2018 Film Guests | Industry Guests
Philip studied film directing at the State University of New York at Purchase. His narrative short, At Night, was an official selection of the Milan International Film Festival, the Slamdance Film Festival, and the Rhode Island International Horror Film Festival.
He’s currently developing his first feature film, The Gloaming. The project was selected for the 2015 Hamptons International Film Festival Screenwriters’ Lab, the 2015 IFP Emerging Storytellers Project Forum and was a finalist in the 2015 Nantucket Film Festival Showtime Tony Cox Feature Screenplay Competition. Recently, The Gentrifiers — a television series pilot co-written by Philip — was selected for the 2017 IFP Screen Forward Lab, 2017 IFP No Borders Project Forum, and the 2018 New York Television Festival.
Montreal-born, Toronto-based actor and creator, fluent in five languages, with an eclectic background in film, theatre, circus, dance, and music. Arlen stars in Roads in February | Las Rutas en Febrero, winner of Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF. As a child actor, Arlen began her career starring in Dead Silent opposite Rob Lowe, and the acclaimed short Soother, winner at Uppsala’s International Film Festival. Most recently, you can find her on series such as The Bold Type (Freeform), Taken (NBC), In Contempt (BET), and the new web series Strictly for the Birds, coming out this fall. Upcoming, Arlen will be sharing the stage with legends Tantoo Cardinal and Gary Farmer in Drew Hayden Taylor’s Crees in the Caribbean.
Roads in February
Ayelet Albenda is an Israeli artist and director. She holds a Master’s degree in video art from the Berlin University of Fine Arts and has studied film at Tel Aviv University. In her work, she focuses on alternative forms of storytelling as well as the exploration of adolescence and self-definition. Albenda is the winner of the 2012 Matanel award for young artists, and she took part in the 2014 Greenhouse program for female directors.
In My Room (Israel)
Joseph Amenta is an honours graduate from Ryerson University with a degree in Image Arts Film Studies. Since graduating in 2013, he has produced, written, and directed Wild Youth and Cherry Cola, both of which screened at international film festivals. Joseph’s most recent short film, Haus, was fully funded by Canada Council for the Arts and has begun its festival run in June 2018. Joseph Amenta was also selected by the Canadian Film Centre Directors’ Lab 2018 and is currently enrolled in the program.
Pooya Badkoobeh was born into a theatrical Tehran family on January 5th, 1983. His father was a well-known director and producer of children’s television, so Pooya spent much of his childhood on set. He studied graphics at the Tehran School of Art, graduating in 2000, and then took theatrical studies at the Azad University of Dramatic Art, graduating in 2005. Since 2003, he has been working in television advertising, making both commercial and cultural spots. Concurrently, Pooya made two short films, both of which won national and international awards. Dressage is his first feature film.
Lionel Baier was born 1975 in Lausanne, to a Swiss family of Polish origins. Beginning in 1992, he programmed and co-managed the Rex Cinema of Aubonne; he then studied humanities at the University of Lausanne (1995-1999). He directed his first feature, Garçon stupide, in 2004. His next film was Comme des voleurs (à l’Est) (2006), the first episode of a tetralogy that continued with Les Grandes Ones (à l’Ouest) (2013). He has made fiction films and documentaries in a variety of formats; these include Un autre homme (2008) and La vanité (2015). The Director of the Department of Cinema at ECAL (Art school of Lausanne) since 2002, he also co-founded Bande à part Films in 2009 and is Vice-President of the Board of the Foundation of the Cinémathèque Suisse (National Film Archives).
Shock Waves: Diary of My Mind
Shock Waves: First Name Mathieu
Shock Waves: The Valley
Shock Waves: Sirius
Anthony Bajon is a French actor, born in 1994 near Paris. He studied drama at Studio Muller. One of his first appearances was in The Ogres, by Léa Fehner (2015). Since then he has worked with with André Techiné (Golden Years, 2017), Jacques Doillon (Rodin, 2017) and Thomas Lilti (Irreplaceable, 2016) among others. The Prayer marks his first lead role.
Grant is a Leo award-winning director, cinematographer, editor and music composer based in Vancouver, Canada. He has a varied background working with documentaries, sports films and narratives. His work can be seen and heard on BBC Planet Earth, MSNBC, Knowledge Network, F/X, TNT, CBC, National Film Board and ESPN. His first documentary The Clean Bin Project won 10 festival awards and has screened around the world. He was the recipient of the award for Emerging Canadian Filmmaker of the year at Hot Docs 2014 for his documentary Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story, a film that went on to successful international distribution and hit #2 on the US iTunes documentary charts.
This Mountain Life
Keith Behrman is an alumnus of the Director’s Residency program of the Canadian Film Centre and has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Simon Fraser University. His acclaimed and award-winning first feature Flower & Garnet premiered at TIFF and subsequently screened at the Berlin Film Festival and Karlovy Vary. The film received the Canadian Academy’s Claude Jutra Award for The Best First Feature and was named one of Canada’s Top Ten Films of the year. Behrman was a director on The National Parks Project. The event documentary went on to screen at Hot Docs, SXSW and Berlinale.
Giant Little Ones
Bill Benenson is known for his award-winning documentary Dirt! The Movie, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2009 and was broadcast on PBS/ITVS. His film The Hadza: Last of the First, produced in association with The Nature Conservancy, was screened as part of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Benenson was the executive producer of Beasts of No Nation and the producer of Boulevard Nights, and he has been involved as a producer or executive producer on dozens of films, including Patti Cake$, Atomic Homefront (HBO) and the upcoming Fantastic Fungi, Kiss the Ground and Changing of the Gods.
The Lost City of the Monkey God
Matthew Taylor Blais is an experimental filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC. His latest avant-garde movies have screened around the world. His film Popsong premiered as a part of the new Future//Present program at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2016, and his short film Clouds of Autumn premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. Shown at VIFF 2017, Forest Movie was his first experimental narrative feature.
Best Friends Read the Same Books
Bojan Bodruzic was born in 1980, in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and now resides in Vancouver. He holds a Joint MFA in Creative Writing and Film Production from the University of British Columbia. His short films and one feature have screened at a number of international film festivals, as well as New York’s MoMA. While he primarily works as a writer/director, he has also worked as a cinematographer, editor and film music composer. He has been teaching film production at various post-secondary institutions in British Columbia since 2006.
The Museum of Forgotten Triumphs
Roman Bondarchuk is a graduate of the Karpenko-Kary Theater, Film and Television University. His graduation film Taxi Driver won the White Elephant prize from the Russian Film Critics’ Guild and the Russian Producers’ Grand Prix at the Kinoshok Open Film Festival, as well as the prize for “Boldness and Poetics” at the fourth KINOTEATR.DOC Festival. Bondarchuk is the art director of Docudays UA – International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Kyiv. He co-directed Euromaidan, a film about the events on Maidan Square; it screened at IDFA, among other international festivals. He has made a number of shorts, documentaries and music videos that have received awards in the Ukraine and elsewhere. Ukrainian Sheriffs (2015) was his first feature-length documentary; it won a Special Jury Award at IDFA 2015 and was selected as the Ukrainian entry for Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards.
Dan is an Israeli film director based in Los Angeles working in both fiction narratives and documentaries, interested in exploring the nuance of politics, terror, violence, identity and masculinity. His humanistic approach delivers an understanding for our human choices even in the most dire of situations or extreme conditions. He served as an Israeli Defense Force spokesperson photographer, creating images at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This work did not end in his military service, extending into his documentary photography and exploring the seams of Israeli multicultural society.
