Helen Shaver is an award-winning film and television actress and film director who mostly now serves as a director. Helen Shaver was only the 7th woman to join the Director’s Guild of America, a union where woman today still only represent 18 percent of its membership. When in 1978 Shaver won the Canadian Film Award as Best Lead Actress In Praise of Older Women she began to collaborate with the best directors of the day. Sam Peckinpah next cast Shaver to lead his final film, The Osterman Weekend. Next Shaver won the Bronze Leopard Award at the Locarno International Film Festival for her starring in Desert Hearts helmed by Donna Deitch, her first female director encounter. During this shoot, Shaver met and married the film’s key grip, Steve Smith, with whom she created their son, Mackenzie. Next Martin Scorsese cast Shaver as Paul Newman’s love interest in his Oscar-winning role in The Color of Money. During the 1980s and ‘90s, Shaver continued to steadily act in notable series like Hill Street Blues, T. J. Hooker, Rest in Peace, Mrs. Columbo and WIOU. Her performance in Poltergeist: The Legacy earned her a Saturn Award nomination and in 2000, she won the Genie Award for We All Fall Down. But though she was an actress at the top of her game, all along Shaver was learning the craft of directing and next she began to win awards for her newfound passion. Her directing credits include Vikings, Lovecraft Country, Snow Piercer, The Outer Limits, Judging Amy, Joan of Arcadia, Medium, The OC, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, The L Word, Jericho, Journeyman, Private Practice, The Unit, Crusoe, Orphan Black Vikings, 13 Reasons Why, and Westworld. In 1999, Shaver directed the Emmy winning television movie Summer's End, which also earned her a directorial Emmy nomination and in 2003 she won a Gemini award for Best Direction in the drama series Just Cause. In 2004, Shaver was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame After directing hundreds of hours of television, in 2020 Shaver premiered her first theatrical feature Happy Place at the Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival, and the Vancouver International Film Festival. In 2021, Shaver directed two episodes of Maid, the new, acclaimed Netflix limited series.
Rising Musical Star Honoree
JoJo Siwa is a global superstar, singer, television and film star, bestselling author, and social media sensation. Siwa has over 60.5 million followers on social media and over 3.6 billion views on YouTube. She was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2020.
Siwa currently stars in ABC’s competition series “Dancing with the Stars,” where she made history as the first contestant to dance with a same sex partner. Siwa also stars in “The J Team,” a new live-action musical on Paramount+. She serves as Executive Producer and performs the films original soundtrack. Next, Siwa serves as creative director and executive producer of the upcoming series “Siwa’s Dance Pop Revolution” on Peacock.
Siwa’s hugely popular single, “Boomerang” has been viewed over 943 million times and is RIAA certified multi-platinum, plus her singles “Kid in a Candy Store,” and “Hold The Drama” are both RIAA certified gold. In November 2018, Siwa released her first EP, D.R.E.A.M. The Music. Following the success of D.R.E.A.M. The Music, Siwa released a second EP, Celebrate in 2019, and JoJo’s Rockin’ Christmas in 2020.
Siwa performed her first-ever tour, “D.R.E.A.M. The Tour” in 2019 with 96 shows, selling out arenas and becoming the youngest artist ever to headline and sell out the O2 Arena. The inaugural run ranked #5 on the Hot Tours Chart as reported by Billboard. The wildly successful concert tour continues in 2022.
She is also a consumer products powerhouse, with her famous JoJo Siwa bow selling more than 80 million bows globally to date. In 2016, Nickelodeon and Siwa entered an exclusive licensing partnership to develop a line of consumer products inspired by Siwa. Categories span toys, apparel, accessories, consumer electronics, Halloween costumes and more. Siwa’s consumer products are available internationally, including the UK, Canada, Australia and Mexico.