FCFF INDUSTRY SESSIONS SUPPORTED BY FANSHAWE COLLEGE CREATIVE INDUSTRIES

October 23-25, 2020 | A Robust Virtual Experience

A series of virtual events designed to educate, entertain and inspire emerging filmmakers and film fans alike. Each event features successful industry professionals sharing their experiences and insights through instructional dialogue, cautionary tales and fascinating conversation. Learn what’s current and coming up in film and TV from the people in the know.

Learn The Art and Science of Filmmaking

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INDUSTRY SESSIONS

Highlight

LEDC Networking Party

Friday October 23

Last year our venue was packed to capacity with an exciting mix of our region’s established film industry pros and those looking to get started. This is your chance to network with and learn from other filmmaking creatives. Light food and drinks will be available and our unique series of micro-keynote presentations will continue with a fresh group of inspiring stories and useful film businesses highlighted. Due to COVID -19 this event is cancelled for 2020.

This wonderful event will be back in 2021! We can't wait to see everyone again!

Registration to Open in August

Chat With Experts, Mentoring Session

Saturday Oct 24, 8:30 - 9:45 a.m.

Enjoy a morning conversation with four professionals of your choice from different corners of the filmmaking industry. This one hour Zoom call will be incredibly valuable to both emerging and more established filmmakers so don’t miss the opportunitye!

NOTE: This Special Event is $20 and is NOT included with any Industry Sessions day or weekend passes.

Even in COVID-19 times this event will carry on. We will be interacting on zoom!

Registration to Open in August

The FCFF Pitchfest

Sunday Oct 25, 3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Witness local talent pitch their unique film concepts to a panel of working professionals who will then test the artistic and marketing value of each film concept before choosing a winner! It’s the DRAGONS DEN of filmmaking!

Prizes for the Best Short Concept Pitch Totalling $12,000 are waiting to be won!

Even in COVID-19 times this event will carry on. Stay tuned for more details of how it will work online!

Register Your Pitch
Industry Guests

Look Who's Coming to FCFF2020

Hear from and connect one-on-one with key industry players and artists to jumpstart your next big project.

Proudly Presented byimage
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KELLY PAYNE

Film Development Consultant, Ontario CreatesRead More
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CRAIG THOMPSON

Documentary Filmmaker, President and Executive Producer, Ballinran EntertainmentRead More
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GREG JEFFS

Client Service Coordinator William F White InternationalRead More
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DR. CAROL WHITEMAN

Co-creator & Producer, Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC)Read More
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JORDAN MORRIS

Writer/Producer/Screenwriting Instructor, Sighthound StudioRead More
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KIRK COOPER

Producer / Festival StrategisRead More
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Andy Robertshaw

Military Historian and Media ConsultantRead More
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Shelly Niro

Multi Media Artist / DirectorRead More
2020 Industry Sessions Details

2020 Sessions to go on sale August 15

  • Saturday October 17
  • Sunday October 18
  • Friday October 23
  • Saturday October 24
  • Sunday October 25
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. / 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. ($115)

Special Event - Limited Enrolment by pre-enrollment only

Auditioning for the Camera - A zoom workshop with Samora Smallwood.

Purchase Soon

In this intensive 4 hour workshop you will learn how to break down a script and understand the story the writer & director are telling & identify what the writer is exploring (themes versus plot) Character Analysis (actors will receive a free Character Analysis Workbook) You will learn how to make strong choices that help you connect to the material and craft a compelling audition & performance. You will work on using imagination & vivid specificity to create nuance, layers, and emotion in performance.

Coach

Samora Smallwood is a classically trained, bilingual Actress, Writer, & Cool Feminist. She is Co-Chair of ACTRA's Diversity Committee as well as the founder of The Actors Work Studio, an innovative acting studio in Toronto. Samora's recent on-screen work includes Star Trek, The Expanse, American Gods, Coroner, The Shelter, and Shadowhunter. Samora's passion is telling fresh stories and promoting diversity on-screen and behind the camera. She was recently a jury member for The Female Eye Film Festival as well as a selected participant in The Reelworld Film Festival's "Emerging 20" Talent to Watch Program. Samora is also a passionate public speaker whose recent work includes hosting panels at TIFF, The Toronto Black Film Festival, Official International Women’s Day & ACTRA Toronto.

