Welcome To The Breath

The Breath is a content creator and production company based in Toronto, Canada. Led by Co-Founders Shane Belcourt and Jordan O’Connor, along with Producer Michelle St. John, The Breath’s content and collaborations have centred on Aboriginal productions, messaging, and empowerment.

The Breath began in 1999 as both a brochure for the The Breath Records and all the artists associated with it, but also as a content “happening” with the Breath E-Zine (which was singled out by Yahoo! as one of Canada’s best E-Zine’s). Around 2005 The Breath shifted away from web-centric work and began to focus on content production for television and film.

As a content creation house and production facility, The Breath works on both factual and fictional projects that are shorts, features, one-off specials, web content, branding, and tv series. We’d be happy to sit and chat about how we can collaborate with you on your projects at any time.

What Is The Breath

To create works that move and engage audiences towards positive actions and interactions on Mother Earth.
In the words of Ben Harper: “if you’re causing no harm you’re alright with me”. How we work together is as important as what we want our work to say to the world. All is one.
17 years. Over 15 short films. One feature film that had a Canadian theatrical release. One 1-hour performance arts documentary that received a CSA nomination. One 13-part POV-doc series that will be released on APTN in the summer of 2016. Over 800 hours of produced works for clients, both educational and promotional.

Our Crazy Skills

Producing 80
Writing & Directing 95
Post Production 95
Sound & Score 75

Meet Our Team

Shane Belcourt
Shane BelcourtCo-Founder, Director
Shane Belcourt is an award-winning and CSA-nominated filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. As a writer, director, cinematographer, and story editor on many Indigenous works, in both narrative and factual; for broadcast, theatrical, and the web; Shane has a vested interested in creating works that speak to his Métis heritage. Some notable work as Director includes the feature film Tkaronto; short dramatic films A Common Experience and Apikiwiyak; commercials such as the 2014 imagineNATIVE Native To campaign and two Historica Canada Heritage Minutes; and documentary for broadcast projects such as Kaha:wi – The Cycle of Life and the 13-part series Urban Native Girl. Currently, Shane is working on the adaptation of a Jeff Lemire graphic novel, Roughneck, along with preparing to shoot his second feature film Sunken Treasure, this summer.
Jordan O'Connor
Jordan O'ConnorCo-Founder, Editor and Composer
Jordan O’Connor is an Editor, Composer, and collaborator and friend with Shane since grade four. Along with John Reed Hryszkiewicz, The Breath is an all-encompassing Post-Production facility.
Michelle St. John
Michelle St. JohnProducer
Michelle St. John is a two-time Gemini Award winning actor with more than 35 years of experience in film, television, theatre, voice and music. Since 2009, Michelle has focused more on producing, with several projects directed by Marie Clements and more recently with Shane Belcourt through The Breath.
Duane Murray
Duane MurrayAssociate Producer & Story Editor
Duane Murray acts as Story Editor and Associate Producer for The Breath. He has script advised and coached actors on several film and TV projects for studios including Warner Brothers, Dreamworks, Universal Pictures, The Weinstein company and HBO. He co-founded The Story Attic, a partnership between he and Shane Belcourt for the creation and development of original content, including an adaptation of New York Times Best Selling author Jeff Lemire’s upcoming Graphic Novel Roughneck, which Duane developed through the prestigious TIFF Studio program. Duane is also an actor with over 60 produced film and TV credits including playing the role of Hansi Kalkofen in the Academy Award winning Best Picture Spotlight.
John Reed Hryszkiewicz
John Reed HryszkiewiczPost Production Supervisor, Assistant Editor, DM Guru, Colourist, Graphics & Titles
John Reed Hryszkiewicz is a digital image expert – he can grip, gaf, camera operate, and 1st AC. He can run the DM – from prep, production, and through post – and work as an assistant editor. He’s become an integral piece in moving productions from pre-production to post and onto final delivery.
Suzanne Belcourt
Suzanne BelcourtIllustrator & Graphic Designer
A graphic designer slash illustrator slash artist, Suzanne Belcourt has worked on various design projects and illustrations for well-established companies and organizations for over 17 years. In August of last year she won the One Laptop per Child (OLPC) Canada logo contest. She is usually in her studio working on design projects, or illustrations, or creating collages made up of fun-loving witches.
David Hannan
David HannanProduction Designer, Illustrator, & Graphic Designer
David Hannan has been the Production Designer on almost all of The Breath’s films. David is a Metis visual artist and OCAD graduate who’s work has shown internationally. David enjoys his days with his family in the West End of Toronto.

Our Happy Clients