FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 5, 2019 – WIDC organizers are pleased to announce the recipients of the 2019 WIDC BANFF Fellowship sponsored by Telefilm Canada. WIDC alumnae Cjay Boisclair and Melanee Murray Hunt will attend the BANFF World Media Festival, June 9 to 12, 2019.

Cjay Boisclair is the recipient of the 2018 WIDC Short Works Award: Kamloops edition supported by TELUS STORYHIVE. Her charming short, Stood Up will soon begin its festival run. Cjay is developing her debut feature drama The Bench based on her award-winning script of the same name about a homeless teen in a small town, along with a documentary that also deals with the topic of homelessness.

“Coming from a small community I wouldn’t have the opportunity to develop my craft as a filmmaker without the support of WIDC, STORYHIVE, and now Telefilm and BANFF.” says Cjay Boisclair. “Through this Fellowship I know I’ll make so many new connections to help me advance my projects, and I look forward to promoting my community of Kamloops, and our emerging talent pool.”

Melanee Murray-Hunt is a Calgary-based writer-director-producer-actor developing her debut feature, The Invincible Trayvon Martin, an Afrofuturistic reckoning of issues of violence towards African Americans, inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement. For Melanee, story-telling defines the central part of our lives, life is one big narrative adventure.

“Through WIDC I’ve already received mentorship and support that’s given me creative freedom to craft a story that is more personal, that centers women, mothers and aspects of my ow
n experiences,” says Melanee Murray-Hunt. “I am very excited to be a part of a wave of fresh new voices, perspectives and dynamic storytelling percolating at BANFF this year.”

The WIDC BANFF Fellowship includes additional tailored mentorships. Each recipient will be offered pre-festival strategic planning sessions, on site orientation from fellow WIDC alumnae in attendance, along with post-festival follow-up coaching towards the advancement of their projects in development.

 “BANFF offers a pinnacle experience for content creators and women directors need to be at the forefront. We’re grateful to Telefilm Canada and Brunico for the support that they provide to creating space for diverse voices at important markets like BANFF.”says WIDC co-creator and producer, Carol Whiteman. “WIDC was launched at BANFF in 1996 and it is fitting for us to return to this year’s 40th Anniversary edition to be part of an historic milestone in our industry.”

Telefilm Canada has been a major sponsor of WIDC since its inception.

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 250+ director alumnae across Canada, who have earned over 100 awards and nominations for their work this year alone, over the last twenty-two years WIDC has fostered the development of a generation of women screen directors. WIDC is presented with major support from Telefilm Canada 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.

WIDC appreciates community collaborations with 1st Weekend Club’s Canada Screens, National Film Board of Canada, WIFT Vancouver’s International Women In Film Festival, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, Winnipeg Film Group, Crazy 8’s, TIFF, and the Whistler Film Festival.

About BANFF World Media Festival
Celebrating its 40th year in 2019, BANFF has grown into a must-attend annual conference where media moguls, producers, creatives and industry stakeholders along with broadcasters and digital media companies tackle issues and trends, forge relationships and nurture partnerships in one of the world’s most stunning landscapes. Attracting over 250 international buyers and a wide-ranging cross-section of television and digital media professionals from around the world, BANFF delivers a comprehensive examination of the most critical issues facing the television and digital media industries through keynotes from industry leaders, contentious panel discussions, pre-booked Face-to-Face Meetings with industry decision-makers, expert forecasts, celebrity Master Classes, networking opportunities, critical case studies, key strategy sessions and more.