2015 Festival Presenters & Panelists

Paved Arts

Alex Rogalski

Alex Rogalski is the Executive Director of PAVED Arts in Saskatoon. PAVED Arts (Photography, Audio, Video, Electronic, Digital arts) was established in 2003 as a merger of The Photographers Gallery and Video Verité. With production facilities including a broadcast quality editing suite, professional audio recording booth, production studio and media equipment for rent, PAVED’s members have access to a wide range of resources including free workshops. In addition, PAVED hosts regular screenings and presents media art in our exhibition spaces. Rogalski programmed the Short Cuts Canada section for the Toronto International Film Festival for 8 years, and is currently a Canadian programmer for the Hot Docs International Film Festival and programs the documentary section at the Calgary International Film Festival. He founded the One Take Super 8 Event in 2000, which originated in Saskatchewan but now has chapters across North America.

National Screen Institute

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.

In a past life, Brendon divided his time between a number of different roles in the film and television industry while primarily focusing on producing. This resulted in producer credits on five feature films, a television sitcom, two television movies, a number of television specials, documentaries, 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.

Engel sits on three Boards. imagineNATIVE, DOC Toronto and Hot Docs.

National Screen Institute

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.

In a past life, Brendon divided his time between a number of different roles in the film and television industry while primarily focusing on producing. This resulted in producer credits on five feature films, a television sitcom, two television movies, a number of television specials, documentaries, 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.

Engel sits on three Boards. imagineNATIVE, DOC Toronto and Hot Docs.

Independent Filmmaker

Brian Stockton

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.

Independent Filmmaker

Brian Stockton

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.

Discovery Canada

Bruce Glawson

In his role as Executive Producer, Programming, Discovery Canada, Bruce manages many hours of factual programming simultaneously, guiding the content of commissioned specials and series from development through to broadcast. He works closely with independent producers to deliver high-quality, viewer-friendly television shows.

Recent credits include: Production Executive, Discovery Canada for the following productions: Airshow, Highway Thru Hell, Aliens: The Definitive Guide, Mankind From Space, Licence To Drill, Mighty Planes, Best.Trip.Ever, Classic Car Rescue, Brave New World with Stephen Hawking, Mayday, How It’s Made, Guinea Pig, and Cash Cab Canada.

Discovery Canada

Bruce Glawson

In his role as Executive Producer, Programming, Discovery Canada, Bruce manages many hours of factual programming simultaneously, guiding the content of commissioned specials and series from development through to broadcast. He works closely with independent producers to deliver high-quality, viewer-friendly television shows.

Recent credits include: Production Executive, Discovery Canada for the following productions: Airshow, Highway Thru Hell, Aliens: The Definitive Guide, Mankind From Space, Licence To Drill, Mighty Planes, Best.Trip.Ever, Classic Car Rescue, Brave New World with Stephen Hawking, Mayday, How It’s Made, Guinea Pig, and Cash Cab Canada.

Rock Yenta Productions

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” 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. She is currently co-producing “My Millennial Life” with Makin’ Movies for TVO and “Puffin Patrol” with Rock Island Pictures for CBC’s “The Nature of Things”. She recently executive produced “Fractured Land” for documentary, produced “Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale” for CBC’s “The Nature of Things” and co-produced “Mugshot” for TVO.

“Fractured Land” will premier at Hot Docs this April. “Mugshot” debuted at the Hot Docs in 2014 and went on to win a Golden Sheaf Award at the Yorkton Film Festival. “Carpe Diem” won a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago Television and Film Awards and premiered on CBC in 2013.

Engel currently sits on the board of imagineNATIVE. Previously, she sat on the Boards of DOC and Hot Docs.

Rock Yenta Productions

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” 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. She is currently co-producing “My Millennial Life” with Makin’ Movies for TVO and “Puffin Patrol” with Rock Island Pictures for CBC’s “The Nature of Things”. She recently executive produced “Fractured Land” for documentary, produced “Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale” for CBC’s “The Nature of Things” and co-produced “Mugshot” for TVO.

