Beverly Shaffer

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Beverly Shaffer is a filmmaker in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Shaffer spent the bulk of her professional career with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), directing short documentaries and dramas, including I'll Find a Way, a documentary about a young girl with spina bifida which won the 1977 Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film.


Shaffer won more than thirty international awards in her twenty-five years with the National Film Board. She joined the NFB’s newly created women's studio, Studio D, in 1975 after her proposal for a series of short documentaries about children was approved by Studio D head Kathleen Shannon. The ten films in her Children of Canada series included the Oscar-winner I’ll Find a Way.

To a Safer Place (1987) was an uplifting story of an incest survivor in her thirties who succeeded in building a fulfilling life after years of abuse. Shaffer directed seven episodes in the Children of Jerusalem series, featuring profiles of Arab and Jewish youth, including the titles Children of Jerusalem: Gesho and Children of Jerusalem: Yehuda. She also directed Just a Wedding (1999), a docudrama sequel to I’ll Find a Way.[1]

Her last film for the NFB was Mr. Mergler's Gift. In June 2008, it was announced that she and colleague Paul Cowan would lose their positions as NFB staff filmmakers, due to budget cuts.[2]


Born in Montreal in 1945, Shaffer graduated from McGill University in 1967, with a B.A. in comparative religion and philosophy. She taught high school for two years before doing a master's degree in filmmaking at Boston University. Upon graduation in 1971, she worked at WGBH-TV as a production assistant, researcher and associate producer on science and public affairs programs.[3]


  1. ^ McIntosh, Andrew (June 30, 2005). "Beverly Shaffer". Canadian Film Encyclopedia. Film Reference Library. Retrieved 2009-05-31. 
  2. ^ Hays, Matt (March 2009). "To NFB or Not to NFB". The Walrus. Retrieved 2009-05-30. 
  3. ^ "". Retrieved 2009-05-31. 

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