Prof Christopher Bessette’s new doc to air Dec. 7


Christopher Bessette's latest film, Niagara: Thunder of the Waters, airs on Dec. 7.

niagara-thunder-of-the-waters                                                                                                                                               A documentary created by Broadcasting professor Christopher M. Bessette will be premiering on December 7.

Bessette’s latest film, Niagara: Thunder of the Waters, will be broadcast on December 7 at 8 p.m. on PBS affiliate WNED. He will also be live in studio for the PBS annual pledge drive.

Bessette, who is a Dramatic Scriptwriting professor for the College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program, is also a multi-award winning motion picture writer/director, an author, and a graduate of NC’s Broadcasting program (1984).

“I usually make dramatic feature films but I couldn’t resist the burning question, what is it that has drawn millions of people from around the world to experience Niagara Falls,” said Bessette. “There has to be something more than a waterfall. That’s the journey I take in my latest documentary, Niagara: Thunder of the Waters.”

The documentary aims to take a novel approach searching through the personal memoirs of many, like Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens, Thomas Jefferson, Elizabeth Simcoe  (wife of the first Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada). The movie sidesteps the stunts and veil of tourism and goes back to a time when it was just the viewer, standing before the mighty cataract.

“It is great to revisit the land and area where I grew up,” said Bessette. “Back in 1998, we released the original Niagara: Thunder of the Waters  and it became a great success.  It was a premium gift item for PBS pledge drive, aired on many PBS stations and on SCN in Canada.  

“Upon the video release of the movie it won The Benjamin Franklin Award for Best Video of the Year.”

He noted that much has happened over the years with technology since the movie was first released , shot on 16mm film. “Today we completely re-imagined the images with stunning HD footage, taking the viewer places we were never able to before,” said Bessette. “Captivating reenactment of the War of 1812 and incredible images of the Parklands’ wildlife punctuate the story.  I am happy to be able to share Niagara: Thunder of the Waters with a new generation.” 

Bessette wrote, directed and produced  Niagara: Thunder of the Waters,  which is a best seller at the Niagara Parks Commission Retail Outlets.  DVDs are available (email with narrations in five different languages: English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese (all directed by Bessette).

After graduating from NC, Bessette built an international career in the television and film industry. His feature films include Trade of Innocents (2012) which he directed and wrote, starring Mira Sorvino and Dermot Mulroney; and The Enemy God (2008) which he directed, that spans 50 years of an Amazonian tribe. His work has not only taken him across Canada and most of the U.S. but throughout Europe, as well as to the Amazon, Central America, Russia and Southeast Asia.

He has won two Best Director awards and 10 Best Picture Awards and his work has been seen on screens around the world .In 2012, Niagara College nominated Bessette for Premier’s Award in Creative Arts and Design.

His novel The Mythamohre was published in 2013 .For info visit

For info visit his website at



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