David Springbett

Producer / Director / DOP
977 Hampshire Rd.,
Victoria, BC V8S 4S3
office (250) 480 5256 mobile (250) 727 1256
email: asterisk@islandnet.com
web: www.asterisk.ca

Since joining the film and television industry in 1966, I have worked as a director, producer, editor, technician – as a producer at the National Film Board’s Ontario Region Studio, at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, as an independent, for other production companies, as well as running Asterisk Productions Ltd., the independent production company Heather MacAndrew and I established in 1976 in Toronto. I have been based in Victoria, BC since 1993.

Filmography & Other Credits

Patrick, Pagans, and Party Animals (Producer/Director/Cinematography) On St. Patrick’s Day, the world goes green. But who inspired this global celebration – was he a man, a true saint, of a glorious Irish myth? Vision/Zoomer Media

The Fantastic Logic of Eternity (Producer/Director, Cinematographer) The intriguing conept of eternity that has inspired writers and musicians, phyicists and theologians throughout the ages. Vision/Zoomer Media

Phantom at the Feast ( Producer, Director of Photography) A one hour program about rituals and celebrations of death, and different ways of remembering. Vision TV

A Work in Progress ( Director/Producer/Editor) This one hour film follows the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra from first rehearsal to final perfomance of Wagner’s “Die Meistersinger” Overture.

Hijacked Future (Director, Writer, Producer) Who controls the seeds, controls the food. “Hijacked Future” looks at how we are riskingthe worlds food supply by the loss of seed diversity and increased corporate control of seeds and the food we eat . Canwest Global

“Watch this lucid, terrifying, and hopeful film” Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun

Ted Grant: The Art of Observation (Co-director, Co-producer, Camera) The work of Canadian photographer Ted Grant, and his impact on our sense of being Canadian.Bravo!, Knowledge Network, SCN

Saving Luna Mountainside Films, theatrical documentary.Consulting Producer

The Blue Realm Series II: (Co-producer, additional script) HD series exploring the marine world and the scientists who study it.Blue Realm II Productions;Discovery HD Canada, Discovery HD International.

The Shipsinkers (Co-producer, co-director, writer) HD documentary about creating artificial reefs by sinking obsolete warships.1 hour, NGCI, OLN, ABC Australia, others.

Awards: Antibes Underwater Film Festival

Water Detectives (Director) short film about an innovative water conservation program in Matamoros, Mexico.National Film Board of Canada.

Awards: World Urban ForumCineUrbanaaward

Vacations from the Heart (Director, producer) Ddcumentary exploring volunteer tourism in Costa Rica, Belize, and Peru. 1 hr, for Global Television, with Insight Documentaries, Vancouver

Cooking Fun for Families (Director, camera, co-producer) non-broadcast film produced for the Coastal Health Authority, Vancouver about a cooking and nutrition project in Vancouvers inner city schools.

Living Things We Love to Hate (Director, co-producer, specialist camera) our relationship with creepy crawlies, based on the book by Des Kennedy. 1 hour, for Discovery Canada and Rainshadow Productions.

Awards: International Wildlife Film Festival, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival, Leo nominations, Leo award for music.

Rain Wolves (Co-producer) the coastal wolves of British Columbia, in the Great Bear Rainforest for Rainshadow Productions and Discovery Canada. Three Leo nominations.

Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature (Co-director, co-producer): based on the book by Janine Benyus. 2 × 1 hours, forThe Nature of Things with David Suzuki

Awards: Science in Society- Science Writers of Canada

The Making of The Vinedressers (Director/camera, co-producer): hour for CBC Regional and version forZed.Follows the staging of a new opera at the Belfry Theatre, Victoria, featuringcomposer Tobin Stokes.

Finding the Future (Director, co-producer): 13 xhours. Leading edge thinkers explore how we might get there from here, in conversation with host Des Kennedy.For Vision TV and SCN

ReInventing the World (Director, co-producer): a series of five one-hour documentaries about some of the major issues facing us as a society: food, work and time, sustainable cities, economics. This series,hosted by writer Des Kennedy, features some of the major thinkers and writers of today who offer insightfulways of approaching problems in order to live more sustainable lives. (Vision TV, SCN, 2001)

Awards : Chris Award, Columbus; Prix Leonardo; Hazel Wolf Festival, others.

“This is thoughtful television, full of talking heads… the heads talk well and the series is important.” Silver Donald Cameron, Halifax Herald, April 8/01

The Man We Called Juan Carlos (Co-producer, co-director) a one-hour film that explores the filmmakers25-year relationship with a Guatemalan campesino leader, the life choices we make, and the price we pay when we commit to political and spiritual ideals.(Vision TV, Knowledge Network, SCN, 2001)

“This sophisticated, troubling film raises important questions about human rights, the personal price of refusing to assent to evil and the responsibility of theobjectivejournalist who bears witness at somebody elses cost…I was surprised and then enthralled by this powerful documentary.” Stephen Hume, Vancouver Sun, March 17/01

Ways We Live: Exploring Community (Producer, directed 2 shows): 10 × 1/2 hour television series and companion book (New Society Publishers, 1997), that explore the meaning and expression of community in our lives.

