Private Project

My Life, My Community, My Ontario (W' Dae, B' Wae)

My Life, My Community, My Ontario (W' Dae, B' Wae) is a permanent artistic work created to raise awareness, and stop sexual violence against Indigenous women in Ontario. The film chronicles a week long integrated arts workshop of mask-making , creative movement, soap stone carving, drumming, photography and video. Art is a catalyst for change and this project Involved at risk Indigenous female students and non Natives from Batchewana First Nations and Garden River who attended White Pine CVS. White Pine, and their community of counsellors, social workers, and the extended community including elders were strategic community partners without whom this would not have been possible.

The project was spearheaded by film maker/ arts educator Coles and Project Coordinator, Diane Hall and produced under the auspices of the Female Eye Film Festival with the support of the Ontario Arts Council (Creative Engagement Project), Canada Council for the Arts and Status of Women Canada.

Coles is a filmmaker and Artistic Director/ Executive Director of the Female Eye who has worked on the front lines of VAW within the Indigenous community in Toronto (since 2003). All the participants are activists and allies of the Indigenous peoples of Canada. In solidarity with out sisters from Turtle Island.

  • Leslie Ann Coles
    Melody Makers; In The Refrigerator
  • Leslie Ann Coles
    Melody Makers, In The Refrigerator
  • LA Coles Fine Art Films
    Melody Makers, In The Refrigerator
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Indigenous, Art
  • Runtime:
    40 minutes 32 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    August 22, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    15,000 USD
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Director Biography - Leslie Ann Coles

LA Coles Fine Art Films/ 205321 Ontario Inc. under the stewardship of Leslie Ann Coles is very hands-on in the creation of original commercial productions. Types of work with which she’s engaged include Theatrical Features, Non Scripted TV, Documentary and Interactive Digital Media. Coles recently produced an Apple iBook, an immersive experience using Interactive Digital Media (IDM) to enhance her multiple award winning documentary, “Melody Makers” releasing in Canada Fall 2019 with the support of Telefilm Canada’s Marketing and Promotions Fund. Cleopatra Entertainment has obtained the North American rights, and Melody Makers is slated to open in L.A. Nov. 29, 2019. Committed to producing commercial films and cross platform projects that combine art entertainment and social justice, Coles has executive produced forty – six short films directed by youth at risk through the Young Filmmaker Development Workshop (YFDW), a program established under the auspices of the Female Eye Film Festival founded by Coles in 2001 to address gender parity in the industry. Intimately familiar with the local and international filmmaking community her strength is to creatively strategize projects as well as to evaluate the development process with the understanding of the film milieu be it social, cultural or art focused. Coles transitioned into film in 2001 with her Academy Qualifying short, “In The Refrigerator”. Coles is a Women In The Director’s Chair alumni; award recipient of three CTV Banff Fellowships for original series, and Founder and Executive Director of The Female Eye Film Festival (est. 2001). She evaluates and selects independent films from over 2500 international entries every year.

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Director Statement

Art is a catalyst for change!

The lack of gender equity in film making [and in other arts] is perhaps a self-sustaining cycle. Movies shape the way that people see the world and by extension, the way that people see women.