Accession consists of textual and graphic records documenting the history and professional activities of Ismé Bennie. The accession includes: a report card from Vereeniging Medium English High School; a SA identification card; documentation from her early employment history in SA; clippings of her work with News/Check magazine; newspaper articles documenting reactions to the "South Africa Speaks" documentary and her involvement with the production; correspondence received while working in public broadcasting at NET (National Educational Television, later succeeded by PBS [Public Broadcasting Service]) and OECA (Ontario Educational Communications Authority, also known as TVOntario); an invitation to the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) Personal Achievement Award party in 1990 and correspondence related to her receipt of the award; a commemmorative document written by Stuart Foxman entitled "Paragon International: Bennie Celebrates Decade at the Helm"; correspondence regarding Bennie's ten year anniversary at Paragon; an invitation to the CFTPA Jack Chisholm Award for Lifetime Contribution to the Motion Picture and Television Industry luncheon and correspondence related to her receipt of the award.
Identified in the photos are: Ismé Bennie and Veronica Tennant.
Material was in possession of Ismé Bennie. Isme donated it to the OJA.
Ismé Bennie was born in Vereeniging, South Africa in 1940. She graduated from Witwatersrand University in 1960 with a B.A. in Library Science. She intially worked as a librarian at the City of Johannesburg Library and briefly left SA to seek opportunity in London. After returning from London, Ismé worked as a writer, researcher and editor with News/Check magazine until the mid-1960s. During this period, she participated in the production of "South Africa Speaks"; a Peabody Award-winning NET/WGBH produced documentary that was critical of the apartheid regime.
Bennie left SA in 1965 in search of professional opportunity and to leave the politics of apartheid. She began working primarily in public broadcasting in the United States. She continued in this field after relocating to Canada 1960s and rose to success in production at OECA,
In 1983, she founded Ismé Bennie International, a media distribution company. After it merged with production company Paragon, Bennie returned to broadcasting. She joined CHUM, (the Toronto-based media company), as Director of Development, rising to Director of Programming and Acquisitions in 1995, and that year won the (CFTPA) Jack Chisholm Award. Previously, she had received the CFTPA Personal Achievement Award in 1990. In 2003, Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT–T) recognized her contribution to supporting and developing women in broadcasting, and she received the WIFT-T Outstanding Achievement Award. Canadian Television Network (CTV) acquired CHUM in 2007 and Bennie was one of the executives retained in the acquisition. Around 2010, Bennie left CTV. Since leaving she has done consulting work and freelance writing. In 2015, she published a memoir entitled, White Schooldays : Coming of Age in Apartheid South Africa.
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