Alberta Nye-Filmmaker


Alberta Nye has always been interested in photography and film.  Going to movies throughout her life led her to buying a cinema in 1991 on Salt Spring Island in British Columbia with her two sisters. Alberta was the projectionist and viewed each movie several times which  intensified her interest in the art of film.  In 1994 the sisters won ‘Best Promotion for a Canadian Film – English’ at the Show Canada National Conference.

From 1993 to 2000 she operated a small movie theatre on the Island of Lanai in Hawaii where she was not only the projectionist, but performed all of the duties associated with the theatre including cleaning up after the movies.

While in Hawaii Alberta was commissioned to create a calendar using her photographs of locals, which was a great success on the island. Some of her photos were used in a Maui newspaper’s special section on Lanai.

In 1998 after training at Maui Community College, Alberta, along with a friend Pineniece Joshua, made a 22 minute documentary titled One God, Many Faces which showed on Hawaii’s Akaku TV several times.

When she was 22 she died while giving birth to her first daughter. After this near death experience, she had no fear of death.

Following the death of her ex-husband in 2007, Alberta was inspired to create a documentary on dying called Smiling at Death: A Closer Look at Dying which premiered to a sell out crowd on Jan. 12, 2014 at the Bookshelf Cinema, Guelph, On, Canada.

Alberta originally intended that Margaret Hackman’s story be included in Smiling at Death: A Closer Look at Dying but she soon realized that Margaret’s story was a documentary unto itself which resulted in So I’m Dying . . . now what?

Alberta is now hard at work on her third film: Signs of Life. She is documenting stories of people who received signs from loved ones after they passed, to let them know they are still around.

Gerry Rogers, Filmmaker

Gerry Rogers, Filmmaker.

Gerry Rogers — Director / Producer

Internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker Gerry Rogers loves, loves making movies! She has over 20 films to her credit and as many awards. Her latest films My Left Breast, an intimate, starkly honest and surprisingly humorous portrayal of her struggle with breast cancer won over 20 international awards including 2 Geminis and Gold at Hot Docs

Pleasant Street, a curious and intimate story of community, love and living with dying, won the Rex Tasker NFB Award for Best Documentary and the Empire Theatre Award for Best Direction. It also won a special jury prize at the Nickel Independent Film Festival. Rogers released her latest film Ferron: girl on a road, a tribute to lesbian singer/songwriter icon Ferron in 2009.

Gerry’s film career began in 1982 at the National Film Board’s Studio D in Montreal. In 1992 she returned to her native Newfoundland and founded Augusta Productions. Her directorial credits include the NFB/CBC co-production After The Montreal Massacre, the internationally award winning Vienna Tribunal and Kathleen Shannon: on film, feminism, and other dreams. Among the many films she has produced is the internationally award winning To a Safer Place. Gerry’s most recent films include, “R” Rated, a 3 minute comedy starring Andy Jones and Ferron: girl on a road, a film on folksinger/songwriter icon Ferron.

Rogers is currently in post production on From Her Majesty’s Pen, shot in Canada’s oldest men’s penitentiary and in development with, Women on the Edge, an alternative drama with female prisoners.

Internationally acclaimed documentary filmmaker and activist Gerry Rogers was born in Corner Brook.

After completing a BSW at MUN she worked with the St. John’s Status of Women Council where she helped found the first Transition House for women and children victims of domestic violence.

Gerry’s film career began in 1982 at the National Film Board’s Studio D in Montreal where she was Program Producer of the Federal Women’s Film Program, a film production, distribution and training program for women filmmakers. In 1992 she returned to Newfoundland and founded Augusta Productions.

Gerry has more than 20 films to her credit and over 40 international awards. Among these are the multi-award winning film “My Left Breast” (for which she won two Geminis) and the films “Pleasant Street,” “FERRON: girl on a road” and “After the Montreal Massacre.” Rogers is currently in post-production on “From Her Majesty’s Pen,” shot in Canada’s oldest men’s penitentiary.

Gerry travels extensively giving lectures and workshops on documentary filmmaking, status of women, and human rights issues. She has been featured in numerous papers and magazines, “The Rosie O’Donnell Show,” “The Vicki Gabereau Show,” on CBC Radio with Shelagh Rogers, among others.

Gerry is also known for her health advocacy, especially her leadership role in drawing public attention to the need for the Cameron Inquiry on the botched ER/PR pathology tests for women with breast cancer in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Gerry lives in St. John’s with her partner, businesswoman Peg Norman.  Canadian Film Centre Biography

Gerry Rogers is a Canadian documentary filmmaker and politician. She began her career with the National Film Board, and left in 1992 to form her own production company, Augusta Productions. Her best-known film, My Left Breast, documented her battle with breast cancer and was released in 2000.

