VALERIE BUHAGIAR - BIO
Valerie is an award winning Toronto based actor and filmmaker. At 18 years of age she toured China, the U.S. and Canada as a Puppeteer. She is a scholarship Graduate of George Brown’s Acting Program and a three time Dora Mavor Moore award winner. Valerie first gained international recognition playing the leading roles in Bruce McDonald’s Highway 61 and Roadkill. She has been a host for The Showcase Revue and has appeared as a guest star in various T.V. episodics and several Independent features.
The Passion of Rita Camilleri was Valerie’s writing, directing and producing debut. The film has won several international prizes. The Karlovy Vary film Festival held a retrospective of Valerie’s work as an actor and a filmmaker. Other filmmaking credits include: One Day I Stood Still, L’amour L’amour Shut the Door Por Favor and BoomBoom Baby Wants to Go. She has directed a Public Service Announcement for Centre of Opportunity, Respect and Empowerment (C.O.R.E), a biography on Colin Linden for the Toronto Arts Awards and two Bravo!FACT shorts entitled Pictures from Home and Omneya – Wish. Valerie also directed the Festival of Lights, a parade full of vignettes set on rooftops of Toronto’s Kensington Market, as well as video images for Theatre Gargantua’s production of Nod. Tell Us the Truth Josephine – a bitter immigrant story and Small, Stupid and Insignificant both won the best experimental film at the Female Eye Film Festival. She also directed The Fall of Grace, a short film for the National Theatre School of Canada, and Black Hole, a music video for Joey Wright.
Valerie can be seen on the small screen as well with recent roles including a guest star spot on the CBC hit series The Border and in a recurring role on the international hit series Degrassi, NBC’s Beauty and the Beast, Murdoch Mysteries , The Expanse Season 2 and most recently WB Titans.
Valerie continues to work on stage. She has returned from the UK where she developed a theatre piece with the support of the National Theatre Studio in London, England. She has starred in the award winning theatre production of Scorched at The Tarragon theatre, National Arts Centre and the national touring company. She played in One Light/Neptune theatre’s The Veil and won a Merritt Award nomination for best leading actress. She was also in Frankfurt to perform the one-woman show titled We are not Afraid of the Dark by Tine Van Aerschot. In 2016 she was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore award for her performance in Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom at Canadian Stage, which won best production.
Valerie’s second feature film It’s Hard to Be Human has finished it’s festival run and won BEST CANADIAN FEATURE at the Female Eye Film Festival. It has worldwide distribution. Her first feature film, The Anniversary, won BEST NARRATIVE COMEDY at Cinequest, Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actor and Honourable Mention Best Feature film at Buffalo Niagara film festival and an Actra nomination for Best Actor for Colin Mochrie. Her third feature film Carmen is a Maltese/Canadian co-production, shot in Malta and starring Natascha McElhone. Valerie has two feature films in development.
K.M. Hunter Nomination for filmmaking.
It’s Hard to be Human
Best Canadian Feature – Female Eye Film Festival - 2018
Best Narrative Feature – Comedy – Cinequest 25 – 2015
Best Actor in Supporting role, Best Actress in a leading role, Honorable Mention, Best Feature Film – Buffalo Niagara Film Festival - 2015
Small, Stupid and Insignificant
Best Experimental Drama - Female Eye Film Festival - 2011
Tell Us the Truth Josephine
Best Experimental Film - Female Eye Film Festival - 2009
The Passion of Rita Camilleri
Best film (Golden Knight Award) - Malta Film Festival
Silver Plaque Award - Chicago Film Festival
Golden Plaque - Chicago Television Production
Best Music - Atlantic Film Festival
Gemini Nomination - For best music
Honorary Mention - New York Film Festival
Honorary Mention - Columbus Film Festival
Montreal World film Festival; Best First Film (special jury prize for collective effort)
Sudbury film Festival; Second Prize - People’s choice award
Vancouver Film Festival; Best Canadian film
Worldfest Houston; Gold Award - Low Budget Feature
Botticelli in the Fire and Sunday in Sodom - Best Female Actor nomination and best production Dora Award
White Trash Blue Eyes (collective) Dora Award
The Lorca Play (best actress) Dora Award
The Lark (best actress) Critics Choice Award
White/Noise/Jump NYC Fringe Festival/First Prize
Best Theatrical Piece
Film Festivals where self-directed films attended: Toronto International Film Festival, Sudbury, Vancouver, Atlantic, Newfoundland, Columbus, Locarno, Portugal, Malta, Chicago, New York City, Houston, Parkdale Rehab, Meinham, Germany, Moving Pictures, North by North East
Retrospective at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival 1999
- Multi Cam workshop 2014 – AMAZE – Stanley Dynamic
- TIFF’S DIRECTOR’S LAB 2013
- Juror for TIFF Canadian Features 2012
- Juror for FEFF 2013, 2014 and 2015
- Cove Park residency (Scotland)
- Banff Arts Center – Interarium – full scholarship participant
- Women in the Director’s Chair – career module participant and SIM.02
- Centauri Arts Camp - Program director - acting for film
- NSI Film Camp
- Team Leader/Acting Coach - guiding teens to making film
- sat on many panels for acting and filmmaking in Canada and overseas
- taught workshops Director/Actor relationship