WIFT Toronto names 2021 Crystal Award winners

Jennifer Holness, Jane Tattersall and Anita Lee are among the 34th annual tribute winners to be feted at the first in-person gala since 2019.

Women in Film and Television Toronto has named the recipients for the 2021 Crystal Awards, with Jennifer Holness, Jane Tattersall, Anita Lee, Ana Serrano and Dr. Shirley Cheechoo set to collect awards at the first in-person event since 2019.

The 34th annual tribute, recognizes and honours women’s contributions to Canada’s screen-based media industry and will hold a gala in Toronto with Entertainment One and Company 3 on International Women’s Day (March 8, 2022).

Hungry Eyes Media president Jennifer Holness, who works in documentaries, dramatic film and TV production will receive the Creative Excellence Award. Her recent projects include the documentary Subjects of Desire, as well as Shoot The Messenger (CBC, WGN/USA) and Guns (CBC). Holness has received a shared Best Writing Canadian Screen Award for Guns, alongside four additional CSAs.

Post Toronto partner and SVP Jane Tattersall, will take home the Outstanding Achievement in Business Award. With over 30 years’ experience, she has worked with acclaimed directors such as Istvan Szabo, David Cronenberg, Deepa Mehta, Sarah Polley and Clement Virgo, and with many new Canadian directors and producers.

National Film Board’s Anita Lee, executive producer for English program, will receive the Mentorship Award. The award-winning producer oversees a large slate of film, interactive and immersive projects for the NFB and is responsible for forging key strategic partnerships for the national film agency in Ontario.

OCAD University president and vice-chancellor Ana Serrano will receive the Digital Trailblazer Award as an innovator and global visionary leader in digital media.

Filmmaker and visual artist Dr. Shirley Cheechoo will receive the Special Jury Distinction. She was the first Indigenous person to write, produce, direct and act in a feature-length film Canada Backroads (aka Bearwalker) which screened at the Cannes Film Market. In addition to being a trailblazer, she is also a dedicated mentor.

The jury selecting this year’s winners includes: Mary Bredin, creative development producer, Green Tiger Club Ltd.; Alison Duke, producer/director and Oya Media Group co-founder; and Beth Janson, CEO, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Since 1988,  WIFT Toronto has recognized 150 industry trailblazers.