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The Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to celebrate and promote the achievements of the British Columbia film and television industry through the presentation of an annual awards program – the Leo Awards.

...and the UBC Department of Theatre and Film’s 2014 Leo Awards winners are:


Best Motion Picture
Down River 
James Brown, Ben Ratner, Andrew Halliwell, Jack Ong - Producers
Features the performance of UBC Theatre & English professor Jerry Wasserman


Best Student Production
Backward Fall (BFA 3rd Year Film Production project)
Film alumni Andrew Pollins, Mackenzie Bowen, James C. Gill, Mitchell Allen - Producers


Best Television Movie
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story
Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin, Shawn Williamson, Stephen Hegyes, Ian Dimmerman, William J. Immerman, Mike Ilitch Jr., Brendon Sawatsky, Brendan Ferguson – Producers
The film starred alumnus Michael Shanks (BFA Acting Theatre & Film) as Gordie Howe

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Television Movie
Michael Shank
s (BFA Acting Theatre & Film)
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story

Best Screenwriting in a Dramatic Series
Simon Barry (Film Production Alumnus)
Continuum, Episode: Second Guessed

Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series
Camille Sullivan (BFA Acting Theatre & Film)
Played, Episode: Secrets

Best Performance by a Male in a Short Drama
Ryan Beil (BFA Acting Theatre and Film) Acting
Anxious Oswald Greene 

Of the 15 nominations the film received, the cast and crew were awarded 13 statuettes, including the big prize for Best Short Drama, in addition to Best Direction, Best Screenwriting, Best Cinematography, Best Musical Score and Best Performance by a Male, all in the Short Drama category. In the 16 years the Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Foundation of BC has hosted the Leos, this is the most awards a single program has ever won. 

For a full list of the 2014 Leo Award recipients see



UBC Film Production Program offers a weekend workshop

Motion Picture Industry Orientation
Sept 13 & 14, 2014

Motion Picture Industry Orientation

Course dates: Sept 13 & 14, 2014
Time: 9am-4pm

Location: UBC Theatre-Film Production Building
Room 104 – 6358 University Blvd

Developed in partnership with film industry union guilds, this course provides you with the information you need to know before you work on set.  Topics include: growth and trends in the B.C. film industry; demands and challenges of working in film; set etiquette and protocol; job classifications and descriptions; reading and understanding a call sheet; logistics of employment; importance of interpersonal skills; on-set safety considerations.

The Motion Picture Industry Orientation Course is a two-day introduction to working in dramatic film and television production (primarily on-set).  It is mandatory for application to most film labour organizations in BC.

Topics the course covers:

  • An overview of the BC film industry
  • An overview of BC union structure
  • The Five Stages of Film Production
  • Descriptions and responsibilities of the different film set job
  • Film set etiquette, protocol, behavior and terminology
  • Set procedure – the efficient order of work on a film set
  • Understanding the Call Sheet
  • Film set safety

Instructor John Penhall is a 25-year veteran of the BC Motion Picture Industry. As a member of The Directors Guild of Canada, Mr. Penhall has worked as a Location Manager, 1st Assistant Director and Director.

                  To sign up contact Zanna


event imageNew course open to all UBC students:


No Audition Required.
UBC 1st year & 2nd year students
invited to apply!


No audition is required for the UBC Department of Theatre and Film's newly added course "INTRODUCTION TO SCREEN ACTING" with filmmaker, actor & UBC Associate Professor Tom Scholte. Introduction to Screen Acting (FIPR 269A Topics in Film Production) begins in Term 2 and there are no prerequisites. 

Find out all about this exciting course here: FIPR_269A.pdf 

event imageNorthern Gateway Pipeline Video Contest Launched!

A group of artists at The University of British Columbia Okanagan is launching a contest for people to have their say about the Northern Gateway Pipeline. Anyone in BC, across the country or anywhere in the world is invited to enter.

Anyone in BC, across the country or anywhere in the world is invited to enter the People on the Pipeline Contest with a video (maximum 3 minutes in length) expressing their view of the proposed mega-project in northern BC. The winner of the best video will win $1000 and there are categories for teens and kids too.

“We have been watching the communication strategy around the proposed Northern Gateway pipeline with interest,” says Nancy Holmes, Associate Professor in Creative Writing. 

Enbridge’s ads are everywhere and the amount of money being spent to present one side of the debate is scary.  So we decided to give others a chance to express their points of view. A contest is a great way to get people to do this.”

Along with the launch of the contest, UBC Okanagan’s Eco Art Incubator is unveiling a gallery on the People on the Pipeline website ( ) that provides a collection of links to a variety of artworks that have been created in response to the pipeline. 

The gallery on the website is an intrinsic part of the project.  “We are displaying all the artworks that we can find that have addressed the Northern Gateway pipeline- gathering these grassroots’ expressions in one place,” says Denise Kenney who is one of the leads on the project.  The research into the gallery was done by MFA graduate student, Emily Nilsen.

Professor Kenney also directed and starred in “We Can’t Hear You!”, a short 2-minute video, that announces the contest and that appears on the People on the Pipeline website.  The video was created in collaboration with Holmes, Creative Studies staff member and videographer, Joanne Gervais, and other FCCS faculty members.

Entries to the contest do not necessarily have to have an anti-pipeline perspective. However, the researchers are inviting multiple perspectives to create an opportunity to respond outside contentious polls and political divisions.

Along with a $1000 first prize there will be a $500 people’s choice award- so people can vote for their favorite video.  There is also a $250 award for best teen entry, and a $250 award for best kid’s entry.   The deadline is July 15th 2014.

This contest is organized under the auspices of The Eco Art Incubator, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded research initiative at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus.


Huge congratulations to our talented students, alumni and faculty who have had work recognized at this year’s Leo Award Nominations.


The many notable works include the Best Motion Picture nominated film Down River, which featured a performance by UBC Theatre & English professor Jerry Wasserman and leads this year’s Leo awards film nominations with 13 nods.

Down River was followed closely by another Best Film nominee, BFA Acting alumnus Matthew Kowalchuk and Film alumna Mary Anne Waterhouse (Producers) Lawrence & Holloman, which received 9 nominations including both a Best Screen Writing & Best Direction nod for Kowalchuk.

The bio-pic Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story leads the TV movie program with a dozen nominations a number of which recognised our alumni – including a Best Lead Actor nod for BFA Acting alumnus Michael Shanks.

BFA acting alumna Meghan Gardiner’s Stalled was a standout in the Short Drama category with nods for Best Short Drama, Best Direction, Best Picture Editing and Best Sound.

We heartily congratulate all everyone below on their nominations. For a complete list of nominees in all 13 programs visit


Best Student Production

Backward Fall (BFA 3rd Year Film project)
Film alumni Andrew Pollins, Mackenzie Bowen,
James C. Gill, Mitchell Allen - Producers

The Lost Patriot (BFA 3rd Year Film project)
Film alumni Josh Havelka, Nova Zheng,
Stella Creary, James C. Gill – Producers

Best Cinematography
in a Short Drama

Backward Fall
James C. Gill (Current BFA 3rd year Film student)

Best Picture Editing
in a Short Drama

Backward Fall
Ian Holliday (3rd year BFA Film student)

Best Production Design
in a Short Drama

Nova Zheng (3rd year BFA Film student)
The Lost Patriot


Best Motion Picture

Lawrence & Holloman
Matthew Kowalchuk (BFA Acting alumnus),
Mary Anne Waterhouse (Film alumna) with Paul Armstrong, Daniel Arnold, Andrew Currie, Robyn Wiener – Producers

3 Days in Havana
Gil Bellows, Tony Pantages, Sidney Chiu (Film alumnus) - Producers

Terry Miles (MFA Creative Writing/Film alumnus), Kristine Cofsky, Lauren Lee Smith - Producers

Stress Position
Film alumni Amy Belling, Jessica Cheung, A. J. Bond - Producers

That Burning Feeling
Jason James, Marc Stephenson,
Mary Anne Waterhouse (Film alumna), Nick Citton - Producers

Best Direction of a Motion Picture

Matthew Kowalchuk (BFA Acting alumnus)
Lawrence & Holloman

Terry Miles (MFA Creative Writing/Film alumnus)

A. J. Bond (Film alumnus)
Stress Position

Bruce Sweeney (Film alumnus)
The Dick Knost Show

Best Screenwriting in a Motion Picture
Matthew Kowalchuk (BFA Acting) with Daniel Arnold
Lawrence & Holloman

Terry Miles (MFA Creative Writing/Film alumnus)

Best Cinematography
in a Motion Picture

Amy Belling (Film alumna)
Stress Position

James Liston (Film alumnus)
That Burning Feeling

Best Picture Editing
in a Motion Picture

Lara Mazur, Fredrik Thorsen (Film alumnus)
Sitting on the Edge of Marlene

Best Television Movie

Shawn Williamson, Chris Oshea Daly, Douglas G. Davis,
Jonathan Shore, Daniel Clarke, Mary Anne Waterhouse (Film alumna) - Producers

Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story
Howard Baldwin, Karen Baldwin, Shawn Williamson,
Stephen Hegyes, Ian Dimmerman, William J. Immerman,
Mike Ilitch Jr., Brendon Sawatsky, Brendan Ferguson - Producers

Best Overall Sound
in a Television Movie

Kelly Cole, Bill Mellow, Chris Gilling (Film alumnus)
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story

Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Television Movie

Michael Shanks (BFA Acting)
Mr. Hockey: The Gordie Howe Story

Best Direction
in a Dramatic Series

Simon Barry (Film alumnus)
Continuum - Second Guessed

William Waring (Film alumnus)
Continuum - Second Skin

Best Screenwriting
in a Dramatic Series

Simon Barry (Film Alumnus)
Continuum - Second Time

Best Picture Editing
in a Dramatic Series

Alison Grace (Film alumna)
Motive - Public Enemy

Stirling Bancroft
Hunt for the Mad Trapper

Best Guest Performance by a Female in a Dramatic Series

Camille Sullivan (BFA Acting)
Played – Secrets

Best Cinematography
in a Documentary Program or Series

Charles Wilkinson (Film alumnus), Tina Schliessler
Oil Sands Karaoke

Best Short Drama

Megan Gardiner’s (BFA Acting) Stalled, David Lewis – Producer

Best Performance by a Male in a Short Drama

Ryan Beil
Anxious Oswald Greene

Best Web Series

Fools For Hire
Mike Cavers (BFA Acting) , Nicholas Harrison (PhD Theatre) with Neil Every, – Producers

Best Performance by a Male in a Web Series

Torrance Coombs (BFA Acting)
Polaris - Adrift - Part 1

The 2014 Leo Awards will be held over three nights from May 30 to June 1 at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. For more information see


event imagePOV 24 FILM FESTIVAL UBC Persistence of Vision Film Festival Congratulations to all our students who showcased another year’s worth of artistry. This year over two nights at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre, students from the UBC Film Production Program self produced and presented their films in the 24th Annual Persistence of Vision Film Festival, or POV 24.

