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Local filmmakers go to prestigious Banff workshop

Women in the Director's Chair accept Eva Madden-Hagen and Juanita Peters


Local filmmakers Eva Madden-Hagen and Juanita Peters have been accepted into the Women in the Director’s Chair Workshop at Banff Centre in Alberta.

The competitive program takes eight participants annually, female filmmakers in mid-career and instructs them in “traditional fictional storytelling for film and television by combining classroom theory with opportunities for practical hands-on experiences.” For a week at the end of November and three weeks in January, Madden-Hagen and Peters will go to Banff to work with senior mentors, peers, actors and crews to work on a scene from a feature project.

In Madden-Hagen’s case, she’ll be working on a script called Top of the World (formerly Sweet Nothing) developed through the Inspired Script program at the Atlantic Film Festival.

“I applied with my project and basically my resume demo reel and all that stuff and I was one of the lucky eight to be chosen,” says Madden-Hagen. “You do the first phase which is called the story incubation module when basically you do a lot of story editing and work on your script. You actually submit a specific scene from your script when you apply, which you’ll be shooting in the second part of the workshop.”

Madden-Hagen’s concern is covering the cost of this opportunity. Though she works as a freelance sound designer on films, most recently Mike Clattenburg’s new feature Afghan Luke and the Burgundy of Hash, this won’t be an inexpensive working vacation. CTV offers a $2,000 scholarship, and it’s up to each participant to raise the rest, somewhere between $5,000 and $6,000.

“The normal channels for funding are really low this year,” she says. “There just isn’t the same provincial funding.” So, she’s applying to the Canada Council and other local sources, but with the event coming up so quickly, she’ll likely not even know if she has the funding until after it’s over.

“I’m going to people in the arts and film community to see if people are willing to do this, this very important step in my career that I think is going to have a huge impact in my future.” She adds, “I’ll go hell or high water. We’ll just have a big eBay sale or something.”

Anyone who’d like to help or has any fundraising ideas can contact Madden-Hagen at

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