ALFF and ALFF Industry Guests

Mila Aung-Thwin

Mila Aung-Thwin

Director/Producer, Let There Be Light

Co-founder of EyeSteelFilm, Mila Aung-Thwin revels in the diverse documentary joys of writing, directing, producing, editing, selling and mentoring. He has produced more than 35 feature documentaries, including Up the Yangtze, Forest of the Dancing Spirits, and the Emmy Award-winning Last Train Home. Most recently, he directed and produced Let There Be Light (premiere at SXSW 2017) about the quest for the perfect energy source. He served as president for 5 years of RIDM, Montreal’s International documentary festival, as well as juror for the International Emmy Awards, AFI DOCS, the New Zealand Film Awards, and the Sundance Film Festival. He has also taught documentary film programs to emerging filmmakers in places such as Northern Canada, China and Myanmar.

Kerry Barber

Kerry Barber

Director, Dear Hatetts

Kerry Barber is Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in from Dawson City, Yukon and is an award-winning filmmaker. At the Whistler Film Festival, she was nominated for Best Female Director of a Short for her film, Dear Hatetts. Her other films include Not Tall(2005), My Indian Bum (2007), Lunch with David (2010), AM/PM (2011), and Fool’s Love: a 40-week journal (2013). She received her BFA in Film, Video + Integrated Media from the Emily Carr University of Art + Design, where she won the Saralee James Memorial Award and and The President’s Media Award for Best Live Action Film. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Klondike Institute of Arts + Culture (KIAC) and the Yukon Film Society (YFS).

Murray Battle

Murray Battle

Director of Original Content, Knowledge Network

Murray Battle is the Director of Original Content and 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.

Lesley Birchard

Lesley Birchard

Production Executive, CBC Unscripted

Lesley Birchard has worked in unscripted television in Canada as a producer, director, story editor and production executive for almost 20 years.  As Production Executive for CBC Unscripted, Lesley launched and oversees production on CBC Short Docs, CBC Docs’ original digital strand. She also oversees one of CBC’s top-rated television series, the award-winning comedy Still Standing, as well as special projects including Gord Downie’s The Secret Path in Concert. In addition to her work at CBC, Lesley is currently completing her Masters Degree in Creative Media Education at Bournemouth University.

Jennifer Bowen

Jennifer Bowen

Producer, Last Resort

Jennifer Bowen moved to Whitehorse, Yukon from the Northwest Territories. She studied Traditional Arts in Inuvik and is currently completing a Fine Arts degree in Native American Art History and Museum studies at the University of Lethbridge. Screening at ALFF she produced Last Resort commissioned by HotDocs to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation.  In 2014 she participated in the National Screen Institutes Aboriginal Documentary program to produce a short documentary titled Released. In 2012 she received develop funding from the Screen Production Yukon Association (SPYA) to produce a demo of a reality television program titled Trappers. Prior to her artistic endeavours and family life, Jennifer was a community television producer for the Native Communications Society in Yellowknife, where she documented and travelled with traditional Dene land-users in her traditional territory.

James Brown

James Brown

Producer, Never Steady, Never Still

James Brown is a Canadian Screen Award nominated film and television producer based in Vancouver. His latest film, Never Steady, Never Still (2017), written and directed by Kathleen Hepburn is nominated for 8 Canadian Screen Awards including Best Picture.  Previous credits include the feature film Down River (2013) starring Helen Shaver, and the short film The Future Perfect (2015) starring Zachary Quinto and Robert Baker.  For television, he has produced the 1st season of the animated series Chuck’s Choice for DHX Media and YTV.

Julian Carrington

Julian Carrington

Distribution Manager, Hot Docs

Julian Carrington is a Toronto-based film programmer and festival strategy consultant. He has served as a programming associate for the Toronto International Film Festival and, from 2015 to 2017, oversaw the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge service. In that capacity, Juliansupported independent filmmakers in developing distribution and audience-engagement strategies, and promoted Canadian documentaries at festivals around the world, including IDFA, Sheffield Doc/Fest and CPH:DOX. He currently serves as a programmer for the Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival and has recently joined the team at Hot Docs as manager of the festival’s distribution-focused industry programs.

