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.
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.
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.
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).
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.