Lisa Valencia-Svensson Among Canadians Invited to Join the Academy

Lisa Valencia-Svensson

By Pat Mullen

It was a happy Canada for a number of the nation’s filmmakers as they were invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences yesterday. Among the Canadians on the list of invitees is producer Lisa Valencia-Svensson, who was tapped for the Academy’s documentary branch. Valencia-Svensson credits include a mix of theatrical and broadcast documentaries that tackle social issues and have made significant advances for representation, both in terms of the stories being told and the talents behind the camera.

Her 2012 doc Herman’s House won a News and Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming and was nominated for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program at the Canadian Screen Awards for its portrait of the injustices of solitary confinement. She also produced Min Sook Lee’s acclaimed documentary Migrant Dreams, served as an associate producer on Nisha Pahuja’s award winning doc The World Before Her, and produced the powerful transgender rights doc Call Her Ganda, which made POV’s list of the best docs of 2018. Call Her Ganda director PJ Raval was also invited to join the documentary branch.

The Canadian contingent was especially strong in the short films and feature animation branch. Invitees for shorts and animation included Jeremy Comte, Maria Gracia Turgeon, Marianne Farley, Marie-Hélène Panisset, and Trevor Jimenez who were nominated for Oscars this year for the shorts Fauve, Marguerite, and Weekends, respectively, and Domee Shi, who won Best Animated Short for her film Bao. Lynn Smith (Soup of the Day), Steven Woloshen (1000 Plateaus) and Diane Obomsawin (I Like Girls) were also invited to join the shorts and animation branch. Other Canadians invited to join the Academy were directors Nisha Ganatra (Late Night, Chutney Popcorn) and Frances-Anne Solomon (Hero: Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross, Peggy Su!) and casting directors Nathalie Boutrie (Mommy, Monsieur Lazhar) and Robin D. Cook (The Shape of Water, Room).

The full list of names invited to the documentary branch is as follows:

