ALFF and ALFF Industry Guests
Director, Angry Inuk
Alethea is an Inuit filmmaker from the Canadian arctic where she has run Unikkaat Studios Inc. since 2005 and has recently joined Arnait, the renowned women’s video collective. Alethea directed and produced award-winning Angry Inuk (Unikkaat/NFB co-production in association with EyeSteelFilm) a feature doc for broadcast on Superchannel and CBC about how Inuit are coming up with new and provocative ways to deal with international seal hunting controversies. Angry Inuk premiered at Hot Docs 2016, taking home the Audience Choice Award, as well as the Best Canadian Feature award at the 2016 Dreamspeakers Festival, as well as the Alanis Obomsawin Award for Best Documentary at the 2016 ImagineNATIVE festival.
Alethea also previously directed and produced award-winning APTN documentary Tunniit: Retracing the Lines of Inuit Tattoos, in which she traveled across the arctic to speak with elders about Inuit tattoo practices. Alethea directed the well-traveled short “Inuit High Kick”, and co-produced with White Pine Pictures “Experimental Eskimos.” Alethea directed the NFB animation “Lumaajuuq: The Blind Boy and the Loon” and the animated short “Sloth.” Alethea was also an executive producer on Miranda de Pencier’s award-winning Throat Song and co-produced Arctic Defenders, a feature documentary by John Walker. Alethea directed Aviliaq: Entwined as part of the Embargo Project. Currently she is a co-producer on Miranda de Pencier’s feature film The Grizzlies, which is in post-production.
National Feature Film Executive, Telefilm Canada
As the National Feature Film Executive at Telefilm Canada, Stephanie manages the funding decisions for the National portfolio of English-language film investments. Prior to coming to Telefilm, Stephanie was at Zeitgeist Films, in New York as the Director of Theatrical Marketing. She began her career in finance with the Business Development Bank of Canada in Toronto. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce form the University of Ottawa.
Director, Aim for the Roses
John Bolton is an award-winning filmmaker from Vancouver, Canada preoccupied with revelation, consolation and transcendence, sometimes even in that order. He produces, writes and directs dramas, documentaries, performing arts pieces and the occasional disaster film through his production company Opus 59 Films.
GENERAL DIRECTOR, CREATION AND INNOVATION, National Film Board
René is a media executive with more than 30 years of senior level operating experience. Before joining the NFB he founded ELEVADO Media; the first boutique executive advisory company in film, serialized content, and immersive entertainment. Mr. Bourdages holds a Certificate in Business & Management of Entertainment from UCLA, and was selected as one of Canada’s Top 40 under 40.
Director, Sun at Midnight
Kirsten Carthew is the director of The YK Doc Project, Abe & Alfred and Fish Out Of Water. She has multiple writing credits, which include the Brazilian feature film Uma Loucura De Mulher (2016), directed by Marcus Ligocki and starring Mariana Ximenes. The Sun At Midnight marks Kirsten’s directorial debut. She is a former producer and journalist with CBC and has worked as a filmmaker and transmedia producer in Europe, the Middle East, Canada and the USA. In 2011 and 2012 the Status of Women Council of the NWT nominated Kirsten as a Wise Woman for her role in co-founding two award-winning not-for-profit organizations devoted to outdoor adventure and environmental stewardship for youth in the Northwest Territories. She is an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre, the National Screen Institute, the London School of Economics and the University of Southern California.
Screen and stage acting instructor, Vancouver Institute of Media Arts
Chilton is an actor, director, instructor and acting coach in Vancouver, B.C.. She currently runs a full time conservatory program for Acting at Vanarts (formerly the Wm. Davis Centre for Actors Study). Chilton has been acting professionally for 30 years with extensive film and tv credits, including iZombie, Travellers, The Killing, Supernatural, 4400 and the feature film; Cut Bank, where she co-starred with Billy Bob Thornton, John Malkovich and Liam Hemsworth. She has been teaching and coaching in Vancouver for 20 years; her love of the craft whether acting or teaching is only matched by her never ending energy. She recently travelled to NYC to complete the Hagen Instructor Intensive at HB Studios, a truly humbling and rewarding experience which only confirmed her dedication to teaching. It is her love of story, heart and truth and the human condition that propels her to keep striving for more.
President + CEO, Canada Media Fund
Valerie Creighton is an industry leader in arts, culture and media, recognized for reenergizing some of the 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.
