TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A&B
Friday, October 19th, 9:00am - 5:00pm

HOW TO SIGN UP: (you must hold an Industry, Guest Artist, or Screening Pass for the 2018 imagineNATIVE Festival)

  • complete the application form by October 9th, 2018, 5:00 PM EST

  • sign up in person on Friday, October 19th a half hour before the session you wish to join begins ex. if the session starts at 9:00am, open spots will be available to be filled as of 8:30am - pending availability

  • please read the application form carefully for further details regarding scheduling

industry leaders - overview

(details of what each leader is looking for can be found below)

festivals: local and international | 9:00AM to 10:30am

Anna Kalbhenn | Manager, NATIVe Program | Berlinale/NATIVe Program, Germany

Jean Anne Lauer | Film Festival Director | Cine Las Americas Film Festival, USA

Julie Rousson | Industry/International Selections/Submissions Platform | Clermont - Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France

Mariam Zaidi | Associate Programmer | Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival, Canada

Ian Skorodin & Patricia Gomes | Executive Director & Artistic Director | L.A. Skins, USA

Aaditya Aggarwal | Festival Programmer | Regent Park Film Festival, Canada

Hebe Tabachnik | Festival Programmer | Seattle / Palm Springs Film Festival, USA

Maya Solis-Austin | Program Manager, Sundance Institute's Native American and Indigenous Film Program, USA

Jenny Neighbour | Programs Manager & Documentary Programmer | Sydney International Film Festival, Australia

Juhani Alanen | Executive Director | Tampere Film Festival, Finland

Danis Goulet | Canadian Features Programmer | Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), Canada

Rebekka Schlichting | Assistant Director | Vision Maker Media, USA

Christine Frederick & Doreen Cardinal | Artistic Director & Assistant Producer | Dreamspeakers, Canada

Sarah-Tai Black | Programming Coordinator | Images Festival, Canada

Dylan Freeman-Grist | Programming & Partnership Coordinator | Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), Canada

Cindy Benitez | Film Programming Manager | Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, USA

Ben McEvoy | Co-Founder | Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, Canada

Shanaaz Berment | Manager, Special Programs | Banff World Media Festival, Canada

Jorma Lehtola | Artistic Director | Skábmagovat Film Festival, Inari, Sámiland/Finland

SESSION 1 - development/production + representation | 11:00am to 12:30pm

Kelly Payne | Program Consultant | Ontario Creates (Ontario Media Development Corporation, OMDC), Canada

Kathryn Emslie & Erica Proudlock | Chief Programs Officer & CFC Program Executive Team Member | Canadian Film Centre, Canada

Jean - Francois D. O’ Bomsawin | Manager of Programming | Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Canada

Shelley MacDougall | Manager of Programming | Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Central Canada

Irene-Anne LaCroix | Operations Manager | Canadian Audio Visual Certification Office (CAVCO), Canada

Chantal Batt | Program Officer for “Creating, Knowing, and Sharing” | Canadian Council for the Arts, Canada

Jill Samson | Deputy Director for Portfolio Management | Telefilm/CMF, Canada

Andrew Johnson | Executive in Charge of Production, Original Content & Factual | Corus Entertainment, Canada

Murray Battle | Director of Original Documentaries & Brand | British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, Canada

David Oppenheim | Producer | National Film Board of Canada, Canada

Lea Marin | Producer | National Film Board of Canada, Canada

Ursula Lawson | Program Manager “CBC New Indigenous Voices” | National Screen Institute (NSI), Canada

Kimberly Wright & Susan Scheiner | Film Producer & Assistant Director of Content | Sesame Street, USA

Isidra Cruz | Indigenous Arts Program Manager | Toronto Arts Council, Canada

Adam Garnet Jones | Content Analyst & Indigenous Liaison | Telefilm, Canada

Naomi Boxer | Documentary Acquisitions Programmer | TVO, Canada

Grace Moss | Director of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives | NBC, USA

Lizzy Karp, Megan Lau & Kristy Assu | Senior Manager, Manager of Communications, Program Manager | Telus Storyhive, Canada

Erika Iserhoff | Culture Fund Grants Facilitator | Ontario Arts Council, Indigenous Culture Fund, Ontario

SESSION 2 -development/production + representation | 1:45pm to 3:15pm

Nicolas Blies & Stéphane Hueber-Blies | Producer and Director | a_BAHN Productions | Luxembourg/France

Luke Black | Head of Development | Woods Entertainment, Canada

James Boyd | Partner/Composer | Bedtracks, Canada

Al Magee | Producer, Writer, Showrunner, Mentor | Magee TV & Without A Flock Films, Canada

Charlotte Engel | Executive in charge of productions for Documentary | CBC Docs POV, Canada

Stephanie Brown | Senior Producer | CBC Indigenous, Canada

Melanie Hadley | Executive in charge of productions for Drama | CBC Drama, Canada

Paige Murray | Development Manager | Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television, Canada

Marly Reed | Director of Development & Production | CCI Entertainment, Canada

Isabel Gomez-Moriana | Director of Development | Entertainment One, Canada

Themba Bhebe | Sales Agent, North American Distribution & Production | Flourishing Films, Canada

Michael Marino | Talent Agent | Hero Artists, Canada

Ava Torres | Literary Associate | Meridian Artists, Canada

Courtenay Bainbridge | Agent | Meridian Artists, Canada

Jason Brennan | Producer | Nish Media, Canada

Rebeka Herron | Producer | Rusty Halo Productions, Canada

Elliott Halpern & Elizabeth Trojian | Creative Director & Director of Development | Yap Films, Canada

Justine Pimlott | Producer | National Film Board, Canada

sales/acquisitions + distribution | 3:30PM to 5:00pm

Linda O’Shaughnessy | Manager of Acquisitions | Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), Canada

Themba Bhebe | Sales Agent, North American Distribution | Flourishing Films, Los Angeles

Hilary Hart | Director of Distribution & Acquisitions | Gametheory Films, Canada

Harmonie Hemming | Materials & Sales Manager | Mongrel Media, Canada

Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza | Director of Audience Development | Moving Images Distribution, Canada

Anusha Duray | Acquisitions Manager | National Indigenous Television SBS/NITV, Australia

Jesse Broissot | Distribution Coordinator | Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC), Canada

Sylvia Junesco Lisitza | Director of Audience Development | Moving Images Distribution, Canada

Linda Campos Olszewski | Movies that Matter | Shorts HD, USA

Andre Bennett | Owner | Cinema Esperanca International, Canada



Fri. Oct. 19th 9:00-10:30am TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A & B

Anna Kalbhenn | Berlinale/NATIVe Program, Germany


What She’s Looking For: to talk to filmmakers about how they can submit to the Berlinale, the Talents programme, and other Berlinale initiatives; to give general information about the Berlinale/European Film Market & the NATIVe programme

About the NATIVe Program: The NATIVe – A Journey into Indigenous Cinema special series has been part of the Berlinale since 2013. It is dedicated to the cinematic storytelling of Indigenous peoples from around the world with a focus on a different region every two years.The NATIVe programme consists of around 20 short and feature-length fiction and documentary films from various production years. It is curated by Maryanne Redpath. NATIVe is advised by a changing international team comprising filmmakers and film experts from the respective regions who are active in those Indigenous communities and familiar with the conditions of production there.