“It is precisely becauseWays We Liveis politically astute without being partisan that it is so compelling. This is the kind of television that asks the viewer to go on a personal voyage of discovery over several weeks, without making any snap judgments or belabouring a single point of view.” Alex Strachan, Vancouver Sun, March 3, 1997

The Monarch: A Butterfly Beyond Borders (Producer) 1 hour for Discovery Canada exploring the natural history of this astonishing insect, and the threats to its annual migration. Filmed in Canada, Mexico and the U.S.

“This video, superbly done, tells it all in a way that fans the flames of interest and wonder over this marvellous migratory insect, and its plight and the implications of that plight for man.” The Toledo Blade

Awards: Best Independent, International Wildlife Film Festival, Gemini nomination, Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival,Bronze Apple, National Educational Media Network, Columbus International Film&Video Festival , others

GOODWOOD (Director, producer):% 1 hour documentary for the CBCs Nature of Things asksCan we have jobs and trees ?using various examples of sustainable forestry in Honduras, Mexico, British Columbia, and the United States.

“…how a community can reverse its fortunes, and protect its environment, if willing to discover more value in the surrounding landscape.” David Leach, Monday Magazine, Nov. 25, 1998.

“It’s an inspiring, heart lifting film about the possibilities that await those who learn to see old things in new ways.” Vancouver Sun

Awards: Columbus International Film&Video Festival, Vermont International Film Festival, Equinox Environmental Film Festival

Changing Places (Director, co-producer) Commissioned by the United Nations Population Fund, this documentary explores urbanization population, and the role of women buy focusing on three exceptional housing projects in Vancouver, Bangkok, and Mexico City.

Nature Walk (Creative consultant, program format and structure, host casting ; Director, four episodes): Nature Walk is a half-hour program for the Life Network, produced by Soma Television, Vancouver. (1994)

*The Heart Challenge (Director, documentary segments) 1 hour special for CTV (1994)

*Greening Business (Producer, director): for CBC’s The Nature of Things – a look at how business and the environment can both be restored.CBC, January 1994, October 1995.

Awards: Vermont International Film Festival; Bronze, American Film&Video Festival.

The Open Door (Co-producer, co-director) non-broadcast program for The Open Door, a drop in centre for Victoria’s homeless&marginalised people.

No Spare Parts (Director, producer) Co-production with “The Nature of Things” – appropriate technology in Ghana.

Awards: Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival; Columbus Film Festival

Earth Journal with Dr. Richard Leaky (Segment producer) Environmental magazine program, produced by RHI Entertainment, New York. Segments included orcas, art from trash, salmon restoration in the Elwha River, and park rangers at work.

A Handcrafted History (Director, producer) a ten minute item for CBC’s “The Nature of Things” on traditional paper-making methods in Nepal.

How Much Is Enough? (Director, producer) part ofthe series “How To Save The Earth” with Jonathon Porritt, this program examined population growth in the South, and over-consumption in the North as the two biggest environmental problems facing the world. Co-Production with Channel 4, NRK, TVO, Access, SCN, Knowledge Network, CIDA, and North-South Productions, England. 1993

Award: North American Environmental Film Festival

The Best We Have to Give? (Director, producer) a 26 min. documentary about the impact international debt has on the basic needs of children in one African country: Ghana.Part of the “Stolen Childhood” series.Co-produced with North-South Prod., London, CIDA and TV Ontario.

Awards: Blue Ribbon, American Film&Video Festival, Columbus Film Festival; Certificate of Merit, Chicago International Film Festival

*That’s Right! (Director, co-producer): for UNICEF Canada: a 15 min. documentary profile of four children (two Canadian, two Ghanaian) for Canadian children on the Rights of the Child and the work of UNICEF.Produced for UNICEF Canada

Awards: Golden Apple, National Educational Film&Video Festival; Honourable Mention, Columbus Film Festival

*Willing to Learn (Producer, co-director): A collaboration and participatory half hour drama with New Horizons popular education group in St. Vincent.

