Stoneman, John

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Stoneman, John

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  • John Stoneman

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John Stoneman was a Canadian underwater filmmaker and conservationist. His career spans four decades, and has garnered many awards.

Stoneman was born in 1939 in Devonshire, England. His first step into film was with Pinewood Studios in 1957, then in 1963 he joined BBC as a director/cinematographer for the underwater documentary film The Indian Ocean. His career continued as a second unit action director on documentaries.

In 1971 Stoneman went to Canada to take a job as an assistant director. While there, he met CBC’s John Hirsch, and Stoneman’s future wife Sarah. It was she who helped convince Stoneman to stay in Canada. Together they created the production company Mako Films Ltd.

Mako Films created material for National Geographic, BBC, PBS, while also doing independent work. Stoneman’s career continued to grow, directing the first IMAX underwater film Nomads of the Deep (1979). One of his biggest successes was the CTV series The Last Frontier, with over 100 episodes. He later worked with CBC for the production of The Ocean World of John Stoneman: The Canadian Odyssey. Due to his long career, Stoneman’s library of underwater footage is extensive. He and his wife were also the founders of the Foundation for Ocean Research which recognized work in marine environment and ran from 1975-2004.


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Created September 9, 2019.


  • English



Cuff, John Haslett. “The Ocean World of John Stoneman, Stoneman Plumbs the Depths.” The Globe and Mail, June 19, 1993.

Shaw, Ted. “Ocean World is a Canadian Odyssey.” The Calgary Herald, June 19, 1993.

Smith, Diane. “Fish tales Diver/producer John Stoneman is just like a fish out of water when he's not filming sea critters down on The Last Frontier.” The Toronto Star, October 24, 1987.

Sullivan, Chris. “Scuba diving in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.” Chronicle of an older diver. October 13, 2008.

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