Whistler, BC – Whistler Village
Heading into the weekend at the 17th Annual edition of the Whistler Film Festival, Women In Film already are already taking center stage.
Celebrating at a special reception hosted by Whistler Westin Hotel, Award Winning Canadian Bilingual Mohawk Filmmaker Sonia Bonspille Boileau was presented with the quite lucrative National Feature Film Award from the Women in the Director’s Chair program.
CEO Carol Whiteman of WIDC Canada presented the award – which is valued close to $200,000 – includes cash, production equipment and services that helps winning recipients apply toward a future film production.
“Sonia’s beautifully written script really caught the peer jury’s attention as did her directorial voice in Le Dep.” says Carol Whiteman, award-winning WIDC producer who provides executive producing services as part of the award.
Bonspille Boileau intends on applying the awards resources to her follow-up sophomore film ‘Rustic Oracle’. A drama surrounding the life of 8-year old Mohawk girl searching with her mother for her missing teenage sister.
“I’m extremely honoured. To me this is much more than an award to help me make my next film,” said Sonia Bonspille Boileau. “It’s an opportunity to be a part of the WIDC family; a community of women filmmakers and mentors I know I will be able to count on, and companies I want to work with as my career moves along. I look forward to giving back the same kind of mentorship and support to others in the future.”
2017 WIDC Feature Film Winner! (Bio courtesy of WIDC)
Sonie Bonspille Boileau is a bilingual Mohawk filmmaker and graduate from Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Over the last decade Sonia has developed and produced television projects in English and French ranging from children’s programming to socially driven documentaries. She won the PRIX DE LA DIVERSITÉ at the 2011 Gala des Prix Gémeaux for her documentary Last call indian. In 2014, Sonia’s first feature film, Le Dep, premiered at the prestigious Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Since then it has won awards and made the official selection of several festivals around the world. She also made a feature documentary about the impacts of the 1990 Oka Crisis called The Oka Legacy, which earned her a Golden Sheaf award at the 2016 Yorkton Film Festival. Sonia is also the 2016 recipient of the APTN Award of Distinction given during the Montreal’s First Peoples Festival. Sonia is now an alumna of the WIDC Story & Leadership where she is developing her sophomore feature film, Rustic Oracle.
Since 2009, the WIDC Feature Film Award has supported the completion of six multiple award-winning feature-length films by Canadian women directors.
Mentors for this year’s program include directors Gail Harvey (Never Saw it Coming) and Siobhan Devine (The Birdwatcher), along with writer and Simon Fraser University professor Dr. Carolyn Mamchur, story consultant Linda Coffey (These Arms of Mine), and actor and filmmaker Lori Triolo (Cold Squad). Principa Productions Lael McCall, Telefilm’s Lauren Davis and Harold Greenberg Fund’s Alan Bacchus will all participate in the program as industry guests.
Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) was founded in 1997 by ACTRA, The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and Women In Film and Television Vancouver and is administered by national non-profit society Creative Women Workshops Association. WIDC offers mentorship for Canadian women screen directors, along with project development and production awards to help them get their narrative stories on screen. With more than 230 award-winning director alumnae across Canada, over the last twenty years WIDC has advanced the voices of a generation of women screen directors.
Tickets for Whistler Film Festival HERE
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