Varick Frissell

Varick Frissell (1903 – March 15, 1931) was a documentary filmmaker. Frissell came from a well-to-do family, studied at Yale, and took a keen interest in film at an early age. He was mentored by renowned documentarian Robert Flaherty. In 1921, Frissell heard a lecture by Dr Wilfred Grenfell, which interested him to visit the Labrador mission and to explore the northern wilderness. In 1922, Frissell volunteered to work for the International Grenfell Association, driving a dog-team in the winter and working on the hospital boat Strathcona in the summer. In 1925, he and fellow Yale student Jim Hillier explored the Hamilton River and shot the first film ever of the great waterfall. They also searched for and discovered the Unknown River of Indian legend and called it the Grenfell River. Frissell wrote an account of his explorations and submitted it to The Geographical Journal for publication entitled Explorations in the Grand Falls Region of Labrador, which earned him membership in the Royal Geographical Society. Frissell completed his film of the Hamilton River and titled it The Lure of Labrador.



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