Gillian Darling Kovanic

Gillian Darling Kovanic has been producing and directing award-winning television documentaries since 1985. From 1997 to 2001, she was a Doc West producer at the National Film Board of Canada where she developed and produced the critically acclaimed film Through A Blue Lens, winner of the 2000 Japan Prize, a Columbus Festival Chris Award, Banff Television Festival nominee for Best Social Documentary, Input invitee, and top performing film at the NFB for 2000-2001 for international and Canadian sales and audience ratings (CBC Magazine Special and Passionate Eye). To date, Through A Blue Lens has been seen by over 17 million viewers worldwide.

While at the NFB, Gillian also produced Turning Down the Heat, Wild Goose Chase, and Ah, The Money, The Money, for The Nature of Things, plus two films for CBC's Thursday night Arts strand, Opre Roma: Gypsies in Canada and The Other Side of the Picture. Other NFB productions include Tokyo Girls (CBC Passionate Eye); Jack Wise: Language of the Brush (CBC), The Story of Coast Salish Knitters (CTV), Surviving Death (Vision), and Flipping The World: Drugs Through A Blue Lens, the educational sequel to Through A Blue Lens which was broadcast on CBC's Passionate Eye. In 2001 Gillian returned to independent filmmaking and in January 2003 she completed directing, writing and producing the feature length documentary film SUSPINO - A Cry For Roma filmed over 2 1/2 years in Toronto, Italy and Romania about the human rights crisis of Europe's largest minority group, the Roma (Gypsies) broadcast on Canada's VISION TV in March 2003. SUSPINO is the recipient of two Gold Plaques at the Chicago Television Festival in Cinematography and Best Music Score, plus a Silver Plaque in Best Overall Sound.

Gillian has a Masters Degree in South Asian Anthropology and has lived and studied in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India for over five years. As an independent filmmaker, she has produced several award-winning documentaries including Island of Whales broadcast in 25 countries and the recipient of 17 national and international awards including the 1992 Donald Brittain Gemini Award for Best Documentary Program. She co-produced the Channel 4 (British) co-production Battle For The Trees, which won Best of Festival at the 1993 International Nature Film and Television Festival in Tromso, Norway; and The Washing Of Tears (CBC Roughcuts), which won Best Feature Length Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco. In 1995 Gillian directed a television episode for Nature Walk (Life Network) which won the award for Creative Excellence at the U.S. International Industrial Film & Video Festival. In 1996 she directed, wrote and co-produced for Canadian television with the NFB a one-hour biography, O'Siem about a West Coat native healer.

In 1997-98, Gillian directed and produced the documentary Baboon Tales broadcast on Wild Discovery, (Discovery U.S.), Discovery Canada. This film is distributed by Canal+/Docstar/Explore and National Geographic International, and has been seen by over ten million television viewers around the world. Baboon Tales won two Gold Plaques at the 1999 Chicago International Television Festival (Best Director & Best Science/Nature; plus Best Director and Best Documentary at the 1999 B.C. Leo Awards; 7 awards at the 1999 Missoula International Wildlife Festival (Best Storytelling, Excellent Footage, and Scientific Content.) Baboon Tales was nominated for 3 Gemini awards, and won Best of Festival at the Outdoor Writers Association of America (1999).

Films by Gillian Darling Kovanic