CBC to fund three female-led film projects, including two by Vancouver-raised filmmakers

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      CBC announced the first three films that will be funded by the new CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund.

      The fund, launched in November, was created to support underrepresented Canadian filmmakers, such as women, indigenous people, visible minorities, and people with disabilities, who have historically been disadvantaged in receiving funding.

      Michelle Desrosier

      Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Michelle Derosier's Angelique's Isle is an adaptation of the novella Angelique Abandoned by James R. Stevens, and is based on a true story of survival on Lake Superior. Set during the copper rush of 1845, an Anishinaabe woman and her French Canadian voyageur husband are abandoned on a deserted island by a corrupt copper-hunter and must figure out to survive in harsh winter conditions. The film will begin production in Ontario in March.

      Marie-Hélène Cousineau

      Vancouver filmmaker Mina Shum (Double Happiness, Ninth Floor) begins production on her film Meditation Park today (February 27) in Vancouver. Chinese screen star Cheng Pei Pei (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Come Drink With Me) plays a Chinese Canadian woman living in East Vancouver whose life and family relationships are changed by the discovery of an orange thong in her husband's pocket.

      Filmmaker Mina Shum

      The cast includes Sandra Oh (Grey's Anatomy, Sideways) and Tzi Mah (Arrival, Dragon Boys).

      Actor Sandra Oh

      Vancouver-born recording artist, filmmaker, and broadcaster Sook-Yin Lee (Year of the Carnivore) will direct her second feature Octavio is Dead! Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace) stars as a woman who escapes from her domineering mother (Rosanna Arquette) and discovers the world of her dead father (Raoul Trujillo, Sicario) who she never knew.

      Actor Sarah Gadon

      The CBC will be initially investing approximately $7.5 million in the fund over the next three years. The fund is currently accepting submissions for English-language feature film projects and there is no formal deadline. Fillmmakers must have had at least one feature film shown at a film festival. Films must be in a genre other than documentary and not currently in production.

      More information and guidelines can be found at the CBC website.

      You can follow Craig Takeuchi on Twitter at @cinecraig or on Facebook