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Imaginary Heroine

Imaginary Heroine

| 4 min

This short film pays tribute to actress and comedian Mary Walsh. Layering archival photographs of downtown St. John’s and evocative imagery, it tells the remarkable story of a little girl who grew up next door to her family. Inspired by Mary Walsh’s one woman play Dancing with Rage, the film reveals the heart of the unique characters created by Newfoundland’s grand dame of comedy.

Produced by the National Film Board of Canada in co-operation with the National Arts Centre and the Governor General's Performing Arts Awards Foundation on the occasion of the 2012 Governor General's Performing Arts Awards.

  • recipient
    Mary Walsh
  • writer
    Sherry White
  • director
    Sherry White
  • director of photography
    Andrew MacCormack
  • cast
    Ella Clarke
  • background performer
    Ella Ray Lewis-Nappo
    Jack Gover
    Léo Gilbert
    Matthew Gover
    Percy White
    Poppy Park
    Sean Church
  • editing
    Lawrence Jackman
  • sound design
    Lori Clarke
  • associate producer
    Hilary Thomson
  • sound recordist
    Phillip Cairns
    Mark Neary
  • production manager
    Lynn Andrews
  • production assistant
    Brad Gover
  • wardrobe
    Marie Sharpe
  • research
    Wanda Nolan
  • production stills photographer
    Justin Hall
  • digital imaging
    Chris Darlington
  • online editor
    Doug Woods
  • colourist
    Doug Woods
  • re-recording
    Serge Boivin
  • production supervisor
    Roz Power
  • production coordinator
    Tara Taylor
    Jenna Ross
  • technical coordinator
    Steve Hallé
  • rights clearances
    Sylvia Mezei
    Wanda Nolan
  • supervising project manager
    Rachel Punwassie
  • centre administrator
    John William Lutz
  • producer
    Annette Clarke
  • executive producer
    Ravida Din


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Ages 14 to 17

Family Studies/Home Economics - Family Diversity and Challenges
Health/Personal Development - Identity

Identify the “little girl” in the film. Compare her biographic story with her comedic persona; have students research similar comparisons for other celebrities. Assign an Inside/Outside the Box project: students decorate boxes with images representing both public (outside) and private (inside) aspects of themselves, and then write about the process. Discuss how imagination helps children in painful situations. (Consider referencing Life Is Beautiful.) Stage scenes from Imaginary Heroine and assign journal entries from the POV of one of the characters.

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