Bio: Anna studied Italian, Sinology and Communication studies in Berlin and Milan and has been working for various film festivals in the past decades. In 2010 she started working for the Berlin International Film Festival and since 2012 she manages and co-curates the new special series on Indigenous filmmaking.

Jean Anne Lauer | Cine Las Americas Film Festival, USA


What She’s Looking For: Films and videos (all genres) by Indigenous filmmakers for Cine Las Americas' 22nd annual festival, May 2019. I'm also interested in meeting with a/v artists more broadly. Films and videos [horror, sci-fi, fantasy, or related genre films (black comedy, crime, magic realism, action, suspense, etc)] for Fantastic Fest, September 2019.

Bio: Jean Anne Lauer has promoted the development and exhibition of independent film and media on the festival circuit since 2004, specializing in Latinx, Iberoamerican, and Indigenous titles. She first discovered her passion for the field when working with the International Pitching Market at the Guanajuato International Film Festival (Gto, Mexico, 2004 through 2013). Since then, Jean has also joined the team at Cine Las Americas International Film Festival (Austin, TX, 2008 to present), and at Fantastic Fest (Austin, TX, 2013 to present).

Julie Rousson | Clermont-Ferrand, France


About Clermont-Ferrand: With more than 165,000 entries and 3,500 professionals in 2018, the Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival is the most important event devoted to short films in the world. The Festival has 3 competitions (national, international and Labo), a youth section and several focus and special screenings. The 41st Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival will take place from February 1st to 9th, 2019.

The Festival does not ask for any entry fees or preview status and any type of film (fiction, animation, documentary, experimental) can be submitted to the selection committee. The submitted films should be completed after October from the year before, under 40 minutes or less. Films already submitted to previous editions are not accepted, even in a new version. Industrial or commercial films are not accepted.

Bio: Julie Rousson holds a Masters degree in cultural project production, she permanently joins Sauve Qui Peut le Court Métrage, the association behind Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, in 2015 after several years working on punctual missions at the Short Film Market. She takes care of the industry meetings, the relation with administrative institutions, the management of the Shortfilmdepot submissions' platform and is also a member of the international selection committee.

Mariam Zaibi | Hot Docs, Canada

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What Hot Docs is Looking For: Hot Docs is looking for documentaries of any length and subject that are nearing completion/looking for festivals to submit to.

Bio: Mariam Zaidi is a South Asian filmmaker, programmer, and arts manager based in Toronto. Her films focus on cinematic, character-driven stories that often explore the experiences of people from her community. She currently holds the position of Associate Programmer at Hot Docs, Executive Director at the Breakthroughs Film Festival, and Managing Director at the Toronto Animated Image Society.

Aaditya Aggarwal | Regent Park Film Festival, Canada


What Regent Park is Looking For: I am interested in connecting with Indigenous curators and programmers, as well as content-producers, filmmakers and artists working with themes of urbanity, economic justice, gender, and sexuality.

Hebe Tabachnik | Seattle/Palm Springs Film Festivals, USA

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What She’s Looking For: I am looking for original stories and storytellers who present unique, personal and daring characters and subjects. Films that show never seen before places, people or explore the medium offering a distinctive point of view. But most important, two key elements I am always looking for are films with heart and soul. I love being able to “see” the filmmaker through the story they are telling, the way they are telling it.

Bio: Hebe Tabachnik has been a film programmer and festival consultant for 20 years and has participated as juror, project evaluator and panelist at film festivals in the US, Latin America, Europe, Israel, and China. She is Senior World Cinema Programmer for Seattle (SIFF) and the Palms Springs (PSIFF) International Film Festivals and the Artistic Director of Cine Latino Minneapolis Saint Paul.

Maya Solis-Austin | Sundance, USA


What Sundance is looking for: I am interested in meeting Indigenous Women Filmmakers who are endeavouring to make their first feature film. We will be announcing a global call for applications for our Merata Mita Fellowship, and this is the first time we are doing an open call for this opportunity. I am also keen to meet any filmmakers who have submitted to the Sundance Film Festival.

Bio: (Pascua Yaqui/Blackfeet) Serves as Senior Manager for the Native American and Indigenous Program at Sundance Institute, a non-profit organization that supports the development of Independent stories for the screen.  Her focus is to identify and support emerging Indigenous filmmakers and content creators across the US and globally. She manages the implementation of the Native Forum at Sundance Film Festival, Native Filmmakers Lab Fellowship, the Time Warner Producer Fellowship, the Full-Circle Fellowship and the Merata Mita Fellowship. SESSION I -development/production/representation

Jenny Neighbour | Sydney Film Festival, Australia


What she’s looking for: I’m looking to meet directors, producers or other content providers with productions that could be considered for our June 2019 festival (Completed since June 2018 and ready now, or prior to March 2019). Preference would be feature length fiction or documentaries, but can also consider short films. I’m looking for films with an indigenous director or co-director.

Bio: As the Programs Manager and Documentary Programmer for the annual Sydney Film Festival, I am responsible for programming documentaries, short films and the festival’s First Nations program, as well as working with the Festival Director on the curation of retrospective and special focus strands. I also manage the festival’s programming and curatorial teams, and Australian documentary and short film competitions, as well as overseeing the festival’s annual touring program.

Juhani Alanen | Tampere Film Festival, Finland


What Tampere Is Looking For: Tampere Film Festival has a strong interest in Indigenous films, and every second year of the Festival has had a special Sami film focus since 2007. Tampere Film Festival is one of the most important short film festivals. The festival presents over 450 films in 120 screenings. The 48th festival will be held March 7-11, 2018. The core of the festival is the International and the National Competitions and the special programmes. About 110 films from 40 countries are screened in the competitions.

Bio: Juhani Alanen studied at the University of Tampere and graduated as M.Sc. in Marketing. He has worked at the Tampere Film Festival more than 30 years on various duties and nowadays he is the Executive Director of the festival. Juhani Alanen has been a member of the selection committee of Tampere Film Festival for 10 years. He is curating short film programs for Tampere Film Festival and Finnish short film programs for various film festivals. He has also been a member of the jury at different short film festivals.

Danis Goulet | Toronto International Film Festival, Canada


What TIFF Is Looking For: The festival showcases all genres, all lengths, from all regions of the world in numerous section. The Short Cuts section of the Festival is a showcase of extraordinary new short films that portray perspectives and experiences in every corner of the globe. Whether the films themselves take the forms of animation, documentary or narrative, Short Cuts presents the best and boldest new works by emerging and established talent in Canada and internationally and celebrates cinematic storytelling that’s innovative, provocative and distinctive.

