Below are the Decision Makers who will be at YFF.
Looking for the right partner or buyer for your project? Sit down with broadcasters, development executives, distributors and executive producers to learn what they're looking for, ask questions and talk about your projects.
To meet with one of the Decision Makers, advance registration is required. Please note that there are limited slots available for each Decision Maker, and Saskatchewan-based film makers will receive preference.
• You must be registered for the Festival to be eligible to meet the Decision Makers.
• Deadline to request a session is no later than Thursday May 18, 6 pm CST.
As Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Docs, Lesley has commissioned close to 200 documentaries, including Academy Awards shortlisted Frame 394, Canadian Screen Award winners Patty vs Patty, Take Me to Prom and Sing Me a Lullaby, Sundance award winner Fast Horse and Youtube audience favourite Finding Fukue.
In addition to commissioning for CBC Short Docs, Lesley commissions for CBC’s flagship science program The Nature of Things and select feature documentaries and specials.
David Christensen has been the Executive Producer at the North West Studio since 2007. He manages the studio, which oversees NFB documentary, animation, and interactive production in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. Recent films include Elle-Máijá Tailfeather’s
Kímmapiiyipitssini: The Meaning of Empathy, the Oscar nominated film The Flying Sailor directed by Amanda Forbis & Wendy Tilby, and Leanne Allison’s Losing Blue. In total, the North West Studio has about 25-30 projects in development and production at any one time.
Tina Apostolopoulos-Moniz is Senior Production Executive on Bell Media’s Original Programming team. In this role, Tina works with Canadian production companies and filmmakers on the development and production of various original unscripted series, feature films, and documentaries for Bell Media’s suite of channels and platforms, including the main conventional channel CTV, premium SVOD service Crave, and specialty channels Discovery and CTV Life.
Tina is the Diversity and Inclusion (D & I) Lead for the Original Programming group, a member of Bell Media’s D & I Task Force and the D & I Content Advisory Committee, as well as the D & I Think Tank.
Prior to joining Bell Media, Tina was a sought-after director and producer for a number of award-winning, highly-rated reality and factual entertainment series.
As the Program Manager, Original Production (Citytv, OMNI, Citytv Sask), Rogers Sports and Media, Will Dixon oversees the development and production of original homegrown programming for the Rogers owned station.
Prior to this position, Will spent three years as a Regional Development Executive for the premium pay television network Super Channel. Before that Will worked primarily in TV production spending almost 20 years writing, directing, story editing, and producing series and movies everywhere from Toronto to Vancouver to Montreal to Edmonton to Regina to Los Angeles.
Cara Nye, Director Content Development and Production, Accessible Media Inc.: Cara has over 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 AMI’s original productions, including the weekly magazine-style show, AMI This Week; #IGotThis; the documentary series Our Community and the upcoming new series Mind Your Own Business.
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.
Jessica is a manager of programs and development at the National Screen Institute.
Her programs include NSI Series Incubator and the Telefilm Talent to Watch Mentorship Program.
Before working with the National Screen Institute, she spent the last decade building a successful career as a film and television producer and production manager.
As the AMI Content Development Specialist for Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Jim works with external production companies to bring unique documentaries and docu-series to AMI’s national audience.
Along with his 10 years at AMI working directly with the disability community, Jim brings with him many years of experience in production and post-production.
Chehala Leonard is a producer with the NFB’s North West Studio, based in Edmonton. A member of the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation, she founded ᐊᐢᑭᕀ Askîy Media Inc. She produced the pilot When Spirit Comes Through and the documentary Living a Legacy, both for APTN. Since joining the NFB, she produced Barry Bilinsky’s short film Tomson Highway: kipimâtisinaw tapâhpeyahk for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards, and co-produced Weiye Su’s A Passage Beyond Fortune and Alexis Normand’s French Enough amoung other projects.
Erin is the CEO for Creative Saskatchewan. She is responsible for the overall operation of the organization, by providing strategic leadership and working closely with the provincial government, industry stakeholders, the Board of Directors, and the senior management team.
Erin was Creative Saskatchewan’s first employee, as the Director of Programs, and has been heavily involved in the creation of programming right from the start. Previously, Erin was a Program Officer at the Saskatchewan Film Commission and has experience working in business affairs for several independent production companies.
Erin obtained her BFA in Film and Video Production and BA in English at the University of Regina. Erin also holds a Certificate in Entertainment Law from the Osgoode Hall Law School.
Ursula has been with the National Screen Institute since 2004 and is the senior programs manager. She is currently working on the Access BIPOC Producers program and provides management and support to the NSI programs staff.
Instrumental in helping the National Screen Institute develop and deliver culturally sensitive film and television training to emerging Indigenous content creators, Ursula previously managed CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs and NSI Aboriginal Journalism.
She coordinated NSI Global Marketing, NSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win!
Kaya Wheeler, Program Manager, Indigenous Screen Office, is of Anishnaabe and Nehiyaw descent – is a registered member of Sagkeeng First Nation in Manitoba. She graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelor of arts in Indigenous Studies, and has been working within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg for more than 10 years.
She has spent a large portion of this time working with Indigenous youth in many areas, including acting and storytelling for theatre. For the last five years she has specifically worked with emerging and mid-career storytellers in film, tv and digital media.
She has had experience both volunteering and working on film sets, and even had a small stint on the stage and in front of the camera.
Everett Sokol is a Metis director and producer from Amiskwaciy Waskahikan or Edmonton, Alberta. Everett is a graduate of the MacEwan University Theatre Arts program and the Red Deer College Motion Picture Arts degree program. Previous credits include, "Wilds of Canada", “The Dancer” (Rosie Award Nominee), “Falter” (Rosie Award Nominee), and “Whiteface”(Rosie Award Winner). Everett is also the recipient of the national William F. White Inc. Vilmos Zsigmond Scholarship, which he was awarded at the Bell Lightbox Theatre at TIFF. Everett currently works as an Associate Producer with the National Film Board of Canad
Johnny has 15 years of experience in the financial services sector supporting companies in the Media and Entertainment industry. He holds a post-secondary degree in Business Administration from Brandon University. His professional designations include a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from University of Regina and a Certificate in Financial Services Advice from Canadian Security Institute.
He is committed to continually building knowledge so he can provide advice that is current and relevant in today’s environment.
Amir has been with RBC for five years and has over 15 years of banking experience.
Over the last five years he has worked closely with many commercial clients helping their business succeed, by providing them valuable advice and solutions
With over 25 years of experience in the film and television industry, Shelley is known for her passion and dedication to screen-based media.
Shelley has worked in broadcasting since 2015 at the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. As manager of original programming for central Canada at APTN, she handled documentary and dramatic projects for development and production, for first and second window licensing commissioned from Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Northwest Territories.
In 2022 Shelley took on the role of manager of acquisitions, where she curates and purchases domestic and international completed programming for linear and digital broadcast.
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