles told me he loved film and said he would discuss it with the family and didn’t throw me out of his office. What an incredible legacy this magnificent place has turned out to be."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement 

On the CFC

"Hopefully the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) will continue to nurture those visual artists of tomorrow and continue to fill the screens of the world with dazzling images and stories."


- Norman Jewison

        From Playback (2008), CFC’s 20th Anniversary sponsored supplement