FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 2021 – Kicking off the 25th anniversary celebrations of the Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC), organizers are delighted to announce that the Reelworld Film Institute / Reelworld Film Festival will become an official community collaborator. Together with the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival (SJIWFF), the three organizations will co-present the Fall 2021 Online Edition of the WIDC Career Advancement Module (CAM) for a combined cohort of eight Canadian women directors. A minimum 50% of this CAM cohort will be from racialized backgrounds. Reelworld and WIDC will also collaborate on a director-producer mixer that will take place this fall as part of Reelworld’s Producer Program.

“Pivoting online last year opened up all of our thinking about accessibility,” said Dr. Carol Whiteman, WIDC co-creator and producer. “The Fall 2021 Career Advancement Module cohort will benefit exponentially from the facilitated experience of being part of two important and highly respected film festivals.”

“Collaboration fits with our mandate to expand the opportunities for racially diverse creators in communities across Canada,” said Tonya Williams, Founder and Executive Director, Reelworld Film Festival. “It’s exciting to consider the potential of all this connectivity.”

“It has been great working with Carol and WIDC over the years, and we’ve been long-time fans of what Tonya Williams and her team are doing,” said Jenn Brown, Executive Director, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival. “We’re delighted for this opportunity to support more diverse women’s voices.”

Since 2008, WIDC has collaborated with SJIWFF, North America’s longest running international women’s film festival, to present the WIDC CAM in St John’s each fall, flying participants and mentors to St John’s for the festival. All WIDC programs now include a module on Equity, Diversity and Inclusion designed and led by filmmaker/author/scholars Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell C.M. and Dr. Dorothy Christian Cucw-la7.

Selected by WIDC alumnae peer juries and invited industry experts from across Canada, over 33% of WIDC’s 300 director alumnae are from racialized backgrounds. WIDC’s collegial space for women directors welcomes the most inclusive definitions of gender / sexual identity, expression and orientation.

In preparation for the 25th Anniversary, WIDC has also expanded the alumnae directory, including a new Featured Voices element to highlight articles by and about WIDC alumnae and share industry insider intelligence.

Among the current 300 WIDC alumnae are award-winning directors including Anita Doron, (The Breadwinner, The Lesser Blessed), Marie Clements (Red Snow, The Red), Karen Lam (The Curse of Willow Song), Gloria Ui Young Kim (Queen of the Morning Calm), Jordan Canning (Suck It Up; Schitt’s Creek), Winnifred Jong (Tokens), Sharon Lewis (Brown Girl Begins), and Shelley Thompson whose debut feature Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor world premiered at the 2021 InsideOut Film Festival.

WIDC Alumnae Directory:

WIDC Feature Film Award
Close of submissions: July 8, 2021

WIDC Story & Leadership
Close of submissions: July 8, 2021

WIDC CAM 2021-2022 – Fall Edition
Close of submissions: August 8, 2021

Telefilm Canada has provided major support for WIDC since in 1997 when the program was first piloted through and initial collaboration among the Banff Centre for Arts & Creativity, ACTRA and Women In Film and Television Vancouver. WIDC co-creator and producer, Dr. Carol Whiteman facilitates the WIDC program which offers mid-career Canadian women directors a variety of opportunities to advance their careers.

The 2021-2022 WIDC programs will run via Zoom for an intensive period including collaborating festivals’ online editions culminating with individualized follow up coaching to advance the directors’ strategic plans for their careers and projects. More WIDC 25th anniversary celebrations and announcements are planned for the fall 2021.

About WIDC: 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 | 778-809-0747 |