Director, I am the Blues
Daniel Cross is the founder of EYESTEELFILM the iconoclastic production and distribution company based in Montreal which was named by Real Screen Magazine as a top100 non-fiction production company in the world. Daniel Cross is a multi-disciplined award winning documentary filmmaker with a long history of directing and producing theatrical documentaries and exploring new media documentary approaches. He made his mark directing feature length films concerning issues of homelessness, THE STREET: a film with the homeless (1998), S.P.I.T: SqueegeePunks In Traffic (2001) and created an online interactive documentary experience working with the street community called www.HomelessNation.Org (2001). Daniel received the Trailblazer award at MIPDOC in Cannes, and was the inaugural Mentor of the Year recipient from the Canadian Media Producers Association. He participates in the IDFA Academy and has served on the boards of Hot Docs, the Documentary Organization of Canada and The Concordia University Documentary Center.
Writer/Director, Window Horses
Ann Marie Fleming is an award-winning Canadian independent filmmaker, writer and artist, born in Okinawa, of Chinese and Australian parentage. Her film work incorporates various techniques: animation, documentary, experimental, dramatic, and primarily deals with themes of family, history and memory, in a continuing media critique.
Producer + Owner, Hootalinqua Motion Pictures
Max Fraser is an independent Yukon filmmaker who is presently producing his first Digital Media Component, called “Bond of Strangers – The OpHusky Digital Experience.” Fraser recently completed two new television productions with financing from the Canada Media Fund, Yukon Film and other financing. Bond of Strangers - The Operation Husky Story - a television-hour documentary about an emotional Remembrance trek in 2013 through Sicily along the route the Canadian Army took in 1943. It has been picked up by Air Canada inflight entertainment, Canada Screens, documentary channel and Knowledge Network as well as Northwestel Community TV. Broke Down Dawson Town – a two-part TV mini-series set and shot in Dawson City. This premiered at the Dawson City International Short Film Festival and Northwestel Community TV in March, 2016. Max and director/series creator Lulu Keating are seeking a development financing and digital media opportunities to continue the series. Meanwhile Fraser continues to pursue his continuing quest to produce documentaries, features and digital projects about the legendary Canadian and Yukon hero, Klondike Joe Boyle. This northern producer is also known for his short films and the award-winning TV documentary Never Happen Here - The Whitehorse 9/11 Story about terrifying events in the Yukon on 9/11. Max belongs to Screen Production Yukon Association, the Yukon Film Society and the Documentary Organization of Canada. His career began in 1974 when he came to the Yukon from Vancouver to work as a reporter/photographer for the Whitehorse Star. A Yukon resident since then, he has worked in communications, book publishing, printing, politics and Yukon aboriginal relations.
Film Officer, Yukon Film & Sound Commission
After graduating from BCIT in 2006, Kevin worked in Vancouver as a Production Coordinator and Production Manager on TV series for CBC, HGTV, OWN and W Network Kevin moved to the Yukon in 2011 and has worked as the Film Officer for the YFSC since January 2013.
John Hopkins’ new feature doc, BLUEFIN, accounts the mysterious return of the last of the giant Bluefin tuna to the remote fishing port of North Lake, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Hopkins graduated from Carleton University with a BA in Film Studies and Political Science in 1986. He later went to Sheridan College, from 1987-89, where he studied under experimental filmmakers Phil Hoffman and Jeffrey Paull.
After graduating he worked on films with Don Haig, Don Owen, Nettie Wild, and his long time mentor, former NFB and Oscar nominated producer Peter Starr. John Hopkins developed Robosapiens, which he co-produced and developed with producers Ed Barreveld and Michael Kot which was selected to pitch at the IDFA Forum with Nature of Things producer Michael Allder. The film also won the Linda Joy Busby/CBC Development prize at the Atlantic Film Festival. In the past, John Hopkins has worked as written for Arts Atlantic, the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald, and produces, shoots, and directs television commercials, which run regularly on CBC. John Hopkins is President of Square Deal Productions Atlantic Inc., a company he runs from his residence located in Stanchel Prince Edward Island, where he grows his own garden, makes the world’s best Caesar salad, and grows his own hops to make “SubStanchel Ale” which recently won Silver at the Atlantic beer awards.
Director, The Limit is the Sky
Julia Ivanova is a Vancouver documentary director, editor and cinematographer. She has made nine feature and hour-length documentaries. She edited four of her own films, including Family Portrait in Black and White that screened at Sundance and won Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs. Her most recent film Limit is the Sky, produced with the NFB, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2016.
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.
