The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Semi Chellas 

TV writer, show-runner & film director 


2:30 – 4:00 pm (PST)
Monday, January 18, 2021 

To register for this Zoom webinar, email  

Free & open to the public

Presented by UVic’s Department of Writing
For more information on this lecture please email: 


Sharing experience with next-generation writers

Semi Chellas is best known as a writer/producer of The Romanoffs and Mad Men, where she was nominated for six Emmys, won two Writers Guild Awards, and ran the writers’ room in the final seasons. She will be speaking with the Writing 100 class, sharing her professional experience with the next generation of writers.  

Chellas has written a number of indie features, including Ophelia (starring Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, George MacKay and Clive Owen) and made her directing debut in 2019 with American Woman, which she adapted from Susan Choi’s Pulitzer short-listed novel. The film had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival and a Gala Presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival, where programmers called it a “classic political thriller [with] shades of the best ’70s American cinema”.

American Woman opened The Female Eye Film Festival; won Best Director, Best Film, Best Actress and Best Cinematography at the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival; was awarded a Special Jury Prize for the lead actresses at the Calgary International Film Festival; and won the Gold Remi Award for a period film at Houston WorldFest. Chellas was also named one of IndieWire’s 25 Rising Directors to Know

She began her career co-creating and showrunning the two-time Canadian Best Series winner The Eleventh Hour, and is currently a consulting producer with the hit TV show, Snowpiercer.  


About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work. 

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at