I Am: A Discussion on the Female Gaze
Join the TSC for a conversation with Courtney Jane Walker, Jennifer Holness, Tracey Deer, and Katrina Saville, as we discuss the female narrative, or what’s more commonly being referred to now as “The Female Gaze” – women challenging the enduring dominance of masculine world-views. Together, with our audience we’d like to further this important exchange of ideas surrounding “The Female Gaze” and the presence of women directing, writing, and viewing their own stories – making the statement: I am here. I am present. I matter.
Creator / Director / Writer / Executive Producer
Award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer has multiple credits to her name as producer, writer and director in both documentary and fiction.
Beginning her career in documentary, Tracey teamed up with Rezolution Pictures for feature documentaries ONE MORE RIVER: THE DEAL THAT SPLIT THE CREE, MOHAWK GIRLS, and CLUB NATIVE, as well as the documentary series WORKING IT OUT TOGETHER, seasons I & II. This collaboration has continued into fiction television with MOHAWK GIRLS, THE SERIES, which she is co-creator, is directing and co-executive producing.
Her own production company, Mohawk Princess Pictures, recently produced the feature documentary SEX SPIRIT STRENGTH and the youth documentary series DREAM BIG, both for APTN’s 2015 fall season.
Her work has been honored with two Gemini awards and has earned acclaim from multiple film festivals, including Hot Docs and DOXA. She has worked with the CBC, the NFB, and numerous independent production companies throughout Canada in both documentary & fiction. In 2016, she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best direction in a comedy series for her work on MOHAWK GIRLS and she was honored at TIFF as a recipient of the Birks Diamond Tribute Award.
Tracey is currently in development on MOHAWK GIRLS season 5 for APTN and is writing her first feature, a coming-of-age story of a Mohawk girl during the Oka Crisis, with Ema Films.
Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer and producer. She co-created and produced the 8-part serialized drama SHOOT THE MESSENGER for CBC, about cops and journalists. She also created and produced the thirteen-part comedy series SHE’S THE MAYOR. Jennifer co-wrote and produced the two-part CBC miniseries, GUNS, staring Elisha Cuthbert and Colm Feore that won five Geminis’ including a shared best writing award for Jen. She has produced numerous documentaries for broadcast, and is currently in production on the feature doc, HISPANIOLA.
On the feature side she co-wrote and produced the feature film HOME AGAIN with director Sudz Sutherland. The film stars Tatyana Ali, Lyriq Bent and CCH Pounder and won the prestigious PAFF–BAFTA Festival Choice Award. The film was also nominated for two Canadian Screen Academy awards and a DGC nod for Best Directing. Jen also produced the feature LOVE, SEX AND EATING THE BONES that was nominated for 3 Genie’s and won 9 festival awards including the Best First Canadian Feature at Toronto International Film Festival.
Robby Hoffman is a small red-headed ex-Chasidic lesbian Jewish stand-up comedian and writer. She was recently New Faces at JFL42 (2015) and also performed at Off-JFL in Montreal (2016). She was fan favourite at the All Jane Festival in Portland (2016) and was asked to industry showcase at the Funny Women Fest in Los Angeles (2016).
Robby's original voice resonated early on, starting with her one-woman, Montreal Fringe Festival show, Robby Who (2010), which finished as one of the best selling shows of the fest. She followed it with another show at Montreal Fringe (2011), Autobiography: So What, You Think You're Better Than Me, which again billed at the top. She was then featured at The Women in Comedy Festival in Boston (2012), opening for Judy Gold, which earned her the Mary Scruggs Scholarship for Best Up and Coming.
Before moving to Toronto, she was named one of the “Top 10 Comedians” by the Montreal Mirror (2014), and hottest Top 50 on afterellen.com (2014). She also made the semi-finals (top 10) in SiriusXM's Canada's Next Top Comic Challenge (2013) and created a hit mini web-series (2013) sponsored by Just for Laughs, "Comedy in Biblical Proportions," where she comedically interpreted bible passages.
Robby also writes a whole bunch for TV, most notably for ODD SQUAD (PBS), winners of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in April (2016). She has written for various other kids and teen shows and is now writing on CBC’s hit primetime show, WORKIN MOMS. She has had two originals in development, one having been optioned by Muse Entertainment.
Robby was featured at the 2017 Winnipeg Comedy Festival in April, and will be at the prestigious 2017 Bridgetown Comedy Festival in May. She is also set to headline the 2017 QUeF Comedy Festival in Portland this summer, in addition to performing in Denver’s 2017 Crom Comedy Festival this spring. For her writing work on ODD SQUAD, she is nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award at at this year’s 44th Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles this April.
Courtney Jane Walker
Courtney Jane Walker started her television career sitting in courtrooms as a researcher for the CBC drama THIS IS WONDERLAND. Her other credits include THE LINE, LIVING IN YOUR CAR, and for the past 5 years, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION and DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS. She is passionately committed to her family, smashing the patriarchy, and telling stories about things that matter.
Katrina is currently a writer on PRIVATE EYES (Global), which is in the middle of shooting their second season. Previously, she wrote on seasons 4 and 5 of SAVING HOPE (CTV, ION), and seasons 5 and 6 of ROOKIE BLUE (Global, ABC). She also wrote and directed webisodes for ROOKIE BLUE‘s ‘In Session’ and SAVING HOPE’s ‘Last Call,’ with both web series’ being nominated for Digi Awards in 2013. The latest short film she wrote, ARLO ALONE, received BravoFACT funding last year and is currently in post-production. Her first short film, THE APPOINTMENT, which she wrote and directed, screened across North American and Europe, and garnered her a DGC Award for Best Director at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards in 2012, as well as a Best Short Film and Best Short Screenplay award at the 2012 Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival. Katrina is a graduate of Humber College’s Film and Television Production program.