ichannel Profiles Canadian Icon George Jonas

   Author, poet, television producer, journalist, columnist and intellectual activist are titles that could describe George Jonas’ prolific body of work.  Digital television network ichannel puts Jonas in front of a camera to personally describe his remarkable life and career “In His Own Words”.


From his childhood in Hungary, his immigration to Canada, to his long and productive award-winning career, the documentary follows Jonas’ personal narrative with authentically descriptive photos and footage.  His monologue is peppered with engaging anecdotes and witty philosophical repartee.


For example, on his early years, “One of the advantages that I had was not having much of a formal education.  I had the opportunity to look into things for myself.”


His perspective on writing, “Unless writing is its own reward for you, you shouldn’t bother.  Writing is no fun, but I enjoy having written.”


On the holocaust, “It is the human race that is genocidal, not the Germans.  In one vital sense, we are all Jews, and we are all Germans, potentially.”


The assessment he gives of the Middle East, “I don’t foresee a solution to the Middle East problem, because I don’t believe the Jews will give up the idea of having a state of their own, and I don’t believe the Arabs and Muslims will acquiesce in the idea of having the state in the Middle East.”


Jonas was working for Radio Budapest when the Hungarian Revolution began in 1956.  He joined thousands of other Hungarian refugees on their exodus to Austria, where he admits that he approached Canadian Immigration because there was no one waiting in line, as opposed to the American Consulate where people were lined up for ten blocks. 


Upon moving to Canada, he had to learn English very quickly before getting a job at the CBC as a script editor, and eventually a producer.  Since then, he has written 15 books, including bestsellers.  He may be best known for writing, producing and/or directing over 200 dramas and documentaries for the CBC, including the Gemini Award winning “The Scales of Justice”.  His book “Vengeance” was adapted to the big screen as “Sword of Gideon” and later by Steven Spielberg for the film “Munich”.  Summing up his life and career, Jonas says, “I wanted to be a writer, pure and simple.”


“George Jonas: In His Own Words” airs Saturday, May 23rd at 8pm and 11pm ET and PT.  ichannel is available by subscription through local television providers across Canada; the network is owned and operated by Stornoway Communications.


For more information, contact: 

Rosemary Fusca, Head of Programming, (416) 756-5523, rfusca@stornoway.com