2018 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.

NSI - Director, Programming

Brendon Sawatzky

As director of programming at NSI, Brendon directs the development of all new programs and is accountable for the delivery of all NSI courses.

Prior to his current position at NSI, Brendon focused on producing film and television. This resulted in producer credits on six feature films, a television sitcom, two television movies and a number of television specials, short films and music videos.

He previously worked for the National Screen Institute as a program manager and before that at the Winnipeg Film Group. A more recent role was as a producer for the National Film Board. He is also the chair of Film Training Manitoba.

Bell MTS

Cam Bennett

Cam Bennett is Executive Producer at Bell MTS TV in Winnipeg. Working with community producers, Bell MTS creates intensely local content under the banner Stories From Home. We support and license new documentary and lifestyle series that reflect the people and places of Manitoba.

Upcoming series include In The Archives, The Prairie Gourmet, Boys’ Club, How to Do (Almost) Absolutely Everything, and The Hundred Dollar Challenge.

Prior to joining MTS in 2008, Cam worked as an independent Writer/Director in documentary and lifestyle television. Select credits include Gemini-nominated As Seen on TV/The K-Tel Story, Avrocar: Saucer Secrets from The Past, Recreating Eden, Magnificent Obsessions, and The Sharing Circle. His work has aired on CBC, CTV, Global, Discovery, History U.K., The Sci-Fi Network, and APTN.

Most recently Cam has been directing episodes of the Eagle Vision series Taken for APTN and CBC.

Twisted Pair Productions

Cary Ciesielski

Cary Ciesielski BFA is a graduate of the University of Regina’s Film and Video Production program. He has been working in the industry in Saskatchewan since 1997 at Twisted Pair Productions. Cary has directed, edited and produced hundreds of corporate videos and television commercials. He has also worked in post-production on many documentaries and feature films. Co-creating the documentary series, Untamed Gourmet, with Ian Toews of 291 Film Company, Cary directed several episodes over two seasons.

Cary embraced the emerging technology of 360 degree VR filmmaking in 2016, setting out to make a short documentary, Valley of Bones, in Eastend, SK. He has continued to work in the medium with other documentary projects, ambisonic music videos, and client driven projects. Cary is a pioneer in 360 degree videography, directing, stitching, editing, and ambisonic recording.

Executive in Charge of Production, Documentary Programming, CBC Television

Charlotte Engel

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”.

After departing Bell Media, Engel set up her own production company, Rock Yenta Productions. During this time, she produced many documentaries for CBC and TVO including “Puffin Patrol”, “Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale” “Mugshot” for TVO.

In 2015, Engel joined CBC’s Unscripted department to oversee CBC’s new documentary strand called “Firsthand”. In its second year, the strand has gone on to entertain and enlighten Canadians coast to coast.

Government Film Comissioner and NFB Chairperson

Claude Joli-Coeur

Claude Joli-Coeur has been an influential figure in the film and audiovisual industry throughout a career spanning more than 30 years. He is the 16th Govenmemt Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada. As Assistant Commissioner at the NFB (2007 to 2014), he headed Government Relations and Strategic Planning as well as Business Affairs and Legal Services.

Mr. Joli-Coeur is known for his ability to motivate and inspire, a leadership style focused on results, and his strong commitment to Canadian communities. That commitment, combined with his interest in Canadian culture, has led him to undertake numerous initiatives, particularly with major national museums and cultural institutions. He has also supported many projects in French-speaking communities throughout Canada and other minority communities across the country, including the first multi-party agreement with English-speaking Quebecers.

In March 2016, he made a strong commitment to parity: the NFB, already an industry leader in gender equity, will commit 50 percent of its production budget to films by women and at least half of its productions will be directed by women by 2019. In March 2017, this commitment to parity was broadened to include the goal of having women occupy 50 percent of the NFB’s key creative positions for animated, documentary, and interactive works in production in the year 2020.

In June 2017, Mr. Joli-Coeur also announced a three-year plan to redefine the NFB’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. Guided by recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the plan outlines 33 commitments, such as allocating at least 15 percent of overall production spending to Indigenous-led production.

A law graduate from the Universite de Montreal and member of the Quebec Bar, Mr. Joli-Coeur has been an entertainment law expert in the private sector, where he contributed to several international co-productions with a number of European countries and held various leadership positions within the Astral Entertainment Group, Groupe Coscient (Motion International), TV A International, and Zone 3.