Bio: Danis Goulet programs Canadian feature films for the Toronto International Film Festival. She is the former Artistic Director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and has curated award-winning short film commissioning projects including the Embargo Collective I and II. Goulet has developed initiatives for the Ontario Arts Council, served on the boards for the Toronto Arts Council and the Images Festival, and is a former programming committee member for the Canadian Film Centre’s Worldwide Short Film Festival.

Rebekka Schlichting | Vision Maker Media, USA

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What Vision Maker is Looking For: Vision Maker is looking for short or feature documentaries by Indigenous creatives.

Bio: Rebekka Schlichting is the Assistant Director of Vision Maker Media, whose mission is to empower and engage Native People to tell stories. An enrolled member of the Ioway Tribe of Kansas and Nebraska, Rebekka earned a master's in professional journalism from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Christine Frederick & Doreen Cardinal | Dreamspeakers, Canada

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What They’re Looking For: We are looking forward to connecting and meeting with filmmakers, producers, directors and presenters, as well as festival managers to network. Our goal is increase network of contacts, potential partnerships and raise awareness of our festival.

Christine’s Bio: Christine Sokaymoh Frederick is an urban Aboriginal Cree-Métis residing in Edmonton, Alberta, with over 30 years experience in performing in film, TV and theatre. She is co-founder and the artistic director of Alberta Aboriginal Performing Arts and produces the annual Rubaboo Festival and the Executive Director of the Dreamspeakers Film Festival (2019 10th and 25th Anniversaries respectively) and the first Indigenous Associate Artist of the Citadel Theatre, and the first indigenous board member of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Doreen’s Bio: Doreen Cardinal is from theSaddle Lake Cree Nation and resides in Edmonton, Alberta and is Assistant Producer with the Dreamspeakers Film Festival and Rubaboo Arts Festival. As Youth Day Coordinator of the Dreamspeakers International Film Festival she is always seeking innovative ways to promote youth in the arts. As well as editor of AWE MAG (Aboriginal Women Everywhere). Her 30 plus years experience of work is in communications, writing, administration, coordination, planning, development, programming and graphic design.

Sarah-Tai Black | Images, Canada


What Images is Looking For: Images presents work that counters dominant mainstream narratives and provides alternative ways of thinking and seeing that expands the understanding of media art through our programming and education-based initiatives. Images is an artist driven festival that expands traditional definitions and understandings of media art by experimenting with a multiplicity of artistic forms.Images presents, promotes and pushes the boundaries of contemporary moving image culture.

Bio:Sarah-Tai Black is a film programmer and arts writer living and working in Toronto, Ontario. She is one of the Directors at The Royal Cinema where she also programs a monthly series called Black Gold. Alongside her work at The Royal, she is also the Programming Coordinator for Images Festival. Her writing has been published by numerous outlets, including The Globe and Mail, Cinema Scope, MUBI Notebook, and TIFF's The Review. She has spoken about film in its many forms with Huffington Post, Toronto Film Critics AssociationNOW Magazine, and Buddies in Bad Times. As a programmer she has worked as a member of TIFF’s festival programming team, served as a juror on behalf of Inside Out LGBT Film Festival and BlackStar Film Festival, and partnered with several local arts organizations and initiatives. She is committed to intersectional feminist practices within the arts and her work focuses heavily on the representation and experiences of black, queer, and body positive communities.

Dylan Freeman-Grist | DOC, Canada


About DOC & What They Do: The Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) is the collective voice of independent documentary makers across Canada. DOC is the premier organization for Canadian documentary advocacy, analyzing policy, conducting insightful research and speaking up at all levels of government to help Canadian documentary flourish. DOC helps Canadian documentary-makers get their work made and seen. We offer top-notch professional development and networking opportunities through our workshops, master classes, mentorship programs, services and benefits. Our vibrant network of professionals is connected coast-to-coast by an ever-humming members’ discussion group. The services we offer DOC members reduce their business costs and connect them to top industry players.

Bio: Dylan Freeman-Grist is the Documentary Organization of Canada's national Programming and Partnerships Coordinator. He oversees operations as they relate to developing nationally-focused professional development services and partnerships for DOC's 700 non-fiction creators. 

Cindy Benitez | Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, USA


What She’s Looking For: Looking for films of all genres by Native and Indigenous filmmakers who want to be considered for the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian’s year around programming for NYC and D.C. including our annual Native Cinema Showcase in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For the first time ever Native Cinema Showcase will be coming to NYC in Spring 2019.  I’m also interested in connecting with other Indigenous programmers, producers and artists.

Bio: Cynthia Benitez is the Film Programming Manager for the Smithsonian National Museum of American Indian in New York City where she organizes hemispheric film showcases including Native Cinema Showcase, At the Movies and international screenings. Before joining the museum staff, she worked as a publicist for international film festivals and Native media organizations, including the American Indian Film Institute, Sundance Film Festival’s Native Forum and World Competition, and the Native American Film and Video Festival. She has also published several articles on indigenous artists and filmmakers. A graduate from Barry University, Cindy received her B.A. in Public Relations and completed her M.S. in Media Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College.

Ben McEvoy | Toronto Animation Arts Festival International, Canada


What He’s Looking For: TAAFI looks to connect animation artists and storytellers with audiences of all ages, from children to adults, as well as to the animation industry itself. We look for stories that explore distinctive stories in exciting animated formats (from traditional and digital to AR/VR, games and VFX) from unique voices to feature in both our new film festival format running in February, as well as speakers for our industry conference format each November. 

Bio: Ben McEvoy is co-founder of TAAFI and leads the organization in industry outreach and development. With over 18 years experience in animation and interactive production, as well as international experience as an educator and entrepreneur, Ben is also heavily involved in content production for commercial and media projects across a range of platforms for a variety of clientele and funding partners. 

Shanaaz Berment | Banff World Media Festival, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: Recruit participants for Fellowship/Mentorship Programs, Promote Submissions for Rockies Program Competition ,Recruit Content Buyers/Industry Leaders for mentorship opportunities, Canadian Content Creators (Writers/Producers/Directors)

Bio: As the Manager, Special Programs, Shanaaz is responsible for overseeing industry development programs and initiatives at the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF).  BANFF’s structured training and development programs provide countless opportunities for networking, establishing international connections, mentoring, and the professional development needed to compete in the fast-changing global content export market. In 2018, the Festival introduced the Netflix-Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative, a 5 year program designed to support and jump-start the careers of emerging and established talent and places a specific focus on Canadian Francophone, Indigenous and Female creators.

