Ingrid Veninger

Hailed as the DIY queen of Canadian filmmaking, Ingrid Veninger began her career as an actress before branching out into screenwriting, producing and directing with the likes of "Only" (2008), "Modra" (2010) and "The Animal Project" (2013). Born in Bratislava, Czechoslovakia in 1968 but raised in Canada, Veninger made her acting debut in TV movie "Hide and Seek" (1984) and went onto appear in WWII drama "The War Boy" (1985), horror "The Gate" (1987) and cautionary drug tale "H" (1990). She landed a recurring role in radio station comedy "Airwaves" (CBC, 1986-1990) and guest starred on slasher spin-off "Friday's Curse" (Syndication, 1987-1990). The following decade saw Veninger work both behind-the-scenes, serving as assistant director on Atom Egoyan's "The Adjuster" (1991) and producer on documentaries "Standards" (1992) and "Picture of Light" (1994), and on screen with key roles in psych ward character study "Have Mercy" (1999), urban music drama "Drop the Beat" (CBC Television, 2000) and black comedy "On Their Knees" (2001). After attending Toronto's Canadian Film Centre, Veninger set up her own production company, pUNK Films Inc. and made her directorial debut with "Urda/Bone" (2003), a short which she also starred in, wrote and produced. Veninger continued to balance these multiple roles throughout the '00s, including on dystopian sci-fi "Re-Generation" (2004), shorts "Bunny Project" (2004) and "Mama" (2005) and urban drama "Nurse.Fighter.Boy" (2008). But it was Veninger's first full-length directorial effort, pre-teen single-day tale "Only" (2008), which truly established her as one of the Canadian indie scene's most dynamic talents. Veninger then returned to her birthplace to helm coming-of-age story "Modra" (2010) and stayed in Europe for low-budget meta project "i am a good person/i am a bad person" (2011), with both films also starring her real-life daughter. "The Animal Project" (2013), the story of a drama teacher attempting to push his students out of their comfort zone, continued Veninger's winning streak, and was followed up by Chilean odyssey "He Hated Pigeons" (2015).