“Fractured Land” will premier at Hot Docs this April. “Mugshot” debuted at the Hot Docs in 2014 and went on to win a Golden Sheaf Award at the Yorkton Film Festival. “Carpe Diem” won a Certificate of Merit at the Chicago Television and Film Awards and premiered on CBC in 2013.

Engel currently sits on the board of imagineNATIVE. Previously, she sat on the Boards of DOC and Hot Docs.

Partners in Motion

Christopher Triffo

Christopher Triffo, CSC is president and a senior partner and founding member of the Partners in Motion Group of Companies. Chris has developed and directed programming for History Television, A&E, Discovery International, Travel Channel USA/Canada, Discovery Channel USA/ Canada, History UK, Smithsonian Channel, ZoomerTV, HBO Europe, HBO, Foxtel Australia, ZDF, Vision, CBC, IFC, 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, Best Director & Best Documentary’ at Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival, and ‘Best Cinematography’ at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers awards. His films have been screened at prestigious festivals like INPUT 98 and the Australian International Documentary Conference.

Triffo is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, and a member of both the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the International Documentary Association, and currently sits as Director, Board of Governors, Regina Symphony Orchestra.

Partners in Motion

Christopher Triffo

Christopher Triffo, CSC is president and a senior partner and founding member of the Partners in Motion Group of Companies. Chris has developed and directed programming for History Television, A&E, Discovery International, Travel Channel USA/Canada, Discovery Channel USA/ Canada, History UK, Smithsonian Channel, ZoomerTV, HBO Europe, HBO, Foxtel Australia, ZDF, Vision, CBC, IFC, 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, Best Director & Best Documentary’ at Victoria Independent Film & Video Festival, and ‘Best Cinematography’ at the Canadian Society of Cinematographers awards. His films have been screened at prestigious festivals like INPUT 98 and the Australian International Documentary Conference.

Triffo is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, and a member of both the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the International Documentary Association, and currently sits as Director, Board of Governors, Regina Symphony Orchestra.

Eyesteel Film

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 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.

Eyesteel Film

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 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.

National Film Board

David Christensen

David Christensen an Executive Producer at the National Film Board of Canada where he oversees a slate of documentary, interactive, and animation productions made nationally and internationally. David manages the North West Centre, one of the NFB’s six English language studios located across Canada..

Recent production highlights include the NFB co-produced feature documentary “Hadwin’s Judgement”, directed by Sasha Snow that screened at the 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, the feature film “The Forbidden Room” directed by Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson that screened at the 2015 Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals, Cordell Barker’s new animated film “If I Was God”, the aclaimed feature documentary “Everything Will Be” directed by Julia Kwan, the co-production about Indian Residential Schools “We Were Children”, the NFB production “Vanishing Point”, “Wiebo’s War”, the Oscar-nominated animated short film “Wild Life”, the FWA Site of the Year “Bear 71”, as well as emerging filmmaking and digital programmes for Nunavut filmmakers. In total, the North West Centre has about 25-30 projects in development and production at any one time.

National Film Board

David Christensen

David Christensen an Executive Producer at the National Film Board of Canada where he oversees a slate of documentary, interactive, and animation productions made nationally and internationally. David manages the North West Centre, one of the NFB’s six English language studios located across Canada..

Recent production highlights include the NFB co-produced feature documentary “Hadwin’s Judgement”, directed by Sasha Snow that screened at the 2015 Hot Docs Film Festival, the feature film “The Forbidden Room” directed by Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson that screened at the 2015 Berlin and Sundance Film Festivals, Cordell Barker’s new animated film “If I Was God”, the aclaimed feature documentary “Everything Will Be” directed by Julia Kwan, the co-production about Indian Residential Schools “We Were Children”, the NFB production “Vanishing Point”, “Wiebo’s War”, the Oscar-nominated animated short film “Wild Life”, the FWA Site of the Year “Bear 71”, as well as emerging filmmaking and digital programmes for Nunavut filmmakers. In total, the North West Centre has about 25-30 projects in development and production at any one time.

