Black River Productions Ltd.

Black River Productions Ltd.

Black River Productions Limited was founded by documentary filmmaker Neal Livingston in 1987 to enhance his film and video production capabilities.  Livingston is a filmmaker, director and producer with a long filmmaking history.  His films have been broadcast extensively, mostly in Canada, and in the UK, USA, and Australia, and  have been seen at festival around the world, and Livingston has been a guest at film festivals in many countries.  Livingston makes political documentaries on environmental issues, and portraits of people and communities.  The films often have a significant component of humour in them.

In 2009 new proposals for documentaries include;

  • THE MISSING FOOTPRINT – World Military and Military Industrial Complex Carbon Footprint
  • MODELING POLLUTION SOURCES – a look down at from space at where pollution is coming from
  • WHAT’S WRONG WITH CANADA- and How To Fix It.  The view of the progressives and a spirited attack on the mediocrity gripping Canada today.  Ideas for the future from art and culture to the economy, to energy and environment, and everything else in between. 
  • MY FAILED BUSINESS – a primer on renewable energy policy in Nova Scotia, and how Nova Scotia is getting it all wrong.  A proposal for a revolution of good governance and progressive ideas and action.


Films by Neal Livingston

Rudy Haase is Black River Productions newest film completed in 2007 after 3 years in the making. It is a biography about Canada's great unknown environmentalist, Rudy Haase, who turns 85 in 2007. Haase's life long work has included many successful campaigns and preservation of wilderness. He was a close colleague of the famous American back-to-the-land gurus, Helen and Scott Nearing. Haase is a colleague and friend of Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, who is shown in the film over a period of 30 years. The film is also a primer on environmentalism.


One Day released in 2002 is Livingston’s September 11th story. It is an experimental documentary dealing with the events of the tragedy in New York City. The filmmaker’s dialogue is about visiting New York City before and after the disaster-with footage taken years ago in the World Trade Centre, at the end of September 2001, and in January 2002. One Day portrays two New Yorkers exploring lower Manhattan, seeing the burning ruins, talking of their feelings of the event, and a public memorial by a Navajo spiritual elder. One Day received an Honourable Mention award at the Earthvision 2003 Festival in Santa Cruz, California..

Neal Livingston's concern with environmental issues led him to become an activist and to produce political documentaries on environmental issues. These include:
The Battle At Our Shores, 2002 an award-winning incisive yet humorous documentary which examines opposition to the first inshore and coastal oil and gas exploration licenses in Nova Scotia.
Toxic Partners (1999), narrated by David Suzuki, is about two communities with toxic waste sites, Sydney, Nova Scotia and Fort Valley, Georgia, and the human suffering caused by this pollution.
The Cape Breton Endangered Spaces (1990), is a video shot from the air in South Western Cape Breton Island documenting massive clearcutting of old growth forests.
Herbicide Trials (1984) his most famous and controversial film examines the social, political, legal and environmental battle against the aerial spraying of herbicides on Nova Scotia's forests.
Budworks (1978), is a film against the aerial spraying of insecticides on New Brunswick's forests, and the citizen action in Nova Scotia that stopped a planned spray program there.

Exploring narrative in a sometimes whimsical, sometimes evocative and always entertaining fashion his films in this area include;
Suêtes (1999), and
Michel in a Suête (1998).
Both these films document the reality of the hurricane force wind storms that batter the North West Coast of Cape Breton Island. Suêtes is equal parts meteorological documentary and humourous anecdotes, while the award winning Michel in the Suête is about one man's hilarious battle against the wind. Suêtes was profiled in January 2000 across the USA on NPR radio, and both films have been broadcast nationally on television across Canada.

Livingston has also produced a series of film portraits which profile unconventional people and their passionate pursuits. These include:
The Paper Age and Ancient Flight (1992), an examination of the ideas of amateur British Egyptologist William Deiches who believed the ancients knew how to fly, and who has built hundreds of models of ancient aircraft
The Disappearance of John Ashby (1990), who never came back from a trip to New York City
John Dunsworth: The Candidate (1989), running for the NDP
John Nesbitt: Sculptor (1987), a portrait of this remarkable Canadian sculptor.

Livingston's personal experiences in building a small hydro operation for his own use led him to produce two films focusing on the resurgence of small water power as a renewable energy form.
 Water Power (1981) is a how to, and history of micro-hydro.
 A Portrait of Small Hydro (1983) documents some of the first new small hydro developers in New England.

An interest in history and social justice lead him to produce his second most famous film;
Both Sides of the Wire (1993), a 47 minute documentary film about what has become of a group of refugees from Nazi oppression who were imprisoned in Canada in 1940.
Mabou Fights Back (1992) documents the amazing story of an entire community that fought Canada Post to try to retain its postal service.
In his many years as a filmmaker Livingston has also produced a diverse album of respected experimental films which include;
Snow on the Lake (2000)
Licking the Window (1995)
Trees and Elevators (1990)

Thanks for visiting our web site.
We invite you to look at the information about our films and place an order for copies of any DVD's you are interested in.

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