Cheryl Binning

Cheryl Binning is a showrunner, producer and writer working in factual and documentary television. She is currently showrunning the hit Discovery series Jade Fever, and her previous Series Producer credits include History’s Yukon Gold and the premiere season of AMI TV’s Mind Set Go. She has also worked as a senior story editor and supervising story producer on Klondike Trappers (History US and History Canada), the true crime series Very Bad Men (Investigation Discovery) and wrote numerous episodes of Discovery’s long-running series Highway Thru Hell. Prior to working in television, Cheryl was a journalist, writing for The Winnipeg Free Press, and editing the entertainment magazines Playback and Reel West. She holds a degree in Journalism from Ryerson University and an English and History Degree from the University of Western Ontario.

Wavelength Entertainment

Christopher Triffo

Christopher Triffo is a principal partner and founding member of Wavelength Entertainment Group. He has developed and produced/directed programming for History Television, A&E, Discovery International, Travel Channel USA/Canada, Discovery Channel USA/ Canada, History UK, Smithsonian Channel, Zoomer-TV, HBO Europe, HBO, Foxtel Australia, ZDF, Vision, CBC, IFC, Rogers, City TV and many others. The award-winning programming is seen in more than 120 countries around the world and heard in over 30 languages. Triffo has received many awards including an American ‘Emmy® Award’ ‘Best Direction in a Documentary 13th Gemini Awards’ ’New York Film Festivals Finalist Award’ ‘Best Director’ and ‘Best Canadian Documentary’ at Hot Docs. Chris’s lately projects includes 3 seasons of the documentary series ‘Nordic Lodge’ and currently airing is the inspirational new 6-part series “Bridging Borders.”


Daniel Cross

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 Concordia University Research Chair in Interactive Documentary at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University. Cross is also a member of the Provost's Circle of Distinction and sits on the University's Board of Governors and Senate. Cross is a multi-disciplined award winning documentary filmmaker with a long history of directing and producing theatrical documentaries.

His newest film I AM THE BLUES is currently nominated for 2 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Feature Length Theatrical Documentary, the film will open the 70th annual Yorkton Film Festival. Cross is currently looking for a production unit to film the 2017 Stanley Cup Parade in downtown Montreal – Go Habs!

Stop-motion Animator

Deanna Partridge-David

Deanna Partridge-David is a Stop-motion Animator and a passionate writer of mixed European and Indigenous ancestry from the Simpcw First Nation. She graduated with her B.F.A from Emily Carr University of Art + Design. Her recent animation credits include award-winning hit children’s TV series Poko, Daisy & The Gumboot Kids (CBC Kids), Jessie & The Gumboot Kids (CBC Kids) and most recently, Scout & the Gumboot Kids (CBC Kids) for which she was an Animation Director. Her most recent writing was in the publication of Room Magazine. She lives in the suburbs of Vancouver with her husband, two children, and dog. When she’s not animating, writing, or playing with her family, she’s probably asleep. You can also sometimes find her making crafts or on Twitter @deannapeedee.

Director & Editor

Erin Cumming

Erin Cumming began as an assistant editor at Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm where she worked on several productions like Up The Yangtze and Chairman George. Since returning to Vancouver in 2005, she has worked as an editor in factual film and television. Editing programs like Wild Bear Rescue, Cry Rock and Highway Thru Hell have earned her a reputation as a talented, efficient editor with a strong sense of story. Her work on Ice Pilots garnered her a Canadian Cinema Editors Award for Best Editing. Erin recently stepped out of the suite and onto set to direct two short documentary films. Under the Radar is about her dad and a small upstart team of Canadian computer Engineers that competed against NASA to revolutionize satellite imagery of Earth (that’s a mouthful!). And The Apprenticeship of Raffael Cocco is about a plucky father-son team of tailors. Erin is currently editing a feature documentary for the CBC.


Erin Mussolum

Erin Mussolum is a professional in the areas of film and television, digital media, communications, public relations and project management.

For close to 20 years she has been actively working in the film and television sector in a variety of roles. Erin ran her own documentary production company for 10 years pitching and selling content to national and international broadcasters. She has been an active story producer and development producer for many of the top television and radio companies in Vancouver, and most recently helped build up the TELUS STORYHIVE program in her past role as Project Manager. For the last 10 years she has given her eyes and ears to the Leo Awards as one of their jury members, and sits on the board at The Cinematheque in Vancouver.

