Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s Excellence in Screen-Based Media

Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s Excellence in Screen-Based Media

Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s Excellence in Screen-Based Media

Celebrating 35 Years of Women’s Excellence in Screen-Based Media

Christa Dickenson, Sarah Polley, and Frances-Anne Solomon among honourees to be celebrated at WIFT Toronto’s annual Crystal Awards Gala on December 6th

Toronto, Ontario – WIFT Toronto and a dedicated jury of industry executives have named five outstanding women to be honoured at the 35th annual Crystal Awards Gala on December 6th, 2022.

The Crystal Awards, established in 1988, is WIFT Toronto’s annual tribute gala to individuals making significant contributions to Canadian screen-based media. Since its inception three and a half decades ago, more than 175 esteemed individuals have been recognized for excellence in creativity, innovation, and leadership; and their commitment to mentoring the next generation of creators and industry leaders.

This year’s honourees are:

Christa Dickenson, President & CEO, Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC)
Jocelyn Hamilton, President, Television, Canada, Entertainment One
Sarah Polley, Filmmaker/Author
Ramona Pringle, Director, Creative Innovation Studio
Frances-Anne Solomon, Founder & CEO, CaribbeanTales Media Group

“For the past 35 years, WIFT Toronto has been thrilled to recognize the achievements of industry trailblazers whose leadership leads the charge toward a more inclusive and resilient industry in Canada and internationally,” said Karen Bruce, WIFT Toronto’s Executive Director. “On behalf of WIFT Toronto, I want to thank our generous sponsors, respected jury, and I especially want to congratulate this year’s honourees.”

Jocelyn Hamilton
 leads all Canadian operations for Entertainment One’s television business which includes the strategic planning and day-to-day management of eOne’s television development and production activities in Canada. In her role, she focuses on building and broadening strong relationships with creative talent and Canadian broadcasters, while overseeing all aspects of the studio’s original slate across all genres. Jocelyn also spearheaded the creation of eOne’s podcast network. As Executive Producer, Jocelyn has helped bring to life such high-profile projects as Mary Kills People (Lifetime/Global); Private Eyes (Global/ION); Ransom (Corus/CBS); Cardinal (CTV/Hulu); Nurses (Global/NBC); Burden of Truth (CBC/CW); Moonshine (CBC) and The Spencer Sisters (CTV).  Jocelyn also oversees all unscripted content including Arctic Vets (CBC/Roku), Border Security (Global/Netflix); Project Bakeover (Food Network); Thunder Bay (Crave); Make it to the Moon (Discovery); Chicago Strangler (Discovery+) and Death in the Bayou: The Jennings 8 (Discovery ID).

Jocelyn has over 30 years of creative, strategic and business experience in the entertainment industry. Prior to eOne, she served as Vice President, Programming & Original Productions for Corus Entertainment where she was responsible for all content strategies, programming and original productions, both affiliated and independent across all networks and then later focused specifically on Corus Kids networks which included YTV, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr, Disney Channel, Disney Jr., Treehouse, Teletoon and Cartoon Network. She held a number of other key roles over many years at Corus Entertainment, which included overseeing Comedy and Drama original programming for all Corus specialty networks as well as Movie Central and HBO Canada.  Jocelyn is on the board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and Hollywood Suite, was Board Chair for Women in Film and Television for 5 years and is featured on Ryerson’s RTA School of Media “Wall of Fame” and also sits on their advisory board. She has won numerous awards over the years including Emmy, Gemini and Canadian Screen awards.

Sarah Polley 
received an Oscar nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay for her first film as director- Away From Her, based on the short story The Bear Came Over the Mountain by Alice Munro. This film also garnered an Oscar nomination for Best Actress for star Julie Christie. Her next film Take This Waltz starred Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, and Sarah Silverman. Stories We Tell, her documentary which examines secrets and memory in her own family, won Best Documentary Film awards from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, National Board of Review, and the New York Film Critics Circle, as well as a Writer’s Guild of America award for its screenplay. Polley executive produced and wrote the Netflix limited series Alias, Grace, which she adapted from Margaret Atwood’s novel.