POV is a two-night film festival produced collectively by students of the three-year UBC Film Production Program. It is the first public premiere of their films. Students raise sponsorship interest from local businesses to provide awards in many categories. Judged by a panel of industry professionals, the winning films are announced on the second night.

There were twenty-three short films this year: sixteen from the 4th year students in the program, and seven from the 3rd year students in the program.
They featured a range of stories about friendship, betrayal, compassion and coming of age, and promise a mix of comedy and drama. 

The breadth and learning experience of the films is also felt in the wide range of shooting formats; DSLR, Black Magic Cinema Camera, RED Epic and Sony FS-700 were all employed by the students. Huge kudos to all our students who fullfiled all the key technical, creative and marketing roles in bringing POV 2014 onto the screen.



event imageMFA Student Karin Lee's Film on Knowledge Network

Congratulations to graduating MFA Film student Karin Lee who is the producer of a new documentary film which looks at UBC Library's acclaimed Wallace B. Chung and Madeline H. Chung Collection.

The film Passage of Dreams: The Chung Collection has recently been picked up by the Knowledge Network. It features UBC alumnus Dr. Wallace B. Chung, whose boyhood fascination with trains inspired him to compile thousands of Canadian Pacific Railway items that offer a glimpse into the lives of early Chinese-Canadian pioneers.

Interested viewers are welcome to take a guided tour of the Chung Collection exhibition at UBC's Irving K. Barber Learning Centre during Alumni Weekend, May 24 - or view it at any time in the Centre.

"The moving images of artifacts and documents, combined with the animation of Dr. Chung's family stories, helped bring to life the larger history of the Chinese-Canadian community and that community's relationship with the Canadian Pacific Railway" - Karin Lee

For more information visit the Chung Collection website:

The trailer can be viewed and downloaded here:

event imageProduction MFA Film Candidate Karin Lee’s Controversial TV Pilot – “Plan b”

Award winning independent filmmaker and MFA candidate in Film Production and Creative Writing, Karin Lee, is currently in post production of the groundbreaking television pilot for a 10 part series “Plan b”, a dark comedy about an abortion clinic.

“Plan b” expands our awareness on and explores the fragility of choice and freedom of speech. The main character, Ruby Harper (Julia Benson), lands a job as an abortion clinic counselor. Pro-life protesters find a willing citizen to convert in the seventeen year old boyfriend of thirteen year old Alannah (Niki Wipf) who must make a serious decision about her pregnancy. The series is politically relevant, touching, funny, and is a tribute to all those who care for, support, and want women to be able to make their own choices about their bodies and their lives.

A Vancouver-based filmmaker, Karin Lee received an Canadian Academy of Film and Television Gemini Award in 2001 for her feature documentary “Made in China” as well as the designation of Best Feature Documentary from the San Diego Asian American Film Festival. Lee’s films have received many nominations, awards and prizes and have been in the official selection of numerous film festivals around the world. In 2005, she received a special BC Leo nod for her work, including a $10,000. prize which came with the Diversity in Cultures Award sponsored by Omni TV and the BC Leo Awards. She has been making films and media works for over 20 years.

Chick on the link below to watch the trailer for “Plan b”. The IndieGoGo campaign for the pilot has concluded but the team will continue to update with videos and news: 

event imageUBC Department of Theatre and Film

Teaching Assistantships for
 2014/2015 Academic Session

(Application deadline: May 1, 2014)



The Department of Theatre and Film hopes to appoint part-time Teaching Assistants from among the first and second year MA/MFA/Phd students to assist in the following courses:

Theatre Studies Courses:

  • THTR 120-001 Intro to Theatre Lecture Term 2.
 There is a total of 2 positions available (at 50%).
  • THTR 210-001 Drama: Forms and Ideas I Lecture Term 1. There is a total of 3 positions available (at 50%)
  • THTR 211-001 Drama: Forms and Ideas II Lecture Term 2.
 There is a total of 3 positions available (at 50%)

Film Studies Courses:

  • FIST 100-001 Intro to Film Studies - Lecture Term 1.
 There is a total of 3 positions available (at 50%).
  • FIST 100 –003 Intro to Film Studies - Lecture Term 2.
 There is a total of 3 positions available (at 50%).
  • FIST 100-004 Intro to Film Studies - Lecture Term 2.
 There is a total of 2 positions available (at 50%).
  • FIST 210-001 Early Cinema Term 2.
 There is a total of 1 position available (at 50%).
  • FIST 220-001 Introduction to Hollywood Cinema 1930-1960 Term 1. 
There is a total of 2 positions available (at 50%).
  • FIST 240-001 Media Industries Term 1.

 There is a total of 1 position available (at 50%).
  • FIST 300-001 Cult Cinema Term 1.

 There is a total of 2 positions available (at 50%).
  • FIST 332-001 Studies in Genre or Period Term 1.
There is a total of 1 position available (at 50%).
  • FIST 336-001 Seminar in European Cinema Term 1.

 There is a total of 1 position available (at 50%).

Film Production Courses:

  • FIPR 230-001 Introduction to Motion Picture Directing Term 1.
 There is a total of 1 position available (at 50%)
  • FIPR 234-001 Production Planning and Practice Term 1. 
 There is a total of 2 positions available (at 25%).

These courses begin in September 2014. You are encouraged to contact The Department of Theatre and Film Studies Academic Administrator, Ian Patton at his email address to apply to these positions.

Please note that the above listed TA positions are dependent on Department of Theatre and Film budget approval. Some positions will be appointed at 50% (half time) and will have their duties reduced accordingly.

Qualifications: At a minimum, the applicant will have a BA/BFA degree or its equivalent, with academic and/or professional experience. The applicant must have a solid knowledge of theatre history, film studies or film production, depending on the course for which they are applying for.

Duties: TAs may be required, at a minimum, to mark, teach, attend classes, lead seminars, advise students, supervise production labs, hold office hours, give demonstrations and on occasion provide instruction in the courses they have been assigned to.

Hours of work: Varies by course. The average is 12 hours per week for 26 weeks (384 hours) for a full TA position. Please note that not all positions listed above are full TA positions.


  • Masters Students: GTA 2 $29.57/hour (as of Sept 1, 2013)
  • Doctoral Students: GTA 1 $30.73/hour (as of Sept 1, 2013)


A letter of application including your curriculum vitae, all contact information, your year of study, and experience in the discipline that you wish to apply. Please indicate whether you are a full–time or part–time student and whether you hold a degree in another field of study at a Masters level or higher.

Deadline for applications is May 1, 2014.

The University of British Columbia hires on the basis of merit, and is committed to employment equity. We encourage all qualified persons to apply.


event image UBC Theatre and Film: Tours, Screening and All Years Reunion & Celebration – everyone welcome! 
Frederic Wood Theatre

SaturdayMay 24


UBC Theatre & Film hosts two fun events for Alumni Weekend 2014. Take a free tour of our historic Frederic Wood Theatre with costume exhibit, 11:30am to 2:30pm. In the evening come back to “the Freddie” for a screening of the award winning film Last Wedding, introduced by filmmaker, alumnus Bruce Sweeney, along with cast members. Afterwards join us for a ‘swinging-from-the-chandeliers’ party! Tickets to the performance and party are only $10, with all proceeds going to student scholarships.

Daytime: THEATRE TOURS & COSTUME EXHIBIT - Free! Saturday May 24: 11:30am – 12:30pm, 1:15pm - 2:15pm & 2:30pm - 3:30pm
Tours leave from the lobby

Tour hidden recesses of UBC’s historic 400 seat Frederic Wood theatre, and learn its secrets (ask about our Ghosts!) with alumni Gerald Vanderwoude (MFA Directing) and Cam Cronin (BFA Acting). Back stage, scene and costumes shops are inspirational places for young and old alike. View a costume exhibit “Fashioning Cancer” (as seen on CNN), find out how associate professor Jacqueline Firkins drew inspiration for 10 exquisite ball gowns from microscopic photography taken by UBC cancer researchers.

Evening: FILM SCREENING & PARTY - Meet the Filmmaker!

Last Wedding an award winning film by alumnus Bruce Sweeney Saturday May 24: 7:30pm – 9pm screening & party to midnight | $ 10 * proceeds to student scholarships UBC Theatre & Film alumni and the public are invited to join us for a showing of LAST WEDDING, a film by UBC Theatre & Film alumnus Bruce Sweeney (MFA’96). Introduced by the filmmaker along with some cast members and followed by a ‘swinging-from-the-chandeliers’ party!

Tickets: or 604.822. 2678
Frederic Wood Theatre, 6354 Crescent Rd., UBC V6T 1Z2


event imageFilm Alumnus Terrance Azzuolo wins ‘Best Canadian Short Film’ for Student film 

Congratulations to Alumnus Terrance Azzuolo(BFA’ 13) who won ‘Best Canadian Short Film’ at the Grand River Film Festival for ‘The Salamander’, a short film made in his 4th year Film production class (FIPR 433). 

The Salamander is about the soon to be 8 year old Joseph, who found a Salamander to give to his father, whom he never sees, in the hopes of building their relationship.

Terrance’s film was screened at the POV Festival and won Best Film and Best Direction. ‘The Salamander’ was also chosen to screen at the Alexandria Film Festival, the ITSA Film Festival and the San Diego Black Film Festival.   

Currently, Terrance is interning at NFB in Gastown, Vancouver. We are excited to see what he is on to next!

event imageSharon Lin Takes Home Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival

Congratulations to second year Film Production student, Sharon Lin, who will be accepting a Rising Star Award at the Canada International Film Festival for her film Nuclear Kitty which she wrote and directed as part of her first year’s work in the Film program.

The judges felt that her film was among the very best of the several hundreds of films submitted from over 30 countries around the world and deserving of special recognition. Only a maximum of 10 films per competition category are selected to be honored with this prestigious award. 

She will be accepting her award in person at the Closing Night Awards Ceremony on March 29th at the Edgewater Casino, downtown Vancouver.

Nuclear Kitty also involved many other first and second year UBC Film students, here are the complete credits – congratulations to everyone!

Sharon Lin – Writer and Director, Julian Figueroa - Key Grip (1st year), Maddie Kasper - Make Up Artist (1st year), Stefanie Bartlett - Make Up Artist (1st year), Jillian Tsai - Special FX (1st year), Tyler McGrath - Director of Photography (2nd year), Merilin Paart - Production Design (1st year) Brittany Lum-Cho - Camera Operator (1st year) and Tess Paul - Location Manager (1st year)

The darkly comic film follows Shirley, a suburban mother living in the 1950s, who is sick of fixing TV dinners and her husband's ties. As tensions of the nuclear war seep into the family home, she is seen making some drastic changes to her otherwise domestic lifestyle.