Jorma Lehtola | Skábmagovat Film Festival in Inari, Sámiland/Finland


What He’s Looking For: people working in the Indigenous Arctic (the focus of the 21st Skábmagovat Film Festival is the Indigenous Arctic), Indigenous Latin American filmmakers, and filmmakers making films in Indigenous languages (though Skábmagovat programs films from Indigenous filmmakers from around the world)

Bio: Jorma is Sámi and for the last 18 years has been the Artistic Director of Skábmagovat Film Festival in Inari, Sámiland/Finland, 330 kms above the Arctic Circle; he has published studies on Sámi images in film and music and given lectures in universities; he is also a book publisher and awarded journalist.

session 1: development/production + Representation

Fri. Oct. 19th 11:00-12:30pm TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A + B

Kelly Payne | Ontario Creates (formerly OMDC), Canada


What She’s Looking For: Ontario Creates (formerly OMDC) is a provincial agency that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries. We support those who make creative industries come to life in Ontario – across film, television, interactive digital media, music, book publishing and magazine publishing.

If you have questions about various programs and incentives for Film, TV or Digital Media in the province of Ontario we should meet.

Kathryn Emslie & Erica Proudlock | Canadian Film Centre, Canada

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What They’re Looking For: The CFC champions original voices, entrepreneurship and collaboration. We are constantly on the lookout for storytellers who are looking to increase their skills, develop and package their narrative film & tv projects, and expand their professional networks. We want to meet with storytellers who’d like to know more about the CFC’s following film and tv programs:

Kathryn’s Bio: As the CFC’s Chief Programs Officer, Kathryn Emslie's strategic leadership has delivered on key enhancements to its core training programs, expansion of the CFC’s program slate with several new programs, as well as international and marketplace initiatives designed to drive new creative and business opportunities and global relationships for Canadian talent and projects such as the newly announced Netflix-CFC Global Project.

Erica’s Bio: As a member of the CFC Program Executive team, Erica is responsible for executing on our talent development strategies and curriculum across all Film, TV, Actor and Music programs, while capitalizing on opportunities that successfully launch our talent into the global marketplace. She rejoins the CFC team after completing a year working with Vanguarde Artists Management, a full-service literary and production agency.  Previously, Erica was the CFC’s Manager of Film & Actor Programs for 6 years where she was responsible for the strategic development, design and delivery of numerous programs, including the Cineplex Entertainment and Short Film Programs, the Actors Conservatory and the NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab.


Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin | APTN, Canada


What APTN is Looking For: APTN develops and licenses first window programs from Indigenous production companies (with 51% or more ownerships and control). Limited funds are available for second window projects, which don’t require Indigenous ownership. Acquisitions, licenses a wide range of Canadian and international programs in English, French and Indigenous languages - from movies and series to documentaries and short films. APTN is looking for bold and original ideas that will reach our target markets. Do you have an inspiring and entertaining story to tell? We love complex and multidimensional characters just like you and want to watch them develop on APTN.

Bio: Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin is a First Nations member of the Abenaki community of Odanak, and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Communications from the University of Ottawa. For five years, he worked for the Canadian Museum of Civilizations, managing a training program for Aboriginal Peoples. Jean-François’ career started at APTN in 2010 as a Communications Coordinator for the Marketing department. In 2012, he joined the management team as Manager of Programming, Eastern Region and was promoted, in July 2016, to Senior Manager of Programming. His management experience and understanding of Aboriginal perspectives are very beneficial to the development, evolution and commission of original programming and in leading the network’s team of regional Programming Managers.

Shelley MacDougall | APTN, Canada


What APTN is Looking For: APTN develops and licenses first window programs from Indigenous production companies (with 51% or more ownerships and control). Limited funds are available for second window projects, which don’t require Indigenous ownership. Acquisitions, licenses a wide range of Canadian and international programs in English, French and Indigenous languages - from movies and series to documentaries and short films. APTN is looking for bold and original ideas that will reach our target markets. Do you have an inspiring and entertaining story to tell? We love complex and multidimensional characters just like you and want to watch them develop on APTN.

Bio: Since starting out in 1997, Shelley has amassed more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian film and television industry.  She began her career in the production office in Vancouver and later specialized in script clearances and entertainment permissions.  Shelley has managed business affairs for both feature films and television series, working with major studios as well as for a variety of independent film and documentary companies in B.C. and Manitoba.  Over the past two decades, Shelley has worked in almost every area of the industry from development and production to broadcasting.  In 2015, Shelley joined APTN’s programming department at the Winnipeg headquarters. 

Irene-Ann LaCroix | CAVCO, Canada

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About CAVCO: The Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office (CAVCO) co-administers two federal tax credit programs with the Canada Revenue Agency: the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit program and the Film or Video Production Services Tax Credit program. Learn how to qualify and apply for CAVCO’s film production tax credits.

Irene-Ann’s Bio: As Operations Manager for CAVCO’s tax credit programs, Ms. LaCroix aims to ensure service delivery excellence and program administration efficiency through innovation. With years of experience in the public service specifically focused on the interests of the cultural sector, she brings insightful program, policy and project management experience to her current role.

Chantal Batt | Canada Council for the Arts, Canada

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Canada Council’s new program:  “Creating, Knowing and Sharing: The Arts and Cultures of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples” is a competitive funding program that is staffed by Indigenous people and offers four streams of funding to Canadian Indigenous artists and cultural practitioners – Travel Grants, Small Scale Activities (maximum $3000), and Short and Long Term Project Grants ($100,000 and $300,000 respectively).  Please visit the Canada Council’s website to read about eligibility and deadlines for applications at

Bio: Chantal Batt is a program officer in the Canada Council’s new Indigenous funding program “Creating Knowing and Sharing”.  She has been at Canada Council since July 2017, and was previously there in 1998-2000 and helped launch the Council’s Aboriginal Media Arts Program with Ian Reid.  Chantal is Ojibway from Lake of the Woods, in western Ontario. Chantal worked very closely with her mother, Shirley Daniels-Batt, to bring Ojibway language materials (Minnesota dialect), songs and history to their home community in and around Lake of the Woods.

Jill Samson | CMF/Telefilm, Canada


What CMF is Looking For: The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, promotes, develops and finances the production of Canadian content and relevant applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors.

Andrew Johnson | Corus Entertainment, Canada

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What He’s Looking For: The team develops & commissions factual, reality, format and documentary programming for several Corus networks, especially HISTORY. Johnson oversees series like Hunting Nazi Treasure, Yukon Gold, Real Vikings, War Story and the drama Gangland Undercover. Past series & programs have included Ice Pilots, Museum Secrets, Klondike Trappers, Camp-X and Canadian Pickers.

Bio: Andrew was previously Commissioning Editor of CBC News Network’s award-winning documentary series The Lens and Rough Cuts as well as Senior Producer at The Passionate Eye. Johnson began his career in independent television production and has won numerous prizes including a Peabody Award, 3 Geminis and an International Emmy nomination.