Bronfeld earned a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film and Media at the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem. He is the recipient of production grants and awards from the Jerusalem Film and TV fund, The Israeli Film Fund Grant and The Haifa Film Festival Young Documentarians Accelerator. Bronfeld’s work has been widely exhibited in venues such as Full Frame, AFI Docs, Doc-Aviv The Jerusalem International Film Festival, The Guangzhou Documentary film festival, the Vancouver Film festival and many others.
Akeda (The Binding)
Patrick Brooks is a writer and director, living in New York City. He is also an accomplished cinematographer, whose work has screened at Tribeca, Palm Springs ShortFest, Vancouver, Milano and Slamdance. Patrick holds a M.F.A. in Film Directing from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and has taught at Northwestern and DePaul universities. He is currently a producer at Little Monster Films in New York.
Seen From Above
Nicolas Brown is one of the UK and the USA’s leading documentary filmmakers. He has won three Emmy awards, two BAFTA awards and over 35 major festival awards in the USA, China, India and Europe. For the past five years, Brown has worked for Passion Pictures as creative director of the Blue Media Lab, a media think tank dedicated to environmental filmmaking. A regular at the BBC, he has directed the award-winning Earth’s Natural Wonders, as well as two episodes of Climate Chaos. Brown is the co-author of the book Human Planet, published by Random House and BBC Books.
The Serengeti Rules
Andrea Bussmann was born in Toronto, Canada. She earned an MA in Social Anthropology and MFA in Film Production. After completing her degrees she directed He Whose Face Gives No Light. Andrea has also worked as a producer, editor and collaborator with other filmmakers. She produced and edited the short film Three Walls and the feature film Harvest Moon, both of which went on to win and be nominated for several international awards, including a Canadian Screen Award. In 2016 she co-directed Tales of Two Who Dreamt, which premiered at the Berlinale Forum, and went on to be selected at many international festivals. The film was awarded the best documentary at the Festival International de Films de Femmes in 2017.
Adam is an award winning Adelaide-based producer of Australian independent films, commercials and music videos. His postgraduate credits include AACTA winning The Turning (2013), SASA winning Deluge (2014) and web series The Big Nothing (2018). He recently worked alongside Lisa Scott on the Netflix Original Series Pine Gap. Adam is currently producing the feature film Downtown, as well as working with Stephen Packer to develop a feature film based on Hard Rubbish.
Derek Chiu is a veteran Hong Kong-based filmmaker who started his career in television, directing over 30 TV drama series and telemovies between 1980 and 1990. Chiu has over a dozen feature film credits, and many of his films have received international accolades: The Log (1997) won best actor for Kent Cheng at the Hong Kong Film Awards and was voted one of the 10 best films of the year by the Hong Kong Film Critics Society; Comeuppance (2001) screened at the Berlin International Film Festival’s Forum and Tokyo Filmex; and 72 Martyrs (2011) was named Best Film at the 3rd Macau International Film Festival. More recently, Derek served as a producer on Mad World (2016), which won multiple awards, including Best New Director for Wong Chun at both the Golden Horse Awards and the Hong Kong Film Awards.
No. 1 Chung Ying Street
After studying French literature and screenwriting, Chloé Cinq-Mars worked on numerous short films; mainly as a screenwriter but also as an acting coach, casting director and associate producer. Many of her screenplays deal with themes of temporary madness and everyday violence. Her last short film, La Voce, directed by David Uloth, has been programmed at over one hundred and fifty film festivals and won fifty-four prizes.
The Far Shore
Nano Clow is a Canadian writer and director based out of Vancouver, BC. Having started as a television and commercial actor in Toronto, Nano transitioned behind the camera and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Film Production program at the University of British Columbia. Since graduating, Nano has quickly gained credits writing and directing short films, music videos, and commercial projects. Nano is interested in creating art that explores the blurry ends of human nature. Guts was put together as a proof of concept for Nano’s first feature film.
Director / Actor
Emrhys Cooper is an English actor based in NYC, best known for his role as the male lead Alistair in the original Emmy Nominated, Stylehaul/Amazon series Vanity. He has appeared in television shows such as Desperate Housewives, CSI:NY, Touch and Person of Interest. Film appearances include Mamma Mia, Stephen Fry’s Bright Young Things, Walk A Mile In My Pradas, Till We Meet Again, Altered Perception, and Kushuthara: Pattern of Love.
Cooper’s stage credits includes, the National Tour of ‘Fame: The Musical’ and West End London, Queen Musical ‘We Will Rock You’. Other notable stage work includes, playing Orlando in Shakespeare’s ‘As You Like It’ with the Red Earth Theater Company. Cooper also starred in a Los Angeles production of ‘Entertaining Mr Sloane’; - where he portrayed the title role. His performance led to rave reviews, the Stage Scene LA Award for Best Performance by a Lead Actor and Broadway World’s Award for “Person to Watch” and “Best Play”.
Next he can be seen in the Frank Sinatra biopic Frank & Ava as the iconic actor Montgomery Clift , the lead role Thomas Hutter in the remake of the classic silent horror film Nosferatu, and the Indie drama The Price for Silence - all pending release in later 2018. Trophy Boy marks his directorial debut.
Born in Madrid and a graduate of the ECAM, Ángel has collaborated with great directors such as Pedro Almodóvar and resided in Mexico since 2008. With his company he carried out the post-production of several films and documentaries. Ángel is nominated for a “Dios de Plata” for Best Fiction Feature Film and now begins his career as Producer and Director. Las Jimaguas is the title of his next project that has been filmed in Viñales, Cuba.
In Lucia's Skin
Sean Devlin is a Filipino-Canadian writer/director/comedian. His first feature film Zach and Avery (2004) was a selection of the Paris/Berlin Rencontres Internationales for New Cinema and Contemporary Art and won “Best Comedy/Drama” at Illinois’ Black Earth Film Festival. In 2016, Devlin was commissioned by Cabaret Voltaire to participate in their celebrations of the 100 year anniversary of DaDa. That same year he wrote and directed a short film with Edward Snowden which was commissioned by Roskilde Festival, Northern Europe’s Largest Music Festival and exhibited at Copenhagen’s Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Sean worked as a writer and action coordinator on the majority of pranks featured in The Yes Men Are Revolting (2015 Berlin Audience Award Runner-up). He is also a standup comedian who has opened for Zach Galifianakis, Tig Notaro, Reggie Watts, Hari Kondabolu and musical acts like MGMT and Of Montreal.
When the Storm Fades
Emmy nominated actress Katie Douglas is known for her work on Mary Kills People, Compulsion, Spooksville, Raising Expectations and Defiance. Skilled in singing, playing guitar, visual arts and photography, Douglas shows a love of all things creative. Douglas’ singing debuted in the feature film Compulsion as well as in Defiance, Mary Kills People and Raising Expectations. Douglas goes to school for Film Studies where she practices the art of filmmaking both in front of, and behind the camera.
Nathan Douglas is a Vancouver-based filmmaker. Born in Ontario in 1989, he studied film at Simon Fraser University and graduated in 2012. His debut short film Son in the Barbershop (2015) screened worldwide at Clermont-Ferrand, Busan ISFF, Kiev ISFF, and many other festivals. His second short film Cave of Sighs (2016) appeared at VIFF and FNC Montreal. His third short, La Cartographe (2018), will premiere at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2018. His work focuses on exploring ideas of sacramental rhythm and presence within cinema. His first feature film is in development.
As a charismatic cinematographer, Todd brings a human touch to technical inventiveness in arresting images that capture the fleeting moments of life. Todd has distinguished himself as a dynamic figure in his field. He’s the recipient several Cinematography Awards and Nominations. His professional and aesthetic skills in creative collaboration have led to a diverse collections of films not only across North America but also in Europe, Asia, and Africa.