The Canada International Film Festival has firmly established itself among the top film festivals in Canada. Held each year in Vancouver, British Columbia, the festival brings the very best of world cinema to Canada from over 90 countries around the world. The 2014 Canada International Film Festival will be held March 28th - 29th, 2014 at the Edgewater Casino in downtown Vancouver. 

For more information:



Feb 27 to Mar 7 – Free Admission!

A Video Installation created by MFA Film student Christina Toms 

Opening Reception Thur. Feb. 27 6-8pm | Gallery hours: 11am to 5pm

Don't miss this stunning Video installation in the AMS Art Gallery created by MFA Film student Christina Toms. Exhibition includes amazing footage from Cornell University’s The Elephant Listening Project .

The installation represents a wealth of research Toms did while in Africa which contributed to her her MFA thesis film - a horror film, which is yet to be titled. The film will follow a family being hunted through the woods and killed for their teeth, which are used for jewellery, a metaphor for ivory poaching. The characters mimic some elephant behaviour in the way they act and communicate with each other. 

AMS Gallery in the UBC Student Union Building

Face Book Event Page

event imageFREE Lunchtime Films!          
Cinema Salon @ UBC Library

Join us for Cinema Salon at UBC Library, where we screen a movie from the Videomatica collection during lunch hour  and then share insights about the featured film with a faculty member from the Department of Theatre and Film. new page View screening details

Admission is free but seating is limited. 

Thursday, Jan. 30 
Wings of Desire (1987)
Directed by Wim Wenders | Genre: Art Cinema | Run time: 128 minutes
An angel (Bruno Ganz) wishes to become human when he falls in love with a mortal. 
In German and English with English subtitles

Thursday, Feb. 27 
Videodrome (1983)
Directed by David Cronenberg | Genre: Horror/Sci Fi | Run time: 87 minutes
A sleazy cable-TV programmer (James Woods) begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

Thursday, Mar. 27 
Madame Satã (2002)
Directed by Karim Ainouz | Genre: Political Cinema/Rare Film | Run time: 108 minutes
Loosely based on the life of one of the most famous drag queens of the 1930s. Born to slaves in Northern Brazil and sold at the age of 7 by his mother for the price of a mule, João Francisco dos Santos (Lázaro Ramos) battles stereotypes on the mean streets of Lapa, Rio de Janeíro. 
In Portuguese with English subtitles

The first 2 films will be introduced by UBC Cult Film professor Ernest Mathijs. Mathijs has written numerous books on cult films and teaches the world’s first university course on cult film at UBC.

The next one will be introduced by Alessandra Santos, Assistant  Professor of Ibero-American Literatures and Cultures at UBC. She is interested in dialogues between literature and the other arts, new media, global issues, utopias, social justice, indigeneity, gender, and the dichotomy of public and private spaces.

All Cinema Salon events take place at noon, in UBC’s Koerner Library, 1958 Main Mall, Room 216.

Watch videoIconic Videomatica film collection available at UBC and SFU 

Film fans mourning the closure of Vancouver’s Videomatica can now access the legendary rental store’s collection from the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University libraries.
new page More details


Now catalogued and available for borrowing, the unparalleled collection spans more than 35,000 titles, including feature films from more than 75 countries, documentaries, cult and art films, Canadian works and selections from the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Videomatica was a long-loved video rental store that opened in 1983 and specialized in rare and esoteric titles. The store was co-founded by Graham Peat and Brian Bosworth, former UBC students (in creative writing, and history and film, respectively).

We want to appreciate our Department of Theatre and Film faculty and staff who worked behind the scenes on the initial securing of this sensational collection.

Thanks go out to Professors Ernest Mathijs, Stephen Heatley and Jerry Wasserman as well as staff members Richard Payment, Gerald Vanderwoude and Brian McIlroy.

Also, a big nod to Jo Anne Newyear Ramirez from the library who was our major partner in this - and of course to Dean of Arts, Gage Averill.

Website for the Videomatica Collection.

Watch a 2012 video about the Videomatica collection.



Watch videoFaculty Directs Alumnus in Hit Series REIGN

Our own, Assistant Professor Rachel Talalay, has directed an episode of the new hit TV show and winner of the People’s Choice Favourite TV Drama Award, REIGN.

new page More


Talalay has worked as a director and producer in film and television for the past 20 years – in the UK, the US, and Canada and is teaching Film Production at UBC. 

Talalay directed REIGN’s 10th episode “Sacrifice” in which an attempt is made on Bash’s life (alumnus Torrance Coombs, BFA Acting ’05). Fortunately, the plot to kill him goes wrong and Queen Catherine becomes a suspect. As the bond between Bash and Mary continues to grow, conflict arises in the castle and Lola needs to take drastic measures to protect her friend Mary. 

Watch this thrilling episode on Thursday, January 30th, at 9/8 c on CW!



Click here to view poster detailROGERS Multicultural Film Production Program and UBC Film Society Presents

Film Retrospective

Acclaimed filmmaker Mina Shum, this year’s Phil Lind Multicultural Artist in Residence will have her films screened at the Norm Theatre in the SUB.

Thursday nights – 7pm
Feb 13; Feb 27; Mar 6

Feb 13:

  • Double Happiness (feature)
  • Picture Perfect (short)

Feb 27:

  • Drive, She said (feature)
  • I Saw You (short)

Mar 6th:

  • Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity (feature)
  • Hip Hop Mom (short)

Admission by Donation     new page UBC Film Society

event imageMFA alumna, Gwen Haworth, selected for 2014’s Remarkable Women Poster Series!

Congratulations to UBC Film and Creative writing alumna Gwen Haworth who has been selected for 2014’s Remarkable Women Poster Series to honour local women who have made significant contributions to arts, culture, sports, and community in Vancouver.  click here Read more

Each year a theme is chosen and nominations and stories are collected and shared. From those nominations a group of 12 women are selected representing diverse backgrounds, abilities and experiences are featured on posters. 

This year’s theme is The Year of Reconciliation, highlighting women who make their community stronger by standing up to adversity and embracing diversity. The women are also honoured at a public reception timed to coincide with International Women's Day (March 8th). The posters, which are on view in community centers, schools, and libraries throughout Vancouver, are a unique way to highlight the important role women play in our daily lives.

Haworth is best known for her multi-award winning documentaryShe’s a Boy I Knew, which explores her gender transition through the voices of her parents, sisters, best friends and partner and has played in over a hundred film festivals around the world, and continues to be used in post-secondary curriculum in schools across North America. She is also an active social equity advocate who has been working in harm-reduction shelters and low-barrier housing since 2005. She facilitates over fifty queer and trans inclusion workshops per year, through the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

More news! Haworth’s latest short film, a woman with a pastwhich is within a compilation of 7 short films by gender non-conforming filmmakers, will premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival in February. The omnibus feature is entitled Fucking Different XXY, and is produced by Berlin filmmaker Kristian Petersen.

a woman with a past is a raw, candid glimpse into the lived experience, self-preserving humour and written words of trans, intersex poet Antonette Rea. In her affable nature, Antonette recounts her years working the streets, her struggles with stigma, violence & addiction, and how ultimately her humour and poetry have been essential to creating a new chapter of healing and self-expression.

For nomination info:

Gwen Haworth’s website:


UBC Department of Theatre and Film Associate Professor Tom Sholte has received a nomination for “Best Actor in a Canadian Film” from the Vancouver Film Critics Circle for his performance in The Dick Knost Show. Scholte is also a BFA Acting and MFA directing alumnus and the film was written and directed by his long time collaborator MFA Film Production alumnus Bruce Sweeney

click here Read more


MFA Film Production alumnus Charles Wilkinson’s Oil Sands Karaoke is nominated for “Best British Columbia Film”, along with Jason DaSilva’s When I Walk. MFA Directing student Cari Green was an Associate Producer for When I Walk. The recipients of the awards will be announced January 7, 2014 at The Railway Club.




Having studied cultural anthropology and film, UBC MFA Film Production student Dhruv Dhawan decided to delve deeper into timeless questions surrounding sex, love, marriage, and infidelity by making a documentary. 

Why Knot will combine interviews with researchers and Dhawan’s own experiences to explore instincts, urges, morals, jealousy, betrayal, and fulfilment.

click here More about the film


Among the experts who weigh in in the film are psychologist Christopher Ryan, coauthor of the book Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality; Dossie Easton, a psychotherapist and coauthor of The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to PolyamoryOpen Relationships & Other Adventures (second edition); historian Stephanie Coontz, who wrote Marriage, A History: How Love Conquered Marriage; and evolutionary biologist David Barash and psychologist Judith Lipton, authors of The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

In order to complete the film, Dhawan is seeking crowd-funding, appealing for donations via Indiegogo. The project is part of his master’s degree in film production.

Read the full Georgia Straight article here:

Find out more about the Why Not Indiegogo campaign and see the provocative trailer.



Welcome to Alumnus Cam Cronin – Our New Department Acting Administrator

Alumnus Gerald Vanderwoude Takes a New Role as Assistant Dean of Arts

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event imageWelcome to Alumnus Cam Cronin – Our New Department Acting Administrator:

It is our great pleasure to announce that Mr. Cam Cronin has stepped into the position of Acting Administrator for the UBC Department of Theatre and Film. Cam is a graduate of the Department (B.A. Theatre) and comes with a strong background in both Theatre and Film. 

Most recently Cam worked at the HR MacMillan Space Centre as Manager, Public Programmer and Digital Media Specialist. He also has worked independently as a Technical Director and as an Actor in Theatre, Film and Television. Of his new appointment here Cam says “I look forward to helping launch a new generation of young artists from this fine Depatment.”

Cam takes over from our former Administrator Gerald Vanderwoude who has moved over to the Dean’s office to become Assistant Dean, Faculty of Arts.

event imageAlumnus Gerald Vanderwoude Takes a New Role as Assistant Dean of Arts:

Theatre at UBC MFA Directing alumnus Gerald Vanderwoude was one of UBC’s most unusual students. While studying for his Masters degree in directing in 1988, he actually lived under his desk in the Frederic Wood Theatre for the entire first year of his degree.  “It was such a long trip from Kootenay loop to UBC and if you missed the bus at 11:00pm in those days… well you were stuck on campus. One night I fell asleep on the theatre set I was building and I kind of just kept doing that.”

A specialist in the work of Samuel Beckett, Gerald has built 42 productions, directed 53, and designed lights and sound for 12. He started in the box office of Theatre at UBC and in 2005 became the Administrator and Business Manager for the Department of Theatre and Film. On December 6th he moved on to his new position at UBC in one of our largest faculties as Assistant Dean of Arts. Gerald is the 2010 recipient of the UBC President’s Service Award for Excellence. 

