2015 Guest Speaker list coming soon.
Ania Trzebiatowska heads acquisitions at Visit Films - a worldwide film sales company based in NYC, representing some of the best in independent US and world cinema. Visit’s most recent titles include: “Krisha”, “It Follows”, “People Places Things” and “She’s Lost Control”. Ania has worked in the film industry for nearly a decade. For the last seven years she has been the Artistic Director of Off Camera IFF (Krakow, Poland). She trained in production and post-production at the BBC and the British Museum. She produced “The Unspeakable” Act by Dan Sallitt.
Title: Owner, Digital Media & Marketing Strategist
Company: Veria Search Media Marketing & Becoming a Storypreneur
Annelise comes from a background as an independent producer, with training at such prestigious institutions at the Canadian Film Centre (Producer’s Lab) and Banff Centre for the Arts (Electronic and Film Media). Since 1995 she has been working in the field of digital marketing and has always been an avid gamer and consumer of digital content. She works extensively with government organizations and production companies in the film, television and interactive industries in North America and Europe. Her focus is helping content creators and storytellers use the power of online language and data to define, find, attract and engage their audiences and work toward strategic and sustainable digital business models. She has sat on the Interactive Fund jury for Creative BC, the Experimental Stream jury for the CMF, and has taught on behalf of such organizations as Telefilm, Women in Film, BC Film + Media, CHRC, the Independent Production Fund and Boost HBG in Sweden. Annelise has developed and implemented marketing strategies and gathered and analyzed online data for digital and screen media products as diverse as interactive apps, transmedia experiences, webisode series, feature films, television series and production companies themselves. She is currently working on a variety of screen media projects across the country, and is about to launch the fourth cohort of her online course “Becoming a Storypreneur: Digital Marketing for Screen Media.”
Ms. Briceño has over 13 years of experience in the audiovisual and new media industry. Her role is to ensure that the policies for supporting the production of Canadian television and digital media content are aligned with emerging developments in Canada and internationally. Ms. Briceño provides the CMF with all the market intelligence necessary to develop effective policies. Previously, Ms. Briceño was Producer and Director of Operations at Salambo Productions, where she helped build the strategy and business model behind the internationally acclaimed, multiplatform project Têtes à claques. Ms. Briceño served as Vice Chair of the Board of the Regroupement des producteurs multimédia (RPM) and received the 2008 Prix Séville de la Relève from the Association of Women in Film, Television, and New Media.
Gravitas Ventures has been a leading distributor of independent films for nearly a decade and recently has become known for exceptional discoveries in the Documentary genre, including PEACE OFFICER, ALL THINGS MUST PASS, BEING EVEL, BIG MEN and many more. In the narrative world they have made everything from gritty independent thrillers like MAN FROM RENO, to LGBTQ-themed films like ANATOMY OF A LOVE SEEN, to family-friendly movies such as NO ORDINARY HERO. Chad Miller has been an integral part of Team Gravitas for the 5 years, helping both the business and our staff grow. He joined Gravitas after 6 productive years at AT&T U-verse Television where he helped build that telco’s then budding VOD business until it reached more than 3 million subscribers. Prior to that Chad worked at iN Demand where he supervised the scheduling of what was then known as “NVOD” (near video-on-demand) and also PPV content. His entertainment background includes extensive screenplay development work at various studios and production companies, including Phoenix Pictures. He began his career at the United Talent Agency (UTA) where he worked his way up from the ubiquitous mailroom training grounds to first a position in their famed story department and then as an agent-in-training within the literary representation division. Pursuing his strong conviction that the future of entertainment includes a strong grasp of the On-Demand arena, Chad recognized the opportunity to join Gravitas Ventures in 2011. He currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
After 5 years as a layout artist and character animator at Walt Disney Feature Animation, Chris Edwards joined a team of digital artists at Lucas film tasked with previsualizing Star Wars: Episode III from the "third floor" of George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch mansion.
In October 2004, Chris spearheaded the founding of THE THIRD FLOOR, Inc. in Los Angeles, which has become the most prolific previs studio in the world; having contributed to hundreds of feature films, such as: Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, Gravity, Maleficent, Mad Max: Fury Road, Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, as well as Marvel’s Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Avengers franchises.