Director/VFX Artist/UAV Pilot

Jack Tunnicliffe

With more than 30 years’ professional experience in film and video production and recognized with national and international awards, Jack Tunnicliffe’s many talents, in-depth experience and outstanding track record place him among the most respected and sought-after people in the industry.

In 1995, Jack spearheaded Java Post Production as one of Western Canada’s finest editing and visual effects facilities. In 2005, Jack created Caffeine Commercial Productions. After several years of researching UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, AKA “drones”), in 2012 Jack capitalized on the extensive production experience of Java Post Production and established Java Post Aerial Photography.

In addition to an endless list of projects for corporate, commercial, and advertising agency clients, some notable credits for Java Post Production and Java Post Aerial Photography include such examples as all 107 episodes of the hit CTV sitcom Corner Gas, reality TV series Nightclub Confidential, the cult horror-comedy movie WolfCop, Corner Gas: The Movie, and the upcoming comedy feature, Archie.

Director/VFX Artist/UAV Pilot

Jack Tunnicliffe

With more than 30 years’ professional experience in film and video production and recognized with national and international awards, Jack Tunnicliffe’s many talents, in-depth experience and outstanding track record place him among the most respected and sought-after people in the industry.

In 1995, Jack spearheaded Java Post Production as one of Western Canada’s finest editing and visual effects facilities. In 2005, Jack created Caffeine Commercial Productions. After several years of researching UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles, AKA “drones”), in 2012 Jack capitalized on the extensive production experience of Java Post Production and established Java Post Aerial Photography.

In addition to an endless list of projects for corporate, commercial, and advertising agency clients, some notable credits for Java Post Production and Java Post Aerial Photography include such examples as all 107 episodes of the hit CTV sitcom Corner Gas, reality TV series Nightclub Confidential, the cult horror-comedy movie WolfCop, Corner Gas: The Movie, and the upcoming comedy feature, Archie.

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.

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.

Creative Saskatchewan

J.P. Ellson

John-Paul (J.P.) Ellson is a long time Saskatchewan resident. He received a B.A., Hon. Cert. from the University or Regina and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. J.P. was Counsel for the Director’s Guild of Canada Saskatchewan, (from 1989 to 2011), the former CEO of SaskMusic and the Chair of the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts/Conexus Arts Centre. J.P. has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee and Golden Jubilee medals and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. As the new CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, JP is committed to creating a successful creative economy by working with all creative industries.

Creative Saskatchewan

J.P. Ellson

John-Paul (J.P.) Ellson is a long time Saskatchewan resident. He received a B.A., Hon. Cert. from the University or Regina and a Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Saskatchewan. J.P. was Counsel for the Director’s Guild of Canada Saskatchewan, (from 1989 to 2011), the former CEO of SaskMusic and the Chair of the Saskatchewan Centre of the Arts/Conexus Arts Centre. J.P. has received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee and Golden Jubilee medals and the Saskatchewan Centennial Medal. As the new CEO of Creative Saskatchewan, JP is committed to creating a successful creative economy by working with all creative industries.

Optic Nerve Films

Kevin Eastwood

Kevin Eastwood is an award-winning producer and director who works in both drama and non-fiction. Most recently he was the director and co-executive producer of Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH – a six-part documentary series that took an unprecedented look inside the emergency room of Vancouver’s busiest hospital. Other recent non-fiction credits include: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (executive producer), Oil Sands Karaoke (executive producer), Do You Really Want to Know? (producer) and Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson (producer). Kevin’s dramatic feature credits as a producer include: Preggoland, Fido, The Delicate Art of Parking and the Gemini Award-winning CTV movie, Elijah.

Optic Nerve Films

Kevin Eastwood

Kevin Eastwood is an award-winning producer and director who works in both drama and non-fiction. Most recently he was the director and co-executive producer of Emergency Room: Life and Death at VGH – a six-part documentary series that took an unprecedented look inside the emergency room of Vancouver’s busiest hospital. Other recent non-fiction credits include: Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (executive producer), Oil Sands Karaoke (executive producer), Do You Really Want to Know? (producer) and Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson (producer). Kevin’s dramatic feature credits as a producer include: Preggoland, Fido, The Delicate Art of Parking and the Gemini Award-winning CTV movie, Elijah.

