WIDC announces winner of 2018 Short Works Award: Kamloops edition

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – October 31, 2018: Organizers of the Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) are pleased to announce that Kamloops-based filmmaker Cjay Beauclair has won the 2018 WIDC Short Works Award Kamloops edition presented in collaboration with TELUS STORYHIVE. Local writer/directors Vesta Giles and Hayley Gray were runners-up in the competition.

Prior to the selection of the winner, the three finalists attended an intensive story development lab led WIDC producer Carol Whiteman and veteran story consultant Linda Coffey who is based in the Okanogan where the lab took place. Following the lab Boisclair’s short romantic comedy, Stood Up was greenlit with a prize package that includes further script and career development through WIDC and a cash award of $30,000 towards the production of the winning film.

Stood Up is about an affable man named Ben played by Jason Burkhart (Once Upon A Time) whose fate is changed while he’s on a blind date set up through an online App. The film also stars Rekha Sharma (Star Trek, Discovery), and features local Kamloops-based performers, Tracey Power, Aubrey Fix and Veronica Gonsalves.

The finalists also receive a follow up mentorship package of story consultation and career coaching. Vesta Giles will polish her short magical realism drama, A Moment of Your Time, about a young woman who learns an unexpected lesson about authentic voice while cleaning an artist’s statue; and Hayley Gray is further developing her concept short, Send the Rain, a drama about a woman grappling with whether or not to leave her family home, inspired by a the raging wild fires that have plagued the Interior. All three filmmakers will be added to the WIDC alumnae directory.

TELUS STORYHIVE provides major support for WIDC to deliver this edition of the Short Works Award.

“WIDC is delighted to again work with our colleagues at TELUS STORYHIVE,” says Carol Whiteman, WIDC co-creator and producer who is also providing executive producing services to the winning film. “STORYHIVE is providing a welcomed and much needed service to communities like Kamloops that are brimming with emerging talent.”

The WIDC Short Works Award is designed to provide up to three Canadian women directors with a tailored development offering with the goal of creating one short fiction film work (up to 5 minutes maximum), suitable as a stand-alone piece for festival screenings; a teaser; or a tool for funding and promotional purposes for a longer work (e.g. feature film or web series).

#ShortWorksAward #WomenDirectors #WIDC #WFG

About the filmmakers

CJAY BEAUCLAIR, born a first generation Canadian, has never been much for the ordinary. From the time she could walk and talk, creativity has pumped through her veins. As a child she would sing when expected to talk, read when expected to sleep, and create when expected to be still. Cjay’s career path has been varied, including roofing, floor-laying, and renovations; office work; tech support; woodworking; photography; house and auto painting; modelling; and as an Outreach Worker for the vulnerable in her community. Passionate about the arts and learning new skills, she had her first taste of the film Industry as a background performer in the locally shot feature film, Power Rangers. From there she went on to acting, learning varied crew positions and in spring 2018 she wrote and directed the award-winning short film The Bench. She and her partner run a local talent agency, Askem Talent and partnering with a local emerging cinematographer, Cjay co-created the Twin Rivers Filmmakers Society to promote filmmaking in her hometown of Kamloops BC. In addition to developing her own screen projects, Cjay tirelessly supports the local film community. She has a passionate drive for the industry. Cjay is currently developing a feature script inspired by The Bench, a web-series, and is supporting local shorts.

VESTA GILES is a screenwriter / director and freelance writer (magazines and advertising) from Kamloops, BC, Canada. Her first Movie of the Week, Daughter for Sale (Odyssey Media, Inc.), aired on the Lifetime Network in the US on Mother’s Day weekend in 2017 and her second, Dangerous Designs, is in development. She has other screenplays in the development stages as well. Vesta recently wrote and directed a short film, When I’m Dead, as part of the STORYHIVE Digital Shorts program in Kamloops in 2018. She is in the editing phase for two experimental short films on men’s mental health issues she wrote and directed as part of a team with Nolan McAllister and Nolan Chapman. Vesta has also written and directed a number of promotional and instructional videos for a wide range of local organizations.

HAYLEY GRAY is a Vancouver-based producer and director. Living, working and creating on unceded Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh land. Born and raised on the traditional territories of the Wyandot, in Kingston Ontario, Hayley grew up in community theatre and activism. She moved to Mi’kmaq traditional territory, Halifax, Nova Scotia to pursue her BA at Dalhousie University where she directed theatre, researched in an addictions laboratory and ran the Dalhousie Women’s Centre. Since making the jump to the West Coast Hayley has completed her training at Vancouver Film School, starred in dozens of commercials and built up a reputation for collaborating with diverse communities. Hayley started her career in production as a production coordinator and has now produced feature films and shorts. Hayley’s first music video 4 Push Ups won a TELUS grant and premiered at LA Skins Film Festival. Her short film Pass the Salt has won awards at festivals around the world and will be airing the September as part of CBC’s Short Film Face Off. Her feature script 36 Questions was short listed for the Harold Greenberg Fund and her feature script Blue Sky made it to the Bell Media “It List” as part of the Canadian Film Festival.



About WIDC – Founded in 1997, Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) is an internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, specially designed to advance the skills, careers and fiction screen projects of women directors. With more than 250 director alumnae across Canada, who have earned over 100 awards and nominations for their work in 2017-18 award season alone including nominations for 28 Canadian Screen Awards and one Oscar, over the last twenty-one years WIDC has fostered the development of a generation of women screen directors.

WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada, Harold Greenberg Fund, and ACTRA, and with the participation of the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, ACTRA National, TELUS STORYHIVE, Creative BC, UBCP/ACTRA, Independent Production Fund, ACTRA Alberta; community collaborators: 1st Weekend Club’s Canada Screens, National Film Board, WIFT Vancouver’s International Women In Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Crazy 8’s, Winnipeg Film Group, and the Whistler Film Festival.

The WIDC Feature Film Award is supported by Bell Media’s Harold Greenberg Fund, Panavision Canada, MELS Studios, Keslow Camera Film and Digital, Sim, William F. White International inc., North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, Encore Vancouver, Technicolor Toronto, Skylab Vancouver, White Hart Post Production, The Research House Clearance Services Inc., Front Row Insurance, and Descriptive Video Works.

WIDC contact: enquiries@widc.ca | www.widc.ca | facebook.com/widc.ca | @WIDC_ca | #WIDC

About TELUS STORYHIVE – STORYHIVE has funded productions, supported filmmakers with mentorship and support from the National Screen Institute and brought hundreds of films to life online and around the world. Whether you’re just beginning your career, or you’ve shot thousands of hours of film and want to bring your dream project to life, STORYHIVE is here to help. Our goal is to celebrate your ideas and development with funding, distribution and support from TELUS to help BC and Alberta creators move their career goals ahead. STORYHIVE is dedicated to creating and amplifying local stories and voices. Creators and community members based in BC and Alberta are invited to submit their completed projects, including single programs and series, to be featured on TELUS Optik TV™ On Demand through the Community Showcase program.

To learn more: https://www.storyhive.com/index/about