I left England at 16 and hitch-hiked my way around the world, teaching English in Turkey, painting houses in French Catalonia, working in restaurants in Australia, working the land in Greece, and marrying in Iran. I published various short stories inspired by these world travels, helped by my father Marius, some of which were adapted to film in Canada. She arrived in Montreal in 2000 with my daughter, Alyosha.
A graduate of Montreal's Concordia University cinema program, I made the award-winning short Where's Stanley? the first part of the Stanley Lewis Documentary Collection, on the life of the Montreal artist, Stanley Lewis. This was followed by Birth of the Smoked Meat, a quirky look at the Montreal-Jewish gastronomic delicacy of the same name, which won the Kodak Imaging Award for best direction and screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 2007. This was followed it up with Dust: A Sculptor's Journey, my first full-length feature, in which my dear friend Lewis struggles with his mortality and a life of unrealized dreams. This opened at HOTDOCS in 2011, FNC, and other festivals here in Canada and overseas.
I have worked with street people, helping the late Magnus Isacsson and Simon Bejold with their film Atsa - Etat d'Urgence, which gave me an interest in working with marginalized people. I has finished her second full-length feature, Chez Lise, which was co-directed with James Galwey, an old buddy, in 2013. The film follows two lovers, Deanna and Gordon, who suffer from severe mental illness. Chez Lisewon first prize in Liege film festival for mental health.
Since 2015, I has lived in China, teaching documentary production at the Beijing Film Academy, Qingdao Campus, where I mentor students with Ying Wang and teaches first and second year documentary as well as graduate students.
They are both working on a project with the Chinese government on Norman Bethune Canada's renegade doctor, and China's hero.
My latest full length feature, The Sea Hut, a Chinese co-production is completed, 2019, and begins the festival tour.
I continue to work on the Stanley Lewis Archive, assisted by Andrew Bailey a friend, with the intention of writing a book about our friendship and his art. This will be an exhaustive memory of Stanley Lewis, for when he died I salvaged as much as I could from his studio and his belongings, which were so cruelly thrown out onto the side-walk . But this, of course, is another story, to be told, later, much later...
I have created a film association in Southern France with my co-associate, Helena Michie – Film Bandits, Feburary 2018. The aim is to distribute and create ambulate cinema for the local villages. Teach workshops, and continue the collaboration between China and France and Canada.
I mentored Tao Gus’ film – TAMING THE HORSE, Xun Ma - winner of the prestigious 3 Continents Film Festival Golden Air Ballon 2017 and many other prizes.
I mentor film students in China helping them with applications to film schools overseas.
Other than that . . . I just love life!
2014 - present: Mentoring filmmakers and working as an associate professor at the Beijing Film Academy, Qingdao Campus.
2013: Chez Lise (Doc) Co-Director, 125 mins. Festival du Nouveau. Cinematheque Quebecoise.
2012: The Main Quadrant. (4 documentary films on the Boulevard St. Laurent.) Director – animator – writer – camera. Radio Canada – International Passport.
2011: Dust. A Sculptor’s Journey - (Bio-pic/doc) Director – Writer – Animator. 52 mins. HOTDOCS. Festival du Nouveau Cinema. Rendez Vous du Cinema Quebecois.
2011 : Born in Iran – (Docu-fiction) Co-Director/Production manager/editor. 18 mins. World Film Festival. Montreal.
2010: Song Zhun – Artists’ Village. (Doc-portrait.) Co-Director. 20 mins. Tianzhu Ge Art Gallery. Beijing. China.
2010: Sans Titre: (Experimental Doc.) Director. Video Forum: Oslow. Norway. Cineasie-Creatives: Montreal.
2008: Up & Down the City Road - (Hybrid/ video/ animation) Co-director. 16mm footage. 9 mins. Sensational Elora – Festival of the Senses. Radio Canada.
2007: Berson Boys – (Doc) Super 16mm. Co-Director. 15 minutes. Radio Canada.
2006: Birth of the Smoked Meat: (Doc) 16mm/35mm. Co-director. 19 mins. CANNES. Film festival. World film festival. RDVQ. Radio Canada.
2005: Where’s Stanley?: (Doc) 16mm. Director. LA Shorts. ARTV: Carte Blanche avec Pascale Montpetit. Radio Canada.
2004: Five Minute Dance: (Experimental) 16mm. Director. ARTV: Carte Blanche avec Pascale Montpetit Guest.
2002: Katryn’s Place: Adapted from short story: The Dog: Onion Film Productions. 35mm. Fiction. 86 minutes. De-Burgh Galway. (Author). Paris. Calcutta. Warsaw. Montreal World Film Festival. Eaton Centre. Vancouver.
1995: Angelica: Adapted from short story: Lilly’s Day Off. 16mm. Fiction/experimental. Colour. 54 minutes. Montreal Film Festival (shorts)
2000 : THE DOG - KATRYN’S PLACE - ADAPTED from THE DOG -DIRECTED B.de Burgh Galwey. Script : James Galwey. 35mm : 80 mins. Fiction. Eaton Centre.
1995 : LILITH’S DAY OFF - ADAPTED to ANGELICA - DIRECTED JAMES GALWEY.
16mm – Montreal Film Festival.
OTHER : Acting. Interviews. Production team. Collaboration
2008 : An Un Equal Quebec? ‘Social Ad’
Award: 1st prize: Citizenshift - ONF. Engineer: Jeanne Pope. Direction: Diego Rivera.
2007 : CAMERA/MONTAGE : Interview with MAGNUS ISACSSON FOR INIS
2006 : PRODUCTION TEAM : Art en Action – Magnus Isacsson/Simon Bejold.
2006 : COLLABORATION : LOVE BY Bardai Sandajai. Winner - student section – Montreal World Film Festival.
AWARDS AT FILM FESTIVALS
Where’s Stanley?: Special Mention LA Shorts, 2005
Birth of the Smoked Meat: Kodak prize for best new Canadian directors. Montreal World film Festival. Student section, 2006.
Screening at CANNES INTERNATIONAL FEST. 2007;
Susan Schouten Documentary award in Film Production, 2006
De Seves award for excellence in Film Production, Concordia, 2005
COLLECTIONS - ARCHIVES
2007: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery archives. Alberta. Stanley in Studio. 20 mins, video.
2007: University of Lethbridge Art Gallery archives. Alberta. Where’s Stanley?. 7 mins.
2006: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Homage to Stanley Lewis: Back to Roots. 15 mins, video
2006: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Homage to Stanley Lewis: Where's Stanley? 7 mins.
2006: Jewish Public Library Archives. Montreal. Birth of the Smoked Meat. 19mins.
2006: Jewish Public Library. Montreal. Where's Stanley? 7 mins.