Gwaai Edenshaw is contemporary artist whose work can be found in private collection and museums around the world. As a pole carver, he has worked on nine poles to date. One of his most recent, The Two Brothers, stands 43 feet tall at the Jasper, Alberta, train station. Gwaai is also a classically trained jeweler, apprenticing under renowned Haida master carvers Guujaaw, and the late Bill Reid. He has a deep commitment to plants and helped develop protocols for the Haida Nation with the Haida Forest Guardians and as Chair of the Haida elder group Daamaan Xil (“Taking Care of The Plants”). As one of the creative directors of k’aalts’idaa k’ah (laughing crow) storytelling society, Gwaai uses gifts inherited from his people to explore ongoing narratives and the intersection of stories, language, politics, and aesthetics. Edge of The Knife is his directorial debut.
Edge of the Knife
Joel Edgerton was born in Blacktown, New South Wales. He attended the Nepean Drama School in western Sydney before transitioning into stage and screen roles. Edgerton launched his film career in Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005). In December 2012, he had a major role in Kathryn Bigelow’s Zero Dark Thirty, acting alongside Jessica Chastain and Chris Pratt. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 85th Annual Academy Awards.
August 2015 marked Edgerton’s feature directorial debut with The Gift, starring Jason Bateman. Edgerton wrote the script, produced the film and co-starred along with Rebecca Hall. For his work he was nominated for a Directors Guild of America Award for First-Time Feature Film Direction. In November 2018, Edgerton’s second directorial feature film, Boy Erased, will be released in theaters by Focus Features. Edgerton also stars in the bibliographical drama alongside Nicole Kidman, Russell Crowe and Lucas Hedges. Recently, Edgerton completed production on Netflix’s The King. The film, directed by David Michod, is a modern-day adaptation of the Shakespeare’s Henriad plays. He co-wrote the film with Michod and stars opposite Timothee Chalamet.
A Sister’s Song is director Danae Elon’s fifth feature documentary film. Her films Another Road Home, Partly Private, P.S. Jerusalem and The Patriarch’s Room have been showcased at TIFF, Berlinale, Tribeca, IDFA, Hot Docs and many other international film festivals. They have also been theatrically released in the US and Canada and broadcast on the BBC, ARTE, Radio Canada and Al Jazeera. She is the recipient of Guggenheim fellowship in film in addition to winning numerous awards for her filmmaking.
A Sister's Song
Celebrated for her female-driven stories, Danishka Esterhazy is a graduate of the Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, the Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival and the National Screen Institute. Her debut feature, Black Field, won the Best Feature Drama award at Vancouver’s Women in Film Festival and the Best Canadian Feature award at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival. Esterhazy’s films have screened in festivals and theaters around the world and have been broadcast on CBC, Bravo, Super Channel and Movie Central. She is the winner of the inaugural Amazon Video Filmmaker Award at Sundance 2017. Esterhazy splits her time between Canada and California.
Isaac Ezban is a filmmaker from Mexico and the co-founder of the production company Red Elephant Films and Autocinema Coyote. In 2016, Isaac was hired by Bron Studios to direct his third movie (and first English-language film) Parallel, for which he traveled to Vancouver. Isaac is currently working on more screenplays of his own, and has also just been hired by Sony Pictures to direct the awaited adaptation of Dan Simmons’s horror classic novel “Summer of Night”.
Connie Field is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director; she has made a number of high-profile documentaries that have been shown all over the world. Field has worked as an organizer in many social and human rights organizations, and many of her films focus on hidden histories which should be an important part of our collective memories. Her most recently finished films are The Whistleblower of My Lai and Oliver Tambo. Some of her previous work includes Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine (2014); the eight-part series Have You Heard From Johannesburg (2010), about the end of Apartheid in South Africa; Freedom on My Mind (1994), a history of the civil rights movement in Mississippi; the feminist classic The Life and Times of Rosie the Riveter (1980); and ¡Salud!, about Cuba’s role in the struggle for global health equity.
The Whistleblower of My Lai
Wolfgang Fischer was born in 1970 in Vienna, Austria. He studied psychology and painting at the University of Vienna and then film at the Art Academy of Düsseldorf and the Academy of Media Arts (KHM) in Cologne. He was awarded a scholarship by the Munich Screenplay Program and by Equinoxe Europe. Fischer’s films include What You Don’t See (Was Du nicht siehst) (2011) and Styx (2018); the latter has won several awards at international film festivals and has been selected for the LUX Film Prize competition by the European Parliament. Fischer is currently in preproduction for the feature films The Bear, The Highway of Tears and Southwest.
Christy Garland has directed award-winning and critically acclaimed documentary features and fiction shorts. Based in Toronto, she often co-produces projects with colleagues in Nordic countries. Distributed worldwide, Garland’s films deliver strong dramatic development, poignant character transformation, and universally felt themes. Her first feature-length documentary, The Bastard Sings the Sweetest Song (2012, Hot Docs, Sheffield), garnered rave reviews during its theatrical release (The Globe and Mail described it as “echoing the work of Bresson and the Dardennes”). VICE Magazinecalled her film Cheer Up (2016, Hot Docs, DOC NYC) “a biting portrait of young womanhood.”
What Walaa Wants
Connor Gaston was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and has lived in Victoria, BC since he was 10 years old. His debut feature film, The Devout, premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival, where Connor was named Best Emerging Filmmaker. The film went on to play other festivals, among them: Korea’s renown Busan International Film Festival, where the film was in competition for their top international prize; at the Victoria Film Festival, where it won Best Canadian Feature Film; and at festivals in Shanghai, Palm Beach, and more. In 2016, The Devout won seven of B.C.’s Leo Awards, including Best Picture and Best Screenplay. Gaston is currently developing his latest short film The Cameraman into his second feature film through The Harold Greenburg Fund’s Shorts-to-Features Program. He holds an MFA from the University of Victoria, where his award winning script for The Devout was his MFA project.
Director / Executive Producer
Colin attended film school in Italy. His first film was a documentary, AMERICANS…at the end of the day. His second film, a narrative fiction, is entitled I Know You and was selected for 90 film festivals worldwide and won 20 awards. Colin produced Cherry Cake, directed by Jaine Green, which was selected to 30 festivals worldwide including Palm Springs, Vancouver and St. Louis. His new film, Eli, has been supported by a wonderful cast and crew. He is now working on 3 new projects concurrently.
Andrew Gillingham is a filmmaker and actor living in Vancouver. He graduated from Simon Fraser University and his student films screened at the Whistler Film Festival and Montreal World Film Festival. His short film Banana premiered at the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. He creates honest work that uplifts and moves audiences.
Frank Giustra has achieved more than he could have dreamed growing up for much of his youth in British Columbia. By 1997, his entrepreneurial success included the founding of Lionsgate Entertainment, now one of the world’s largest independent film companies. He is also the principal shareholder in Thunderbird Films Inc. Mr. Giustra is a strong believer in philanthropy, and devotes much of his time to a variety of causes. Since 2005, he has become an active executive member with the International Crisis Group, a widely recognized independent, non-partisan source of analysis and advice to policymakers on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict. In 2007, seeking the best way to address poverty in the developing world, he created the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership with former U.S. President Bill Clinton, a massive philanthropic gesture that he challenged other wealthy global citizens to emulate. In Vancouver, Frank Giustra was instrumental in the creation of Streetohome, a public-private partnership formed to address the problem of homelessness in the city. And, recalling his own youth, he funds the Boys Club Network, a support and mentorship program for at-risk teenagers.
Inside My Heart
Jeon Gowoon graduated from the Department of Cinema at Kunkuk University, and continued her studies at the Korean National University of Arts. She made a number of short films as a student, including Gwanghwamun Cinema (2013), which drew much attention. Microhabitat is her first feature debut. She is currently working on another feature film, Sunshine Boys.
