Called a “modern-day renaissance man” by the Vancouver Sun, Pete McCormack is an award-winning filmmaker, novelist, screenwriter, musician, poet and producer who loves the philosophy of yoga.
Pete's most recent directing project is FACING ALI. The film tells the story of the inimitable Muhammad Ali and the story of ten legendary champions who fought him—in their own words: Smokin' Joe Frazier, George Foreman, Larry Holmes, Ken Norton, George Chuvalo, Leon Spinks, Sir Henry Cooper, Ron Lyle, Earnie Shavers and Ernie Terrell.
In Oct 2009, the film won the Audience Choice award for Best Documentary at the Vancouver International Film Festival. And in November 2009, Facing Ali was shortlisted (final 15) for nomination for Best Documentary at the 2010 Academy Awards.
Pete also wrote a song for the film, and played rather weak guitar for former world heavyweight champion Ernie Terrell, in a jazz bar in Chicago. At the time Pete was stuck behind a bar, off screen, in half lotus.
Other film projects include: writer and co-director (with Jesse James Miller) of the feature documentary Uganda Rising, about the plight of the Acholi people in Northern Uganda.
Narrated by Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey, the documentary features interviews with Noam Chomsky, Betty Bigombe, Samantha Powers, Mahmood Mamdani and others. Uganda Rising has won several awards on the festival circuit.
Recent smaller projects include the short films/advocacy pieces The Farchana Manifesto: Women Fighting for Refugee Rights (about women in a refugee camp in Chad) (2009), Corruption in India: Manipal, Medicine, MCI and a Piece of the Pai (2009) and Darfur In Ten Minutes: An Overview of the Conflict (2008). Pete did the score for The Farchana Manifesto and Corruption in India.
Pete also wrote and co-directed (with Tim Hardy) the 25 minute short film Hope In The Time of AIDS (2007), about the devastation of HIV and AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa, and the potential of antiretroviral drugs. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan, it includes interviews with Stephen Lewis and Romeo Dallaire.
Pete wrote, directed and co-produced the independent feature film See Grace Fly in 2003, about a woman’s battle with schizophrenia. The film received a Special Jury Citation and won for the Women In Film Best Actress Award at the 2003 Vancouver International Film Festival. See Grace Fly was also nominated for nine 2004 Leo Awards (winning for Best Actress: Gina Chiarelli), won the Audience Choice Award in Portugal's 2004 Fantasporto Film Festival, and was nominated for a 2005 Genie Award, again for best actress.
Pete has written several other produced films and has had the privilege of working with Academy Award Winning producer Jim Wilson (Dances With Wolves) as the writer on Wilson’s Whirlygirl, and with producer Francine Allaire on Lea Pool’s Blue Butterfly, and other great and generous spirits.
Pete's two novels, Shelby (1995) and Understanding Ken (1998), both received critical acclaim, in particular Understanding Ken, which was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award for Canadian Humour and the Word On The Street People's Choice Award and was named one of the years ten best books by the Ottawa Citizen.
Pete has produced, written and performed (with the skill of many great musicians) two original CDs, Breathe and Trust, that made top ten lists for Best Independent Albums the years they were released, followed by a mind-numbing lack of sales. His most recent collection of songs, only available online, is called Wide Open (2008), pared down to guitar and vocal.
Pete just completed the world's simplest video for a song called Wide Open (2009). Shot in a couple of hours with a hand-sized camera and an old ghetto blaster, it is exclusive to youtube—ha ha ha ha ha.
As a performer, Pete has toured solo, sometimes in his long-deceased Toyota Van, town to town, and has toured with and opened for artists as diverse as impressionist Andre Phillipe Gagnon, jazz singer Holly Cole, the legendary Classic rock band Little Feat, and former Payola$ frontman Paul Hyde.
Although Pete hasn't written a novel in awhile, he still writes fanatically, essays, blogs, research papers and poetry. He can't help it. Pete’s poetry is only available on his website, by popular demand. Okay, not by popular demand. So what. A few of his essays, which sometimes have trouble getting to the point, will also be posted front and centre on the site.
Pete's blog has had something like a half million visitors, none of whom have moved in.
Pete wonders why he keeps writing 'Pete', in third person, when he himself wrote this long-winded, name-dropping bio.
Pete doesn't know why.
|copyright 2006 Pete McCormack|