Veteran Canadian film and TV producer Paul Pope, best known for indie movies like Grown Up Movie Star, starring Tatiana Maslany, and Rare Birds, toplined by William Hurt and Molly Parker, has died. He was 63.
Pope died on Thursday morning in St. John’s, Newfoundland, a representative of his production banner, Pope Productions, told The Hollywood Reporter. No cause of death was announced.
Born on Nov. 7, 1958, Pope completed a BAA in film and photography from Ryerson Polytechnic in Toronto before cutting his teeth in TV production. During a four-decade career for Pope, his company Pope Productions became a leading film and TV producer in Newfoundland.
His TV credits include the crime drama Hudson & Rex, Life With Derek, a comedy starring Michael Seater and Ashley Leggat, and Above And Beyond, a mini-series by director Sturla Gunnarson and starring Richard E. Grant and Jason Priestley.
His movie credits include Grown Up Movie Star, which earned Maslany a special jury prize at Sundance for a breakout performance, and TV movies Diverted, Screamers: The Hunting, The One That Got Away, Behind the Wall and Extraordinary Visitor.
Pope was a founding member of the Newfoundland Filmmakers Cooperative, where he served as president for over twenty years. He also served as a board member on the Canadian Media Producers Association, which represents indie producers.
“Paul was a giant in the Canadian media production community and a huge advocate for the industry in Newfoundland. Through his tireless promotion of the province, and the work of his company, Pope Productions, Paul can be credited with bringing hundreds, if not thousands, of film and TV projects to Newfoundland over his four-decade career,” the CMPA said in a statement.
Among his many awards was the Arts Achievement Award from ArtsNL, the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University.
“We join Newfoundland and Labrador’s entire arts community in grieving the loss of the legendary Paul Pope. Paul put our province’s screen industry on the map. He was a career launcher, risk taker, culture builder and game changer for so many,” the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival said on its Twitter account.