Murray Battle | British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, Canada


What He’s Looking For: POV docs and limited series.

Bio: Recent documentary commissions include the series Living In Hope, Paramedics: Life On the Line, Search and Rescue: North Shore and Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH and one off docs Looking At Edward Curtis in the Pacific Northwest, This Mountain Life, Shut Up and Say Something, Vancouver: No Fixed Address, Dear Life, Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, Just Eat It, Oil Sands Karaoke, Backward Class, Father Figures, Do You Really Want to Know? and Coast Modern.

David Oppenheim | National Film Board, Canada


What He’s Looking For: Creative Canadian non-fiction film, interactive, and immersive projects

Bio: David Oppenheim is a producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s Toronto Studio where his recent credits include Draw Me Close (Tribeca Storyscapes, Venice Film Festival), the Webby award-winning Universe Within, the final chapter of the NFB’s HIGHRISE project, and the interactive documentary The Space We Hold (Peabody-Facebook Futures of Media Award, Best Original Interactive Production – CSA, Digital Dozen Storytelling Award). Recent film credits include Randall Okita’s short documentary Moving Through Music and Brett Story’s World in a City, part of the global Big Cities short-documentary project. He is currently producing a number of creative non-fiction film, interactive, and immersive projects and leading the studio’s immersive lab. He is a past resident at the Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab.

Lea Marin | National Film Board, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Exciting Canadian documentary projects

Bio: Lea Marin is an award-winning Toronto based producer with more than 18 years experience in the film and television industry.  A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer’s Lab, Lea joined the National Film Board of Canada as a producer in 2006. Her most recent film credits, Unarmed Verses, premiered at Hot Docs International Film Festival this year and won the jury prize for Best Canadian Feature; and Picture This, screened at Inside Out and OUTeast, winning Best Canadian Short and the Audience Award for Best Short at both festivals.  Other credits include, My Prairie Home which in 2014, premiered at the Sundance film festival, and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award; The Portrait, directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker, Hubert Davis, which in 2012 premiered on the BBC, and Astra Taylor’s Examined Life, which launched at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008.  

Ursula Lawson | NSI, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: to let Canadian creatives know about the NSI’s various training programs, including producer training

Bio: Ursula has been with NSI since 2004 and is a manager of programs and development, working on many of NSI’s courses. As program manager of CBC New Indigenous Voices (formerly NSI New Voices) and co-manager of NSI IndigiDocs, she has been instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver training to Indigenous film and content creators. In 2013 Ursula was honoured to receive the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Circle of Inspiration award along with colleagues Lisa Meeches and Melissa Kajpust for their contribution to the CBC New Indigenous Voices course.

Kimberly Wright & Susan Scheiner | Sesame Street, USA

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What They’re Looking For: to let filmmakers know about the commissioning process for short films on Sesame Street

Kim’s Bio: Kim Wright joined the Workshop seven years ago as the Film Producer, commissioning live action, animated, and mixed media short films for Sesame Street. She works closely with the filmmakers and production companies to guide them through the creative process in order to shape the films to best meet the show’s specific letter and thematic needs, while also staying within the films’ budget. She oversees all aspects of creative development of the films and animations, from conception and deal-making, to production and delivery. As a means of finding new filmmakers and animators to partner with, Kim attends various children’s film festivals and media conferences throughout the US and abroad.

Susan’s Bio: Susan Scheiner is the Assistant Director of Content for Sesame Street, advising not only on the television series but on related products, publishing, and formal learning projects. Her experience extends to other children’s shows as well, including Pinky Dinky Doo and The Electric Company. Through the years, she has developed curriculum that has guided content in academic areas such as literacy, math, and STEM; as well as socio-emotional topics including divorce, race relations, bullying and kindness. Susan is a graduate from Cornell University with a BS in Human Development and Family Studies, and from Teachers College, Columbia University with an MA in Human Development.

Isidra Cruz | Toronto Arts Council, Canada


What She’s Looking For: to let filmmakers know about the Indigenous funding available through the Toronto Arts Council

Isidra is a Mexican, Cree, African American, and French arts administrator and costume designer. She has worked at many of Toronto’s performing arts theatres including Native Earth Performing Arts, Mirvish, Soulpepper and Theatre Passe Murille. She spent many years working with imagineNATIVE Film+ Media Arts Festival in various roles where she supported festival artists. Currently she is working as the Indigenous Arts Program Manager at the Toronto Arts Council.

Adam Garnet Jones | Telefilm, Canada


What He’s Looking For: to talk with emerging and established Indigenous filmmakers about their innovative, exciting projects + available Telefilm funding

Bio: Adam Garnet Jones works for Telefilm Canada as Content Analyst and Indigenous Liaison. In his role, Adam provides content analysis on National projects, helps Indigenous filmmakers navigate Telefilm, oversees the Indigenous jury process, and advises decision-makers on Indigenous projects. Prior to starting at Telefilm, Adam had an active career as an award-winning writer and director in feature films and television. Adam is Cree/Metis from Edmonton.

Naomi Boxer | TVO, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Naomi acquires and pre-licenses documentaries and factual content for TVO’s acclaimed showcase of social-issue point-of-view and arts documentaries, as well as current affairs, science, technology, wildlife, and natural history content.  

Bio: Naomi participates in international juries and documentary forum industry events. Selected TVO premieres of note include: Finding Vivian Maier, The World Before Her, Judgement in Hungary, The War Show, Chosen, Leslie Caron: Reluctant Star, Strange and Familiar: Architecture on Fogo Island, Of Men and War, Redesign My Brain, Facebookistan, Genetic Me, The Destruction of Memory, Snowden’s Great Escape, Strike a Pose, Seed: The Untold Story, Sonita and Blue ID.

Grace Moss | NBC, USA

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What She’s Looking For: talented writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBC's scripted programs.

Bio:Grace Moss is the Director of Entertainment Diversity Initiatives for NBC Entertainment. In this role, she oversees multiple programs that focus on discovering, cultivating and showcasing talented writers and directors of diverse backgrounds, with the objective of getting them staffed on NBC's scripted programs. Grace also manages outreach efforts nationwide and develops relationships with community partners, such as the National Hispanic Media Coalition, Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment and East West Players.  Before coming to NBC, Grace a Development Executive at the Style Network, where she oversaw new series in production, from initial pitch to delivery. Prior to her stint at the Style Network, Grace worked as a Producer and Director on a plethora of unscripted shows on a variety of networks, including MTV, VH1, TLC and NBC.

Lizzy Karp, Megan Lau & Kristy Assu | Telus Storyhive, Canada

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Who They’re Looking to Meet With: + We’d love to connect with filmmakers/creators/producers based-in or interested in producing in BC and Alberta + We’d love to connect with folks who offer training or education programs to Indigenous creators

Telus Storyhive: STORYHIVE has funded productions, supported filmmakers with mentorship and support from the National Screen Institute and brought hundreds of films to life online and around the world. And we’re just getting started. Whether you’re just beginning your career, or you’ve shot thousands of hours of film and want to bring your dream project to life, STORYHIVE is here to help. Our goal is to celebrate your ideas and development with funding, distribution and support from TELUS to help BC and Alberta creators move their career goals ahead.

