Women in the Directors Chair launches database of Canadian female filmmakers

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      As part of ongoing efforts by several organizations to address the gender imbalance in the Canadian film and TV industries, a new database has been launched that will make it easier for those working in the Canadian screen industry to find female filmmakers.

      The professional development initiative Women in the Directors Chair (WIDC) launched today (May 23) an online directory of Canadian women directors who have attended WIDC programs since starting in 1997.

      The database, which is available at the WIDC website, is part of WIDC's 20th anniversary celebrations.

      Among the names are B.C. filmmakers such as documentarian Nettie Wild (Koneline: Our Land Beautiful), actor and director Jacqueline Samuda (The L Word, Stargate SG-1), Karen Lam (Evangeline), screenwriter Peggy Thompson (Better Than Chocolate), Tara Hungerford (The Week the Women Went), and screenwriter Karen X. Tulchinsky (Robson Arms).

      Actor and director Jacqueline Samuda

      At the same time, WIDC also announced the call for submissions for its WIDC Feature Film Awards.

      The award includes approximately $190,000 in cash and in-kind rentals and services to go towards a first or second fiction feature film directed by a Canadian woman.

      Submissions will be accepted until June 30. For more information and application forms, visit the WIDC website.

      Past award winners include Siobhan Devine (2013) for The Birdwatcher and Katrin Bowen (2009) for Amazon Falls.

      WIDC also curates a channel at the First Weekend Club's Canada Screens website devoted to films made by Canadian women.