Jack Silberman, producer

Jack Silberman earned a B.A. (English) from Middlebury College, studied documentary
film production at MIT, and has a master’s degree from the Harvard University
Graduate School of Education.

He has been producing, directing, and writing documentaries for 30 years and has
extensive international experience, having worked on location in Sri Lanka, India,
Pakistan, Laos, Japan, Kenya, Tanzania, Borneo, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Belize, Mexico,
the Bahamas, France, Brazil, the Virgin Islands, Israel, and England, as well as the
United States and Canada.

His films have won more than 60 national and international awards.  His production
‘Island of Whales’ was narrated by Gregory Peck, broadcast on PBS (Nova), and won
17 national and international awards, including the Gemini Award for Best Canadian
Documentary (1992).   

His film ‘Bombies’ was broadcast on PBS and won the Golden Gate Award (first place)  
at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the Gold Award (first place) for best
social / political documentary at the Chicago International Film Festival, Best of
Festival at the Vermont International Film Festival, the Special Prize at Okomedia
(Germany), the Swiss Prize (first place) at the Basel-Karlsruhe Film Festival, and  the
Japan Prize - one of the world’s leading awards for educational films.  

He has produced, directed, and/or written more than 45 films for Canadian, American
(PBS), and British television networks (Channel 4), as well as for National Geographic
Channels International, Discovery Channel, the National Film Board of Canada, and for
international organizations such as Unicef, the United Nations Development Program,
the Canadian International Development Agency, and the Aga Khan Foundation.   
 
Selected Credits:
Currently: Directing and writing a 20 minute film about refugees and immigrants in
Surrey for the Surrey Foundation.
In Search of Nirvana: one hour documentary about Buddhist meditation. Filmed in
Burma and Sri Lanka. (Producer). 2008.
 
The Graduates: one hour documentary about the history of higher education in British
Columbia. Produced for Knowledge Network and the B.C. Ministry of Higher Education.
(Producer/Director). 2008.
 
Raised To Be Heroes: one hour documentary about conscientious objectors within the
Israeli army.  Produced for the National Film Board of Canada.   Licensed to CBC -
Passionate Eye. (Director/Writer). 2006.
 
Polio Hunters: one hour documentary about the worldwide effort to eradicate polio.  
Produced for the Discovery Health Channel, Knowledge Network, and the Canadian
International Development Agency.  (Producer/Director/Writer).  2006.
 
Uganda Rising:  Feature-length documentary about child soldiers in Uganda.   
Numerous international awards.  (Consulting Producer). 2006.
 
The Vanishing Tattoo: one hour documentary about the disappearing tattoo
traditions of the Iban people of Borneo.  Produced for the  Aboriginal People’s
Television Network and National Geographic. (Producer/Director). 2003.
 
Call It Karma:  One hour documentary about a Tibetan monk’s journey to the west.  
Produced for Canadian television networks.  Best Adventure Film - Whistler Film
Festival. (Co-writer). 2003
 
Bombies: one hour documentary about the U.S. secret war in Laos and its legacy of
unexploded cluster bombs.  Produced for ITVS (PBS), Canadian television networks,
CIDA, The Rogers Documentary Fund, and the MacArthur Foundation.  Broadcast on
PBS and winner of  first place awards at 10 international film festivals.
(Producer/Director/Writer).  2002.
 
Champions of The Wild: 3 half-hour films about sharks, orangutans, and dolphins and
the wildlife biologists who are working to protect them. Produced for the Discovery
Channel Canada and the National Film Board of Canada. (Director, 3 half-hours).1997-
98.
 
The Adventures of Mowgli:  English language version of an animated feature length
production of “The Jungle Book”, originally produced by Soyuzmiltfilm - Russia’s leading
animation studio. Voices by Charlton Heston, Sam Elliott, and Dana Delaney.  Licensed
to HBO.  (Producer). 1996.  
 
Battle For The Trees:  one hour documentary about the struggle to protect British
Columbia’s disappearing rainforest.   Produced for the National Film Board of Canada,
Channel 4 (U.K.), and Canadian television networks.  Winner of 7 national and
international awards, including ‘Best of Festival’ - International Nature Film and
Television Festival. (Producer). 1994.   
 
Island of Whales: one hour documentary about the whales of Vancouver Island.  
Produced for the National Film Board of Canada, Canadian television networks, and
PBS (Nova).  Winner of 17 national and international awards, including ‘Best Nature
Film’ - Houston; ‘Best of Festival’ - Yorkton; ‘Best Independent Film’ - International
Wildlife Film Festival; ‘Gemini Award’ (Best Documentary)- Canada. (Producer). 1992.
 
Bowl of Bone: feature-length documentary about the relationship between a troubled
young woman and a Native healer. Produced for the National Film Board of Canada.  
‘Best of Festival’ - Atlantic Film Festival; ‘Best of Festival’ - Northwest Film and Video
Festival (Portland). (Executive
Producer). 1992.  
 
Short Format: Director of more than 2 dozen segments for various magazine format
television programs  on subjects as diverse as how computers are helping the
Kwakwaka’wakw First Nation preserve their disappearing language, to raising racing
pigeons, to meditation. (Director, 2 dozen segments). 1993 - 97.
 
Nature Walk:  10 half-hour episodes of a series about the animals and plants in
national parks in Canada, the U.S., and Central America.  Produced for the Life
Network. (Director, 10 half-hours). 1995-97.
 
Aga Khan Series:  5 half-hour documentaries about rural development, health,
education, culture, and economic development in the developing world.  Produced for
the Secretariat of His Highness the Aga Khan.  (Producer/ Writer, 5 half-hours).  1985
- 89.
 
First Harvest:  one hour documentary re-visits community development projects in
Northern Pakistan.  Produced for the Canadian International Development Agency and
the Aga Khan Foundation.  (Producer/ Director/ Writer). 1987.
 
Valleys in Transition:  one hour documentary about rural development in the remote
high mountain valleys of  northern Pakistan. Produced for the Aga Khan Foundation.  
(Producer/Director/Writer). 1983.
 
Duran Duran: Field producer for 2 music videos shot in Sri Lanka - ‘Hungry Like The
Wolf’ and ‘Save A Prayer’. (Field Producer). 1982.
 
International Development: 13 educational films in a variety of formats (drama,
documentary, educational soap opera)  on a variety of topics - primary health care,
clean water, nutrition,  etc. Shot on location throughout Sri Lanka. Produced for
UNICEF, UNDP, and other international organizations.  (Producer/Director/Writer, 13
films). 1979 - 83.
 
Also:
Creator and co-manager of the Mostra Vida (‘Festival of Life’), an environmental film
festival of over 100  international films which were screened during the Earth Summit
at various locations around Rio de Janeiro, from the grounds of the Global Forum to
the favelas (slums) of Rochina, 1992.
Jury Member: Riena (at that time France’s largest festival of films about the
environment), 1991.
Keynote speaker: NHK Asian Documentary Forum, Bangkok, Thailand, 2004.
Jury member: Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund, 2005.
Instructor, Capilano University, Documentary Film Program, 2009/2010.