With a unique career that has straddled both the production and communication sectors, Erin knows first hand the importance of not only creating quality content but also communicating that content in a way that will amplify efforts and find traction in the marketplace.

Director / Producer / DOP

Ian Toews csc

Ian Toews csc, has been making documentaries since 1996. His films are primarily focused on the natural environment and often, its degradation. Toews’ projects have taken him to every Canadian province and territory and to every continent (save for Australia). He is the producer, director, and DOP of more than 70 documentary television episodes, dozens of shorts and webisodes, commercials, and 6 full-length documentaries. His films are broadcast in more than 40 countries.

In addition to international awards, he has been nominated for the Gemini/Canadian Screen awards as director, cinematographer, and producer 6 times. Winning as producer for Bravo’s long running arts series Landscape as Muse (2008). That series is in the collection of many universities, art galleries, and libraries including the National Gallery of Canada.

Other documentaries include the series Great Minds of Design, one-hour Grasslands, and theatrical feature Bugs on the Menu. Ian Toews csc, is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

City Saskatchewan

Joanne McDonald

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.

President of Bell Media’s The Harold Greenberg Fund

John Galway

a MBA graduate with twenty-five years of experience in film and television, John’s career ranges from film festivals, to production and financing.

After staring his career at TIFF and with the launch of Cinematheque Ontario, his interest in development and production led a position with Peter O’Brian’s Independent Pictures and contract work on several film and television projects. He then moved into financing, with positions at the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Canadian Media Fund and at Telefilm Canada where he served as a Regional Director and the Television Sector Head.

In 2005, he joined The Harold Greenberg Fund as President and Board Member. At the Fund, he has overseen investments of more than $40 Million and has helped develop over 1300 feature film and television projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, John has overseen partnerships and funding support for film festivals, script writing labs, film promotion initiatives and awards, documentaries and short film projects.

He is also the co-founder of the Toronto Irish Film Festival and sits on various industry boards, juries and advisory committees.

NFB - Producer

Jon Montes

Based in Winnipeg, Jon is currently a producer with the NFB’s North West Studio, in development on a slate of documentary and animation projects in Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. As associate producer with the NFB, Jon’s recent projects include the feature documentaries Gun Runners (Hot Docs 2016), 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 on 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.

NSI - Manager, Programs & Development

Joy Loewen

As manager, programs and development, Joy runs the NSI Totally Television course.

Joy is a passionate supporter of the production, promotion and exhibition of Canadian art and artists. As a media arts consultant, her specialty lies in mentoring and showcasing a diverse range of media projects and the artists who create them.

She previously worked as a broadcast and festival programmer at WTN (Women’s Television Network), CBC and the Gimli Film Festival; program manager at On Screen Manitoba and executive director at Freeze Frame Media Arts Centre for Young People.

Joy is also an active volunteer with leadership roles in several non-profit organizations.

Her passion and commitment to supporting artists and emerging talent extends into her volunteer work as a member of the Yorkton Film Festival board, Rainbow Stage board of directors and their awards and scholarships committee as well as the Winnipeg Foundation’s strategic initiatives committee.

She has served as president of the Balmoral Hall Parent Association and co-chair of the Yes, She Can! Dinner honouring The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, and is currently the board chair at Balmoral Hall School.

KGP Films - Executive Producer

Kate Green

Kate Green has a passion for telling engaging and inspiring stories. Kate has worked on numerous television programs in various producing roles such as W Network’s Shannon & Sophie, CBC’s Keeping Canada Alive, Keeping Canada Safe, W Network’s Game of Homes, HGTV’s Urban Suburban, and Strangers in Danger for Fuel TV. Kate’s first documentary, Not A Stranger, won the Audience Choice Award at the Vancouver Short Film Festival and was nominated for Best ‘Made in Canada’ Short at the Northwestfest. Kate’s second documentary, Melting Stars, was nominated for Best Short at Northwestfest and won Best Short at the International Wildlife Film Festival. Kate is currently in post-production on the sci-fi web series NarcoLeap to be released July 2018. Kate is a proud Alumna of Women in the Director’s Chair Story & Leadership Program, the National Screen Institute of Canada, Reykjavík International Film Festival Talent Lab, Vancouver Island University, and the University of British Columbia.

Zoot Pictures Inc.

Leslea Mair

Leslea Mair is a writer, director and producer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has been the President and CEO of Zoot Pictures Inc. since 1998.