Erika Iserhoff | Ontario Arts Council, Indigenous Culture Fund, Ontario


Who She’s Looking to Meet With: Erika is looking to meet Indigenous artists and cultural leaders based in Ontario to discuss funding opportunities. The ICF can support research and documentation projects for culture preservation and sharing traditional languages and skills for future generations. Erika will also provide information about grants for creation and development of film and media arts projects, skills and career development, and grants for Indigenous artists working with community and schools.

Bio: Erika is of Omushkego and Eeyou Cree heritage, and is a member of Constance Lake First Nation. She lives in Toronto and is the new Indigenous Culture Fund Grants Facilitator at the Ontario Arts Council. Previously, Erika was the Artistic Director for Native Women in the Arts for almost six years.  Erika worked in the Indigenous Arts and Culture community as an artist, producer, presenter, and community activator for almost 20 years.

Session 2: development/production + representation

Fri. Oct. 19th 1:45-3:15pm TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A & B

Nicolas Blies | a_BAHN Productions, Luxembourg/France


What They’re Looking For: The project we are working on is an international multi-format project mixing different creatives and technical aspects. We are looking for Canadian: animators, graphic designers/illustrators, art directors, expert scriptwriter, directors, music composers, dancers, DOPs. We are also looking for Argentinian documentary filmmakers, writers, dancers, and DOPs.

Company Bio: a_BAHN is a awarded and distinctive film production company based in Luxembourg and France, with unique experience in social impact producing and outreach. The company is dedicated to supporting the creation of content that is both artistic and accurate and that engages an audience in response, bringing together the traditional worlds of film and television with new media. Our projects are built around the passion of the author and seek to weave together documentary narrative and the investigation of ideas in visually compelling ways. Whether in the areas of music, fashion, or social issues, our goal is to infuse the approach to these subjects with a sense of the civic dimension.


James Boyd | Bedtracks, Canada


What He’s Looking For: James would like to meet content producers and music creators in relation to the release of ‘Storytellers’ - the first production library created solely by Indigenous composers.  James will be able to introduce content producers to the library and discuss their music needs to ensure this becomes a valuable resource.  For music creators and composers, James will be available to provide information on how to become involved in the project and the new opportunities that exist.

Bio: James’ career spans both the creative and business sides of the music industry making him a perfect match for Bedtracks’ unique business model where a business eye and sense of musicality are both required.  James has over 20 years experience licensing music in different forms at major independent and digital music services . Having spent a number of years working in the commercial marketing department of EMI Records including 2 years working on the 'NOW That’s What I Call Music’ series he moved to Demon Music Group where was responsible for licensing over 200 releases on their 11 release labels including the critically acclaimed Harmless and Nascente imprints

Charlotte Engel | CBC Docs POV, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Now in its third season, CBC Docs POV (formerly Firsthand) is known for strong character driven documentaries. They are transformative, intimate and enlightening.

Bio: Prior to CBC, Engel was an independent producer. Through her company Rock Yenta Productions, Engel recently co- produced “Puffin Patrol” for CBC’s “The Nature of Things” and executive produced “Fractured Land” for documentary and Knowledge Network. In the past Engel has sat on the Boards of imagineNATIVE, DOC and Hot Docs.

Stephanie Brown | CBC Indigenous, Canada


What CBC Indigenous is Looking For: We are looking for unique voices, stories and points of view to broadcast on our digital site and strong social media networks, and are open to short documentary and new media proposals.

Bio: CBC Indigenous is a national unit working across the country to tell Indigenous stories by Indigenous storytellers. Indigenous is headed by Stephanie Brown, a Métis producer who has worked for VICE, The National Film Board and previously produced documentaries for APTN, SBS Australia, The Tyee and others. 

Melanie Hadley | CBC Drama, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: We are actively interested in finding, developing, producing, co-producing and offering the strongest and most original dramatic properties for conventional and digital delivery. In other words, we are looking for sophisticated, absorbing and above all, distinct dramas. These should be character-driven series with a strong story engine that will appeal to Canadians. We are looking to reach a broad 25+ audience.We are also looking for two-hour TV movies of stories of a more epic nature. Typically, we look for programming that has historical or cultural significance to Canadians or is based on important Canadian literary properties. Our current programming strategy is focused on serialized one-hour series and limited series, between 8 and 10 episodes, that can air between 8:00PM and 9:00PM or, 9:00PM and 10:00PM, as well as two hour movies for an 8:00PM timeslot.

Bio: Melanie Nepinak Hadley is Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Drama. She recently stepped into the role and manages projects in development and production, such as Heartland. Prior to her role at CBC she was the Manager of Programming for Aboriginal Peoples Television Network where she oversaw development, first window licencing and second window licencing for television and digital media projects commissioned from Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario and the Northwest Territories.

Marly Reed | CCI Entertainment, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Fresh, original, creator-driven series concepts – ½ hr and 1 hr – as well as Indigenous creative talent (writers, directors, producers) for a medical procedural series already in development.

Bio: A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s film program, Marly first began to hone her skills as a story room intern for Anagram Pictures in Vancouver, followed by work as a producer’s assistant, and later as Director of Development for Blake Corbet Productions. Marly currently oversees production and development for CCI Entertainment in Toronto.

Isabel Gomez-Moriana | Entertainment One, Canada


What She’s Looking For: strong, scripted television projects for the domestic and international market place

Bio: Isabel is a CFC producer alumna, holds a BFA in theatre and a MFA in Acting. She was co-writer and co-host of the Gemini-nominated lifestyle series, My Messy Bedroom, and has produced 7 short films. Isabel has participated on industry advisories, juries and panels for Women in Film Toronto, Toronto International Film Festival, Festival du Nouveau Cinema, Innoversity, ACTRA, and the Whistler Film Festival. Isabel grew up in a mixed cultural household in Montreal and speaks 4 languages.

Themba Bhebe | Flourishing Films, USA


What He’s Looking For: Primarily, I am looking for projects at all development, production and post-production stages for sales representation and, in some cases, for co-production and/or financing. I am also eager to establish contact with producers in order to be aware of their upcoming projects.

Bio: Themba is a British-born international sales agent. His company Flourishing Films specializes in the sales, production and North American distribution of independent films from across the black diaspora and diverse voices more generally. With diversity as its core value, Flourishing Films’ editorial line already includes and is currently expanding to encompass the perspectives of women, indigenous filmmakers, other underrepresented ethnic minorities as well as LGBTQI filmmakers and narratives.