1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Pitch Workshop. Special Event

Purchase Soon

Writing an engaging screenplay that attracts producers is challenging on its own; however, once competed you still need to get your script in front of the right people. That's where PITCHING comes in. A pitch is more than a summary of your movie. It's about communicating your expertise as a writer, your knowledge of the industry, audience expectations and genre conventions. Screenwriters need to be able to articulate why your script will work, why the audience will care, why your concept is unique enough to stand out from the millions of other scripts out there and ultimately, why it will draw a paying crowd. Join screenwriting instructor Jordan Morris for this insightful workshop and Q&A on how to craft the perfect pitch!

Expert

Jordan Morris is an award-winning producer and director of films like Nintendo Quest and FCFF Best Documentary winner, Missing Mom. He has also worked on numerous films as an actor, production designer, art director and screenwriter. Since 2013, Jordan has been creating and hosting popular seminars and workshops on the nebulous art and science of writing screenplays.

4:00 p.m.

Up-Close Conversation with Andy Robertshaw

Purchase Soon

With an astounding list of film credits, Andy Robertshaw is a military historian who has worked on films such as War Horse (Steven Spielberg) , Wonder Woman (Patty Jenkins), They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson) and most recently the Academy Award winning film 1917 (Sam Mendes). Andy works from script through productions with costumes, props, actors to help create realism in films about these dramatic historical events. This is will be a fascinating up-close conversation for film lovers and military buffs alike!

Speaker

Andy Robertshaw is a military historian and media consultant. A freelance military historian, author and broadcaster who has specialised in the study of the two world wars Andy is currently working on a project for Twickenham Studios that will compete later this year. He was previously a Museum Director for the MOD and before that Head of Education and Events at the National Army Museum in London. He runs a replica World War One trench in Sussex which has been featured in a variety of television and film projects and for which he provided advice, uniformed extras and props. Andy’s business, Battlefield Partnerships Ltd, provides military props and original items for prop houses and consultations on film projects. He was Military Consultant War Horse and was on location throughout the filming. In the period before filming started he was consulted on the screenplay and worked with Richard Curtis. For ‘1917’ he was also costume, prop and Set Dec consultant. This very successful experience demonstrated his ability to balance historical accuracy with the needs of a production. He works with actors, extras and crew, provides historical background, and motives for actors and extras that are unfamiliar with military history or the period being portrayed.

10:00- 11:00 a.m.

Volumetric Video Capture: IO Industries

Spend an hour with Andrew Searle from IO Industries as he discuss volumetric video capture as the ultimate cutting edge film tool and how it is establishing itself as the solution for immersive showcasing of human performances. This is the ultimate tool for generating truly life-like 3-dimensional avatars of real actors, recording every nuance of their expressions, emotions, and the full performance they’re bringing to the stage – from all angles, simultaneously.  The result is a vivid, engaging, virtual copy of the performer which can be replayed from any point of view.

Expert

Andrew Searle is the Sales Manager for IO Industries Inc. and for over 10 years has held various technical and commercial roles within the company. His experience with the diverse IO Industries customer base has spanned a broad range of applications, from deep-sea exploration to projects with NASA and the International Space Station.

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Meet the Creators: A Conversation with Indigenous Women Filmmakers

Co-presented by Women In the Director’s Chair (panel)

Join co-creator of the internationally respected Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program, Dr. Carol Whiteman as she moderates a panel of accomplished Indigenous women directors in a discussion about leadership, voice, success and what it takes to create film projects in today’s landscape.

Moderator & Experts

Moderator:

Dr. Carol Whiteman Best known as co-creator and producer of Canada's internationally respected Women In the Director’s Chair (WIDC) program, Whiteman is a two-time Governor General’s award nominee and multiple award-winner for promoting gender equality in Canada’s screen industry. Since 1997, Whiteman has worked tirelessly to advance the careers, fiction feature films, network television and web series of a generation of female screen writers and directors across Canada and internationally. She produced over 150 short films through WIDC and is executive producer on seven award-winning feature films including Red Snow, Rustic Oracle, and Queen of the Morning Calm, with two more WIDC features in the pipeline. Whiteman recently completed her doctoral degree in education at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia. Her dissertation shares an inspiring chronicle of the tenacity and transformative leadership behind WIDC’s decades-long history. (Photo credit: Wendy D.)