Nancy Abraham – Solitary, The Loving Story
Khadija Al-Salami – Yemen: Kids and War, Al Sarkha (Scream)
Phie Ambo – Free the Mind, Family
Karim Amer – The Great Hack, The Square
Isabel Arrate Fernandez – Return to Homs, Five Broken Cameras
Kirstine Barfod – Venus, Born to Lose
Ruth Beckermann – The Waldheim Waltz, East of War
Jordana Berg – The Edge of Democracy, The Mighty Spirit
Doug Block – The Children Next Door, Home Page”
Steven Bognar – American Factory, The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant
Dallas Brennan Rexer – No Woman, No Cry, Deadline
Ditsi Carolino – Hindered Land, Bunso
Erin Casper – Risk, American Promise
Julian Cautherley – Buena Vista Social Club: Adios, The Crash Reel
Lori Cheatle – Matangi/Maya/M.I.A., I Am Another You
Jimmy Chin – Free Solo, Meru
Jonathan Chinn – Black Sheep, LA 92
Christopher Clements – One Child Nation, Take Your Pills
Davis Coombe – Chasing Coral, Saving Face
Ben Cotner – 13th, The Case Against 8
Brenda Coughlin – Risk, Dirty Wars
Linda Davis – The Kill Team, The Waiting Room
Talal Derki – Of Fathers and Sons, Return to Homs
Jessica Devaney – The Feeling of Being Watched, Speed Sisters
Katja Dringenberg – The Congo Tribunal, Black Box BRD
Anne Fabini – Return to Homs, More Than Honey
Penelope Falk – Step, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work
Drew Fellman – Pandas, Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Skye Fitzgerald – Lifeboat, Finding Face
Josh Fox – Awake, a Dream From Standing Rock, Gasland
Ansgar Frerich – Let the Bell Ring, Of Fathers and Sons
Laura Gabbert – City of Gold, Sunset Story
Jannat C. Gargi – Knife Skills, Circo
Maureen Gosling – Blossoms of Fire, Burden of Dreams
Roberta Grossman – Seeing Allred, Above and Beyond
Ryan Harrington – Sea of Shadows, A Place at the Table
Mette Heide – Amanda Knox, Rafea: Solar Mama”
Lisa Heller – Say Her Name: The Life and Death of Sandra Bland, Saving Face
Carolyn Hepburn – One Child Nation; 3½ Minutes, Ten Bullets
Lee Hirsch – Bully, Amandla! A Revolution in Four Part Harmony
Hong Hyung-sook – The Border City 2, Reclaiming Our Names
Chiemi Karasawa – Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me, Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction
Eva Kemme – Of Fathers and Sons, Taste of Cement
Stephen Kijak – We Are X, Stones in Exile
Su Kim – Midnight Traveler, Hale County This Morning, This Evening
Alison Klayman – The Brink, Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Karen Konicek – Monrovia, Indiana, Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Jan Krawitz – Perfect Strangers, Big Enough
Sabine Krayenbühl – The Price of Everything, Mad Hot Ballroom
Susan Lacy – Jane Fonda in Five Acts, Inventing David Geffen
Beth Levison – 32 Pills: My Sister’s Suicide, The Trials of Spring
Mor Loushy – The Oslo Diaries, Censored Voices
Carrie Lozano – The Ballad of Fred Hersch, The Weather Underground
Ma Li – Inmates, Born in Beijing
Leah Marino – Motherland, Imelda
Rafael Marmor – Mike Wallace Is Here, The Short Game
Gesa Marten – Shot in the Dark, Lost in Liberia
Yael Melamede – (Dis)Honesty – The Truth About Lies, Desert Runners
Noé Mendelle – Woman in Sari, State of the World
Muffie Meyer – Making Rounds, Grey Gardens
Bryn Mooser – Lifeboat, Body Team 12
Eva Mulvad – The Good Life, Enemies of Happiness
Alysa Nahmias – Unrest, Unfinished Spaces
Andrea Blaugrund Nevins – Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie, Still Kicking: The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies
Christine O’Malley – If You Build It, I.O.U.S.A.
Martha Orozco – Nueva Venecia, Drought,
Ferne Pearlstein – The Last Laugh, Imelda
Per Kirkegaard Pedersen – That Summer, Armadillo
PJ Raval – Call Her Ganda, Before You Know It
Kimberly Reed – Dark Money, Prodigal Sons
Stacey Reiss – The Eagle Huntress, The Diplomat
Melissa Robledo – Command and Control, Merchants of Doubt
Susan Rockefeller – Food for Thought, Food for Life; Making the Crooked Straight
Vanessa Roth – American Teacher, Freeheld
Marjan Safinia – Seeds, But You Speak Such Good English
Courtney Sexton – Apollo 11, Three Identical Strangers
Avner Shahaf – The Oslo Diaries, The Gatekeepers
Alexandra Shiva – This Is Home: A Refugee Story, How to Dance in Ohio
Tobias N. Siebert – Of Fathers and Sons, The Story of the Weeping Camel
Karen Sim – Watchers of the Sky, Back on Board: Greg Louganis
Claire Simon – Young Solitude, Human Geography
Sara Stockmann – Bobbi Jene, Armadillo
Helena Třeštíková – A Marriage Story, Marcela
Matt Tyrnauer – Studio 54, Valentino the Last Emperor
Lindsay Utz – American Factory, Quest
Lisa Valencia-Svensson – Call Her Ganda, Herman’s House
Aliona van der Horst – Love Is Potatoes, Boris Ryzhy
Baby Ruth Villarama – Sunday Beauty Queen, Jazz in Love
Miao Wang – Maineland, Beijing Taxi
Stephanie Wang-Breal – Blowin’ Up, Tough Love
M. Watanabe Milmore – Metallica: Some Kind of Monster, Revelations: Paradise Lost 2
William Weber – To Be Takei, We Were Here
Ryan White – Ask Dr. Ruth, The Case Against 8
Michelle M. Witten – Generation Wealth, Author: The JT LeRoy Story
Matt Wolf – Bayard & Me, Teenage
Hao Wu – People’s Republic of Desire, The Road to Fame
Tom Yellin – Cartel Land, Girl Rising
Farihah Zaman – Remote Area Medical, This Time Next Year