Saturday, July 4, 2015

Meet Award Winning Filmmaker Dianne Whelan Who is Trekking 500 days in the Wild Across Canada

by Renee Field, Founder,

Dianne Whelan, Award Winning Filmmaker
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know the very talented award winning filmmaker Dianne Whelan over the course of the last six months. 

I knew the first day when Dianne came into our advanced management course with her attitude ‘I’m going to do this film no matter what’ that we’d click. Dianne is an original filmmaker, a talented storyteller and a creative artists who breathes originality. She does things her way. This might not be the easiest way, as I learned, but she’s true to her heart. 

So what is Dianne doing? Dianne is walking, biking, and canoeing across the Canadian trails for over 500 days. On July 1st 2015, Canada Day, she left ground zero in St. John’s Newfoundland of the Trans Canada trail to start her 24,000 km route across Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific to the Arctic oceans, linking 1000 Canadian communities. She plans to film an independent feature documentary and write a non-fiction book about the journey. 

“My vision is to make a documentary that explores four themes, ART – SPIRIT- ECOLOGY-STORY. I perceive these four themes to be like the four quarters of a circle.” She’s writing and filming as she goes. How is she doing this? With faith and little funds. What Dianne can do and get through trading skills she does but still undertaking such a momentous task is daunting. 

Dianne told me she gave up her house so the rent money could help her project, she also sold her car. We talked in the course about ways she could fund this project through sponsorship but she struggled with this. Why? Not because she didn’t have sponsors knocking at her door but this project she felt shouldn’t be tainted in anyway by corporate ideology. 

Dianne wanted to show the true beauty of the Canadian trails – how they connected all of Canada at one time. How the formation of the rails helped shaped Canada as we know it today. She wanted to tell the story of the people who helped to build it, what they endured and why the lines mean so much to everyone even though the railway lines are gone there is a connection to the soul of Canada.

Dianne at ground zero in Newfoundland , July 2015
Meet Dianne

Dianne Whelan is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker, photographer, author and multimedia artist residing in Garden Bay, BC. In April 2010, Whelan traveled to Nepal and Mount Everest Base Camp to direct and shoot her award-winning documentary film 40 Days at Base Camp. According to the Nepalese government, Dianne is the first woman to shoot a film on the world’s highest mountain. 

The film had its world premiere at the Vancouver International Film Festival, was the opening night film at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and screened at Shanghai International Film Festival. 40 Days at Base Camp is currently distributed in 26 countries and has gone on to have over 100 theatrical and festival screenings internationally. Dianne Whelan was the recipient of the Fleck Fellowship from the Banff Arts Centre in 2011. 40 Days at Base Camp won two LEO awards for best cinematography and best sound design in 2012. Dianne’s newest book Base Camp: 40 Days on Everest has just been released. The book is a gripping and eye opening expose referencing Dianne 

Whelan’s experience on Mt. Everest while filming her documentary 40 Days at Base Camp. Last summer and fall Dianne she toured around Canada and the United States hosting public speaking and multimedia presentations on her book and film. As of July 1, 2015, Dianne is on the Trans Canada Trail for the next two years. She hopes to finish by July 1, 2017.

Check out her BLOG 
All donations for this epic project can be made from her WEBSITE

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