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obituary

Director Giles Walker, left (standing), is seen behind actors rehearsing lines on the set for the made-for-TV René Lévesque, in Montreal on Sept. 28, 2004.CHRISTINNE MUSCHI/Globe and Mail

Canadian filmmaker Giles Walker, whose live-action short Bravery in the Field was nominated for an Oscar, has died.

The National Film Board of Canada says Mr. Walker died in Toronto on March 23 after a 10-year battle with cancer.

The NFB says his wife, film editor Hannele Halm, was at his side.

Born in Scotland in 1946, Mr. Walker began his career in 1974 as a documentary filmmaker with the NFB.

His docs included the 1976 productions No Way They Want to Slow Down and The Sword of the Lord, which both looked at the world of skiing.

Mr. Walker then moved into drama, directing and co-writing 1979’s Oscar-nominated Bravery in the Field, about a Second World War veteran and young street punk who discover they have more in common than they realized.

The writer, director and producer went on to a prolific screen career, with other film credits including 1993’s Ordinary Magic starring a young Ryan Reynolds, and 1996’s Never Too Late with Olympia Dukakis, Cloris Leachman and Corey Haim.

His TV credits included Cold Squad, Lassie, Emily of New Moon and the miniseries René Lévesque.

The NFB says Mr. Walker was a key figure in the development of the film board’s alternative dramas, which combined dramatic storytelling with non-professional actors and documentary techniques.

On that front, he created a trilogy on male-female relationships, including the 1985 NFB theatrical release 90 Days.

His final collaboration with the film board was the 1990 NFB/Cinepix co-produced dramatic feature Princes in Exile, about young people with cancer.

Mr. Walker earned multiple Genie and Gemini awards.