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About the Film

When cats mean "meow" to you
than people.

CAT LADIES is a one hour verité documentary that unravels the real story behind the oft-ridiculed 'cat lady' - a cultural stereotype and figure of ridicule for women of a certain age with too many furry companions. Through the intimate portrait of four unique 'cat ladies' we create a sensitive and emotionally honest portrait of women whose lives and self-worth have become intractably linked to cats.

It's not the number of cats that defines someone as a 'cat lady', but rather their attachment, or non-attachment, to human beings. They create a world with their cats in which they are accepted and in control - a world where they ultimately have value.

Cat Ladies

Margot's universe revolves round her three cats – Bongo, Fritz and Little One. She skips work to stay at home with them and has re-designed her entire apartment to accommodate them. But the love and connection she gets from her cats is also getting in the way of her developing any relationships with human beings - and it's only through tragedy that she can glimpse an alternative.


Jenny

In her mid 30s, Jenny appears to have it all – an attractive, fiercely independent sales agent with her own home that she just happens to share with 16 cats. It's not that she wouldn't want to find a partner or have children, but the experiences she endured as a child have prevented her from having healthy adult relationships. Jenny knows she's on the cusp of becoming "the Crazy Cat Lady". All it would take is a few more cats…



Cat Ladies

Diane is a vivacious former banker whose early and un-wanted retirement turned her to a life of saving cats from the streets. Now, she's sharing her home with 123 felines and when she's not feeding, cleaning and nursing them she's feeding and trapping feral cats in the wild. Diane wants to stop – but the thought of a cat starving or suffering breaks her heart. It's also ruining her health, sucking her bank account dry and alienating her from friends and family.



Cat Ladies

Sigi is on a mission to save cats. Like Diane, she's turned her house over to hundreds of the furry creatures, but unlike Diane she's unapologetic about her choices. If women like her didn't take matters into their own hands, who else would? Sigi's mission isn't one that her neighbours are buying into – the acrid smell and noise is an intolerable toll on anyone living close by – but Sigi's been a fighter all her life and being on the margins only makes her more defiant.

Women like Margot, Jenny, Diane and Sigi are easily dismissed as "crazy cat ladies", but these women deal with the issues that all of us face to some degree – alienation, loss and loneliness in a society that devalues the "different".




Filmmakers


CHRISTIE CALLAN-JONES

director

Christie Callan-Jones

Christie Callan-Jones is an award-winning director with an impressive list of blue chip documentary series already under her belt. CAT LADIES is her first foray into independent one-off documentary.

Most recently Callan-Jones co-directed season three of the highly celebrated Showcase original series Webdreams. Before Webdreams, she directed an array of highly regarded network series, including X-Weighted (Slice), Things That Move (History Television) and Opening Soon (Food Network).

Callan-Jones’s film, Turning Points of History: Deadly Water Minamata (History Television), which she wrote and directed, received several awards including: the Silver Hugo winner at the Chicago International Television Awards, the Special Jury Prize Houston WorldFest, the Silver Medal winner at the New York International Film and Video Festival and the Bronze Plaque winner at Columbus International Film and Video Festival. Her first film, Turning Points of History: Misbehavin’, was awarded the Platinum winner at Houston Worldfest International Film Festival.

Callan-Jones is a native of Ottawa and graduated with an honours degree in history from Queen’s University.



Christie Callan-Jones Filmography

Director

Cat Ladies (2008) (in production) (TVO, Canal D, ichannel)
Webdreams Season 3 (2008) (Showcase)
X-Weighted (2007) (Slice)
Ancestors In the Attic (2006) (History Television Canada)
Things That Move (2006) (History Television Canada)
Deadly Water: Minamata (History Television Canada) (2005)
Opening Soon (2005) (Slice)
Misbehavin’ (2004) (History Television Canada)

Writer

Ancestors in the Attic (2006) (History Television Canada)
Things That Move (2006) (History Television Canada)
Deadly Water: Minamata (History Television Canada) (2005)
Misbehavin’ (2004) (History Television Canada)
Green Force (2007) (Slice)
Underworld History: Montreal (2006) (National Geographic US)
Science Freaks (2003) (Discovery Canada)




SALLY BLAKE

creative producer

Sally Blake

Sally Blake has 12 years of experience in the radio and television industry as a writer, director, editor and producer.

