Though he was born in Montreal, Alar Kivilo made his first steps toward a career in film after moving to Toronto in the early 1970s. There he began a film program at York University, which led to a number of roles as a camera assistant. Kivilo worked his way up to becoming a cinematographer, contributing to numerous documentaries, music videos, and short films in Canada, including the Oscar-winning short "Boys and Girls" in 1982. During this period he also did an extraordinary amount of work in advertising, directing numerous Bessie, Clio, and Cannes award-winning commercials. Kivilo filmed his first full-length film with 1988's "Da", and soon after began to focus primarily on that medium. A large portion of his work has been for television, including the Emmy-nominated gangster biopic "Gotti" as well as the American Society of Cinematographers award winning "Taking Chance". In addition to HBO's "Gotti", he has worked on a number of other projects for the pay-cable network, including "Weapons of Mass Distraction", "Rebound", and "Normal". Kivilo is also recognized for his work in theatrical films, having collaborated with a number of acclaimed directors, including Harold Ramis ("The Ice Harvest", "Year One") and Sam Raimi ("A Simple Plan").