ELLA COOPER is an award winning independent filmmaker, photo-video artist, educator, impact producer, consultant and programmer based in Toronto who has been working in the arts and culture sector for over 17 years while emerging in her practice as a photo video artist. Her creative work explores the diaspora, the creation of positive representations of the Black body in Canada, equity and arts for social change, community storytelling, contemporary dance and hybrid identity.
She is also the founder of Black Women Film! Canada a new initiative and leadership program supporting the development of emerging Black women filmmakers that she created with support from TIFF, CBC, CFC, the Nia Centre for the Arts and 40 local Black women filmmakers here in Toronto.
Her documentary film debut ‘Black Men Loving’ won ‘Best Canadian Film’ at the International Caribbean Tales Film Festival, plus she received ‘Best Canadian Presentation’ award for her work in collaboration with Alison Duke and the Akua Benjamin Legacy Project series she directed with five other Black female directors, celebrating 50 year of Black activism in Toronto.
In addition, her new short dance film documentary series ‘Dance for Life’ recently launched on Fibe TV1.
Ella continues to create and facilitate leadership and arts empowerment programs for diverse communities across Canada, the US, the Caribbean and South Africa. She is a part time lecturer at University of Toronto Scarborough and has been a featured speaker and guest facilitator for national and international conferences that include NYU Black Portraitures Conference in Florence, Italy in 2014. Ella was recently selected as one of the 2017 Toronto Arts Council's Cultural Leaders.
Ella’s work has been presented in galleries, public spaces and festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Berlin. Plus she receives continued support from the Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council, as well as being a recipient of a City of Vancouver award and recent artist in residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
For more information on Ella's consulting and community programming initiatives go to : ellacooper.format.com