Vancouver, Canada (March 2015) – Award-winning Canadian filmmaker Jordan Canning is the winner of the 2015 WIDC Feature Film Award, a $120,000 in-kind prize designed to encourage more feature films directed by women in British Columbia and supported by some of Canada’s most influential screen-industry companies.

This year’s award, administered by Creative Women Workshops Association, will support Canning to complete her sophomore feature film, Suck It Up. The prestigious prize includes: in-kind rentals from North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios or Vancouver Film Studios; production equipment rentals from William F. White International; camera package from Panavision Canada, Clairmont Camera and Digital or SIM Digital; and post production support from Encore, a Deluxe Entertainment Group, and the support of Front Row Insurance.

“It’s an enormous and humbling honour to have been selected for this year’s award. I am deeply connected to this project and the team behind it,” says Canning. “And to have the support of WIDC and the award’s incredible sponsors will allow us to truly do the story justice.”

Canning goes on to say, “We have an opportunity to tell a story about grieving in our youth – something we rarely see on film, but a reality that more and more of us are dealing with in our 20s and 30s.”

“This award is a critical way to help ensure women directors and their film projects are seen by audiences”,” says Carol Whiteman, President & CEO CWWA and award-winning WIDC Producer. “Announcing this year’s award after an opening weekend screening of a previous winner’s film is like passing the baton in a relay of excellent story-telling.”

The award was announced at the opening weekend screening of 2011 WIDC Feature Film Award winner, WIDC alumna Ana Valine’s dramatic feature film directorial debut, Sitting on the Edge of Marlene, produced by Amber Ripley. Valine’s direction of Sitting on the Edge of Marlene has garnered her a WIFT Vancouver Award for Artistic Achievement, the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award at 2014 VIFF and a Leo Award for Best Direction. Marlene will have a cross-Canada theatrical release courtesy of eOne.

The WIDC Feature Film Award represents industry leadership and support from some of the most significant industry members in Canada to help increase the number of women directors working in screen fiction in our country. Since 2009, the WIDC Feature Film Award has also supported Katrin Bowen’s multiple award-winning feature-length directorial debut, Amazon Falls, Lulu Keating’s Leo Award-winning Lucille’s Ball, and Siobhan Devine’s debut feature, The Birdwatcher starring Camille Sullivan and Gabrielle Rose, coming to festivals this year.  Marie Clement’s Red Snow (Elizabeth Yake, producer) and Kathleen Hepburn’s, Never Steady, Never Still (James Brown, producer) are also being supported by the award.


JC camera 3

Jordan Canning on set of he debut feature, We Were Wolves

Jordan Canning ~ has directed more than a dozen short films which have played at festivals all over the world, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival and Interfilm Berlin. Among them, Countdown has won a number of awards including a Golden Sheaf for Best Director; Not Over Easy was a finalist in CBC’s Short Film Faceoff and swept all three awards at the NSI Online Film Festival: Seconds won the 2012 TIFF RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition and the Shaw Media Fearless Female Director Award; and her most recent short, The Tunnel, premiered at Cannes as part of Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent program. In 2013, Jordan directed all thirteen episodes of the IPF-supported, CSA-winning web series Space Riders: Division Earth for She is also developing a number of feature films including an adaptation of the award-winning novel Come Thou, Tortoise.

Jordan’s debut feature, We Were Wolves, premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Jordan is a 2010 graduate of the Director’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, an alumna of the 2011 TIFF Talent Lab, and the WIDC Career Advancement Module at the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival.  Suck It Up is a feature film dramedy about two best friends in mourning who take off on a debaucherous weekend in the mountains in hopes of getting over the man they both loved.

“I have been writing and directing films for over eight years.…What has remained constant is an interest in character-driven stories told on a relatable, emotional level. “ ~ Jordan Canning


Founded in 1997, the Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Program is a seriously road-tested, award-winning intensive hands-on modular mentoring initiative specially designed to advance mid-career women screen directors, their careers, and their narrative fiction projects. As of 2015, over 200 WIDC alumnae across Canada have directed 1,000+ hours of award winning screen entertainment, including 37 feature films. WIDC alumnae have created 6 network fiction television series, show running 10+ series. The internationally respected WIDC was created through an initial collaboration among The Banff Centre, ACTRA and WIFT Vancouver, spawning the national non-profit organization, Creative Women Workshops Association to over see operations; WIDC receives major funding from Telefilm Canada, and key support from William F White Intl, Panavision Canada, AFBS, UBCP/ACTRA, IATSE 212, ACTRA Alberta, IATSE 669, Independent Production Fund and the participation of many other industry organizations and individuals, including Canada’s three major women’s film festivals (St John’s, Toronto and Vancouver), the Whistler Film Festival, unions and guilds across Canada.

CONTACT: Carol Whiteman, CWWA / WIDC | 1-604-987-0747| @CarolWhiteman | @WIDC_ca |

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