Aerlyn Weissman has worked on film projects from Hollywood to the Himalayas. Starting as a location sound recordist, her work included front line coverage in the Middle East, camping with grizzly bears for National Geographic, and recording the Toronto Symphony. She has received two Gemini Awards for recording excellence.
Aerlyn's work as a writer/director began in 1988. Her first feature film, A Winter Tan, was described by Jay Scott as "unlike any Canadian film you've ever seen." Made in collaboration with four colleagues, it was nominated for Best Picture, Best Direction, Best Actress and Best Sound at the 1989 Genies.
Aerlyn was co-director of Forbidden Love, a film on popular culture and the lives of Canadian lesbians in the 1950's, produced by the National Film Board of Canada. Variety noted, "this well crafted documentary blends a savvy mixture of fiction and fact." Released theatrically in Canada, Britain, and the United States, it has been broadcast on CBC, PBS, and the BBC. The film received many audience and technical awards at international festivals, and won the Genie for Best Feature Length Documentary of 1993. Her next film, Fiction and Other Truths: A Film About Jane Rule, a profile of that West Coast writer, received a Genie in 1995. From 1995 to 1996 Aerlyn co-produced and directed, DoubleTake: Women in Media, a 13-part series for television, on the politics of women's representation in the media.
In 1997, she directed and co-wrote a 2-hour special on con-men called Scams, Schemes, and Scoundrels, for A&E, and shot on location in Paris, Amsterdam, and Minneapolis. In 1998 she directed the dramatic reenactment of a notorious Canadian bank robbery and its aftermath, for the public affairs program A Test of Justice. Aerlyn spent two seasons as a director on the reality based television series, Kink. The series was broadcast on Showcase to record-setting audience numbers. Her latest feature film Little Sisters v.s. Big Brother will open the Out on Screen Film Festival on August 8, 2002.
Aerlyn is currently a mentor at the Gulf Islands Film and Video School on Galiano Island, and a workshop instructor at Video In, a Vancouver centre for alternative video production. She is a member of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus, and Vancouver Women in Film and Television, and received their award for Woman of the Year in 1996. Now living on the West Coast of British Columbia, she continues to explore her interest in independent cinema and innovative television.