Mayor's Arts Award for Film and New Media

Profile image of Peg Campbell and Anaïsa Visser

2017 recipients

Peg Campbell


Peg Campbell is a documentary and narrative filmmaker, whose work has received international acclaim. She has won awards from the Genies (now Canadian Screen Awards), Banff International Television Festival, Melbourne Film Festival, Women in Film, and Reel2Real International Film Festival for Youth. Campbell’s films have been broadcast on CBC, Knowledge Network, PBS, WTN, A&E, and The Movie Channel. Her social activist films seek to rebalance power and unsettle societal assumptions.

Campbell has taught film at Emily Carr University of Art + Design since 1986, winning the Ian Wallace Teaching Award. She is ABD on her PhD in Philosophy (Media and Communications) from the European Graduate School and has an MFA in Creative Writing and Film Production from UBC. SFU awarded her the Outstanding Alumni Award for service to the community. She is a founding member of Cineworks Film Co-op, Women in Film Vancouver, and Women in the Director’s Chair.

Anaïsa Visser

Emerging artist

Anaïsa Visser grew up all over the world, namely in Mozambique, the United States, then France, before moving to Vancouver to pursue an undergraduate degree at Emily Carr University. She graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Film, Video and Integrated Media. Since then, she’s worked at Emily Carr University, Cineworks Independent Filmmakers Society, and currently works at William F. White International. She dedicates all of her spare time to helping others make their independent films, and to writing and producing her own independent work.

Most recently, her script, Send Us Smokes, won the Hot Shot Shorts contest in 2016. Visser was also a finalist in NYC Midnight's annual Screenwriting Challenge. Visser is passionate about storytelling, and hopes to one day make a career out of writing films. In the meantime, she is committed to improving her craft and spending plenty of time with her cat.

Past recipients

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Lorna Boschman


Lorna Boschman is a media artist who shares unique perspectives from within social justice struggles. From her earliest documentary Scars (1986), through collaborations with Vancouver artists in Kiss & Tell (1992-2002), the self-advocate community in this ability (2006) and From the Inside/OUT! (2000), and a digital storytelling mentorship supporting a lesbian living with metastatic cancer in just being (2015), Lorna’s experimental documentary filmmaking reveals hidden stories beneath visible layers. Talking Poles (2009-10) incorporates community-based personal narratives into an interactive public art installation in South Surrey.

In recent years, curated programs of Lorna’s work have appeared as exhibitions (Milan 2014) and theatrical programs (Brussels 2014). At the 2011 Panorama of Quebec and Canadian Video, 29 Festival International Du Film Sur L’Art, in Montréal, Lorna was a featured media artist. Lorna holds a PhD (2012, SFU) and MA (2007, SFU) in Interactive Arts and Technology and BFA (2005, ECADU) in Film/Video.

Sebnem Ozpeta

Emerging artist

Sebnem Ozpeta is a Vancouver-based visual artist, video editor, and videographer.She studied graphic design in Turkey, where she was born and raised. She also completed the digital film program at The Art Institute of Vancouver. She has produced short films and video installations that have been screened and exhibited in festivals in Europe, Canada and Turkey.

For more than 10 years, she has collaborated with artists, performers, storytellers, dancers and filmmakers.More recently she has applied her video skills and her experience in storytelling by mentoring youth as part of the Digital Story Telling project (in collaboration with Lisa G. Nielsen). Sebnem curated Dinka Pignon’s retrospective exhibition You are Invited at VIVO Media Arts Centre and co-curated the Digital Carnival and Margaret Dragu’s M. DRAGU’s MUSEUM for the Your Kontinent Media Arts Festival.

Cindy Mochizuki


Cindy Mochizuki is a multimedia artist who creates animation, installation, performance, scripted audio, site-specific, and collaborative works.

Her artistic practice explores the intersections of fiction and documentary, experimental narratives and the media of memory.

A large body of her work returns to her family’s experience in the uprooting of Japanese Canadians during World War II and their further displacement across the Pacific to Japan.

Her recent exhibitions and projects include Shako Club at grunt gallery (2015); AIR 475 in Yonago, Japan (2014); Koganecho Bazaar in Koganecho, Japan (2014); On the Subject of Ghosts with Hamilton Artists Inc (2013); and To|From BC Electric Railway 100 Years at the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (2012).

Cindy received her master of fine arts in Interdisciplinary Studies from the School for Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.


