Life and Death of Bert Kish – The Multi-Talented Filmmaker

Talent, hard work and creativity are some of the secrets that make for a long-lasting legacy in the entertainment industry. Famous director and filmmaker, Bert Kish, mastered them all during his time in the industry. Beyond filmmaking, the talented American also worked as an editor, producer, writer, and cinematographer. Without a doubt, he was a man who wore many hats and excelled at each and every one of them.

Although he worked mostly behind the scene and doesn’t really have a ton of credits to his name, his career epitomizes the saying that quality is the key. Here, we explore the life and times of this great man.

The Life and Times of Bert Kish

Bert Kish was born on the 15th of September, 1965, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He is the son of the Hungarian-Canadian film-director and editor, Albert Kish and his first wife whose name is unknown. However, it is known that he had a stepmother known as Katalin Futo, as well as a brother named Colin. Kish completed his education in Canada before relocating to the world’s capital of entertainment – Los Angeles, California, presumably to further his career.

He graduated from Westmount High School in Quebec before proceeding to the prestigious McGill University. McGill is one of the most respected universities in Canada and Bert joins a league of extraordinary people, including Mackenzie Davis, William Shatner, and Samantha Bee, who attended the institution.

Bert Kish was inspired to join the entertainment industry by his father, Albert who caught the entertainment bug in Vienna, Austria, where he saw films from the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) for the first time. Albert, originally from Hungary, left Austria for Canada where he worked as a still photographer, cameraman, editor, and independent filmmaker. Bert cut his teeth into editing from watching his father and worked both as a film and TV editor, as well as a director.

He was married to Vanessa Trachewsky with whom he had a son named Aris (b. 2006). No one knows when they tied the knot but it is public knowledge that they were together until his death in May 2017.

His Career Achievements: Awards and Nominations

Bert Kish
Bert Kish and friend, Dennys Ilic

It is not surprising that Bert Kish grew up to become an accomplished filmmaker when you consider the fact that he was the son of the NFB filmmaker Albert Kish. After all, a fruit does not fall far from its tree. The famed Hungarian-Canadian filmmaker, like his son, was a prolific and talented director. He worked on several notable movies such as Louisbourg, Bighorn, Family House, and Summer of ’67. He was also an accomplished photographer whose works appeared in several publications and exhibitions.

For his long and accomplished work in the entertainment industry, Albert received several awards and recognition. Some of them include the Robert Flaherty Award, the Gold Apple Award, Blue Ribbon Award, and the Silver Hugo Award.

Considering how prolific Albert Kish was, it’s no wonder that his son, Bert Kish followed in his footsteps. He moved to Toronto in the late 80s where he worked his way up, starting in commercials at Partners Films Company before arriving in the TV series world in the early 90s. His career breakthrough came in 1994 with the series Jake and the Kid where he worked as an editor.

Bert Kish had since edited many other projects, notable among them are My Dog Vincent, Cypher, Top of the Food Chain, Hemlock Grove, 12 Monkeys, Longmire, Death Valley, Jake and the Kid, Hemlock Grove, Legacy, Once a Thief, and The BridgeAs a director, he is best known for Stranded In Paradise and The Deadly Pledge. Moreover, he served as a producer on Death Valley, Winter Song, and Shah Bob.

He was a distinguished member of the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE). For his efforts in the industry, Bert was nominated for and won several awards during his career. However, he notably won the Gemini Award For Best Picture Edition in A Dramatic Program or Series for Once a Thief. This award did not just prove that he was a renowned film editor but also solidified the fact that he was well respected in his career. Bert Kish had an estimated net worth of $1.9 million at the time of his death.

What Led To Bert Kish’s Death?

Bert Kish sadly passed away on May 24th, 2017 at the age of 51. Needless to say, his loss was greatly felt by his family, fans, and friends as well. His father died of cancer on October 23, 2015, at the Toronto General Hospital. Given that he died less than two years after the senior Kish, many fans had to double-check to ensure it wasn’t his father still being talked about.

The cause of his death was ruled as the hydra-headed monster, cancer. However, there are no details about the type that cut his life short.

Considering the fact that he died of the same disease that killed his father, many believe that he was born with a gene mutation he inherited from his father. This must have put him at higher risk of cancer than he would ordinarily have had. However, it cannot be ascertained whether it was hereditary cancer or just abnormal cells divide.

Just like it is unknown the type of cancer that killed him, it is also not known where he died or his final resting place. One thing is for certain, both Albert and Bert Kish’s legacy will continue to live on, thanks to their hard work, a penchant for quality, tenacity, and passion.


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