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A Brief History of My Professional Life

A former juggler and magician, I studied theatre at the University of Ottawa before heading to Toronto to work in film and television. In the past 23 years, I've worked on over 40 films and television series, from no budget Canadian films to ridiculous budget Hollywood films, in virtually every job imaginable behind the camera. During my first few years in the industry, I spent a lot of time assisting producers and directors to learn the craft. Even when I was working my way up the ranks of bigger projects, I was always working hard to create my own projects, and over the years I've amassed a producer resume which includes a half dozen award winning and nationally broadcast shorts; three documentary series; commercials for clients such as Cineplex and the Toronto International Film Festival; and even a series of exercise videos. In 2010 I produced my first feature film, The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard, which toured the world on the festival circuit and has since moved on to broadcast and VOD after a successful theatrical release. I made my directorial debut in 2009 with the short film Broken Hearts Club #1 for Bravo, and I've since been a director on two documentary series – The Land Between, an environmental history series that aired on TVO in 2013 and A Desert Between Us and Them, a three part series about the War of 1812 which aired on TVO in 2014. In March of 2016 I completed a contract as the filmmaker in residence for the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine Standardized Patient Program, where I produced, directed, and edited 43 short films and interviews in just 8 months as part of a multimillion dollar Health Canada funded initiative. Recently I was associate producer of an 8 part series for TVO about Canada’s Biosphere Reserves entitled Striking Balance which was broadcast in the autumn of 2016, and I wrote and directed a series of 10 heritage minutes for Haldimand County Museum's Canada 150 Celebrations. In 2017 I directed all the re-enactments on a 3 part documentary series entitled The Bruce, about the Bruce Peninsula. In 2018 I founded a not-for-profit film company called Reciprocity Media Collective with a mandate to create quality media for other non-profits and charities.  And in July of 2019 I finished post production on a documentary I wrote and directed about music and dementia called MusicIsLife which now begins it's festival life.

I haven't made a reel for myself yet. I mean let's face it, I've barely made a website. So here are a bunch of clips and trailers from many of the projects I've worked on so you can watch whichever ones you want in any order. Think of it like a Choose Your Own Adventure reel. And if you're not bored by the time you've watched them all and want to see more clips or full versions of anything, let me know and I'll send them your way.


This is my most recent project. It's an hour long doc that I wrote, directed, produced, and edited about the power of music for people living with Alzheimer's Disease and other forms of dementia. It was a real departure for me into character based documentary and I loved it. We spent just under a year on and off following the journey of a Grammy Award winning musician named Simon Law who created a song for and with a group of people living with memory loss. Along with Simon's story, we also got to know many of the people living with dementia, and spent time with them and their families in their homes to see first hand both the effects of the debilitating disease and of the creation of the joyous song and music in their lives.

The Bruce

This project aired in 2018. This is the fourth in a line of documentary series I worked on for TVO. It's a 3 x 60 minute series about the history of the Bruce Peninsula from the indigenous peoples thousands of years ago, all the way through colonization, to the coming of nuclear power to the current tourism boom. I directed all the re-enactments in this one. And holy cow what a booming trailer voice on that narrator!

The Untitled Work of Paul Shepard

From 2010, this is the first feature film I ever produced. It had a fairly successful festival run, a tiny theatrical run and then went on to broadcast and now lives forever on VOD. I'm very proud of this film. I think it's quite funny and clever and has a lot of heart. I'm always happy for people to see it. Click on the picture to watch the trailer.

Striking Balance

This is an 8 x 60 minute documentary series made for TVO and Knowledge. It was filmed all across the country and focused on UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and their part in our ever developing world. I was an associate producer on this one. I travelled to four of the eight featured biospheres where I was on the ground with the shooting crew, but a lot of my work on this one was administrative from an office. Here's the trailer.

