Having grown up in an immigrant family with positive encouragement to try everything and with the economic necessity to use whatever is at hand (including a home photography darkroom), JS was determined to become an artist and technical experimenter from an early age. State-sponsored Saturday morning classes for inner-city kids gave her exposure to all kinds of creative endeavours, including stop-motion animation, clay and plaster casting, butter churning, and videography. Despite being rather good at math, and programming and running her own computer Bulletin Board System, a sexist high-school teacher ensured that she would not be eligible for a computer science program. This twist of fate accidentally landed her in film school.
JS graduated from Humber College’s Film and Television Production Program in 1996 and immediately began interning at the top-notch post-production sound facility, Tattersall Sound. Over the following 8 years, she gleaned valuable skills and knowledge in the post-production Film & TV industry of Toronto, working on feature films, TV series, and independent short films. She received an MPSE Golden Reel award for best sound editing on the mini-series “The Hunchback” in 1998, and a Gemini nomination for sound editing on the TV series “DaVinci’s Inquest” in 1999. She put the film industry on hold to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University in 2004. After relocating to Berlin in 2009, JS began again creating sound design and montage for independent filmmakers.
Moving-images became a suitable passion for this eternally curious DIY experimenter. Encouraged by her friend, the late Roberto Ariganello to enrol in LIFT‘s Hand-made Film Course in 2001, JS began experimenting with the form of celluloid film – hand-processing, optical printing, scratching and drawing directly on the medium. Her short films have been shown at festivals in Milan, London, L.A., Chicago, Berlin, Vancouver, Toronto and New York. In 2005, Amoré won the Best Canadian Film award at Toronto’s International One-minute Film Festival and in 2011, it won the Jury Prize for Experimental Film at the Toronto Underground Film Festival. She enjoys collaboration and interdisciplinary practice, but always returns to independent experimental filmmaking.
Curation & Community Education
With a burning desire to share her skills, JS’ work extends to the curatorial and educational, as a grassroots organizer and workshop leader of the Vancouver super8 festival Project8, post-sound instructor at Simon Fraser University and full-time media arts instructor at the University of British Columbia in the Okanagan. An active community member, she’s served on the board of directors as well as taught video and audio workshops at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, volunteered and taught audio workshops at VIVO Media Arts, mentored video artists through the Inside Out Film Festival, the Project8 Boot Camp and the CFC’s Venus Video program, and curated independent film screenings, the Project8 Film Festival, and currently as a collective team member for the entzaubert queer DIY uncommercial film festival.