Rob Sim, President and CEO of the SIM Group of Companies, today announced that Sandra Cunningham, Founding Partner at Union Pictures and President of Strada Films in Toronto, is the recipient of the 2014 Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award. The award was presented to Sandra at the annual PS Dinner on the Hill, held during the Canadian Media Production Association Prime Time Conference in Ottawa.

“PS is proud to present this award to such a distinguished and deserving producer who over the course of her career has done so much to enhance the fortunes and success of the Canadian feature film production industry” said Sim. “The award recognizes Sandra’s determined advocacy and tremendous commitment on behalf of filmmakers and her collaborative efforts to produce and promote great Canadian films.”

Always a generous mentor, Sandra has been instrumental in nurturing the careers of many filmmakers and has always had a passionate voice for independent production in Canada. Her long-standing history of supporting Canadian artists and ensuring that Canadian stories are brought to the screen make Sandra a highly regarded and important contributor to the industry.

For more than 20 years, she has worked tirelessly to build and support organizations and institutions that ensure feature films get made in Canada and are seen around the world. In addition to her advocacy, Sandra has always been an active member in the industry and is the former Chair of the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA). She has also worked with the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), first as a programmer, responsible for the curating of Canadian films selected to screen each year at the festival and then as a producer at the TIFF talent lab, an intensive incubator for writers, directors and producers from Canada and abroad. 

"I am touched and deeply honoured to be given an award that carries the name Doug Dales. He was a mentor to me and indeed helped launch a generation of filmmakers in this country," said Cunningham during the award ceremony

Over the years, Sandra has helped bring many critically acclaimed Canadian feature films to the big screen, including Mary Harron's Moth Diaries, John L’Ecuyer’s Curtis’s Charm, Robert Lepage’s Possible Worlds and a series of high profile international co-productions with Robert Lantos’ Serendipity Point Films, such as Atom Egoyan’s Ararat and Where the Truth Lies, Norman Jewison’s The Statement, Istvan Szabo’s Being Julia and Jeremy Podeswa’s Fugitive Pieces.

About the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award
The Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award is presented annually by PS in recognition of a producer’s sustained contributions and commitment to strengthening the Canadian film and television industry. Each year’s honouree is selected by a jury composed of the previous recipients including Linda Schuyler, Stephen Stohn, Wayne Grigsby, David MacLeod, Doug MacLeod, Ira Levy, Stephen Ellis, Phyllis Laing, Robin Cass and Paul Pope.