For over a decade, Chris has worked to expand the art form of previs internationally, and into new markets, including: Television, Video Games and Themed Entertainment. In 2009, Chris co-founded The Previsualization Society, a non-profit trade association for previs professionals. And in 2012, he helped launch HYDRA Entertainment, a story development and IP management company.
In early 2014, Chris joined an alliance of iconic filmmakers to found VRC: The Virtual Reality Company. As Chief Production Officer, Chris oversees the production of VRC’s slate of innovative, story-driven VR content.
Christina Yugai is the Senior Marketing Manager at FilmBuff, an NY-based award-winning full-service distribution company with a focus on delivering high quality, compelling film and video to targeted audiences. She oversees marketing, theatrical, domestic and international distribution for all of FilmBuff’s new releases and library films. FilmBuff’s recent releases include BANKSY DOES NY, THE INTERNET’S OWN BOY, Jared Leto’s ARTIFACT, Adam Carolla’s ROAD HARD, BURT’S BUZZ, ALL THIS MAYHEM and PRINCE, in partnership with VICE, and SPRING, in partnership with Drafthouse. Prior to joining FilmBuff, Christina headed up digital marketing and business development at Sweetgreen, a fast casual restaurant chain. Christina holds an M.B.A. from New York University and a B.A. from the George Washington University.
Title: Co-Creator & Executive Producer
Company: "Halt and Catch Fire"
A Virginia native, Christopher C. Rogers began his career with the Atlantic Media Company (publisher of The Atlantic and National Journal) in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Los Angeles to work as a research editor for Conde Nast’s Architectural Digest and a bookseller at Los Feliz’s Skylight Books. Working with his writing parter, Christopher Cantwell, Rogers is a graduate of the WGA Showrunner Training Program, his 2011 feature script, THE KNOLL, placed on the Hollywood Black List, and in 2014 he was named one of Variety's "10 TV Scribes to Watch". Chris resides in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles with his wife, Meghan, and dog, Tilly. He is co-creator, executive producer, and co-showrunner or AMC's HALT AND CATCH FIRE.
As Vice President, Television and Operations, Colette Watson oversees programming, production and operational elements for Rogers’s suite of conventional and specialty television (non-sports) assets, including City, OMNI Television, FX, FXX, OLN, G4, and Bio.
A leader in Canada’s broadcast industry, Watson has nearly 30 years of experience in areas of programming, regulatory, and communications.
She joined Rogers Group of Companies in 1990 and remained at the company for 24 years in a variety of senior management roles with increasing responsibility. In 1995 Watson was appointed Vice President, Rogers TV, overseeing 42 local community television stations. In this role she focused her efforts on long-term strategy, and forming strategic partnerships to improve local television production.
In December 2014, Watson was appointed Vice President, Television & Operations, Rogers, where she uses her deep knowledge of the industry to set the strategic direction for non-sports conventional, specialty, and community television assets. She also oversees programming, production, and operations, while innovating the viewer experience with compelling content across multiple platforms.
Watson is also passionate about public affairs and policy work. In 2001, in addition to her role as Vice President for Rogers TV, she was appointed President and General Manager of CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel dedicated to bringing Canadians politics, parliament and public affairs. Watson held this role for 13 years where she was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the bilingual channel.
Highly-respected in the broadcast industry, Watson is a past recipient of the esteemed Trailblazer of the Year award by Canadian Women in Communications.
Dan leads product and analysis at Brainsights, creating powerful visuals and actionable insights. He shepherds the processes and tools that allow Brainsights’ techniques to be relevant and relatable to the communications industry. Dan has experience in both the academic and advertising agency worlds. He has led Advanced Analytics at one of the largest media agencies in Canada, collaborated with global centers of excellence on international analytics initiatives, and provided data strategy consultancy services to a variety of brands and agencies. He also has experience performing research across social-, socio-cognitive-, cultural- and industrial-psychology disciplines.