G. Goletski is a multi-media doer originally from North Vancouver Island who gets images to move by any means necessary. They have had enough trips around the sun to finally understand that their skin has a green undertone. They are always hydrated. Their film, HOLE, is the consummation of their experiences as a transgender person on the autism spectrum and their dissatisfaction with the ways in which medical and mental health services have failed people with disabilities.
Cody Graham is a digital media producer with 15 years of storytelling experience, providing clientele with in-studio and on-location video services and specializing in pre-production management, remote locations and quick turnaround delivery. Cody has produced, directed, shot and/or edited over 500 video projects, from broadcast commercials to web series to feature films. His work is influenced by classic design principals—a modern vision guided by years of experience adapting to current trends and technological innovations. Cody has served on the Board of Directors for the Greater Victoria Film Commission (2010), Ryders Cycling Society of Canada (2012) and has been engaged as a speaker by the University of Victoria, Camosun College. He was also participant at the 2012 Transmit Now Creative Industries Summit and a session leader at the 2012 CPRS National Conference.
Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
While producing Finding Big Country is obviously the most important thing to know about Michael Tanko Grand, there is more to his story. Michael was the Writer and Story Producer on the 10-part documentary series Abandoned for VICELAND and the writer of CBC’s documentary Unbroken: The Snowboard Life of Mark McMorris. Most recently, Michael has been producing comedy content for Kelly&Kelly who produce CBC’s This Is That among other hilarious videos and podcasts.
Finding Big Country
Lhapal Gyal was born in the Hainan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in the Qinghai Province of China in 1989. He studied at the Beijing Film Academy, making several short student films. Wangdrak’s Rain Boots is his feature debut; it was produced by one of Tibet’s most notable filmmakers, Pema Tseden. The film premiered in the Generation Plus competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it was well received, and has gone on to play at the Shanghai and Hong Kong international film festivals; in the latter it was nominated for an award in the Firebird Award of Young Cinema Competition and for the FIPRESCI Prize.
Wangdrak's Rain Boots
Helen Haig-Brown is an award-winning Tsilhqot’in filmmaker. Her diverse body of work includes the 2009 short film ?E?Anx (The Cave), a Sci-Fi adaptation of a true Tsilhqot’in oral story, which was named to Canada’s Top Ten Shorts by TIFF and was an Official Selection at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Her feature documentary My Legacy (2014), winner of best documentary at 2014 imagineNATIVE Media & Arts Festival, focuses on transformation and healing of inter-generational trauma caused by Residential Schools. Her work has aired on APTN, CBC, and has been showcased at film festivals around the world. Her experience co-directing Sgaawaay K’uuna (Edge of the Knife) has strengthened her commitment to community-based creative expression and using narrative film as a vehicle for language and cultural regeneration. She is currently in development on a new narrative feature on the Tsilhqot’in War, the most significant armed conflict between the Indigenous and the British west of the Canadian Rockies.
Edge of the Knife
Meredith Hama-Brown is a writer, actor and director from Vancouver, British Columbia. Her work as a director has appeared in various international film festivals including: Fantastic Fest in Austin Texas, Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival, Philadelphia International Film Festival and Fantasia International Film Festival. As an actor, she has appeared in a number of independent films and commercials. She also has begun to delve into the comedic world of improvisation and is currently studying at Blind Tiger Improv. In her work as both a director and actor, she likes to explore complex psychological themes. Her projects as a writer/director often centre on the issues of power dynamics in a relationship, identity and the ego, and mortality.
Hashimoto Ai was born 1996 in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan. She began attracting attention after her critically acclaimed performance in Tetsuya Nakashima’s 2010 Japanese drama Confessions. Hashimoto went on to win awards and accolades for her performances in films like Daihachi Yoshida’s The Kirishima Thing (2012), and she became a national celebrity after appearing in the 2013 TV series Amachan. Since then, Hashimoto has appeared in many films, including Goodbye Debussy (2013), The World of Kanako (2014), Little Forest: Summer & Autumn (2014, 2015), Wonderful World End (2015), The Inerasable (2016), Parks (2017) and A Beautiful Star (2017).
It's Boring Here, Pick Me Up
Robin Hays is an award-winning short form director, known for bringing projects to life with verve, humanity and a cinematic sensibility. Hays has directed commercials for prestigious international clients including Adidas, Visa, Pfizer and Walmart and her work has been selected and showcased at international festivals from Cannes to New York. Prior to directing, Robin produced director Neill Blomkamp’s Alive in Joburg, Tempbot and Adicolor Yellow. She recently wrote, directed and produced the animated short film Post No Bills, which debuted at the Santa Barbara Film Festival. Anthem of a Teenage Prophet is her first feature.
Anthem of a Teenage Prophet
Born in Torreón, Coahuila, Mayra resides in CD.MX. since 2011. She has acted in film projects with national and international directors, and received awards for best actress in Mexico and Venezuela. The play "Privacy" directed by Francisco Franco, the TV series Falco directed by Ernesto Contreras and Ultimo, a Mexico/Italy co-production, have been her most recent work. She is currently writing her first feature film and starting post-production of her second short film Las Jimaguas.
In Lucia's Skin
Ms. Holm launched Markham Street Films Inc. in 2002 with partner Michael McNamara. Holm recently produced Danishka Esterhazy’s thriller Level 16. Holm is currently financing Sailor Girl, to be directed by Anita Doran, award-winning screenwriter of The Breadwinner, and Heaven is Small, a feature comedy. Jagged Winter, Danishka Esterhazy’s next thriller, and the comedy Meeting the Sumdees are in development along with scripted comedy series The Apartment and Irreconcilable Differences.
Derek Howard is a director and cinematographer whose collaborations have led to screenings at the Venice, TIFF, Sundance, HotDocs, VIFF, and many more. Upon moving to Berlin, he became the assistant director to noted filmmaker Victor Kossakovsky.
Derek has participated in the IDFA Summer School, IDFAcademy, Reykjavik Trans Atlantic Talent Lab, and the Berlinale Talents program. He co-shot Chelsea McMullan’s Sundance competition doc “My Prairie Home,” as well as Brett Story’s Sundance supported doc “The Hottest August.” Most recently he directed a short film about honey harvesting in Kenya and a new music video for Rae Spoon.
Quantification Trilogy - I Can See Forever
Sophie Jarvis is a Vancouver-based writer and director whose films have screened internationally. She holds a BFA in Film Production from Simon Fraser University, and had the honour of participating in the 2013 Berlinale Talents. Sophie’s short film The Worst Day Ever premiered in 2012 at TIFF and won the award for Best Direction at the 2013 enRoute Film Festival. Since then, her films continue to garner awards and recognition worldwide. Sophie’s work is notable for a strong sense of tone, and the ability to make the absurd seem naturalistic and real.
Kathleen Jayme is a Canadian filmmaker who graduated from UBC’s Film Production Program, where she wrote and directed two award-winning short fiction films. She has also worked for the NFB, where she coordinated and oversaw over 30 documentaries, animations and digital projects through all stages of production. While at the NFB, she completed Paradise Island, which was nominated for two Leo Awards.
Kathleen is a fellow of the 2016 Inspirit Foundation’s Story Money Impact program, the 2017 Hot Docs Documentary Channel Doc Accelerator program and the 2017 TELUS Storyhive Banff World Media Festival program. She has just completed dream project Finding Big Country, which was one of 25 projects to be awarded the TELUS Storyhive 100K grant.
Finding Big Country
Born in Canada to a Uruguayan mother and a Croatian-Argentinian father, Katherine Jerkovic grew up in Belgium and Uruguay. At 18 years old, she settled in Montreal and pursued film studies at Concordia University (B.F.A. and Master’s). She has since directed and produced many short fiction and experimental films, one video installation and, recently, a feature-length fiction. It is better to avoid asking her where she comes from; the answer would be very long and a little confusing. Cinema is her homeland.
