Karen O”Donnell is the founder of the production company Wordshop Productions Inc.
Odd Kid Out, her first ADHD related documentary, concerns three families, including her own, dealing with the challenges of children with ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Odd Kid Out had its world première in Toronto at the Bloor Cinema on Friday, January 31 at 7pm and its world television première on TVO on Thursday, February 6th at 7pm. In addition to the documentary itself, O”Donnell is in the process of preparing an educational video series for parents, educators and caregivers of ADHD children.
A spirited director/producer/writer, O”Donnell is driven by a passion for weaving intriguing stories and crafting an emotional journey for viewers. The mission statement of her company is: By igniting the flames of thought, And illuminating the recesses of reflection, Wordshop Productions plants the seeds of inspiration, Through empowering programming, Daring the soul to dream.
O”Donnell has written, directed and produced a series of short documentaries, including If I Were An Artist, The Don Lisk Story, a 22-minute piece on a self-taught sculptor, who creates amazing works of art carving egg shells, and Working Without A Net, a 22-minute film about several budding filmmakers as they launch production companies.
O’Donnell crafted and teaches a nine-week training program – the Independent Film and Television Producers’ Program at Toronto”s Centennial College. The only program of its kind in Canada, it focuses on the business of being an independent producer, with such topics as financing projects, budgeting, proposal writing, pitching, etc. Her educational videos include: The Real Deal: An Insiders” Guide to Purchasing a Used Vehicle; The Self Employment Process, currently used as a training video by the Federal Government; and the hour-long Entrepreneurial Success Stories, detailing the road to success for four new business owners, broadcast on Rogers Cable.
O”Donnell earned an Honours Degree in Fine Arts at York University, and has had one of her plays, Nothing Personal, mounted in Toronto. When she decided to realize a life-long desire to transfer her creative skills to the television medium, she enlisted some of Toronto”s most talented professionals to assist with the transition and has spent the past five years honing her skills as a documentary filmmaker. She has consulted for the Ontario Media Development Agency, served on the Board of Directors for Women in Film and Television, and currently serves on the Board of the Canadian Independent Film Caucus.’