Mary Gerretsen is an award-winning filmmaker with an eye for stories that try to find the subtle joys of life in even the most tragic and somber sides of humanity. The youngest child of four to a couple of Beatnik Canadian filmmakers, when she wasn’t dreaming up stories in her bed under the stairs in the basement (before Harry Potter made it a cool thing), she was drawing, playing music, writing stories, and running around her neighborhood in Toronto. But as whimsical and quirky as her life seemed, she was never far from tragedy. Her mother suffered four aneurysms and a stroke and was partially handicapped since she was four years old, and when she was barely out of school, both her parents tragically passed away within years of each other. She followed in her filmmaker parents’ footsteps, graduating with a BFA in Film Studies from Ryerson University and pursued a career in film and television in Toronto, where she produced, directed, shot, and edited for television shows including CASH CAB, OVER THE RAINBOW, and STEVEN AND CHRIS, she also directed and produced music videos for Independent Bands like EVENING HYMNS and HEARTBEAT HOTEL. She went on to attend the USC School of Cinematic Arts’s Graduate Production Program where she channeled the lessons of her life into the films she was directing. Her documentary films GEORGE, THE ART OF THE LOST TRADE, and 7/8ths OF THE WAY THERE, all tackle the notion of finding the joys of life in the face of death in their own way, and those, along with her narrative film, ORANGE ARE YOU GONNA DANCE WITH ME?, have received over a dozen awards and have been accepted into more than fifty film festivals. While at USC, she was awarded various awards for excellence, including the Annenberg Scholarship, the University’s top scholarship. Since graduating, she has continued to direct, produce, shoot, and edit on a variety of long-form and short-form documentaries and narrative films, including serving as Second-Unit Director of Photography on Budweiser’s documentary KINGS OF BEER. She is currently in production directing and shooting a documentary feature about the life of a man dying from prostate cancer as well as a documentary series called TRUE. TALK. DOCS. - A socially conscious series to help people feel like they are not alone.