Roads in February
Jessica Johnson is an award-winning filmmaker living in Vancouver, BC. Her works have screened nationally at Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Vancouver International Film Festival, DOXA Documentary Film Festival, WNDX, and internationally at festivals such as the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Jon Jones is a writer and director working primarily in the UK and USA. Last Summer is his first feature film. Previously he has directed numerous dramas for British and American Television, including When I’m 64 (Prix Europa - Best TV FIlm), The Diary of Anne Frank, Blood Strangers, The Alan Clark Diaries (DGGB Best Director), A Very Social Secretary (Broadcast Press Award—Best Film), Northanger Abbey, Zen and Mr. Selfridge.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Debra is an avid traveler who has worked extensively throughout the world as a photojournalist, author and filmmaker. In pursuit of meaningful stories, she has lived in tents, waded through icy rivers, slipped down mudslides, and endured snowstorms. Author of several books, she publishes with magazines such as National Geographic, Paris Match, and Stern Magazine. She is currently shooting a feature documentary set against the Chilean Atacama Desert and preparing a first feature film, a Buddhist comedy set against the breathtaking Nepali Himalaya and in India where she lived for many years.
Inside My Heart
Philippe Lesage first began as a documentary filmmaker. His first feature fiction, Les Démons
(2015), was presented in the San Sebastien official competition and selected in over sixty festivals worldwide. Amongst other honors, Lesage received the Golden Gate Award in San Francisco.
Under the Viaduct is Norm Li’s directorial debut. It premiered on the highly regarded arts and culture website, NOWNESS, in 2018. It has also been curated by the San Francisco Art Gallery for exhibition this December. Although Under the Viaduct is his first film as a director, his career as a cinematographer has spanned 16 years and his body of work has garnered international recognition, nominations and awards. Most notably, his neon-soaked hypnotic work on Beyond the Black Rainbow (dir: Panos Cosmatos) in 2012 has become a revered international cult film. His sensitive and observational camerawork on the remarkable debut feature film Never Steady, Never Still (dir: Kathleen Hepburn) premiered at TIFF 2017 and was exceptionally received at film festivals worldwide. His work has also screened at Sundance, Fantastic Fest, Busan, Sitges, Tribeca, and Palm Springs, and he is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.
Under the Viaduct
Born in Shanghai, Ying Liang is an independent filmmaker. He has made five feature films and more than a dozen shorts. Ying has won a number of prizes at international film festivals, including Best Director at Locarno, Best Live Action Short Film at the Golden Horse Awards, the Special Jury Prize at Tokyo FILMeX, the FIPRESCI Prize in Brisbane and the Tiger Award for Best Short at Rotterdam. Also a film educator, lecturer and festival curator, Ying is one of the founders of the Chinese Independent Documentary Lab. He now lives as an exile in Hong Kong.
A Family Tour
Drew Lint is a Canadian filmmaker. He grew up in Sweets Corners, a dot on the map in rural Southwestern Ontario, and obtained a BFA in Film from Ryerson University’s School of Image Arts in Toronto. His work creates contemporary queer worlds and incorporates elements from genre films that are reworked to suit his needs. Drew’s short films have screened at Slamdance Film Festival, LA Film Fest, Outfest, Inside Out and BFI: Flare, among others. Drew currently lives and works in Berlin, Germany.
Zach Lipovsky started directing with his Crazy 8s film Crazy Late; it went on to earn him a place in Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking competition On the Lot, where he placed fifth out of 12,000 directors. Zach has gone on to direct several projects for film and TV, including works for Lionsgate, Disney and Legendary. His latest film, Freaks, just premiered at TIFF, and he is currently directing the live-action adaptation of Kim Possible for Disney. In his spare time, Zach also runs Reel Apps, the software company behind the industry-leading shot listing app Shot Lister.
Disruption Breeds Innovation
Peyton List is a passionate and diverse young actress who has developed an enormous, dedicated fan base of young adults who have grown up with her through her roles in Disney’s top-rated series Jessie and Bunk’d and hit features such as Diary of a Wimpy Kid and 27 Dresses. She has proven herself as a talent to be reckoned with in both the television and feature worlds. In the role of Faith in Anthem of a Teenage Prophet, List shines, delivering a truly moving performance—relatable, raw, real and full of subtlety and depth. The multi-talented List is also a singer and is contributing an original song to Anthem. She is also a star of social media, where she has a combined 17 million followers.
Anthem of a Teenage Prophet
Mor Loushy’s debut documentary, Israel Ltd. (2009), premiered at IDFA and was later broadcast worldwide. Censored Voices (2015) premiered at the Sundance Film Festival; screened at the Berlin International Film Festival, BFI London and IDFA; and was theatrically released worldwide. It was nominated for the Israeli Oscars and won Best film at the Israeli Documentary Awards. This year, Mor returned to Sundance for another world premiere: The Oslo Diaries. The film has also screened at Hot Docs and been picked up for distribution by HBO. It will be released worldwide in the fall of this year.
The Oslo Diaries
Rebeccah Love is a Toronto-based filmmaker. She attended Ryerson University in the Image Arts Film Production program where she graduated in 2014. Afterwards she completed a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Guelph, where she studied under Kazik Radwanski. She has been celebrated as an up and coming filmmaker to watch by The Globe and Mail, CBC Arts, TIFF.net and the Toronto Film Review. When not writing and directing her own films, Rebeccah has been known to job-shadow under Oscar-award winning production designer Dante Ferretti and translate for filmmaker Eleanor Coppola.
Yingna has Vimeo Staff picked music video clips for RUFUS (Tonight) and SBCR (The Grid). She line produced the Bollywood inspired short, Departure Lounge which was voted ‘Best Comedy’ in the 2015 AACTA Social Shorts. Since 2014, she has been creating funded shows for ABC1, Presto TV and Foxtel. In 2015, Yingna’s comedy web series, Wingman, was named Outstanding Comedy at the LA Webfest, Huffington Post called it a ‘brilliant comedy web series’, and SBS Comedy announced it ‘one of the best web series to come out of Australia this year’. Wingman has reached over 500k views. In 2016 she became a SPA One’s to Watch Producer, and was one the three recipients of the Generator Emerging Filmmakers Fund grant - for the short film Bodies. Currently Yingna has a series in development with Screen Australia.
Trevor Mack is an award-winning Tsilhqot’in nation filmmaker from the interior of British Columbia, Canada. In 2013, at 21 years old, he debuted his first short film, The Blanketing. It screened across North America and in New Zealand at festivals such as the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival, Toronto Independent Film Festival, and imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, among others. Mack’s second short film, Clouds of Autumn, debuted at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in 2015. The film went on to receive the Best Canadian Short Drama award at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and Best Cinematography at the 2016 Air Canada enRoute Film Festival. Mack’s short Etsu (Grandmother) made its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. It screened at the Vancouver International Film Festival in October 2017. Currently, he is working with Kathleen Hepburn on the script for the feature film Out of the Barren.
In the Valley of Wild Horses
Independent director and producer Aïda Maigre-Touchet holds a Masters degree in Film, having studied in Paris and Montreal (Concordia). In her films, the fragmentary representation of locations and non-naturalistic passage of time push the boundaries of perception and feeling. Her first film, Kiyukta (2008), is a medium-length documentary shot in the Canadian Arctic. It earned a special jury prize for Best Emerging Filmmaker (RVCQ) and was the opening film at two festivals. She has directed short essays, including Forests (2008), which was screened as part of curated video programs. Her second documentary, the short film Elegy for Port-Auprince (2011), received international recognition at film festivals such as Cinéma du Réel and Visions du Réel. She is an alumna of Berlinale Talent Campus. Song of a Seer (2018) is her first feature film.