We will miss him greatly and wish him all the best in his new office. 



Congratulations to UBC Film alumni Simon Barry (creator of the hit TV series Continuum) and Stephen Hegyes have announced their launch of a new production company, Reality Distortion Field to develop original sci-fi, horror and fantasy film and TV content for a global audience.   click here Details

The duo say their Vancouver-based Reality Distortion Field will seek out projects with layered mysteries, smart mythologies, expansive worlds and heady sociopolitical themes. “As a longtime fan of genre television and movies, I’ve always wanted to establish a company and brand that reflected both my fanboy nerd roots and passion for intelligent entertainment,” Barry said. Added Hegyes, “RDF will be a brand-based company that produces multi-platform content anchored in traditional windows.”

Barry found break out success with Continuum, his first foray into the Canadian TV market, which also landed on Syfy stateside. Now he will work with Hegyes to tap Canadian and American creative talents to generate genre fare for the North American and international markets.

Continuum, the time-travel cop drama starring Rachel Nichols, is now in its third season, including on Showcase in Canada.

Check it out here:


event imageAlumna Lauren Grant Producing Wet Bum with Director Lindsay Mackay Winner of First Pinewood Filmmaker Initiative


Kudos to Film Production alumna Lauren Grant who has been busy and gathering plenty of accolades.   click here More

In 2011, she won the best live action short drama Genie Award for the residential school musical Savage. The film has now screened at over 40 film festivals including Berlinale Forum Expanded, BFI London Film Festival, SXSW and the NYC Children’s Film Festival.

Lauren’s recent productions, the feature film Picture Day and the futuristic short film Frost, both premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. Picture Day won the Borsos Competition for Best Film and Best Performance at the Whistler Film Festival. Frost won Best Canadian Short Film at the Edmonton International Film Festival and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Live Action Short Film. 

Lauren’s current projects include producing a new feature called Wet Bum with Director Lindsay Mackay winner of the first Pinewood Filmmaker Initiative. The cast leads are Gordon Pinsent (The Grand Seduction, Away From Her), Julia Sarah Stone (The Killing) and Craig Arnold (Degrassi). Distribution will be by Search Engine Films.

The principal of Clique Pictures, Lauren established her company in 2006 to focus on developing feature film and documentary production. We wish her continued success! 

More at


event imageStudent Wins at Whistler Film Festival

More great news for MFA Production student Andrew Pollins. His dramatic short film about an Alzheimer’s patient Backward Fall earned the ShortWork Student Award at the recent Whistler Film Festival. The jury praised the film for “the lead actor’s transformation from grief to acceptance while caring for his wife with Alzheimer’s disease was both poignant and heart wrenching.”

Photo: Some of the winners at Whistler Film Festival. Drew Pollins is second from the right - beside Jason Priestley.

event imageMFA Student Cari Green Earns Mayor’s Arts Award 


Congratulations to MFA film student Cari Green who has earned the 2013 Mayor’s Arts Award for Film & New Media. 


new page More on Cari's win


“This year’s Mayor’s Arts Awards honourees and emerging artists exemplify the tremendous depth and diversity of talent we have in Vancouver,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “Our creative community bolsters our city’s cultural vitality and economic well-being, and support for local arts and culture is a top priority of our work at City Hall. On behalf of my colleagues on Vancouver City Council and the citizens of Vancouver, I would like to congratulate these artists and thank them wholeheartedly for their leadership in making this such a creative and vibrant city.” 

Currently Cari is teaching a documentary course at Langara College and executive-producing two feature documentaries, Heartwood and Dancing in the Hurricane. She’s perhaps most well-known for co-producing the award-winning 2003 documentary The Corporation.

Cari Green’s thesis film is Citizen Jane is partly inspired by the real life work of Michelle Douglas, the woman who single-handedly reversed the policy against lesbian and gay people serving in the Canadian military. Cari is petitioning the government to apologize to the many lesbian and gay soldiers dismissed prior to 1992.

“My lifelong goal as a filmmaker has been to shed light on injustices that might have gone unnoticed. I decided to go back to school to get my master’s degree and I was looking for a film idea that I could be passionate about. I stumbled across a story about a dark time in Canadian history, discovering that prior to 1992, the Canadian military was carrying out a secret war against gays. They were searching rooms for incriminating evidence, reading private love letters and secretly spying on gay meeting places and bars near bases. I felt passionately that this was a story that had to be told, and that’s how Citizen Jane got started.” - Cari Green 

Check out the campaign on Indiegogo campaign intended to market and distribute Cari’s thesis film Citizen Jane to a larger audience.


event imageStudent Film Screens at American Indian Film Festival

Kudos to alumna Doreen Manuel whose short film, which she made while still a student, Lucky Spirits, screened recently to a sold out house at the prestigious American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. new page Background on Lucky Spirits

Lucky Spirits is a traditional Ktunuxa story told to Doreen throughout her childhood by her mother. It was a magical childhood imagining of the spirits passing their good luck into this world.

After Lucky Spirits went into post-production an Elder was approached to translate the story into the Ktunuxa language. The Ktunuxa Elders came to realize that Doreen was the last young person from the community to know this story aside from the Elder who recognized it from her childhood. By filming the story Lucky Spirits, a traditional story has resurfaced and been preserved.

Next Lucky Spirits screens at the LA Skins Film Festival in Los Angeles. 


event imageStudent Film Earns Audience Choice Award at VSFF 

Congratulations to Andrew Pollins on the success of his short film, Backward Fall which he made as a third year as a Film Production Student. The film recently won the Audience Choice Award at the Vancouver Short Film Festival, and his male lead actor John R. Taylor earned the award for Best Actor. new page More news on Backward Fall

The latest news is that Backward Fall will be screened at the Whistler Film Festival, December 4 – 8, 2013. The film tells the story of June who is afflicted with dementia, and is falling backward through her life. As she slips in and out of her younger selves she no longer recognizes her devoted husband, George. When June's dementia propels her to a dangerously irrational runaway attempt, George must take the backward fall with her to protect the woman he loves and keep their love alive.


event imageMFA student Cari Green brings Citizen Jane to the screen

Green is putting on the director’s gloves with Citizen Jane, a dramatic feature partially inspired by the real life work of Michelle Douglas, the woman who single-handedly reversed the policy against lesbian and gay people serving in the Canadian military. “It’s looking at how individuals can create change that affects large segments of our population, and moves us forward in society as well,” says Green. click here Click here to read more

Set in 1987, the Vancouver-shot film follows central character Private Jane Cross (Tirra Dent), as she finds herself the target of a clandestine attack and interrogation by the icy Captain Summers, (Mike Dopud) following a fiery affair with an alluring senior officer, Major Corporal Maryann Kirk (Alison Wandzura).

Collaborating with local filmmaker Arun Fryer and the University of British Columbia Film Department, multi-award-winning filmmaker Cari Green (The Corporation, When I Walk, Scared Sacred) wrote, directed and produced the film to dramatize a scarcely documented time in history.

To date, Green has financed the entire film independently, armed with a crew of dedicated filmmakers, volunteers and emerging media producers, and after three years of development, the team is currently working to raise the funds to pay for the completion of the film, in addition to marketing and distributing it for audiences around the world.

Find out more about Citizen Jane here:


“The debut award for Best B.C. Film went to The Dick Knost Show — Film at UBC alumnus Bruce Sweeney’s new comedy about an abrasive talk show host who thinks concussions are comedy fodder until he sustains one himself.

click here Click here to read more

UBC Prof and Theatre and Film alumnus Tom Scholte, who plays the title character, accepted the award on behalf of Sweeney in front of an audience gathered for the awards presentation and the BC Spotlight gala screening of Down River.

A statement from the jury praised the film’s storytelling, performances and overall execution. The award consists of a $10,000 development bursary from Astral's Harold Greenberg Fund and $10,000 in post-production services credit from Finale Editworks.

The Dick Knost show has two remaining screenings -- Oct. 09 at 01:00 pm at SFU Woodwards, and Oct. 11 at 9:15 pm at The Cinematheque.”

The BC Emerging Filmmaker Award went to Theatre at UBC alumnus Matthew Kowalchuk for his comedy Lawrence and Holloman.

In an acceptance speech peppered with “wows”, the first-time director offered a special thanks to playwright and UBC Creative Writing alumnus Morris Panych, who wrote the script the film was adapted from. Panych, a longtime fixture of the Vancouver theatre scene who now lives in Toronto, is a two-time Governor General’s Award winner.

Kowalchuk received a $7,500 cash prize courtesy of UBCP, ACTRA and AFBS and $10,000 equipment rental credit from William F. White.

Read the full article here:

Video: The Province Online:

See Tom Scholte interviewed by The Vancouver Province’s film critic Glen Schaefer in “Outside the Actor’s Studio”



Congratulations to MFA Film grad Gabriel Adelman. His short film Tele, which he made last year as a student in our Film Production Program is screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival Oct 4 & 11. Tele follows a man enduring episodes of spontaneous teleportation, understandably disoriented he struggles to find his way back home.

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Assistant professor Rachel Talalay has been profiled in UBC News for her innovative teaching practices.


click here More...

“It used to be all about the equipment and when I taught introductory directing courses, it had to be theoretical,”  Talalay says, whose directing credits include directing Tank Girl, Freddy’s Dead (Nightmare on Elm Street 6), and more than  50 episodes of television in the US, UK, and Canada. “Students didn’t have access to the equipment needed to put theory into practice. It was just too expensive.”

Now her students make their first forays into directing using their mobile phones.

“By using mobile phones for class directing assignments, my class has become about the process, not about the facts behind the process,” she says. “Students have the chance to show their work to the class, who is their audience, and find out if the audience is seeing what they, as directors, intended.”

Read the article here:



Thank you to supporters of the Film Production Program 40th Anniversary Scholarship! We hope you enjoy this update, which highlights the impact of your generosity on recipients Ian Holliday and Mackenzie Sheppard (BFA'12).

click here Benefactor Impact Report



click here Nominations List


Congratulations to all of our UBC Department of Theatre and Film students, faculty and alumni who have garnered a total of 35 Leo Award Nominations this year! 

We’re especially pleased to see our student’s work recognized by the Leo Awards. BFA Film Production alumni Theresa Konrad, Alice Deegan and Laura Good shot “Feint” as a 4th year student film. “Feint” has now earned this trio of producers a nomination for Best Student Film. Konrad also received a nod for Best Production Design in a Short Drama for the film. 

Huge kudos to our Film Production student Baharak Saeid Monir whose MFA Thesis project, “Ambrosia”, earned her a nomination for Best Picture Editing in a Motion Picture. 

