Once again, Women in Film celebrate… Women in Film, of course. For those who haven’t read my coverage last year, WIFTV has been trying to prove a point that somehow doesn’t get out there enough, which is upsetting. The point being there are women working hard in the film industry and gender equality is very important, especially in our industry. And so, another magnificent awards show came up, this time taking place at the Roundhouse Community Centre giving everyone plenty of room to move around. Since there are so many women showing their abilities, it’s hard to celebrate all of them, so the awards were narrowed down (as usual) to 12 awards for 11 women and 1 man. How did that happen? Robert Wong, the only man was very supportive of gender inclusion and women in film, so he got an award for his hearty support.
This year, the Awards Gala was hosted by Morgan Brayton, who like many other hostesses in the past, was very energetic and had a lot of fun humorous jokes to tell throughout the whole show. Each award was sponsored by a different company that has offered generous support and appreciation to these lovely ladies. The sponsors awards were as follows: The YVR Screen Scene Innovation Award, the Troika Sharon Gibbon Award, The DGC-BC Artistic Achievement Award, the Matrix Image Award, The Integral Artists Wayne Black Award, the IATSE Local 891 Honoured Friend Award, the UBCP/ACTRA Impact Award, the Please Adjust Your Set Award, the Finale Jury Award for Outstanding Career, Cast & Crew Canada Artistic Achievement Award, the Capilano University Leadership in Education Award, the Encore Newcomer Award, the Bronchiole Iris Award, and the Teamsters Local Union 155 Woman Of The Year Award. A majority of the winners spoke to Darren about their experiences, but I also got to talk to a couple myself, specifically Amanda Coles who won the Please Adjust Your Set Award, and Doreen Manuel, who won Woman of the Year.
Amanda Coles has described her research as being driven by feedback from a lot of different industries and then using feedback to address issues all around and make a change. Amanda says “We are saying a real investment in key decision makers, broadcasters, producers, and importantly, policy makers, like the Canada Media Fund, Telefilm Canada, and in fact, the CRTC about one of the structural levers we need to use to solve the structural power.
Doreen Manuel had won Woman of the Year for being the first indigenous woman to take charge of a filmmaking training centre, specifically the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation at Capilano U. Feeling overwhelmed and proud to win her award, Doreen has stated, “The reason [Indigenous people] haven’t been in the film industry is because of colonization of residential schools and laws that have stopped us from being involved and now it’s our time. It’s time for our stories to evolve.” With such a high standard of her job, Doreen is confident there will be more Indigenous women who will pursue jobs just like hers. While it may have been an uphill battle for her, she has taken it with a lot of grace and energy to get to where she is, making her worthy of winning the award. She never thought she could when she first attended, but Doreen experienced a rather amazing mind-blowing experience that night.
There’s many other ladies to mention as well, like Meeshelle Neal and Jax Smith (Matrix Image Award) who made Mental, Amy Fox (YVR Screen Scene Award) who created The Switch, and Ann Marie Fleming (Cast & Crew Artistic Achievement Award) who has made quite a fascinating documentary among other great productions. Be sure to stay tuned for Darren’s interviews as he talked to some other very amazing people that night himself. The whole night consisted of high energy, great socializing, impressive live music, and delicious food ranging from fine baked bread to a multiple layer cake that was served during the intermission. It was a great night of fun, and celebrating women. As per usual. I can’t wait for next year, it’s sure to be just as amazing.