Veninger in 2013
August 21, 1968 |
|Occupation||Actress, director, writer, producer|
Veninger was born in Bratislava, before immigrating to Canada in the 1970s with her parents, where she was subsequently raised. Veninger got her start in show business in an advertisement for Bell Canada with Megan Follows at age 11.
1980s–2000s: Early work as an actress, producer
In 1989, at the age of 21, Veninger branched out into producing by optioning the rights to Margaret Atwood's novel Cat’s Eye. She also worked as an assistant director on Atom Egoyan's The Adjuster (1991) and produced Jeremy Podeswa’s Gemini-nominated music documentary Standards (1992), and Peter Mettler's northern lights documentary Picture of Light (1994).
In 2000, after working for most of the 1990s as an actress (including a recurring role on the Canadian action series La Femme Nikita), Veninger attended the Canadian Film Centre, where she produced fellow student Julia Kwan’s award-winning short film, Three Sisters on Moon Lake (2001), which played at Sundance and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
She is a frequent collaborator of Canadian filmmaker and actor Charles Officer, having worked on numerous projects with him, including the short film Urda/Bone, which screened at the New York Film Festival in 2003 and Nurse.Fighter.Boy (2008) which premiered at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival. The short film was later picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media.
2008–present: Directorial debut, feature film work
Veninger's directorial debut came in 2008, with the release of her low-budget indie film title Only, which screened at a number of local film festivals and cost only $20,000 to produce. Her young son, Jacob starred at the film's protagonist and Veninger appeared in a supporting role as his mother.
Her second film MODRA about returning to the Bratislava region and her home town of Modra was produced in 2010, starring her daughter Hallie Switzer. MODRA was named by TIFF as one of the ten best Canadian films of 2010. Upon its release, The Globe and Mail dubbed Veninger "The DIY Queen of Canadian filmmaking."
Her third film i am a good person/i am a bad person (2011) was screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and prompted the Toronto Film Critics Association to award her the Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist.
Her fourth film The Animal Project (2013) screened at numerous festivals, including in the Contemporary World Cinema section at the 2013 Toronto International Film Festival. The film received mostly positive reviews, with Norm Wilner of NOW Magazine writing: "The reigning queen of lo-fi Canadian cinema has upped her game without abandoning any of her characteristic whimsy." The Torontoist dubbed Veninger "The godmother of Toronto’s D.I.Y. filmmaking scene." The film is currently available for purchase on Vimeo.
In 2013, as she accepted an EDA award from the Alliance of Women Film Journalists for The Animal Project at the Whistler Film Festival, Veninger asked the audience for help funding the Femmes Lab, a workshop she was spearheading to produce 6 female-directed feature films for $6,000. She said the $6,000 investment would not only fund six screenplays to be finished by June, it would guarantee the donor first look at the completed scripts. “The room was stone silent,” recalled Veninger. Oscar-winning actress Melissa Leo ended up volunteering and put up the money, and the TIFF Bell Lightbox offered workshop space.
- Genie Award for Best Documentary (Gambling Gods, and LSD) (2003)
- Audience Award, International (Modra), International Film Festival Bratislava (2010)
- Jay Scott Prize (i am a good person/i am a bad person), Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (2012)
- EDA Award, Narrative Feature Prize (The Animal Project), Alliance of Women Film Journalists (2013)
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- 17, Etan Vlessing July; 2014. "How Ingrid Veninger's 'sisterhood' spawned 6 scripts in 6 months". Retrieved 2016-04-25.
- "A phantasmagorical film with live score". Indiegogo. Retrieved 2016-04-25.
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