Photo by Mac Downey

Canadian singer, director announce film grant for emerging female and gender non-binary directors

By Thomas Johnson, September 6 2018 —

The video for Toronto soulstress Charlotte Day Wilson’s “Work,” the staggering lead-single from her Polaris long-listed, Juno-nominated EP CDW (2016), sets a camera squarely facing a subway escalator, capturing hundreds of women on their daily commute. Despite the seemingly mundane premise, the visual is at once striking and hypnotic with the humdrum central to its beauty. The “moving portrait,” as director Fantavious Fritz refers to it, deservingly won the 2018 Prism Prize. For their efforts, Wilson and Fritz took home the $15,000 cash reward.

While Wilson nobly donated $5,000 to Sistering, a woman’s shelter in Toronto, the final two-thirds of the award will also be applied to an equally worthy cause. Wilson and Fritz will redistribute the remaining $10,000 as part of the Work Film Grant, a one-time grant available for female and gender non-binary filmmakers. While story-based shorts are accepted, prospective-directors are encouraged to work in tandem with musicians to produce music videos.

The grant comes in the wake of the CRTC and BellMedia ending MuchFACT (Foundation to Assist Canadian Talent), a fund which spent over $100 million subsidizing music videos for emerging Canadian artists — including K-Os, Blue Rodeo, Carly Rae Jepsen, Death From Above 1979, Sam Roberts, Céline Dion, k.d. lang and Wilson herself — over its 33-year life. In fact, the video for “Work” was partially funded by MuchFACT. It’s poetic.

“The music video for ‘Work’ was created with the help of my community,” says Wilson in a press release. “This is my way of giving back and paying it forward.”

The application deadline is Oct. 26, after which a panel will decide the winner. You can apply for the Work Film Grant at workfilmgrant.com, where guidelines and criteria can be found. Alternatively, submissions can be emailed to info@workfilmgrant.com.

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