David Adkin studied music and theatre in Saskatoon before moving to Toronto to complete a BFA in Creative Writing and a MFA in Film at York University. Since 1986, Adkin has been actively involved in the Toronto filmmaking scene as a documentary director, producer, writer, editor, and researcher. He has served on the board of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus (Toronto Chapter) and the Blue Ribbon Jury for Hot Docs. His films encompass issues of social and economic justice, equality, human rights, Canadian history, immigration, the impact of mass media, and other subjects.
Since 2008, Adkin has worked as a co-producer, director, editor and Program Manager for SkyWorks Charitable Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to using documentary as a community development tool. He produced and coordinated the Real Change Girls Filmmaking Project 2012, and the Real Change Boys Filmmaking Project 2013 – mentoring youth to make their own films for social change. In addition to co-directing, co-producing and editing Home Safe Hamilton (2010) with filmmaker, Laura Sky, Adkin produced and edited the Home Safe Education Resource on family homelessness and poverty. He was also editor on the SkyWorks feature documentaries Ordinary Woman, Extraordinary Dreams (2013) and Recovering Love (2011), and was a director and editor of Prescription for Addiction (SkyWorks, 2008).
Adkin’s documentary directing credits include Debt Trap (2008), aired on Global Television, as well as the TV doc series Little Miracles and Med Students. He wrote and directed three episodes of the History Television series A Scattering of Seeds: The Creation of Canada, including First Lady of the Yukon: Martha Black (1999), The Reluctant Politician: The Story of Irene Parlby (2000), and A Farmer from Amber Valley: J. D. Edwards (2001).
As an independent filmmaker, Adkin directed and produced the documentary/comedy special We’re Funny That Way (1998), a candid look at openly-gay comedians, broadcast on HBO/Cinemax, PBS, and Bravo, as well as Jim Loves Jack: The James Egan Story (1996), a portrait of Canada’s first gay rights activist. Jim Loves Jack received its European premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and won the Best Documentary award at the Turin International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in Italy.
Adkin’s early work was for the National Film Board of Canada, directing the critically-acclaimed feature documentary Out: Stories of Lesbian and Gay Youth (1993) – (Gold Apple Award, Cable Ace nomination, official selection at the Berlin Film Festival). Adkin also directed two best-selling educational anthologies for the NFB, Media & Society (1989) and Constructing Reality: Exploring Media Issues in Documentary (1993), both designed to foster media literacy for young people.
Adkin’s first short film The Salesman (1986), a black comedy about consumerism, was shown widely on CBC and Canadian pay television.
2013, 66:00 minutes, colour
Real Change Girls Film Project
2012, 26:00 minutes, colour, English
2010, 72:00 minutes, colour, English
Home Safe Teacher's Resource Package (3 DVDS + Curriculum Guide)
2010, 281:14 minutes, colour, English
2010, 86:00 minutes, colour, English
Jim Loves Jack: The James Egan Story
1995, 54:08 minutes, colour, English