Speaker Profiles

Tom Perlmutter

Tom Perlmutter

Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson

The National Film Board of Canada

Tom Perlmutter, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada

A long-standing advocate for innovative collaborations and the investment in the cultural and creative capital of Canada, Tom Perlmutter is currently the chairperson and commissioner of the National Film Board (NFB) of Canada.

Since joining the NFB, Mr. Perlmutter has spearheaded a sweeping digital transformation at Canada’s public film institution. Embracing the innovative use of technology in a digital era, Mr. Perlmutter revitalized the NFB’s online presence by introducing the acclaimed NFB.ca online Screening Room. He has also leveraged opportunities and creative synergies between various national and international organizations in the public and private sectors to deliver unique productions, showcasing the NFB as not only a Canadian public film institution, but a forward-thinking, leading-edge business partner.

Over the years, he has forged strategic partnerships with industry-leading brands, including Apple, RIM, Hulu, Air Canada and YouTube, to expand the NFB’s digital exposure on mobile platforms, in an effort to make award-winning Canadian productions more accessible to a broader audience.

Under Mr. Perlmutter’s leadership, the NFB has continued to push the boundaries of interactive, documentary and animation programming, established critical ties with important partners abroad and remained committed to cross-cultural collaborations, supporting emerging filmmakers and those from cultural minorities.  

In recent years, the NFB has garnered a number of prestigious honours and awards for its thought-provoking, innovative productions, including its Interactive Productions. Awards include two Academy Awards®, a Digital Emmy® and four Webby Awards, the Internet’s highest honour.

Mr. Perlmutter first joined the NFB in December 2001 as Director General of English Program, and prior to this role, he had a distinguished career in the Canadian film industry. As the founding head of documentaries at Barna-Alper Productions, he created and produced award-winning documentary series and one-offs. In 1999, he became a partner in Primitive Entertainment, where he created, produced and directed a number of distinctive documentaries.

Perlmutter was born in Sárospatak, Hungary. He was educated at McGill University in Montreal and Magdalen College in Oxford, and holds an MBA from the University of Toronto.

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