“A Day in the Life” with Television producer Amanda Handy

There are several immutable truths about our Amanda Handy. She lives passionately, loves ferociously, and wants the world to be better. And if that’s all you remember about her, then it will surely be enough. But you should also know that she’s loyal and smart and beautiful; generous, gregarious and very, very cool. Growing up in the country provided an unbridled childhood, and ignited in young Amanda a love of nature and a taste for wild. Adult Amanda is an exceptional cook, who possesses the cavalier sartorial flair of more than one bygone era. She is an unyielding advocate of equality and human rights, and an intrepid traveller with a sharp and curious mind. Ms. Handy is certainly all for the exchange of civil and informed discourse, even – and sometimes especially – if she disagrees with your position. But you had better not come flailing at her with unsubstantiated conjecture, because I assure you, she has absolutely no time for your bullshit. Had she been born in The Forties they would have said she had gumption. Called her a spitfire. A pistol. A firecracker. A dame. Amanda is intense and intentional in every way that you can be, and when her sun shines on you, there is no warmer place.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that Amanda Handy’s career is her calling. Her tenacity, resilience and resourcefulness invite you to believe she was born only to become a steadfast seeker of truths. She went from small town to big city at a tender 19, and over years of hard work and more than one calamitous setback, she eventually bootstrapped her way to where she is now: a highly-regarded producer of relevant, unflinching and award-winning content. Amanda and her creative partner, Mark Johnston, have run Nomad Films since the early 2000s, a Toronto production house that delivers compelling documentary and dramatic programming for film and TV. She has no formal training, but proudly holds an advanced degree from the University of I’ll Figure It Out, and that grit drives a deep desire to tell compassionate, respectful, informative stories about the human condition and the world in which we live.

Amanda Handy’s mandate for her work is simple but not easy – shine a light where light is needed, and give voice to the mute. Her CV boasts an impressive and inspiring lineup of content, ranging from gentle giraffes for The Nature of Things and the competing agendas of Political Blind Date, to a raw and emotional exploration of Alzheimer’s and the gutting final days of a closing GM plant. At any given moment, she has a million new story ideas taking root in her brain, whose common objective is nothing loftier than leaving us smarter and wanting better for ourselves and our planet. They would have been right to call our Amanda a spitfire. But more accurately, she’s a dreamer. An optimist. A sheer force of nature. A wildling. An ally. A true agent of change.

-Stacia Neale

Amanda Handy producer
Speaking with a New Orleans bar owner about their struggles during Hurricane Katrina.
Amanda Handy film producer
On location filming for our series Political Blind Date. This was the last day of filming before the initial COVID lockdowns began.
Amanda Handy film producer
On the set of The Agenda with Steve Paikin, my business partner Mark Johnston and Tim Hudack for an interview about our show Political Blind Date.
Amanda Handy film producer
At The Woman’s March in Toronto 2017.
Amanda Handy film producer
My partner Mark Johnston and I sneaking in a selfie on location at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, SK.
Amanda Handy film producer with family
In Wasaga Beach with my family being our usual silly selves.
Amanda Handy film producer
I always try to tack on a little mini vacay to the end of my work trips. This was after Sunny Side of the Doc in La Rochelle. I took a little trip over to Île de Ré to bike the island, eat the oysters, and drink the wine!
Amanda Handy film producer
On the red carpet at the Canadian Screen Awards with my producing partners. Mark and I were nominated for Best Documentary for our film Much Too Young, about the young caregivers of parents who have early onset Alzheimer’s.


Which ‘hood are you in?

I’m on the cusp of Leslieville and South Riverdale. East Side!

What do you do?

I am a TV and Film Producer, Executive Producer, and Partner at Nomad Films Inc.

What are you currently working on?

Currently in production on Season 5 of our series Political Blind Date (temporarily halted due to COVID), plus in development on a number of other projects. Ha! Always working on so many things – the life of a producer!

Where can we find your work?

Visit our website www.nomadfilms.ca, which will link you to most of our work.