Along with Colin Low, Kroitor directed UNIVERSE (1960), possibly the NFB's most honoured film. It traces a trip through the universe from the planet Earth to the furthest reaches of space with such mathematical precision that it became required viewing by NASA technicians as they plotted to send a man to the moon. The techniques developed to produce this marvel of animation were later used by Stanley Kubrick in his groundbreaking sci-fi epic, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Kroitor also conceived and designed the multi-chambered, multi-screen LABYRINTH project, directed with Low and Hugh O'Connor; it was one of the most brilliant efforts at EXPO 67.
In the late 1960s Roman Kroitor left the NFB briefly to found the IMAX Corporation with Graeme FERGUSON and Robert Kerr, and produced Tiger Child, directed by Donald BRITTAIN; it was the first film partially shot in the revolutionary format for the World's Fair in Osaka, Japan. Kroitor returned to the NFB in the mid 1970s and was put in charge of dramatic production, producing Robin SPRY's One Man (1977, winner of 6 CFAs), and securing two Oscar nominations, for Giles Walker's Bravery in the Field (1979) and John N. Smith's First Winter (1981). Later he returned to IMAX and had a hand in directing its first feature-length film and the first concert film shot in the IMAX format - Rolling Stones at the Max - in 1991. He was also responsible for inventing the Sandde hand-drawn stereoscopic animation system that allows animators to directly draw in full stereoscopic 3D.
Kroitor's many credits can be found on over 100 films, including Paul Tomkowicz: Street-Railway Switchman (1954), CITY OF GOLD (1957; CFA Film of the Year and Academy Award nominee for short documentary), The Back-Breaking Leaf (1959; Palme D'Or for television documentary at the Cannes Film Festival), Universe (1960; CFAs for Film of the Year and Theatrical Short, Academy Award nomination for animated short, BAFTA for animated short and Jury Prize for animation at the Cannes Film Festival), Lonely Boy (1962; CFA Film of the Year), NOBODY WAVED GOOD-BYE (1964; BAFTA Robert Flaherty Documentary Award), The Hutterites (1964; CFA for cinematography), One Man (1977; 6 CFAs), Bravery in the Field (1979; Academy Award nominee for live-action short) and First Winter (1981; Academy Award nominee for live-action short).
In 2001 Roman Kroitor received the Nation Builders Award from the Ukrainian Canadian Congress.
Author WYNDHAM WISE
Links to Other Sites
Watch the "Universe" by Roman Kroitor and Colin Low, a film that depicts an animated journey to distant objects in the universe (said to be the inspiration for Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi opus "2001"). From the National Film Board of Canada.
The Birth of Imax
A fascinating story about the Canadian filmmakers who created the IMAX movie system. From the website for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
Roman Kroitor, Master Filmmaker and Technical Wizard
Read the full text of a 2001 Wyndham Wise interview with innovative Canadian filmmaker Roman Kroitor (first appeared in the "Take One Magazine"). Click on the "Filmography" link at the bottom of the page for a photo and additional information. From the northernstars.ca website.