Vancouver, Canada (May 2021) – Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) organizers are pleased to announce that BC-based Indigenous filmmaker, Joy Haskell is the 2021 recipient of the WIDC Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) Fellowship. Made possible through a long-standing partnership, the fellowship is designed to provide one WIDC alumna the opportunity to network and advance her projects at the world-renowned BANFF World Media Festival.

The award, administered by WIDC, provides a full-access pass for Haskell to attend the Banff World Media Festival where she will be meeting with potential funders, producers and broadcasters. In addition to the festival pass, the fellowship includes one to one prep for BANFF, as well as two months of follow up coaching after BANFF.

Joy Haskell

“I’m very honoured and excited to be attending the festival this year as the WIDC BANFF Fellow. This opportunity comes at the perfect time for me. I’ve been developing two series and a feature film that I am eager to share with the world. I look forward to creating new relationships with potential Canadian and International partners as much as I look forward to refreshing contacts made at previous BANFF’s,” said Joy Haskell. “Many thanks to WIDC and the Banff World Media Festival for providing this invaluable opportunity!”

“Joy is also a BANFF Diversity of Voices alumna, and we are delighted to welcome her back to BANFF,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director, Banff World Media Festival. “We are also proud that WIDC was launched at BANFF 25 years ago and looking forward to welcoming the WIDC delegation to this year’s festival.”

“This Fellowship provides tangible access to industry and Joy is impeccably positioned to make the most of it,” said Dr. Carol Whiteman, award-winning WIDC co-creator and producer. “She has a timely line-up of creative projects ready to pitch!”

The award presentation will be made at the WIDC Launch Event, June 11th at 4:00 pm PDT, via Zoom where Haskell will be a guest of honour. Previous recipients of the WIDC BANFF Fellowship have included: Jinder Oujla Chalmers (Combat Hospital) and Leslie Ann Coles (Melody Makers: Should Have Been There) each of whom earned significant development deals at their BANFF’s; Anita Doron (The Breadwinner), Kathleen Hepburn (The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open), and Sharon Lewis (Brown Girl Begins), Wendy Ord (To the Worlds), Veronica Tennant (Christopher Plummer: A Man for All Stages), Paula Kelly (Euphoria), as well as Cjay Boisclair (Stood Up), Carole Ducharme (Straight From the Suburbs), Karen Hines (My Name is Pochsy), and Melanee Murray-Hunt (Race Anonymous), have benefited from the WIDC BANFF Fellowship.

Research shows that women are still under-represented in leadership and non-traditional roles in the screen-based media industry world-wide, particularly Indigenous, Black and Women of Colour. In Canada, since 1997, the critically acclaimed Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program which now boasts over 300 alumnae directors across Canada, has been steadily advancing the careers and screen fiction projects of Canadian women and non-binary directors. With the financial and in kind support of a wide range of community collaborators including the Banff World Media Festival, and many others who help to level the playing field for women and non-binary screen directors in Canada.



Joy Haskell is an Indigenous filmmaker who focuses on Screenwriting and Directing. She is a recent alumna of Women In the Director’s Chair, Career Advancement Module. Joy has a background in theatre, specializing in acting, singing and dancing. She created, wrote, directed and produced the comedy short HEY CUZZIN with the help of Telus STORYHIVE in conjunction with Creative BC. It stars Evan Adams, which is now being developed as a series with Mosaic Entertainment. Joy was Associate Story Editor for Season 1 on Ron E. Scott’s TV series TRIBAL which is airing on APTN. She is a past recipient of the prestigious Banff World Media Festival’s Diversity of Voices Program. Joy completed her first feature film script COOKIES OR CRACK through the Women In Film and Television Vancouver Tricksters and Writers Program for Indigenous Women. In December 2019, she was granted a mentorship through WIFTV Vancouver to attend the Whistler Film Festival as part of their Film Market Preparation Program. Last year, she was part of the Women In Focus Series for Whistler Film Festival, December 2020. She recently started her own production company called Firediva Productions. Joy is currently developing a feature film and two original tv series.


Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) was launched in June 1996 at the BANFF World Media Festival. The pilot session of WIDC was delivered in January 1997 as an initial collaboration among ACTRA, the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. Since then, WIDC has since earned a reputation as a highly effective, internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, specially designed to offer mentorship, development and production support to advance the careers and fiction screen projects of Canadian women directors. Over the last twenty-five years WIDC has fostered the voices and visions of a generation of women screen directors.

With more than 300 director alumnae across Canada who garner 100’s of awards and nominations for their work annually, over 50% of WIDC alumnae directors are Indigenous, Black or women of colour. To meet WIDC alumnae, visit

WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada and with the participation of CBC Films, Creative BC, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, ACTRA National, and the Independent Production Fund.
WIDC Community collaborations include: Directors Guild of Canada, National Film Board of Canada, Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Gimli Film Festival, Forest City Film Festival, Reelworld Film Festival, WIFT Toronto, Women In View, Crazy 8’s, TIFF Share Her Journey, Whistler Film Festival and the BANFF World Media Festival.

WIDC Feature Film Award has most recently been supported by Sim, William F. White International Inc., Panavision Canada, Keslow Camera, Company 3 (formerly Encore Vancouver), Encore VFX, Post Moderne, Technicolor Toronto, Skylab Vancouver, White Hart Post Production, North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, The Research House Clearance Services Inc., MELS Studios, Walter Lighting & Grip, Front Row Insurance, Descriptive Video Works, National Captioning Canada, and Line 21.
CONTACT: Carol Whiteman, WIDC | 1-778-809-0747 |