March 26, 2024

Zoe Dirse CSC Appointed CSC President

Photo Credit: Rafy Photography

The Canadian Society of Cinematographers proudly announces the appointment of Zoe Dirse CSC as its new President. 

A pioneering female cinematographer with an illustrious career spanning many decades, Zoe is known for her innovative approach and remarkable contributions to documentary filmmaking. 

A graduate of the University of Toronto with degrees in Psychology and Education, she started her career in cinematography by joining the camera union IATSE 644 in Toronto in 1979, and became a full member of the CSC in 1997, the third woman to get her letters from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, established in 1957. In 1982, she joined the camera department at the National Film Board of Canada in Montréal, Québec and worked there until 1997 shooting over 70 documentaries, many for Studio D and dramas. Her most notable films during this period were Forbidden Love: The Unabashed Stories of Lesbian Lives, Wisecracks, Fire Words, Sisters in the Struggle, Stolen Moments, Song for Québec and her directorial debut, Baltic Fire. Since 1997 she has been freelancing as a cinematographer, director and professor based in Toronto. Her notable film projects include, Runaway Grooms (Donald Britan award 2005), Vendetta Song, Balkan Journey, Jambo Kenya, Shadow Maker and Madame President.

She taught cinematography and documentary filmmaking at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University), York University and Sheridan College, Trafalgar Campus, Oakville, Ontario, Canada where she collaborated on two short documentaries, So Much More and She Never Gave Up in 2016. Other films include, Patron Saint, and Finn with an Oyster: The Story Behind Toronto’s New City Hall. She also executive-produced and shot, The Gender Lady; The Amazing Dr. May Cohen which premiered at the Jewish film Festival in Toronto, May 8th 2019. She continues to shoot documentaries in Canada and abroad.

In 2018, she was awarded the Documentary Luminary award for the Canadian Documentary Organization and the WIFT (Women in Film and Television) award for mentorship.  She has served on the CSC board since 2019, and has made significant contributions to the CSC Diversity, Education and Membership committees.

The Canadian Society of Cinematographers extends its warmest congratulations to Zoe Dirse CSC on her appointment as President and looks forward to a bright future under her leadership.