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Robert Rodvik has been a passionate photographer for over 40 years. In 1966 he purchased his first single lens reflex camera and took it to Europe, spending several months in capturing exciting images and learning photography in the process.
In the early 70s Robert began his professional career, both in still photography and in film. In 1972 Robert worked at Bellevue Pathe as a film printer while simultaneously doing freelance still work for a number of magazines and newspapers, including The Vancouver Sun, Toronto Star, Photo Life Magazine and Dick MacLean’s Leisure Guide.
In 1972 Robert had his first photographic exhibition - “WOMAN” - at the Gallery of Photography in North Vancouver. In 1973 Robert had another exhibition of his photographs - “PEOPLE AND PLACES” - at the Vancouver Public Library. Both shows were critical successes.
By 1975 Robert had advanced to the stage of professional production and together with film editor Mike Collier, formed a film production company, New Horizon Films.
Their first production - “THE GIFT OF WATER” - received great reviews and was blown up to 35mm for theatrical screening and won the following awards:
‘Special Award for Nature Cinematography’ - Chicago International Film Festival
‘Silver Screen Award’ - U.S. Industrial Film Festival
‘Best Nature & Wildlife’ - Canadian Film & T.V. Awards
‘Best Cinematography’ - Canadian Film & T.V. Awards
New Horizon Films’ second production, “PACIFIC CELEBRATION” - completed in 1976, was a financial and critical triumph. Also blown up to 35mm as a theatrical short and shown across North America, the film was purchased and distributed to over 250 National Film Board offices throughout the world. The film also won the following awards:
‘Canuck Award’ - Tourism Industry Association of Canada.
‘Chris Plaque’ - Columbus Film Festival
‘Special Award of Merit’ - San Francisco International Film Festival
‘Certificate of Merit’ - Chicago International Film Festival
‘Bronze Award’ - New York International Film Festival
1977 was a very busy year for New Horizon Films and for Robert Rodvik. First, there was the production of a film for the Canadian Department of External Affairs and the National Film Board - “THE SAWMILL’ - which explored the inner functions of one of BC’s most important workplaces, That film was quickly followed by a contract from the Canadian Department of National Defence to illustrate the rigours of life for officer candidates in the Canadian Forces. Titled “CAN YOU BE A LEADER?” the production was filmed at CFB Chilliwack and received great acceptance by the Dept. of Defence.
In the same year Robert was hired by Greenpeace Film Productions to be Director of Photography aboard the James Bay as it tracked the Soviet whaling fleet in the south Pacific Ocean. The film footage of that trip - “VOYAGE TO SAVE THE WHALES” - became an international feature film and had numerous television screenings. March of 1977 saw Robert being featured by way of a portfolio in Photo Life Magazine;
“Faces of London” In 1978 Robert was hired as Director of Photography by Zale Dalen Films on a contract by the Department of National Defence to produce a Naval Officer training and recruitment film. As it turned out the film was eventually completed by New Horizon Films and “FULL SPEED AHEAD” was a tour de force in documentary production.
That same year New Horizon Films won a contract from the B.C. Government Department of Tourism to produce a travel promotion film on Region E - the Thompson/ Columbia district. The resulting film - “MAJESTY OF WATER” - was chosen as “Best Canadian Travel Film” in 1978 by the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, and won a ‘Chris Plaque’ from the Columbus Film Festival.
In 1979 Robert was co-producer with Mike Collier on an NFB film - ‘WINTER SURVIVAL”. In that same year and throughout the early 80s Robert became the prime cinematographer for K-Tel International, directing and shooting many of its TV commercials seen across Canada.
Robert also Produced, Directed and Filmed the investigative documentary - “INVESTIGATION OF CF-AIV” an airplane crash that took place in Coal Harbour, Vancouver.
At this time Robert felt a need to record still images of Mexico, a land he had visited a number of times before. Thus he spent many months of each year in the 1980s traveling by VW van to the remote regions of Mexico, resulting in his vivid photobook: MEXICO - LAND OF CONTRAST
In 1986 Robert joined with the Vancouver Centennial Commission to produce an Expo 86 tourist oriented video - “VANCOUVER - CITY OF THE CENTURY” widely sold and critically approved.
Continuing his lifelong passion, in the winter of 2008-09 Robert journeyed to the Central American nation of Guatemala to photograph the Highland Maya and complete a photo book he had begun 30 years earlier. The adventure turned into the most exacting trip Robert had experienced in a lifetime of travel and has provided a detailed telling on the demands of travel in a Third World country. Fortunately Robert returned to his home with a collection of stunning photos taken with his Nikon F-100 and Fuji Velvia film that portray the Highland Maya in their everyday life, providing magnificently saturated images needed to complete the book begun thirty years earlier. It was, and is, a photographic tour de force, now a photo book, 'Among The Highland Maya' in all the primary colors to be found throughout amazing Guatemala.