(Wednesday, June 6th, 2012)

See our own WIFTA award recipient Eva Colmers in action again. The Elder Project follows 7 seniors for a couple of years.

From the April newsletter:

Member Showcase: Signe Olynyk

Signe Olynyk is the writer/producer, and key creative force behind Twilight Pictures.

For the past five years, Signe has committed herself to developing various projects,
and actively seeking coproductions with Canadian and International partners.

She is the producer, creator, and writer of “Suzuki’s World”, a travel show with Dr.
David Suzuki and his family, produced for CBC. She also wrote/coproduced a docudrama
for the Discovery Channel about three orphaned cougars found near Banff.
Most recently, she wrote and produced a six part series for Access Television, and
also started the Great American PitchFest and the Great Canadian PitchFest events in an effort to help other
writer/producers meet the people they need to know for their shows to move forward. She is also marketing
several feature film scripts to Los Angeles producers in an effort to have these projects produced in Canada and
abroad. Some of these meetings have resulted in Signe being asked to coproduce and service produce several
US feature films in the 4-5 million US range.

In the past several years, the following projects have been approved to receive development / production support
from broadcasters, or option agreements from other production companies:

* “The Doctor Rode Side Saddle” Documentary/Drama
* “All That Glitters - The BreX Story” Feature
* “Suzuki’s World” Series Pilot, Travel
* “Natural Born Killers” Documentary/Drama
* “Friends For Life” Series, Informational
* “To Wander Among Men” Series, Dramatic

These are all projects developed by Signe Olynyk at Twilight Pictures.

Signe started her career by freelancing in the Alberta film industry in Canada, working a variety of positions
such as Production Assistant, Assistant to the Producers, and Production Coordinating. Prior to freelancing, she
worked in the marketing and copyrite departments at Access Television. She then worked as Production Manager
and Associate Producer for two independent feature films, as well as a series pilot, which she wrote and
produced. She has more than fifty professional credits in various positions, teaches professional development
workshops on writing, producing, and production management, and was a recent juror for the American Screenwriter’s
Association Screenplay Competition.

For the past four years, Signe has focused on developing programming and building relationships with various
broadcasters and studios. As her career objective was (and still is) to write and produce dramatic series, she has
spent much of her time writing spec scripts for shows such as “Jake and the Kid”, “The X-Files”, and “Touched
By An Angel”. She has also developed several of her own dramatic series, including “The Twilight Years”
(6 scripts & bible) and “To Wander Among Men” (18 scripts, pilot produced & bible). However, in order to
achieve the experience and credibility required to produce dramatic series, Signe expanded her development to
include other types of programming and her company has experienced rapid growth since that time.


From the March newsletter:

Member Showcase: Karen Brothers

Three years ago, Karen Brothers made a decision to apply to four film schools. If she got accepted to any of them, she would leave her career in business administration and pursue her interest in film.

All four of the schools said yes. And so at age 29, Brothers made the move from Halifax to Calgary with all of her belongings stuffed into two backpacks to begin SAIT’s Film and Video Production program.

When Brothers began at SAIT, she thought she wanted to direct, but she found herself drawn more to the technical side of filmmaking—lighting, camera work and electrical work. She focused her efforts in that direction and took every opportunity to learn more, including workshops with IATSE, a Calgary film worker’s union.

Brothers has worked as a grip, gaffer, DP and also camera operator — positions that have been associated with men for decades. She says she feels fortunate to be entering the fi eld at this point in time, when barriers have broken down.
“If more women stick with it, more women will be recognized in the technological side of filmmaking,” Brothers says.

She believes women like her — with the technical knowledge and creativity — can succeed in today’s film world because more doors have opened and more organizations such as WIFT provide the necessary support.

In the last year, she has worked in film mostly as a DP and camera operator. Her projects include three commercials for the Big Rock Eddies Commercial competition, Eva’s First Call Out (screened at $100 Film Festival), Coffee Shops (a Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers production), and several promotional videos. Work on a drama short with a local Calgary producer will keep her busy this summer.

Currently, Brothers is the administrative assistant to the director for the Centre for Criminology and Justice Research at Mount Royal University. She says it’s a diffi cult time to find enough paid work in the fi lm industry in Calgary. But during the evenings and on the weekends, she finds ways to further her experience.

With a keen eye for details and an organized, methodical approach, Brothers says she tries to make a story come to life in a realistic way. At the same time, she hopes to get out of her comfort zone and continuously explore the possibilities of lighting and camera work.

“I want to take more risks and live more on the edge.”


Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

Past president and WIFTA member Smita Acharyya was honoured as the first ever 2009 Outstanding Young Alumni awarded by SAIT- Polytechnic. Fellow SAIT alumna and WIFTA member Dianne Bennett nominated Smita for the prestigious award.

At a large gala on February 11th, held in the historic MacDonald Hall on SAIT’s main campus, Smita was honoured (along with her husband Remi) by president Irene Lewis. Twin sister Rita and Smita’s family also celebrated with her and hundreds of guests. WIFTA members and board members were in attendance to support and cheer on Smita. Distinguished Alumni Tom Mauro, was also honoured at the ceremony.

Warm congratulations Smita!