Director + Owner, Red Snapper Films
A versatile, award-winning filmmaker, Lulu Keating has been a writer, director and producer for over 30 years. She works in all genres and media, making animated, dramatic and documentary films. Her Company, Red Snapper Films Limited, was incorporated in 1985 when she directed a documentary in Japan.
Tania Koenig-Gauchier is a television producer who brings almost 20 years of experience in broadcasting and independent production to APTN’s Programming department. She has worked as a producer for CTV, APTN and CBC, and has a background in business, marketing and promotions for television. Most recently, she completed the Ch’nook Aboriginal Management Certificate Program (AMP) at the UBC Sauder School of Business. One of the first employees at APTN in 1999, she now returns full circle and feels fortunate to work with other Aboriginal producers who share her passion to tell authentic Indigenous stories and share them with the world. Tania is extremely proud of her Cree-Métis heritage – her family is from Northern Alberta. She is also mother to two children whom are members of the Nisga’a Nation (Village of Laxgalts’ap) in British Columbia.
Director, White Hole Productions
Born and raised in Whitehorse Yukon, Neil began making movies at the age of twelve. He went on to study at the University of British Columbia, receiving a BA in Film Production, and is also an alumnus of the National Screen Institute Features First program.
After graduating from UBC Neil spent a decade in the Vancouver film industry. He was nominated for a Leo for his work as Director of Photography for The Anachronism, and has worked as a Gaffer and Lighting Technician on projects such as The Killing, The Twilight Saga New Moon & Eclipse, and Tron Legacy.
After returning to the Yukon in 2010 Neil founded White Hole Productions, with a focus on developing genre film and TV projects. White Hole Productions has produced several shorts, music videos, and corporate videos, and is developing several film and TV projects. Neil has continued to work as a DOP and Gaffer on a variety of productions, and has directed several short projects and episodes of TV5/Unis’ Au Coeur Du Yukon and The Discovery Channel’s Gold Rush.
Though he is known primarily for his work in theatre, Daniel MacIvor is also a major force in the Canadian film industry. He has won accolades for his acting, writing, producing and directing and is considered one of Canada’s true “creative geniuses”. Daniel MacIvor was born in Sydney, Nova Scotia, on July 23, 1962, and studied theatre at Dalhousie University in Halifax and then at George Brown College in Toronto. In 1986, he co-founded a touring theatre company called da da kamera and continues to serve as its Artistic Director to this day. During the last 15 years, he has written and performed in dozens of plays, most of them solo works. His plays have been nominated six times for the Chalmers New Canadian Play Award and have won numerous Fringe Festival awards – nationally and internationally.
Creative Technologist, National Film Board of Canada
Vincent McCurley is a Creative Technologist at the National Film Board of Canada’s Digital Studio in Vancouver, where he creates socially-relevant digital works that explore the creative application of technology and platform to story and form.
His works include interactive documentaries, animations and video for web, mobile apps, installations, and virtual reality. Vincent is the creator of Cardboard Crash, a Webby award-winning interactive VR experience examining the ethics of artificial intelligence in self-driving cars. Cardboard Crash was an official selection at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival. McCurley is currently working on stereoscopic 360-videos and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the production and post-production pipelines involved.
Executive Producer, NFB Digital Studio
Rob McLaughlin is a Canadian producer and journalist most known for his work in interactive media. He is currently the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s (NFB) Digital Studio in Vancouver. From 2008 to 2011 he was the Director of Digital Content and Strategy at the NFB where he led in the development of the institution’s digital programming strategy and pioneering interactive documentary work, including Welcome to Pine Point and Bear71. From 2011 to 2015, he was an editor, publisher and senior executive at Canada’s largest newspaper chain, responsible for leading newsroom staff through a time of radical transformation in the newspaper industry. Prior to the NFB, Rob was a producer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. There he focused on developing new forms of audio-visual content designed to attract new audiences for public broadcasting, including the interactive radio service CBC Radio 3. He also served as a director of digital programming at CBC responsible for the creative development of digital platforms in the areas of documentaries, TV AE and network radio programming. A former tree planter and fishing guide from small-town Saskatchewan, Rob now lives in North Vancouver with his wife and the world’s two most brilliant girls, ages 8 and 12.
Director + Owner, Shot in the Dark Productions
Kelly Milner grew up in the Yukon. She has a journalism degree and worked briefly in the northern television industry before pursuing a Masters in Resource Management. For the past 15 years she worked in the field of land claims implementation across Canada’s North.
