Jim Murphy, 1947 – 2007

When Jim Murphy passed away in April 2007 the National Screen Institute lost a valued team member and friend and the Canadian film industry lost one if its strongest advocates and supporters.

Jim had over 35 years experience in commercial feature film distribution with Canadian companies Bellevue Films, Astral Films, Malofilm Communications, Motion International and T.V.A. Films. Through these companies he also represented a number of US studios.

He was involved in the acquisition and marketing of hundreds of Canadian and international productions such as Better Than Chocolate, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Art of War, Once Were Warriors, Margaret’s Museum and Century Hotel.

Jim was also in senior management for several years with the Ontario Film Development Corporation (now OMDC.)

Jim began his career in Canada at the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre and was instrumental in supporting and promoting independent filmmakers and their work.

In 2003 Jim joined NSI as program manager of NSI Features First.

Participants in the program benefited from his advice, experience-sharing, contacts, encyclopedic knowledge of film and genuine interest in and commitment to training Canada’s emerging filmmakers. One of his legacies will be the films developed through NSI Features First that premiere on screens across Canada and the world.

Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary

In memory of Jim Murphy and with the support of Jim’s circle of friends, the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary has been established.

In keeping with Jim’s incomparable film distribution, marketing and promotion contributions, a $3,000 award (formerly $2,500) will be presented to a team going through the NSI Features First program that develops an inventive and creatively-integrated marketing plan as part of the program requirements in the first phase of training.Teams selected for NSI Features First will have the opportunity to further develop their marketing plans during phase one of training.Following the conclusion of phase one, marketing plans will be reviewed. The team that has developed the most original, innovative and dynamic marketing plan that complements and showcases their feature film project will be awarded the bursary.

Award recipients

Only teams who applied to and are then selected for NSI Features First are eligible for the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary.

  • The first team to receive the Jim Murphy Filmmakers bursary was writer/director Shawn Linden and producer Megan Heke of Winnipeg with their project Hunter Hunter.
  • 2010: Heaven’s Door by writer/director Geoff Redknap and producer Katie Weekley of Vancouver
  • 2011: Wisteria by writer/director A.J. Bond of Toronto and producer Amy Belling of Vancouver
  • 2012: Fragments by producer Michael Vernon, writer/directors David Hamelin and Neil Macdonald of Marsh Lake & Whitehorse, YK
  • 2013: Two 4 One by writer/director Maureen Bradley of Victoria
  • 2014: Public-Schooled by writer Kyle Rideout and producer Josh Epstein of Vancouver

All those whose lives and careers were touched by Jim are invited to participate in this special commemoration.

Conclusion of the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary funds

As the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary winds down, the committee has supported other areas of Jim’s interest and passion in the industry.

– Support for two Jim Murphy marketing interns at Reel Canada
– Support for two years of NSI IndigiDocs

Thank you to the founding donation from longtime colleagues and friends:

  • René Malo
  • Stephen Greenberg
  • Dan Lyon
  • and the National Screen Institute.

The remaining donations came from the generous support of Jim’s circle of friends, former employers, associates, students and admirers.