Elli has always loved movies and knew from an early age that this was the path he wanted to follow. Armed with a strong DIY spirit, he spent time mastering the technical aspects of post-production, more specifically the art of visual effects. As a result he landed a spot on Tron Legacy, the sequel to one of his favorite childhood films. His previous short films were made both in Canada and the UK. In 2013 he completed two feature films, Living with Strangers and Personal Space. Being a big fan of tech he recently ventured into Virtual Reality and made the short film I Am You, specifically developed for the Oculus Rift. Extremely excited by the results and prospect of VR film making he is rapidly moving forward in developing his next cinematic experience.
Emily founded Seed&Spark to make a contribution to the truly independent community in which she would like to make moving pictures. In 2011, she had the great fortune of producing her first feature with a remarkable group of women. The spirit, the community and the challenges of that project, Like the Water, inspired Seed&Spark. Before producing Like the Water, Emily produced theater, worked as a vision and values strategy consultant for Best Partners, ran restaurants, studied jazz singing at the Taller de Musics, tour guided and cooked in Barcelona, and before that, was a student of Cultural Anthropology and American Studies at Haverford College. Emily was named one of the 2013 Indiewire Influencers, dedicated to 40 people and companies who are asking the big questions about what the independent film industry is today (and why) and, more importantly, what it will become. Emily is touring film and tech festivals around the world, Sundance and SXSWV2V to Sheffield and Galway, to educate filmmakers and learn their best practices in connecting with their audiences to build a sustainable career.
Eve Gabereau runs the UK-based film distribution company Soda Pictures. Founded in 2002, they have a library of over 300 films, including such recent hits as Jim Jarmusch’s Only Lovers Left Alive, Oscar nominee Finding Vivian Maier and the ground-breaking Wadjda from Saudi Arabia. In 2014, they merged with the Canadian media group Thunderbird Films to expand their existing business and to build a division in Canada. Under this new partnership they have acquired such acclaimed films as Sundance Film Festival winner Slow West starring Michael Fassbender, Lone Scherfig’s The Riot Club based on the stageplay Posh, Brazilian comedy The Second Mother and the upcoming High-Rise directed by Ben Wheatley starring Tom Hiddleston and Sienna Miller. She has also been involved in a dozen films on the production side, including SoulBoy starring Felicity Jones, Brit pop documentary Pulp: A Film About Love, Death and Supermarkets, the upcoming Remainder starring Tom Sturridge and the artist project Invention by Mark Lewis that will show in VIFF 2015. Originally from Vancouver, she has lived in London since 1998.
Hannah Cheesman is a CSA-nominated actor, writer and filmmaker. Named an Irving Avrich 2014 TIFF Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, Hannah got her start as an actor, after graduating from The National Theatre School of Canada. Since then, she got into — and narrowly avoided — law school, and instead committed herself to creating film, television and digital projects. Hannah is the co-creator, writer, and star of Whatever, Linda — a multi award-winning, CSA-nominated, IPF/OMDC-funded digital dramedy inspired by the notorious Madoff Ponzi scheme, executive produced by Emmy Award-winning Secret Location. Hannah is also the director and writer of the award-winning short Cheese, which screened worldwide — including at Cannes’ Coup De Coeur, Palm Springs, and Whistler — and recently won the National Screen Institute’s Bite Comedy Award, as well as being picked up for distribution in Japan (Pacific Voice) and Canada (CBC). Hannah recently wrapped up on season 3 of Orphan Black as the show’s script coordinator. Under the Aberrant Pictures umbrella, Hannah penned the company’s first feature — The Definites — which stars Aaron Poole, Brittany Allen, Mike Seater and Hannah Cheesman, and will finish filming in late 2015. Aberrant was also recently awarded a BravoFact grant to produce the short film Boxing (dir. Grayson Moore + Aidan Shipley), which will premiere at TIFF 2015. Currently, Aberrant is developing a digital property with Smokebomb Entertainment: DID, a nail salon mob story; they have teamed up with Clique Picture’s Lauren Grant to adapt Susan Swan’s novel, The Western Light; together Hannah and Mackenzie have a Globe and Mail monthly feature series that examines being a woman filmmaker at the cross section of new and traditional media. In Hannah’s ample spare time, she can be found acting as a series regular in Nickelodeon/YTV show Max & Shred, dancing on the dance floor, and hangin’ tough. Randomly, Hannah holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Toronto.