Michael Marino | Hero Artists, Canada


What He’s Looking For: We've had talent be a part of several Indigenous lead projects, most notably the 2017 feature film Indian Horse. Our goal is to expand our roster of actors, writers, directors and hosts to create more opportunities for talent and have more voices heard within the film, TV and entertainment industry. We both pitch talent for roles in productions across Canada as well as package projects to be created on both local and international scales.

Bio: Hero Artists is a full-service talent agency representing actors, models, children, celebrities and voice over actors. Our team of agents have been breaking ground for years with our collective skills in casting, acting, modelling, marketing and production. Our talented artists perform regularly in all areas of the industry, including film, television, commercials, print, voice, endorsements, branding and public appearances.

Ava Torres | Meridian Artists, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: Television writers, either 1 hr or ½ scripted writers. Feature film writers as well. No genre preference (drama, sci-fi, comedy, thrillers are all welcome).

Bio: Ava Torres is a graduate from the University of Toronto, holding a Master’s degree in Literature, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Cinema Studies and Spanish Literature. With a keen interest in film and television, she brings a unique perspective to the industry having moved over ten times across four different countries. In 2013, Ava started her own production company where she produced U.S. and Canadian client work.

Courtenay Bainbridge | Meridian Artists, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Any Key Creatives (DOPs, Editors, Costume Designers, Production Designers, Composers etc) as well as Directors (all genres but with a focus on narrative ideally)

Bio: As a Toronto-based filmmaker and alumni of both the Canadian Film Centre and Ryerson’ Image Arts program, Courtenay has actively worked in the film industry for 15 years in various roles on productions such as Spotlight, Pacific Rim, Robocop, and Being Erica. She produced a number of well-traveled short films including Benjamin, Still, Life on Juniper and Hit Men. Most recently she was an associate producer on Mean Dreams which had its premiere at the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. Courtenay joined the team as an Agent in 2016 and is currently the head of the Key Creative division.

Jason Brennan | Nish Media, Canada

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What He’s Looking For: writers and directors to collaborate on existing and future documentary series as well as scripts and treatments for feature length films of all genres.  In addition, looking for potential co-producers in Canada and around the world.

Bio: Jason Brennan is a member of the Kitigan-Zibi First Nation and the owner of Nish Media. In ten years, Nish Media has produced critically acclaimed programming for various networks in Canada such as APTN, CBC, Canal D, TV5, ArTV, RDI.  It’s new series Skindigenous, profiling tattooing traditions in Indigenous cultures around the world will air on APTN in 2018. Nish is currently in development on a six part dramatic series for Radio-Canada entitled “Pour toi Flora”, about siblings living with the trauma of residential schools.

Rebeka Herron | Rusty Halo Productions & Parallel Universe Pictures, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: independent films to distribute in Canada and abroad with our new distribution company Parallel Universe Pictures, writers and directors to collaborate with who are attracted to: horror, thriller, mystery and romance genres. I also would like to find DOPs, Designers and Composers of indigenous heritage to work with

Bio: Rusty Halo Productions (RHP) principal Rebeka Herron has produced award winning content that has been to festivals across the globe. Current projects on the company’s slate include “Armchair Traveller”, a comedic feature film, “Last Year’s Leaves”, a contemporary drama and “Saltbox”, a coming of age story. Parallel Universe Pictures (PUP) is a Canadian-owned film distribution company located in Toronto, Ontario. PUP aims to establish itself as an innovative leader of independent film distribution by championing unique voices and points of view from local and world cinema to Canadian audiences.

Elliott Halpern & Elizabeth Trojian | Yap Films, Canada

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What They’re Looking For: We are seeking talented Indigenous directors, producers and other key creatives who we can both collaborate with on projects we currently have in development and production and/or projects that they are developing but are looking for an independent production company to team with. 

Elliott’s Bio: Award-winning producer and director Elliott Halpern has truly done and seen it all, and with a broad spectrum of programming under his belt, yap’s president is continuously pushing the envelope in all genres including history, science, reality, and adventure.

Elizabeth’s Bio: As yap’s director of development and executive producer on multiple films and series, Elizabeth is a creative mastermind whose light bulb never turns off. She’s constantly churning out new ideas for programming.

Al Magee | Magee TV & Without A Flock Films, Canada

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What He’s Looking For: With Magee TV Inc., open to half hour comedies and web series; With Without A Flock Films, open to low budget feature films.

Bio: Al Magee is a producer, showrunner, writer and mentor with over thirty years of experience in all genres. With over 50 feature film credits, Magee grew up as a writer and story editor on independent Canadian feature film breakouts like Roadkill and Highway 61, Rude, Cube and Eclipse. He has worked with many of Canada’s most influential filmmakers including Bruce McDonald, Clement Virgo, Deepa Mehta, Vincenzo Natalie and Jeremy Podeswa. He has won the Alex Barris Mentorship Award from the WGC, and the Banff World TV Festival’s Award for Innovative Producer of the Year. In 2016 he founded the annual Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award and mentorship.  He is stupidly proud of his 4.84 passenger rating on Uber.

Luke Black | Woods Entertainment, Canada

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What He’s Looking For: engaging screenplays with philosophically-rich ideas that have strong commercial potential.

Bio: Before heading up development for Woods Entertainment (MEAN DREAMS), Luke Black attended the University of Alberta and Red Deer College, created a dozen DIY short films, and was a board member for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, the Saskatchewan Filmpool Cooperative and the Independent Web Creators of Canada. In 2013, Luke was selected to attend the Canadian Film Centre where he met Woods Entertainment founder, William Woods. In his role as Head of Development, he is responsible for discovering stories that fit the company's mandate for creating commercially marketable films with strong philosophical merit.

Justine Pimlott | National Film Board, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Creative documentaries (shorts and features) with dynamic storytelling at the heart.

Bio: Justine Pimlott is a multi-award winning Producer based at the National Film Board of Canada in the Ontario Studio. With over 20 years of experience in the industry Justine has a long history of bringing stories that are often marginalized to the screen. Her producer credits include; What Walaa Wants – Winner of the Special Jury Prize at Hot Docs 2018, A Better Man, Derby Crazy Love, The Mystery of Mazo de la Roche, Dish :Women, Waitressing & The Art of Service, Girl Inside, and the upcoming feature documentaries Inconvenient Indian & Borealis.

Sales/Acquisitions + distribution

Fri. Oct. 19th 3:30-5:00pm TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A + B

Anusha Duray | NITV, Australia

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What She’s Looking For: The channel commissions or acquires content primarily from the Indigenous production sector.  NITV is proud to host the only daily national news service covering Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island stories across the country. National Indigenous Television (NITV) is a channel made by, for and about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Through us, you will discover a channel for all Australians.

