Skip to main content

OCAD U mourns the loss of experimental filmmaker Ross McLaren

Photo of Ross McLaren holding camera.

Photo of Ross McLaren, courtesy of Fordham University

The OCAD University community is deeply saddened by the loss of filmmaker and educator Ross McLaren, who passed away on November 28 at the age of 69 in Brooklyn, New York. McLaren graduated from the Ontario College of Art (OCA) in 1976, where he also taught, before it became OCAD U. 

About Ross McLaren 

A filmmaker, educator, curator and community organizer, McLaren founded and was the first director of the Funnel Film Centre, a venue for experimental/artist-based films and for the encouragement of Super 8 films, active in the 70s and 80s. He was also the co-founder of the Toronto Super 8 Film Festival, the first in Canada. 

McLaren taught film and media production at Fordham University in New York City as an artist-in-residence since 1986. He also taught film and video at Pratt Institute, Cooper Union and Millenium Film Workshop, in addition to OCA. 

His work has been screened at many institutions worldwide, including MoMA in New York City and the British Film Institute Southbank, the National Film Theatre in London, the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Biennale du Paris, Documenta VI, Jyväskylä University in Finland, and ARKEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark.

He received multiple honours, including the Millenium Achievement Award for his longstanding contribution to the arts and education. His work is found in several permanent collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Ottawa’s National Film Archives, the American Federation of Arts in New York City and the Arts Council of Great Britain. 

A memorial in McLaren’s honour will be held on Feb. 16, 2024, at 6 p.m. at the Lincoln Center campus’ Lipani Gallery, where several of his films will be screened.

OCAD U extends its deepest condolences to his family, friends and loved ones.


Fordham University