Openly lesbian, Rogers is the partner of social worker and politician Peg Norman.[1]

Rogers was elected to the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly in the 2011 provincial election, representing the district of St. John’s Centre as a member of the Newfoundland and Labrador New Democratic Party.[2] She is the first openly gay politician ever elected to the provincial legislature.[3]

In honour of her role as a significant builder of LGBT culture and history in Canada, a portrait of Rogers by artist Claire Priddle was added to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives‘ National Portrait Collection in 2003.[4]




Karen Cho, Filmmaker Cho was born in Montreal, Canada. She is most known for her compelling and socially-engaged documentaries.

Karen graduated from Concordia University in 2001 with a BFA in Film Production. she went on to direct “In the Shadow of Gold Mountain,”(2004) a documentary about the Chinese Head Tax and Exclusion Act. The film won a Golden Sheaf Award for Best Multicultural Documentary at the 2005 Yorkton Film Festival and also won CBC a Golden Ribbon Award for Diversity in News and Information Programming. Seeking Refuge (Terre d’asile) (2009) follows asylum seekers in Canada. The film garnered Karen a 2009 Gemini Nomination for “Best Direction in a Documentary Program” and also won First Place at the 2010 Human Rights Docfest in Toronto. Karen has also worked as a documentary TV series director for “Past Lives” (2005), “Extraordinary Canadians” (2010), and “All For One with Debbie Travis” (2010).

Interested in using film as a tool for social debate, Karen’s work often recounts un-told histories and explores themes of identity, immigration and social justice. Her approach to film making is shaped by personal experience, pop-culture and her background in a richly multi-ethnic family.  IMDB

Karen Cho is an Asian-Canadian documentary filmmaker in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Her credits include the 2004 National Film Board of Canada (NFB) documentary In The Shadow Of Gold Mountain, documenting the effects of the Chinese Exclusion Act in Canada;[1][2] the 2009 InformAction documentary Seeking Refuge; and the 2012 NFB documentary Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada, which was named best documentary at the Whistler Film Festival.[3]

After graduating from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Cho made In The Shadow Of Gold Mountain at the NFB via a program for emerging filmmakers of colour.[4]   Wikipedia

Montreal’s Karen Cho started out as a skeptic. Five years ago, the documentary filmmaker began researching feminism in Canada for the National Film Board, planning to make a historical film.

Her previous docs about the Chinese head tax and refugees in Canada were unabashedly political, but Cho, 34, saw the feminist movement as a thing of the past. As she dug deeper, connecting with women across the country, the present-day inequalities astounded her. By presenting contemporary issues alongside footage from the 1960s and 70s in Status Quo? The Unfinished Business of Feminism in Canada, Cho makes her message clear: Women in Canada have come a long way, but the fight isn’t over.

Why didn’t you consider yourself a feminist before taking on this project?

I grew up in an era where I had a lot of rights as a woman and I took a lot of those rights for granted. Feminism felt like something of the past, something of my mother’s generation or older generations. There’s always that stereotype of the angry, man-hating woman and it wasn’t something I wanted to identify myself with. I was one of those “I’m not a feminist but …” type of people. But that viewpoint changed as soon as I walked into the research for the film and realized that a lot of those struggles and fights continue today.

Why is the stereotype of the man-hating feminist so pervasive?

It says that the backlash against the feminist movement was very effective. There’s not been the same kind of backlash against other rights movements – the civil-rights movement, the gay-rights movement.

Your film shows how a national child care program could improve conditions for women. That’s an expensive service. What’s the economic argument?

It eases access to the labour force, making it easier for women to become earners in the household. There’s income tax that is reaped from that and women would have more spending power. There are also jobs created – for women, for early-childhood educators, for all the spaces and infrastructure that would need to be set up. For single mothers who have more than one child, it doesn’t make sense for them to work right now. Child care is so expensive it actually makes more sense for them to stay on welfare. If the government can spend billions of dollars on fighter jets and roads in Northern Quebec for mining companies, we can easily invest in child care.

There’s a clip in Status Quo? from 1982 where an MP is laughed at in the House of Commons for saying that one in 10 husbands beat their wives. It’s incredibly unsettling.

That clip is shocking for a reason – because we have come far in our attitudes. Back in the late ’60s, women’s shelters didn’t even exist. But because they exist now, and there’s infrastructure to help women escape domestic violence, we tend to put the problem under the rug. We should be asking the question: Why is there even a shelter? How is it that in our society the need for those places can still exist?

How does feminism today differ from the past?