A Desert Between Us and Them

This was a 3 x 60 minute documentary series, also for TVO, about the War of 1812 in Southwestern Ontario. I directed all the re-enactments in this one and it was super fun. We worked with over 200 actors (most of whom had never been on camera before) on over 50 scenes, filled with horses, canons, and smoke machines on overdrive. We even burned down (on purpose) a couple of old houses for this one. This was by far the biggest logistical directing assignment of my career so far and I loved every second of it. Check out the trailer if you will.

TIFF/Cineplex - Dancing in the Streets

For two years I was hired by Cineplex to produce the Volunteer Appreciation and Midnight Madness spots for the Toronto International Film Festival. They were always very ambitious, with a lot of locations and cast and not a lot of time or money, but I think they turned out really well and I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to help make them happen. This one was an ode to dance on film.

TIFF/Cineplex - Volunteers to the Rescue

The second of four Cineplex pots for TIFF. This is a horror themed one for Midnight Madness about how iconic horror movies would have turned out differently had some TIFF volunteers been there to save the day. A bit of silly fun.

TIFF/Cineplex - Volunteers in the Off Season

Another TIFF volunteer appreciation spot trying to shove as many movie references into 30 seconds as possible. Had a great crew on this one as there were lots of very specific things that needed to be sourced and built.


OK, last Cineplex/TIFF spot. I promise. Another Midnight Madness spot. They were always fun. A real Tesla Coil (they are VERY loud) and a beautiful beating heart prosthetic, what more could a producer ask for really?

University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine - Aging

A few years ago I had the amazing opportunity to produce and direct 43 short films in 8 months for the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine Standardized Patient Program. It was part of a larger Health Canada intitative and one of the subjects we made films about was aging. While many of the films were straightforward narratives, much to my delight they gave me a fair amount of creative freedom. The concept for this piece came from Kerri Weir and it was choreographed by Kerri and Jane Johanson, the brilliant dancer featured in the film, to tell the story of how one's body won't or even can't always do what we want it to as we get older. It was my first foray into dance films - and not my last.

The Land Between

We made this back in 2012. It was a 3 x 60 minute documentary series for TVO and my first foray into big, proper documentary. I was a producer and story editor on this as well as directing all the re-enactments and conducting most of the interviews. I really enjoyed this experience and have found myself in a bit of a documentary loop ever since then, and while my heart will always lie in narrative film, the skillsets I've learned from working on these series for the better part of seven years have been enormously benificial to my work when I do have the opportunity to work on narrative films.

Haldimand Heritage Minute - RCAF #6

A couple years ago when all the Canada 150 money was flying around, I got asked to write, direct and produce ten heritage minutes for the Haldimand County Museum. It was a huge challenge as there was very little money - we were asked to make ten unique minutes for about a tenth of what an official Heritage Minute gets to make just one. But I really enjoyed those constraints. Sometimes being forced to work in certain ways can bring out creativity and resourcefulness that you didn't even know you had. Between you and me, out of the ten we made, there were a couple that didn't quite work. But we also made some really good ones. I've always been quite fond of this one.

DRCC - We Believe You

I've always loved volunteering for charities and causes I believe in, and contributing any skills I have to help them. I made this video for the Durham Rape Crisis Centre for free a couple years ago. Filmically, there's nothing special, but it was an incredibly powerful day for myself and my small crew of longtime collaborators. We spent a life changing day speaking and crying with survivor after survivor. I'm honoured that they were all comfortable enough to share their stories with me. It was after this video that I founded the non-profit Reciprocity Media Collective so that we could seek out grants to be able to create more media for other charities and causes. This one's a bit longer at 9 minutes, and I do feel that I should give a bit of a trigger warning on this one as there are some pretty harrowing accounts of sexual violence in this video.

I Could Go On, I've got loads more stuff. But I'm starting to feel like I'm talking too much about myself. How are you?

Thanks for taking the time to watch some of my stuff. If you want to contact me you can call me at 647.923.6932 or email me at agrani@rogers.com
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