Ex-CMPDA boss Douglas Frith dies at 64

Pushed through anti-camcording legislation

TORONTO -- Douglas Frith, until last year Hollywood's top lobbyist in Canada, died March 21 of an apparent heart attack in Ottawa. He was 64.

Frith was president of the Canadian Motion Picture Distributors Assn., an ally of the MPAA, between 1996 and February 2008. He left the CMPDA last year after helping secure a new law in Canada that banned the camcording of movies in cinemas and helped encourage a round of tax-credit hikes for American producers that shoot here.

The anti-camcording measure was part of long-standing campaign by the CMPDA to introduce stronger copyright legislation in Canada to combat film piracy.

John Barrack, national executive vp and counsel at the Canadian Film and Television Production Assn., which represents indie producers, praised Frith for making a potentially thorny relationship between U.S. and Canadian interests surprisingly cooperative.

"In his role with the CMPDA, he worked remarkably closely with the Canadian industry, and he was able in a unique way to find common ground to bind the interests of the major studios and Canadian producers," Barrack said.

Frith served in Canadian politics and during the late 1980s sat in the federal cabinet as minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development. He also worked at Hill and Knowlton Canada as executive vp and chairman before joining the CMPDA.

In April 2008, Frith joined Ottawa-based lobbying firm Global Public Affairs as vice chairman.

MPAA chairman Dan Glickman paid tribute to Frith on Monday as "a champion of the industry, and a friend. The news of his untimely death is a shock, a true loss to those of us who worked with him and knew him."
comments powered by Disqus