Independent filmmaker Helene Klodawsky is passionate storyteller committed to portraying political and social struggles, as well as to exploring the documentary art form. Her work, spanning over thirty-five years, is screened, discussed and televised around the world in venues as diverse as New York’s Museum of Modern Art, and Kenyan refugee camps.
Helene is known for poignant, daring films such as Undying Love(2002), mixing documentary and constructed recreations to explore stories of romance and marriage that emerged from the Holocaust, No More Tears Sister(2004) about a slain Sri Lankan human rights activist and Family Motel (2007) a riveting alternative drama about Canadian immigration and homelessness. Malls R Us(2009) artfully deconstructs the global shopping mall. In Klodawsky’s Come Worry With Us! (2013) she followed the Canadian music cult sensation Thee Silver Mt. Zion, confronting the complexities of economic precarity, political engagement and gender. Grassroots in Dry Lands(2015), a cinema verite feature, takes us into low income, “off the radar” Middle East neighbourhoods, where a network of social workers strives to transform despair into hope – one family at a time. From Janet With Love(2017) her first digital photo-essay, follows the love story of a Filipina immigrant and care worker. She is currently writing and directing The Invisible, Everywhere (essay feature doc) on the contemporary crisis of care.
Her work has received awards and nominations from the Academy of Canadian Cinema, Hot Docs, Les Rendez-vous du Cinema Quebecois, World Press Photo Festival, the Jerusalem International Film Festival, and the San Francisco International Film Festival, to name a few. Reviews and articles about her work have appeared in numerous publications, including the Globe and Mail, National Post, New York Times, Newsweek International, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, La Presse, Le Devoir, Nouvelle Observateur, The Independent, BBC News Service, Asian Tribune, Art in America, and Art Forum. Helene’s films appear in university curricula worldwide; Undying Love is included in the 2017 Réalisatrices Équitables/ Films Fatales 100 Best Canadian Films by Women, and will be featured in DOC 35’s line up at the 2018 Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire in Montreal.
A graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Klodawsky is a member of Doc Organization, the Writer’s Guild of Canada, Film Fetales and Réalisatrices Équitables. Helene, her two daughters and partner live in Montreal.