Peter Clarkson

Peter Clarkson

Director, The End of the Ice Age: The Last Year of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road

During the past 32 years in the NWT Peter has worked in a variety of positions. From a field biologist studying grizzly bears and wolves to supervising staff manaing renewable resources. In November 2006 he accepted the position of Regional Director for the Beaufort Delta and Sahtu Regions. During the past 8 years Peter has worked on the Mackenzie Valley Fibre Link Project, the Inuvik Satellite Station Facility, and the Inuvik-Tuk Highway Project.  Previous to this position Peter was the MAyor of Inuvik from November 2000-2006. While mayor, his main focus was on improving community infrastructure and making Inuvik a great place to live and visit. When not working, Peter enjoys the outdoors and community life. This is the first documentary project he has helped co-produce and wanted to capture the last winter of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk ice road.

Nathalie Clermont

Nathalie Clermont

Director of Program Management, Canada Media Fund

Nathalie Clermont has worked for more than twenty years in the film and television industry, with extensive experience in financing. She acts as a key advisor on CMF policies and programs, ensures consistency in service standards and the application process, and ensures that file analysis is accurate, fair, and consistent, in accordance with the CMF guidelines. Previously, Ms. Clermont was team leader of the Business Affairs Unit at the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC) for 15 years. Ms. Clermont holds a B.A. in Film, Communications, and Public Relations from the Université de Montréal.

aRTLeSS Collective

aRTLeSS Collective

Filmmakers + Producers

aRTLeSS Collective is Jay Bulckaert and Pablo Saravanja, 100% northern owned, based out of Yellowknife, NWT. The vast majority of our work has been producing documentaries, film festivals, TV programs, music videos, feature-length movies, and commercials that explore and promote Canada’s unique Northern culture. At aRTLeSS Collective, we work with the North’s top creative talent, and our primary goal is to see a world-class calibre of film and media production being created from the inside out, here in the Canadian Arctic.

Teresa Earle

Teresa Earle

Producer, Journeys to Adäka

Filmmaker Teresa Earle produced and edited Journeys to Adäka, a one-hour documentary screening at ALFF about the healing journeys of seven indigenous artists from the Yukon. Her production company Sagafish Media is a collaboration with director/DP Fritz Mueller. They are in post-production on Aurora Love, a documentary set in Tokyo and Yellowknife that explores the attraction of the northern lights. She is a board member of SPYA and is a member of DOC, WIFTV and YFS.

Josh Epstein

Josh Epstein

Producer, Adventures in Public School

Josh Epstein’s work as a writer, producer and actor has taken him to all corners of the world. As a writer, he has had a first look TV deal with Lark Productions (“Motive”) and took part in the 2016 Reyjkavik Talent Lab, the CFC Comedy Exchange and the NSI’s Totally TV and Features First Labs. Epstein co-wrote and produced Eadweard (Five Audience Choice Awards at international film festivals; Canadian Screen Award nomination, Best Adapted Screenplay, fifteen Leo Nominations). It’s currently airing on Superchannel, Air Canada, available on demand in the US and is distributed in South Korea, Australia, Turkey and New Zealand. Epstein produced two shorts, Hop the Twig and Wait for Rain, which won Best Short on CBC’s Short Film Face Off and Best Short at Comic-Con respectively. Epstein is also one of the country’s most versatile actors, winning multiple Jessie Awards, including best supporting actor in 2016 as Lensky in an acclaimed produc-tion of Onegin.

Max Fraser

Max Fraser

Director/Producer, Hootalinqua Motion Pictures

Max Fraser is an independent Yukon filmmaker who is developing a documentary feature or series called “Finding Joe Boyle,” for which he is seeking international broadcast and co-production interest. The same epic WW1 story, of Klondike Joe Boyle and Marie of Edinburgh, Queen of Romania, is available for development as a TV drama series or feature film. Max’s most recent production is “Bond of Strangers – The OpHusky Digital Experience.”  The interactive website extends the 54-minute TV documentary “Bond of Strangers – The Operation Husky Story” which was released in the fall of 2015. The film continues to air on documentary channel across Canada and in B.C. on Knowledge Network, as well as Northwestel Community TV, and is available on DVD, Blu-ray and at Vimeo On Demand.

