Shaffer, Beverly, 1945-

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Shaffer, Beverly, 1945-

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Beverly Shaffer was born in Montreal, Quebec in 1945, and is known for her prolific career as a documentary filmmaker. Shaffer earned degrees from McGill University and Macdonald College before going on to receive her master's degree in film from Boston University in 1971. Before beginning her decades-long career at the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), Shaffer worked at the flagship PBS station WGBH-TV in Boston on the Emmy Award-winning series Nova and Zoom, and contributed to Walsh's Animals, a partnership with the Massachusetts Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Shaffer began working for the NFB as a staff director in 1975, where she helped found and sustain the groundbreaking women-run film production unit Studio D (1974-1986), which is widely credited as the world's first publicly funded feminist filmmaking studio. During her time at the NFB, she directed numerous documentaries and docuseries tackling subjects relating to social issues like women's rights, disability, domestic violence, and incarceration, including the Children of Jerusalem and Children of Canada series--the latter which included "I'll Find a Way," winner of the Best Live Action Short Oscar in 1978. Other notable films by Shaffer include Academy Award-shortlisted "Mr. Mergler's Gift" (2005) and the 1999 follow-up to "I'll Find a Way," "Just a Wedding."

Throughout her film career, Shaffer won numerous awards from film festivals around the world, including the Academy Awards, the American Film and Video Festival, the John Muir Medical Film Festival, Le festival du film des enfants, the Colombus International Film Festival, the National Educational Film & Video Festival, the Canadian Association for Young Children Film Festival, the Festival Internazionale del Cinema di Salerno, the Taiwan International Documentary Festival, and the Festival international du film pour l’enfance et la jeunesse, among others.

Shaffer retired from the NFB in the mid 2000s and continues to reside in Montreal, Quebec.


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