Fonds F0195 - John Kastner fonds

Accession 2005-007

Title and statement of responsibility area

Title proper

John Kastner fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Sound recording
  • Graphic material
  • Object
  • Moving images

Parallel title

Other title information

Title statements of responsibility

Title notes

Level of description


Reference code


Edition statement

Edition statement of responsibility

Statement of scale (cartographic)

Statement of projection (cartographic)

Statement of coordinates (cartographic)

Statement of scale (architectural)

Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)

Dates of creation area


Physical description area

Physical description

9.07 m of textual records
790 videocassettes
166 digital video discs
74 compact discs
159 professional discs
26 audio cassettes
11 audio reels
968 photographs
472 photographs : col. negatives
253 photographs : col. slides
7 computer disks
1 external hard drive

Title proper of publisher's series

Parallel titles of publisher's series

Other title information of publisher's series

Statement of responsibility relating to publisher's series

Numbering within publisher's series

Note on publisher's series

Archival description area

Name of creator


Biographical history

John Kastner was a documentary filmmaker, producer, writer, actor and director. Born in Toronto, Canada, he began his career as a professional child actor and appeared in many TV and radio programs, including the CBC drama "The Offshore Island". He also produced, directed and wrote for a variety of television programs, including game shows ("Photo Finish"), variety shows ("Street Comedy", "Ask a Silly Question" and "90 Minutes Live") and a children's comedy ("Just Kidding"). Kastner is best known as an award-winning writer, producer and director of television documentaries for the CBC and CTV. These documentary projects predominantly pertain to prisoners, Canada's prison and parole systems as well as the personal struggles of those with life-threatening illnesses. Kastner's documentaries include "Prison Mother/Prison Daughter" (1986), "Romance with a Rapist" (1997), "Hunting Bobby Oatway" (1997), "House of Secrets" (1997), "Rage Against the Darkness" (2004), "Monster in the Family" (2006), "Monster in the Family: The Struggle Continues" (2007), "Life With Murder" (2010), "NCR: Not Criminally Responsible" (2013), and "Out of Mind, Out of Sight" (2014). He received Emmy Awards for three feature-length documentaries, "Four Women" (1978), "Fighting Back" (1982) and "The Lifer and the Lady" (1986). Kastner has also written, produced and directed a number of comic documentaries, including "Ask a Silly Question" (1998), "Somebody's Gotta Do It" (1999), "Chickens are People Too" (2000), and "Sinner in Paradise" (2007). He died on 21 November 2019.

Custodial history

Scope and content

The fonds documents John Kastner's career as a filmmaker and producer. Records in this fonds consist of publicity files, which include biographical information, clippings, flyers and other promotional materials related to his productions; administrative and production files, which include correspondence, budgets, proposals, notes, transcripts and scripts; research materials, which include prison records, articles, books, court transcripts, newspaper clippings and news footage; and audiovisual materials, including video cassettes, DVDs, photographs, and audio recordings. These records pertain to the following programs: "Street Comedy", "Ask a Silly Question", "Somebody's Gotta Do It", "Chickens are People Too", "Rage Against the Darkness", "Romance with a Rapist", "Hunting Bobby Oatway", "House of Secrets", "Monster in the Family", "Monster in the Family: The Struggle Continues", "Sinner in Paradise", "Life with Murder", "NCR: Not Criminally Responsible", and "Out of Sight, Out of Mind".

Notes area

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by John Kastner in 1999, 2001, 2009 and 2014.


Language of material

Script of material

Location of originals

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

Access to the records in this fonds is permitted only through a research agreement. Some material is located off-site and requests for access must be made in advance of your visit to the archives.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

Associated materials

Related materials


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1999-076, 2001-023, 2009-017 and 2014-024. Further accruals may be expected.

Alternative identifier(s)

Standard number area

Standard number

Access points

Place access points

Name access points

Genre access points

Control area



Level of detail


Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2002/04/04 Jizi Chen:. (Creation)
2002/04/04 Awaiting review by the Data Collection Archivist
2003/04/15 Shannon MacDonald. Added URL for online finding aid. Updated wording in accruals. Removed note re: supplied title.
2010/11/02 Jennifer Grant. Added information to dates, extent, bio sketch, scope and content pertaining to third accession, 2009-017. Changed provenance access point (date of birth). Jennifer Grant. Updated access restriction field.
2010/11/02 Jennifer Grant. Adjusted formatting of "Other notes" section.
2014/07/22 Migrated to AtoM.
2020/03/26 KCP, N. Somerset. Added subject access points.
2020/06/17 KCP. Post-migration metadata clean-up. Add offsite storage notes. Published description and generated finding aid.

Language of description


Accession area

Related people and organizations

Related places

Related genres