Telefilm Canada

Lauren Davis

As Telefilm Canada’s Regional Feature Film Executive for the Western Region, Lauren Davis is responsible for supporting emerging talent through production and post-production investments in lower-budget feature films. Lauren joined Telefilm in 1998 after having worked as an independent producer. Over the last 15 years, she has held a number of management positions within the television, feature film and business-process management teams. Lauren is based in Telefilm’s Vancouver office.

Telefilm Canada

Lauren Davis

As Telefilm Canada’s Regional Feature Film Executive for the Western Region, Lauren Davis is responsible for supporting emerging talent through production and post-production investments in lower-budget feature films. Lauren joined Telefilm in 1998 after having worked as an independent producer. Over the last 15 years, she has held a number of management positions within the television, feature film and business-process management teams. Lauren is based in Telefilm’s Vancouver office.

Great Pacific TV

Mark Miller

Mr. Mark Miller serves as Chief Executive Officer of Great Pacific Media. Mr. Miller is that rare mix of successful entrepreneur and artist. As an award winning writer, producer and music composer, his work is known for its rich characters, high production values and commercial success. His insatiable curiosity has helped him create dozens of series and hundreds of hours of programs, including the hit “Highway Thru Hell” , which is seen in 170 countries.

Great Pacific TV

Mark Miller

Mr. Mark Miller serves as Chief Executive Officer of Great Pacific Media. Mr. Miller is that rare mix of successful entrepreneur and artist. As an award winning writer, producer and music composer, his work is known for its rich characters, high production values and commercial success. His insatiable curiosity has helped him create dozens of series and hundreds of hours of programs, including the hit “Highway Thru Hell” , which is seen in 170 countries.

Independent Filmmaker

Maureen Bradley

Award-winning filmmaker, Maureen Bradley, has created over forty short films that have screened at festivals around the globe. Her first feature, Two 4 One, won the Best Canadian Film Award at the Victoria Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Available Light Film Festival in the Yukon. The film’s lead actor, Gavin Crawford, won the 2015 ACTRA-TO Award for Outstanding Performance—Male for his portrayal of transgender hero, Adam. In 1992, Maureen reached her largest audience of 10 million on the CBC youth TV series, Road Movies. She is currently in development with the series, Delivery. Maureen lives in Victoria, where she is Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria.

Super Channel

Maureen Levitt

Maureen Levitt joined Super Channel, Canada’s only national English Pay TV service, at its inception in 2007. As Creative Development Executive for Western Canada and the Territories she works with the independent production community in the development and production of their feature length films and documentaries intended for theatrical release (Occupy Love, Unclaimed, The Exhibition). Maureen is a cofounder of Vision TV. Between 1994 and 2005 she was Manager and Commissioning Editor of its Western Region office focusing on documentaries (The Corporation, Sacred Sacred) and Executive Producer of various in-house series. Previous to that she was First Assistant Editor on the Canadian film classic, The Grey Fox, and on the quintessential Canadian series The Beachcombers and The Canadian Establishment. Maureen has a Masters in Communications from Simon Fraser University.

Independent Filmmaker

Maureen Bradley

Award-winning filmmaker, Maureen Bradley, has created over forty short films that have screened at festivals around the globe. Her first feature, Two 4 One, won the Best Canadian Film Award at the Victoria Film Festival and the Audience Award at the Available Light Film Festival in the Yukon. The film’s lead actor, Gavin Crawford, won the 2015 ACTRA-TO Award for Outstanding Performance—Male for his portrayal of transgender hero, Adam. In 1992, Maureen reached her largest audience of 10 million on the CBC youth TV series, Road Movies. She is currently in development with the series, Delivery. Maureen lives in Victoria, where she is Associate Professor in the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria.

APTN

Melanie Nepinak Hadley

Melanie has been involved in the film and television industry in many capacities for over 15 years. She started working in APTN’s programming department in 2011. Prior to that she worked at Animiki See Digital Production Inc. beginning in 2008. In that time she has taken immense pride in her role in telling Aboriginal Peoples stories.