Production Designer James Hazell is a film veteran with over 27 years in the business. With a background in carpentry, welding, industrial design and art , James started in Set Dec work in the late 80s and 90s and then spent many years production designing over 400 commercials and numerous rock videos before the move into film. Since 2000 he has worked on features such as “The Burial Society”, “Afghan Luke”, “Cruel and Unusual” and most recently the Daniel Alfredson thriller “Go With Me”, amassing multiple awards and nominations. Other project credits include series work on three seasons of “The Haunting Hour”, two seasons of “Cedar Cove” , and “ Painkiller Jane” to name a few, along with over twenty MOWs. Currently, James Hazell is working on “The Romeo Section” for CBC.
Jennica Harper is currently a writer and Consulting Producer on Motive (CTV) and was recently writer/Co-Executive Producer on the teen multi-camera comedy Some Assembly Required (YTV, Netflix). Before that, she spent three seasons writing and producing the YTV/Disney XD hit Mr. Young, for which she won a Leo Award and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. She also worked as a writer and story editor on Global’s crime drama Shattered, and an animated film she wrote, Clockwork Girl, recently debuted on Superchannel.
Jennica is also an award-winning poet. She has had three books published, the most recent being Wood (Anvil Press, 2013).
A pioneer in the realm of modern virtual reality, Joseph pursues the meaningful application of technology. One of the earliest members of Oculus, he has helped shape VR as a viable platform. Joseph served as Oculus’ Product Lead and Technical Producer from 2012 to 2015, touching nearly every major VR exhibit, and helping artists realize their ambitions in virtual reality along the way. At Vrse, Joseph focuses on the technical execution of creative vision. With a vast understanding of the technology landscape, he provides discerning feedback while honoring artistic integrity. Joseph first met the VRSE team in 2013 while preparing Beck’s “Hello Again” virtual reality film for the Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontier exhibit. Inspired by its vast potential, he is excited to explore virtual reality as an emerging medium and continue forging this collaboration of art and technology.
Julian De Zotti is an award nominated actor, writer, and filmmaker. He is the co-creator, writer, and showrunner of Whatever, Linda — a multi award-winning, CSA-nominated, IPF/OMDC-funded digital dramedy inspired by the notorious Madoff Ponzi scheme, executive produced by Emmy Award-winning digital agency Secret Location. Julian co-wrote, co-produced and starred in the indie holiday coming of age feature film New Year which went on to win awards at the Clearwater Film Festival in Florida and played at the Montreal World Film Festival. It is released through The Orchard and Multiple Media Entertainment. You can find it on itunes, Amazon and various VOD platforms. Julian is currently developing several feature, web, and television projects. As an actor his upcoming TV appearances include Rogue (Direct TV) and 11/22/63 (Bad Robot) opposite James Franco. He is excited to be in Anton Corbjin's most recent feature film Life and Pedro Morelli's first feature Zoom (Rhombus Media). He has never been to Vancouver so feel free to make a good impression.
Kate Lambert is Vice President, Series Development for FX Networks, overseeing the development of live-action and animated original scripted series for FX Networks. In this role, Lambert has formed relationships with some of the most sought-after producers, writers and talent in the industry today. She was involved in developing pilots for numerous hit series, including Sons of Anarchy, Justified, The Americans, American Horror Story, The League and Louie. She developed and oversaw the animated series Archer – both a critical darling and audience favorite seven seasons running. Lambert also worked the pilot for The Strain from Guillermo Del Toro and Carlton Cuse, which was cable’s highest-rated new series of 2014. Most recently, Lambert has been instrumental in the development and production of pilots for Atlanta, a comedy series created by and starring Donald Glover, Cassius & Clay, an animated comedy featuring Kaitlin Olson and Lake Bell, and a road comedy starring Jenny Slate and Ari Graynor. Lambert graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast Journalism and Cinema/Television.
