Local filmmaker Paula Kelly is winner of the first ever Manitoba Film Hothouse Award

Winnipeg, March 22, 2010 – Local filmmaker Paula Kelly is the winner of the first ever Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for Creative Development.

The Hothouse Award includes $10,000 in cash and $5,000 in production services designed to support a local director through the development stages of filmmaking that will ultimately lead to the production of one or several major film productions. The Hothouse Award is also intended to provide attention for the local directing talent that Manitoba has right here at home.

Winnipeg-based director Paula Kelly has spent close to 15 years as a filmmaker, practicing her art and craft in this community, and creating projects that have made a lasting contribution to our local culture.

In 2001, Kelly completed her hour-long documentary The Notorious Mrs. Armstrong, reconstructing one woman’s crucial role in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike. In 2006, Kelly released her documentary feature Appassionata: The Extraordinary Life and Music of Sonia Eckhardt-Gramatté, about an important figure in Winnipeg’s development as a city strongly connected to the arts.

More recently, Kelly served as Artist-in-Residence for the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council’s Public Art Program, for which she created a trio of short films, Souvenirs. These short films capture three themes that emerged for Kelly while she engaged in her research through the City of Winnipeg’s Archives – the physical construction of the city, our relationship with the recurring floods, and the continued struggle to reconcile our vision of Winnipeg with its concrete realities.

Supported by the Hothouse Award, Kelly will work on the writing and development of several dramatic feature films, including Euphoria, Phantom Love and The Emancipation of Emily Blake. She will also engage in visual and technical research for the installation component of her upcoming short drama, The Crest, which Kelly describes as “a future-world story about a farm family faced with the catastrophic flood of the year 2059, which was inspired by my research on Souvenirs.”

As part of the award recognition, the Winnipeg Film Group will host a two-day retrospective screening series on Paula Kelly’s career, June 11 & 12, at the Winnipeg Cinematheque.

The Winnipeg Film Group acknowledges the support of the Province of Manitoba in funding Manitoba Film Hothouse Award for Creative Development. The Winnipeg Film Group additionally acknowledges the ongoing funding support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Manitoba Arts Council and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.


Monica Lowe
Winnipeg Film Group