She cut her filmmaking teeth in the bizarre world of professional wrestling, co-producing the Gemini-award winning documentary feature, “HITMAN HART, wrestling with shadows” and the A&E Biography follow-up “The Life and Death of Owen Hart”. Blake continues to make films exploring day to day life from extreme and unusual perspectives, including “Offstage”, a Guffmanesque peek inside the world of amateur theatre, and “The Disciples”, a revealing behind-the-scenes tale of power and profit in the world of Christian rock ‘n’ roll. Two years ago Sally took a mule across the Italian alps to re-trace Leonardo Da Vinci’s epic voyage to France, the subject of her upcoming documentary “Leonardo’s Last Journey”. Currently she is directing the documentary/interactive cross-over project Peep Me an examination of society’s changing attitudes towards identity and privacy in the world of reality TV, YouTube and Facebook.

Sally Blake is 35 years old and lives in Toronto. Her unrequited ambition is to land the role of a kung fu fighting Bond Girl – a role she is hopelessly unqualified for.




JEANNETTE LOAKMAN

producer

Jeannette Loakman

Jeannette Loakman is an award-winning producer with over 12 years of experience in the television industry. Jeannette was recently nominated for a Gemini for Spam: The Documentary, a critical and ratings hit, Spam is the story of one man’s comical search for the origins of bulk unsolicited email. Pitched at TDF 2006 and produced with CBC Newsworld, Court TV USA, Knowledge Network, Canal D, YLE Finland and SBS Australia, it is distributed by Films Transit, and is selling worldwide - putting Spam on the map.

As well as Cat Ladies and Spam, her productions include the series Groomed - with world famous butler Paul Hogan – for W Network and Wedding TV (UK). This entertaining male makeover show was called “Surprisingly endearing”, by the Globe and Mail, “Just short of magic!” by the Calgary Sun, and featured on Pick of the Week by The Guardian in the UK. Jeannette produced Annie Ong: Lost and Found, Hot Shots, The Last Seven Days of Annie Ong as well as directed Slippery Blisses: What’s in a Kiss? with the NFB.

Jeannette also co-founded Moc Docs – an annual national mockumentary filmmaking competition that over five years took over 30 filmmakers from script to the television screen and the festival circuit.

Jeannette’s experience in the industry includes a stint in programming at Vision TV, general reporter for CityNews on City TV, and host of WTN’s first show: POV Women. Her work in the business was preceded by a decade in IT travelling the globe as a software consultant.

If Jeannette were a rockstar she’d be Angus in AC/DC….
If Jeannette were an ice cream flavour she’d be pistachio and mint.
If Jeannette were a Bond girl she’d be the one with the villain that lasts till the end… well almost.



SUZANNE MULLETT

associate producer

Suzanne Mullett

Original concept creator of Cat Ladies has been Programming and Admin Manager of North America's largest documentary film festival Hot Docs for the past seven years. Born in St. John's, Newfoundland, she left the Rock in 1993 after graduating from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Commerce Degree to find work on the mainland. A year later she enrolled in Television Broadcasting at Algonquin College, where she earned the Charles Tierney Award for Academic Excellence. Graduating in 1996, Suzanne immediately began freelancing in the film and TV industry beginning with a contract at the Summer Institute for producers, writers and directors. After that, she worked as Master Control Operator at CPAC, Canada's public affairs able network.

From 1996 to present, Suzanne has worked in a variety of production roles from Craft to Production Assistant to Production manager to Producer on commercials, music videos, documentaries and feature films.

 




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