Melanie was raised in a household that practiced Aboriginal tradition and culture – the youngest of four sisters. Her parents have always been a source of inspiration for her. Melanie’s love of storytelling comes from her father, her passion for working in the Aboriginal community comes from her mother. And her sense of humour… well, from having three older sisters.

Super Channel

Maureen Levitt

Maureen Levitt joined Super Channel, Canada’s only national English Pay TV service, at its inception in 2007. As Creative Development Executive for Western Canada and the Territories she works with the independent production community in the development and production of their feature length films and documentaries intended for theatrical release (Occupy Love, Unclaimed, The Exhibition). Maureen is a cofounder of Vision TV. Between 1994 and 2005 she was Manager and Commissioning Editor of its Western Region office focusing on documentaries (The Corporation, Sacred Sacred) and Executive Producer of various in-house series. Previous to that she was First Assistant Editor on the Canadian film classic, The Grey Fox, and on the quintessential Canadian series The Beachcombers and The Canadian Establishment. Maureen has a Masters in Communications from Simon Fraser University.

APTN

Melanie Nepinak Hadley

Melanie has been involved in the film and television industry in many capacities for over 15 years. She started working in APTN’s programming department in 2011. Prior to that she worked at Animiki See Digital Production Inc. beginning in 2008. In that time she has taken immense pride in her role in telling Aboriginal Peoples stories.

Melanie was raised in a household that practiced Aboriginal tradition and culture – the youngest of four sisters. Her parents have always been a source of inspiration for her. Melanie’s love of storytelling comes from her father, her passion for working in the Aboriginal community comes from her mother. And her sense of humour… well, from having three older sisters.

Force Four Entertainment

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy is the SVP and Head of Development of Force Four Entertainment, an Entertainment One company. Robert leads Force Four’s development team in the creation of original scripted and unscripted series and formats, including the original series Shannon & Sophie (W Network), Battle Cats (BiteTV) and Emergency (Slice), and the Canadian formats of Keeping Canada Alive (CBC), Tricked (YTV) and First Dates (Slice). Robert spent nearly a decade as a broadcaster working at CBC and CTV, including four years heading CTV’s western development office in Vancouver, where he oversaw the development and production of series, movies of the week, documentaries and alternative programming, including the science fiction series Defying Gravity (ABC/CTV/Fox TV Studios) and Playing for Keeps (CTV/Lifetime). Robert is also an experienced writer and producer of television and digital media, with a background in advertising, PR and brand development.

Force Four Entertainment

Robert Hardy

Robert Hardy is the SVP and Head of Development of Force Four Entertainment, an Entertainment One company. Robert leads Force Four’s development team in the creation of original scripted and unscripted series and formats, including the original series Shannon & Sophie (W Network), Battle Cats (BiteTV) and Emergency (Slice), and the Canadian formats of Keeping Canada Alive (CBC), Tricked (YTV) and First Dates (Slice). Robert spent nearly a decade as a broadcaster working at CBC and CTV, including four years heading CTV’s western development office in Vancouver, where he oversaw the development and production of series, movies of the week, documentaries and alternative programming, including the science fiction series Defying Gravity (ABC/CTV/Fox TV Studios) and Playing for Keeps (CTV/Lifetime). Robert is also an experienced writer and producer of television and digital media, with a background in advertising, PR and brand development.

Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Roy Cross

Roy Cross was raised in Yorkton and as a teenager was inspired by the films and filmmakers that came through the Yorkton International Film Festival in the late 1970’s. He went on to earn a BFA from the University of Regina and then spent three years at the Saskatchewan Filmpool. After a two-year retreat in Banff, he moved to Montreal where received his MFA and he has lived for the past 21 years. He was writer/director/producer of the independent feature So Faraway and Blue (released 2003) and numerous short films of various genres. He is currently associate professor at Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and is the 2015 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He is writing and developing new projects, as well as researching the future of film school education and its relevancy in an age of accessible and affordable resources. He remains committed to low-budget, low-infrastructure approaches to cinema production.

Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema

Roy Cross

Roy Cross was raised in Yorkton and as a teenager was inspired by the films and filmmakers that came through the Yorkton International Film Festival in the late 1970’s. He went on to earn a BFA from the University of Regina and then spent three years at the Saskatchewan Filmpool. After a two-year retreat in Banff, he moved to Montreal where received his MFA and he has lived for the past 21 years. He was writer/director/producer of the independent feature So Faraway and Blue (released 2003) and numerous short films of various genres. He is currently associate professor at Concordia University’s Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema and is the 2015 recipient of the university’s Distinguished Teaching Award. He is writing and developing new projects, as well as researching the future of film school education and its relevancy in an age of accessible and affordable resources. He remains committed to low-budget, low-infrastructure approaches to cinema production.

Farpoint Films

Scott R. Leary

Scott R. Leary is coming up on 20 years in the film and television industry. Starting out on air as a sports reporter/anchor and transitioning to behind the camera his award winning work can be seen in over 30 countries. Having produced one off documentaries, feature films, documentary series, scripted drama and lifestyle television his filmography is deep, rich and varied. Currently he is wrapping up post on his latest venture, Escape or Die! (12 x :22 on OLN in Canada) and has several projects in funded development.

Farpoint Films

Scott R. Leary

Scott R. Leary is coming up on 20 years in the film and television industry. Starting out on air as a sports reporter/anchor and transitioning to behind the camera his award winning work can be seen in over 30 countries. Having produced one off documentaries, feature films, documentary series, scripted drama and lifestyle television his filmography is deep, rich and varied. Currently he is wrapping up post on his latest venture, Escape or Die! (12 x :22 on OLN in Canada) and has several projects in funded development.

Hot Docs

Stephanie McArthur

In addition to managing Hot Docs Industry events since 2008, Stephanie McArthur manages Hot Docs’ emerging filmmaker and international delegation programs. She was a key developer of the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund for African filmmakers and managed the fund through its first three granting cycles. She has also worked closely with filmmaking teams on crowdfunding strategies and pitch preparation.

Stephanie has been working in theatre and film for over a decade. Notable festivals include: Sundance Film Festival (Utah), Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, Miami International Film Festival(Florida), and the Provincetown Film Festival(Massachusetts), World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (Toronto, Manchester, Dresden, Paris, Washington). Previously she worked in Singapore as Associate Producer of the Asia Factual Forum (2007); was Head of Programming for the inaugural DocFest Stratford (2008);and served a four year term on the Toronto Fringe Festival ‘Best of the Fest’ Jury beginning in 2007.

Hot Docs

Stephanie McArthur

In addition to managing Hot Docs Industry events since 2008, Stephanie McArthur manages Hot Docs’ emerging filmmaker and international delegation programs. She was a key developer of the Hot Docs-Blue Ice Group Documentary Fund for African filmmakers and managed the fund through its first three granting cycles. She has also worked closely with filmmaking teams on crowdfunding strategies and pitch preparation.

Stephanie has been working in theatre and film for over a decade. Notable festivals include: Sundance Film Festival (Utah), Toronto International Film Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival, Miami International Film Festival(Florida), and the Provincetown Film Festival(Massachusetts), World Congress of Science and Factual Producers (Toronto, Manchester, Dresden, Paris, Washington). Previously she worked in Singapore as Associate Producer of the Asia Factual Forum (2007); was Head of Programming for the inaugural DocFest Stratford (2008);and served a four year term on the Toronto Fringe Festival ‘Best of the Fest’ Jury beginning in 2007.

Director/Cinematographer/Photographer

Tom Davidson

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.

Director/Cinematographer/Photographer

Tom Davidson

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

Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reinvigorating some of the country’s most important organizations in the sector over the last 30 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 of innovation 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 been recognized with numerous awards nationally and from her home province of Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.

Canada Media Fund

Valerie Creighton

Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reinvigorating some of the country’s most important organizations in the sector over the last 30 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 of innovation 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 been recognized with numerous awards nationally and from her home province of Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.

City Saskatchewan

Will Dixon

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”.

City Saskatchewan

Will Dixon

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”.

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