Elena is an award-winning documentary filmmaker — director, host, shooter, editor and producer — photographer and creative entrepreneur. She's also a co-founder of Coexistence Films, an innovative impact production organization.
Elena's home-base is in Tofino, British Columbia, within the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, surrounded by the coastal rainforest and mountains of Vancouver Island. Elena is an avid traveller, runner, surfer, certified diver and skilled creative, with a lively sense of humour, insatiable curiousity and love for adventure.
Elena studied engineering at Queen’s University from 2013-2017, while pursuing her passions for entrepreneurship, video production, adventure and the environment. She is a 2015 Cansbridge Fellow and founder of multiple impact-focused companies and organizations. In 2016, Elena launched One Species: A brand dedicated to fighting extinction by making “conservation mainstream” through apparel, community and media. Video work for this company led her to the West Coast of Canada, where she met Gloria Pancrazi and began developing Coextinction.
In 2018, Elena produced behind-the-scenes content for SeaLegacy. And in 2019 worked as a cinematographer, content creator and editor for Milkywire, capturing stories of wildlife conservationists on the front lines throughout Africa.
Her feature documentary film, Coextinction, world premiered at Jackson Wild 2021, winning the “Our Human Planet” category, and has screened at Vancouver International Film Festival, Mill Valley Film Festival and other festivals, globally. The film has received multiple awards, including the “Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award” and “People’s Choice”, and is currently in impact distribution.
In 2021, Elena co-founded Coexistence Films, an impact production organization dedicated to stories about interconnectedness and intelligent, bold action for systemic change. Elena is also working on independent and contracted projects, including a series on women in cold water freediving.
Elena has spoken at numerous events and conferences, and been featured as a filmmaker and activist on news — such as Global News, National Observer, iHeart Radio and CTV among others — and podcasts — such as Their Life Story, Conscious Living Radio and Sierra Youth among others.
2021 Rob Stewart Eco-Warrior Award, Vancouver International Film Festival
2021 Best Canadian Documentary Nominee, Vancouver International Film Festival
2021 Winner of Our Human Planet Category, Jackson Wild
2021 People's Choice Award, Planet In Focus
2019 Telus Storyhive Documentary Edition Award
2017 QIC Summer Initiative Accelerator Cohort
2016 Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship (ACE) Award
2015 Cansbridge Fellow
2013 Chief FREC, Queen's Engineering
Outstanding Parallel Parking Award, Life