Marc Glassman

Marc Glassman

Senior Programmer, Planet in Focus Film Festival

Marc Glassman is an editor, film programmer, lecturer, writer, broadcaster, and Senior Programmer of the Planet in Focus Film Festival. Marc is also the Editor-in-Chief of POV (Point of View), Canada’s leading periodical on documentary culture and Montage, the Directors Guild of Canada’s national magazine. He is an Adjunct Professor at Ryerson Univeristy’s Master of Fine Arts in Documentary Media programme. He is also founder and advisor to the Images Festival, the former Artistic Director of the Ashkenaz Festival of New Yiddish Culture and the initial programmer for Toronto’s Hot Docs Canadian international Documentary Festival and Reel Canada: Our films in our schools.

Elisa Gonzalez

Elisa Gonzalez

Director, The Quiet Zone

Elisa Gonzalez is rooted in the fine arts practicing as a filmmaker, multi-media artist and educator. Her work ranges from experimental to interactive documentary that has exhibited internationally including Pierre-Francois Ouellette Art Contemporain and The Smithsonian Arctic Studies Center at the Anchorage Museum. Her work explores the inherent tension between memory and history, technology and the individual through contemporary documentary form. She currently lives in Toronto, Canada.

Andrew Gregg

Andrew Gregg

Producer

Andrew Gregg has been making documentaries since 1986—he got his start in the Yukon with NNBY’s flagship program Nedaa. Following that – and after a six-year stint with the CBC in Toronto – he became an independent documentary film maker, traveling the world gathering stories for CBC, CTV, National Geographic, Discovery, History Television and more. In 2017 he released three films – “The Tea Explorer” (Documentary Channel), “Secrets from the Ice” (The Nature of Things) and most recently, “Skinhead” (CBC Docs POV). Gregg has won several awards (and really, who in this business hasn’t? We love to give each other awards)) but the one he likes the best was the Grand Prize at Banff Mountain Film for “The Last Nomads,” the story of a Canadian linguist’s attempts to save a dying language in the jungles of Borneo. Not sure what’s next. Still trying to figure that out.

Jessica Hall

Jessica Hall

Director, Left Hand Path

Jessica Hall is a local Whitehorse producer, director and freelance editor. Her short documentary Left Hand Path was one of the winners of the 2017 ALFF Industry Pitch Event. She had always wanted to make a film about her friend, artist and black magician James C. Kirby, and is very grateful that she got the chance to tell his story before he passed away. “May you walk according to your desire on the beautiful edge of your pool…may your heart be satisfied with water from the cistern which you have made-for ever and ever.” Amenemhet.

Shayla Howell

Shayla Howell

Director, The End of the Ice Age: The Last Year of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road

Shayla Howell is a field director, story producer and instructor with 20 years’ experience working in award-winning feature documentary, one-off documentaries and factual series television. Her work has appeared on CBC, The Independent Film Channel, History, Showcase, Discover ID, and online at The Memory Project and A Better Man (interactive). Projects she has contributed to have screened at Hot Docs, The Houston Film Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival. She’s been crossing the country as a story producer for the hit CBC comedy-documentary series, Still Standing since 2015. The End of the Ice Age: The Last Year of the Inuvik-Tuktoyaktuk Ice Road is her directorial debut.

Cynthia Hunt

Cynthia Hunt

Director, Ice Flow

Cynthia Hunt first came from Toronto to the Yukon in 1983 looking for an adventure. This move and countless adventures later along with her husband, two sons, a daughter-in-law and two grandchildren, proved to be the right decision. While living part of the year along a river in the bush and the rest of the year near Dawson City, she continues to explore the magnificent northern landscape both as an artist and as a naturalist. Though her first love is landscape painting, lately the engrossing challenge of film-making has become the primary focus of her art practice. This interest was inspired by courses with the Klondike Institute of Arts and Culture.