Song of a Seer
Canadian filmmaker and producer Ron Mann is renowned for his genre-bending approach to documentary cinema; his films explore popular culture and the arts with vision and verve. Ranging in subject matter from jazz (Imagine the Sound, 1981) to spoken word (Poetry in Motion, 1982), comics (Comic Book Confidential, 1988), dance (Twist, 1992), marijuana (Grass, 1999), car culture (Tales of the Rat Fink, 2006), fungi (Know Your Mushrooms, 2009) and filmmaking (Altman, 2015), Mannʼs films bring out the ethos and spirit of his subjects in resonant and contemporary ways.
Carmine Street Guitars
After receiving his diploma from the Louis Lumière film school and completing a screenplay workshop with the Fémis school, Jean-Bernard Marlin directed the short film Thick-Skinned in 2007. It was selected for, and received awards at, numerous international film festivals; wins included Best Short at the San Francisco International Film Festival. Marlin made Quelque chose de féroce (Something Fierce), a documentary about a juvenile delinquent, in 2012, and The Runaway in 2013. The latter film received the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 2013 Berlinale and was nominated for Best Short Film in the 2014 César Awards competition. Profoundly interested in acting, Jean-Bernard has been trained in several different methods of performance. Today, he conducts drama classes in Paris and the surrounding towns.
Cameron Monaghan is best known for his work on Shameless and Gotham, two of the highest-rated shows on television; but he has also built a reputation as one of the most versatile, dynamic young actors in the indie film world, gaining acclaim for roles in Mall, Vampire Academy, Jamie Marks is Dead (which debuted at Sundance) and The Giver, in which he starred alongside Jeff Bridges and Meryl Streep. With well over 2 million followers of social media, Monaghan is one of the most talked about and charismatic young actors working today.
Anthem of a Teenage Prophet
Carey Newman (Hayalthkin’geme) is a multi-disciplinary artist and master carver. Through his father, he is Kwakwak’awakw, Giiksam, WaWalaby’ie, and Coast Salish. Through his mother, he is English, Irish, and Scottish. His artistic practice highlights Indigenous, social, or environmental issues. Carey’s most recent major work, the “Witness Blanket,” made of items collected from Residential Schools, Government Buildings and Churches across the Canada, deals with the subject of Reconciliation. In 2008, Carey was selected as the master carver of the Cowichan 2008 Spirit Pole. For this project, he travelled BC and shared the experience of carving a 20’ totem with over 11,000 people. In 2009, Carey was commissioned by VANOC to create a large installation. His piece entitled “Dancing Wind,” featured during the 2010 Olympic Games, consisted of 4 large panels, made from stainless steel, cedar and glass. Recently appointed as the Audain Professor of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest at the University of Victoria, Carey is continually grateful for the opportunity to explore new ideas.
Picking Up the Pieces: The Making of the Witness Blanket
In 2002, Kim Nguyen wrote and directed Le Marais, his first feature. The film received 6 Jutra nominations including Best Film and Best Director. In 2013, Rebelle (War Witch) was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars. It was also nominated for Best International Film at the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards, won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlinale and Best Narrative Film and Best Actress at Tribeca Film Festival. In 2015, Kim Nguyen directed his first documentary, The Nose, and his first English-language film, Two Lovers and a Bear, which was selected for Cannes’ Directors Fortnight in 2016. 2017 saw the release of his film Eye on Juliet, which premiered at Venice Days.
The Hummingbird Project
After completing her Masters in sociology, Kim O’Bomsawin launched her career as a documentary filmmaker. O’Bomsawin, of Abenaki origin, has worked on numerous productions for APTN, Canal D and Radio-Canada. She is driven to show viewers the world of First Nations. In addition to her passion for indigenous issues, her education in sociology has helped her become a versatile filmmaker with a keen interest in everything related to the human condition.
Sheridan O’Donnell is a writer and director based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. His short film Wolff’s Law, starring Brendan Meyer (Netflix’s The OA ), made its European Premiere at the 19th Brussels Short Film Festival in Belgium and its North American Premiere at the 12th Holly Shorts in Los Angeles. His newest film A Picnic Table, At Dusk stars Taylor Hickson (Deadpool) and will make its World Premiere at the 37th Vancouver International Film Festival. His lens as a filmmaker is directed towards the underseen, with his films often about broken, alienated characters and complicated subjects such as bullying and suicide. He is currently working on his first feature film, entitled Little Brother, which he also wrote.
A Picnic Table, at Dusk
Bill Oliver grew up in Birmingham, Alabama and graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Anthropology and American Studies. After graduating from Princeton, he was selected as a Studio Participant in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program in New York City, where he made his first film, an experimental short called The Wrong Son (1994). The film screened at numerous festivals worldwide, including the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Melbourne Film Festival. Oliver’s second short film was The Debutante (1996), co-written with Peter Nickowitz; it received a Jerome Foundation grant and also premiered in Rotterdam before playing the wider festival circuit. Oliver has also directed several successful stage productions in New York and Los Angeles. He is the winner of the 2008 and 2009 awards for Outstanding Direction from the New York International Fringe Festival. His theater credits include: An East Village Man, His Sleeping Wife (Instituto Cervantes, NYC); A History of Cobbling (Soho Playhouse, NYC); The Alice Complex (Cherry Lane, NYC); and Backgammon at the Louvre (The Blank Theater, Los Angeles).
After working with mentor Jennifer Kent on her acclaimed film The Babadook, and sophomore outing The Nightingale, Stephen went on to direct a slew of award winning commercials and music videos for notable Australian bands, picking up South Australia’s ‘Emerging Filmmaker of the Year’ award. Motivated by a desire to tell honest stories, Stephen adapted a real life experience from his youth into his debut short film Hard Rubbish. He is currently developing the world of this short into his first feature.
Nina Paley is an American cartoonist, animator and free culture activist. She was the illustrator, and often the writer, of the comic strips Nina’s Adventures and Fluff, but most of her recent work has been in animation. Paley is known for creating the animated feature film Sita Sings the Blues (2008). Her adventures in our broken copyright system led her to join QuestionCopyright.org as Artist-in-Residence in 2008, and she produced a series of animated shorts about intellectual freedom called Minute Memes. Seder-Masochism is Paley’s second feature; it screened at the Annecy IAFF this year.
Ben Pender-Cudlip is the co-director of Dawnland and First Light as well as their cinematographer. He has directed numerous short documentaries, including Sanjiban (2012), and been the cinematographer for various acclaimed independent documentaries. Along with collaborator Adam Mazo, Pender-Cudlip was selected as a 2014 Points North Fellow at the Camden International Film Festival. He presented Dawnland at pitch sessions for the Salem Film Festival and the Independent Film Festival of Boston.
Brendan Prost is a director, writer, producer, and editor from Calgary, currently based in Toronto. He is best known as the dogged and unabashedly personal young auteur behind four feature films that have screened theatrically across Canada and are now available everywhere on-demand: Generation Why, Choch, Spaces and Reservations and Sensitive Parts. Brendan graduated with distinction from Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts, and was recently a resident in the Directors’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre.
Esteban Robles is a Filmmaker and cinematographer from Mexico City. Studied Communications and a MFA in Filmmaking in NYC and has been working in the film industry since 2012. In 2015 he started his career as a cinematographer and has done films shown in more that 30 festivals around the world.
In Lucia's Skin
Sophy Romvari is a filmmaker born in Victoria, British Columbia. She earned her Bachelors of Motion Picture Arts from Capilano University in Vancouver in 2014, and is based in Toronto. She is studying Film Production at York University, where she is currently working on her thesis and debut feature. Her short films Let Your Heart Be Light (2016) and Nine Behind (2015) premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival to critical acclaim, and her drama It’s Him (2017) premiered at the London Short Film Festival in January 2018. Most recently, she contributed Pumpkin Movie (2017) to the feature-length horror omnibus Aos Si (2017). Pumpkin Movie has been praised by critics as "a lovely, subtle work of feminist protest," and had its world premiere at True/False film festival.
