imagineNATIVE Film Festival


Jason Ryle
Executive Director

Jason Ryle is the Executive Director at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Jason oversees all aspects of the organization including operations, the annual festival and programming. He sits on the Board of Directors for Vtape, an independent video distributor, and is also a script reader for The Harold Greenberg Fund, which provides financial aid to Canadian filmmakers. As an award-winning writer, Jason has written for the Smithsonian Institution and numerous publications throughout North America. He made his first short film 2005 and has been programming alongside imagineNATIVE's Programming Team since 2002.


Kerry Potts
Director of Development

Kerry Potts is the Director of Development at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. Potts manages the festival’s fundraising initiatives, community partnerships, and is a part of the festival’s Programming Team. She has worked in the Aboriginal community of Toronto for over 10 years, establishing programming for Aboriginal and homeless youth, working with a Juno-Award winning artist, and organizing Aboriginal and community arts events. Potts has received accolades for her work in the Aboriginal Studies department at U of T, and has taught at Humber and Seneca Colleges. In 2006, Potts completed her Master's degree at U of T in Sociology and Equity Studies and wrote her thesis on music and anti-colonialism. In 2009 she completed her first short documentary titled Love on the Street. She currently serves on the Boards of the Images Festival as chair and Native Women in the Arts.


Sage Paul
Events + Communications Director

Sage Paul is the Events and Communications Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, where she has worked since 2004 and now oversees the creation of the yearly campaign; the outreach, marketing and publicity strategies; online and digital initiatives; outreach activities including the annual tour and indigiFLIX screening series; and produces all of the events at the annual festival. Sage is a fashion designer and also practices traditional beading styles, fusing traditional North American Indigenous and western aesthetics. She was a part of the collective show, (Re) Representation, at the Art Gallery of Ontario (May 2009), which responded to her ancestral photos through self-portrait. She has also worked with filmmakers/artists Danis Goulet (wardrobe), Shane Belcourt (wardrobe/production manager), and Kent Monkman (wardrobe). Sage is from Toronto and is a member of the English River First Nation.


Daniel Northway-Frank
Programming + Industry Manager

Daniel Northway-Frank is the Programming + Industry Manager at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, where he oversees submissions, programming management, industry panels and networking activities, and jury management. Daniel has worked at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, most recently as Conference Coordinator in 2010. Daniel previously worked in the Canadian Initiatives department at the Toronto International Film Festival for two years, and as Senior Production Coordinator for commercials at Technicolor Creative Services for 5 years. Daniel completed his BFA in Film Studies at Ryerson University in 2002. Daniel loves many things, including Star Trek, the Olympics and his little dog, Gretel.


Violet Chum
Administrative Assistant

Violet Chum is the Administrative Assistant at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival. She assists all of her co-workers with various projects and daily activities in preparation for the festival. Violet is a Moose Cree First Nation member from Moose Factory Island in northern Ontario. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art & Design University and a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Learning from Lakehead University. She has volunteered her time and worked part-time at imagineNATIVE prior to becoming a full-time employee. Violet is also a visual artist and has created a number of works in figurative, portraiture and landscape painting and drawing, of which her works were exhibited at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, Ontario College of Art & Design University’s Professional Gallery and Graduate Exhibition, Gallery CC, and an up-coming exhibition in October 2011.


Michelle Latimer
Associate Programmer

Michelle Latimer is a filmmaker, actor, and festival programmer. Most recently she produced the documentary Jackpot (2009 International Hot Docs Festival, Golden Sheaf Award: Best POV Doc), and is currently directing the animated short film ‘Choke’ (Bravo), developing a feature documentary with Canwest Global, and co-creating a dramatic series in development with TMN/HBO Canada. In 2009/10 she participated in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Talent Lab and the Banff Centre: Women in the Director’s Chair Program. Michelle is the recipient of a Yorkton Festival: Golden Sheaf Award for Outstanding Emerging Filmmaker. She has also programmed for both the Hot Docs and ImagineNATIVE Film Festivals. As an actor Michelle currently stars on two cable television series: Paradise Falls, and Moose TV.


Isidra Cruz
Guest Services Coordinator

Isidra Cruz is a Mexican, Cree, French and African American arts administrator, visual artist and costume designer. She is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Theatre Production program where she received her BFA (H), specializing in theatre administration and costume design and construction. Presently she is working on her installation, Whitewash and saying goodbye to Cake by Donna-Michelle St. Bernard as it heads off to Uganda in September for which Isidra did the set and costume design. Isidra is currently pleased to be working for imagineNATIVE as the Guest Service Coordinator.


Jessica Lea Fleming
Outreach Coordinator

Jessica Lea Fleming is of French, Scottish and Wendat descent and grew up on the shores of Georgian Bay, causing acceptable levels of trouble throughout her youth. She has been working in film, television, theatre and communications for several years both locally and globally as a writer, performer and administrator. As the imagineNATIVE Outreach Coordinator, Jessica works on the annual tour, outreach and community relations, visitor services, tourism as well as advertising.

Jessica aims to create and develop artistic opportunities that improve our communities and is the founder of “Toronto Artists Connecting”, an annual not-for-profit showcase and networking event. She also volunteers with a number of arts organizations and as a publicist for emerging talent. A previous imagineNATIVE volunteer, she is honoured to be a part of such an amazing team and restrains herself from doing high-kicks every morning on the way to work. Jessica loves food, plants and adventures.


Shaneeka Melanson
Programming Assistant

Shaneeka Melanson is Cree of the Brunswick House First Nation and Acadian. Shaneeka’s film “Divercity,” was selected to be screened at imagineNATIVE in 2008. She is currently enrolled in the Child and Youth Worker program at George Brown College and hopes to one day integrate her love for filmmaking into her work with youth. Shaneeka loves camping, traditional dancing and her pet cat, Taffy.


Amy Rouillard
Volunteer Manager

Amy Rouillard has been involved with many film festivals as a Theatre Manager and Volunteer Manager, for over a decade. Just a few of these festivals include; Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance, Miami International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Images and imagineNATIVE. Amy tells each of these festivals that they are her favorite, but… shhhhh… really, imagineNATIVE is!


Print Traffic Coordinator
Rolla Tahir

Front-of-House Manager
Victoria Kucher

Technical Coordinator
Eyan Logan

Catalogue Editor
Semareh Al-Hillal