2016 Presenters and Panelists
Each year, the Yorkton Film Festival brings in some of the best and brightest in Canada’s film and cultural industries. From producers to cultural advocates, here’s a look at some of the individuals coming to this year’s festival.
Canadian Film Centre
Ana Serrano is the Chief Digital Officer of the CFC and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997. Serrano is driving the digital transformation of the CFC into a unique blend of talent, product and company accelerator and creative production house. Most recently, she launched Canada’s first digital entertainment accelerator ideaBOOST with founding partners Shaw Media, Corus Entertainment and Google. To date, Serrano has directed the development of over 130 digital media projects, mentored over 50 start-ups, and has received numerous awards from the digital media, film, and theatre industries in both Canada and the U.S.
One of the founding partners of Raven Banner, Andrew T Hunt is a Writer/Producer/Director with over 20 years experience. Andrew’s feature length debut Sweet Karma premiered at the 2009 Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal, garnering praise and kudos from press and industry alike. Sweet Karma was also the catalyst for the formation of Raven Banner Entertainment – a worldwide sales company specializing in genre films. In 2012 Raven Banner Releasing was formed as the Canadian distribution arm for RBE, releasing such notable titles as Turbo Kid, Wolfcop, Deathgasm and Black Mountain Side. 2015 saw the creation of Northern Banner Releasing, a Canadian distribution company that focuses on non-genre titles such as Academy Award Nominated Embrace of the Serpent, Borealis, and How To Plan An Orgy In A Small Town. In 2016 Raven Banner has increased its focus on original productions, having formed key partnerships with fellow Canadian producers. Within Raven Banner Andrew plays a key role supervising the review, development and packaging of feature projects from script to screen, as well as overseeing the branding, marketing and distribution of select titles.
Andrew Johnson is a Production Executive in the Original Factual Content group at Corus Entertainment. The team develops & commissions factual, reality, format and documentary programming for several Corus networks: mainly HISTORY, Slice and Global Television. He oversees series like Yukon Gold, Real Vikings and War Story. Past series include Ice Pilots NWT, Klondike Trappers, Museum Secrets, Explosion 1812, Camp-X and Canadian Pickers. Previously, he was 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. He began his career in independent television production, winning numerous prizes including a Peabody Award, 3 Geminis, and an International Emmy nomination.
Ariadna Ochrymovych is an independent film producer/director/writer and educator based in Toronto. Her documentary films include the five-part, award-winning National Film Board series, The Feminization of Poverty which Ariadna initiated and directed; the CBC production, Simma Holt: Journalist, Politician, Activist launching Simma into the Journalist’s Hall of Fame, Dancing the Goddess with dance legends Peggy Baker and Trish Beatty) and Holodomor: Voices of Survivors (Ukrainian Famine/Genocide). Ariadna interviewed over 100 survivors across Canada in every major city, receiving a grant for the development of the website holodomorsurvivors.ca. The film is part of the Holodomor National Awareness Tour.
Brian Stockton is a filmmaker and educator who works in a variety of genres including animation, documentary and drama. He holds an MFA from York University and was a director resident at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre. His recent focus has been on humourous autobiographical films, including his acclaimed Saskatchewan Trilogy (2002-2006), and the one-hour documentary My Dinner with Generation X (2010). His latest project is the feature film comedy The Sabbatical (2015). He currently teaches film production at his alma mater, the University of Regina.
Executive in Charge of Production, Documentary Programming, CBC Television
Based in Toronto, Charlotte Engel has spent over 25 years working in the film and television industry. She cut her teeth working in the Indie Canadian film industry, working on the films like “Highway 61” and “The Adjuster”.
She moved onto a career in broadcasting, working as a production executive for CHUM Television, CTV and Bell Media for 10 years. Specializing in documentary and factual programming, she oversaw successful documentaries such as “Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould” and “Metal: A Headbanger`s Journey” and series such as “Star Portraits”, “Bathroom Divas”, “Ballet Girls” and “Stripsearch”. Many of the documentaries she commissioned went on to win awards and two were short listed for the Academy Awards.
After departing Bell Media in 2011, Engel set up her own production company, Rock Yenta Productions. During this time, she was quite busy, executive producing “Fractured Land” for documentary, producing “Puffin Patrol” and “Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale” for CBC’s “The Nature of Things” and “Mugshot” for TVO. She is currently co-producing “My Millennial Life” with Makin’ Movies for TVO.
In April 2015, Engel joined CBC’s Unscripted department, looking after a new POV documentary strand called “Firsthand”. The series debuted in October and looks for 18 hours of documentary programming annually.