With over 19 years of agency experience, Matt brings a culture-first leadership style to organizations with a focus on innovation, entrepreneurialism and digitally led thinking. Having worked across the spectrum of communications services, including PR & event marketing, traditional advertising, CRM, digital, UX and media, Matt applies that breadth of experience and advises clients holistically and objectively on their marketing problems. He has also worked across key verticals, including finance, consumer packaged goods, travel & tourism, technology, retail and automotive. These clients have allowed him the opportunity to work at the Global level, as well as service specific markets, including Canada, US, Hong Kong & Australia. His focus on the work has helped 3 different agencies win Agency of the Year as well as Cannes Lions, Best in Shows at the CMAs & FAB Awards, and LIAAs along with many other local awards. His entrepreneurialism has helped digital & media agencies evolve and introduce new Comms Planning models (across Paid, Owned & Earned), Business Intelligence & Analytics, Branded Entertainment, Mobile & Social Strategy specialties. Matt is an Executive Mentor with CFC's ideaBOOST start-up accelerator program, sits on the Advisory Board for Dx3, the Fundraising Committee for Toronto's Covenant House and was a Nominee for the 2012 Premier's Awards. He has been published in Strategy magazine and Media in Canada on Innovation. He has presented on Branded Entertainment at SXSW & Banff's nextMedia; MultiScreen Marketing with the AMA & Advertising Week; and the Future of Advertising & Media at Dx3, Schulich, Nielsen360, & Centennial College. In 2011, he was Executive Producer of the off broadway play, "Quake" in NYC and wrote, directed & produced "The Grind" in 2001's Toronto Fringe Festival.
Morris Ruskin is an independent film producer and CEO of Shoreline Entertainment. Shoreline is one of the longest running and most respected international sales agencies in the industry and has brought hundreds of films to market.
During the course of producing more than fifty films, Morris has structured deals that incorporate deferments, soft money and international co-productions in order to create financially-viable motion pictures. These productions focus on bankable genre content and star-driven projects that can secure success in a sometimes-uneven marketplace. Morris currently has three films in post-production: the horror-comedy from YouTube sensations Good Cops, Bloody Good Time, a romantic drama, Learning to Breathe, and the irreverent romantic comedy Alex & Eve.
Notable amongst Morris’ earlier films are the modern classic Glengarry Glen Ross (Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin) which led to an Academy Award Nomination for Al Pacino; The Man from Elysian Fields (Andy Garcia, Mick Jagger, Angelica Huston); The Visit (nominated for four Spirit Awards) and Marilyn Hotchkiss’ Ballroom Dancing & Charm School (John Goodman, Marisa Tomei, Octavia Spencer, Robert Carlyle, Danny DeVito). Morris is no stranger to the festival circuit having had films in the most distinguished festivals worldwide such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, and Sundance, where The Signal was sold in a multi-million dollar bidding war hours after the world premiere.
Morris’ productions have spanned a variety of genres and locations, from a stereoscopic RealD 3D-animated film based on a comic book being released by Anchor Bay (The Amazing Adventures of the Living Corpse) to a wartime dark comedy starring Harvey Keitel and Gérard Depardieu (A Farewell to Fools). A documentary narrated by Jeff Bridges (Pablo), a co-production shot on location in China (Wushu Warrior) a comedy that was the opening night gala film at Slamdance (Weirdsville), an action thriller shot in India starring Harvey Keitel (Beeper), a heist crime caper starring Timothy Olyphant that premiered in The Berlin International Film Festival (High Life) and a South African feature dedicated to Morris’s mother (‘Master Harold’… And the Boys).
Moyra is a successful serial entrepreneur, an award-winning producer, and industry innovator. After her first business start-up at the age of sixteen, Moyra went on to develop and produce high impact prime time programming for every major network in Canada through her company Out To See Entertainment. Expanding to become an early adopter in the are of online audience engagement, Moyra created Magnify Digital, a strategy agency specializing in products and services that enable content creators and businesses to create purposeful, powerful and measurable online footprints. Moyra and the Magnify team pioneered ALERT® TV+, a first-of-its-kind interactive system that arms users with data and meaningful insights so they can find, engage, and monetize target audiences online. Recognized as a thought leader in the areas of audience engagement strategy and cross-platform content, Moyra is a sought after consultant, speaker and business mentor.
