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Film producer credits Assumption teachers

Paniccia Produces
Posted on 11/08/2019

Stephen Paniccia knew from a very early point in his career that he wanted to be a film producer, a fulfilling career that’s taken him around the world and afforded him the opportunity to get acquainted with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

Much of the credit for his success, he says, is owing to the support he received from some of the teachers he had while still a student at Assumption College Catholic High School.

“It was really the encouragement that the teachers gave me while I was there,” said Paniccia, who graduated in 1993. “The people, and the encouragement they gave me.”

Paniccia is the producer on Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, a new documentary about the Canadian rock music icon and one of the most influential bands of the 60s and 70s, and the closing night film for the 15th annual Windsor International Film Festival.

After graduating from Assumption, Pannicia went to the University of Windsor where he majored in business, with a minor in marketing and theatre. From there, he went to film school in Vancouver where said he tried to volunteer on everything he could.

“I knew then that I wanted to be a producer,” Paniccia said in a phone interview from Finland where he is currently working on another documentary about education reform. “I was the only guy in my class who wanted to do that. It was the entrepreneurial side of the business that attracted me, the opportunity to build something from the ground up. It’s never boring.”

Besides his work on the new Robertson piece, he has produced a number of other series and documentaries, including a 2015 piece on Omar Khadr, and a new piece on Canadian literary legend Margaret Atwood, which was premiering this week at the Hot Docs festival in Toronto and will soon air on CBC.

 During the filming of Once Were Brothers, Paniccia said he had the opportunity to meet Robertson on several occasions.

“He was really great, and very down to earth,” he said. “He’s a great story teller and that really comes across in the film.”

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band will be shown on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. at The Capitol Theatre.

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