Experts:

Shelly Niro, Multimedia artistNiro is a member of the Six Nations Reserve, Bay of Quinte Mohawk, Turtle Clan. Shelley Niro is a multi-media artist. Her work involves photography, painting, beadwork, and film. Niro is conscious of the impact post-colonial mediums have had on Indigenous people. Like many artists from different Native communities, she works relentlessly presenting people in realistic and explorative portrayals. Photo series such as MOHAWKS IN BEEHIVES, THIS LAND IS MIME LAND, and M: STORIES OF WOMEN are a few of the genre of artwork. Films include HONEY MOCCASIN, IT STARTS WITH A WHISPER, THE SHIRT, KISSED BY LIGHTNING, and ROBERT’S PAINTINGS. Recently she finished her film THE INCREDIBLE 25th YEAR OF MITZI BEARCLAW. Shelley graduated from the Ontario College of Art, Honours and received her Master of Fine Art from the University of Western Ontario. Niro was the inaugural recipient of the Aboriginal Arts Award presented through the Ontario Arts Council in 2012. In 2017 Niro received the Governor General’s Award For The Arts from the Canada Council, The Scotiabank Photography Award and also received the Hnatyshyn Foundation REVEAL Award. Niro recently received an honorary doctorate from the Ontario College of Arts and Design University. She also was the 2019 Laureate of the Paul de Hueck and Norman Walford Career Achievement Award for Photography.

Zoe Hopkins, Filmmaker/writerZoe Hopkins is a Heiltsuk and Mohawk woman, born in Bella Bella, a fishing village on the coast of BC.  She is now raising her son in her father’s community of Six Nations, Ontario, where she learned to speak and teach Kanyen’kéha (the Mohawk language.) Hopkins drew upon her personal connection to the Great Bear Rainforest for her award-winning first feature film, Kayak to Klemtu, which received a theatrical release in Canada, and is distributed in Canada by Mongrel Media. Winner of: Audience Choice Award: imagineNATIVE Film Festival & Powell River Film Festival; Best Canadian First Feature Film: Victoria Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature: CAIIFF, Official Selection: Edinburgh International Film Festival, Leo Awards: Best Actress (Ta’Kaiya Blaney), Best Supporting Actress (Sonja Bennett), Best Director & Best Actor (Lorne Cardinal): American Indian Film Festival. Hopkins holds a BAA in Film from Ryerson University, and is an alumna of the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. Her films have screened Internationally at festivals including Sundance and Berlinale. Hopkins is a member of the Embargo Collective; creators of the omnibus feature, The Embargo Project, which included her short film Skyworld (Best Short Film, Niagara Integrated Film Festival). Zoe is a writer on the soon-to-be broadcast dramatic series entitled, Trickster, based on the much-celebrated book Son of a Trickster, by Eden Robinson. Also for the small screen, Zoe has directed an episode of the music documentary series, Amplify, for APTN. In 2004, she was Senior Producer on the documentary series, Venturing Forth, also for APTN. She directed 26 episodes of the children’s series Art Zone, produced by Force Four Entertainment. Zoe is currently in post-production with her sophomore feature, previously entitled Running Home, with Toronto’s Big Soul Productions and Devonshire Productions. Zoe is a member of the Writer’s Guild of Canada.

4:00 - 5:00 p.m.

UP CLOSE CONVERSATION: KRIS PEARN

Director, Animator

Kris Pearn has over 18 years' experience in film and television. Born and raised on a goat farm in Southwestern Ontario Canada, Kris was lucky enough to graduate from Sheridan College's Classical Animation Program. Come join us as we have an intimate conversation with the Director of such films as Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 and The Willoughbys. Find out what working as a writer and director in Hollywood is really like.

