AFCOOP'S MARTHA COOLEY WINS WOMEN OF EXCELLENCE AWARD

The Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s Martha Cooley will be recognized by the Halifax chapter of the Canadian Progress Club with a Women of Excellence Award in the Arts & Culture category. Programs and Membership Coordinator at AFCOOP, Cooley will be awarded the honour for her exemplary work in the film and media arts industry and her efforts to enrich the cultural life of the community.

“It’s inspiring to see Martha’s passion for her work and dedication to her profession and her community be acknowledged with this award,” says the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative’s Chairperson Jeff Wheaton “Martha’s experience and successes make her a most deserving recipient.”

Cooley manages the One Minute Film Program for beginner filmmakers; First Fl!cks for youth from underserved communities; and the FILM 5 training program for emerging filmmakers. She has facilitated the creation of over 40 local films, many of which have won awards and screened at festivals internationally.

She is a passionate supporter of female filmmakers and has served on the executive of Women in Film & Television – Atlantic. Through her work at the co-op and in the community she seeks to increase the representation of women in the film industry, particularly in the roles of writer/director. She has championed initiatives such as the “She Writes Short Shorts” screenwriting workshop for women and screenings that celebrate films made by Atlantic Canadian women. As a producer, she was recently awarded the National Screen Institute Drama Prize to produce the short film, “When You Sleep” by writer/director Ashley McKenzie.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized with such a prestigious award so early in my career,” says Cooley. “I am fortunate to work for an organization that genuinely encourages new initiatives, and rewards creativity. I’m right where I want to be.”

Cooley, who is a graduate of Dalhousie University and the Nova Scotia Community College’s Screen Arts Program, is one of a select group of women in Nova Scotia to win a Progress Women of Excellence Award in the category Arts and Culture for 2011.
This award is given to women or groups of women whose works have made powerful impacts on their industry and communities.

The Halifax chapter of the Canadian Progress is holding its 22nd annual awards and fundraising event during a Gala evening and dinner on November 16th, 2011. Proceeds of the event support Phoenix, a long-term shelter for homeless and at-risk youth as well as other local charities.