The works of Spectrum Films
Awards and Recognitions
Biographies of Janis and Holly (and a special surprise!)

Since meeting at film school in 1975, Janis Cole and Holly Dale have produced a strong body of independent short, feature, documentary and dramatic films. Their Toronto based film production company, Spectrum Films Inc. was established in the early eighties. Spectrum's mission is to weave the power, art, creativity and technical craft of film to highlight social injustices and bring understanding to marginal people. Films made by Cole, Dale and Spectrum carry a strong point of view, shed insight on the human condition, and have long lasting appeal.

P4W: Prison For Women, their 1982 Genie Award winning feature documentary about Canada's only prison for women, launched the arrival of Spectrum on the international film scene. P4W played on CBC and virtually every Canadian television station, and was featured at film festivals worldwide. Twenty-five years after it's release, the film is still in high demand. Of their many films, Hookers On Davie, Calling The Shots, P4W and Blood & Donuts can be found in selected video stores, film libraries and film school collections.

In 1996 Cole and Dale created Dangerous Offender, a prime time movie of the week for the CBC. Starring Brooke Johnson, Jayne Eastwood, (both 1998 Gemini Award winners for their roles), Patricia Gage, David Fox and Sara Botsford, the movie was nominated for a total of seven Gemini Awards. Dangerous Offender marks Spectrum's interest in creating high quality television along with films and other media projects.

Recipients of the 1994 Toronto Arts Award, Janis Cole and Holly Dale form a dynamic, independent filmmaking team with more than thirty years of experience. Their reputation for bringing humanity and compassion to marginal characters was secured before they graduated from Sheridan College with two hard hitting documentaries; Cream Soda and Minimum Charge No Cover. They have since collaborated on numerous award-winning films including; Dangerous Offender, Calling the Shots, Hookers on Davie, Prison for Women, Thin Line and The Making of Agnes of God.

The Canadian Film and Television Association honoured Cole and Dale with the Theatrical Producers Achievement Award in 1988, one of many professional acknowledgments that include; a Genie from the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for P4W, a Gold Plaque in Chicago for Hookers on Davie, the Los Angeles Lillian Gish Award for Calling the Shots, a Women on the Move Acknowledgment from the Toronto Sun, a Bessie Award for Dale’s commercial directing, and the NFB Award for Best Short Film at the Toronto festival for Cole’s Shaggie. Cole is a 1997 Writer’s Guild of Canada Top Ten Award winner for her script Dangerous Offender, which also picked up a Bronze Plaque at the ‘97 Columbus Film Festival. Dangerous Offender went on to Earn Seven Gemini nominations and win for Best Lead Actress and Best Supporting Actress.

Their films have been featured at major international film festivals such as; Toronto, Berlin, Sydney, London, Tokyo, Tel Aviv, Paris, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles. Their feature films; P4W, Hookers, Calling the Shots and Blood & Donuts have all had successful Cineplex/Odeon and Art House runs throughout North America, and sold to television worldwide.

Cole wrote and Dale directed one of Patrick Watson’s Heritage Series featuring the struggle for penal reform by Agnes Macphail, Canada’s first female MP. In 1994 Cole and Dale wrote Calling the Shots; Profiles of Women Filmmakers, published by Quarry Press.

Dangerous Offender, their CBC movie of the week, aired to an audience of 1.6 million viewers. The film was heralded as a critical and artistic success.

Cole and Dale continue to operate Spectrum Films in Toronto where they develop independent film projects.

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The documentary
P4W: Prison for Women 1982
Gordon Currie & David Cronenerg in Blood & Donuts - 1995
Agnes Macphail
Heritage Minute - 1993


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