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Patricia Gruben


B: 1947 in Chicago, Illinois

Patricia Gruben was born in the United States and made her way to Canada during the Vietnam War era after graduate studies in Film at the University of Texas. She worked for ten years as a set decorator and art director while making experimental narrative shorts (The Central Character, Sifted Evidence: an interview) which drew attention at international film festivals. In 1982 she moved to Vancouver to teach film production at Simon Fraser University. There she made two long experimental narratives, Low Visibility and Ley Lines, and a 35mm dramatic feature, Deep Sleep, starring Megan Follows. In 1987, with Colin Browne, Gruben founded the Praxis Centre, a national script development workshop now operating as the Whistler Film Festival Screenwriters Lab. From 1982-2018 she was a film professor at Simon Fraser University, teaching courses in film production, film studies and screenwriting, and running a field school in the art and culture of contemporary India. Gruben was honored for her contributions to Canada’s film industry at the Women in Film and Television (WIFTV) 2015 Spotlight Awards, where she was presented with the Teamsters 155 Woman of the Year Award. The award acknowledges her significant success in film as well as her mentorship of other women in the industry. Gruben also wrote and produced a 3-act play, The Secret Doctrine, starring Gabrielle Rose, and created an interactive installation, The Veil of Nature, with Martin Gotfrit. We list her credits as a Director first.