Moderator & Experts

Expert:

Kris Pearn was born in London, Ontario, Canada. After graduating from Sheridan College, Kris has spent most of his life making cartoons for both film and television. His credits include: Open Season, Surf’s Up, Arthur Christmas, Shawn the Sheep, Pirates: Band of Misfits, and Home to name a few. He was Head of Story on Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and co-directed Cloudy Two: Rise of the Leftovers. He has most recently written and directed the Netflix animated feature THE WILLOUGHBYS based on the novel by Lois Lowry. Kris has been nominated for several Annies, has taught at Sheridan College, lectures all over the world through Schoolism, and has given a Ted Talk called “The Optimistic Opportunity of Failure”. He has illustrated several books including: Edward The Tree Climbing Dog, Project Superhero, and Tales of Spiffing. He still loves to draw.

8:30 - 10:00 a.m.

Mentoring: Chat with Experts

Bring a coffee and enjoy a conversation with the professional of your choice, each from a different corner of the filmmaking industry. These casual mentoring sessions are incredibly valuable to both emerging filmmakers and film fans alike. So don’t miss your opportunity to engage with some of Canada's top industry professionals. NOTE: This session is $20 and is not included with industry sessions weekend pass. You will choose 4 experts to spend 15 minutes each with. Each expert will have a maximum of 4 guests at their "Virtual Table" so everyone will have a chance to ask their questions.

Expert Mentors

Paige Murray - CBC- Development Manager, Comedy and Drama and Canadian Reflections Programmer. Paige has worked at the CBC for over eight years within the content areas and is currently the Development Manager, Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television. As the key point of contact for comedy and drama submissions, Paige actively looks for new talent and projects and evaluates series pitches to fulfill CBC’s programming needs. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections, the longest running Canadian short film showcase on national broadcast television. Paige currently sits as Vice Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival Board. Breakthroughs is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to showcasing short films made by emerging women, trans and non-binary directors.

Greg Jeffs - Client Service Coordinator William F White International. An NSI Features First alumni, Jeffs has written and produced short films that have been broadcast, released theatrically and are available on iTunes. His short film, THE HUNT, was named the best short film of 2013 by RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE. His directorial debut, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD premiered at the 2016 Horror Channel Fright Fest and continues to tour the worldwide festival circuit. Through his work with William F. White he helps new talent learn the industry procedures and develop a plan for their project that will help maximize the results.

Craig Thompson - Documentary Filmmaker and Executive Producer. Craig has 25 years’ experience in content creation, production and management, and more than a decade as a working journalist (CBC, CBC Radio (England), CTV). Specialties: Film and television production management, event management, financing, strategic and business consulting in the media industry. Founder, DocFest Stratford and No Boundaries. Author, acclaimed public speaker, and experienced educator, committed to inspiring the next generation of media professionals. Recent feature documentary credits: Game Changers (2017), The Truth is in the Stars (2017), Mostly Sunny (2016) Chaos on the Bridge (2014).

Kirk Cooper - Producer and Festival Strategist. Kirk is the founder of Film Market Access, a film consulting and PR firm. Kirk’s contribution to the international film community spans over 17 years with experience in the global arts and the entertainment industry. His strength lies in Film Programming, Communications, Professional Development, and Project Management for Film. Kirk has created film programming for festivals such as - Durham Region International Film Festival, Victoria Internation Film Festival, ReelWorld Film Festival, Inside Out (LGBT) Film Festival, Planet In Focus, Canadian Film Festival, River to River, Pan Africa Film Festival. Kirk is currently the Festival Manager for Raven Banner Entertainment - a genre distributor in Canada.

Kelly Payne, Film Development, Ontario Creates - Ontario Creates (formally OMDC) supports the province of Ontario’s creative economy by providing innovative programs, services and funding for the film & television; book & magazine publishing; interactive digital media & music industries. As Program Consultant, Film and Television Ms. Payne brings over 20 years’ of industry experience to the administration and development of programs and strategies which help to drive innovation and growth in Ontario’s creative industries. Her portfolio includes the Film Fund, Industry Development and the Marketing and Distribution Initiative.

10:30 - 12:00 p.m.

Distribution For Indie Filmmakers (panel)

You’ve finished your project, now what? How do you get your film in front of an audience? Join us as we explore the emerging opportunities and fast-moving trends that are currently reshaping how films reach the public.

