Andrew Frank "Andy" Fiore (born November 29, 1965) is a Vancouver- based award winning filmmaker. He is best known for his independent documentaries featuring the poor, addicted and often mentally ill citizens of the Downtown Eastside - one of Vancouver's oldest neighborhoods, notorious for violence, sex trade, and open drug use. Educated at Ryerson Polytechnic University (1987-1991) in the Radio & Television & Film programs, Andy majored in documentary production and creative media writing. After graduation Andy worked as a videographer/video editor for various wedding photographers in Ontario. For a time he taught animation at Seneca College, and then went on to work with Ron Wiseman from KIDS TV. Throughout the 1990's Andy produced various commercial and corporate films under the FIORE FILMS banner. In 1997 Andy produced his first feature length documentary titled, Becoming Sound: The Healing Journey. Inspired by his mother's battle with breast cancer, the film featured five individuals with life threatening illnesses who decided to take their health and healing into their own hands. Becoming Sound premiered at Toronto's Whole Life Expo, and a week after the premiere York University acquired 3000 copies of the film for their nursing program. The following year Andy was commissioned to produce Metabolic Therapy: The Ludde Protocol, a documentary featuring West Vancouver health practitioner Dr. Frank Ludde, whose 12- week intramuscular therapy program was touted as a natural cure for all diseases. After a series of circumstances that changed the course of his career, in 1999 Andy Fiore decided to go to Seoul, Korea to teach English. Long-standing mental health issues were brought to light and three weeks after arriving in Korea, Andy was diagnosed with schizophrenia. Only willing to adhere to a medication regimen that helped him for a mere 45 days, Andy experienced a relapse, and fell into heroin addiction to deal with his schizophrenia. From 1999-2006 Andy lived homeless on the streets of Toronto & Vancouver. He turned to petty crime to fund his addiction. During this time he served a series of short jail sentences, despite his efforts to run from multiple arrest warrants. His heroin addiction brought him to the brink of death on multiple occasions. In early 2007 he suffered a massive overdose and decided it was time to try and kick his heroin habit. He got onto a methadone program and stabilized. Later that year he met met Sue Pitura, a kindred spirit from Ontario, who soon became his life and work partner. In 2009 Andy purchased a book on HTML programming for 50 cents at a flea market. The following week he created FIORE FILMS blogspot and began producing documentary films with little equipment and virtually no budget. From 2009 - 2012 Andy Fiore received three small consecutive film grants from the Vancouver Foundation to produce his documentaries. His films all deal with the struggles and challenges of living in the Downtown Eastside with addiction and mental health issues. Some of his titles include: Just You, Me & God: Recovery in the Downtown Eastside; 10 City Blocks: Survival Sex Trade in the Downtown Eastside; Occupying Vancouver: An Insider's Look at Homelessness; Out of the Shadows: Revealing Bipolar Disorder, Understanding the Broken Mind: Recovery From Schizophrenia; The 100 Block: ; Prisonization, and more recently, There Are 400. In 2013 he was nominated by Vancouver Coastal Health employee Amanda Schell for Coast Mental Health's Courage to Come Back award for his work and recovery from both mental illness and heroin addiction. Andy accepted the nomination and then became a recipient of the Courage to Come Back award in the mental health category on May 8, 2013. FIORE FILMS produces documentary films that are regularly acquired by Universities and Colleges around North America. Last year they broke into the U.S. market with the documentary film, Prisonization. Some of the educational institutions that regularly acquire these documentaries are: John Jay College of Criminal Justice, University of California Irvine, Delta State University, University of Northern Colorado & Stanford University in the U.S, and York University, Concordia University and Ryerson University in Canada. In 2011 Andy Fiore was commissioned by St. James Community Service Society (now Bloom Group) to produce a fund raising campaign video. The 4 minute video helped Powell Place, a woman's shelter, to raise $4.4 million. In that same year Andy Fiore invited Dr. Gabor Mate to speak at a public screening of The 100 Block to a sold out crowd at East Vancouver venue Shop Wrong. In 2013 Andy Fiore received a small grant from the BC Arts Council to produce his first docudrama called ROOM 6. Loosely based on the story of Andy Fiore's ten year battle with mental illness and addiction, the script was co-written with partner Sue Pitura. ROOM 6 was originally written as a feature length film but due to a conflict with the lead actor the production was cut short before completing principle photography. Even with this interruption the core of the story remained intact. What resulted is an intensely powerful and dark 35 minutes of raw truth. On April 12, 2015 Room 6 was awarded the Royal Reel Award by the Canada International Film Festival for best first time director. Today director Andy Fiore and his writing partner Sue Pitura continue to develop ideas for films.
Film (short) by Fiore Films Writer/Director/Producer
Best first time director Canada International Film Festival
Best First Time Director: Andy Fiore of Fiore Films
Ryerson Polytechnic University