On International Women's Day, consider Canada Screens' Women in the Directors Chair VOD channel

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      Are you a Vancouverite who has friends from the Yukon, Manitoba, Quebec, Newfoundland, and Nunavut? If so, you're probably an exception.

      With a country as geographically vast and varied as Canada, the opportunities to meet people from the various regions and cultures of our own country can be limited or even non-existent.

      That's why Canadian storytelling, whether through art, words, or on screen, is important to help substitute for some of those missing relationships so that we can get to know the people in our own country.

      While it has always been very easy for Canadian stories to be overshadowed by what's happening south of the 49th parallel, that has never been truer than in the current political climate.

      While women's issues in the U.S. are a particular area of concern, it's important for Canadians not to lose sight of what's happening in Canada for women as well.

      Sarah Prefers to Run

      While the representation of women in film, both on-screen and behind the camera, is one that many Canadian organizations are trying to address, one way to help out as an audience member is to watch, support, and get to know the works of Canadian female filmmakers.

      One way to do so is through Canada Screens, the First Weekend Club's online video-on-demand service devoted to Canadian cinema that was launched on October 27.

      Luckily for us, the site offers a dedicated channel devoted exclusively to films made by female directors.

      The Stone Angel

      There's everything from Chloé Robichaud's drama Sarah Prefers to Run, about a Québécoise track athlete confused about her sexual orientation, and Kari Skogland's film adaptation of Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel to Shandi Mitchell's North Atlantic survival drama The Disappeared.

      There are even a number of short films, including "I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors", Vancouver filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming's animated adaptation of Bernice Eisenstein's memoir.

      To check it out, visit the Women in the Director's Chair webpage on the Canada Screens website. Of course, it's one to watch not only on International Women's Day (March 8) but it's a good day to start if you haven't already.