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.

Donate to the bursary

You can donate to the fund in one of two ways:

1. Download the donation form – print this form, fill in and mail to:

National Screen Institute, 400-141 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, MB  R3B 0R3

2. Call 1-800-952-9307 to make a VISA donation over the phone.

NSI will issue a charitable tax receipt for all amounts.

For more details about the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary also call 1-800-952-9307.

The original goal for the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary was $25,000.

This was met and in response to the support received, the target has been increased to $30,000 to account for cost-of-living increases over the 10 year run of the bursary.

Thank you to the founding $15,000 donation from longtime colleagues and friends:

  • René Malo (Fondation René Malo)
  • Stephen Greenberg (President, Incendo Media Inc.)
  • Dan Lyon (Regional Feature Film Executive for Telefilm Canada who worked closely with Jim at Astral, Motion and T.V.A.)
  • and the National Screen Institute.

The remaining donations to date have been received from the generous support of Jim’s circle of friends, former employers, associates, students, and admirers.