Amanda Strong

Emerging artist

Amanda Strong is an indigenous filmmaker, educator, and media artist currently based in Vancouver.

Originating from the Metis Nation of Anishinaabe, Cree, Assiniboine Nations, and mixed European ancestry, her work comes from a highly personal space exploring ideas of blood memory and indigenous ideology.

Her award-winning works use complex, poetic imagery, and characters to weave together meaningful short films.

Her films Indigo and Mia' challenge conventional structures of story telling in cinema. Indigo was selected for the Cannes Short Film Corner (2014) and was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival (2014). It also won best Canadian Short Drama at ImagineNATIVE (2014), Best Short Film at Women’s International Film and Television Showcase in Los Angeles (2014), and Best Short Narrative at Cine Las Americas in Austin, Texas (2015).

Amanda is currently working on her latest short animation Four Faces of the Moon, a personal journey told through layers of dreamscape, passage through dimensions and blood memory.

Karin Lee


Karin Lee, 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Film and New Media honoureeKarin Lee creates films that are influenced by her upbringing. Both her parents were activists who worked in the Downtown Eastside. Her father ran a Chinese communist bookstore at 33 East Hastings from the mid 1960s-80s.

Karin is an artist who constantly traverses new territory, challenges film and media forms, and addresses new audiences. Her interests in Chinese-Canadian identity, feminism, and social justice inform the narrative films, experimental videos, documentaries, and TV series she has written, directed, and produced.

In 2001, Karin received the Canada Award, an Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television Gemini for her groundbreaking documentary Made in China: The Story of Adopted Chinese Children in Canada. In 2005, she received a BC Leo Diversity in Cultures Award. Her current project Plan B is a workplace comedy series set in a women's health clinic.

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers

Emerging artist

Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers, 2014 Mayor's Arts Award for Film and New Media emerging artistElle-Máijá Tailfeathers is a filmmaker, writer, and actor. She is both a member of the Blackfoot Confederacy from the Kainai First Nation and Sámi from Norway.

Her films have been screened at many international festivals. A Red Girl’s Reasoning has received several awards, including Best Canadian Short Drama at the 2012 ImagineNATIVE Film Festival. As a fellow in the Indigenous Film Fellowship, she recently completed her first feature-length screenplay entitled Good Little Indians and was fortunate enough to have director Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals) mentor her along the way.

Her creative and non-fiction work has appeared in Windspeaker, Š Bládit (Sámi Youth Magazine, Norway), Richard Van Camp’s Good Medicine Project, Redwire Magazine, and Briarpatch Magazine. She assistant-curated the exhibition Claiming Space: Voices of Urban Aboriginal Youth at the UBC Museum of Anthropology.

Elle-Máijá is currently working on the feature-length screenplay for A Red Girl’s Reasoning and a commissioned short documentary for ImagineNATIVE’s Embargo Collective II.

Cari Green


2013 Film and New Media Honoree Cari GreenCari Green is a veteran film and television producer of social issue films. She has been nominated for several Genie awards, winning twice for The Corporation and Scared Sacred. Green has been an advocate for the Canadian film industry, serving on many organizations, and has been honoured with a lifetime membership in Women in Film and Television.

She completed her master of fine arts in film production (2013) at the University of British Columbia, producing Citizen Jane, her thesis film. She has worked with diverse communities on films such as Washing of Tears, The Learning Path, and Warrior Boyz. Green has been an educator at various institutions, including the Vancouver Film School (since 2006) where she has mentored over a thousand students.

She is currently petitioning the government to apologize to the many lesbian and gay soldiers dismissed prior to 1992. She is also teaching a documentary course at Langara College and executive-producing two feature documentaries, Heartwood and Dancing in the Hurricane.

Arun Fryer

Emerging artist

2013 Film and New Media Emerging Artist Arun FryerArun Fryer is a Vancouver-based media producer. While attending Vancouver Film School, he was one of only three students chosen to direct short films, all of which were selected for international festivals and online collections. After graduating in 2010, Fryer worked on a number of productions in a variety of roles, including writer, production designer, and camera operator.

He was the producer and director of #occupyvancity, a documentary series chronicling the rise and fall of the Occupy movement at the Vancouver Art Gallery. More recently, he was the assistant director and associate producer for the independent feature Hastings Street, set to premiere in early 2014.