Engel currently sits on the board of imagineNATIVE.
Film Commissioner and Chair of the National Film Board
Claude Joli-Cœur – an influential figure in the film and audiovisual industry for over 30 years – is the 16th Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada.
Mr. Joli-Cœur has been at the NFB for over twelve years. As Assistant Commissioner (2007 to 2014), he headed Government Relations and Strategic Planning as well as Business Affairs and Legal Services. Until recently, he served as Acting Commissioner, a position he had previously held in 2007.
Mr.Joli-Cœur earned a law degree from the Université de Montréal and has been a member of the Quebec Bar since 1979. He practiced law with the firms of Langlois Drouin and Lafleur Brown in Montreal from 1979 to 1985 and was legal counsel at Telefilm Canada from 1985 to 1987.
As an entertainment law specialist in the private sector, Mr. Joli-Cœur signed several international co-production agreements between Canada and a number of European countries, including France, the United Kingdom and Germany. From 1987 to 1995, he worked for Astral Entertainment Group, a film financing and distribution company, first as Director of Business Affairs and subsequently as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. In 1995, he was appointed Vice President, Legal and International Affairs, at Coscient Group (Motion International), a position he held for five years. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, and Secretary at TVA International Inc., as well as Vice President, Business Affairs, at Zone 3 Inc. before joining the NFB.
Claude Joli-Cœur is recognized for his ability to mobilize, his leadership style focused on results and integrity, and his strong commitment to Canadian communities. That commitment, combined with his interest in Canadian culture, has inspired him to undertake numerous initiatives, particularly with major national museums as well as with Inuit and French- speaking Canadian communities.
During his career, Mr. Joli-Coeur was an Executive Committee member and treasurer of the Alliance for Children and Television and serves on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Retransmission Collective (CRC).
Daniel Cross is co-founder of EYESTEELFILM in Montreal, named by RealScreen Magazine as a top 100 non-fiction production company in the world. He is Associate Professor, and Chair of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, a member of the Universities Circle of Distinction and Board of Governors. Cross is a multi-disciplined award winning documentary filmmaker with a long history of directing and producing theatrical documentaries.
He made his mark directing feature length films concerning issues of homelessness, THE STREET: a film with the homeless, S.P.I.T: Squeegee Punks In Traffic. Together with 8 Inuit students he directed the award winning film; Inuuvunga: I am Inuk I am alive and Last year the EyeSteelFilm documentary Jingle Bell Rocks won Best of the Fest at Yorkton.
For the last decade and a half Joanne McDonald’s world has mostly been filled with screen-based media (which until recently was better known as film and television) and lots of coffee.
As the General Manager for City Saskatchewan she’s involved in all aspects of broadcasting- from operations to programming. Over the years she has helped bring many hours of content from Saskatchewan and beyond to screens and audiences. Many titles have won national and international awards and have been licensed in other markets.
When she’s not running a TV station, you can find her volunteering for arts and cultural organizations- at present she sits on two Boards of Directors: SaskCulture and the Yorkton Film Festival. She also gets to vote as a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and belongs to Women in Communications and Technology. In the past she was on the board of the Saskatchewan Media Producers Industry Association and was a member of the Saskatchewan Arts Board’s Creative Industries Advisory Committee. In her other spare time she likes to cook, pull weeds in the garden and travel. And watch TV- of course.
Although her dad remains skeptical to this day, there is proof that someone with a philosophy degree can get a real job.
National Film Board
From a background in festivals, Jon joined the NFB in 2010 and has worked on a variety of documentary, animation, and interactive projects. Most recently these include the feature documentaries Gun Runners (Hot Docs 2016) and Danny (Hot Docs 2015), the short animation 54 Hours (Founder’s Award – Yorkton Film Festival), the interactive documentary Bubble Dancers (32nd Int’l Environmental Film Festival, Paris), and the 10th and 11th editions of the animation intensive Hothouse. A transplanted east coaster, Jon holds an MA in Communication & Culture from York and Ryerson Universities.
Julia Morgan is proud to be representing double Golden Sheaf nominee Driving with Selvi – and the film’s award-winning director/producer Elisa Paloschi – at Yorkton. Elisa is a documentary director, producer, and cinematographer, and president of Eyesfull, a Toronto-based independent production company dedicated to making non-fiction documentaries with social relevance that reflect the diversity of the human condition. Driving with Selvi has screened at more than 30 festivals on five continents to date, has won six awards, and was chosen as a 2015 IDFA Top 10 Audience Favourite. Elisa and the rest of the Driving with Selvi team are currently working on a robust social engagement campaign, which will launch in October 2016.