Company: 'This Life', 'Reboot: Guardian Code', 'The Drive'
Rachel Langer got her start writing for docudrama and freelancing for various publications including TV, Eh?. She transitioned into scripted content with the creation of the digital sci-fi series "Aeternus", which she co-wrote and produced. “Aeternus” has screened in LA, Vancouver and London and has won multiple awards. Rachel was a recipient of the Bell Media National Fellowship in 2012. She gained scripted experience as a writer’s assistant on “Continuum” season three and “ Olympus” season one. In 2014 she attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time Television Program, and is now writing for the CBC drama “This Life” as well as Mainframe Entertainment's “Reboot: The Guardian Code”. Rachel co-owns a digital production company alongside “Aeternus” producers Derek Langer and Daniel Kilby, and is currently in development on a new digital project.
Mr Inglis commenced his directorial and writing career in theatre. His critically acclaimed play In The Eyes of God was published by Talon books in 2007. Other plays include: FOR WHAT WE REAP, COP PLAY, WALTER, and SURVEILLANCE.
His produced screenplays include The Final Cut, The RED DRESS, Icarus, SUDDENLY, Vice, and most recently AMERICAN HEIST starring Adrien Brody and Hayden Christensen.
The Falling was Inglis' feature film directorial debut. He was nominated for the Claude Jutra Award for Best First Time Director, The City TV Award for Best First Director at the Toronto Film Festival, and the Best First and Second Film Award at the Chicago Film Festival. His second feature film, Vice, premiered at the world famous Grauman’s Chinese theatre in Los Angeles and opened theatrically in the US and Canada. Dennis Hopper called the film “One of the best cop films I have seen”.
To promote the 2010 Winter Olympics, Inglis was commissioned to produce and direct the short film, DUET which was also screened in Berlin and across the U.K.
His third film, TRANSPARENCY, starred Lou Diamond Phillips, Estella Warren and Deborah Kara Unger. It won best director and editor at the 2011 Leo awards.
In television, Inglis has worked in animation, comedy, action, and Sci-fi. He worked in the writer’s room on season two of CONTINUUM as writer and story editor.
Recently, Inglis just completed being senior story editor and writer on the TV show INSOMNIA that completed shooting in Moscow this last summer.
Selena Paskalidis has more than 10 years of experience in film, television and digital production, as well as creating financial and operational business models in tech and entertainment. At Dotstudioz, she deals with all aspects of the business and manages Dotstudioz’s financials, as well as the marketing strategy and content creation. Paskalidis is a highly accomplished filmmaker, and worked her way up very quickly in Canada’s film, television and digital industries. She started her career as Head of Business Affairs in long form drama, and moved effortlessly in to development before taking the reins in production. In 2013, Paskalidis has worked with companies such as the Food Network, History Channel, Women’s Network, National Film Board of Canada and the Discovery Network. She has also developed and produced feature length films in conjunction with Telefilm Canada and her current film John Apple Jack will be screening in September at the California Independent Film Festival.
Paskalidis loves being thrown out of her element, and feels this is when she learns the most and grows as a person. She believes that in order to be a Producer, one needs to understand the business side of finance, marketing and distribution. Her hobbies include basketball, cooking and international travel. She has a BComm in International Business & Marketing, and holds a special place in her heart for Excel.
Twitter: @salsapasks | https://www.linkedin.com/in/selenapaskalidis" target="_blank">LinkedIn
Simon is the Creator/Executive Producer/Show-Runner of the top rated and award winning series Continuum, now in its fourth season on Showcase, SyFy and Netflix.Continuum has been sold in 133 countries world wide and has been nominated for more than 40 major TV awards. Simon’s writing and directing work on the series has been recognized by the WGC and DGC with guild award nominations. Over the last 20 years, Simon has sold Film and TV projects to Warner Bros, DreamWorks, Universal, Columbia, Working Title, CBS, FOX, FX, TNT, USA, WGN, Bell, Shaw and many independent companies. Feature film credits Include Warner Bros, The Art of War. Simon is a graduate of the UBC Film and Television Degree Program and a member of the WGA, WGC, DGC and IATSE (Camera).