Panel 1: Marie Clements, Connie Cocchia, Jason Karman, Mark Slutsky, Sarah Watts. Moderated by Zach Lipovsky
Panel 2: Chase Joynt, Kathleen Jayme, Hayley Gray, Elad Tzadok. Moderated by Charles Wilkinson
Panel 1: 3:00-4:00 pm
Panel 2: 4:00-5:00 pm
VIFF Centre – Vancity Theatre
Panel 1: Narrative
A writer, director, and producer whose career has spanned film, TV, radio, and live performance, Marie Clements is a Dene/Métis filmmaker and the founder of Marie Clements Media, a production company specializing in the creation and production of media works that ignite an Indigenous and intercultural reality. Her dramatic feature debut Red Snow (2019) received numerous awards including Most Popular Canadian Feature at VIFF and Best Director at the American Indian Film Festival. Clements’ 2017 documentary The Road Forward opened the DOXA Documentary Film Festival, received multiple awards, and has screened at more than 300 venues in North America.
Connie Cocchia is an LGBTQ+ director, writer, and producer who began her film career in Los Angeles, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Film and Television at the University of Southern California. While in Los Angeles, she worked in physical production at Lionsgate and in development at Langley Park Pictures on the Warner Brothers lot. She won the Best First-time Director Award at the California Film Awards for her short Awake (2013). Returning to Vancouver, Cocchia received a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production from the University of British Columbia and founded her production company Cocchia Productions.
Jason Karman (he/him) is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a Master of Fine Arts in Film Production and Creative Writing. His films have screened internationally and won awards. His short film, Lions in Waiting, was selected by Telefilm Canada’s Not Short on Talent for the 2018 Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Karman is working on his second feature film.
Photo by EK Bowell
Mark Slutsky is an award-winning writer and director based in Montreal. His shorts Never Happened (2015) and Sorry, Rabbi (2011) both premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2013, he co-directed and produced the animated short I’m One, Too! for the 44th season of Sesame Street. He also writes for video games, winning the 2021 Canadian Screen Award for Best Video Game Narrative for his work on Compulsion Games’ We Happy Few. You Can Live Forever (2022), co-written and co-directed with Sarah Watts, is his first feature.
Photo by Kayleigh Choiniere
Sarah Watts is a writer/director from Montreal. Her previous work has been shown at Slamdance. When not making films, she works as a sports writer and editor.
Emmy-nominated director Zach Lipovsky started his career on Steven Spielberg’s filmmaking competition On the Lot, where he placed fifth. Lipovsky has directed and produced TV and film projects for Syfy, TNT, Lionsgate, Legendary, Universal, and Disney, where he was the producing director for Mech-X4 and Kim Possible (2019).
He won the Best Emerging BC Filmmaker Award at VIFF for his first indie feature, Freaks (2018), which was also the biggest Canadian sale at TIFF. Lipovsky is on the national executive board of the DGC and is the founder of Shot Lister, the industry standard in shot listing.
Panel 2: Documentaries
Director and writer Chase Joynt’s feature-length documentary No Ordinary Man (2020, co-directed with Aisling Chin-Yee) about jazz musician Billy Tipton won nine awards on the international festival circuit, including being named to TIFF Canada’s Top Ten. Joynt’s first book, You Only Live Twice (co-authored with Mike Hoolboom), was a 2017 Lambda Literary Award Finalist. Joynt also directed episodes of Two Sentence Horror Stories for The CW, which are now streaming on Netflix. With Samantha Curley, Chase runs Level Ground Productions, a production company in Los Angeles.
Kathleen S. Jayme is an award-winning Filipina-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver, BC who is passionate about telling meaningful and personal stories. Her documentary Finding Big Country was the winner of the 2018 VIFF People’s Choice Award and the #MustSeeBC Award, and has been programmed by Telus, ESPN, ABC, Amazon, Rogers Sportsnet, NBA TV, and Air Canada. Jayme has since gone on to direct for the CBC, NBA, ESPN, and Crave.
Photo by Kristine Cofsky
Hayley Gray is a Vancouver-based director, writer, and producer. A graduate of Dalhousie University and Vancouver Film School, she has written and directed documentary, narrative, and commercial work. Gray’s films have screened at festivals around the world and aired on Telus Optik, the Knowledge Network, CBC, and Air Canada.
Photo by Collin Morrison
Elad Tzadok is an award-winning director, producer, and editor with a background in development and marketing. Born and raised in Israel, Tzadok moved to Vancouver, where he graduated from the Film Production Program at UBC and co-founded Scopitone Films. He has produced, directed, and edited music videos, commercials, narrative films, and documentaries.
Charles Wilkinson is a filmmaker with a large body of both documentary and dramatic film to his credit. Enjoying a successful music career from age 8 to 16, then studying for a career writing and directing dramatic film and television, Charles has since directed numerous features, TV movies and episodic shows. His films have opened festivals, rated well on TV and once in a while earned pretty decent reviews. Tiring of the often superficial nature of the dramatic scripts coming his way Charles transitioned to more relevant documentary projects in the late 2000s. His most recent awards include the audience ‘Most Popular’ award at Vancouver International Film Festival (4 times), National Film Critics Best Documentary, the Director’s Guild Allan King Award for Excellence in Documentary and Best Canadian Documentary at Hot Docs. Charles’s latest multi award winning feature documentary Haida Modern: The Art and Activism of Robert Davidson has been selected as the official opening and closing films of multiple film festivals and is in distribution all over.