Canadian Filmmaker Charles Officer Has Died

He directed 'The Porter' and 'Akilla's Escape,' as well as several documentaries

Photo: Petr Novák, Wikipedia

BY Alex HudsonPublished Dec 4, 2023

Canadian filmmaker Charles Officer has died. He was 48 or 49, according to different sources.

He had reportedly suffered a lengthy illness and underwent a lung transplant in 2022. Sources report that he died on Friday (December 1) due to complications stemming from a heart attack.

Officer notably directed the 2020 film Akilla's Escape, starring Saul Williams, a Toronto-set drama that explored cannabis legalization and crime in Toronto. He and co-writer Wendy Motion Brathwaite won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Original Screenplay.

He also directed four episodes of The Porter, the CBC series about Black train porters that was nominated for 19 Canadian Screen Awards earlier this year, eventually winning 12.

The filmmaker was also known for directing several documentaries, including 2017's The Skin We're In, based on Desmond Cole's essay "The Skin I'm In." Another 2017 doc, Unarmed Verses, won the Hot Docs Award for Best Canadian Feature Documentary.

Prior to his filmmaker career, Officer was a hockey prospect who played in the Ontario Hockey League and was once invited to the Calgary Flames training camp.

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