For over 40 years, Peter Svab has worked as an editor on hundreds of hours of film and television in Europe, India, and North America.
Peter received his Master’s degree in Film and Television Production (MgA) at Prague’s prestigious Academy of Performing Arts and started his career at the Czech National TV station. In 1979 Peter and his family lost their citizenship for political involvement in the fight against the oppressive communist government and were expelled from the Czech Republic. They moved to Canada in 1980.
Throughout his career Peter has edited a wide variety of documentaries, television and feature films such as “Laserhawk”, “Angel Square”, “The Father I Knew”, “The Growing Pains Movie”, “Breaking the Surface”, “Stargate” and “On the Wings of Eagles" to name just a few.
For nine years Peter has served as a board member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and head of the jury for the Genie and Gemini awards. He has also participated as a jury member for the pre-selection jury for Cannes and the Academy Awards.
He was a mentor for DGC – Kick Start Film Project and introduced a seven-week intensive workshop ”Making Movies”, at the University of the Fraser Valley in British Columbia, to share his knowledge and experience with the next generation of young filmmakers.
Born in Prague, Czech Republic, studied Art History there. As Russia took over the life and politics in the Czech Republic, with no hope for change, as dissidents, struggled to escape, immigrated together with filmmaker husband Peter to Canada in 1980, free to start a completely new chapter of life in democracy. Her life experiences, good visual memory and intuition became useful in filmmaking to excel and be regarded for, achieving numerous nominations and awards for her work.
As an editor, storyteller, she has been looking for stories which would help to understand historical events, or a group of people, about wrongs that happened in the name of humanity or righteousness, the topics that matter. She studies the subjects, went to museums to get the atmosphere, to get the flavour, the substance of the story so audience would be absorbed by it and hopefully it would stay with them for a while.
She has worked on several films with director, Anne Wheeler, an excellent story teller who was awarded an Order of Canada and many honorary doctorates. One of the films, A war Between Us, is the story of Japanese nationals forcibly moved from coast to camps in inner BC during WW ll to prevent them from possible collaboration with Nazi Japan.
Shirley Cheechoo is a native filmmaker. Her work is highly regarded. She has received international awards, is in the Smithsonian Institute, and also received an Order of Canada and honorary doctorate. Lenka has worked on several projects with her.
Silent Tears - the experience of life on the trap line during her childhood and the strength and resourcefulness of the 1st Nation people.
Johnny Tootall - a film dealing with native beliefs. Johnny, traumatized by war, first refuses, but eventually accepts these beliefs and goes through a spiritual healing, reclaiming his life.
American Indian Film Awards for the film and actors.
Heart of the Sun - an acclaimed story of a young woman who was sterilized in 1930 in Alberta on the basis of the Eugenics philosophy, which was later mastered by Hitler. Director - Frances Damberger.
My Father's Angel - directed by Sarajevo director, Davor Marjanovic. An acclaimed story of emigrants from former Yugoslavia after the war of 1994. The film was the recipient of several Genie and Leo Awards, as well as International awards, including one from the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film festival.
Now and Forever - directed by Bob Clark Winner - Atlantic City Film Festival Critics Choice and Best Feature Film Director, Toronto ReelWorld Film Festival Best Canadian Feature Film 2002
Saint Monica - director Terrance Odette. The story of a young girl who desperately wanted to be an angel with feathered wings in a St Mary's parade in Little Portugal in Toronto. The film was a festival success playing across North America and was selected for a Berlin Film Festival, the Atlantic Film Festival, the Toronto Film Festival and the Vancouver Film Festival. Lenka received the Leo Award for best editing
THEY WHO SURROUND US deals with topics that have always interested Lenka. The historical roots to Ukraine devastated by Russia was one as well as the torment of losing a loved one, which resonated very strongly with her.