2019 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.
Cam Bennett is Executive Producer at Bell MTS TV in Winnipeg. Working with community producers, Bell MTS creates local content for TV1. We support and license new documentary and lifestyle series that reflect the people and places of Manitoba.
Upcoming series include How To Be a Polar Bear Guide, Sustainable Structures, and Wabunukeeg: Daybreak People.
Prior to joining Bell MTS, Cam was 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.
Accessible Media Inc
Cara Nye, Director of Production, AMI-tv, for Accessible Media Inc.: Cara has close to 30 years of production experience, having previously worked for CHUM/Rogers supporting such networks as MuchMusic, Citytv, OMNI, FX Canada, OLN and Bio. Since joining AMI-tv in 2012, Cara is responsible for all internal and outsourced productions, including the weekly magazine-style show, AMI This Week; Challenges and Change with Craig Oliver; the documentary series Our Community and original documentaries like StopGap: The Luke Anderson Story and Still Beautiful. Additionally, Cara has acted as Production Executive on such commissioned AMI-tv series as Menu Match-Up, produced in partnership with the Scott Brothers; Season 1 of the ongoing series Mind Set Go; and the accessible gardening series, Growing Sense.
Cara and her team at AMI are dedicated to creating accessible content for all Canadians. Through a production process called Integrated Described Video (IDV), AMI embeds audio description directly into the programs they produce, providing a seamless and inclusive experience for the blind or partially sighted viewer. This is done without adding the traditional post-production Described Video track. Along with AMI’s team of DV/IDV Specialists, Cara’s production staff ensures that all internal productions, as well as content and programming created in partnership with outside production houses, is 100% accessible and qualifies as “described” in the eyes of the CRTC. Applying the IDV method of production ensures that the integrity of the program, as envisioned by the producers, is not altered in a post-production environment, but included in all stages: pre-production, production and post.
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”.
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 “CBC Docs POV” (formerly “Firsthand”). In its forth year, the strand has gone on to entertain and enlighten Canadians coast to coast.
Government Film Comissioner and NFB Chairperson
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 Governmemt 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 Université de Montréal 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), TVA International, and Zone 3.
Daniel Cross is co-founder of EYESTEELFILM in Montreal, named by Real Screen Magazine as a top 100 non-fiction production company in the world. He is a Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Interactive Documentary at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. Cross is also a member of the Provost’s Circle of Distinction and sits on Concordia University’s Board of Governors. Cross is a multi-disciplined award-winning documentary filmmaker with a long history of directing and producing theatrical documentaries. Cross’ CURC will host a VR public showcase at this years festival.
His latest film I AM THE BLUES won 2 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Feature Length Theatrical Documentary, and Best Cinematography, the film also opened the 70th annual Yorkton Film Festival winning 2 Golden Sheaf awards. Cross is currently looking for a production unit to film the 2019 Stanley Cup Parade in downtown Montreal – Go Habs!
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.
Writer, Broadcaster, Producer and Speaker
Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe writer, broadcaster, producer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family hails from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for his 22 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last seven as the director of film programmes at the TIFF Lightbox. Jesse is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit, the Cultural Summit of the Americas, and numerous Universities and Colleges. In November Jesse delivered the annual Eva Holtby Lecture on Contemporary Culture at the Royal Ontario Museum. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council. In 2017 he was named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award and recently received the Association of Ontario Health Centres’ Media Award for 2018. Jesse is currently working on his first book for Penguin Random House Canada and in February, Jesse started a new role as the first Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in Canada.
Sometime between the invention of colour television and the first HD broadcast in Canada, 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 Citytv Saskatchewan she’s involved in all aspects of broadcasting- from operations to programming. The station is a provincial educational broadcaster and was called SCN in a former life.
Over the years she has helped bring many hours of content from Saskatchewan and beyond to screens and audiences. A number of titles have won national and international awards –and have gone on to be licensed in other markets around the world.
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 (Past President) 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 make jelly salads, 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.
NFB North West Studio - Producer
Based in Winnipeg, Jon has been a producer with the NFB’s North West Studio since 2016, working on a slate of projects in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories. Current productions include the short documentary Stories are in our Bones (dir Janine Windolph) and the theatrical documentary We Will Stand Up (dir Tasha Hubbard), a co-production with Downstream Documentary Productions. Completed projects include the short docs Talking at Night (dir Eric Thiessen), To Wake Up the Nakota Language (dir Louise BigEagle), and Ride (dir Kristin Catherwood), all produced through the Doc Lab Saskatchewan project, as well as Breaths (dir Nyla Innuksuk) and Music in the Prairie Night (dir Mike Maryniuk), both for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards. As associate producer with the NFB in St. John’s and Montreal, Jon’s projects include the feature docs 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 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.
Photo Credit: NFB/Taryn Snell
Lindsay McIntyre is a film artist from Edmonton, Alberta of Inuk and Settler descent. Working primarily with 16mm film and experimental, handmade and documentary techniques, her short films circle themes of portraiture, place, form and personal histories. She has created 30 short films and also does film projection performance. She generally prefers to do things the hard way and her current obsessions involve handmade emulsion, light play, animation and celluloid manipulation. She has an MFA in Film Production from Concordia in Montreal and a BFA from the University of Alberta. She was a member of The Double Negative Collective and the recipient of the Canada Council’s Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award for Excellence in Media Arts for 2013 and a REVEAL Indigenous Arts Award from the Hnatyshyn Foundation in 2017. Her award winning work and performances have been shown at many international venues including Ann Arbor, Anthology Film Archives, Pleasure Dome, Mono No Aware, Rotterdam, l’Alternativa, WNDX, imagineNATIVE, Images, Exis, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Raindance and Black Maria and can be found in several permanent collections. She teaches Film + Screen Arts at Emily Carr University.