Moderator and Panelists

Moderator:

Kelly Payne, Film Development, Ontario Creates - Ontario Creates (formally OMDC) supports the province of Ontario’s creative economy by providing innovative programs, services and funding for the film & television; book & magazine publishing; interactive digital media & music industries. As Program Consultant, Film and Television Ms. Payne brings over 20 years’ of industry experience to the administration and development of programs and strategies which help to drive innovation and growth in Ontario’s creative industries. Her portfolio includes the Film Fund, Industry Development and the Marketing and Distribution Initiative.

Panelists:

Paige Murray - Paige Murray has worked at the CBC for over eight years within the content areas and is currently the Development Manager, Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television. As the key point of contact for comedy and drama submissions, Paige actively looks for new talent and projects and evaluates series pitches to fulfill CBC’s programming needs. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections, the longest running Canadian short film showcase on national broadcast television. Paige currently sits as Vice Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival Board. Breakthroughs is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to showcasing short films made by emerging women, trans and non-binary directors.

Courtney McAllister - Courtney McAllister is a passionate, dedicated and innovative writer/producer. In 2020, Courtney wrote Inn for Christmas, starring Jonna Walsh and Jesse Hutch, which will be available to watch this coming Christmas season. She is also currently working on a slate of MOW films that have been sold and are scheduled to shoot when production resumes in a post-Covid world. Over the past four years, she has helped both emerging and established filmmakers develop and package their scripts. Most recently, she has found and optioned a script that has since sold to Blumhouse and Amazon. Of the hundreds of screenplays she’s read and provided notes for, she has proudly seen 15+ greenlit projects go to camera— selling well internationally afterwards. And though her background is in writing, in the spring/summer of 2018, Courtney produced the critically acclaimed documentary series Street Spirits for Bell Canada. While earning her Master’s Degree in Media Production in 2016, Courtney managed the production on Night Owl, a web-series that premiered at SXSW Film Festival in March, 2018.

Carolyn McMaster - Carolyn McMaster is a Canadian film producer and president of CHAOS a film company which focusses on scripted content for the international marketplace. Her most recent production is the horror film Don't Say Its Name. Previous work includes the CIFF Audience Choice Award winner Root of the Problem with Sergio Di Zio and Claire Rankin, the sci-fi thriller Parallel Minds, starring Greg Bryk and Tommie Amber Pirie, the 2016 romantic comedy Chokeslam starring Chris Marquette and Amanda Crew with wrestling icon Mick Foley. In 2013 the thriller Ferocious, Amanda Crew and Kim Coates was released. Walk All Over Me starring Leelee Sobieski and Tricia Helfer premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2008. McMaster is also an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre Comedy Lab and the NSI, she is a member of the Producers Guild of America, CMPA, Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and is a recipient of an EMMY award.

12:30 - 2:00 p.m.

Jumpstart Your Project (panel)

Join our expert panelists as they discuss strategies for giving your project the “leg up” it needs to succeed. We will be exploring importnat subjects such as: financing possibilites, choosing the right creative partners and identifying your audience.

Moderator and Panelists

Moderator:

Craig Thompson - President and Executive Producer, Ballinran Entertainment. Craig has 25 years’ experience in content creation, production and management, and more than a decade as a working journalist (CBC, CBC Radio (England), CTV). Specialties: Film and television production management, event management, financing, strategic and business consulting in the media industry. Founder, DocFest Stratford and No Boundaries. Author, acclaimed public speaker, and experienced educator, committed to inspiring the next generation of media professionals. Recent feature documentary credits: Game Changers (2017), The Truth is in the Stars (2017), Mostly Sunny (2016) Chaos on the Bridge (2014).

Panelists:

Sean Cisterna - is a multi award-winning director whose most recent film is From the Vine (2020), an international coproduction starring Emmy winner Joe Pantoliano. Cisterna directed the acclaimed cancer drama Kiss and Cry (2017), which topped the Canadian box office, and is currently streaming on Netflix worldwide. His 2015 feature Full Out, starring Jennifer Beals, is based on the true story of gymnast Ariana Berlin. The film was broadcast on NBC, now residing with Netflix Worldwide and Disney Europe. Cisterna was awarded a Canada 150 Citizenship Award by the Federal Government for his dedication to and community engagement in the arts.