From a background performance, screenwriting and short film, Leslea moved into researching, writing and producing documentaries. She co-directed The Path to Shaolin in 2009 and has written and produced Zoot Pictures’ award-winning documentaries in the genres of history, current affairs, social issues, medical science and environmental science as well as lifestyle series television with a three-season run of The Prairie Diner. Leslea recently directed, wrote and produced the feature length documentary “Losing Our Religion” released on CBC’s Documentary Channel last year. She is currently in post-production on a documentary for The Nature of Things, in pre-production on a science fiction web series and in development on other documentary projects.

From a background performance, screenwriting and short film, Leslea moved into researching, writing and producing documentaries. She co-directed The Path to Shaolin in 2009 and has written and produced Zoot Pictures’ award-winning documentaries in the genres of history, current affairs, social issues, medical science and environmental science as well as lifestyle series television with a three-season run of The Prairie Diner. Leslea recently directed, wrote and produced the feature length documentary “Losing Our Religion” released on CBC’s Documentary Channel last year. She is currently in post-production on a documentary for The Nature of Things, in pre-production on a science fiction web series and in development on other documentary projects.


Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson’s films have aired on many networks in Canada, screened around the world at festivals including Berlinale, SXSW, Margaret Mead, London BFI, Edinburgh and Hotdocs and garnered a Genie award for her short film SAVAGE. Her work often crosses genres and includes documentary, animation, VR, and a musical. Her recent CBC documentary Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier, co-directed with Shane Belcourt, won Best Documentary at imagineNATIVE in 2017 and she was the drama director for the APTN/ZDF 8-part docudrama series 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus, based on the best-selling book by Charles C. Mann. Named one of 10 to Watch by Playback Magazine in 2012, she is an alumna of the TIFF Talent Lab, CFC Directors’ Lab and IDFA Summer School, a director mentor for the NSI IndigiDocs program, and sits on the advisory committee for the NFB’s Indigenous Action Plan.

Eye Inspire Events

Lisa Peters

Lisa began her career in film in 2012 with an online reality-based show with Saskatchewan in Motion’s Re-Activity program. In this eight-episode program, Lisa followed a family of five as they were challenged to get more active in their lifestyle.

Three years ago, Lisa took over as television Host of Talk of The Town. Now a CCSA award-winning talk show host, she helps local community groups get their stories and events the attention they deserve by providing them an outlet on her show each week.

A recent nominee for a 2018 Women of Distinction Award, Lisa owns her own event management firm in Regina, is a certified speaker for LeaderImpact, and a founding member of the Your Time Women’s Empowerment Foundation.  She and her husband, Ward, have two children and live in the RM of Edenwold.


Marco Luna

Born in Lima, Peru, Marco is a social engaged documentary filmmaker who believes on the power of filmmaking as a tool for social change. He participated on the first editions of the Peruvian Documentary Caravan (Caravana Documental) as well as the Independent Documentary Film Exhibitions (Muestra de Documental Independiente Peruano), venues that promote human rights and social engagement of documentary films in the Peruvian culture.

In 2007 he moved to Montreal to pursue a master’s degree on film production at Concordia University and since then he has worked in different social film projects. From 2008 to 2010 he trained homeless people in the use of digital cameras and new media tools for the project HOMELESSNATION.org, the first website by and for the street community in Canada. In 2011 he joined the WAPIKONI MOBILE team and traveled to several First Nation communities teaching filmmaking as a form self expression to at-risk youth. He currently works at EyeSteelFilm, a documentary film and interactive media production company dedicated to the use of cinematic expression as a catalyst for social and political change, and he is also the research associate of the recently established Concordia Research Chair in Interactive Documentary filmmaking.

Thunderbird Entertainment, Co-President

Mark Miller

Mark Miller is a founding partner and the CEO of Great Pacific Media, the factual arm of Thunderbird Entertainment. He is a rare mix of successful entrepreneur and artist. He is an award-winning writer, producer and music composer. His insatiable curiosity has lead him to build several companies that have created hundreds of hours of programming. As a leader, Mark’s drive for quality and integrity are at the root of his unprecedented commercial success in the international market. Mark is the creator of programs including: Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401 and Xtremely Wild.

Knowledge Network

Murray Battle

Murray Battle is the Director of Original Documentaries & Brand at British Columbia’s Knowledge Network.

