Director Participants Selected for Career Advancement Module at Female Eye Film Festival

For Immediate Release, Vancouver, BC – Over this coming year, twenty-two Canadian women directors will receive the equivalent of over $300,000 in kind in mentorships and awards from Canada’s one-of-a-kind Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC), a celebrated career and project development program specially designed for mid-career women screen directors.

OutReach Initiative

Demystifying Web Series

An information session geared to women creators, where Independent Production Fund Executive Director, Andra Sheffer will demystify the path to successful web series development and production. The session is free to all filmmakers! Space is limited.

Date: June 19, 2015
Time: 5 pm to 7pm ET
Place: ArtScape YoungPlace, Gold Flex Room, 180 Shaw Street, Toronto

Career Advancement Module

Through its OutReach Initiative, WIDC is offering a series of Career Advancement Modules and development events in collaboration with Canada’s three international Women’s Film Festivals and selected industry organizations.

“This program was hugely important…an invaluable step forward in my career…

[I liked best] how comfortable the environment was and the dedication of our mentors.” Jenna MacMillan, director, Charlottetwon, PEI (St John’s CAM)

“It has been a real struggle to survive as a female filmmaker and to continue having faith in my work and talent. This program has restored my faith in filmmaking and the stories I want to tell. Thank you for providing me with this opportunity.” Reem Morsi, director, Vancouver, BC (Vancouver CAM)

First up, in Toronto, the WIDC CAM kicks off the Female Eye Film Festival (June 16 to 21, 2015), with a private master class for three pre-selected women directors, led by Marina Cordoni and Carol Whiteman with FeFF 2015 Honourary Director, Lea Pool and Telefilm representatives. Director participants selected for this session of the CAM include, Toronto-based filmmakers Jackie English (Nimby), and Nadine Valcin (In Between/Entre Deux), and Vancouver filmmaker, Maryam Najafi (Kayan).

Deadlines and criteria for the CAM sessions at the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival (October 20 to 24, 2015) and the Vancouver International Women In Film Festival (March 8 to 12, 2016) will be announced in the near future, along with collaborations with the Winnipeg Film Group for this winter.

Story Incubation Module

WIDC’s main offering this year, the Story Incubation Module (SIM), focusing on both fiction feature film and web series development, will be awarded to up to eight women screen directors who are planning to direct their projects. Delivered in four parts over the course of four months this intensive program will again include the popular Industry Immersion presented in collaboration with the Whistler Film Festival, leadership and mentorship from Canada’s top industry experts, along with peer mentoring from some of WIDC’s successful Feature Film and Web Series director alumnae.

“The casting process, the rehearsals, working with a script editor and working with archetypes; it was great to meet people in the industry that I might be dealing with in the future.” Valerie Buhagiar, director, Toronto, ON. (SIM 2014). Buhagiar’s feature film directorial debut ‘The Anniversary’ is Closing the 2015 Female Eye Film Festival, June 21st.

“This is not only the most important program for giving opportunities to women directors, but it is changing the way film artists in all capacities work and communicate.” Jeff Gladstone, actor (Acting Ensemble alum)

WIDC is not a program for beginners. It is ideally designed for women who already have some experience directing shorts, docs, web series, or other micro-budget screen projects who are seeking to sharpen or refresh certain skill areas, polish story, and/or broaden professional connections. Or for those crossing over to directing, you must have a track record of highly transferable directing skills, e.g. experienced actor, AD, editor, script supervisor, producer, and must have at minimum of one screen project produced outside of film school. SIM Director

SIM Application Deadline: July 31, 2015.


WIDC Feature Film Award & Telefilm MicroBudget Nomination

Coming this winter, WIDC will call for applications for its Feature Film Award, which has gained national sponsorships, and the WIDC Nomination for the Telefilm MicroBudget Production Program, both of which include tailored mentorships for the filmmaker, writer and her producer.

Since 2009, the WIDC Feature Film Award has generated four award-winning feature films including Amazon Falls (dir. Katrin Bowen), Lucille’s Ball (dir. Lulu Keating), Sitting on the Edge of Marlene (dir. Ana Valine) and The Birdwatcher (dir. Siobhan Devine). Three more feature plan to go to camera in the next twelve months including, Red Snow (dir. Marie Clements), Never Steady, Never Still (dir. Kathleen Hepburn), and Suck It Up (dir. Jordan Canning). WIDC’s 2013 nominee to the Telefilm Micro Budget program Two4One directed by Maureen Bradley has won multiple awards and nominations.

“This program is life changing!” Lulu Keating, director, Dawson City, YK (2010 WIDC Feature Film Award winner).

WIDC would not be possible without the support of our sponsors.

For more information:
Toll free: 1.877.913.0747| Mobile: 1.778.809.0747 | Web: | Twitter: @WIDC_ca



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, SIM Digital Group, Encore, Deluxe Entertainment Group, North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, Front Row Insurance, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, 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..