Daniel Janke

Daniel Janke

Composer, Mountain of SGaana

Daniel Janke is active both as composer and filmmaker. Films include the feature performance doc. Grubstake Remix [2015, 72 min.] which toured Canada performed in Berlin.  Daniels film How People Got Fire [NFB, 2009, 14 min.] received numerous awards and toured internationally. He was writer/producer on the TV series Northern Town [2006, CBC, 6 X 30 min.] He is currently in post-production on the experimental doc. Homecoming Song. Film scores by Daniel Janke include Mountain of SGaana [NFB, 2016, dir. Christopher Auchter];  Subconscious Password [2013 NFB, dir. Chris Landreth], short-listed for an Oscar award; and Touch [2001, Rebel Films, dir. Jeremy Podeswa].

Claude Joli-Coeur

Claude Joli-Coeur

Government of Canada Film Commissioner, Chairperson: National Film Board of Canada

Claude Joli-Coeur, an influential figure in the film and audiovisual industry for over 30 years, is the 16th Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada. Mr. Joli-Coeur has been at the NFB for more than 12 years. As Assistant Commissioner (2007 to 2014), he headed Government Relations and Strategic Planning as well as Business Affairs and Legal Services. Until recently, he served as Acting Commissioner, a position he had previously held in 2007.

As an entertainment law specialist in the private sector, Mr. Joli-Coeur signed several international co-production agreements between Canada and a number of European countries, including France, the United Kingdom and Germany. From 1987 to 1995, he worked for Astral Entertainment Group, a film financing and distribution company, first as Director of Business Affairs and subsequently as Vice President of Legal and Business Affairs. In 1995, he was appointed Vice President, Legal and International Affairs, at Coscient Group (Motion International), a position he held for five years. From 2000 to 2002, he served as Vice President, Legal and Business Affairs, and Secretary at TVA International Inc., as well as Vice President, Business Affairs, at Zone 3 Inc. before joining the NFB.

Lulu Keating

Lulu Keating

Director, Snake Hips Lulu

Lulu Keating is an independent writer, director and producer through her company, Red Snapper Films.  Her films cover all genres: documentaries, dramatic features, animated and experimental films.  In addition to producing independent work, she has directed for the NFB, CBC and History Television.  Her films have screened at festivals from Chicago to Copenhagen and her work has been honored with numerous awards around the world. Keating’s debut feature film,  The Midday Sun (1989), was shot in Zimbabwe.  The internationally acclaimed animated documentary The Moody Brood (1999) was commissioned by CBC’s Rough Cuts.  Her second feature,  Lucille’s Ball (2013), won Best Canadian Feature at the Female Eye Film Festival as well as other recognition.  Keating is active on regional and national organizations, serving on numerous juries and boards. She has taught across the country and has curated programs of films.  Currently, she is in development on a feature-length drama, Klondike Kandahari

Michelle Latimer

Michelle Latimer

Director, Rise

Michelle Latimer is the showrunner, director, and writer of the breakout Indigenous resistance series RISE (Viceland), which premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival and went on to screen internationally. Her latest film Nuuca (executive produced by Laura Poitras) premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival, screened at the 2018 Sundance Film Festival and will screen in competition at the 2018 Berlinale Film Festival. Her films have screened at film festivals internationally, including Sundance, TIFF, Rotterdam, ImagineNATIVE, Aspen Shorts, Oberhausen and Cannes, and her work has been acquired by National Gallery of Canada. In 2013, Michelle was selected by Playback Magazine as one of Canada’s Top Ten Filmmakers to Watch, and the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) recently named her among the “Great Canadian Filmmakers of the Future”. Michelle is of Métis/Algonquin descent and much of her work is dedicated to the pursuit of Indigenous rights and sovereignty.

Neil Macdonald

Neil Macdonald

Director, White Hole Productions

Born and raised in the Yukon, Neil is an alumnus of the UBC Film Program and the National Screen Institute. Neil spent a decade working in the Vancouver Film Industry as a DOP and Lighting Technician on projects such as The Killing, The Twilight Saga, and Tron Legacy. In 2010 Neil returned home and focused on Producing and Directing. He has Directed commercials, music videos, and episodes of Hors Des Sentier Battus for TV5 and Gold Rush for the Discovery Channel. In 2017 Neil was a Producer on A.R.C.H.I.E. 2 staring Michael J. Fox, and he also launched a new production company Outpost 31 Media with partners David Hamelin and Jayden Soroka.

