Barna-Alper Productions

hard times poster

  Born to Hungarian Holocaust survivors in 1949, Laszlo Barna arrived in Montreal shortly after the Soviet Union’s Red Army suppressed the 1956 Hungarian democratic revolt. He attended McGill University in the late 1960s and, after a brief period as an academic, he became an independent filmmaker. In the late 1970s, he moved with his partner (Laura Alper) and their daughter to Toronto, where they established BarnaAlper Productions.
  Initially, the company produced industrial films (primarily for unions, including the Canadian Auto Workers). Later, they produced small documentaries at the National Film Board, but their big break came in 1989 when CBC introduced the all-news channel Newsworld. Barna pitched a weekly current affairs, called Workweek, which became their first broadcast series. Over the next decade, BarnaAlper continued to produce factual series (including Frontiers of Construction, one of the first shows commissioned by Discovery Canada, and Turning Points of History, one of the first programs commissioned by History Television in 1997). Through this period, Alper began to take a less active role in the day-to-day affairs of the company, and she now serves as a consultant. In 1996, BarnaAlper entered the field of dramatic programming with the story of Teamster leader Diana Kilmury. The movie-of-the-week met with critical success in Canada and the United States, and the company began developing a slate of new dramatic projects. In 2008, BarnaAlper was acquired by Entertainment One (E1).
  The company has won numerous awards, among them Geminis for Best Dramatic Series, Best Documentary Series, Best Sports Program or Series, Best Science, Technology, Nature and Environment Documentary Program, and Best History Documentary Program. They have also been recognized at prestigious TV festivals in the United States, including the Columbus International Film and Video Festival, Double Take, and the Chicago International TV Festival.

Sources: 

“Producer works happily behind the scenes: Laszlo Barna likes his shows, not himself, to garner attention.” The Toronto Star, October 26, 2002, J13.

Vamos, Peter. “BarnaAlper at 25: a quarter century of rooting for the little guy.” Playback, January 17, 2005, 18. http://playbackonline.ca/2005/01/17/barna-20050117/

Knelman, Martin. “Upstart E1 could rival Alliance’s heyday.” The Toronto Star, July 9, 2008, E3.

 

Accession No.: 
2004.003
Dates of creation: 
1979 2004
Physical description: 

36 m of textual records

10,301 photographs
· 44 contact sheets (41 col., 3 b&w)
· 444 prints (214 col., 230 b&w)
· 6,936 slides (6,929 col., 7 b&w)
· 788 negatives (770 col., 18 b&w)
· 2,089 digital images on 3 CDROMs (1,752 col., 337 b&w)

7 graphic materials
· 7 posters

1006 audio recordings
· 35 – 2 in. 24 track tape (35 hr.)
· 23 audio cassettes (26 hr.)
· 488 DAT cassettes (492 hr., 31 min.)
· 390 DA88 cassettes (831 hr., 18 min.)
· 67 CDs (37 hr.)
· 3 Zip Discs

10,228 video recordings
· 194 ¾ in. tapes (137 hr., 56 min.)
· 437 ½ in. Digital Betacam cassettes (336 hr., 38 min.)
· 8,098 ½ in. Betacam SP (4529 hr., 33 min.)
· 22 DVC Pro cassettes (22 hr.)
· 3 CDROMs (23 hr., 30 min.)
· 135 DV Cam (93 hr.)
· 1 DVD
· 168 Hi8 cassettes (204 hr., 20 min.)
· 303 MiniDV cassettes (296 hr., 8 min.)
· 866 VHS cassettes (682 hr., 52 min.)
· 1 Zip Disc

1, 114 cinefilms
· 1,114 reels 16mm negative (852,060 ft)

254 electronic materials
· 136 3.5 floppy discs (bearing textual records)
· 111 CDROMS (bearing textual records)
· 7 Zip Discs (bearing textual records)

1 plaque

Scope and content: 

This fonds consists of two series: ‘Textual’ and ‘AudioVisual’.

The first series, ‘Textual’, is divided into 27 subseries, each pertaining to a specific production or project. These are ‘At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story’, ‘Betrayed’, ‘Blue Murder’, ‘Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story’, ‘Da Vinci’s Inquest’, ‘Diana Kilmury’, ‘Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story’, ‘Open Hearts: The Cradle Will Fall’, ‘Show Me Yours’, ‘Scorn’, ‘Whiskey Echo’, ‘The Body: Inside Stories’, ‘CAW—Canadian Auto Workers’, ‘CLC—Canadian Labour Congress’, ‘The Conjuror’, ‘Frontiers of Construction’, ‘Gambling: A Risky Business’, ‘Human Wildlife’, ‘Life and Times’, ‘The Negotiator’, ‘Offspring’, ‘The Sexual Century’, ‘Ten Days in March’, ‘The Tenure of Dr. Fabrikant’, ‘Turning Points of History’, ‘Unholy Water’, ‘Workweek: In Pursuit of Tomorrow’.
Each of these subseries is further subdivided into 8 subsubseries: ‘Development’, ‘Production’, ‘Photography’, ‘PostProduction’,
‘Distribution’,‘Marketing’, ‘Business Affairs’, ‘Press and Publicity’.

