LIZ MARSHALL

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SHORT BIOGRAPHY

LIZ MARSHALL is a multi award winning Canadian filmmaker who has written, directed, produced, and filmed socially conscious impactful documentaries since the 1990s, with diverse teams.

Marshall believes in the connective language and powerful platform of film and television to create change. 

Currently, Liz is focused on a global impact and distribution campaign for MEAT THE FUTURE. She is writing her first narrative fiction script with an old friend, and developing new documentary projects. 

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

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

See full portfolio here, including short films, music videos and music documentaries. 

Rent and purchase films here. 

Liz Marshall’s feature-length work explores visionary themes through strong characters; creating evocative links between human, environmental and animal rights. Since 2009, she has directed and produced consciousness-raising and solution-focused documentaries about the world water crisis, featuring Maude Barlow, WATER ON THE TABLE (2010); nonhuman animal sentience and rights, featuring Jo-Anne McArthur, THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE (2013); the utopian back-to-the-land movement of the 1970s, featuring Liz’s parents Grainger Cowie and Diane Marshall, MIDIAN FARM (2018); the revolutionary birth of the slaughter-free “cell-based” meat industry, featuring Dr. Uma Valeti, MEAT THE FUTURE (2020). 

The reach and effectiveness 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, featured and mentioned in the corporate and grassroots press-media, including by Women in Hollywood, Variety Magazine, POV Magazine, Film Daily, Filmmaker Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The Telegraph, Elle Canada, BBC World News, Rabble.ca, The Tyee, VegNews, CBC, Realscreen, various podcasts and radio, and others.

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 lived and worked in Toronto for more than four decades, spending childhood summers playing and imagining on the salty sorrel beaches of the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, where she currently resides.

She began her creative career at age 12, acting with Toronto Studio Players, a street and studio style theatre company. She remained with the company until she was 18. At 16, Liz bought her first 35mm film stills camera, which inspired a vision behind the lens. At the age of 19, Liz knew she wanted to be a filmmaker and photographer.

In the mid-90s, fresh out of Ryerson University’s Media Arts Bachelor of Applied Arts program (BAA), Liz Marshall followed her passion for nonfiction storytelling and 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. 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.

For the next five years, Liz worked as an Arts, News and Specials producer and videographer at the storied CHUM/CityTV building in Toronto, helmed by media mogul Moses Znaimer. She produced and filmed dozens of segments, one-hour specials, and filmed iconic artists, celebrities and musicians for Bravo!NewStyleArts Channel, MuchMusic, and BookTelevision: The Channel.

The following projects deeply influenced Liz’s path forward, convincing her to continue making documentaries.

From 1999 – 2001, Liz Marshall worked as Media Director for the Non Governmental Organization War Child Canada. She directed the impactful MUSICIANS IN THE WARZONE (2001), produced by War Child Canada and MuchMusic, which followed Canadian music celebrities Chantal Kreviazuk, Raine Maida, the Rascalz, and David Usher to Iraq, Sierra Leone, and the Thai-Burmese border to shine a light on war-affected children. From 2006-2007, Liz directed and co-produced a trilogy of short documentaries for the Stephen Lewis Foundation about the HIV/AIDS pandemic across sub-Saharan Africa. GRANDMOTHERS: THE UNSUNG HEROES OF AFRICA helped launch the global Grandmothers to Grandmothers grassroots advocacy campaign.

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 she 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.