Congratulations to our Film Production faculty, Adjunct Professors Murray Stiller (Best Sound Editing in a Short Drama - “The Old Woman in the Woods”) and Rafi Spivak (Best Picture Editing in a Motion Picture - “Crimes of Mike Recket”) who were nominated for their work.

ominees in the headlines include BFA Film Production alumnus Mark Sawyers and his film “Camera Shy”. The film was in the top two most nominated works, receiving a total of seven nominations including a Best Screenwriting nod for Sawyers. 

BFA Film Production alumni Nimisha Mukerji and Mark Ratzlaff, earned a total of five nominations for their two films “Blood Relations” and “Beauty Mark”, including Best Feature Length Documentary Program and Best Direction in a Documentary Program or series for “Blood Relations.” Their film “Beauty Mark” was acknowledged with nominations for Best Short Drama, and Best Screenwriting in a Short Drama. Read on about our many other esteemed alumni nominated below – we’re so very proud of them.

The Gala awards ceremony will be held Saturday June 8th at Vancouver’s Westin Bayshore Hotel. 

See a full list of nominees at 

Our Nominees are:

Best Direction in a Motion Picture
Bruce Sweeney - Crimes of Mike Recket MFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNUS

Best Picture Editing in a Motion Picture 
Baharak Saeid Monir - Ambrosia MFA FILM PRODUCTION THESIS FILM
Rafi Spivak - Crimes of Mike Recket ADJUNCT FILM PRODUCTION FACULTY

Best Supporting Performance by a Male in a Motion Picture 
Scott Hylands - Becoming Redwood BFA ACTING ALUMNUS

Best Picture Editing in a Television Movie 
Alison Grace - Ring of Fire BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNA
Best Overall Sound in a Television Movie
Shane Connelly, Paul Sharpe, Iain Pattison, Chris Gilling BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNUS - Eve of Destruction 

Best Screenwriting in a Feature Length Drama are…
Mark Sawers BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNUS, Doug Barber - Camera Shy 

Best Dramatic Series 

Simon Barry BA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNUS, Tom Rowe, Patrick Williams, Matthew O'Connor, Lisa Richardson – Producers 

Best Screenwriting in a Dramatic Series
Simon Barry - Continuum - End Times BA FILM ALUMNUS

Best Cinematography in a Dramatic Series
Glen Winter - Arrow - Pilot BA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNUS

Best Picture Editing in a Dramatic Series
Alison Grace - Continuum - Family Time BA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNA

The Nominees for Best Lead Performance by a Male in a Dramatic Series are...
Michael Shanks ­ Saving Hope ­ Ride Hard or Go Home BFA ACTING ALUMNUS
Best Short Drama

Beauty Mark 
Mark Ratzlaff and Nimisha Mukerji BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNI, with Daniel Domachowski – Producers 

Best Direction in a Short Drama

Best Screenwriting in a Short Drama
Mark Ratzlaff, Nimisha Mukerji - Beauty Mark BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNI 
Meghan Gardiner ­ Stalled BFA ACTING ALUMNA

Best Picture Editing in a Short Drama
Sabrina Pitre - Beauty Mark BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNA

Best Performance by a Female in a Short Drama 
Meghan Gardiner ­ Stalled BFA ACTING ALUMNA

Best Sound Editing in a Short Drama
Murray Stiller ADJUNCT FILM PRODUCTION PROFESSOR, Jeremy Therrien - The Old Woman in the Woods 

Best Production Design in a Short Drama

Best Feature Length Documentary Program
Blood Relative
Nimisha Mukerji, Mark Ratzlaff – Producers BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNI

Best Direction in a Documentary Program or Series
Nimisha Mukerji - Blood Relative BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNA

Best Host(s) in an Information or Lifestyle Series
Mana Mansour - West Coast Style Eco - Fashion Week Part 1 BA THEATRE ALUMNA

Best Student Production

Alice Deegan, Laura Good, Theresa Konrad - Producers BFA FILM PRODUCTION ALUMNI *4TH YEAR STUDENT FILM

Best Web Series

Fools For Hire
Nicholas Harrison PHd THEATRE ALUMNUS, Mike Cavers BFA ACTING ALUMNUS, Neil Every ­ Producers

Best Screenwriting in a Youth or Children’s Program or Series
Ryan W. Smith ­ Mr. Young ­ Mr. Matchmaker BA THEATRE ALUMNUS

 also Nominated for Best Performance in a Web Series is 
Benjamin Harrison (son of Nicholas Harrison, PHd Theatre Alumnus) ­ Fools For Hire.


event imageMFA Film student Michael Parker is producer of China’s 10th-highest grossing film of all time.

The Hollywood Reporter recently announced that our MFA student Michael Parker’s film, Finding Mr. Right, is now the tenth biggest domestic release in China of all time. Parker produced the film last year with his wife Shan Tam (putting his thesis on pause) through his production company, Maple Ridge Films. Another current student Nova Zheng, worked on promotions for the production. 
click here Continue reading...

Only 6 days after its release, the film had already beat Hollywood big-budget movies at the box-office, such as Resident Evil: Retribution 3DA Good Day to Die Hard and the heavily promoted Jack the Giant Slayer Finding Mr. Right, a Chinese romantic comedy shot in Beijing and Vancouver (set in Seattle), has taken in more than 470 million yuan ($76 million) since its release on March 21, according to figures released by China Film News. This places it as the tenth-highest grossing home grown release ever in China.

The film is a romantic comedy set in both Beijing and Seattle. Read an interview with Michael Parker on ArtsWire at the link below.


event imageMFA Student Richard Martin premiere’s Backbone at DOXA Richard Martin, a Film Production MFA student, has completed a remarkable documentary on experimental film in Vancouver. The film, Backbone, is screened with several key works from that era including Seeing in the Rain by Associate Professor Chris Gallagher.


click here More on Backbone

BackBone i​s a celebration of filmmaking and cinematic innovation. It is an exploration of experimental cinema as seen through the eyes of Vancouver filmmakers who were active during the cultural revolution of the 1960s & 70s. David Rimmer, Al Razutis, Sturla Gunnarsson and many more reflect upon the 1970s, Vancouver and a  global cinematic art movement  that helped shape contemporary filmmaking.

Martin plans to take the film on the fest circuit and it will be shown at the Portland Art Museum in late May. Here in Vancouver it is being shown at the DOXA festival, where it joins a program of work exploring experimental filmmaking. Backbone has been chosen as one of Vancouver Sun film critic Shawn Connor’s “6 flicks to see at DOXA.”

Backbone will be shown on May 12 at the DOXA Documentary festival.

For more information:

Background on the film:

Reviews and commentary:


event imageStudent’s Film Sweeps World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s Film Awards

Film Production student Leo Zuckerman’s film “Restless” won the $15,000 Grand Prize, as well as the people's choice award, at the recent World Ski and Snowboard Festival’s film competition in Whistler.

click here More from the Festival blog

Here's an excerpt from the festival blog: 

“(Festival) newcomers on Leo Zuckerman's team met at UBC's Ski/Snowboard club, and were best described as "gnarly nerds" by my friend Nicole while all I could think was "my god, they're only kids!" But their film, "Restless", was as good as anything Brain Farm has released in the last few years. With an intro that blew the roof off, all I could hear around me was praise for both riders and filmers. It's hard to believe this was their first time playing with the big kids.”

The video was also selected and featured as a Vimeo Staff Pick.

click here More

event imageFilm Production student has film chosen for TIFF

Congratulations to UBC Film Production student Dylan Stirewalt who has had her film SAVAGE chosen to be included in this year's TIFF Student Film Showcase. The selected thirteen student films screen Wednesday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox, in Toronto Ontario. 

TIFF’s annual spotlight on the best new short films by post-secondary students from across the country, Student Film Showcase gives Canada’s emerging young filmmakers an opportunity to share their work and participate in career-building workshops and panel discussions with industry professionals. The selected thirteen films screen Wednesday, May 22 at 8:00 p.m. at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

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event imageMark Harris, dedicated UBC Theatre & Film faculty member, dies at 62.

The Department of Theatre and Film is deeply saddened by the passing of Dr. Mark Harris, a UBC alumnus, long-time faculty member, and wonderful colleague.

click here View Memoriam details and eulogies

event imageTelefilm Awards Inaugural Micro-Budget Funds to MFA Student & Alumna


Launched last June, Telefilm Canada has just announced the finalists in their first Micro-Budget Production Program. Congratulations to MFA Film Production student Matthew Kennedy and MFA Film Production alumna Maureen Bradley, who are two of only eight filmmakers from across Canada with projects chosen. new page More...

With more and more Canadians watching videos online, Telefilm seeks to encourage innovative production and distribution strategies with this new micro-budget program. The fund targets low-budget ventures by emerging filmmakers that cost less than $250,000 and are designed for various digital platforms. The emerging filmmakers, who all have short films to their credit, will receive up to $120,000 each to help realize their first feature length film. 

Kudos are also due to UBC Film Production, who were part of a network of twenty-five partners, from all regions of the country, selected to recommend one candidate each to receive the financing. “We went through an extensive judging process before choosing Matt's project to put forward.” said UBC Film Production Assistant Professor Rachel Talalay, “It's a real boon for everyone. Getting $120K for a first feature is huge!” Other partners with projects chosen include the National Screen Institute of Canada and the Canadian Film Centre. 

“I am very honoured to be included in the Telefilm Micro-Budget program and appreciate the encouragement and ensuing recommendation from UBC. I am eternally grateful that UBC and Telefilm are willing to give me this chance and I will not be letting either of them down. If anyone out there knows a trick to get Katherine Isabelle to star in your movie for next to nothing, please get in touch with me ASAP.” – Matthew Kennedy

Alumna Maureen Bradley was recommended to the program by the Creative Women Workshops Association. Bradley, who teaches film production at the University of Victoria, will use the funds to make her film Two4One, which is a cross-platform-media project. Two4One will utilize feature film, a reality web series and an interactive graphic novel to tell the story of a transgender man who becomes pregnant.

With the Telefilm backing in place, student Matthew Kennedy is set to start his film The Editor, a 70s Italian-style horror movie about a movie editor. Kennedy, who is finishing his final year in the MFA program, is part of a Winnipeg based film collective known as Astron-6. The company produces low-budget, 80's-centric, genre-bending, independent movies that play on the expectations of the seasoned filmgoer and often combine horror with comedy.

For details about the Micro Budget Production Program see


Assistant Professor Rachel Talalay is back behind the cameras again for season two of Global TV’s hit series Bomb Girls, which begins airing March 2013. 

new page More about the series...

Bomb Girls profiles the stories of women working in a Canadian munitions factory during World War II, beginning in 1941 and features UBC BFA Acting Alumna Anastasia Phillips as Vera Burr. 

Season two is set in 1942 and Assistant Professor Talalay directed episodes entitled “Party Line”, written by Bomb Girls co-creator Michael McLennan, and “Fifth Column”. 

Both episodes illuminate Canada’s involvement in the Second World War and the effects it had on those who stayed at home. 

