Jennifer Baichwal was born in Montreal and grew up in Victoria, British Columbia. Her first film “Looking You In the Back of the Head” asked thirteen women to try to describe themselves and was first broadcast, to critical acclaim, on TVOntario’s “From the Heart.”
“Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles,” her first feature documentary, won a 1999 International Emmy for Best Arts Documentary. It premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 1998 and was nominated that year for a Best Feature Documentary Genie Award. It also won Best Biography at Hot Docs in 1999 and was picked up for theatrical release in Canada and the U.S.
“The Holier It Gets” documents a trek Baichwal took with her brother and two sisters to the source of the Ganges River with her father’s ashes. The film won Best Independent Canadian Film and Best Cultural Documentary at Hot Docs 2000, Geminis for Best Editing and Best Writing, and was nominated for the Donald Britain Award and the Chalmers Documentarian Award. The film was commissioned by TVOntario and features music by Ravi Shankar and John McLaughlin.
Baichwal’s latest feature length film, THE TRUE MEANING OF PICTURES, explores the work of Appalachian photographer Shelby Lee Adams. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2002; its U.S. premiere was at the Sundance International Film Festival in January 2003.