Award: Tam Tam Film & Video Festival, Rome. 1989

*Words: Four Stories About Becoming Literate (Co-producer, co-director): half hour video on literacy (the Literacy Secretariat, Secretary of State, through Vision TV). 1988

*Medium Rare……Hold the Cottage! (Co-producer, Co-director ): – a ten minute satirical film about going to the cottage and eating hamburgers at Webers on the way!.(Ontario Arts Council and screening atToronto International Film Festival, 1990)

Growing Up in the World Next Door” (Director, co-producer): – an hour long documentary about threeteenagerscoming of age in Nepal,Kenyaand St.Vincent.(Co-production with the NFB&CIDA; funding from various development agencies)

Awards: Chris Bronze Plaque Award, Columbus Film Festival; Honourable Mention, Chicago Film Festival; Silver Apple Award, National Educational Film and Video Festival. 1988

Heart of the Lotus (Director, producer ): non-broadcasthalf hour documentary about the Baha’i Faith and their development work in India.(Produced for the Baha’i Faith).

More Than Just a Book (Director, producer): – a 10 min. non-broadcast video featuring Knowlton Nash, for the Canadian Organization for Development Through Education.1987

*Roots of Hunger, Roots of Change (Director, producer) :a non-broadcasthalf hour documentary about the root causes of hunger in northern Senegal.(For Church World Service, New York).

Awards: Winner, Chris Bronze plaque Award, Columbus Film Festival, 1985; nominee Yorkton Film Festival; finalist, American Film Festival,1986.

The World’s Children (Producer, director of 5 programs): a series of 13 educational films for children, about children in developing countries. Shot on location in Peru, Bolivia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Nepal and Thailand, Australia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, St. Vincent, Togo, and Kenya (2 films).

Awards: American Film Festival. (1979 – 81)

Producer, National Film Board of Canada, Ontario Region, 1977/79. Productions included:

  • Mirror, Mirror – a thirty minute film about the history of Canadian advertising.
  • Black Ice – a ten minute, 35 mm stereo sound film about a group of sailing enthusiasts who have adapted the principles of the sport to winter conditions.This film has been awarded over8 International Awards, including the Chicago Film Festival.
  • A Sense of Family – a one hour film charting East Indian immigration to Canada, from the early 1900’s to the present day.The families profiled relate their immigration experiences, as well as their struggle to integrate themselves economically and socially in Canada.
  • Hard Oil – a thirty minute history of the early oil industry in Canada, narrated by two ofCanada’s best-loved radio people, Max Ferguson and Alan McFee.
  • Shutdown – a thirty minute film documenting the closing own of an American-owned branch plant, with all the personal trauma that such a decision causes to the workers.

Guatemala: Campo Vivo (Director, producer): a 27 minute documentary about the effects of long-term international aid on a small community in the Guatemalan highlands.Produced by Asterisk as a 4-way co-productin with “Man Alive” (CBC), Oxfam and the Canadian International Development Agency, 1977. (This film is the precursor toThe Man We Called Juan Carlos)

Casimiro – An Andean Journey (editor/produce ): 30 minute educational film from archive (Asterisk Productions for Oxfam-America).

Water From Stones (editor/producer) ten minute development education film,(Asterisk Productions for Oxfam America)

Producer of dozens of public service announcements for television for NGOs such as: Oxfam America and Oxfam Canada, CanSave, MCC, Catholic Relief Services, New York.

1967 – 1974: Assistant Editor, Editor, Director, Production Manager on a wide range of drama series, feature films, government, sponsored, and broadcast films.

Professional Highlights

  • Journalist/ editor/ photographer (The Manitoban; Winnipeg Free Press ) 1964- 66
  • CBC Toronto training, (film editing) 1966
  • Freelance editor and director, production supervisor, Scott Films, Ottawa
  • Formed Asterisk Productions in 1976. (Produced first CBC- CIDA – Independent Co-Production)
  • Freelance Communications/ Media consultant, Oxfam America
  • Series Producer,The Worlds Children13 part series (Directed 6 episodes)
  • Producer, National Film Board (Toronto Studio) 1977-79
  • Independent Producer / Director (Asterisk Productions); co-productions with UK (two series)
  • Series Co-producer (co-production)&director,Stolen Childhood&How to Save the Earth(North-South Productions, UK)
  • Produced three documentary series, (Ways We Live: Exploring Community (10 xhr), ReInventing the World, (5 × 1 hr) Finding the Future (13 xhr) and several one hour singles for Vision TV, Global, CBC The Nature of Things, Discovery)
  • Production consultant – Silence of the Strings; Sainath, A Tribe of His Own, Friendship Village, others.


  • Founding member of CIFC (now DOC)
  • Founding member of Victoria Film ProducersAssociation, served two terms as chair.
  • Board Member, Victoria Film Commission
  • Mentor, both formally (with BC Film / Hot Docs) and informally.


  • Educated in Winnipeg, University of Manitoba., Managing Editor,The Manitoban, AD, producer and editor,And No Birds Singwhile at university (drama; nominated for 3 Etrogs, won best supporting actor in 1968)
  • Builder and modifier of innovative production equipment (macro photography, time lapse, camera mounting rigs, dollies, etc.)