A filmmaker with an extensive list of productions, Philip Hoffman apprenticed in Europe with director Peter Greenaway. His experimental films, often on personal autobiographical themes, have won many awards, including three in 1998 for his documentary Destroying Angel and a Golden Gate Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival and Gus Van Sant Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2002 for What These Ashes Wanted, a diaristic meditation on loss and grief.
Professor Hoffman has given seminars and production workshops and presented screenings of his films on four continents, including international festivals in Holland and Australia, at Cinematheque Canada in Ottawa, and at the Chicago Art Institute. He has been honoured with more than a dozen retrospectives of his work. Among them were the centrepiece series at the 2001 Images Festival for Independent Film and Video in Toronto, coupled with the launch of a book titled Landscape with Shipwreck: First Person Cinema and the Films of Philip Hoffman, comprising some 25 essays by academics and artists. Thirteen of his productions were shown at the 2003 IV Fest in Trivandrum, India, and the San Francisco Cinematheque presented Passing Through: A Philip Hoffman Retrospective in 2004. In September 2006, a two-program survey of Philip Hoffman’s works launched a special six-month series featuring productions by Canadian artists, presented by Anthology Film Archives in New York.
His most recent production is the feature-length experimental documentary, All Fall Down, which received its world premiere at the 2009 Berlinale and made its North American debut at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival.
Professor Hoffman currently serves as the director of the Graduate Program in Film at York.