“Party Line” is about the famous battle at the German occupied port of Dieppe in which the allied forces incurred tremendous losses. 

“Fifth Column”, written by Pamela Pinch and Raymond Storey, is a Film Noir episode, an homage to Hitchcock's Saboteur (based on Camp-X).

Bomb Girls started as a mini-series and is now a full fledged 12 part series airing in Canada, the United States, UK and in Ireland. 

The new addition to their interactive website for the show is a real blast. Go to the site to enter The Jewel Box, an art deco bar inspired by the nightlife of the 40's:

Event ImageOur talented alumna Cat Mills is profiled in the current issue of Trek Magazine.

new page About the contest...



As a student, Cat was accepted into the Golden Key International Honour Society, celebrating the top 15% in each faculty. After graduating with a BFA in Film Production, Cat was selected as 1 of 20 up and coming film-makers nation wide to participate in the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association National Producers Internship program, which she fulfilled with the Vancouver production company Anagram Pictures under Gemini award winning Blake Corbet and Mary Anne Waterhouse. After a brief solo traveling stint in Europe Cat packed her bags and moved to London, finding employment in the international office of Summit Entertainment. Cat is currently based in Malta.



new page About the contest...


There is over $6,500 in prizing to be won including cash, iPad minis, HDCam mastering, Color correction, Blu-ray transfers & more!

Contest Timeline: February 1st - March 1st

Your task: Create a video that raises awareness about the importance of adjusting your head restraint effectively to reduce whiplash injuries from rear-end car collisions. Submission videos should be between 30 seconds and 3 minutes in length. Complete an entry form and get more information at:  

The Canadian Institute for the Relief of Pain and Disability’s “Whiplash Prevention Campaign” is part of a research project funded by AUTO21 Networks of Centres and Excellence, Prevention: Reducing Occupant Injury in Rear End Collisions,  involving researchers and students from UBC’s Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, Dept. of FamilyPractice, Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dept. of Human Kinetics and the Dept. of Pediatrics. BFA Film Production student Julia Patey is  the student coordinator for the film competition and contributed to content development on the website

Vote for your favourite: On March 3rd, we will launch a public online voting system for the Whiplash Prevention Campaign Contest videos. Contest participants will be responsible for promoting their video and collecting votes. The video to receive the most votes will be awarded an iPad mini. Vote online at

Entry Categories: The contest is open to residents of British Columbia in the following categories: secondary students, post-secondary students, and seasoned professionals

No application fee.



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Alumni nominated for the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards:

  • Lauren Grant for “Frost” (Live Action Short)
  • Ian Weir for “Artic Air” (Best TV Drama) 
  • Simon Barry for “Continuum” (Best TV Drama)
  • Cal Schumiatcher for “Eat St.” (Best Lifestyle Program) & “Love Shines” (Best Performing Arts Program)

Special nod to the team of Goon for their multiple nominations and Reg Harkema editor of Goon.

This year Canadian Screen Week will culminate in the inaugural 2-Hour Live Broadcast Awards Gala Sunday March 3, 2013 @ 8pm (8:30 N.T) on CBC, hosted by Canada’s king of comedy, Martin Short. More at

Finally a big thank you to our wonderful UBC Film Production Alumni Association who keep us up to date on many alumni achievements.

Find out more about our Alumni Association at


Film Production alumna Nimisha Mukerji and BA Theatre alumna Orsolya Szabó, are two of the CRAZY8s winners this year with their film pitch HAPPY HOMECOMING. (Writer: Orsy Szabó, Director: Nimisha Mukerji).

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Happy Homecoming is one of only six projects chosen, from a list of 40 semi-finalists, who pitched their ideas to a jury of industry professionals. The winners receive $1,000 and a production package with everything they need to make their short five minute film in just 8 days. This year’s winners begin their 8 “razy days of production on Feb. 8. Then you can see the brand new films they’ve made at the Crazy8s 2013 Gala Screening at the Centre for Performing Arts on Feb. 23, 2013.

Crazy8s is now in it’s 14th year.



We can't wait to see the animated feature MFA student Luke Carroll has spent the last three years producing.

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It's called Escape From Planet Earth (to be released Feb. 14, 2013) and is directed by Cal Brunker with an all star line up of voice talent that includes Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba, Rob Corddry, James Gandolfini, William Shatner and Craig Robinson. The movie is set on the planet Baab, where admired astronaut Scorch Supernova is a national hero to the blue alien population. Both Luke Carroll and Catherine Winder (Star Wars: The Clone Wars) are producers on this Rainmaker Entertainment production and Harvey and Bob Weinstein are executive producing.

new page Watch the trailer here

new pageRead a Q&A on ArtsWire with Luke to find out how he got attached to the star-studded feature - and how he managed to juggle a demanding production schedule with his academic commitments at UBC.



ArtsWIRE caught up with three star pupils to chat about their experience with the UBC Film Production Program, and their successes after it.

new page Read an interview with BFA alumna Lauren Grant, current MFA student Cari Green and Bahar Noorizadeh, a recent BFA graduate.


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Congratulations to BFA alumna Lauren Grant whose first feature film Picture Day snatched the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature at the 2012 Whistler Film Festival.  Grant is one of the producers of the film along with Kate Melville, Peter Harvey and co-producer Aeschylus Poulos.

Picture Day follows a rebellious teenager, played by Tatania Maslany, who is caught between adolescence and adulthood as she repeats her last year of high school. Maslany earned the WFF trophy for Best Performance in the film by first-time director Kate Melville.

Lauren Grant is the principal of Clique Pictures and holds a Bachelor of Arts from UBC with a double major in Film Production and History. In 2011, she won the best live action short drama Genie Award for the residential school musical Savage. The film has screened at over 30 film festivals including Berlinale Forum Expanded, BFI London Film Festival, SXSW and the NYC Children’s Film Festival. Lauren recently completed the CFC futuristic short film Frost with writer/director Jeremy Ball.

Lauren was selected to attend the CFC NorthSouth Marketplace at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival and to participate in Women in the Director’s Chair Career Advancement Program. Previous festival activity includes attending the Banff Media Festival on a CTV Fellowship (2009) and Women in Film Scholarship (2011) as well as attending the 2011 Rotterdam Lab and Berlinale Talent Campus.

Picture day, along with Lauren Grant’s short, Frost, also screened at Toronto International Film Festival this past summer.

Picture Day is a Snitch Pictures production and is produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada and the Harold Greenberg Fund, in association with The Movie Network, an Astral Media Network and Movie Central.

More at and

See the trailer at



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Congratulations to MFA Film student Cari Green. The documentary film by Jason DeSilva that she worked as executive producer “When I Walk” has been invited to 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

When I Walk (Director: Jason DaSilva) is the story of filmmaker and artist Jason DaSilva, who at 25 finds out he has a severe form of multiple sclerosis. This film shares his personal and grueling journey over the next seven years. Along the way, an unlikely miracle changes everything.

MFA Film Production student Cari Green is a film and television producer with over twenty-five years experience in film and television. Cari has owned and operated four independent film companies and has produced the works of renowned Canadian and International filmmakers including ScaredSacred, 2006 Genie winner and The Corporation, an international theatrical hit feature film. Previously, Cari shaped a film distribution company (Moving Images) into a viable entity for emerging and established filmmakers.

Cari is a longtime advocate for the Canadian film industry, serving on many organizations in executive and board positions including: DOC, Women in Film and Video, Hot Docs, DOXA, and the First Weekend Club. She is currently developing an innovative project with the National Film Board of Canada, The Global Women's Memorial Website. Cari is a recipient of the Women in Film lifetime achievement award.

The Sundance Film Festival will be held January 17 to 27.

Read an interview with Cari by the Ubyssey Newspaper and find out about her master’s thesis “Citizen Jane”a dramatic feature partially inspired by the real life work of Michelle Douglas, the woman who single-handedly reversed the policy against lesbian and gay people serving in the Canadian military..

UBC film student cuts to the action at the Sundance Festival

More about the film at

See the trailer on YouTube



UBC MFA Film Production graduate Bahar Noorizadeh's short film Lingo is among the year's "Top 10 Canadian Shorts", as named by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on Tuesday evening (December 4, 2012) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

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Read an interview with Bahar in the Ubyssey:

Film production grad project lands UBC student a TIFF short film selection:

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The top ten list of Canadian shorts, as well as feature films, were selected by a panel of industry professionals. The top feature films include David Cronenberg's Cosmopolis, Sarah Polley's documentary Stories We Tell and Deepa Mehta's Midnight's Children.

The films will be screened from January 4 to 13 at the Lightbox, accompanied by Q&A sessions with filmmakers. Next the films will tour the country stopping at Vancouver¹s Pacific Cinematheque, Edmonton¹s Metro Cinema and Montreal's PHI Centre.

"This 10-day festival offers homegrown talent a dedicated platform to showcase their success, and we couldn't be more impressed by the caliber of films the industry has produced this year," said TIFF artistic director Cameron Bailey in a statement.

Bahar Noorizadeh was born in Iran. She moved to Canada to pursue filmmaking and is a recent graduate of UBC's film production program. Her short film Lingo, was created as an in class project and was featured in TIFF's recent Student Showcase.

Fellow students who worked on the film include Alex Lasheras (Cinematography), Edi Leung (Editor) and Leen Issa (Producer). Lingo follows the story of Maryam, an Afghan immigrant, living with her young son in Canada. After a fire breaks out in their neighborhood they both become entangled in the consequences. Protective of her son and hindered by a language barrier, she has trouble explaining what happened. Lingo is a poignant short about cultural obstacles in Canada.

See the trailer for Lingo here: YouTube

For the full list of films and more information, visit:



Film Production alumnus Sturla Gunnarsson has directed over fifty productions on four continents, which have earned Emmy, Genie and Gemini Awards and an Academy Award nomination. He is profiled in a recent issue of the Ubyssey newspaper in "Artistic alumni: 5 UBC grads who became famous artists".

Gunnarsson is the National President of the Directors Guild of Canada and one of his most recent projects was Force Of Nature, a documentary on the life of David Suzuki.

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Congratulations to MFA Film production student Mathew Kennedy. Kennedy is co-producer at the Winnipeg based movie collective Astron 6, and also the star of their newest hit, Manborg, which is garnering rave reviews as it opens across Canada.

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Manborg is a marvel of DIY makeup, costuming and special effects, despite being made on a budget under $2,000 (you read that right).” - The Star (Toronto)

Directed by Steven Kostanski, who also is a co-writer, Manborg is described by it’s creators as as a “horror/sci-fi pop trash hit - coming from the cool people who made "Monster Brawl". He's a half-man, half-cyborg and he is now brought back from the dead to fight Nazi vampires! We say it’s time for some ridiculous trash horror.”

