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Stellar Group of Women to Gather for Celebrated Women In the Director’s Chair Program

1 December 2014 9:00 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

A stellar group of eight Canadian women directors, along with an ensemble of hand-picked Industry professionals, mentors, actors and crews, have been selected to attend the 19th annual Women In the Director’s Chair (Widc) program, and the two-day pilot session of the Widc Whistler Film Festival Industry Immersion. Over the next two months these rising stars will develop their feature films and web series, while cultivating relationships with industry insiders along with key collaborators, and an ensemble of hand-picked professional actors and technicians. The program culminates with a technical creative master-class at The Banff Centre.

Mounting their directorial debut feature films are, from the Northwest Territories, Kirsten Carthew ("Prototype"), Manitoba-based Rebecca Gibson ("Jane Garbage"), from Ontario, Renuka Jeyapalan ("Sex with as Perfect Stranger"), and Simone Stock ("Dark Horse"), BC-based Kate Kroll, ("One.Last.Stop"), Reem Morsi ("Lips"), and Loretta Todd ("Monkey Beach'), and Pei-based, Jenna MacMillan is developing a new web series, ("Gran Bandit").

“These filmmakers are already established in their own right,” says Carol Whiteman, award-winning Widc producer. “They have won awards and fellowships, some from our collaborating partners like Women In Film, the St John’s International Women’s Film Festival, and the Whistler Film Festival. We all see the talent that these women possess and the potential of their projects.” “I appreciate how Widc supports women’s work and vision,” says seasoned documentary filmmaker, Loretta Todd whose sci-fi martial arts pilot Skye and Chang airs on Aptn. “Being part of Widc Sim 2.O is a significant opportunity to help me be prepared so I can be even more courageous as a director.”

This year's eight directors also benefit from the expertise of award-winning Canadian writer/directors and Widc alumnae, Katrin Bowen ("Amazon Falls," "Random Acts of Romance"), Lulu Keating ("Lucille's Ball," "The Mood Brood") who mentor in Vancouver, Deanne Foley ("Beat Down," and "Relative Happiness" premiering at Whistler Film Festival) at the Whistler Film Festival, and celebrated writer/director Gail Harvey ("Looking is the Original Sin," "Long Story Short") will be the program's Mentor Director in Banff. The line up of award-winning Widc mentors also includes director of photography, Roger Vernon ("Twilight: Breaking Dawn"), Teresa Hannigan (Rookie Blue), Jeanne Slater ("Lucille's Ball," "Evangeline"), screen-writer and Jungian expert, Dr. Carolyn Mamchur, writer/story consultant Linda Coffey ("These Arms of Mine"), and actress/acting instructor, Lori Triolo (Blackstone, Supernatural). Industry experts include, John Galway (of Harold Greenberg Fund), Maureen Levitt, (of Super Channel), independent producer, Lael McCall, (of Principia Productions), and Lauren Davis of Telefilm Canada.

The Women In the Director’s Chair (Widc) program has earned an international reputation for propelling women directors’ skills, stories and careers to the next level of excellence. Creative Women Workshops Association, The Banff Centre and Actra (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) have been Widc collaborators and Telefilm Canada has been a major sponsor since the program’s 1997 inception. This is Widc’s first year collaborating with the Whistler Film Festival, with the Widc Whistler Film Festival Industry Immersion taking place on December 3 and 4.

The Festival’s online box office is now open for industry and festival passes, ticket packages, and individual film and special event tickets (until December 7). The Festival Box Office is also open for phone sales (1-877-838-film) and on November 28 for walk-in sales. Wff’s film, event and industry Summit lineup and schedules are available at whistlerfilmfestival.com.

The Westin Whistler Resort and Spa is Wff’s official host hotel. Wff has 17 accommodation partners to choose from that offer special rates to Whistler Film Festival attendees. Book your accommodation early to ensure your perfect match and price. For information, go to whistlerfilmfestival.com.

The Whistler Film Festival is supported by Telefilm Canada, the Province of British Columbia, the Resort Municipality of Whistler and Tourism Whistler, and is sponsored by Variety, Elle Canada, the Directors Guild of Canada - British Columbia, Creative BC, The Harold Greenburg Fund, Cineplex, CTV, Pandora, Sorel, Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb, Promosa and the Westin Resort & Spa Whistler.

About Widc – Women In the Director’s Chair (Widc) is an internationally respected Canadian professional development offering, specially designed to advance the skills, careers and screen projects of women directors. With nearly 200 director alumnae across Canada, Widc is presented in partnership by Creative Women Workshops Association, The Banff Centre and Actra, with major support from Telefilm Canada, William F. White Intl., and with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada, Panavision Canada, Sim Digital, Clairmont Camera Film and Digital, North Shore Studios, The Bridge Studios, Vancouver Film Studios, Front Row Insurance, Banff World Media Festival, Actra Fraternal Benefit Society, Ubcp/Actra, Actra Alberta, Iatse 669, Iatse 212, Independent Production Fund, Wift Vancouver, Female Eye Film Festival, St John’s International Women’s Film Festival and Whistler Film Festival. Director’s chair sponsors include Creative BC, BC Arts Council, Wiftv. Find out more at www.widc.ca www.facebook.com/widc.ca @WIDC_ca #Widc enquiries@creativewomenworkshops.com

About the Whistler Film Festival: From December 3 to 7, 2014, the Whistler Film Festival (Wff) will celebrate its 14th edition as one of Canada's leading festivals. Featuring innovative and original films from around the world and opportunities to connect with the people who made them, this year’s five day Festival will be filled with a solid lineup of premieres, star-studded guests, lively celebrations and unique industry initiatives. Find out more at www.whistlerfilmfestival.com.

About the Whistler Film Festival Society: The Whistler Film Festival Society (Wffs) is a charitable cultural organization dedicated to furthering the art of film by providing programs that focus on the discovery, development and promotion of new talent culminating with a must attend festival for artists, the industry and audiences in Whistler. Wffs produces one of Canada's leading film festivals and plays a leadership role in offering project development programs for Canadian filmmakers. Find out more at whistlerfilmfestival.com. »

- Peter Belsito

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