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Women Winning at the 2017 Leo Awards

The 2017 Leo Awards were held at the The Hyatt Regency Vancouver and the three-day event is one of the hottest and glitziest events in the BC’s film industry’s calendar.

Line-up of Leo’s | Wendy D Photography

Film and televisions finest were out enforce celebrating the remarkable contribution our province makes to this multi billion-dollar industry. BC’s impact on the industry is growing and can be gauged by the record 1,295 entries received this year. Another notable and pleasing trend is the extraordinary impact women in film are having on this heavily male dominated space.

Winners at the Media Wall (L) Chelah Horsdal, (TR) Anne Wheeler, (BR) Rachel Langer | Phillip Chin Photography

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Image by Lulu Zyl Photography

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Image by Phillip Chin Photography

Women took home some of the converted awards including Anne Wheeler who received the award for Best Direction for her television movie Stop The Wedding and Ann Marie Fleming who won Best Direction of an Animation Program or Series for Window Horses.

Best Screenwriting awards went to Maija Leivo for her Documentary Series Hell Below – The Wolfpack and to Rachel Langer for her Dramatic Series This Life – Well Fought, My Love.

The award for Best Picture Editing of Dramatic Series went to Jane Morrison The Romeo Section – Our Future World,  and many more awards went home with many of the incredible women working in this highly competitive industry here in BC.

Winning for Black Chicks! Nicole G Leier and Brenda Uegema | Phillip Chin Photography

One of the highly talented women up for an award this year was Nicole G Leier, for her stellar performance in Black Chicks which walked away with two Leo Awards from their five nominations. Winning Best Screenplay (Neil LaBute) and for Best Actor (David Cubitt)!

We were thrilled to grab a few words with Nicole on the award-winning project and the team:

What was it like working with American playwright Neil Labute?
He is truly a genius, and I am so honoured to have worked with him on this project. The truth is he writes the words, I just said them. What an amazing writer. My co-star David Cubitt is SO talented and most of all he is SO Cool.. he was so generous with his time. I will never forget working on this project with such an amazing soul.

Share with BLUSH readers your preparation for Black Chicks.
To make this film happen, I worked with Larry Moss and Matthew Scott building my character and mapping out what story I wanted to share. I am looking forward to letting people see this passion film now, and I hope they enjoy the story.

Who worked with you to make Black Chicks?
My husband Brendan Uegema was the cinematographer for Black Chicks film. Brendan recently finished Van Helsing and is now shooting the CW & Netflix series, Riverdale. We had a very special crew that helped make this film happen. Our crew not only helped to make this dream project come true, but they take care of my husband and I day in and day out on set. I love them all, and they are a huge part of our family.

What is in the future for Black Chicks?
We just premiered at the San Francisco Black Film Festival where the film was extremely well received. There will be many more festivals to come as the year continues so keep your eye on the Black Tree Pictures and Black Chicks Facebook pages for more updates.

Before you leave the red carpet, any thank-you’s that you want to share?
Thank you to the huge team that makes the Leo Awards happen each year – Walter Daroshin, Sonny Wong, and the amazing volunteers. I am so honoured to be able to celebrate our community of amazing filmmakers, and I am so very proud to be a part of it.

The Team that made the Leo Awards happen | Phillip Chin Photography

Eco Fashion Week sponsored the Leo Award Lounge; Gowns by Truvelle | Alfonso Arnold Photography

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The most stunning dress of the Leo Awards worn by Steph Song | Alfonso Arnold Photography

Congratulations to all the nominees, winners, everyone who put it together and pulled it off, and to the Leo Awards for another stand out year. We are definitely looking forward to another year of amazing Canadian film and television!

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