Recent documentary commissions include the three seasons of the award winning series, Emergency Room: Life and Death at Vancouver General Hospital, Vancouver: No Fixed Address, Dear Life, Shut Up and Say Something, 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.

In a previous life, he was a filmmaker for over 30 years.

Mixtape VR

Nyla Innuksuk

Nyla Innuksuk is a producer of film and virtual reality content. She is the Founder of Mixtape VR, which produces VR and AR content. She was featured in the widely spread Vice Motherboard article,“ How an Inuit Filmmaker Is Using Virtual Reality to Tell Her Culture’s Stories” for her use of VR as a tool to break free from stereotypes. She wrote and produced the short film Kajutaijuq: The Spirit That Comes, a retelling of an Inuit myth that deals with isolation in the Arctic Tundra. Kajutaijuq premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and was included in TIFF Top 10. Innuksuk has worked with artists including Glenn Gould, Kent Monkman, as well as Tanya Tagaq and A Tribe Called Red. Her recent VR project with A Tribe Called Red, called DocX: A Tribe Called Red: Indian City 360°, is an immersive virtual reality that allows the audience to become a DJ, mix their own track to the experience. Nyla Innuksuk is the imagineNATIVE AR/VR Artist in Residence 2018, consults regularly for Marvel Comics, and is a a member of the board of directors of both the OMDC and the Glenn Gould Foundation. She was recently selected by Google to be included in their exclusive Google Jump program for new media storytellers.

Paul Kemp Productions

Paul Kemp

Paul Kemp is a multiple award-winning and nominated TV series and documentary Writer, Director, Show Runner, and Producer with over 100 projects under his belt. His films and TV series have been seen in over 160 countries, including: “Transformer” (2018 Winner of both of the Hot Docs Audience Awards, 2017 Austin Film Festival “Best Documentary Feature” and “Audience Award”) “Infestation” (4 x 60m) for UKTV & ZDF Germany; “The Science of Sin” (4 x 60m) on Discovery Latin America (**Nominated Best International Science Documentary Series-Banff TV Festival); “Secret Science of the Dog Park” for Discovery Family US; “The Plastic Fantastic Brain” ( 2 x 60m) Discovery Health US, Science Channel US, Discovery UK & ZDF (**Nominated For Real Screen ‘Best Factual Award’ and the Gemini Awards for “Best Documentary” / “Best Editing” / “Best Photography”); “I Bet My Life” for Travel Channel US. Paul also actively works with several internationally renowned TV distribution companies, including Rive Gauche of Los Angeles, Sideways Films UK, and ZDFE of Germany

Perfect Day Productions - Executive Producer

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy is a writer, producer and executive producer. Before launching his development company Perfect Day Productions, Robert served as the SVP and Head of Development at Force Four / Entertainment One, VP of Development at Paperny Entertainment, and as a production executive for Bell Media. He is currently an Executive Producer and Supervising Story Producer on the new History Television series Rust Valley Restorers, and helped create such shows as Border Security: America’s Front Line (Netflix / Nat Geo), Keeping Canada Alive (CBC), Emergency (Slice/GlobalTV), Shannon & Sophie (W Network/UPTV), Battle Cats (Blue Ant Media) and First Dates (Slice).

ISEE Motion Picture Company

Shayne Metcalfe

Shayne Metcalfe has spent the last 20 years in the film industry creating, writing and directing a wide array of film and video content. Shayne is an alumnus of the National Screen Institute. He is a partner in ISEE Motion Picture Company, a Canadian production company with experience delivering to broadcast and industrial markets and has worked on numerous award-winning productions from documentary to drama.

Shayne has taught filmmaking and written curriculum for three post-secondary schools and is considered an expert in the field of video by the Department of National Defense for whom he has delivered a course titled “Advanced Video” training. He is also an Instructor of the Motion Picture Arts program at RAIS (Recording Arts Institute of Saskatoon) where he has had a hand in the creation of over 100 short film projects from concept to distribution.

APTN, Manager of Programming, Central Canada

Shelley MacDougall

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 entertainment clearances and product placement. Shelley 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. APTN is committed to enabling Indigenous Peoples to share their stories and convey them to a domestic and international audience.

The Nature of Things

Sue Dando

Sue Dando is the head of The Nature of Things, CBC’s award-winning documentary science and nature series, broadcast across Canada and seen in countries around the world.