Camilla MacEachern

Camilla MacEachern

NWT Film Commissioner

Northwest Territories (NWT) Film Commissioner, Camilla MacEachern is a third generation Northerner so promoting the NWT as a filming destination is second nature to her. She has been fortunate to travel throughout the territory to gain first hand exposure to the Unique Stories, Colourful Characters and Natural Backdrops that make the NWT the perfect film location.  She is honoured to be a part of this exciting industry and looks forward to continued work and collaborations with northern film producers and neighbouring territories to see the Northern Film Industry grow.

Naomi Mark

Naomi Mark

Director/Producer

Naomi has spent the majority of her twenties crafting stories for screen in both drama and documentary. An alumni of the CMPA Mentorship and Hot Docs Accelerator programs Naomi has produced and directed a wide variety of content including music videos, commercials, short films, experimental films and short and long form documentaries. Her recent work includes co-directing and producing the short film Underdog for CBC Short Docs and producing the critically acclaimed feature documentary Aim For The Roses. A successful finalist of the 2017-18 Telefilm Talent To Watch program Naomi is currently in post-production on her feature documentary debut, How To Bee.

Chris McNutt

Chris McNutt

Manager and Producer, Northwestel

Chris considers himself a hunter/gatherer/farmer of northern video content as he creates, licenses, programs and produces a wide array of original projects in his role as Manager and Producer for Northwestel Community TV. Over recent years, Chris has worked with northern producers to trigger substantial funding through both Canadian Media Fund and Territorial funding programs in both production and development helping evolve Northwestel into a broadcaster of diverse programming in today’s North.

Iris Merritt

Iris Merritt

Manager, Yukon Media Development

Iris is a second generation Yukoner who began her career in the media industries quite by accident when her bottomless knowledge of the Yukon and its history landed her gigs providing locations expertise to visiting film and television crews during the Klondike Gold Rush Centennials (1990-1998). Realizing she had found her passion and that she could make a career of it, she started working for Yukon Media Development (formerly known as Yukon Film & Sound Commission) in 1999. As the Manager, Media Development, Iris is responsible for six funding programs and oversees two staff members.  Iris holds BSc in Computer Sciences and received her Certified Film Commissioner designation from the Association of Film Commissioners International in October 2014.  When not working on her own projects, she enjoys boating, gardening, and exploring Yukon with her Yorkies, Lexi and Regann.

Kelly Milner

Kelly Milner

Producer, Camera Trap

Kelly is an emerging Yukon producer. She grew up in the territory and has spent most of her career working with indigenous communities across northern Canada on Land Claim implementation efforts. She founded Shot in the Dark Productions in 2015 as a way to explore issues and ideas important to people living in the North. Her first documentary, SHIFT, won the 2016 “People’s Choice Award” at the Banff Mountain Film Festival and the “Best Film on Mountain Culture” at the 2017 New Zealand Mountain Film Festival. She is the producer of Camera Trap which screens at ALFF 2018 and has been selected for other film festivals around the world. www.shotinthedarkmedia.com

Stéphanie Morissette

Stéphanie Morissette

Producer, Les Affamés (The Ravenous)

Stéphanie Morissette is one of Quebec independent cinema’s top producers. First with nihilproductions, then with Coop Vidéo de Montréal, she has worked on over 15 feature films screened at more than 100 international film festivals since the mid-2000s. In 2005, she started a creative partnership with director Denis Côté, with whom she co- produced Drifting States, winner of the Golden Leopard – video competition at the Locarno Film Festival (Switzerland) and the Indie Vision Grand Prix at Jeonju (South Korea). To date, she has produced six more films with Côté, including All That She Wants (Best Directing award – Locarno 2008), Curling (Best Directing & Best Actor awards – Locarno 2010) and Vic + Flo Saw A Bear (Silver Bear Award for Innovation – Berlinale 2013). Stéphanie Morissette founded La Maison de Prod in 2010. The France-Canada coproduction Malgré La Nuit by acclaimed French master filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux was part of the Berlin Critics Week, IFF Rotterdam, BAFICI, AFI Fest and many other festivals. The Ravenous , her 16th produced feature, had its world premiere at TIFF 2017.

