Chanda Chevannes is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s Ontario Studio. For two decades, she worked on a wide range of projects as an independent filmmaker, writer and educator. She produced/directed 14 artful documentaries that sought to amplify women’s voices, including the award-winning features Living Downstream and UNFRACTURED.
In addition to making her own films, Chanda has supported the work of dozens of colleagues in the documentary community, producing or production-managing 25 documentary projects. She has also developed and facilitated creative filmmaking labs for diverse organizations, including the DOC Institute, the Toronto Queer Film Festival and the Toronto Public Library. These labs have guided 60 emerging filmmakers—mostly from marginalized communities—through the process of making their first film, resulting in the creation of dozens of new festival-ready works.
Early in her career, Chanda lived in Uganda and worked for Raising Voices, where she made SASA!, a film that explored the link between violence against women and HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. SASA!’s tangible impact is one of Chanda’s proudest achievements: the film contributed to the passage of new domestic-violence legislation in Uganda and a community-wide decrease in women’s risk of physical violence from their male partners.
When not in the field herself, Chanda has sought to share what she has learned with other filmmakers, through her work as a writer and an educator. She has researched and written 15 documentary-focussed publications to date and has led myriad professional development workshops for documentary filmmakers in Canada and internationally. Altogether, she has developed and facilitated over 1,400 hours of educational experiences and trained more than 800 emerging film professionals.
Chanda is a graduate of Sheridan College’s Media Arts Program and is currently earning her MFA in Film Production at York University. She previously served as a board member for the Documentary Organization of Canada and POV Magazine. Chanda is a mother and a queer woman of colour—identities that inform her work.