Portrait: Martin Duckworth

Martin Duckworth, now 86, retired from a long and successful documentary filmmaking career. During his many years in action, he was the cinematographer on over 100 films, many with the National Film Board, but he also directed many independently. Passionate about teaching, the arts and about people, Duckworth continues to give, teach and learn.


His teaching years at Concordia University left him with a bank of contacts and students who until this day ask for his help and advise on movies they are producing.


His passion for music, that he explored widely by carefully choosing the right sound for his films, is very much still alive today. Indeed, as he is very found of classical music, he had music written for many of his films. He now practices the piano at home, but also meets with friends every Wednesday to play as a trio with a flute and a cello.

Undoubtedly, the most important part of his day is his visit to his beloved wife Audrey Schirmer. Seven years ago, Schirmer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The couple lived together in their home in Montreal, but Audrey had to be placed in a nursing home in June last year. Every day he spends time with her, reminding her about their life together, their family, their travels and all their memories. Though she does not say much, the smiles and touches are a testament to the unbreakable bond they have formed over the years.