Shooting Starts on Documentary about Secretariat Jockey Ron Turcotte of NB

by: Kellie Underhill (May 14, 2012 at 5:52 pm)

All these years later, Ron Turcotte continues to be idolized by fans of the Kentucky Derby and horse racing. When he attended the Derby in 2012, he signed autographs for four days straight, for hours at a time. Here, he is seen in conversation with an admirer. © 2012 National Film Board of Canada. All rights reserved.

Filming is presently underway in the United States on a documentary about jockey Ron Turcotte. Born in New Brunswick, Turcotte is considered one of the best jockeys of all time. He won 3,033 races and took the Triple Crown astride the famous Secretariat, the fastest thoroughbred the racing world has ever known.

His brilliant 18-year career came to an abrupt halt in 1978 when a tumble from his horse during a race in New York left him a paraplegic. Since then, he has returned to live in Canada with his wife.

Made by Phil Comeau, the film portrays Turcotte’s outstanding determination, talent and success. The film is produced by Jacques Turgeon (executive producer) and Maryse Chapdelaine of the National Film Board’s (NFB) Acadia Studio.

The Shoot

Filming is presently underway in Kentucky and will continue into summer 2012, with an expected wrap date of February 2013. Further details will be revealed by the NFB in fall 2012.

Phil Comeau

Jockeys and their horses get set for the big race! This photo was taken by the NFB film crew on May 2, 2012, during a morning run before the Kentucky Oaks & Derby. © 2012 National Film Board of Canada. All rights reserved.

Born in Nova Scotia, Phil Comeau has more than 100 productions to his name, including 51 television dramas, a feature film, two TV movies (France and the US) and 54 documentaries and docudramas. He was also the screenwriter on 60 of these works.

His feature-length documentary Frédéric Back: Grandeur nature (The Nature of Frédéric Back) won the People’s Choice Award at the 30th International Festival of Films on Art in Montreal, while his fiction feature Jerome’s Secret garnered 16 international awards. In 2011, he received the Order of Canada.

About the NFB

Canada’s public producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates interactive works, social-issue documentaries and auteur animation that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is developing the entertainment forms of the future in groundbreaking interactive productions, while pioneering new directions in 3D stereoscopic film, community-based media, and more.

It works in collaboration with emerging and established filmmakers, digital media creators and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB’s founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 6 Webbys, 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies.

Over 2,000 NFB productions can be streamed online, at the Screening Room as well as via partnerships with the world’s leading video portals, while the NFB’s growing family of apps for smartphones, tablets and connected TV delivers the experience of cinema to Canadians everywhere.