“Manborg is so bad, it’s nearly perfect.” - National Post

Most recently Manborg earned a three out out of four star rating from the Globe and Mail’s Rick Groen, who begins his review by statingIf your taste runs to sci-fi horror, but the clever kind made on the cheap to lampoon the dumb kind made on a fat budget, then Manborg is definitely your cup of camp.” 

Manborg is currently enjoying a small Canadian theatrical run before being released by Anchor Bay Entertainment.

Read Globe and Mail review in full here:

Movie trailer:



Rachel Talalay, UBC Film Production's newest assistant professor, has worked on six of the A Nightmare on Elm Street films, producing Parts 3 (A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors) and 4 (A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master) and directing Part 6 (Freddy's Dead: The Final Nightmare).


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Talalay comments on our attraction to horror films in a recent interview; "Conventional wisdom is that if we laugh at our fears, it helps us combat them. Other arguments are that horror films are for adrenaline junkies. My feeling regarding the Nightmare films was that we gave the audience great creativity and kids they could root for. They cheered Freddy, but they really cared about the kids fighting him. They tapped into the times, they tapped into helpless feelings all while being a surprisingly good time."

Talalay has also worked with filmmaker John Waters, producing his Cry-Baby (starring Johnny Depp), and Hairspray (starring Ricki Lake). Read the interview about her exciting career on the UBC Faculty of Arts blog, ArtsWire:

events imageNimisha Wins at VIFF!
VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award

Blood Relative, directed by Nimisha Mukerji, won the VIFF Most Popular Canadian Documentary Award, presented by Canadian Images Programmer, Terry McEvoy.



new page Coverage of their 6th annual reception on our Flickr page:

Photo Credit: Yurizen Cabrera



A one day course titled Nightmare on Elm Street — The Anatomy of a Horror Movie Franchise, will be taught this fall by UBC Department of Theatre & Film Assistant Professor Rachel Talalay.


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Talalay is also a busy producer and director. She has worked on all of the first six films in the Elm Street series.

The one session course will be offered November 17, 9:30 AM-4:00 PM in the Irving K Barber Learning Centre (UBC Point Grey campus).

When asked in an interview by the Vancouver Sun why she offered this course, Talalay offered, “I have so much history in my head and have done so many partial interviews, I became excited about the opportunity to use all my insider knowledge to delve more deeply into the series. It’s a treasure trove of film history and especially effects techniques.” She’s already had inquiries from horror-film aficionados from around the world.

Talalay’s course is one of 30 being offered as part of a unique effort by UBC Continuing Studies to promote liberal arts and lifelong learning. The courses will be taught on the UBC Vancouver campus and are open to all. Next up, Talalay leaves us temporarily for Toronto, to work on Global TV’s series The Bomb Girls

new page Click here to sign up for UBC Continuing Studies course, Nightmare on Elm Street — The Anatomy of a Horror Movie Franchise



Recent graduate, MFA Alumni Charles Wilkinson, has been nominated by the Director’s Guild of Canada for “Best Doc Director” in recognition of his feature length film Peace Out

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Peace Out asks (and answers) the question: are we tearing up our backyard for energy — or not? Peace Out breaks down the arguments for and against a hydroelectric dam, natural gas fracking, nuclear plants and the oil sands. While the problems associated with nuclear power and fossil fuels are widely known, the film sheds new light on the trade-offs that come with supposedly "clean" power.

Wilkinson has also published a book by the same name which is being published by Red Deer Press. Peace Out is the personal journey behind Charles Wilkinson’s feature documentary of the same name, which pits energy company CEOs against world-renowned scientists, academics and activists, inviting the viewer to decide whose truth is more compelling.

"Peace Out will cause you to consider the larger picture of resource use from a global perspective."
- Sierra Club of B.C.

Meanwhile the film, Peace Out, is racking up film festival awards quickly and playing to sold out houses. It won Toronto’s Hot Docs (North America’s largest documentary festival) audience award. It was also the only BC film selected for inclusion in Hot Docs. The Hot Docs jury chose Peace Out to receive the “Special Jury Award — Canadian Feature” which includes a cash prize. This award is one of only seven given out to films in the program of 189 films that screened to this year’s Hot Docs record-breaking audience of over 165,000 attendees.

When it premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October of 2011, it played to a sold out theatre and  won the award for “Most Popular Canadian Documentary.” Other awards include “Audience Choice, Best Documentary” at the Available Light Film Festival and “Opening Night Film Award” at the Global Visions Film Festival.

From the director, alumnus Charles Wilkinson:

“Tina and I have been surprised at the reception of the film. It's great to make a film people want to see. And yes, we worked hard & did our best. But we understand that what is bringing audiences to Peace Out is the growing certainty that troubled times are upon us, the widening certainty that we can do better, and awakening desire to learn how.”

See the trailer here:

Charles’ popular directing book - The Working Director, has just gone into 2nd edition. He teaches screenwriting and film history at Capilano University, and continues to direct film and television programs.  


Trek Magazine:



Has Guns, Wears Dress, Seeks Justice


The TV Movie “Hannah’s Law”, directed by Assistant Professor Rachel Talallay has not only hit the screen, but has recently been reviewed by the New York Times. In the piece which ran on June 1st, NY Times reviewer Neil Genzlinger suggests this TV Movie merits consideration as a TV series and goes on to give a nod to Talalay:
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“Hannah’s Law (is) a tasty western tale that seems just right for a weekend in June… For Mr. (Danny) Glover and other well-known actors in the cast, like Billy Zane, a Hallmark film probably counts as a side project, the kind of job you take to pay the bills and fill in between more substantial efforts. That can be an invitation to mail in the performance, but Rachel Talalay, the director, has everyone here fully engaged…” - Neil Genzlinger, New York Times

Read the article in it’s entirity at

Hannah’s Law is the tale of a fictional lady bounty hunter in the old west but the action packed story is peppered with well known historical figures and places. Catch Hannah’s Law while it’s showing on Super Channel throughout June and July 2012. Details at

See behind the scenes on Hannah’s Law:



Congratulations to our outstanding students in UBC Film Production who have been named to the Dean's list for the most recent term: Kori DePauw, Rosaura Sarahi Lezama, Elizondo Gilberto Perez and Wahid Ibn Reza. UBC Faculty of Arts students in any Winter Session must achieve a sessional average of at least 85% while taking 24 or more credits in order to receive the notation "Dean's List" on their official transcript of academic record. 

In addition to his place on the Dean’s list, student Wahid Ibn Reza had another reason to feel he’d made his mark recently. After sending a comedic fan video to the Conan O’Brian Show (a the late night talk show on TBS), the host Conan O'Brien played the video during his show. O’Brian also created a video in answer to Wahid’s. Here is the hilarious result:

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Available in Men's or Lady's for $15.00 ($10 + $5 postage).

Thank you to our handsome model Michael who wears the chic male T-Shirt and is holding the back of the extra chic female T-Shirt. Sizes range from small to x-large.

new page To purchase, contact Zana our Theatre and Film Production Secretary at



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UBC Film Production alumna Nimisha Mukerji is a Gemini nominated producer/director based out of Vancouver, British Columbia.


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Her debut feature was the critically acclaimed documentary 65_RedRoses (produced by Force Four Entertainment), which was officially selected as one of the first acquisitions for Oprah Winfrey's Documentary Club 2011.

This award-winning film has evolved into the #4Eva movement in support of organ donation and cystic fibrosis awareness. The film follows Eva Markvoort as she undergoes a life-extending double lung transplant. Sadly, on March 27, 2010, while waiting for a second transplant, her breath ran out. She was 25. The film 65_RedRoses has become her powerful legacy.

The film has proven to have a huge impact on organ donor. In fact, BC Transplant recorded a 300% increase in donor registrations in British Columbia around the time the film was released! It recently had its American broadcast premiere on OWN this year.

65_RedRoses is currently being distributed by PBS International Worldwide, and won the 2010 Banff World Television Award for Best Canadian Program, following its broadcast premiere on CBC's The Passionate Eye.

For her work on the film Nimisha was awarded the 2010 Don Haig Award for Emerging Filmmakers at the Hot Docs International Film Festival, the 2010 Mendocino Award for Emerging Filmmakers and the 2009 Artist Merit Award from Women in Film Vancouver.

Nimisha also received a nomination for Best Direction in Documentary Program at the 2010 Gemini Awards. Nimisha is currently producing/directing The Coconut (recipient of the 2009 Omni Cultural Diversity Award and Super Channel Documentary Award), which is in development, and Blood Relative.

Watch the trailer for 65_RedRoses here:

Find out more about Nimisha Mukerji's work at: and


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Donovan's Echo, produced by UBC Film alumna Andria Spring along with Trent Carleson, is a supernatural thriller starring Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood.

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Andria Spring

Vancouver native Jim Cliffe's script (co-written by his wife, Melodie Krieger) for this film, his first live action feature, was a quarter finalist for the coveted Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nicholl fellowship in screenwriting in 2007.

The film tells the story of a former Manhattan Project mathematician and physicist (Danny Glover) returning to his former hometown after a 30 year alcoholic bender for reasons he doesn't even quite understand. While poring over old notebooks, the man realizes similarities between the past and present that make Donovan start to believe in the power of deja vu despite everyone around him thinking he's crazy.

Union Pictures is currently releasing this Canadian indie picture to select theatres.

"With a well constructed script and strong performances from actors Danny Glover and Bruce Greenwood, Canadian made Donovan's Echo emerges as a solid supernatural mystery" - Chris Webster, Quiet Earth

Watch the trailer on YouTube:



SHOOT IT AT UBC! A Celebration of Fiercely Independent Film-making.  Friday, March 30 at 7:00 PM – FREE FILM SCREENING!. Royal Bank Cinema, Chan Centre for the Performing Arts.

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Celebrate the proud history of independent fimmaking at UBC with a rare screening of alumnus Bruce Sweeney's break-out UBC feature LIve Bait, a reading by film critic/historian David Spaner from his new book Shoot It! Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film", and a Q&A with both Sweeney and Spaner moderated by UBC Associate Professor and LIve Bait star, Tom Scholte.  

Shoot It! Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film
David Spanner’s new book Shoot It! is a revealing history of how Hollywood, with its eye on the bottom line, lost its ability to support the work of creative filmmakers; it is also a passionate portrait of the independent filmmakers who have risen up to fill the void. In accessible and expertly informed prose, film critic David Spaner examines the Hollywood studio system over several decades, from the period when it produced films like Citizen Kane or Casablanca, to today, when studios seem only interested in surefire sequels and comic-book adaptations aimed at a global audience. 