Hailing from North Vancouver, B.C, Roney is a first time filmmaker with an interesting education. She started her career by giving the WNBA a shot, and joined the Ryerson Women’s Basketball team as their point guard. Shortly after her first year, she was skipping practice for classes at Second City, and gracefully retired. She was accepted into the Television Program (RTA) and excelled creatively on projects both in front of and behind the camera — specifically, her TARA-nominated feature script Hey, Dad, and her role in Kemosabe (Dir. Charles Hutchings), which won best actress at the 2014 RUFF awards. Since then, Roney has honed her
comedic voice writing/directing the web series Cheap Whine, a comedy about nothing in particular between friends. Her love of cinematic television has lured her into the world of film more than she had anticipated, and she’s excited to continue telling stories through many mediums, as she believes there is no greater feeling than making someone go “huh” in a good way.
Glitter's Wild Women
After receiving an Honours B.A. in Philosophy and English from Calvin College in Michigan, Patricia Rozema distinguished herself as a writer/director with her internationally celebrated first comedy feature, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing at the Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, where it won the Prix de la Jeunesse and sold to 40 countries within a week. Other highlights: writing/directing the contemporary lesbian love story When Night is Falling, adapting/directing the politically progressive Miramax Jane Austen feature Mansfield Park with Harold Pinter, and co-writing HBO’s Grey Gardens with Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange. She also won an Emmy for writing and directing a Yo-Yo Ma /Bach film Six Gestures. In 2015, Rozema adapted and directed the apocalyptic thriller Into The Forest with Ellen Page and Evan Rachel Wood. She has also directed Anne with an E and the Golden Globe-winning comedy Mozart in the Jungle for Netflix/CBC & Amazon. She was recently invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
DGC Master Class: Patricia Rozema
Jenny is a writer and Leo Award-winning documentary producer with Peg Leg Films. She produced The Clean Bin Project (and is the woman behind the blog of the same name) which documented a year living zero waste. She also produced Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story which won 14 festival awards, was broadcast on MSNBC and was listed in the New York Times "Top Ten TV Shows of 2015." Jenny has also led community outreach for many projects including coordinating a 30-city, self-supported film tour across Canada by bicycle. She’s spoken around the world in support of the messages behind her documentaries.
This Mountain Life
Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together poetry, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Her films have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival and Toronto’s Images Festival, among others. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco, where she worked closely with artists Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Gunvor Nelson, Barbara Hammer and Trin T. Min-ha. Sachs lives in Brooklyn teaches at Princeton. She received a Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts in 2014.
The Washing Society
After studying archaeology and anthropology in Rome and Cambridge and working as an independent photographer, Stefano Savona began producing and directing documentaries and video installations. His first feature length documentary, Notes from a Kurdish Rebel, was produced by Arte France in 2006 and garnered the International Jury Prize at Cinéma du Réel in Paris. Cast Lead, his intimate chronicle of the 2008 war in Gaza, won the Special Jury Price at the Locarno Film Festival in 2009. In the same year, Savona launched a campaign for the preservation and transmission of the rural Sicily’s oral history, and went on to establish a visual archive for it. Over 200 testimonies were recorded for Palazzo delle Aquile, which was awarded the Grand Prix at Cinéma du Réel in 2011 and was included in the Acid section of the Cannes Film Festival. Tahrir Liberation Square (2011) played at the Locarno Festival and the New York Film Festival; it was theatrically released in France and won the David di Donatello and the Silver Ribbon for best documentary in Italy.
As an editor, Gregory Scharpen worked on You Heard From Johannesburg (2010); Al Helm: Martin Luther King in Palestine; The Whistleblower of My Lai; and Oliver Tambo (2017). He has also edited music videos for Project Soundwave, Zoe Boekbinder, Kronos Quartet and Van Anh Vo. Scharpen is the resident sound designer for the Berkeley-based theatre company Central Works, having designed over 50 world-premiere plays for the company, as well as dozens of other theatrical productions for companies including Shotgun Players, Shakespeare Santa Crus, Theatre Rhino and TheatreFIRST. Under the name Thomas Carnacki, he records and performs what is occasionally referred to as "experimental music", and has released several LPs and EPs under that moniker.
The Whistleblower of My Lai
Michael Sellers is a producer and editor in New York City. He was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for "Outstanding Achievement in Editing" and has contributed his editing talents to over 200 episodes of popular television programming. In the last few years, Michael shifted his attention to producing. He created and produced the popular series Man Fire Food series on Food Network and produced the independent feature film Sabbatical starring Robert Longstreet (Take Shelter, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) and Thomas Jay Ryan (Henry Fool, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Currently, he is writing and directing a WWII documentary with narrator Michael Cudlitz (Band of Brothers, The Walking Dead) and developing a feature film project with producer Philip Aceto of Continuous Films.
Akash Sherman is a writer and director with a strong background in visual effects. He was named one of Playback Magazine’s 5 Filmmakers 2 Watch in 2017 and his short film For Them, For You won the Best Narrative and Best of Fest awards at the 2011 Future of Cinema Film Festival. Akash’s second short, A Teaching Game, took home a Jury Award at the Edmonton International Film Festival and he became a Top 5 finalist in the nationwide 2013 Cinecoup Film Accelerator competition with his revolution epic, Uprising.
Akash’s first documentary, Through My Eyes, resulted in a local call to action to eliminate youth homelessness. By 2015 he had begun developing the feature film Clara with producer Ari Lantos while concurrently working full-time as a VFX artist and VReditor to make ends meet. Clara features Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and Troian Bellisario (Pretty Little Liars).
Andrea Sorini was born in 1998 in Milan, Italy. Raised in Bologna, he graduated from ACT Multimedia in 2010 and from the Film Directing program at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in 2015. In 2016, Sorini co-wrote the screenplay for the feature film Look Up, produced by Revok Film and Rai Cinema and directed by Fulvio Risuleo. The film was presented at the 2017 Rome International Film Festival. Baikonur, Earth is Sorini’s first feature documentary.
Zach Lipovsky and Adam Stein met as finalists on “On The Lot,” Steven Spielberg’s search for up-and-coming filmmakers, both finishing in the top 5 out of 12,000 worldwide. They have since directed TV and digital projects for Lionsgate, Legendary, ABC, Disney, and Google. They recently finished shooting the live action adaptation of the hit Disney Channel series Kim Possible. Freaks is their first feature film as writer-directors.
Amanda Strong is a Michif interdisciplinary artist with a focus on filmmaking, stop motion animations and media art. She is currently based on the unceded Coast Salish territories also known as Vancouver, BC, Canada. Strong received a BAA in Interpretative Illustration and a Diploma in Applied Photography from the Sheridan Institute, and her work focuses on themes of reclamation of Indigenous histories, lineage, language and culture. Strong is the Owner/Director/Producer of Spotted Fawn Productions Inc. (SFP). Most recently, she was selected by renowned filmmaker Alanis Obamsawin to receive $50,000 in post-services through the Clyde Gilmour Technicolour Award. In 2016, she received the Vancouver Mayor’s Arts Awards for Emerging Film and Media Artist. Her films have screened across the globe, most notably at Cannes, TIFF, VIFF, and Ottawa International Animation Festival.
Mina currently stars as Penny Robinson in the Netflix series Lost in Space. Prieviously she played Julianne Moore’s daughter in Maggie’s Plan and appeared in Freeheld with Ellen Page and Steve Carrell.
Other recent credits include the teen horror movie #Horror and a guest star role on Law & Order: SVU.
