In the early 1950s, Wolf Koenig filmed Norman MCLAREN's Oscar-winning Neighbours (1952); he worked on the animated short The Romance of Transportation in Canada with Colin LOW (1952), an Oscar nominee for best short subject that received a special BAFTA Award (British Academy of Film and Theatre Arts); and he was the cinematographer on Low's 11-minute masterpiece Corral (1954). Koenig directed the visually innovative CITY OF GOLD, a film that brought historical photographs of the KLONDIKE GOLD RUSH to life, with Roman KROITOR (1957). City of Gold won the CANADIAN FILM AWARD for film of the year, was an Oscar nominee for short documentary and won first prize at the Cannes Film Festival for documentary short.
As one of the leading members of the direct cinema movement at the NFB's Unit B (along with Terence MACARTNEY-FILGATE, Roman Kroitor and producer Tom DALY), Koenig made a major contribution to the influential Candid Eye series (14 films produced for the CBC, 1958-61), and directed the legendary Lonely Boy with Kroitor (1962). The film, about pop sensation Paul ANKA, is regarded as a pioneering rock documentary. It won Film of the Year at the 1963 Canadian Film Awards.
Wolf Koenig was the head of the NFB's English animation unit from 1962-67 and from 1972-75. In that position he photographed Arthur LIPSETT's Experimental Film (1963); produced The Drag (1965), an Oscar nominee for animated short, and What on Earth! (1966), another Oscar nominee, with Robert VERRALL; and he was the executive producer on The House that Jack Built (1967), a third Oscar nominee and BAFTA nominee for best animated film. He also was the executive producer on Caroline LEAF's The Street (1976), based on a short story by Mordecai RICHLER; the film won the Canadian Film Award for animated short and was an Oscar nominee for animated short.
Wolf Koenig has received dozens of other honours and awards during his long career, including the 1984 GENIE AWARD for best theatrical short as producer on Ted Baryluk's Grocery, and 2 earlier Canadian Film Awards: best TV information film for Stravinsky (1965; the last film he directed with Kroitor) and best documentary short for the live-action/animated The Hottest Show on Earth (1977), hosted by David SUZUKI. His other notable films include Gold (1955; Canadian Film Award for theatrical best short), To See or Not to See (1969; Canadian Film Award film of the year and Golden Bear for short film at the Berlin Film Festival), and he co-produced Alanis OBOMSAWIN's Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance about the 1990 OKA standoff (1993; Genie Award nominee for best documentary).
Wolf Koenig retired from the NFB in 1995 with a credit list of more than 170 titles.
Author WYNDHAM WISE
Links to Other Sites
City of Gold
View a classic short film featuring archival images depicting Dawson City at the height of the Klondike gold rush. Narrated by writer Pierre Berton. From the National Film Board of Canada.
Watch a short documentary made in 1962 about singer Paul Anka's rise to fame. The popular performer also offers his take on the entertainment industry. From the National Film Board of Canada.
I Was a Ninety-pound Weakling
View a short documentary film about the benefits of excercise and a healthy diet. From the website for the National Film Board of Canada.
The Days Before Christmas
See a documentary that highlights the annual Christmas festivities in Montréal. From the National Film Board of Canada.
The Romance of Transportation in Canada
View a light-hearted animated film about how Canada's early pioneers managed to overcome the country's vast distances and great obstacles. From the National Film Board of Canada.
What on Earth!
This animated short offers a humourous take on the relationship between autos and their human owners from the perspective of alien visitors. From the National Film Board of Canada.
This award-winning animated film offers a poignant interpretation of a short story by Mordecai Richler. It examines how people respond to older members of their family. From the National Film Board of Canada.
Ted Baryluk's Grocery
A documentary film that features Ukrainian-Canadian Ted Baryluk and his enduring grocery store in Winnipeg's North End neighbourhood. From the National Film Board of Canada.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...