Julia has been working as the associate producer on Driving with Selvi since 2014. She is also currently producing and directing Undeniably Young, a short executive produced by Ed Barreveld. Her past credits include producing the feature Transfixed, which is currently screening around the world. In 2015, she was named to the DOC Institute/OMDC Breakthrough program for high potential emerging producers.
Justin Stephenson is an award-winning filmmaker and moving image designer. His latest film, The Complete Works, is based on renowned avant-garde author and poet, bpNichol. It was released in the fall of 2015 and is currently featuring in festivals around the world. Aside from filmmaking and film title work, Justin also directs and designs sequences for television, commercials, interactive media, and live performance. He created the video design and projections for Fujuwara Dance Inventions’ production of Christian Bök’s Eunoia, and the animation design for the 2015 remounting of Robert Lepage’s Erwartung and Bluebeard’s Castle with The Canadian Opera Company. Other notable film title works include Atom Egoyan’s Remember; Nathan Morlando’s Mean Dreams and Edwin Boyd; and David Cronenberg’s Maps to the Stars, and Cosmopolis.Justin currently lives in Toronto with his wife, Sheree, and their daughter, Edie.
Katrina German is an award-winning digital strategist for OneStory.com, “The Other Side” Television Show produced by Bamboo Shoots and “Mindful World” produced by Hulo Films. She has produced highly-acclaimed websites, social media content strategy, online video, iOS and Android apps.
Reelworld Film Festival
Lindsey has worked in the media production industry for over a decade, in film production, broadcast television, marketing & PR, events and education. Currently she is the Manager of all things communication at Reelworld Film Festival where her passion for social impact films inspires audiences to get involved. As well, she conducts research on the success of CMF-funded productions, both TV and Digital Media. She is Co-creator of the #EyeOnCanada campaign celebrating Canadian production.
Prior to Reelworld, she was Manager, Public Relations, at the Canadian Media Production Association where she managed producer development, outreach and strategic public relations initiatives. A member of WIFT-T and the YFF Programming Committee, Lindsey holds a Master of Arts in Communication & Culture.
Royal Bank of Canada
Mark Schollenberg is Senior Account Manager, Media & Entertainment at RBC Royal Bank. Over the past 5 years he has worked with many media producers, from emerging filmmakers to large production companies, across the prairies. He has worked in banking for 10 years and has experience in personal, small business and corporate banking. Mark has a Bachelor of Commerce from the Asper School of Business. He is also an active volunteer with Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation and Innovate Manitoba.
As Head of Creative for Super Channel, Melissa Kajpust oversees the development and pre-licensing of Canadian feature films and feature documentaries. She also manages development and production on original Canadian series, and recently served as production executive on the one-hour horror series Slasher (Shaftsbury), and the half-hour comedy, What Would Sal Do? (New Metric Media). Melissa has extensive relationships with producers, distributors, and funding agencies across Canada. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre.
Her earlier experience includes working as Director of Programming for the National Screen Institute where she was accountable for the delivery of all training programs. At NSI, Melissa played a key role in launching and then administering the Movie Central Script to Screen program. Melissa currently serves as Program Advisor to the NSI Features First Program.
Melissa is also an award-winning screenwriter, children’s author and playwright. In 2013 she was honoured to receive a YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction award. An avid oenophile, Melissa is proud to have completed level one of her sommelier diploma.
ClearShot Entertainment Inc.
Peter Cummings is a Vancouver based film producer and one of Canada’s leading clearance and product placement experts, and in this session he will explain how filmmakers working in all budget ranges can use clearance and product placement strategies to make their films stand out.
Peter Cummings has worked as a researcher, clearance and product placement consultant on over 50 major motion pictures. He is currently working on a double feature for Universal Pictures, with projects like Big Eyes, Night at The Museum, Creed & Race recently released or in theatres with Birth of The Dragon just wrapped. As a filmmaker, he has helped to write and produce international fine arts film installations, public service announcements, shorts and feature films. Most recently he was part of the filmmaking team who wrote and produced the award winning feature film Of Mind & Music shot in New Orleans starring Aunjanue Ellis, Joaquim deAlmeida, Sharon Lawrence, Ruth Negga & Bill Cobbs. He hopes to bring their next indie feature, set in the 1840’s upstate NY, to shoot in Eastern Canada.
