Maria Topalovich Resigns as President and CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television

    TORONTO, April 12 /CNW/ - Maria Topalovich, President and CEO of the
Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced today that she will resign
her position at the Academy at the end of her contract on April 30, 2007.
    "I have enjoyed the unique privilege of helping to build this vital
association since its inception. After 28 years of serving the Academy and its
constituents, sponsors and broadcasters and steering this organization to its
present position as a leader in Canada's film and television community, I feel
the time is right to pursue my own personal goals. The baton will be passed to
new talents bringing a fresh perspective on the Academy's essential role in
the ever-changing landscape of the Canadian film and television industries,"
said Maria Topalovich.
    Paul Gratton, Chair of the Academy, acknowledged the invaluable
contribution Maria has made to the Academy and to the film and television
industries. "During her 28-year tenure, Maria has been a driving force and
tireless promoter of our national culture and Canada's film and television
industries. She helped to create the first Genie Awards in 1980 out of the
legacy of the Canadian Film Awards. Recognizing the ever-increasing importance
of television, she played a key role in the establishment of Canada's very
first national television awards, the Geminis, in 1986. At the same time, the
Academy established the Prix Gémeaux and formed its Quebec branch to
administer them. Through her dedicated efforts, the Genie, Gemini and Prix
Gémeaux are now internationally recognized as standards of excellence and
unparalleled honours in our industry.
    "Maria is the author of two definitive anthologies on the Canadian film
industry, A Pictorial History of the Canadian Film Awards and And the Genie
Goes To...Celebrating 50 Years of the Canadian Film Awards, both published by
Stoddart. Under her stewardship, the Academy also produced a variety of
publications including the popular 'how to' series - Making It,  Selling It
and Telling It - on producing, marketing and writing for film and television
in Canada, and established essential, year-round professional development and
apprenticeship programs, marketing conferences and national Speaker and
Screening series for Academy members and the industry at large. Despite the
cyclical nature of our business, the Academy remains the largest national
professional association of its kind in Canada and today unifies over 4,000
industry professionals across the country.
    "On behalf of the Board of Directors and our membership, I thank Maria
for her outstanding contributions to the Academy and the industry as a whole,
and wish her continued success in her future endeavours."
    A search committee, comprised of National Chair Paul Gratton, Quebec
Chair Charles Ohayon and founding Chair Ron Cohen, will immediately set upon
the task of identifying the appropriate candidate who will help guide the
Academy through the challenging and exciting times ahead. Until then, Paul
Gratton will serve as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Academy.

For further information:

For further information: about the Academy of Canadian Cinema and
Television, please contact: Katherine Holmes, Holmes Creative Communications,
(416) 628-5604 or

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