Chanda Chevannes. Photo taken by Pasquale Marco Veltri for the NFB.
August 31, 2022 – Toronto – National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
Director General of Creation and Innovation Julie Roy announced today that Chanda Chevannes is joining the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) as Executive Producer of the Ontario Studio in Toronto.
Prior to joining the NFB, Chanda worked for two decades on a wide range of projects as an independent filmmaker, writer and educator. During this time, she produced/directed 14 artful documentaries that sought to amplify women’s voices, including the award-winning features Living Downstream and UNFRACTURED.
In addition to making her own films, Chanda has supported the work of dozens of colleagues in the documentary community, producing or production-managing 25 documentary projects. She has also developed and facilitated creative filmmaking labs for diverse organizations, including the DOC Institute, the Toronto Queer Film Festival and the Toronto Public Library. These labs have guided 60 emerging filmmakers—mostly from marginalized communities—through the process of making their first film, resulting in the creation of dozens of new festival-ready works.
Early in her career, Chanda lived in Uganda and worked for Raising Voices, where she made SASA!, a film that explored the link between violence against women and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. SASA!’s tangible impact is one of Chanda’s proudest achievements: the film contributed to the passage of new domestic-violence legislation in Uganda and a community-wide decrease in women’s risk of physical violence from their male partners.
When not in the field herself, Chanda has sought to share what she has learned with other filmmakers, through her work as a writer and an educator. She has researched and written 15 documentary-focussed publications to date and has led myriad professional development workshops for documentary filmmakers in Canada and internationally. Altogether, she has developed and facilitated over 1,400 hours of educational experiences and trained more than 800 emerging film professionals.
Chanda is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Media Arts Program and is currently earning her MFA in Film Production at York University. She previously served as a board member for the Documentary Organization of Canada and POV Magazine. Chanda is a mother and a queer woman of colour—identities that inform her work.
“I became a documentary filmmaker because of the NFB. Watching the NFB’s productions in film school, I first learned about the power of documentary to create more joy and justice in our world. I’ve continued to be inspired by the NFB throughout my career and I’m delighted that I will now have the privilege of contributing to its impactful work. I can’t wait to collaborate with the talented team at the Ontario Studio, to support the visions of a diverse group of skilled creators, and to build productive partnerships with the wider documentary community,” said Chanda Chevannes.
“I’m delighted to welcome Chanda Chevannes to our NFB team. She has a wealth of experience not just as a producer, but also as a leader and educator, and will be integral in guiding the team at the Ontario Studio. Her two-decade-long documentary career has been dedicated to justice, diversity, community and empowering the next generation of creators with film training—all values and goals shared with the NFB. We’re all very excited to work, collaborate and learn from Chanda,” said Julie Roy.
– 30 –
French version here | Version française ici.