As an actor, Polley starred in a wide variety of films including Atom Egoyan’s The Sweet Hereafter (Best Supporting Actress award from the Boston Society of Film Critics), Doug Liman’s Go (Independent Spirit Award nomination), Zack Snyder’s Dawn of the Dead, Jaco Van Dormael’s Mr. Nobody opposite Jared Leto, Kathryn Bigelow’s The Weight of Water opposite Ciaran Hinds, David Cronenberg’s Existenz, Isabel Coixet’s The Secret Life of Words and My Life Without Me (Canadian Screen Award, Best Actress), Audrey Wells’ Guinevere, Wim Wenders’ Don’t Come Knocking, Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim, and Terry Gilliam’s The Adventures of Baron Munchausen.

In 2022, Polley released Run Towards the Danger: Confrontations with a Body of Memory, an autobiographical collection of essays detailing her relationship with her body and how her memory of past and present experiences has contributed to her evolving understanding of self.

Frances-Anne Solomon
 is a trailblazer in the film and television industry, Frances-Anne Solomon is an award-winning writer, producer, director, curator and distributor in film, television digital media and radio. She started her professional life at the BBC in England where she was a successful television drama producer and executive producer in Single Drama and Films. She then moved to Canada where since 2001, she is the founder and CEO of the  CaribbeanTales Media Group – that produces, exhibits and distributes compelling and culturally diverse film and television content. Her work as a director includes the feature films What My Mother Told Me, Peggy Su! and A Winter Tale, and the series Lord Have Mercy!, and HeartBeat. Her most recent film HERO: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life & Times of Mr. Ulric Cross has won a slew of international awards and is currently available on Showtime and Prime in the US and the UK. She is a Director member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the British Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Directors Guild of Canada.

Ramona Pringle
 is a writer, creator, researcher and journalist whose body of work spans a broad range of platforms, with a focus on the evolving relationship between humans and technology. Ramona is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Toronto Metropolitan University and the founding Director of The Creative School’s Innovation Studio. She is a recipient of the President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. Ramona’s production credits include PBS Frontline’s Digital Nation, the online video magazine “Rdigitalife,” the interactive documentary Avatar Secrets, and the participatory series “Communities Create.” With a unique perspective and approach, Ramona is known for her media work and appearances as a CBC technology columnist, and is a sought after public speaker. She holds a BFA from York University and a Master’s Degree from NYU.

Christa Dickenson
 is an executive leader with a proven track-record engaging and collaborating across private, not-for-profit and public sectors. Now leading the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC) as president and CEO, she has three decades of experience spanning news, cable television, technology, telecommunications, interactive digital media, film, and television. Her strong sense of mission has benefitted CTV News, Rogers, Interactive Ontario, and Telefilm Canada. An accomplished tri-sector leader, Ms. Dickenson possesses an unparalleled talent for meaningful change management coupled with a strong business acumen. In addition to a professional background spanning both the creative and business sides of the screen-based industries, Ms. Dickenson has a BAH and a Master of Fine Arts in Film Studies.

The 2022 Crystal Award Honourees were nominated by WIFT Toronto members, then selected by a jury of industry executives. Thank you to Jennifer Holness, Tracey Pearce, and Linda Stregger for your dedication and deliberation.

WIFT Toronto wholeheartedly thanks our 2022 Crystal Awards’ partners and sponsors for their invaluable support. Thank you to our Reception Sponsor eOne; Event Sponsors City of TorontoOntario CreatesParamount+ CanadaSpin Master Ltd.Telefilm Canada and WildBrain; Event Supporters M.A.C. CosmeticsNABET 700-M UNIFOR, and Take 5 Productions Inc.; Design and Production Partner Big Bang Beige.

PURCHASE TICKETS: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/2022-wift-toronto-crystal-awards-tickets-422890826847

About WIFT Toronto
Women in Film and Television Toronto (WIFT Toronto) is a non-profit, inclusive, member-based organization dedicated to the development and advancement of women in the screen-based industry. WIFT Toronto engages, empowers, and educates its over 900 members through professional development, mentoring, networking opportunities, and celebrations to underscore the successes of members and non-members alike.

For additional information, interviews or images please contact Leah Borts-Kuperman at communications@wift.com

Venessa Harris

Venessa Harris is WIFT Toronto's Administrative Assistant. She is a Canadian Screen Award winning producer, not-yet-published author, and Weezer-enthusiast.

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