May 26, 2014

Toronto, ON – The Toronto ACTRA Women’s Committee (TAWC) tonight awarded its inaugural Nell Shipman Award to Canadian Writer, Director, Producer, Sheri Elwood at a galaat The Spoke Club.

Ms. Elwood is the creator and showrunner of the cable TV series, Call Me Fitz. The comedy for HBO Canada and DirecTV won the DGC Best Comedy Award its first three seasons, was nominated for a total of 27 Canadian Screen Awards in the same period, and is broadcast in 84 countries. Elwood began in the industry as a writer and story editor on Ready or Not, Flash Forward, I Was a Sixth Grade Alien! and The Jane Show. She directed on Strange Days at Blake Holsey High and added Producer to her skill set on Defying Gravity. She is the Writer/Director of the feature film, Deeply.

The Award is presented by TAWC, a committee of ACTRA Toronto, which tackles key issues faced by female performers. Their video, Get Women Working, is in demand at women’s events globally and makes the clear point that women “can’t be what we can’t see.” (View it here: TAWC’s Toolkit sessions provide female performers with the tools to write, produce, and direct their own stories.

“We are delighted to honour Sheri with TAWC’s inaugural Nell Shipman Award. She is an unapologetic trailblazer,” says Nicole St. Martin, Co-Chair of TAWC.

TAWC’s first Nell Shipman Award honours a female filmmaker for the excellence of her creative work and for her ongoing efforts to create and nourish an inclusive screened entertainment industry. It is named after Nell Shipman, a Canadian actor, born in 1892, who moved into writing, directing and producing her own work in the 1920s.

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada’s 22,000 professional performers working in the English-language recorded media in Canada. As an advocate for Canadian culture since 1943, ACTRA is a member-driven union
that continues to secure rights and respect for the work of professional performers.

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