Barbara Doran

Mentors
2017
Scholars:
Localisation:

Filmmaker, activist, and businesswoman, Barbara Doran is a pioneer in filmmaking in Newfoundland and Labrador. During her career, she covered a wide range of social issues, from violence against women to AIDS in South Africa.

Barbara Doran is a filmmaker, an activist and a businesswoman. She founded Morag Loves Company in 1983. Since then, she has written, directed, and produced more than 35 internationally acclaimed documentaries and dramas. She has travelled extensively, capturing the diverse subjects of her films for screens large and small. As a reflection of the breadth of her interests, she focused her work on violence against women, child sexual abuse, sweatshops in Guatemala, women prisoners in Pakistan, AIDS in South Africa, serial killers, and the horrors of World War I. She has done television biographies on Lucy Maude Montgomery, Gordon Pinsent, Joey Smallwood, and Cathy Jones. 

Barbara Doran slipped into the infectious world of filmmaking through a side door, by way of the then most unpopular and revolutionary womens’ movement in Newfoundland. As a founding member of The Status of Women Council in 1972 and a graduate of Memorial University’s Women’s Studies Program, she was invited by the National Film Board in Montreal to research and write a series of films on battered women, and her career was launched. 

During the past year, she co-produced three feature films with Quebec and Ontario: Newfoundland at Armageddon, a CBC Special Presentation on World War I. Her feature dramas Away from Everywhere and Boundaries will be released theatrically in 2017. Her documentary, White Wolves: Ghosts of the Arctic, will air on CBC in early 2017. 

Ms. Doran currently sits on the board of directors of the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council, the Directors Guild of Canada, and the International Women’s Federation. She is a lifetime member of the Writers Guild and the Directors Guild of Canada. As a resource person, she travels regularly with Adventure Canada presenting her films. 

Barbara Doran has a strong commitment to the economic and social development of rural Newfoundland. She produced Newfoundland’s first major international television series, Random Passage, in Trinity Bay in 1999, and since that time, the area of 3,000 souls has benefitted from more than 53 million dollars of film and television production. She also opened the Random Passage Site, an early nineteenth-century representational fishing outpost that attracts thousands of tourists each year. Barbara has also restored several abandoned traditional homes that she now operates as Trinity Bight Vacation Homes. 

In 2012, she was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. That same year, she was named entrepreneur of the year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Organization of Women Entrepreneurs. In 2014, she was given the Artist of the Year Award by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council. She holds an honourary doctorate from Memorial University. She has two children, Sean and Erin, both of whom work in film. The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation appointed her a Trudeau mentor in 2017.