Half Swedish and half Italian, Mina was born in New York City where she currently lives but has spent part of her childhood in Europe. Along with her love for film, Mina’s passions are children and languages. Therefore, she hopes she can leverage her own story to promote multi-culturalism, bridge differences as well as advocate for a more inclusive world for young people.
Seen From Above
Bruce Sweeney was born in Sarnia, Ontario. He received a B.A. in visual art from SFU and an M. F. A. in film production from UBC. He won best Canadian feature film for Live Bait (TIFF ’95). His subsequent features includ: Dirty (Sundance, Berlin; Best Canadian Film VIFF ’98), Last Wedding (Opening Night Gala Film TIFF ’01), Excited (TIFF ’09), Crimes of Mike Recket (TIFF ’12) and The Dick Knost Show (TIFF ’13).
Doug is the founder of Fugitive Kind Films and brings over 30 years of professional experience as an actor to his directing and writing. He began his career in New York, where his acting credits include the original Broadway production of "City of Angels" and the Off-Broadway hits "Forever Plaid" and "Jeffrey". He has performed his original solo show "Bent to the Flame – A Night with Tennessee Williams" at theatres nationwide, and was awarded “Outstanding Solo Show” at the 2007 NY International Fringe Festival. As a founding member of the Los Angeles theatre company Workshop 360, he directed the West Coast Premiere of "Fire Eater". Recent directing credits include "Commencing" and Patrick Marber’s "Closer" (Fugitive Productions), "Belarusian Dreams" (Global
Theatre Project), and Tennessee Williams’ "Vieux Carre" (USC School of Dramatic Arts).
Doug plays a leading role in the recently released supernatural thriller, Diane. His TV appearances include roles on Aquarius, Masters of Sex, Mad Men, Close to Home, The West Wing, and Frasier, among others. Films include Being Michael Madsen, The Sleepwalker Killing, The Ultimate Lie, and October 22; and the award-winning short films Adjust-A-Dream, Winged, and Positive. Doug also has many varied regional theatre acting credits. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s Professional Actor’s Training Program and The Banff Centre of Fine Arts in Canada.
Coming of Age
Jesús Torres Torres studied Communications in Mexico City; after that he took his studies in a new direction, with several classes and seminars on cinematographic practice and theory, and he was fortunate enough to study under the renowned Spanish filmmaker Víctor Erice. Torres Torres won the support of the 10th National Competition for Short Film Projects, launched by the Mexican Film Institute in 2010. His short fiction film En la luz del sol brillante was invited to the Morelia International Film Festival (FICM) in 2008; another short fiction film, Vendaval, was invited to the festival in 2011. No One Will Ever Know marks his feature film debut.
No One Will Ever Know
Jay Cardinal Villeneuve is a filmmaker and actor from Slave Lake, Alberta. He graduated from the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking Diploma Program at Capilano University. Over the last decade, he has independently produced his own films and had acting roles in The Revenant (2015) and the APTN series Coyote Science. In 2015, he recorded the private statements of residential school survivors for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was organized in response to the abuses of Canada’s Indian residential school system. This experience served as the impetus for his NFB-produced short film, Holy Angels. Jay lives in Vancouver, BC, Coast Salish territories.
Born in Brooklyn in 1968, Sasha Waters Freter makes non-fiction films about outsiders, misfits and everyday radicals. Trained in photography and the documentary tradition, she fuses original and found footage in 16mm film and video formats. Past projects have screened at the Telluride Film Festival; the Film Society of Lincoln Center; the Rotterdam, Tribeca, Big Sky, Havana, Videoex and Ann Arbor film festivals; IMAGES in Toronto; the National Museum for Women in the Arts; the Museum of the Moving Image in New York; Union Docs; the Pacific Film Archive; L.A. Film Forum; and Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, as well as on the Sundance Channel and international cable and public television. Freter is the Chair of the Department of Photography + Film at Virginia Commonwealth University, the number one public arts college in the U.S.
Garry Winogrand: All Things Are Photographable
Dava Whisenant is a Los Angeles-based filmmaker and Sundance Fellow. She makes her directorial debut with Bathtubs Over Broadway; the film received the Best New Documentary Director prize at the 2018 Tribeca Film Festival. Whisenant’s other music-doc credits include the Grammy-nominated Two Trains Runnin’, which she co-produced and edited; the 3D rave documentary Under the Electric Sky (Sundance 2014), which she co-edited; and an American Masters film about Merle Haggard, which she edited. Her diverse experience includes work as a supervising producer for BBC, an editing assistant to Steven Soderbergh and an editor for The Late Show with David Letterman.
Bathtubs Over Broadway
Indie Docs: Trending Now
For nearly a decade, Dyana Winkler worked full-time supporting filmmakers for the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, and later for the Tribeca Film Institute Feature Film Program, where she deliberated on thousands of grant submissions in both documentary and fiction film and was responsible for seeking out and supporting under-represented filmmakers in the industry. Her most recent narrative screenplay, Bell, was developed in the 2017 Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab; it was awarded the 2016 Sundance Sloan Commissioning grant and the 2017 SFFILM Science in Film Grant. Fluent in French and Tibetan, Winkler spent nearly a decade living internationally; during this time, she interviewed recent escapees from Tibet for local media and directed a short documentary on South Asian orphanages for the BBC.
Dr. Yang Yishu is currently an associate professor at Nanjing University’s School of Liberal Arts. Her 2006 documentary, Who is Hao Ran, was selected for the Locarno International Film Festival and the Hong Kong International Film Festival. One Summer (2015), Yang’s first fictional film, was selected for competition at the Busan International Film Festival in Korea and shared the Jury Special Prize at the International Festival of Asian Cinema in Vesoul, France. Lush Reeds is her second fictional feature film.
Tsung Hsuan is a filmmaker from Taiwan. His films focus on self-identity and relationship in modern
society with a belief that film is the way to get closer to our self-conscious and dreams. He works both in Asia and Europe which give him space to explore different culture impacts and self-identity. He graduated from the National Film and Television School in UK, and is now working on his next film.
The Light Refracts into the Shadows
Yeo Siew Hua studied philosophy at the National University of Singapore and is a member of the 13 Little Pictures film collective. He has written and directed an experimental film, In the House of Straw (2009). He participated in the 2015 edition of Talents Tokyo and pitched at Autumn Meeting 2016, where he won the Grand Prix for his second fiction feature, A Land Imagined (2018). The film was also part of the Asia Pacific Screen Lab 2017, and Yeo was a recipient of the Hubert Bals Fund and the Aide aux Cinema du Monde.
A Land Imagined
Steve Young is a New York-based comedy writer, author, songwriter and lecturer. His writing credits include the Late Show with David Letterman, The Simpsons, Maya & Marty and the animated holiday special O Live the Other Reindeer, which also featured his song lyrics. Young is the co-author of Everything’s Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals. He is also an instructor in television history at New York University.
Bathtubs Over Broadway
Asia Youngman is an award-winning filmmaker from Vancouver, BC. In 2017, Asia had the premiere of her first short film Lelum, which won Best Documentary Short at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival. In 2018 she co-directed Te Kaitaki, a short comedy/drama commissioned by the Maoriland Film Festival in New Zealand. The film was selected to have its North American premiere at the 19th imagineNATIVE Film Festival. That same year, Asia co-directed a short documentary for Telus STORYHIVE, In the Valley Of Wild Horses. Most recently, Asia has been selected as one of eight emerging female directors from across Canada to participate in an apprenticeship with the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
In the Valley of Wild Horses
Zebulon Zang is an artist and filmmaker, making his directorial debut with the feature film N.O.N.. Previously producing work for galleries and alternative spaces, his narrative films draw heavily on this experience as well as the history of visual art, theater and experimental film.