Directors Guild of Canada elects Asian Canadian and Indigenous filmmakers as new president and vice-president

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      At a time when screen industries are seeking to address systemic issues about diversity, representation, and inclusion, a Canadian screen-industry guild revealed results of its board elections that mark progress in these areas.

      On November 9, the Toronto-based Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) revealed that after national executive board elections were held this past weekend, filmmaker Warren P. Sonoda will becomes its new president while writer-director Tracey Deer was acclaimed as its first vice-president.

      Sonoda, who is Japanese Canadian writer-director, has directed 11 feature films, over 160 music videos, and TV series such as Trailer Park Boys, Murdoch Mysteries, and This Hour Has 22 Minutes. His feature thriller Things I Do For Money, about two Japanese Canadian cellist brothers who accidentally steal a bag of money from a Vancouver hitman, was released this year.

      Deer is a Mohawk filmmaker who has directed four documentaries, including Mohawk Girls and Club Native; and the TV series Mohawk Girls and Working It Out Together. Her feature drama Beans won the best Canadian film award at the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival.

      “We will continue our fight to improve the quality of life for our members, not just the economic returns of our livelihoods,” Sonoda stated in a news release. "We can do this by uniting our country through storytelling while celebrating our specificity of voice which makes us creatively exceptional.”

      Sonoda will succeed Tim Southam as president.

      National executive director Dave Forget thanked Southam for his work.

      “In six years as DGC President, and in six years before that as National Directors Division Chair, Tim has led the Guild through a period of immense change that saw our membership more than double and our industry shift into the digital era," Forget stated. "Tim Southam is above all a keen intellect, talented artist, stalwart defender of his fellow members, and a true champion of Canadian culture.”