Pepita Ferrari Dies: Canadian Documentary Filmmaker Was 66

Louis Piché/NFB

Canadian documentary filmmaker Pepita Ferrari died Dec. 30 at her home in Lac Brome, Quebec, the National Film Board of Canada announced. She was 66. No cause of death was given.

Ferrari, past executive director and board member with the Documentary Organization of Canada, co-founded Films Piché Ferrari in 1989 with her long-time partner Louis Piché, who survives her.

Her first documentary at the NFB was 1994’s By Woman’s Hand, a film about the Beaver Hall Group of Canadian women painters. In 1997 she directed The Petticoat Expeditions, the NFB’s three-part documentary series on 19th century female travelers.

Other documentary credits include 2007’s Capturing Reality: The Art of the Documentary and the 2001 TV documentary series Dogs With Jobs. Her final project for the NFB was 2011’s Source, a portrait of dancer-choreographer Margie Gillis.

“Documentary filmmaking and the Quebec film community have lost a dear friend,” said NFB Commissioner Claude Joli-Coeur in a statement last week. “As a writer, producer and filmmaker – and a generous mentor to emerging filmmakers – Pepita was a true champion of documentary cinema. Many of her works focused on the achievements of strong, pioneering women artists – and that is how we will remember Pepita Ferrari.”

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