The second series, ‘AudioVisual’, is also subdivided by production. These are: ‘At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story’, ‘Betrayed’, ‘Blue Murder’, ‘Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story’, ‘Da Vinci’s Inquest’, ‘Diana Kilmury’, ‘Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story’, ‘Open Hearts: The Cradle Will Fall’, ‘Show Me Yours’, ‘Scorn’, ‘Whiskey Echo’, ‘The Body: Inside Stories’, ‘CAW—Canadian Auto Workers’, ‘CLC—Canadian Labour Congress’, ‘The Conjuror’, ‘Frontiers of Construction’, ‘Gambling: A Risky Business’, ‘Human Wildlife’, ‘Life and Times’, ‘The Negotiator’, ‘Offspring’, ‘The Sexual Century’, ‘Ten Days in March’, ‘The Tenure of Dr. Fabrikant’, ‘Turning Points of History’, ‘Unholy Water’, ‘Workweek: In Pursuit of Tomorrow’.
These are in turn divided into 3 subsubseries: Cinefilm (consisting of 16mm colour negative), Video Recordings (consisting of ¾ in. cassettes, Digital Betacam cassettes, BetacamSP cassettes, DVC Pro cassettes, DVCam cassettes, PAL cassettes, VHS cassettes, Hi8 cassettes, DVDs, Mini DV cassettes, CDROMs and a Zip Disc), and Audio Recordings (consisting of multitrack magnetic reels, ¼ in. magnetic reels, digital cassettes, DA88 cassettes, CDs, and Zip Discs.)

This fonds includes graphic and textual material relating to a number of productions,
including:

  • The Negotiator (Television, 1994)
  • Life and Times (Television, 1996)
  • The Tenure of Dr. Fabrikant (Television, 1996)
  • The Conjuror (Television, 1997)
  • Diana Kilmury: Teamster (Television, 1997)
  • Turning Points of History (Television, 1997)
  • Gambling: A Risky Business (Television, 1997)
  • Workweek: In Pursuit of Tomorrow (Television, 1997)
  • At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story (Television, 1998)
  • Da Vinci’s Inquest (Television, 1998)
  • The Body: Inside Stories (Television, 1998)
  • Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story (Television, 1999)
  • Frontiers of Construction (Television, 1999)
  • The Sexual Century (Television, 1999)
  • Scorn (Television, 2000)
  • Blue Murder (Television, 2000)
  • Offspring (Television, 2000)
  • Betrayed (Television, 2001)
  • Human Wildlife (Television, 2002)
  • Unholy Water (Television, 2002)
  • Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story (Television, 2003)
  • Ten Days in March (Television, 2003)
  • Open Hearts: The Cradle Will Fall (Television, 2003)
  • Show Me Yours (Television, 2004)
  • Whiskey Echo (Television, 2005)

This fonds includes audiovisual material relating to a number of productions, including:

  • The Negotiator (Television, 1994)
  • Life and Times (Television, 1996)
  • The Tenure of Dr. Fabrikant (Television, 1996)
  • The Conjuror (Television, 1997)
  • Diana Kilmury: Teamster (Television, 1997)
  • Turning Points of History (Television, 1997)
  • Gambling: A Risky Business (Television, 1997)
  • Workweek: In Pursuit of Tomorrow (Television, 1997)
  • At the End of the Day: The Sue Rodriguez Story (Television, 1998)
  • Da Vinci’s Inquest (Television, 1998)
  • The Body: Inside Stories (Television, 1998)
  • Hard Time: The David Milgaard Story (Television, 1999)
  • Frontiers of Construction (Television, 1999)
  • The Sexual Century (Television, 1999)
  • Scorn (Television, 2000)
  • Blue Murder (Television, 2000)
  • Offspring (Television, 2000)
  • Betrayed (Television, 2001)
  • Human Wildlife (Television, 2002)
  • Unholy Water (Television, 2002)
  • Choice: The Henry Morgentaler Story (Television, 2003)
  • Ten Days in March (Television, 2003)
  • Open Hearts: The Cradle Will Fall (Television, 2003)
  • Show Me Yours (Television, 2004)
  • Whiskey Echo (Television, 2005)
Rights and access: 

A) Some restrictions exist. Please consult archivist for list.
B) Material is subject to copyright restrictions; please consult the archivist.

Language: 
English