2017 Festival Panels

We’re excited to bring you this year’s line-up of top-notch panels and workshops from industry leading people from across the the country at this year’s festival.

Interactive Documentary

Friday, May 26, 2017 – 9:30AM – 10:30AM

A talk with some once upon a time traditional filmmakers who are now making groundbreaking interactive projects. How to best select the appropriate medium, in this multi-platform era, to best tell your story. Think outside the (black) box. The panelists will also present clips from their award winning productions.


  • Daniel Cross – Moderator, Concordia University Research Chair in Interactive Documentary
  • Katerina Cizek – Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab
  • Brett Gaylor – Director, Advocacy Media at Mozilla
  • Marco Luna – Research Associate, Concordia University Research Chair in Interactive Documentary
  • Rob McLaughlin – NFB


Friday, May 26, 2017 – 10:45AM – 11:45AM

Test your pitching skills and be judged by an esteemed panel of broadcasters, directors and distributors. This is not your regular pitch session so leave your pitches at home. Be brave and spin the Wheel of Spin and see what idea you and your team will be forced to pitch.


  • Charlotte Engel – CBC

Creative Saskatchewan Networking Lunch

Friday, May 26, 2017 – 12:00PM – 1:30PM

Our annual lunch with community members, filmmakers, and industry members. Join us as we celebrate past contributors to the Yorkton Film Festival and award our festival builder and volunteer awards.

Meet the Agencies, Broadcasters, and Buyers

Friday, May 26, 2017 – 1:30PM – 3:00PM

Looking for the right partner or buyer for your project? Sit down with broadcasters, development executives, distributors and executive producers to find out what they’re looking for, ask questions and talk about your projects.

Note: As of this time we are allowing attendees to book a maximum of four meeting slots. If you weren’t able to get a meeting with a rep you would like to, please add your name to our waitlist.


  • Mark Schollenberg, Senior Account Manager, Media & Entertainment & Mike DeLuca: Account Manager, Media & Entertainment – RBC – book meeting
  • Melanie Hadley: Executive in Charge of Production – CBC – Fully Booked
  • Larissa Laycock, Production Executive, Original Production, Factual – Corus Entertainment – Fully Booked
  • Michael Kronish, Executive VP, Vice Media – Fully Booked
  • Charlotte Engel, Production Executive, CBC Docs – Fully Booked
  • Jon Montes, Producer, NFB – Fully Booked
  • Joanne McDonald & Will Dixon, Rogers Media / City SK – book meeting
  • Steve Allen, Wavelength Entertainment – book meeting
  • Daniel Cross, EyeSteel Film – book meeting
  • Brendon Sawatzky & Ursula Lawson, National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) – Fully Booked
  • Katerina Cizek – Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab – book meeting
  • John Dippong – National Project Lead – Western Region + Ontario, Telefilm Canada – book meeting
  • Kevin McMahon – Vice President, Creative, Primitive Entertainment – book meeting

How’d you do that (and why)?

Friday, May 26, 2017 – 3:15PM – 4:15PM

This panel featuring nominated filmmakers, explores the challenges faced and overcome in the making of their nominated production, and the ideas, motivation and/or inspiration that got the project started in the first place.


  • Rob Hardy – Moderator
  • Sally Karam – Show & Tell
  • Reem Morsi – Show & Tell, The Door

CMF Keytrends Report

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 9:30AM – 10:00AM

The major technological innovations and new digital strategies that have marked the last few years have led to significant. Changes in the audiovisual industry around the world. In fact, they have redefined infrastructures, uses, relationships with the audience, business models, and the competitive environment. While most of the big names in the industry have adapted to the new digital ecology, some fundamental questions remain. How has the new audiovisual value chain been reconfigured? Which players are best positioned to make the most of it? These questions served as the framework for the 2017 edition of the Trends Report in which the Canada Media Fund examines the value creation opportunities that have emerged from this major industrial reorganization. The digital environment has become a virtual battleground, where competitors battle each other to seize the best opportunities and to position themselves in the evolving value curve.


  • Valerie Creighton

Reel Women Seen

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 10:15AM – 10:30AM

Reel Women Seen – takes a comedic look at the serious global issue of the lack of work opportunities facing women who work in front of and behind the camera in the film and television industry. Particularly, regarding opportunities in key creative and decision-making roles, and how women’s full participation could contribute to and enhance our societies. An ACTRA production, presented by the ACTRA National Women’s Committee and produced by members from across the country. Jodi Sadowsky, Associate Producer will speak about the film prior to.


  • Jodi Sadowsky – Associate Producer

Straight from the Top

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 10:30AM – 11:30AM

A conversation with Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and other top industry leaders. Their conversation will be moderated by Daniel Cross, Concordia University Research Chair in Interactive Documentary and President of EyeSteelFilm with an introduction from Kevin McMahon. Q & A to follow.


  • Daniel Cross, Moderator
  • Valerie Creighton, President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund (CMF)
  • David Christensen, Executive Producer, NFB North West Studio

Community Engaged Filmmaking

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 11:30AM – 12:30PM

The Grasslands Project’s creator Scott Parker will walk through the process of working closely with communities to tell their essential stories. The Grasslands Project is 10 short films shot across the southern prairies, all based on themes and ideas brought forth through community consultation. The films were developed and filmed with community members and premiered back in the communities they were conceived in. Community engaged filmmaking is a powerful way to connect story, culture and community.


  • Scott Parker – Filmmaker


Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 12:30PM – 1:15PM

Finding Your Audience

Programming provided by SMPIA

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 1:15PM – 2:15PM

Annelise Larson, of Veria Marketing, will present will present a session on techniques filmmakers can take advantage of in order to identify and connect with a target audience.


  • Annelise Larson – Veria Marketing

Telefilm Micro-Budget Panel

Programming provided by SMPIA

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 2:15PM – 3:15PM

In this panel moderated by Annelise Larson, three filmmakers will talk about their experiences with the Telefilm Micro-Budget program.


  • Daniel Redenbach, producer of The Land of Rock and Gold
  • Lucas Frison, director of Talent
  • Kelly-Anne Riess, producer of the documentary Finding AI

Look To The Future

Saturday, May 27, 2017 – 3:30PM – 4:30PM

We will end the Yorkton conference with a state of the union discussion on the media landscape and offer this elite panel of creators an opportunity to gaze into the future and discuss how to best re-tool the agencies running the mothership to fulfill their dreams.

Background: An Open Letter to Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly by Kevin McMahon



  • Kevin McMahon – Vice President, Creative, Primitive Entertainment
  • Katerina Cizek – Artistic Director and Executive Producer of the Co-Creation Studio at MIT Open Documentary Lab
  • Brett Gaylor – Director, Advocacy Media at Mozilla
  • Michelle Latimer – Streel Films

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