|Name Niobe Thompson|
|Books Settlers on the edge|
|Movies Tipping Point: The End of Oil|
Awards Gemini Award for Best Science, Technology, Nature, Environment or Adventure Documentary Program
People also search for Tom Radford, Brenda Terning, James Cameron
Nominations Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program
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Niobe Thompson is a Canadian anthropologist and documentary film maker. Since co-founding Clearwater Documentary in 2008, Thompson has produced and hosted one-off and series documentaries in partnership with CBC's science-and-nature program The Nature of Things. He has twice won Canadian Screen Awards for "Best Science and Nature Documentary" (Code Breakers, 2011 & The Great Human Odyssey, 2015), his films have won 21 Alberta Film Awards, and he is a two-time winner of the Edmonton Film Prize.
Thompson studied Russian at the University of Alberta and McGill University before completing a masters at London's School of Slavonic and East European Studies. For his PhD at University of Cambridge's Scott Polar Research Institute he lived in Russia's remote Chukotka region, following the impact of Roman Abramovich's modernization program in the early 2000s. Four of his documentaries were partly filmed with indigenous people in Chukotka.
For the feature documentary Tipping Point: Age of the Oil Sands (2011), Thompson featured Dene Elder Francois Paulette and director James Cameron. Code Breakers (2011), about the peopling of the Americas, features the renowned geneticist Eske Willerslev. For The Perfect Runner (2012), Thompson attempted the 125-km Canadian Death Race and featured the ultrarunner Diane Van Deren.
For the three-part series on human origins, The Great Human Odyssey (2015), Thompson followed the emergence of modern humans in Africa and our subsequent settlement of the planet. Over 18 months of shooting, the crew worked in 17 countries on 5 continents, filming with the Badjao of the Philippines, the San Bushmen of the Namibian Kalahari, Chukchi nomads in Arctic Russia, and the Crocodile People of Papua New Guinea. In 2016, working with film composer Darren Fung, Thompson produced an live orchestral performance of Great Human Odyssey for the stage, which premiered with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.
In 2016, Thompson directed two related documentaries on organ transplant medicine, in collaboration with ID:Productions and the National Film Board of Canada. The feature-length Memento Mori and the one-hour Vital Bonds are based on exceptional access to one of Canada's busiest organ transplant hospitals, and feature sequences with a family losing their son to a fentanyl poisoning and making the decision to donate his organs. Vital Bonds debuted on CBC's The Nature of Things in November 2016.
Thompson was raised partly in the northern Alberta Cree community of Wabasca-Desmarais, where his father Jamie Thompson made wood-canvas canoes. His mother Sharon Poetker Thompson is a landscape painter. Thompson described his ambition in film making, stating "I want my children to grow up in a scientifically literate society, where films that explore the natural world play a central role"
Thompson credits conservationist David Suzuki and veteran Canadian filmmaker Tom Radford for his introduction to film. He also works closely with the Canadian verité specialist Rosie Dransfeld.