Women In The Director’s Chair (WIDC) Award


2012 Winner

Panacea Entertainment & Women In Film and Television Alberta awards $500 each for an Alberta director to attend WIDIC in Banff during the Banff New Media Festival


Congratulations to Alberta’s 2012 winner Marie Burke $1000.

Marie Burke’s work as a filmmaker is informed by her experience in community activism and as a Native journalist. Marie began working as a print journalist in 1998 with the Aboriginal Multi Media Society of Alberta. One of the biggest influences in Marie’s life comes from her with work with AMMSA and it’s publisher, Bert Crowfoot. She continues to collaborate with Bert on video projects related to the cultural and spiritual life of Indigenous people who live primarily in western Canada.
Marie spent almost 10 years working in northern British Columbia for Smithers Friendship Center, Wedzen Kwe Native Legal Aid Office, and as Regional Coordinator for the Northwest Aboriginal Health Council. She possesses a passion to help people along in their respective lives by actively listening to their issues at hand. It is this passion that she carries with her into filmmaking.
Marie wrote and directed her early work in video during her time with A-Channel, Edmonton. She wrote for The Sharing Circle and contributed to the news shows as an on air reporter from 1999 to 2003.
After leaving A-Channel, Marie began independently writing, directing and producing documentaries, including her first documentary with the National Film Board of Canada, Spirit Doctors, 2005. Marie’s films include The Quest of Buffalo Spirit, a 4 part limited series for Omni Television, 2007; The Significant One-Good Medicine, for Alberta College of Art and Design, 2008, and a short film, Vistas: Carrying Fire, for the 2010 Olympics, part of a series produced by NFB and broadcast on APTN.
Most recently, Marie was a consultant for the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, providing information services in the areas of Aboriginal and community arts to individual artists, not-for-profit organizations on artistic development and grantsmanship.
Of Cree, Dene and French descent, Marie was born and raised in Edmonton, with original family roots in Philomena and Owl River, Alberta. Both of her parents have experience in
the Residential School systems that have affected her in many of the same ways that it impacted Indigenous people across Canada. This experience leads her to practice many of the beliefs and ways of knowing of the Cree people in Alberta. Marie holds strong beliefs that Indigenous people are the storytellers who keep the fire of the their way of life burning.


2011 Winner

Congratulations to our 2011 winner Eva Colmers.

Dear WIFT-A,

As the new year begins, I am reflecting on all the good fortunes I’ve experiiienced, last year - personally as well as professionally.
Being selected to WIDC certainly stands out as a major highpoint in 2010. But I could not have accepted this without the support of WIFT-Alberta and other supporting organizations.

As an independent filmmaker in Alberta, I have attended many wonderful WIFT-A events in the past: numerous WIFT-A Martini-Mixers in Edmonton , workshops sponsored by WIFT-A, networking events etc. I particularly remember being part of WIFT-A’s great initiative to attract more women into public media service which allowed me to create a PSA for the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women in 2004. - Well, today I am most grateful to WIFT-A to support my continuous growth as a director and help me with the costs to attend Women in the Director’s Chair at the Banff Centre.

I had a great experience during the first WIDC Module in November and look very much foreward to the learning, growing and networking during the upcoming second WIDC module - Jan 13 - 31.
I will catch the Greyhound bus in a few hours and didn’t want to leave my home without telling you how crucially important WIFT-A is to me and the rest of us Alberta women in film and television.

Thank you and I look forward to share whatever knowledge and skills I’ll gain during WIDS.

Eva Colmers

Emerging Filmaker Grant

Congratulations to our first Emerging Filmaker Grant Lori Ravensborg for her work on “The Long Road”.

Synopsis: Harold Rate (60), hardworking Alberta man has had the toughest week of his life. His wife of 41 yrs has just passed away four days after a stroke at the wheel of a car. His son Rob (39),granddaughter Marigold (18) daughters Sarah (35) and Rebecca (27) and Sarah’s partner Megan, reassemble at their longtime family home bringing not only their grief of the loss but the emotional baggage of their varying family relationship history. Added to this is the major confusion, disbelief and anger of everyone about why they were only called home after their mothers death and not after the initial accident four days earlier.

This 16 min short is the major project of my Creative Practice Component of my Master of Arts Practice. My specialization for the program is in directing performance for film and television and I am attending through Charles Sturt University which is in Australia. I wanted a program I could do largely from Alberta since this is where I live and work and I wanted to deal with challenges to performance and solutions to those challenges from a directorial perspective. I am also currently writing my Creative Writing Component and will have them both submitted by Oct 14, 2011. I feel this project was supported by many in the industry, those who have known me as an actor, a teacher and a new director, including the faculty and administration of Motion Picture Arts, Red Deer College, Rhonda Fisekci who was my Casting Director, a top notch emerging professional crew, and the amazing talented actors who both auditioned for me and ended up as my heartbroken family in “The Long Road.” I am immensely grateful for the support of WIFTA, not just as a director/producer/writer but also as a female Alberta filmaker. You are supporting a worthwhile project, a constantly changing industry and a passionate creative being, me.