Jennifer Kawaja

Jennifer Kawaja, Co-Founder, Sienna Films

Jennifer Kawaja is a seasoned producer with over 25 years of experience in content creation for the international marketplace. She joined partner Julia Sereny to form Sienna Films in 1995.

Since that time, the duo has continuously made critically acclaimed and award-winning television, film and digital media, building on their reputation with indie feature films including breakout comedy New Waterford Girl (Sundance/ TIFF/ Berlinale), Gay Muslim romantic comedy Touch of Pink starring Kyle MacLachlan and Jimi Mistry (Sundance; Sony Pictures Classics) and Caribbean-community centered dance drama How She Move starring Rutina Wesley (Sundance; Paramount Vantage/MTV Films). Always venturing into challenging territory with productions including Afghanistan-set medical series Combat Hospital (13x1 hours, Global/ABC/Sony Int’l), television movie One Dead Indian (Bell Media) about the death of Indigenous activist Dudley George, mini-series Diamonds starring Derek Jacobi, James Purefoy and Judy Davis (CBC/ABC), an unflinching look at the deadly global ramifications of diamond industry practices, and documentaries Black, Bold and Beautiful: Black Women and Their Hair. Sienna’s television projects and feature films have been widely distributed internationally while making their mark at home.Slated for production in 2018 in Ireland and Ethiopia is the feature film adaptation Sweetness in the Belly starring Wunmi Mosaku, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II and Kunal Nayyar and directed by Zeresenay Berhane Mehari.

Before joining Sienna Films Jennifer was a partner in the Winter Films production collective, producing and directing documentaries, music videos and short dramas. She directed Beyond Borders a two-part documentary series for the NFB on Arab Feminist movements and their on-going struggle not to be used in the geo-political war between east and west and produced The Other Prison, a drama set in Kingston penitentiary about an inmate learning to read as well as, produced :30 Second Democracy, an hour long documentary by writer/director David Vainola about the history of political advertisements in North America. She also consulted for the Department of Multiculturalism, the Canada Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the National Film Board on issues of diversity. She immigrated to Canada from the Caribbean and settled in Montreal where she studied Philosophy and subsequently Film, TV and Communications theory.