Valerie Buhagiar

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Valerie Buhagiar
Born 1963 (age 53–54)
Mosta, Malta
Known for Spouse - none

Valerie Buhagiar (born 1963) is a Maltese-born Canadian actress, film director and television host.

She studied acting at George Brown College in Toronto, Ontario, graduating in 1986. Her debut as a filmmaker was The Passion of Rita Camilleri, which won the Silver Plaque at the Chicago Film Festival in 1993.

Buhagiar has won two Dora Mavor Moore Awards, for The Lorca Play and White Trash, Blue Eyes.

She has also hosted film programming on the Canadian television networks Showcase and TVOntario.


Buhagiar is an award-winning Toronto-based actor and filmmaker. At 18 years of age she toured China, the U.S. and Canada as a puppeteer. She is a scholarship graduate of George Brown’s Acting Program and a two-time Dora Mavor Moore award winner. Valerie first gained international recognition playing the leading roles in Bruce McDonald’s Highway 61 and Roadkill. She has been a host for The Showcase Revue and has appeared as a guest star in various TV episodics and several independent features.

The Passion of Rita Camilleri was Buhagiar’s writing, directing and producing debut. The film has won several international prizes. The Karlovy Vary film Festival held a retrospective of Valerie’s work as an actor and a filmmaker. Other filmmaking credits include: One Day I Stood Still, L’amour L’amour Shut the Door Por Favor and BoomBoom Baby Wants to Go. She has directed a Public Service Announcement for Centre of Opportunity, Respect and Empowerment (C.O.R.E), a biography on Colin Linden for the Toronto Arts Awards and two Bravo!FACT shorts entitled Pictures from Home and Omneya – Wish. Valerie also directed the Festival of Lights, a parade full of vignettes set on rooftops of Toronto’s Kensington Market, as well as video images for Theatre Gargantua’s production of Nod. Tell Us the Truth Josephine – a bitter immigrant story and Small, Stupid and Insignificant both won the best experimental film at the Female Eye Film Festival. Buhagiar continues to work on both stage and screen. She has returned from the UK where she is developing a theatre piece with the support of the National Theatre Studio in London, England. In Vancouver she performed the one-woman show 9 Parts of Desire. She has starred in the award-winning theatre production of Scorched at The Tarragon theatre, National Arts Centre and the national touring company. She played in One Light /Neptune theatre’s The Veil and won a Merritt Award nomination for best leading actress. Valerie has played the leading roles in the Feature Films A Winter Tale (Toronto) Sheltered Life (Vancouver), and Adriatico My Love (Croatia). Buhagiar can be seen on the small screen as well with recent roles including a guest star spot on the CBC hit series The Border and in a recurring role on the international hit series Degrassi and most recently NBC’s Beauty and the Beast. Valerie has developed a theatre piece titled Peter and Valerie with UK artist Peter Reder through the National Theatre Studios in London England. The piece was seen at the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in June 2013. She was also in Frankfurt to perform the one-woman show titled We are not Afraid of the Dark by Tine Van Aerschot. This piece was performed at the Theatre Center in Toronto in May 2014. Buhagiar just finished her first feature film The Anniversary, which won best narrative feature comedy at Cinequest. She is presently developing four feature films and theatre piece.

Film awards[edit]

The Anniversary Best Narrative Feature – Comedy – Cinequest 25 - 2015 Honourable Mention – Best Feature – Buffalo Niagara International Film Festival - 2015

Small, Stupid and Insignificant Best Experimental Drama - Female Eye Film Festival - 2011

Tell Us the Truth Josephine Best Experimental Film - Female Eye Film Festival - 2009 The Passion of Rita Camilleri Best film (Golden Knight Award) - Malta Film Festival Silver Plaque Award - Chicago Film Festival Golden Plaque - Chicago Television Production Best Music - Atlantic Film Festival Gemini Nomination - For best music Honorary Mention - New York Film Festival Honorary Mention - Columbus Film Festival Expecting Montreal World film Festival; Best First Film (special jury prize for collective effort) Sudbury film Festival; Second Prize - People’s choice award Vancouver Film Festival; Best Canadian film Worldfest Houston; Gold Award - Low Budget Feature THEATRE AWARDS:

 White Trash Blue Eyes (collective)   Dora Award The Lorca Play (best actress)        Dora Award The Lark (best actress)            Critics Choice Award White/Noise/Jump       NYC Fringe Festival/First Prize
                           Best Theatrical Piece  Film Festivals where self-directed films attended: Toronto International Film Festival, Sudbury, Vancouver, Atlantic, Newfoundland, Columbus, Locarno, Portugal, Malta, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Parkdale Rehab, Meinham, Germany, Moving Pictures, North by North East  Retrospective at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival   1999  Other:

-TIFF’S DIRECTOR’S LAB 2013 -Juror for TIFF Canadian Features 2012 -Juror for FEFF 2013, 2014 and 2015 -Cove Park residency (Scotland) -Banff Arts Center – Interarium – full scholarship participant -Women in the Director’s Chair – career module participant - Centauri Arts Camp - Program director - acting for film - NSI Film Camp - Team Leader/Acting Coach - guiding teens to making film - sat on many panels for acting and filmmaking in Canada and overseas - taught workshops Director/Actor relationship



  • The Passion of Rita Camilleri (1993)
  • One Day I Stood Still (1996)
  • L'Amour, L'Amour, Shut the Door Por Favor (1998)
  • Tell Us the Truth Josephine (2006)
  • Small, Stupid and Insignificant (2010)
  • "The Anniversary" (2014)

External links[edit]