Live Bait: Runtime: 84 min 
At first blush "Live Bait", the debut feature from Vancouver based film-maker Bruce Sweeney, seems to be an absurdist comedy about one 23 year old virgin's attempts to get laid during his first summer after college graduation – but it’s so much more. A wry, contemporary drama with a low-key wit, director Bruce Sweeney’s feature film debut – named Best Canadian Feature Film at the Toronto International Film Festival® – captures the elusive nature of artifice and absurdity that characterizes contemporary life on Canada’s West Coast. Spinning his caustic yet glib-free Gen-X tale with an informal, but elegant, naturalism, Sweeney immerses the viewer in a dysfunctional and dissatisfying suburban world of tree-lined streets, backyard barbeques and overprotective moms.

About David Spaner: David Spaner has worked as a movie critic, feature writer, reporter, and editor for numerous newspapers and magazines. Spaner's writings about culture (mostly film) and politics have appeared in alternative (The Open Road, Yipster Times, Georgia Straight) and mainstream publications (Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen, Montreal Gazette, Vancouver Magazine). His movie coverage and other cultural writing was featured in the Vancouver Province daily newspaper from 1999 to 2008, and won the Publishers Award for best feature writing in the paper. Spaner's column on independent film, "Indie City," also appeared in the newspaper. Spaner was a co-founder of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle.

About Bruce Sweeney: Bruce Sweeney is an UBC MFA Film alumnus. Sweeney's first short film Betty and Vera Go Lawnbowling, won several awards and was screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival. This was followed by his feature debut, Live Bait, which received critical acclaim both in Canada and around the world. It was the winner of the $25,000 CITY-TV Prize for Best Canadian Film at the 1995 Toronto International Film Festival. His second feature, “Dirty”, won Best Canadian feature at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 1998. Dirty screened at Sundance and Berlin. His third film “Last Wedding”, was chosen as the Gala Opening Night film in 2001. Two of the principal performers, Molly Parker and Vince Gale, won Genie awards in 2002.

Presented by the UBC Department of Theatre and Film with support from Arsenal Pulp Press

Find out more about the book, “Shoot It! ~ Hollywood Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film”  by David Spaner here:



This is the story of the unlikely relationship of Karl (Tygh Runyan) and Paul (Brad Dryborough), two lonely men on the brink of middle age. Following a near death experience, Karl comes to believe that Paul, a stranger he sees on the street, is his doppelgänger.

After stalking him for several weeks, Karl finally makes contact thus setting in motion a bizarre chain of events that will result in the loss of a thumb, the theft of a manuscript, rides on a miniature railroad, a trip to Portland in a 1984 Chevy VanDura and two appearances on a popular morning talk show.

The film stars Tygh Runyan, Brad Dryborough, Ben Cotton and Matty Finochio, and is co-directed by Kris Elgstrand. Smith also serves as the films co-director of photography and editor.

Dylan Akio Smith graduated from the UBC Film Program in 2000, and has been steadily working in film ever since. As a director, Dylan made the award winning short films, The Bug, Imetacanine, Man Feel Pain which won the Best Short Film at the Toronto Inter- national Film Festival in 2004, Night for the Canadian Film Centre, and Big Head which premiered at TIFF in 2009. Dylan also directed a feature film called The Cabin Movie which had its premiere at TIFF in 2005.

DOPPELGÄNGER PAUL has screened at many film festivals, including TIFF 011,the 2011 Whistler Film Festival and Slamdance 2012. The film is distributed by The Whatever Institute and will be opening in Vancouver March

Watch the trailer:


Season 1 of UBC Film Production (2008) alumnus Tyler Mifflin's new documentary series "The Water Brothers" premiers on TVO in Ontario March 19th at 7pm (EST), which marks Canada Water Week and UN World Water Day on March 22nd. The six part series will be available for streaming all across Canada at

Tune in to see The Water Brothers ­ a new eco-adventure series exploring the
most important water stories of our time, featuring Alex and Tyler Mifflin.
The two brothers have recently graduated from University ­ Alex from
Environmental/International Studies at Dalhousie on the East Coast and Tyler
from UBC's Film Production program on the West Coast. And while they are
miles apart on many things, they are united by one: the desire to explore
the delicate state of our Blue Planet.

One of the unique aspects of this documentary series is that Alex and Tyler
are effectively creating this series on their own. Tyler, a 2008 grad of
film production, has had the intense but rewarding opportunity to shoot,
direct and edit his own series. He states, "It's been such an amazing
experience, taking what I learned at UBC and combining those skills with my
passion for the environment to create this unique documentary series. Taking
complex and serious environmental issues and trying to explain them in a fun
and engaging way in only 22 minutes was a lot harder than I originally
thought it would be, but it¹s extremely rewarding and completely worth all
the hard work."

Planning foreign location shoots, directing while being a co-host, and
coordinating all editing and post work is a huge undertaking: one that has
clearly paid off for both he and his brother: TVO has already commissioned a
second season. They share a love of travel and adventure, an intense
interest in the subject and a powerful desire to communicate their passion
to audiences, especially their own generation.

In the first season of this six part series, The Water Brothers will take
you around the world from the mighty Mekong River in South East Asia, to the
frozen Arctic Circle, the disappearing coral reefs of the Caribbean and the
Carp infested waters of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Water is more
valuable than oil or gold but it is rarely given its true value. Through the
eyes of Alex and Tyler, we learn for ourselves what the problems are, what
the local people and experts say about these problems and most importantly,
what we can all do about them. Join them on their adventure!

The series is executive produced by SK Films and co-produced by Jonathan
Barker, Wendy MacKeigan and Tyler Mifflin. Co-written by Carl Knutson and
Alex Mifflin. Film Editor is Steve Guise.

Word about The Water Brothers is spreading and they already have a very
strong and growing following. They are frequently asked to host and speak at
water and conservation related events and this past fall, they made a
presentation at the TEDx Youth@Toronto conference and excerpts from the
series were selected for inclusion in the Youth Climate Report during the
UN¹s Convention on Climate Change (COP17) in Durban, South Africa.

As an extension of their goals, The Water Brothers are launching QUENCH - a
FREE mobile app which will instantly connect users to the nearest water
fountain or official water bottle re-fill location, in stores, restaurants,
etc. in Toronto. QUENCH is brought to you by The Water Brothers, the Bell
Broadcast and New Media Fund and TVO. ³QUENCH provides a convenient choice
for consumers. Hopefully it will help reduce the impact of the huge amount
of *plastic water bottles discarded in Canadian landfills each year² says

SK CEO Jonathan Barker and Executive Vice-President Wendy MacKeigan are
producing The Water Brothers series.

About SK Films:
SK Films Inc. is a Toronto-based, multi-platform entertainment content
provider and a leader in 3D film production and distribution. The company
was founded in 1998 together with the late Robert Kerr, the visionary
co-founder of Imax Corporation. Its next major film is Flight of the
Butterflies 3D scheduled for release in Giant Screen/IMAX theatres in
September 2012.

* More than 4 billion pounds of plastic water bottles go into landfills each
year at an annual cleanup cost to cities of at least $70 million a year in
the U.S. alone.


Congratulations to Film Production (2003) alumnus Jamie Travis, director of the breakout hit, 'For a Good Time, Call.'

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Not only has this film, his debut feature, met with a phenomenal reception at the Sundance Film Festival, but Travis has recently signed a memo with U.S.-based Focus Features (The Ice Storm, Brokeback Mountain) earlier this week.

In a recent article, reporter Katherine Monk interviews Travis at the Sundance Festival and comments:

"A 2003 graduate of the film program at the University of British Columbia, Travis was a notable talent from the start, thanks to his distinctive talent for mood and production design. As one judge of the student film competition noted after screening Travis's work, and declaring his film a hands-down winner, 'This guy is truly amazing. He's really gonna go places.'"

Read the full:

Travis has built an international reputation with his darkly comedic short films The Saddest Boy in the World (2006), The Patterns Trilogy (2005), and The Armoire, which played at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Retrospectives of his work have screened in Nashville and Prague and at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. The New York Times recently called him "one of the most visually minded contemporary filmmakers you've never heard of."

'For a Good Time, Call' is Lauren Miller and Katie Anne Naylon's quasi-autobiographical story of two women who start their own phone-sex line to pay the bills. The film stars Miller, Ari Graynor, Justin Long and Nia Vardalos and it will be released in theatres sometime in 2012.


UBC Film Program Students have launched the new VIMEO site "UBC Film Students Video Share" as a way to show the variety of work they produce in their film production courses.

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UBC Film Program Students have launched the new VIMEO site "UBC Film Students Video Share" as a way to show the variety of work they produce in their film production courses.  Film students are producing media in many of their film courses, much of which does not end up on their reel or, at a formal exhibition yet it's very interesting creatively nonetheless.

Why Vimeo? With YouTube you're reaching a broader audience. YouTube is the number two search engine after Google, so the opportunity for someone to stumble upon your content is huge.

However, with Vimeo you have more control over the look and feel of any video you embed on your site  ­ including what is shown on the video (title, creator, etc.), the size/dimensions of the player, the color of any text, etc. Also, the quality of the video is much higher on Vimeo (free accounts can upload one HD video per month) and you're not limited to 10 minutes as you are on YouTube). All this and a "couch mode" for viewing? What's not to like?!

There's something for everyone here on our UBC Film Students Video Share - and the content keeps growing - so come over to Vimeo and add us as a contact.

vimeo image UBC Film Students Video Share


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Ian is a recipient of one of this year’s David and Manjy Sidoo Family scholarships!

new page Visit the Sidoo Foundation

Sharon McGowan25 YEARS OF SERVICE!

National Screen Institute grad of 1985, Sharon McGowan and now Associate Professor in the Film Production Program at UBC is celebrated for her 25 years of service in the motion production industry by the National Screen Institute which provids hands-on professional development for producers, directors and writers.


Peace Out, directed by Film Production MFA grad, Charles Wilkinson, won the NFB's Most Popular Canadian Documentary award at the Vancouver International Film Festival.


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This film will also play at The Vancouver International Film Festival in October.  Greg also cut "The Odds" which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival this year.


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is screening at the Fantastic Film Festival in Austin Texas in September.  Her film was made in Alternative Cinema 435 and is a tense, enigmatic drama featurinsg gripping performances by Katelyn Wallace and Brad Messer.  Meredith's work engages an eclectic mix of the familiar rendered in images from the shadows of the human psyche. new page Visit the Fantastic Film Festival


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"Money is one of the reasons so many producers choose UBC, according to Sidney Chiu, UBC Alum, producer, and president of the Film Production and Alumni Association."

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Multi-platform interactive documentary project Inside Stories invites you to enter Vancouver’s extraordinary South Hill neighbourhood.  Then submit your own about your own ‘hood and “move from being a stranger to becoming a neighbour.”

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events imageUBC FILM ALUMNI PICKED FOR OPRAH'S DOCUMENTARY CLUB! Vancouver-based filmmakers Nimisha Mukerji and Philip Lyall are still reeling from their double-barrelled encounter in the Wasatch Mountains.

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