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.

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.

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.”

EyeSteelFilm

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

Reelworld Film Festival

Lindsey Vodarek

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.

Filmmaker

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.

EyeSteelFilm

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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