For three decades, Dando has produced, directed and written for Canadian television, both public and private. Her work includes overseeing award-winning documentary series and international co-productions. Among her honours are an Emmy, a Hot Docs award, a duPont Columbia award, a Canada Screen Award and several Geminis.

University of Saskatchewan

Tasha Hubbard

Tasha Hubbard is a writer, filmmaker, Assistant Professor at the University of Saskatchewan’s Department of English, and the mother of an 11 year-old son. Her first solo writing/directing project Two Worlds Colliding (2004), about Saskatoon’s infamous Starlight Tours, premiered at imagineNATIVE, was broadcast on CBC’s Roughcuts, and won the Canada Award at the 2005 Geminis. Her recent animated short film Buffalo Calling screened as part of the Ga Ni Tha exhibit held on the occasion of the 2015 Venice Biennale. Her recent short film 7 Minutes won Best Short Fiction at Yorkton’s Golden Sheaf Awards. Birth of a Family, her latest feature documentary, portrays a 60s Scoop family reunited for the first time. Along with a strong community screening circuit, Birth of a Family premiered at Hot Docs and was awarded a Special Jury Prize (Moon Jury) at imagineNATIVE. As part of her academic work, Tasha does research on the relationship between Indigenous peoples and the buffalo, Indigenous ecologies, Indigenous media, and Indigenous families. Recently, Elders from the International Buffalo Treaty have asked her to work on a digital story archive for the International Buffalo Treaty Nations over the next several years. Tasha is currently in production on her latest project, Life & Death on the Prairies: A Film About the Death of Colten Boushie.

Producer / Director

Tony Hrynchuk

Since quitting an M.A. in psychology to pursue a career in film, Tony Hrynchuk has produced and directed many television commercials, music videos, one-off docs and 2 documentary series. Hrynchuk has collaborated with such diverse groups as CMT, The Comedy Network, & Amnesty International (Although, not at the same time).

Tony is currently producing/directing the second season of Paramedics: Emergency Response for City Saskatchewan / Rogers Media Ltd. From 2013 – 2015 Hrynchuk created three seasons of another doc series for City Saskatchewan, NightClub Confidential, about a rough-and-tumble Saskatoon club. That series was nominated twice for Best Documentary Series at The Yorkton Film Festival.

Hrynchuk is an experienced music video director having shot all over Canada, parts of the US, and as far away as Tokyo. He was nominated in 2005 and 2008-2012 for Video Director of the Year at the Canadian Country Music Awards. Hrynchuk also has several Saskatchewan film awards for his work.

In 2007 he produced and directed a documentary “Stolen Sisters” for Global Television about the Amnesty International report of the same title. The program was featured in several Canadian newspapers, receiving a Critics Pick from The Globe and Mail. It also won the Jury Prize at the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association Awards.

Hrynchuk began his career in 2001 with “Rider Pride”, a short he co-produced and directed starring comedian Brent Butt. The film received an unprecedented theatrical release through Alliance Atlantis opening for Men with Brooms across Saskatchewan. It played festivals across North America and Australia and was featured on a national screening tour sponsored by The Toronto International Film Festival. “Rider Pride has been enthusiastically reviewed from Toronto to Los Angeles. Stephen Cole of The National Post called it “A Raucous Comedy.”

Canada Media Fund

Valerie Creighton

Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the some of the country’s most important organizations in the sector over the last thirty five 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. She was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit (SOM) in 2016.

Valerie 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 where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.


Zach Feldberg

With over a decade’s of experience pioneering the intersection of TV and digital, Zach Feldberg has navigated the content business from many different angles. At CBC, he is in charge of the scripted Digital Originals strategy and programming slate, developing and commissioning series for the network’s streaming service, as well as its social media channels. In his time at the broadcaster so far, he has overseen such titles as My 90-Year-Old Roommate, Save Me, Brand Canada, The Neddeaus of Duqesne Island, Coming In, the Emmy®-nominated The Amazing Gayl Pile, and many more.

Prior to starting that role in late 2015, Zach spearheaded Shaw Media’s first digital programming mandate, including Global TV special The Second City Project, Food Network’s Super Snack Bros. and comedy series But I’m Chris Jericho!, which has now been picked up at CBC. He also produced digital products and content associated with the company’s priority linear series, including Big Brother Canada, Vikings, Kenny vs. Spenny, Trailer Park Boys and dozens more, yielding an International Emmy® win in 2012, and a subsequent nomination in 2014.

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