Fritz Mueller

Fritz Mueller

Director, Journeys to Adäka

Filmmaker Fritz Mueller directed and shot Journeys to Adäka, a one-hour documentary screening at ALFF about the healing journeys of seven indigenous artists from the Yukon. His first career was as a biologist, and for over a decade he worked as a professional photographer. His production company Sagafish Media is a collaboration with producer Teresa Earle. They are in post-production on Aurora Love, a documentary set in Tokyo and Yellowknife that explores the attraction of the northern lights. He is a member of EDN, SPYA, DOC, YFS and is a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

 

Marty O’Brien

Marty O’Brien

Director, Camera Trap

Marty grew up in Melbourne where he completed his bachelor of Film and Television and worked as a cinematographer for serval years before moving to the Yukon. The shift North expanded Marty’s focus as he began writing and directing, as well as continuing to develop his own visual shooting style. Most recently, Marty has directed his first documentary, Camera Trap, worked as cinematographer on Escape, as well as two feature documentaries and currently has his first feature project in development.

Einari Paakkanen

Einari Paakkanen

Director, My Father From Sirius

Einari Paakkanen is a Finnish filmmaker. He graduated from Arts Academy of Turku and got his Master’s degree at Cinema and Audiovisual School of Catalonia in Barcelona. Paakkanen has directed both animation and documentary films. My Father From Sirius is his first feature length documentary.

Carmen Pollard

Carmen Pollard

Director, For Dear Life

Carmen Pollard brings a combined twenty years’ experience as a director, creative producer, editor, and visual effects artist to her feature directorial debut For Dear Life. Versed in documentary, experimental and fiction, her long list of credits includes work for the National Film Board, CBC, Knowledge Network, Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony and Fox. Her award winning work has screened at festivals worldwide, including Toronto International Film Festival (voted TIFF TOP TEN), Vancouver International Film Festival, Hot Docs, ImagineNATIVE, Northwest, Free Zone, Yorkton, DOXA, and Available Light, among others. A graduate from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Carmen has been nominated for a primetime Emmy, a Gemini, and five Leo awards, including her 2008 win for Best Picture Editing on the NFB feature documentary Dirt.

Keith Robertson

Keith Robertson

Director, BAIT!

Like a masked hero, Keith is an elementary school teacher by day, and an emergent filmmaker by night. Last year, his short film BAIT! was selected to play as part of Telefilm’s Not Short on Talent showcase at the Cannes Film Festival. Keith also enjoys coffee, pickles, and kittens.

Madelaine Russo

Madelaine Russo

Industry Programmer, Hot Docs

Madelaine Russo is Industry Programmer of Deal Maker at Hot Docs (April 26 – May 6 2018). Madelaine also produces the Hot Docs crowdfunding event Pitch In, runs the Hot Docs blog, supports the production of the Hot Docs Forum, and produces several industry publications, including the annual Hot Docs Guide to Decision Makers, and the Emerging Producer Guides to Budgeting and Co-Production. Before joining Hot Docs, Madelaine ran the Alternate Realities Market at Sheffield Doc/Fest in the UK. She has also worked at short film distributor Ouat Media. She holds a Master of Arts in English and Cultural Studies.

