Kelly Saxberg


Kelly Saxberg is an award-winning film producer, director and editor who has worked on over 80 films. Her credits include both dramas and documentaries. In addition to producing a number of her own films with Shebafilms, she has directed and edited films for the National Film Board of Canada, Les Productions Rivard and several independent producers. Kelly has also served as a supervisor and mentor to aspiring filmmakers and she has walked many of them through their first professional film project.

Among the highlights of her directing career are Rosies of the North, (NFB 1999), Letters from Karelia, (NFB 2004), Banana Split, (ShebaFilms 2002), Dorothea Mitchell: A Reel Pioneer (Shebafilms 2008),  Citoyens du Monde, (Productions Rivard, 2009), Life is But a Dream, (Flash Frame, 2010) and  Under the Red Star,  these films demonstrate the artistic talent Kelly brings to her work.

Rosies of the North is a one-hour National Film Board production that tells the story of North America’s first woman aeronautical engineer and the women who build Hurricane and Hell diver airplanes during World War Two. Rosies of the North has been broadcast on on at least 8  channels in North America and it remains popular as one of the only documentary films produced by the NFB about Canadian women and war.

Big Finn Hall is a docu-drama in post-production. Filmed in the summer and winter of 2010, this feature-length film tells the story of Finnish immigrants and Finnish radicalism in Canada during the first decades of the twentieth century. Starring Finnish actors, Jussi Nikkila and Elena Leeve and over 200 extras, this film combines archival footage with scenes depicting a series of dramatic events that shaped Canadian politics in the years leading up to World War Two.

Letters from Karelia, was Kelly’s first feature length documentary. Letters from Karelia is about Finnish-Canadians who moved to the Soviet Union in the 1930’s. It was awarded two Blizzards – Best Documentary and Kelly won Best Directing at the 2006 Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Awards and was also nominated for a Gemini for best historical documentary 2006. Letters from Karelia was shot on super16 in Canada, Finland and Russia. It has been shown at numerous festivals and can be seen in Finland on YLE, and in Canada on History Television.

Banana Split a documentary about the most popular fruit in Canada, that Kelly co-directed and edited. It won the first annual Deborah Fletcher Award of Excellence in Filmmaking on International Developmentand Best Documentary – Latin American Environmental  Media Film Festival. It was broadcast in Canada and the United States.

Dorothea Mitchell: A Reel Pioneer is about a local effort to finish a silent movie from the 1930’s and tell the story of Canada’s first single woman homesteader, lumber mill operator and feature film scriptwriter. It airs on Bravo! and can be seen along with two of Dorothea’s silent films on our vimeo channel.

Citoyens du Monde is a 6 hour French language documentary series Kelly wrote and directed for  TFO and Les Productions Rivard. The series is available in English as Citizens of the World. Shot in 15 countries, the series tackles Canada and international development from the point of view of researchers and scientists in the developing world. See some of Citoyens du Monde/Citizens of the World and the New Media productions that came out of it.

Life is But a Dream is both a short documentary that was selected as a finalist in the 2010 Doc Challenge competition, and the foundation for a full-length documentary about a remarkable row across the Atlantic ocean. You can watch both the short and the promo on our Big Blue Row vimeo channel.

In addition to directing these films, Kelly has a long list of credits on other films and with some of the best filmmakers in the business. Her work has been broadcast in Canada and around the world, she has experience in all formats and genres of film, from Super8 to IMAX, and she works in English, French and Spanish. In addition to the information on this site, an incomplete, but useuful list of Kelly’s credits can be found on the IMDB website.

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