Toronto, September 14, 2017 – Hungry Eyes Media and creator Nathalie Younglai picked up the second Sandi Ross Awards at the Orchid Nightclub at TIFF last night.

Hungry Eyes Media is best known for Shoot the Messenger, Guns, Doomstown, Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones. The company has received numerous awards for their work and have recently expanded their focus to develop content for mobile users. In her acceptance remarks Jennifer Holness said, “I feel like we’re getting this recognition for something that’s like breathing…” and “I think the time to celebrate is when more of the gatekeepers, more of the people in front of the camera, more people behind the camera, look like people in this room.”

Nathalie Younglai is a writer, director, and producer. She is the founder of Toronto’s Indigenous and Creatives of Colour, an organization whose mandate is to support, amplify and share knowledge to a broad spectrum of film and TV creators. In 2011, she was selected to participate in the Writers Guild of Canada-Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program. The Toronto Screenwriting Conference named Younglai as one of five emerging writer recipients of the 2013 Telefilm New Voices Award. She has recently worked on Back Alley’s drama Bellevue, was a producer on Top Chef Canada, and has written a feature film, Stand Up Man, soon to be released.

The Sandi Ross Awards is named after the late actor Sandi Ross, a past president of ACTRA Toronto and the founder of ACTRA Toronto’s first diverse talent directory, Into the Mainstream. The award celebrates an individual and a company who incorporate diversity and inclusion in their body of work, to, in the words of Diversity Co-Chair Farah Merani, “honour the people who are doing things right.” Last year’s recipients were Sinking Ship Entertainment, and director Dawn Wilkinson.

Farah Merani and Sedina Fiati, the Co-Chairs of ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee, also promoted the #SharetheScreen Pledge which invites writers, directors, producers, broadcasters, and funders to make a pledge committing to a culture of diversity. They encouraged Ontario ACTRA members to complete the Ontario ACTRA census which is collecting data on the demographic composition of ACTRA members in Ontario, and they reminded everyone about ACTRA’s online evolution of its diversity talent directory:

ACTRA Toronto’s Diversity Committee advocates on behalf of ACTRA Toronto’s self-identified physically and culturally diverse performers, and calls for a more inclusive media industry . 

ACTRA Toronto is the largest organization within ACTRA, representing more than 15,000 of Canada’s 23,000 professional performers working in 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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For media inquiries please contact:

Karen Woolridge

Public Relations, ACTRA Toronto

Cell: (416) 937-1437


2017 Hungry Eyes acceptance speech