Dear Guelda: The Death and Life of Pioneering Canadian Filmmaker Julian Roffman


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By Peter Roffman

Canadian film producer and director Julian Roffman's career would take him from the streets of New York to the founding of the National Film Board of Canada, from wartime Europe to deal-making in the world of independent film and television in the Fifties and Sixties. Along the way, Roffman was involved in the production of at least 400 movies including award-winning documentaries. He is, perhaps, best known as the director of cult films The Bloody Brood (1959) and The Mask (1961), Canada's first 3-D Film. A victim of the HUAC film-world blacklist, Julian Roffman was a working producer-director and the next deal was always around the corner. He often worked in the background, at times under assumed names, on a varied slate ranging from a Franklin Delano Roosevelt documentary to Flipper. Back in Canada in the 1950s, Roffman, with partners, contributed much-needed support and infrastructure to a small but growing film industry. Using his father's letters home to wife Guelda, author Peter Roffman crafts a narrative tracing Julian Roffman's life in the film business and its impact on his family.