Guest Speakers for the 2014 VIFF Industry Conference.
Title: Creator, Continuum
Simon Barry is the Creator/Show-Runner of the top rated and award winning series Continuum, now in its 3rd season on Showcase, SyFy and Netflix. Continuum has been sold in 133 countries world wide.
Simon recently launched Reality Distortion Field (RDF), a Film and TV production company with former Brightlight Pictures co-founder, Stephen Hegyes. RDF is focussed on high quality premium genre content for North American and International audiences.
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, and many independent companies.
Simon is a graduate of the UBC Film and Television Degree Program and a member of the WGA, WGC, DGC and IATSE.
Title: Director of Development
Company: HBO Films
Steve Foster is director, HBO Films, for Home Box Office, Inc., responsible for helping shepherd projects through the development and production process. He was named to this position in August 2011. Most recently, Foster worked on Clear History, written by and starring Larry David with Greg Mottola directing. Other cast members include Jon Hamm, Kate Hudson, Danny McBride, Michael Keaton and Eva Mendes. Foster also worked on a number of other projects including the Phillip Noyce directed Mary and Martha starring Hilary Swank and Brenda Blethyn; Behind the Candelabra, a film by Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon; and the Stephen Frears helmed Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight, starring Christopher Plummer, Frank Langella and Ben Walker. Prior to joining HBO, Foster worked at Scott Free as director, Development, then vice president, Production, where he helped oversee the development and production of several films including Gladiator (Academy Award® for Best Picture) and Hannibal. He also has experience in the field of television commercial production, where he executive produced numerous national and regional commercials including political advertising. Foster holds an M.A. from the USC School of Cinematic Arts.
Title: Director of Brand Marketing
Straith Schreder joined BitTorrent in 2012 to develop the organization’s publishing platform by working with artists, filmmakers, and fans to design a new storytelling format built for the Internet. BitTorrent Bundle, launched in 2013, is an immersive experience that emphasizes the connection between viewers and creators, a toolkit that allows for sustainable direct-to-fan engagement and distribution, and a social object that increases in value each time it’s shared. Recent Bundle projects include Moby’s community songbook, downloaded over 8 million times, the world’s first 3D printed music video, created by Cut/Copy, digital download as global testimony, in partnership with the Oscar-nominated filmmakers of The Act of Killing, and the crowdfunded original content series, Children of the Machine.
Title: President, Producer/Director
Company: Screen Siren Pictures