The fifth annual National Canadian Film Day is shining the spotlight on female filmmakers.
Held on April 18, the annual event aims to celebrate homegrown films with over 700 screenings taking place across Canada at educational institutions, public libraries, and on TV, with students in over 150 schools set to participate in a livestream event with Canadian stars and filmmakers.
This year’s celebration is highlighting the works of the country’s female directors, including Deepa Mehta, Alanis Obomsawin, Sarah Polley, Mina Shum, Patricia Rozema and more.
“This conversation is timely, urgent, and meaningful, and we want to keep it going and look toward a future in which women — and other underrepresented groups — find their voices and ways to tell their stories in greater numbers,” a statement from NCFD reads, offering a list of select films by and about women to explore on their website.
Mehta and Obomsawin will also participate in a special in-conversation event in Toronto on April 18, where the directors will discuss their journeys as filmmakers, women, and Canadians.
So what do some of our nation’s female filmmakers and actors suggest you watch on April 18?
Actress Liane Balaban offers “Stories We Tell” by Sarah Polley, “Molly Maxwell” by Sara St. Onge, or the newly released “Meditation Park” by Mina Shum, starring Balaban and Sandra Oh.
“I’ve Heard The Mermaids Singing” director Rozema says “anything by Sarah Polley or Louise Archambault”. Director Mina Shum picks “You Take Care Now” by Anne Marie Fleming; “Porcupine Lake” director Ingrid Veninger’s choice is “Anatomy Of Violence” by Deepa Mehta.
Other recent Canadian films by female filmmakers include the 2018 Canadian Screen Awards big winner “Maudie”, directed by Aisling Walsh and starring Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke, and the Academy Award-nominated “The Breadwinner”, directed by Nora Twomey and produced by Angelina Jolie.