The discussion is a lot more diverse than it was before. Women are really aware of who gets to speak and whose voice is heard. Now we’re looking at it from a race perspective, a class perspective, at sexual identity and how all those things affect your experience as a woman. Women are still taking these issues into the streets, but I would say a lot of organizing and feminist activities have moved online.

Do these women call themselves feminists, and does that matter?

I think some of them do, for sure, and I think they’re maybe hyphenating the word feminist – I’m a feminist-environmentalist, an aboriginal-feminist, a reproductive-rights-advocate-feminist. But there’s a lot of baggage connected to that word. If you are a woman from a more marginalized group, maybe you don’t want to identify as a feminist because you don’t feel like the feminist movement took up your voice, in a way. I don’t think it’s necessarily important what words you use. You don’t have to call yourself a feminist to be a feminist and promote feminist values.

This interview has been condensed and edited.

How this documentary filmmaker embraced the ‘F’ word NICOLE BAUTE Special to The Globe and Mail Published Thursday, Mar. 07, 2013 3:24PM EST


Donna Read, Filmmaker

donna-read-cooper-imageDonna Read is an editor and director, known for The Burning Times (1990), Full Circle (1993) and Goddess Remembered (1989).

In 2016 she received a SAGA award:  “Donna Read, innovator, filmmaker, producer and activist, received ASWM’s2016 Saga Award for Special Contributions to Women’s History and Culture. The award honors Donna’s role in making feminist scholarship and the history of spirituality visible and accessible to a wide audience,

The ASWM Board of Directors recognizes Donna as “one of the premier visionary artists of our time” for films that include the Women’s Spirituality Series (Goddess Remembered, Burning Times, and Full Circle), Signs Out of Time, Permaculture: The Growing Edge, and (with producer/directorDonna Roberts) Yemanjá: Wisdom from the African Heart of Brazil.

In particular, Donna’s visual chronicles in both the “Women & Spirituality trilogy” and “Signs Out of Time” document the history of the sacred feminine and its re-emergence in the cultural mythology and activism of our time. Her films introduced scholars, feminists, artists and interested women to new interpretations of the myriad array of images of the female divine. As her award letter states, this work “has enlightened and continues to inspire viewers to re-examine their assumptions about women, about men, about spirituality and about culture.””

“…Donna Read Cooper has made great contributions to women’s culture and history.  She created key resources through her work as a filmmaker, first with the National Film Board of Canada and later with her own independent company, Belili Productions.  She began as an editor, worked for many years at Studio D, the Film Board’s special studio for women, and progressed on to direct and produce documentaries concerned with women and the earth, including the Women’s Spirituality Trilogy:  Goddess Remembered, Burning Times and Full Circle.  Together, we made Signs Out of Time, on the life of archaeologist Marija Gimbutas, and Permaculture:  The Growing Edge.  

As her long-time friend, and sometime film making companion, I know some of the obstacles she faced.  From the early days, when women in film faced prejudice and dismissal, to challenges persuading the more hard-nosed political feminists that women’s spirituality was a valid subject, to the difficulty raising funds for independent documentaries, to the health challenges that come with aging.  

But she always persevered.  Donna made films about key issues, but she also took action.  We’ve marched together in the streets, stood together in front of tanks on the West Bank supporting the nonviolent resistance in Palestine, attended endless meetings, and most recently, Donna has opened her home to Syrian refugees.  Through it all managed to raise five children, and remain a mentor, teacher, and a good friend to me and to many younger women.

Donna Read Wins 2016 Saga Award

Donna Read is a renowned, award-winning Canadian director and editor.  Her most well known work is referred to as the Goddess Trilogy (National Film Board of Canada) and is comprised of the films: Goddess Remembered, Burning Times, and Full Circle.  Twenty years later, Goddess Remembered continues to open film festivals worldwide, while the trilogy is an important trigger film in formal and non-formal education.  Donna also directed Signs Out of Times a documentary about controversial anthropologist Marija Gimbutas and Permaculture: The Growing Edge, with Starhawk.  Donna Read was Yemanjá’s associate director and editor.  We are deeply grateful to her for infusing our film with her masterful editorial skills and sense of beauty.

Liz Zetlin


Liz Zetlin

Poetry appeared late in Liz’s 40s, when she found herself writing in every room of the house. She’s inspired by garlic, rivers, limestone, and apostrophes. Badminton and the backs of squirrels. By language itself, and the people she knows and admires, disagrees with and loves. Her work is inspired by confluences of documentary, autobiography and activism.

Best known as a “nature poet with a twist,” Liz has planted garlic to form words of prayer, inscribed words on ornamental gourds as catalysts for poems and grew punctuation marks in her hay field. Now Liz’s focus is docu-video poems about water and the creatures that depend upon it.