What’s Marketing Got to Do With It? Everything.

TIFF Bell Lightbox, Learning Studios A&B
October 21, 10:00AM – 11:00AM


Emerging filmmakers often suffer from cinematic tunnel vision beyond the practical filmmaking process, hijacking their film potential to reach awaiting consumers. Developing a marketing strategy at the onset of film development is key to discovering who the audience for your film could be and how you can entice them in a media-saturated landscape. This informative panel starts with the basics in developing effective and impactful film creative collateral, expanding to the collaborative connections you’ll be glad to have once your film makes its public debut.

Presented by: 




Cindy Benitez

Cindy Benitez is a film curator and scholar specializing in Native and Indigenous film. She is currently the Film Programmer and Social Media Coordinator at the Smithsonian Institution of the National Museum of American Indian in New York where she organizes hemispheric film showcases, international screenings and in-depth panel discussions. She has served as a panelist, moderator, selector, and juror at universities and film festivals, including Skábmagovat Film Festival, Tribeca Film Institute, Columbia University and Cine Las Americas Film Festival. For the past ten years, Cindy has worked as 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. Cindy also serves as marketing and public relations consultant for independent filmmakers, artists and non-profit organizations. Cindy received her B.A. in Public Relations from Barry University and recently graduated with her M.S. in Media Studies at Brooklyn College. 


Leslie Stafford

Marketing Manager, National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Leslie has been working in publicity, communications and marketing in Canada for close to 25 years, in the fields of music, dance, theatre, film and television.

She has worked with all the major television networks in Canada, as well as CBS, Fox, Family Channel, Showtime, the BBC, and Channel 4. Her feature film credits include Bennett Miller’s Capote, John Dahl’s You Kill Me, and Guy Maddin’s The Saddest Music in the World.

She is a past president and board member of the Winnipeg Film Group and the current President of the Board of Company Link, a Winnipeg-based organization dedicated to experimental dance and theatre.

Leslie is a Marketing Manager at the National Film Board of Canada, where she oversees the marketing, communications and social media plans for feature documentaries, short films and animated films produced out the NFB Studios in Vancouver, Edmonton and Winnipeg. Her recent credits include Katherine Monk’s Rock the Box, Mina Shum’s Ninth Floor, and Alethea Arnaquq-Baril’s Angry Inuk. Leslie lives in Winnipeg.

Emile Hertling Péronard

Emile Hertling Péronard was born in Copenhagen but grew up in Nuuk with his Greenlandic mother and Danish father. Before becoming an independent producer, Emile used work with marketing at Nordisk Film, one of Europe’s biggest film studios, putting films like Alexander, Babel and The Aviator out into the Scandinavian markets. He owns a self-titled production company in Copenhagen, Emile Peronard, and co-owns Á́norâk Film with Inuk Silis Høegh based in Nuuk. Emile produced the award-winning SUMÉ - The Sound of a Revolution and is in production on numerous films. He is also highly active in promoting Greenlandic film content internationally, setting up talent initiatives for Greenlandic filmmakers, as well as improving film production conditions in Greenland, in addition to serving on the board of FILM.GL.