FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 28, 2020, Toronto, ON – With twenty-one nominations going into the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, WIDC alumnae have picked up seven awards, including three for Best Direction. The annual CSA’s are presented by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and due to COVID-19 were presented virtually this year.
In the Feature Film category, Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Maija Tailfeathers did a key sweep with Best Direction, Best Original Screenplay and Best Cinematography going to Norm Li for The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open which earned six nominations. Produced by Tyler Hagan and WIDC alumna Lori Lozinski, the film was also nominated for Best Program nod. Hepburn, Hagan and Lozinski also led the team of WIDC Feature Film Award winner, Never Steady, Never Still.
Also in the feature category, Nicole Dorsey‘s debut, Black Conflux, developed through WIDC Story & Leadership, was nominated for the John Dunning Best First Feature Film Award, with a Best Lead Performance nod going to Ryan McDonald for his nuanced turn as the troubled Dennis.
Garnering four nominations for the web series, Tokens, including Best Screenwriting, Best Performance Lead, Best Performance Supporting, Winnifred Jong picked up a Best Direction trophy. From her drive in to Toronto to literally pick up the hardware, Jong tweeted thank you speech that included shout outs to her producer Trinni Franke; Carol Whiteman and the WIDC program for helping to develop the project; the Telefilm Talent to Watch program and the Bell Fund for their support of the popular comedy series. The Tokens team recently announced that a second season is on its way.
Jordan Canning was nominated for two Best Direction awards for her work on CBC’s beloved comedy Schitt’s Creek and Baroness Von Sketch Show. Canning shared the prize with Aleysa Young for co-directing Baroness. Both shows have taken their final bows on the pub-caster.
Wendy Ord also took home the award for Best Short Documentary, To the Worlds. The doc chronicles a cohort of mature women figure skaters, Ord among them, competing at the World Championships.
Tina Keeper was honoured with the Academy’s Earle Grey Award, presented to a Canadian actor or actress in recognition of their exceptional body of work in Canadian television.
Also nominated for their acting work, Rosemary Dunsmore (Street Legal); Mary Walsh (Little Dog); and Michelle Morgan (Deep Six).
A list of WIDC alumnae 2020 CSA winners and nominees can be found here.
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Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) was founded in 1997 by ACTRA, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Women In Film and Television Vancouver and is administered by national non-profit society Creative Women Workshops Association. WIDC offers mentorship for Canadian women screen directors, along with project development and production awards to help them get their narrative stories on screen. With more than 260 award-winning director alumnae across Canada, over the last twenty-three years WIDC has advanced the voices of a generation of women screen directors.
WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada, CBC Films, 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, Ontario Creates; WIDC appreciates community collaborations with 1st Weekend Club, 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, and the Whistler Film Festival.
WIDC Awards is valued at up to $200K and is supported by some of Canada’s most influential screen industry companies including Panavision Canada, Sim, Post Moderne, Keslow Camera, William F. White International, Walters Lighting and Grip, Encore Vancouver, Technicolor Toronto, Skylab Vancouver, White Hart Post Productions, North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, The Research House Clearance Services Inc., Descriptive Video Works, Front Row Insurance, National Captioning Canada, and Line 21 Media. CBC Films recently announced their support for a $10,000 Talent Development Award for WIDC alumnae to take their scripts to the next draft.