LIZ MARSHALL

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SHORT BIOGRAPHY

Working with diverse teams, Liz has written, directed, produced and filmed multiple impactful documentary projects around the globe since the 1990s. Motivated by the transformative language and platform of film and television, Liz has dedicated her career to exploring some of the most pressing issues and ideas of our times. With a focus on change-makers, artists, and solutions, her award-winning work has been reviewed and screened widely.  

Meat The Future (2020), licensed by Canada’s Documentary Channel, chronicles the birth of the “cultivated meat” industry through the eyes of a visionary co-founder and CEO, Dr. Uma Valeti. Proposing a game-changing solution towards a humane climate future, the international version (2022) is narrated by Dr. Jane Goodall, executive produced and with music by Moby. Liz Marshall helped to open our eyes to the inhumanity of animals exploited for food, fashion, entertainment, and research with the 2013 critically acclaimed The Ghosts in Our Machine, licensed by Canada’s Documentary Channel, featuring the work of animal rights photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur of We Animals. With Midian Farm (2018) Liz unearths a deeply personal piece of family history about an Ontario-based 1970s back-to-the-land social experiment in which her parents co-founded. Licensed by Canada’s TVO, Water on the Table (2010) chronicles the human right to water amidst a global water crisis following Maude Barlow’s appointment as U.N. Senior Advisor on Water to the President of the 63rd Session of the United Nations. 

Currently, Liz is in production on a feature-length documentary funded by TELUS originals, in collaboration with three Indigenous change-makers who are determined to halt intergenerational trauma. Their stories of homecoming intersect as they learn and document the traditional cultural teachings of their Elders within their respective Nations. Slated for completion in 2023. 

Included in Marshall’s body of work is the Stephen Lewis Foundation Trilogy (2007), about the impacts of the HIV/AIDS pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa, largely affecting women and children. Musicians In The WarZone (2001), a War Child Canada, MuchMusic Special Presentation features Canadian music icons in three war-torn countries highlighting the affects of conflict on children and youth. Inside Your Threads (2003) exposes the unregulated conditions of the garment industry affecting workers, featuring Canadians music artists. In 1995, fresh out of film school, Liz and her team were invited to document the touring life of folk-punk feminist pioneer Ani DiFranco.

 

Liz’s work has taken her around the globe to West and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, South and South East Asia, Central and Eastern Europe, Central and South America, and across Canada and the United States. 

Her films have been released theatrically, on streaming and digital platforms, for global broadcasters, at top-tier film festivals, for hundreds of grassroots communities, for influencers and celebrities, at museums, a Tragically Hip rock concert, for world leaders, and are distributed within the educational market.

See Liz Marshall’s full portfolio here, including short films, music videos and music documentaries. 

Rent and purchase films here. 

The global success and social impact of the critically acclaimed documentary The Ghosts In Our Machine, is reflected in a global impact evaluation report funded by the Doc Society.

Read report here

Liz Marshall’s work has been reviewed widely. 

See press coverage here

LONG BIOGRAPHY

During early childhood in Ontario, Liz (Cowie) Marshall’s family lived on a back-to-the-land commune, as chronicled in her personal documentary Midian Farm. Her 2017 Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Cinema Production from York University, centred on the themes of Midian Farm as a unique 1970s Canadian social experiment.

Liz Marshall began her creative career at age 12, acting with Toronto Studio Players, a street and studio style theatre company. At 16, Liz bought her first 35mm film camera, which inspired a vision behind the lens. 

In the mid-90s, fresh out of Ryerson University’s Media Arts Bachelor of Applied Arts program (BAA), Liz Marshall was commissioned by American folk-icon Ani DiFranco and her pioneering record label Righteous Babe Records to document Ani’s life as a touring musician in parts of the US and Canada. In 1995, Liz directed a multimedia approach, consisting of Super 8mm and 16mm film, hi-8 video, photographs and digital audio recordings of Ani on the road, behind the scenes, and performing for sold-out audiences.

From 1999 – 2003, Liz worked as a freelance arts, news and specials producer and videographer at the storied CHUM/CityTV building in Toronto, helmed by media mogul Moses Znaimer. She produced dozens of segments, one-hour specials, and filmed iconic artists, celebrities and musicians for Bravo!NewStyleArts Channel, MuchMusic, and BookTelevision: The Channel.

Liz Marshall worked as Media Director for the Non Governmental Organization War Child Canada and directed her first social-impact documentary Musicians In the WarZone (2001), produced by War Child Canada and MuchMusic, featuring Canadian music artists Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida, the Rascalz, and David Usher in war zones Iraq and Sierra Leone, and at the Thai-Burmese border. From 2006-2007, Liz directed and co-produced a trilogy of short documentaries with the Stephen Lewis Foundation about the HIV/AIDS pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa affecting and impacting children, women, and grandmother’s. 

Liz Marshall is an active member of the Canadian film community. She has been a member of DOC (Documentary Organization of Canada) since 2007, and served for three terms (2011-2016) as an elected board member of the Toronto chapter of DOC, which formed the DOC Institute – the collective voice for Toronto’s indie documentary filmmakers. Liz is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada – BC Chapter – a provincial labour organization representing more than 1,900 key creative and logistical personnel working in the screen-based industries. Liz is a core member of the Canadian chapter of Film Fatales, a global collective of female directors dedicated to the creation of more films and television by and about women.

Liz Marshall lived in Toronto for more than four decades, spending childhood summers playing and imagining on the salty sorrel beaches of the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, the unceded homelands of the shíshálh and sḵwx̱wú7mesh Peoples, where she currently resides.