In 2015, she decided to get back to her storytelling roots and founded her own media production company - Shot in the Dark Productions. SHIFT is her first film and it brings together her experience working with indigenous communities with her unique Northern storytelling perspective.
Actress + Producer, Window Horses
Sandra Oh is a Canadian actress known for her role as Dr. Cristina Yang on ABC’s medical drama Grey’s Anatomy, a role that earned her a Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild awards, as well as five nominations for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series. She has also played notable roles in the feature films The Princess Diaries, Under the Tuscan Sun, Last Night, Sideways, and had a supporting role on the HBO original series Arliss. Other films she has appeared in include The Night Listener, Sorry, Haters, Blindness, Bean, Wilby Wonderful, Hard Candy, and Rabbit Hole.
Producer, Fifth Ground Entertainment
Raj Panikkar is an award-winning Toronto based producer, who also operates and functions as an independent writer, filmmaker and creative consultant for film, television and digital media. With his outfit Fifth Ground Entertainment, his productions have included the documentary series Reelside for The Movie Network; the half-hour comedy series Rent-A-Goalie for Showcase; the music documentary series The Rawside Of… for IFC; Players’ PlayBook a digital documentary series with over 9 million views, in association with BlackBerry and the NHLPA; and, with Yahoo! Originals Beyond the Bases, a digital doc series about the Toronto Blue Jays. Every season of every television series he has produced has won or been nominated for a Canadian Screen Awards (formerly the Geminis), and he was nominated for Best Direction in a Documentary Series for an episode of Reelside he directed. He also executive produced the award-winning feature film At Home By Myself… With You. Raj is perpetually developing multiple projects for various platforms.
Director, Dawson International Short Film Festival
Dan Sokolowski lives in Dawson City and is the producer of the Dawson City International Short Film Festival. His films have been shown at many films festivals and events around the world. Dan has worked on oer 40 independent productions as cinematographer, animator, assistant director and editor. He has also taught courses in 16mm filmmaking, animation and studio arts.
Director of Development, VICELAND/VICE
Director of Development, VICELAND/VICE
John Turner is the Toronto-based Director of Development for VICELAND, VICE Media’s 24-hour cable channel launched in 2016 and currently seen in 70 million homes in North America. New channels were recently launched in the UK and France and VICELAND programming is now seen in 25 countries worldwide. Prior to VICELAND, John developed series for Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Productions in New York. His six-part financial crime series, Dirty Money, is currently in production with Netflix and Gibney.
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) and The Mountain of Sgaana (Christopher Auchter). Projects currently in production include the mid-length documentary Beauty: Beyond Binary (Christina Willings) and the animated short Shop Class (Hart Snider).
Prior to joining the NFB in February 2014, Shirley was an independent film and tele- vision producer based in Calgary, Alberta. Her feature credits include waydowntown, A Problem with Fear, Comeback Season, Radiant City, Angels Crest, The Future Is Now!, and Fubar II.
Director, Quebec My Country Mon Pays
John Walker’s films have appeared at film festivals in Toronto, Vancouver, New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, London and Tokyo. From the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television he has received nineteen nominations and awards including the coveted Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary UTSHIMASSITS: PLACE OF THE BOSS; a Gemini for best documentary director THE HAND OF STALIN; and a Genie for best feature documentary STRAND - UNDER THE DARK CLOTH, a personal portrait of his mentor, the photographer/filmmaker Paul Strand. His film on the Cape Breton coal miners choir, MEN OF THE DEEPS, won three Gemini awards including best performing arts, best documentary photography, best sound and a best director nomination. The film garnered three million viewers with its CTV broadcast.
His feature length films include QUEBEC MY COUNTRY MON PAYS, ARCTIC DEFENDERS, A DRUMMERS DREAM, THE FAIRY FAITH, TOUGH ASSIGNMENT, and the critically acclaimed feature drama A WINTER TAN which received seven Genie nominations including Best Motion Picture, Best Director and won Best Actor for Jackie Burroughs.
He co-produced, wrote and directed the provocative feature film PASSAGE, a fiction/documentary for BBC and History Television about the tragic Sir John Franklin expedition in search of the fabled Northwest Passage. Martin Knelman of The Toronto Star called it “One of the great triumphs in Canadian documentary film history.” Winning numerous awards Walker was the first Canadian to receive the Organization of American Historians - Eric Barnouw Award.
Film Critic + Director of Programming, DOXA
Dorothy Woodend has been the film critic for The Tyee since 2004. Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and books across Canada and the US, as well as a number of international publications. Dorothy is also the Director of Programming for DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.