Peter Gerretsen Film Awards

20th Annual Peter Gerretsen Film Awards - February 28, 2019

Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of this year’s Peter Gerretsen Film Awards! Outstanding films in the categories of Production, Screenwriting, and Film Editing were screened throughout the event, highlighting works created by our talented Certificate in Film Studies students.

Visit 2019 Nominations and Winners to view all of our celebrated award winners and nominees.

Celebrating 20 Years of Student Achievement

The Peter Gerretsen Film Awards have been honouring excellence in student filmmaking since 1999. Created by the late Peter Gerretsen – a passionate filmmaker and dedicated instructor, and a former coordinator of The Chang School’s Film Studies program – these awards showcase the talents, skills, and dedication of our continuing education film students.

Where Are They Now?

Many of our Film Studies alumni have gone on to successful careers in film and television. Here are a few of their inspirational stories.

Class of 2009

Michael Sheehan is an award-winning director and writer with more than 100 television network credits to his name, and is a graduate of The Chang School’s Summer Film School. Michael has won Gemini Awards as a director for Best Series (Til Debt Do Us Part, Slice, 2011) and as a story editor for Best Lifestyle/Practical Information Series (Holmes in New Orleans, HGTV, 2009). He also was awarded Best Short Comedy at the 2007 New York International Independent Film Festival as the producer, director, and writer of Known Donor.

Class of 2014

Andrew Lau is a Toronto-based filmmaker working as a freelance director of photography and camera assistant. His current professional work focuses on corporate videos, commercials, music videos, and short documentaries. Since graduating from The Chang School’s Summer Film School, Andrew has built an impressive demo reel that displays many of the musicians he has filmed, including rapper Drake.

Merle Robillard is a Cree filmmaker who was born and raised in the Northwest Territories. After graduating from The Chang School’s Summer Film School, he opened a production company where he has produced, edited, and directed several films. With help from The Chang School Film Hub, Merle directed and produced the short documentary Giiwe: This is Home, which chronicles the journey of Brent Mitchell, a survivor of the Sixties Scoop. Giiwe has been screened at both the 2018 Regina International Film Festival and the 2018 Auckland International Film Festival, and was recently featured at The Chang Film Festival.

Joanna Tsanis is an award-winning writer and filmmaker, and a graduate of The Chang School’s Summer Film School. She is the writer and producer of Eleftheromania (2018), a World War II-era short film starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis. The film has screened at several festivals worldwide, including the Raindance Film Festival. Eleftheromania won Joanna Best Short Screenplay at the Mindfield Film Festival in Los Angeles and Best Drama at the Toronto Shorts International Film Festival. She has also produced numerous animated and live-action branded videos; her branded documentary short Girls Helping Girls screened at New York City’s Carnegie Hall for the 2017 Gabby Awards. Joanna recently wrote and directed the short horror film Imagine a World (2019), which is in post-production.

Class of 2018

Silvet Ali is a journalist and filmmaker who divides her time between Montreal and Toronto. She completed a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film Studies at Concordia University, and she joined the CBC’s Montreal team as a journalist and producer in both radio and television in 2009. In 2018, she took a summer off to explore her love for film, and completed The Chang School’s Summer Film School. As a 2018 grant recipient of The Chang School Film Hub, Silvet directed the short film Rishta, which is in post-production.

Mauro Cecchi is a recent graduate of The Chang School’s Summer Film School. Throughout this intensive program, Mauro wrote, directed, produced, and performed in a number of short films and documentaries. As a 2018 grant recipient of The Chang School Film Hub, he produced Rishta with director Silvet Ali. Mauro is currently in pre-production for two short horror films, as well as a documentary interview series on taboo and controversial issues. He continues to build a compelling portfolio and his film industry journey.