Working with Cari Green, his latest film is Citizen Jane a dramatic short about the persecution of lesbians and gays in the Canadian Forces. Fryer is currently co-directing the feature documentary Dancing in the Hurricane.

Loretta Sarah Todd


2012 Honouree Artist Loretta Sarah ToddLoretta Sarah Todd is a Cree/Metis/White writer and director. Known for lyrical imagery combined with strong storytelling skills, Todd tells truths that are haunting, funny, and real. What makes Todd an exceptional filmmaker is her imagination and fearlessness.

She has attended the Sundance Writer’s Lab, directed many films and festivals, and written essays with tersely cogent remarks or flamboyantly theoretical analysis. Her many awards and accolades include the Rockefeller Fellowship to New York University and Hot Docs Festival’s Best History Documentary (2003).

Todd created, produced, and sometimes directed Tansi! Nehiyawetan, a children’s series on APTN that combines storytelling, music videos, games, and adventures, all in the service of learning the Cree language. Recently, Todd created, produced, directed, and wrote Skye and Chang, a sci-fi/martial arts mash-up set in Vancouver.

Selected credits include Kainayssini Imanistaisiwa - The People Go On, Today is a Good Day: Remembering Chief Dan George, Forgotten Warriors, Hands of History, and The Learning Path. (Photo by Alex Waterhouse Hayward)

Christopher Auchter

Emerging artist

2012 Emerging Artist Christopher AuchterChristopher Auchter is a Vancouver-based animator and illustrator who grew up on Haida Gwaii. He received a Bachelor of Media Arts with a major in Animation from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and a Computer Animation Certificate from Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. His student film won first place for animation in the Electronic Arts Great Canadian Art Competition, and initiated his work in the video gaming industry.

Auchter has gone on to work in various animation roles, creating short films for both independent work and the National Film Board. Notable films include short animations for the children’s series Nehiyawetan on APTN and the award-winning charcoal film How People Got Fire for the NFB.

Auchter’s illustration work includes children’s books, graphic novels, and illustrations for television. His work in the children's book Jenneli's Dance was awarded Honour Book by the Canadian Library Association’s Amelia Frances Howard Gibbon Illustrator’s Award. He was also awarded runner-up for Just A Walk and honourable mention for Chuck in the City in the Paris Book Festival Competition.

Auchter is currently working on a graphic novel based on the war of 1812 and is developing his own graphic novel of a Haida tale called Noble One.

“My goal as an artist is to create compelling and beautiful work for others to enjoy. I want one’s imagination to run wild when my work is experienced.”

The 2012 peer jury was Aerlyn Weissman, Cease Wyss, and Graham Peat.

Graham X Peat


2011 Film & New Media Honouree Graham X PeatGraham X Peat has followed the path of film professionally for more than 35 years. He was co-founder in 1983 of Videomatica, the West's legendary independent video source.

Graham also hosts, promotes, and programs film events throughout the year. He has curated two archival programs about Vancouver for DOXA Documentary Festival: A City's Image for Vancouver's 125th and City Beats. He also programmed the Touched by Tibet series at VIFC/Vancity Theatre and Summer of Love for Pacific Cinémathèque.

He is a program consultant for the Vancouver International Film Festival. Graham is the co-author of Show It In Public, a Canadian guide book and website resource on producing film events. He has been a speaker at the international Association of Moving Image Archivists conference, the Canadian Library Association conference, the Victoria International Film Festival, and others. Graham is a member of the Audio-Visual Heritage Association of British Columbia and is passionate about old celluloid.

Anu Sahota Henderson

Emerging artist

2011 Film & New Media Emerging Artist Anu Sahota HendersonAnu Sahota Henderson is a curator, programmer, and media history archivist. Since receiving a master's degree from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University in 2006, Anu has worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the Vancouver International Writers and Readers Festival, and the National Film Board of Canada and is a longtime volunteer at the Pacific Cinémathèque.

Selected recent work includes: Network Service, a multi-channel installation about public broadcasting commissioned for the Signal & Noise Media Arts Festival in 2011, and the Day for Night film series at The Waldorf Hotel in 2011.

Anu acted as archival media programmer for The Candahar Bar, a film, music, and literary series organized by the 2010 Cultural Olympiad and Presentation House Gallery. She also organized an archival film screening (with Michael Turner) of Vancouver-made The Sweet and the Bitter at Pacific Cinémathèque in 2009. Annu was a Asian Heritage Month contributor between 2007 and 2009.

