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Director Profile: Stephen Low


Occupation: Writer/Producer/Director
Active Years: 27
Birthdate: 1951
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Stephen Low is one of the foremost large format filmmakers, with eight films to his credit and almost thirty years of experience working in the IMAX® format. His introduction to the IMAX® format dates back as early as 1970, when Low and his father took thousands of 2 1/4" still photographs and blew them up onto a large screen with hopes of someday making a 3D IMAX® film. Low's father, Colin, made the first IMAX® 3D film for Expo '86 Vancouver. His first working foray into the large format field was as a researcher on HAIL COLUMBIA! and soon after Low directed his first IMAX® film, SKYWARD, for the Suntory Pavilion at the 1985 Tsukuba International Exposition in Japan.

Director of some of the most popular and award-winning large format films and noted for his skillful use of technology without neglecting creativity, Low consistently has pushed the limits of the arena with his imaginative and powerful large format films. To bring the past alive in "MARK TWAIN"S AMERICA," Low took 19th century photographs, blew them up and digitally converted them into 3D for the giant screen, a first for any IMAX® film! In 1992, Low broke new ground with the feature-length IMAX® film, TITANICA. For the first time ever, audiences experienced the sunken hull of the Titanic at 12,500 feet below the ocean surface. Directed and produced by Low, the high-risk underwater adventures of the crew in finding and exploring the Titanic received great critical reviews and continues to show on large format screens around the world.

In addition to his roles as director, producer and writer, Low took the challenge of underwater cinematography with his portrayal of the life of the beaver in his1987 production of BEAVERS for Dentsu Inc. of Japan. The film continues to be one of the all-time most popular large format films. BEAVERS was awarded the Jury Prize and the Public Prize at the second International IMAX®/OMNIMAX Film Festival in Paris, France.

Several of Low's large format films have become IMAX® classics, including THE LAST BUFFALO. He directed and produced the film for EXPO '90 Osaka, Japan. One of the early IMAX® 3D films, THE LAST BUFFALO became the most popular attraction at the fair, drawing some 1,940,000 visitors during the six-month exhibition. The film wordlessly weaves a story of art and nature and won Japan's Minister of the Environment Award and received the Outstanding Film Award from the Audio Visual Association of Japan.

Born in Ottawa, Low studied political science at Lakeland University in Thunder Bay, Graduating in 1973. He began working in film in 1976 as a cameraman/editor in Newfoundland. Four years, he directed and produced the award-winning documentary CHALLENGER with the National Film Board of Canada. In 1981, he won the distinguished Grierson Award for achievement in documentary film. Low has written and directed many documentaries including THE DEFENDER and THE TRAIN, and his work has won more than 40 awards worldwide. He also has served as executive producer of THE HUMAN RACE, an award-winning four-part television series on the environment.

After releasing SUPER SPEEDWAY in 1997, Stephen dedicated most of the next few years to VOLCANOES OF THE DEEP SEA. Recently, Low finished up production on FIGHTER PILOT: OPERATION RED FLAG, which was released in December 2004.

Director Credits

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