Speaker Jennifer Kawaja

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Jennifer Kawaja

President of English Scripted

Sienna Films

Jennifer Kawaja, with business partner Julia Sereny, helms Sienna Films, one of Canada’s preeminent scripted content companies.

Their Sienna produced serialized crime series Cardinal, starring Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse, recently aired on CTV, is entering its fourth season in 2020 on global platforms internationally including Hulu, BBC4, Canal+.   Ransom, a co-production between Canada and Hungary with eOne for CBS and Global came to a close with a third season, and has now been sold in over 100 territories.  Previous television includes Afghanistan-set 13 part limited series COmbat Hospital (Global/ABC/Sony Int’l) starring Elias Koteas (The Killing, Zodiac) and Michelle Borth (Hawaii 5-0); Julian Fellowes-penned mini-series Titanic (ITV/Global/ABC); television movie One Dead Indian (Bell Media, winner of three Gemini Awards); and South African Co-pro mini-seriesDiamonds (CBC/ABC) starring Derek Jacobi, James Purefoy, Nicholas Pinnock and Judy Davis.

Sienna built its reputation as a producer of quality, independent content on feature films including breakout comedy New Waterford Girl (Alliance; TIFF/Sundance), Touch of Pink, starring Kyle McLachlan (Sony Pictures Classics; Sundance), How She Move, starring Rutina Wesley (Paramount Vantage/MTV Films/Sundance), Carol Shields adaptation Unless, starring Catherine Keener, and Sweetness in the Belly, based on the novel by Camilla Gibb, with director Zeresenay Mehari, starring Dakota Fanning, Wunmi Mosaku and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, which premiered at TIFF 2019. Upcoming is Helen Shaver's (Westworld, Snowpiercer) first feature film Happy Place, based on the award-winning play by Pamela Mala Sinha.

In partnership with Michelle Latimer’s Streel Films, Sienna is currently in post-production is Trickster,  6 x 1 hour television series for CBC based on the bestselling trilogy by Eden Robison with Season Two  in development.  The company is also developing several other television series with Canadian and International broadcasters.

Before joining Sienna in the mid-90’s Kawaja produced and directed independently. Before that she worked developing international studies curriculum through the arts for Canadian high schools after graduating first Philosophy and then Film and Television from Concordia University.  Since immigrating to Canada she has lived in Montreal, Alberta, Ottawa and now resides in Toronto.

Speaking on: Trickster: working towards narrative sovereignty

At the Banff Media Festival, we met with Netflix and took a ride up Sulphur Mountain on the gondola. That’s where we made the pitch.
- Naveen Prasad, EVP and GM, Elevation Pictures


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