A citizen of both Canada and the United Kingdom, Charles Officer studied at Cambridge University and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He worked as a graphic designer and creative director in Toronto before attending the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York. In 2002, Charles completed SHORT HYMN, SILENT WAR (TIFF 2002, Sundance 2004) at the Canadian Film Centre’s director’s residency. The film earned his first Genie nomination in 2004. His debut feature, NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY, premiered at TIFF in 2008, screened in Berlin and at MoMA, and garnered 10 Genie nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director. Charles made Playback magazine’s “10 to Watch” list in 2009 and received the Ontario Premier’s Emerging Artist Award that same year. His debut feature documentary, MIGHTY JEROME, won four Leo Awards and a 2012 Regional Emmy Award. He was the recipient of Hot Docs’ Don Haig Award of Merit in 2012 and went on to direct an episode of the ENGRAVED ON A NATION documentary series, which won a 2014 Canadian Screen Award. Charles has also directed episodes of the acclaimed television series ROOKIE BLUE, SAVING HOPE and PRIVATE EYES, starring Jason Priestly. He recently completed his second feature documentary, UNARMED VERSES, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and released THE SKIN WE’RE IN, a documentary that follows celebrated journalist Desmond Cole as he pulls back the curtain on racism in Canada. Charles returns to fiction filmmaking with the animated feature AFRICVILLE and crime drama AKILLA’S ESCAPE, slated for release in 2017.
Writer and director, Mina Shum’s award-winning features have won top festival awards at TIFF, Berlin, Torino, Vancouver as well as Director’s Guild and Writer’s Guild honours. Films DOUBLE HAPPINESS and LONG LIFE, HAPPINESS AND PROSPERITY (co-written with Dennis Foon) had their US premieres at Sundance. Her films have been released commercially in over 50 countries. Most recently, NINTH FLOOR was named TIFF TOP TEN 2015 and honoured with the WIFTV Artistic Achievement Award. Shum is now preparing her next feature, MEDITATION PARK.