Caroline Maria


The late Caroline Maria was a Montreal-based film maker and television producer recognized for her creativity and commitment to women’s issues. Born in Saint-Lambert, Quebec in 1964, Caroline attended law school at the University of Montreal and, after she graduated in 1986 and was called to the Quebec Bar in 1987, she went to work for the law firm Fisk Emery and Associates. While successful in her law practice, she realized it was not fulfilling her career ambitions and decided she would rather pursue her dream of writing.

She left the law firm and travelled in Europe where she wrote several articles that were published in a women’s travel magazine. After returning to Montreal, she began to work in the film and television industries as a script writer and assistant producer for several production companies, including Cinar.

By 1995, Caroline realized she belonged in the industry. She made the decision to hang out her own shingle and opened the production company Cinemaria. When she left to strike out on her own, she could easily have earned a comfortable living producing or writing for other companies. But she chose to set up her own independent production house so she could develop, write, and produce projects that interested her – that made her laugh, or showcased something she thought we should all learn more about. It was much harder and riskier, but she thrived on the challenge and wanted to do something that mattered.

In a short time, she was extremely prolific and sold productions to such buyers as TV5, CBC, APTN, A&E, New Line Cinema, The Comedy Network and Teletoon. In 2005, she won the animation award at the Banff Film Festival for Tales from the Crib, produced in association with the National Film Board.

The writer and producer Dennis Klein commented: “Every time someone mentions to me a show of mine …I find myself thinking of how my writing on those and other of my projects was strengthened by Caroline’s ideas and support and by her sparkling, powerful intellect and creativity. And I always think: ‘Isn’t that remarkable, to be that human and empathetic, and still have that hilariously, deliciously dark streak of humour all in one package.’ They don’t make ’em like that any more!”

Caroline pursued her own passions and curiosity, which often had a feminist perspective. Productions such as Man-Made Women and Miss Venezuela explored these themes. She gained increasing visibility in New York and Los Angeles, where she partnered with Oprah Winfrey’s production company Oxygen. Her prolific output continued even as she battled the disease of breast cancer.

Caroline Maria passed away in March 2012, leaving behind an outstanding legacy of creative accomplishments.

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