Nov 6, 2009
The Winnipeg Film Group welcomes the acclaimed director Patricia Rozema, one of Canada’s most accomplished and internationally recognized filmmakers and an exceptional, distinctly sensual visual stylist. Her films are characterized by self-referential narration, idiosyncratic protagonists (who are often struggling artists), formal adventurousness and the use of fairy tales, mythology and poetry as structuring elements. Patricia will participate in a master class/directors workshop, a screening of her films MANS FIELD PARK (based on Jane Austen’s novel), her Cannes sensation I’VE HEARD THE MERMAIDS SINGING and a special Cinema Lounge introduction to Atom Egoyan’s THE SWEET HEREAFTER.
Fri, Nov 6 / 7 pm – Cinema Lounge: The Sweet Hereafter
Sat, Nov 7 / 10am – Patricia Rozema Master Class: Writing Great Images & Directing the Writer
Sat, Nov 7 / 7 pm – Mansfield Park
Sun, Nov 8 / 4 pm – I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing
Background / Patricia Rozema
One of Canada’s most accomplished women directors, Patricia Rozema was raised in Sarnia, Ontario, by Dutch Calvinist parents and graduated from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and English. She initially pursued a career in journalism and became an associate producer with the CBC’s nightly news program The Journal. In 1985, after a five-week course in film production, Rozema started her film career with the short film Passion: A Letter in 16 mm, which won second prize at the Chicago International Film Festival.
While she was writing and preparing her first feature, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, she worked as an assistant director on Cronenberg’s The Fly and on TV dramas, such as Night Heat and The Campbells. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, a serious comedy about a socially inept Girl Friday, completed for only $350,000, made one of the most outstanding feature debuts in the history of Canadian cinema. And Rozema, at 28, became one of Canada’s first female filmmakers to win serious international acclaim. At the 1987 Cannes Film Festival, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing won the coveted Prix de la jeunesse. She went on to create a larger body of feature and television work including White Room, When Night is Falling and Mansfield Park.
More recently she directed Kit Kittredge: An American Girl and was nominated for an Emmy Award for her co-writing on the TV movie GREY GARDENS, which won an OUTSTANDING EMMY AWARD as a made for television movie.
Background / Brenda Austin-Smith
Brenda Austin-Smith is an Associate Professor in the Department of English, Film and Theatre at the University of Manitoba. She has taught courses on a variety of subjects and has published articles and book chapters on Patricia Rozema, Manitoba feature films, symbolism in American literature, Lars von Trier, film adaptation, emotional responses to Hollywood “weepies,” Henry James, and on women and cinema memory.