Barry Avrich donates his film collection to Ryerson

Director of The Last Mogul and Stratford Shakespeare productions gives original masters to Toronto university.

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Toronto filmmaker Barry Avrich is giving his moguls and Shakespeares to Ryerson University.

Avrich, an award-winning documentarian who produced Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards broadcast, has donated the original masters of his films, plus thousands of hours of interview footage and related archival materials, to Ryerson University’s Faculty of Communication and Design.

The Barry Avrich Collection includes his Moguls Series: films on such powerful and influential showbiz players as Lew Wasserman (The Last Mogul), Harvey Weinstein (Unauthorized: The Harvey Weinstein Project) and Bob Guccione (Filthy Gorgeous: The Bob Guccione Story) that have been a cornerstone of Avrich’s 21-year moviemaking career.

Avrich has also directed many film productions of Stratford Festival stage performances of Shakespeare classics, among them The Taming of the Shrew, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night and Love’s Labour’s Lost.

“I came to Ryerson as a student from Montreal and it was here that I picked up my first film camera. Today, Ryerson is home to some of Canada’s leading programs in film and photography preservation, documentary media and media production, “ said Avrich, who holds the title of distinguished visiting professor at Ryerson.

“My hope is that this collection will be used by students and researchers across campus for many years to come.”

The collection will be managed, studied and used for research purposes by faculty and students across the university, a Ryerson news release said.

“This is a priceless collection for us, consisting of contemporary Canadian films and materials that can be used in all aspects of student work and research,” said Charles Falzon, dean of Ryerson’s Faculty of Communication and Design.

BY PETER HOWELL – TORONTO STAR

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