Indigenous Governance Consultant
Marcia Nickerson is a leader in the field of Indigenous governance, providing high-level advisory services to Indigenous governments and organizations, federal and provincial governments, and other public sector clients. Marcia was on the board of imagineNATIVE from 2004 to 2018, serving as Board Chair for 8 years. In addition to her position as Chair, Marcia served on the Programming Committee, headed the Development Committee, and helped to launch the imagineNATIVE iNstitute. In 2016 the Canada Media Fund (CMF) tasked Marcia with conducting an environmental scan to identify options for implementation to support and develop the Indigenous screen-based industry in Canada. In 2017 Marcia worked with several partners, including the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation/Radio-Canada (CBC), the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Telefilm Canada, the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), to create a national Indigenous Screen Office. In 2018 Marcia performed a national consultation process to develop On Screen Protocols & Pathways: A Media Production Guide to Working with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Communities, Cultures, Concepts and Stories.
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.
Mike Maryniuk was born in Winnipeg, but raised in the rural backcountry of Manitoba. A self-taught film virtuoso, Maryniuk’s film world is an inventive hybrid of Jim Henson, Norman McLaren and Les Blank. Maryniuk’s films are a visual stew of hand-made ingredients and are full of home cooked wonderfulness. His films have screened at Sundance, SXSW, NY Views from the Avant Garde, TIFF and around the globe.
SELECTED FILMOGRAPHY: The GOOSE (Feature – Rotterdam IFRR 2018), No Cultural Value (Short Documentary –HotDocs 2016), Home Cooked Music w/NFB (Animated Documentary – Hot Docs “Best of” 2015), The Yodeling Farmer (Animated Documentry – TIFF 2011, EMAF 2012 “Best of”)
Mike Rollo work explores alternative approaches to documentary cinema — methods which thematize vanishing cultures and transitional spaces through references to memory, history, religion, and autobiography. Mike’s films have shown at festivals, galleries, and conferences across Canada and internationally. He is a founding member of Montreal’s experimental film collective Double Negative, and currently participates as a member with Independent Visions in Regina and WNDX: Festival of Moving Image in Winnipeg. Mike’s latest film is Farewell Transmission (2017).
Perfect Day Productions - Executive Producer
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).
Filmmaker and Producer
Shane Belcourt is an award-winning and two-time CSA-nominated filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. As a writer and director on many Indigenous works, in both narrative and factual, Shane has a vested interested in creating works that speak to his Métis heritage. Notable work includes the feature film Tkaronto; shorts such as A Common Experience, Keeping Quiet, and Pookums; the dance-documentary Kaha:wi – The Cycle of Life (2015 CSA Best Direction Nomination); and two Historica Canada Minutes Chanie Wenjack and Naskumituwin (Treaty). Recent works include the award-winning 2018 CBC Firsthand documentary Indictment (co-directed with Lisa Jackson; 2017 imagineNATIVE Best Documentary), the music documentary series AMPLIFY for APTN (series creator, executive producer, and show-runner), and the dramatic feature Red Rover (co-writer, director). He is an alumna of the TIFF Talent Lab and NSI’s Totally Television programs.
APTN, Manager of Programming, Central Canada
Based at APTN’s headquarters in Winnipeg since 2015, Shelley MacDougall has accumulated more than 20 years of experience in the Canadian film and television industry. She began her career in 1997 in the Indie production offices of Vancouver and later specialized in script clearances and business affairs for both television series and feature films.
As APTN’s Manager of Programming for Central Canada, Shelley oversees documentary and dramatic projects in development and production for first and second window licencing commissioned from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories.
APTN is committed to enabling Indigenous Peoples to share their stories and convey them to a domestic and international audience.
Stéphane Cardin is a forward-thinking industry executive with over twenty years of experience in the cultural sector. He excels at the development of strategic policies for the creative industries, and has consistently demonstrated strength in relationship building and managing diverse stakeholder interests.
In September 2018, Stéphane joined Netflix as Director, Public Policy for Canada.
Prior to that, Stéphane successively held the positions of VP, Strategic Policy and Stakeholder Relations at the Canadian Television Fund and VP, Industry and Public Affairs at the Canada Media Fund (CMF) with an annual program budget of 350 million dollars, triggering 1.2 billion dollars in financing for the development, production, marketing and export of audiovisual content including films, television, games, web series, and immersive content. In this role, he led strategic policy and program development; maintained an ongoing dialogue with industry and government stakeholders, including the CMF’s private and public funders; and reinforced the positioning of the CMF within the industry, the media and the Canadian public.
Previously, Stéphane was Director of Tax Credits with Quebec’s cultural funding agency, Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), and was a member of SODEC’s management committee. During his tenure in that role, he led the establishment of tax-based incentives across several cultural industries including foreign location shooting, digital animation and visual effects, music (recordings and live shows) and book publishing, supporting production activity of over one billion dollars annually.
Stéphane serves on the boards of Cinéma NDG in Montréal and the Cuisine, Cinéma & Confidences film festival in Baie Saint-Paul, Quebec.
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 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, most recently she was invested into the 2016 Saskatchewan Order of Merit, was named one of 2016’s 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter, and was awarded as the Honorary Maverick for the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival.
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.