Bio:  Anusha is the Senior Programmer for NITV Australia and manages acquisitions for the station. She is also an award winning producer for her short film "Bourke Boy" which had its international premiere at imagineNATIVE in 2009.  She has worked on various feature films and television series with over a decades experience working in indigenous community and business development.  She has been a board member of the Aboriginal Women's Consultation Network since 2010. Born and raised within the Bundjalung Nation.

Linda O’Shaughnessy | APTN, Canada

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What APTN is Looking For: The APTN Programming department develops, commissions and acquires distinctive Indigenous content which reflects our pride and heritage.  APTN is committed to enabling Indigenous Peoples to share their stories and convey them to a domestic and international audience.
Acquisitions licenses a wide range of Canadian and international programs in English, French and Indigenous languages - from movies and series to documentaries and short films.

Bio: Linda O’Shaughnessy was raised in Baker Lake, NU and Ottawa, ON, and brings 27 years of broadcasting experience to APTN’s Programming department. Linda has been part of Canada’s Indigenous broadcasting industry since its beginnings in the North, working in Scheduling and Programming for pan-northern network Television Northern Canada (TVNC). Of note is that she was a panel member representing programming at TVNC’s Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) licence hearing for a national network. The CRTC issued a broadcasting licence that launched what is now APTN.


Lizzy Karp | Telus Storyhive, Canada

Info TBD!


Themba Bhebe | Flourishing Films, USA


What He’s Looking For: Primarily, I am looking for projects at all development, production and post-production stages for sales representation and, in some cases, for co-production and/or financing. I am also eager to establish contact with producers in order to be aware of their upcoming projects.

Bio: Themba is a British-born international sales agent. His company Flourishing Films specializes in the sales, production and North American distribution of independent films from across the black diaspora and diverse voices more generally. With diversity as its core value, Flourishing Films’ editorial line already includes and is currently expanding to encompass the perspectives of women, indigenous filmmakers, other underrepresented ethnic minorities as well as LGBTQI filmmakers and narratives.

Hilary Hart | Gametheory Films, Canada


What She’s Looking For: Indigenous creatives working in the feature film space, who are interested in working with a collaborative distribution partner.  We are looking for creatives at all levels of development; those in early stages who are looking for support with script development, casting consultation, production and budget guidance and business affairs assistance, as well as those with projects that are further into the life cycle of the film and are interested in exploring a creative distribution strategy. This includes screenwriters, directors and producers of all experience levels.

Bio: Hilary studied political science and film studies at Dalhousie University, and went on to work in short film distribution at Ouat Media in Toronto. From Ouat she moved onto the Canadian Film Centre, working first in development and later in administration and distribution. In 2015 she accepted a position at Meridian Artists, where she worked for three years in talent management. Hilary joined Game Theory in 2018 as the Director of Acquisitions and Distribution.

Harmonie Hemming | Mongrel Media, Canada

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What She’s Looking For: We’re interested in speaking to and building relationships with creatives who are interested in applying to or who have applied for Breaking Barrier projects at the CBC.

Bio: Harmonie began her career in film and TV right out of school, as receptionist at Telefilm Canada - Toronto, and has been fortunate enough to work in many different areas of the industry since then. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Studies from York University.

Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza | Moving Images Distribution, Canada


What She’s Looking For: With its brand of "film for thought", this distributor embraces work that provokes and inspires comment and discussion. It connects films with diverse audiences across North America and abroad particularly in the non-theatrical market with universities, schools, galleries and museums.

Bio: Sylvia Jonescu Lisitza is Director of Audience Development at Moving Images Distribution. With an extensive background in distribution that includes both non-theatrical and broadcast markets, she is honoured to represent a collection of independent work that is rich in content created by Indigenous artists.

Linda Campos Olszewski | Shorts HD, USA

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What She’s Looking For: SHORTSHD is a 24/7 linear pay television short movie channel with carriage in the US and EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).  In stunning high definition, ShortsHD features high quality live action, animation & documentary shorts from filmmakers across the globe and some of the world’s most famous film festivals.  Featuring over 3,000+ short movies, including over 200 Academy Award winning & nominated films, ShortsHD delivers a unique movie category to viewers worldwide.  Jenny is attending the festival in hopes of finding films to license for the channel.  The average length of a film on the channel is 12 minutes, but the channel features films anywhere from five minutes long to forty minutes long.  

Bio: Affectionately known in the entertainment industry as “Linda O.”, is one of the most passionate and knowledgeable people in the short film industry. A new member of AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) for their Short Film and Feature Animation branch’s class of 2016, she has overseen acquisitions of the Oscar Shorts Theatrical/VOD/iTunes releases as an Associate Producer for ShortTV/Shorts International since 2006 and managed the launch of shorts on iTunes for its first 5 years. She has supported several films in their Oscar run which have gone onto become shortlisted or nominated including Ennemis Intérieurs, Borrowed Time, Contrapelo, The Wolf, The Jackal, The Rifle and The Boy, and Bear Story, which won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film! She has served on over 100 international film fest juries and panels throughout the world, offering distribution deals for iTunes, Amazon, and Oscar qualification as well as TV licenses for ShortsTV™ - The Short Movie Channel.

Jesse Broissot | CMFDC, Canada

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What He’s Looking For: Jesse is looking to connect with filmmakers who do not already have their work in distribution, particularly anyone making experimental, animation, or documentary shorts. Nationality/geography isn't too important. We try to focus our distribution on Canadian work and I would love to connect with as many regional filmmakers as possible, but we're always open to distributing work by USA and international filmmakers as well.

Alexandra Gramatke, KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg, Germany


What She’s Looking For: - International short films, mainly fiction and animation, seldom documentaries, children’s films (all ages) - Length: 15-20 min (exceptions possible) - Original style and content

Bio: After finishing her studies of Slavonic and German literature Alexandra Gramatke worked as a free-lance interpreter for literature and documentary films. In 1994 she joined the „thede“, a Hamburg based group of documentary filmmakers. Here she made several films, for example „Dynamo Kiev. Good Old Boys“ (2000). Besides she worked as production manager and publisher. Since 2008 she has been the managing director of the KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg, a short film distributor and host of the annual Hamburg International ShortFilmFestival.

Andre Bennett | Cinema Esperança International Inc., Canada

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What He’s Looking For: thought-provoking & entertaining feature narrative and documentary films.

Bio: Before beginning a career in the Film Industry, André Bennett was a university professor teaching courses in social and political philosophy, from an interdisciplinary perspective, using both books and movies, to discuss ideas, contemporary values and belief systems, and demystifying the concept of power. In 1983, André Bennett created Cinéphile Limited, a distribution and international sales company; then in 1992, Bennett founded Cinema Esperança International, a production, distribution and international sales company. Both company’s focus on thought-provoking & entertaining feature films and documentaries. Bennett has helped establish the careers of some Canadian directors who now enjoy international reputations: Patricia Rozema, Atom Egoyan, Guy Maddin, Bruce McDonald, and Peter Mettler.

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