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Kovanic, Gillian Darling
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Dates of existence
Gillian Darling Kovanic began an undergraduate degree in anthropology in 1968 at Simon Fraser University. In August of that year, Kovanic left Simon Fraser University and spent most of 1969 to 1970 hitchhiking and travelling around the world, including stops in the United States, Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, India, South East Asia and Japan. Upon her return to Canada in 1970, Kovanic transferred to the University of British Columbia where she began a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Anthropology -- focusing on South Asia -- and minors in Museology and Art History. She completed this degree in 1975.
Kovanic began her Master's degree at the University of British Columbia in South Asian Anthropology in 1975, finishing in 1979. During this period she completed a year of field work (1976 to 1977) in the Hindi Kush (Kafiristan and Nuristan, Afghanistan) for her Master’s thesis titled, “Merit Feasting Amongst the Kalash of Northern Pakistan.” During this time in Afghanistan and Pakistan she collected ethnographic materials, which now reside with the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
In 1979, Kovanic returned to India as a Shastri Indo-Canadian scholar studying the Oriya language in Orissa state. She returned to Canada in 1981 and from 1983 to 1985 completed a diploma in Media Arts and Sciences in the Media Resources Department at Capilano College. Upon completion of this diploma, Kovanic joined Northern Lights Entertainment as a film producer and director. She worked as an independent film maker from 1985 to 1997 and with the National Film Board of Canada from 1997 to 2001, before returning to her work as an independent film maker with her company Tamarin Productions Inc.
Kovanic has earned accolades at film festivals around the world for films such as Island of Whales (1990), Battle for the Trees (1993) Through a Blue Lens (2000) and Suspino: A Cry for Roma (2003). Her films have been nominated for many awards. She won a Gemini Award for Island of Whales in 1992, and has been nominated for the Golden Sheaf Awards and the British Columbia Leo Awards. On many of these projects Kovanic works as director, writer, producer and location sound editor.
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Revised January 11, 2018. MH
Biographical information sourced from http://www.memorybc.ca/gillian-darling-kovanic-fonds