Hannah Cheesman headlines the fifth Women Making Waves conference, the annual networking event presented by Women in Film and Television-Atlantic.
Cheesman is excited about meeting other women in the industry. "It's hard to connect all the individuals working from coast to shining coast," says Cheesman, "so I hope to do that here."
Cheesman, a 30-year-old Torontonian, has the right combination of talent, wit and energy to generate an industry tsunami. This past year she's been jetsetting to Cannes with her short film Cheese, working as a script coordinator on Orphan Black and co-creating, writing and starring in her much-anticipated web dramedy Whatever, Linda.
Whatever, Linda began with the idea that Bernie Madoff wasn't the mastermind behind the gazillion-dollar scheme he was convicted of operating—Cheesman imagined Madoff's secretary as the actual architect of the largest financial fraud in American history. Now, Cheesman's vision is dressed in 1970s polyester and ready to premiere this spring as 10 six-minute webisodes.
Whatever, Linda is a tribute to women who have the brains and balls (or, ovaries) to be badass opportunists. "Linda is just a woman who is trying to overcome a shitty situation," explains Cheesman, "and sees an opportunity to do just that."
Cheesman is accustomed to making her own opportunities. "Although it's not a conscious choice I'm making, in some ways, to be a multi- slash professional," says Cheesman. "It does satisfy a certain need I have to control, create and shape my path."
Cheesman personifies the feminist campaign at the centre of Women Making Waves. "I really hope to be not so much a 'woman creator, writer, et cetera,'" she says. "I hope to be just a creator, writer, actor and a woman."
Women Making Waves conference
February 27 to March 1, wift-at.com
February 28 at 9am
Dalhousie University Weldon Law Building