Rachel practices in all areas of the entertainment industry with emphasis on film and television. Rachel acts for lenders, Canadian independent productions companies and foreign production companies with respect to interim financing, interprovincial and international co-productions, production services arrangements, CRTC co-ventures, distribution agreements, investment agreements, licensing agreements, talent agreements, celebrity endorsement agreements, chain of title opinions, errors and omissions, clearances and insurance issues, copyright and intellectual property matters and all other related contracts and documents.
Talking Dog Studios
Rob Bryanton made his first record at twelve, and was host/music director of a 1974 CBC-TV music series at the age of twenty. Nominated ten times for Canada’s Gemini Awards, five times in the category “Best Original Music Score for a Dramatic Series”, and five times for “Best Sound for a Dramatic Program”, Rob supervised the sound and co-composed the music for all six seasons of the hugely successful Canadian television series “Corner Gas”
Rob is also an author, with a popular science/philosophy book about the nature of reality, called “Imagining the Tenth Dimension”. Famous science fiction author Greg Bear (winner of both the prestigious Nebula and Hugo awards) had this to say about Rob’s book: “A fascinating excursion into the multiverse—clear, elegant, personal, and provocative”. Author and research scientist David Jay Brown called Rob’s book “one of the most brilliantly conceived and mind-stretching books I have ever read”. The companion video channel for the book, found on YouTube has attracted 15 million views from around the world since its launch.
Since 2009, Rob has been diversifying his company into the exciting new worlds of AR, VR, and now Mixed Reality. With past projects for Legendary Pictures, the Mayo Clinic, SaskTel and SaskPower, current installations being created for the RCMP Heritage Centre, Saskatoon Tourism, plus other AR/VR/MR projects in development, Rob is excited to be living in a science fiction future he never thought would happen within his lifetime.
Rob lives in Regina with his wife Gail, and they have two grown sons, Todd and Mark.
Creators, Producers, Directors
Eric Hogan and Tara Hungerford are an award-winning creative and production team passionate about creating meaningful and artistic motion picture content that educates, entertains and inspires.Their work has earned multiple Leo Awards (including over 35 nominations), and most recently Golden Sheaf and Canadian Screen (CSA) Award nominations.
They are the creators of the Kid’s CBC series, Scout & The Gumboot Kids, has been called “pioneering” by the UCLA Centre for Social Impact. The show has also been endorsed by the David Suzuki Foundation.
They’ve been called “Vancouver’s Eamse’s of filmmaking” by Knowledge Network for their documentary work, including A Window Looking In (Leo Award winner: Best Directors) and Take Me Home (CSA nomination).
Their can also be seen on CBC, YTV, CMT, CNN, City TV, W Network, TV5, Knowledge and Bravo! Their award winning short films have screened at over forty international film festivals and their music videos have reached Top Ten charts in Canada.
Tom Davidson has more than 300 hours of Network television director credits. He has filmed in 68 countries and circling the globe three times. Over the last 38 years, he has directed or photographed more than one thousand commercials and corporate videos. His client list includes Saskatchewan Roughriders Football Club, British Columbia Lottery Corporation, General Motors, Labatt’s, Global National News, SaskTel, SaskPower, The Government of China, SaskEnergy, SaskTourism, Manitoba Telephone System, Manitoba Hydro, Manitoba Tourism, The Governments of Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and countless others. Tom was part of the Pilot / Cinematographer team that filmed all the UAV aerials for Corner Gas: The Movie.
Canada Media Fund
Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the country’s most important organizations in the sector over the last thirty years. An expert in organizational change, Valerie has been recognized as a visionary in promoting Canada’s cultural wealth.
Currently serving as President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, Valerie positions Canadian programming at the forefront in world markets advocating successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms. Valerie has taken part in foreign trade missions, and is regularly called upon to present the CMF model internationally. She has been recognized with numerous awards nationally and from her home province of Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.
She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, has served on a variety of regional, national and international juries and boards and has produced radio dramas for the CBC in Saskatchewan.
Will Dixon has spent the past 3 years as City Saskatchewan’s Program Manager overseeing the development and production of original homegrown programming for the Rogers owned station. Prior to that Will spent 3 years as a Regional Development Executive for the premium pay television network Super Channel. Before that Will worked primarily in TV production spending almost twenty years writing, directing, story editing, and producing series and movies everywhere from Toronto to Vancouver to Montreal to Edmonton to Regina to Los Angeles…including “Guitarman”, “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”, “Psi Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal”, “Earth: Final Conflict”, and “The Outer Limits”.