In Memoriam: Charles Officer

REEL CANADA is devastated to learn of the passing of our beloved friend, colleague, and board member Charles Officer. Charles forever changed the Canadian film and television landscape with his fierce dedication to portraying Black perspectives and experiences.

Charles was passionate, devoted, and generous. Any project he was involved in was better for his contributions; he built community wherever he went. Charles was a huge supporter of REEL CANADA’s mission, and was deeply committed to mentoring and inspiring young people through everything he did.

He helped grow our organization beyond its educational roots to reach out directly to audiences across the country. He participated in online and in-person sessions with students, broadening their understanding of complex issues such as racism and what it means to be Canadian. We remember fondly and with great gratitude his five-city tour of schools in 2014 with his film Mighty Jerome. He met thousands of students and had a remarkable way of connecting with them personally and making them feel heard and understood, even in a packed auditorium. We were proud and grateful to have his voice on our board; his guidance will be missed and impossible to replace.

We mourn the loss of all the stories he had yet to tell. We will miss his wisdom, his vibrant visual flair, and most of all, his radiant love.

His passing is an enormous loss for the Canadian film industry, and an even larger one for anyone who knew or loved him. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.

Produced by Charles Officer, this clip of him and Norman Jewison in conversation at the Canadian Film Centre discusses Jewison’s career within the context of the social justice movement.