Gerald Arthur Pratley
Gerald Arthur Pratley (b at London, Eng 3 Sep 1923, d at Belleville, Ont 14 Mar 2011). A noted film critic and commentator, he was the founder-director of the Ontario Film Institute, established in 1968, an organization with a mandate to preserve, catalogue, publish and exhibit world cinema.
Pratley came to Canada in 1946 and 2 years later became the CBC's first film critic, writing and broadcasting The Movie Scene, Music from the Films and Pratley at the Movies between 1948 and 1975. During this time he was active with the Toronto Film Society, the Toronto and District Film Council, and the A-G-E Film Society. From 1970-75 he was the director of the Stratford International Film Festival, and from 1969-76 the chairman of the International Jury of the Canadian Film Awards.
He published extensively in a number of international journals and his books on the cinema include Torn Sprockets: The Uncertain Projection of the Canadian Film and A Century of Canadian Cinema: Gerald Pratley's Feature Film Guide. One of the first defenders of a strong, indigenous cinema for Canada, he tirelessly worked in the cultural arena to make this a possibility. In 1984 Pratley was made a member of the ORDER OF CANADA and in 2003 he was promoted to officer. He was an adjunct professor of film at Ryerson Polytechnic University and held honorary degrees from York University, the University of Waterloo and Ohio's Bowling Green State University.