By : Mark Chetcuti

Filmmaker, MAC Member, and MARTY Award winner Katarzyna Kochany directed the winning film at the 24 Hour Challenge held at the ACTRA conference!

The 24 hour Film Challenge is part of the annual winter conference organized by ACTRA (the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists), the union representing performers in the film, radio, television and new media industries.

As described by Katarzyna, “Our group was formed on the morning of the challenge. Most of us didn’t know one another prior to that. We had eight people: six actors who appeared on screen, one writer, and one director (me). We brainstormed ideas in the morning, the writer came up with the first draft, and we filmed in the afternoon, with editing taking place at night.”

The specific criteria for the challenge consisted of a required prop — a shopping bag. There also had to be at least five lines of dialog between two female characters who were overcoming adversity. This year the Bechdel Test was also in use, which requires the on-screen use of:

  • 1. Two female characters being in the narrative.
  • 2. The female characters have names.
  • 3. They talk to each other.
  • 4.  About something other than a man.

Katarzyna and her group came up with, “And the Winner is…”, a story about bright fourth-grader who begins to doubt her dreams of being a famous scientist when her recent academic achievements are called into question by a sore loser.

Her work has screened in every continent except Antarctica, earning over 30 awards and 150 official selections from USA, Canada, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Greece, India, Italy and Kingdom of Swaziland. She is an active voting member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television. One of her recent shorts, “Sal’s Auto” played at the Toronto Black Film Festival. Katarzyna is a York University film school graduate who has honed her filmmaking skills by taking various workshops through organizations such as WIFT-Toronto.

Learn more about Katarzyna at


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