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interior of Windsor field hospital in the St. Clair SportplexProducer and director Matt Gallagher is nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for his documentary on Windsor’s COVID-response field hospital.

Film documenting family pandemic stories wins notice

A UWindsor communications grad has received a Canadian Screen Award nomination for his timely documentary on how Ontario families are straining to keep in touch while staying apart during the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Producer and director Matt Gallagher (BA 1992) drew on his personal experience in filming Dispatches from a Field Hospital, nominated for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program.

During the first wave in the spring of 2020, Windsor erected Canada’s first MASH-style field hospital almost overnight to isolate and treat elderly patients who tested positive for the virus at the Heron Terrace long-term care home. To fight back against confusion and despair, medical staff created a lifeline between these seniors and their families using iPads and phones. Dispatches from a Field Hospital documents the dramatic stories of several families, including Gallagher’s, whose father became a patient.

The film also features the work of UWindsor students and faculty, including production assistants Alysha Baker (MFA Film 2019) and Calum Hotchkiss (MFA Film 2021), fixer Liam Adams (BA 2018), additional camera operator David Hodge (BA 1993), and story editor Nick Hector, an instructor in the School of Creative Arts.

The Canadian Screen Award is the nation’s most prestigious television award and is voted on by members of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. Dispatches from a Field Hospital is available for screening on the TVOntario website.