Dan Sokolowski

Dan Sokolowski

Director, Pond

Dan Sokolowski has been produced over two dozen short films and 1 feature film featuring a blends of animation, experimental and documentary since 1983. He currently lives in Dawson City, in Canada’s Yukon, and is the producer of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. He has taught courses in 16mm and digital filmmaking, animation and studio arts. He was a board member of the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa, the Canadian Film Institute and the Yukon Film Society. In addition to his own films, Dan has worked on over 40 independent productions as cinematographer, animator, assistant director, lighting director and editor. www.sokcinema.ca

James Swirsky

James Swirsky

Director/Producer, BlinkWorks Media

James Swirsky is one of the co-directors, producers, editors & distributors of the feature documentary Indie Game: The Movie.  Indie Game: The Movie made its debut at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, garnering critical acclaim and winning ‘Best Editing’ in the festival’s World Documentary Competition. The film went on to become one of the best reviewed films of the year and was optioned by HBO and producer Scott Rudin.  Lisanne & James are named among Paste Magazine’s Best New Filmmakers, RealScreen’s Doc Hot Shots IndieWire’s Top 40 Influencers in independent film & IGN’s Amazing Games People. James frequently speaks and consultants on subjects of documentary filmmaking, crowdfunding, direct & digital distribution. They have spoken at many film & technology events, including the Sundance Film Festival, the West Doc Conference, the XOXO Conference, IFP’s Film Forum, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the South By Southwest conference & the Game Developers Conference.

Ingrid Veninger

Ingrid Veninger

Director, Porcupine Lake

Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid formed pUNK Films in 2003 with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. Since 2008 Ingrid has directed six features: Only, Modra, i am a good person/i am a bad person, The Animal Project, He Hated Pigeons, and most recently Porcupine Lake (TIFF 2017). Winner of the TFCA Jay Scott Prize, the WIFTS International Visionary Award, and EDA Award for Best Director. Ingrid is a resident mentor at the CFC, screenwriter-in-residence at U of T, and part-time faculty member at York University. She has participated in the Berlinale Talent Campus, Rotterdam Lab, and the inaugural TIFF Studio. In 2014, Ingrid initiated the pUNK Films Femmes Lab to foster feature films written and directed by Canadian women, sponsored by Academy Award winner Melissa Leo. In addition to travelling film festivals with Porcupine Lake, Ingrid is currently completing her MFA in Cinema Studies at York University and is developing her 7th feature, This is Not an Exercise.

Shirley Vercruysse

Shirley Vercruysse

Executive Producer, National Film Board of Canada, Pacific & Yukon Studio

Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver, BC, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. The studio’s latest projects include the feature-length musical documentary The Road Forward (Marie Clements); the animated feature film Window Horses (Ann Marie Fleming), co-produced with Stickgirl Productions, and the animated shorts I AM HERE (Eoin Duffy), The Mountain of SGaana (Christopher Auchter) and Shop Class (Hart Snider) and the mid-length documentary Beauty: Beyond Binary (Christina Willings).  Projects currently in production include the feature doc That Higher Level (John Bolton) and documentary series True North (Ryan Sidhoo).

Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente

Guest Curator + Producer

Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe broadcaster, curator, producer and public speaker. Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last 7 as Head of Film Programmes at the Lightbox, where he curated retrospectives on Stanley Kubrick, Michael Mann, Ida Lupino and First Peoples Cinema.  Jesse is also a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, where he has covered film and culture for 21 years. Wente is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian.

Melanie Wood

Melanie Wood

Director/Producer Shut Up and Say Something + For Dear Life

Melanie Wood’s work pursues themes that are both universal and deeply personal – from School of Secrets, about girls who were instructed to keep silent about their sexual relationship with a teacher, to Liberia ’77, about brothers returning to the war-ravaged land of their childhood. Melanie’s deep understanding of the complexity of human relationships is undoubtedly informed by the geometry of her own family. She’s the eldest of seven, from several different marriages. Melanie related immediately to Shane Koyczan’s search for family since her parents split when she was four and she didn’t see her mother again until she was a teenager.

ALFF Sponsors

Sponsors Arts Operating Fund Canada Council for the Arts Lotteries Yukon Yukon Arts Fund Government of Yukon Telefilm Canada Canada Media Fund Super Channel Air North, Yukon's Airline City of Whitehorse Northwestel Community TV NFB Yukon, North of Ordinary Québec Cinéma imagineNATIVE Arctic Star Printing Director's Guild of Canada Driving Force Jazz Yukon Muktuk Adventures What's Up Yukon