EZRA SOIFERMAN - Short Biography (long)
Producer, Director & Cameraman
Director and Co-Founder of the Montreal Film Group
Born in 1972, Montreal-based documentary filmmaker and street photographer Ezra Soiferman (official website), under the banner of Perpetuum Productions, shoots and directs stories and photo series about fascinating people and places that warm hearts, uplift spirits, and provoke thought and laughter.
Ezra's work has screened at or won awards at over 35 film festivals worldwide since 1994, when he graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in Film & TV Production.
Among these are Man Of Grease - from legendary Montreal greasy spoon Cosmos to the island of Crete, following Tony Koulakis, breakfast chef, on his first holiday home in over 30 years (TVO/CBC Newsworld, Knowledge, CTV-Montreal, CBC-Montreal, CBC Country Canada, Air Canada, Jutra nomination for Best Documentary 2001 - watch trailer); Posthumous Pickle Party - a quest to find the secret recipe for the late Simcha Leibovich's homemade pickles, upon the closing of his small but important Montreal landmark, Simcha's Grocery (Vision TV, 2012/Canal D, 2007); Tree Weeks - shadowing the quirky and dedicated Québécois Christmas tree vendors who migrate each year to Manhattan to sell their wares (CBC Newsworld/SRC/RDI, 1998); and Cod Help Us - capturing the plight of spirited cod fisherman in the Gulf of St. Lawrence as their livelihood for generations slips away (NFB/CBC, 2005). Pressure Drop (18 mins, 16mm, 1993) was co-directed by Soiferman and California-based filmmaker Marc Ostrick. One of the first medical cannabis films, the short comedy thesis film won awards and appeared at 18 film festivals worldwide, was the recipient of a Warner Bros. Pictures Production Award at NYU and toured 20 US cities (watch).
Ezra has directed for episodic television, including Past Lives - uncovering genealogical legacies of ordinary Canadians (Global, 2003); Cirque du Soleil: The Fire Within - a behind the scenes look at the Cirque show Varekai (co-director, 2002); Dogs With Jobs - following remarkable service dogs (Global/NatGeo/Oprah, 2001); and Burlyvision a TV series profiling short films and their creators on Lorne Michael's Burly Bear Network (Series Host & Director, 2001).
Also a festival and events producer, Ezra has served with Just For Laughs (Eat My Shorts producer, 1999/2000), the Pop Montreal International Music Festival (Film Pop producer, 2007) and served as the founder and director of CinemaSpace (2007-2010), the independent cinema at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts.
Ezra is co-founder and director of the Montreal Film Group (montrealfilmgroup.com), a network of over 2500 film and TV industry professionals (2004-present).
In 2011, Ezra served on the juries of the National Screen Institute's A&E Short Filmmakers Award and the Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival. In 2012, he served on the jury of the New Zealand Film Awards.
In summer 2013, Ezra's documentary street photography series "These Streets Magnetic" was
invited to appear in the lobby gallery at the Victoria Park building in Westmount, Quebec. Read more. Exhibit postcard here.
Ezra's 2013 documentary, Dockside to Bedside: 100 Years of Herzl, tells the story of the 100-year history of the Herzl Family Practice Centre at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital. The film aired on City TV Montreal in Fall 2013 and Air Canada flights in 2015 and features music by Socalled. It was produced by Christos Sourligas and Alexandra Yanofsky and was narrated in English by former CBC-TV anchorman and journalist Dennis Trudeau and in French by acclaimed filmmaker Denys Arcand. View the English trailer here and the French trailer here.
In 2014, Ezra's two short films for Montreal's Urban Bonfire launched on the shop's YouTube channel. Entitled Meet Urban Bonfire and Bring the Bonfire: Blackstrap BBQ, the films, like the shop, "celebrate outdoor gathering spaces". He also co-directed 10 episodes of My Urban Bonfire for AskMen.com's Big Food Fast series.
Ezra recently completed his first feature-length documentary, Grass Fed, starring actor/comedian Mike Paterson. The film, produced by Muse Entertainment, premiered in Canada on the CBC's Documentary Channel in November 2015. View the trailer here.
In March 2016, Ezra released "Last Game at The Forum", the critically acclaimed limited-edition coffee-table book and gallery exhibit featuring previously-unseen time capsule photographs he shot 20 years prior at the final Canadiens game at the Montreal Forum.
In 2016-2017, Ezra served as the first Artist in Residence at Tweed, a division of Canopy Growth, one of the world's largest cannabis producers. As part of the residency - the world's first arts residency at a cannabis company - he created original photo series and videos and served as a brand ambassador for the company. The first project Ezra released as part of the Tweed residency is the music photeo "The Walls of Montreal" /"Les Murs de Montréal", a love letter to the vast array of artistic murals throughout his hometown, of which he has photographed more than 1500. The video features music by Josh Ritter. The second video released as part of the Tweed residence was Ez in Res', a collection of some of his favorite images from the trips he took during the residency, set to music by Lake of Stew.
In spring 2018, Ezra was hired to shoot and direct the 15-part web series Beyond the Plate for the Montreal Gazette. Hosted and produced by Heidi Small, the documentary series plucks famous Montreal chefs from their kitchens and takes them out on adventures such as mushroom foraging, rooftop farming, and revisiting their childhood haunts. In 2021, the series began airing on the Canada's 100 Best platform and on CTV-Montreal.
From 2018-2021, Ezra served as a business development
consultant at Canopy Growth.
In April 2021,
Ezra and wildlife photographer Ilana Block created the music photeo "The Wildlife - The Walled Life" which blends Ilana's outstanding wildlife photos with Ezra's photos of stunning animal murals throughout Montreal and sets them to a song the two sing on. The video can be seen here.
Ezra lives in and loves Montreal, where in addition to making documentary films and shooting street photographs, he blogs at EzSez.com, and keeps his site EzraSoiferman.com humming with new photo series and projects.
To view Ezra's detailed bio listing all his projects, click here.
A Few Projects by Ezra:
Ez in Res'
(Music photeo, Tweed residency, 2017)
"The Walls of Montreal" / "Les Murs de Montréal"
(music photeo, 2016)
"Last Game at The Forum"
(music photeo, & photo book/exhibit, 2016)
(feature doc, 2015)
(photo project, 2014)
Meet Urban Bonfire // Bring the Bonfire
(2 corporate docs, 2014)
Dockside to Bedside: 100 Years of Herzl
(doc film, 2013)
"Do you feel the world?" - (music photeo, 2011)
(Released online in 2009 at eGuiders.com. Watch.)
(2007, doc film co-produced by Matt Zimbel. Info)
Cod Help Us (doc film, 2005)
"Yes, yes. I one time call you Azik!"
Man Of Grease, (doc film, 2000)
(1998, doc film, co-directed by Adam Seinman)
(1994, fiction short, co-directed by Marc Ostrick. Watch.)
Ezra interning at Jim Henson Productions in 1993
while studying at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts
Ezra (in green hoody) with Montreal Film Group
Co-Founder Val Lonergan on the cover of the Montreal Mirror.
Featured as a Quebecer Of
The Year, Jan. 1998