The 2011 peer jury was Dorothy Woodend, Aerlyn Weissman, and Cease Wyss.

Cease Wyss (T'Uy'Tanat)


2010 Honouree Artist Cease Wyss (T'Uy'Tanat)Cease Wyss (T’Uy’Tanat) of the Skwxw’u7mesh Nation, is an ethnobotanist, media artist, educator, and activist. By fusing her studies in ethnobotany with her practice in media arts, Cease is able to connect her own sense of spirit to those of other people.

Her focus in her arts practice is in community, health, and healing practices. She works collaboratively through writing, producing, directing, and mentoring communities and individuals. Through her work with foods and medicines, she continues her journey of understanding the relationship between arts and culture and how it relates to community holistic health.

Dustin Rivers

Emerging artist

2010 Emerging Artist Dustin RiversDustin Rivers is a Skwxwú7mesh-Kwakwaka’wakw artist, language instructor, and community organizer from Vancouver, British Columbia. He is a multi-disciplinary indigenous artist who comes from a rich cultural and experiential background. Translating ancient values and principles into messages that deal with modernity’s troubles is a recurring theme in his artistic practice.

In summer 2010, he displayed at W2 Storyeum’s “Surge Urban Digital Culture Festival” as part of the REZilliance exhibit. In 2009, he was a recipient of the Aboriginal Artistic Development Award, and, in 2008, received the YVR Art Foundation’s Northwest Coast Art Apprenticeship Award.

Dustin comes from a background in Northwest Coastal art, graphic design, digital media, visual arts, film and projection, and performance art to become a multi-disciplinary artist. Dustin views his artistic practice as a personal way to express deeper issues that ultimately become public expressions.

The 2010 peer jury was Dorothy Woodend, Aerlyn Weissman, and David Paperny.

Aerlyn Weissman


2009 Honouree Artist Aerlyn WeissmanAerlyn Weissman is an accomplished film and television director who holds a Master’s degree in Digital Media. Her television credits include work on the leading edge reality series, Kink, on science and history programming for Discovery Channel and National Geographic, as well as television specials for A&E and CBC. Her films engage viewers with history and modern culture, in both documentary and dramatic genres.

As an activist she has used media to advocate around issues of censorship and public space. Her films cover many topics, from censorship and sexuality to forensic archaeology and the internet, and have been broadcast internationally and garnered both industry awards and audience recognition.

Ms Weissman is a frequent speaker at industry forums, university symposiums and community panels on topics of media literacy, digital technologies, and documentary methods. She is based in Vancouver where she serves on the Artist Advisory Group at Out on Screen and as a mentor with the Gulf Islands Film and Television School.

Mangla Bansal

Emerging artist

2009 Emerging Artist Mangla BansalMangla Bansal is a young Indo-Canadian filmmaker born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is a graduate from Capilano College. She shot her first two documentaries in India dealing with international issues, as well as personal stories.

Ms Bansal’s passion in filmmaking revolves around meaningful stories, but a sense of humour is just as important to her. She has worked in the film and television industry in various roles. Ms Bansal has a perceptive eye and the ability to put her perceptions on the screen. She has just completed production of her latest film, Sindoor.

The 2009 peer jury was Kris Anderson and Jim Sinclair.

David Paperny


Mr Paperny graduated with a Master’s degree from the Annenberg School of Communications and began his career producing current affairs programs at CBC Television. In 1994, he and his wife, Audrey Mehler, co-founded Paperny Films, shortly after his documentary The Broadcast Tapes of Dr Peter was nominated for an Academy Award.

Over the last 14 years as an independent producer and director, he has focused on telling stories of strong Canadian personalities, of eclectic and charismatic individuals, of determined characters who have overcome seemingly insurmountable odds. As an executive producer, he has dedicated his efforts towards nurturing young Canadian talent, presenting them with opportunities to showcase their work on international television.

The 2008 peer jury was Amir Ali Alibhai, Greg Bellerby, Barbara Cole, David Dove, Arthur Erikson, Gathie Falk, Anne Marie Fleming, Susan Gordon, Michel Jacob, Bruno Marti, Terry McEvoy, Laurie McGauley, Barbara-Jo McIntosh, John McLachlan, George McWhirter, Eric Metcalfe, Jonathan Middleton, Melanie O’Brian, Stephen Osborne, Christina Ritchie, Jim Sinclair, Trudy Van Dop, Lorenz von Ferson, and Hal Wake.