Greg Jeffs - An NSI Features First alumni, has written and produced short films that have been broadcast, released theatrically and are available on iTunes. His short film, THE HUNT, was named the best short film of 2013 by RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE. His directorial debut, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD premiered at the 2016 Horror Channel Fright Fest and continues to tour the worldwide festival circuit. Through his work with William F. White he helps new talent learn the industry procedures and develop a plan for their project that will help maximize the results.

Jeremy Lalonde - A longtime director

2:30 - 4:00 p.m.

Creating and Funding Music Video (panel)

Music videos are often one of the first calling cards for young directors and filmmakers. Without the constraints of length or budget, a music video is perfect for the aspiring director and can afford a license allowing filmmakers to express their creative vision. However, funding and support can be hard to find and acquire. This panel consists of industry experts sharing their experience on how to get your music video made, and share your concept with the world.

Moderator & Experts

Moderator:

Cory Crossman(Music Composer) Musician and music enthusiast, Cory is a grassroots guy. His background focused on presenting live music ranging from small club shows to large festivals to community events. His current role as Music Industry Development Officer for the City of London positions him as the lead contact at City Hall for the music industry. Serving as a liaison between City Hall and the music sector. Working to create conditions to grow the music sector, Cory is focused on building things steadily from the ground up.

Experts:

Neil Haverty (Composer) is a Senior Manager, MVP Project / Prism Prize at the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Haverty oversees multiple initiatives that aim to spotlight artistry in the Canadian music video industry. The Prism Prize was established in 2012 to recognize extraordinary achievement within the field. The MVP Project, a joint initiative with RBCxMusic, was recently launched to assist in the creation of new music video work by way of production grants for emerging artist teams (comprised of recording artists, directors and producers). Haverty also works as a film composer and musician, most notably as a founding member of Toronto-based ensemble Bruce Peninsula.

Dylan Mitro is a 23-year-old Toronto-based writer/director. He focuses most of his filmmaking on queer and gender positive representation, told through heavily stylized absurd narratives. His credits include 6 music videos for artists including The Zolas and Kendal Thompson. That Funeral Glow is his largest project to date. He hopes to use his filmmaking to help younger artists in the LGBTQ community find their voice.

Kat Webber Kat Webber is fascinated by all things storytelling. With attention to detail and extensive understanding of multiple genres, she brings a deliberate eye to her work as both an Editor and Director. Kat received a BFA in Acting from the conservatory program at York University in Toronto, which provided her with a unique appreciation for the actor’s process. After graduating, Kat stepped behind the camera to develop her technical skills. After years of editing international broadcast campaigns, feature films and award-winning music videos, she’s studied the storytelling process from the inside-out. Kat has had the honour of working as a close collaborator with visionary director Karena Evans, who catapulted her onto the international scene after editing pieces like Drake’s “Nice for What” and Coldplay’s “Everyday Life.” Recently Kat worked as an additional editor for multiple episodes of the new STARZ series, P-Valley. Kat’s mission is centred around amplifying the female gaze, whether that be in service as an editor, director or mentor to young femme-identifying creatives. Each decision she makes, from pre-production to post, comes down to two questions: why now & what serves the story?

4:30 - 5:30 p.m.

Up Close Conversation with Victor Garber

Special Event

We welcome you to enjoy us in an intimate conversation with SAG and Tony award winning Actor Victor Garber. Not only was Victor born in London, Ontario he has gone on to act in some of the most memorable movies of our generation. You may know Victor from his film appearances in the comedies Sleepless in Seattle (1993), The First Wives Club (1996), and Legally Blonde (2001). Or from his Screen Actors Guild Award nominated performances in the historical drama films Titanic (1997), Milk (2008), and Argo (2012). Wherever you may know him from, you can be sure that this is a conversation you won’t want to miss.

Moderator

Dorothy Downs - Executive Director and founder of Forest City Film Festival

Guest:

Victor Garber -

Learn More
10:30 - 12:00 p.m.

Masterclass - International Documentary

Renown documentary filmmaker, writer and producer Craig Thompson (Game Changers, Ballinran Entertainment) screens his internationally acclaimed short documentary Inside Wuhan, (CTV). Following the screening, Craig will be teaching a Masterclass in international documentary filmmaking. With a long history of co-producing documentaries across the globe, Craig offers an entirely unique insight into the complex and intriguing world of getting documentaries made.

Moderator and Experts

Moderator:

Janice Zolf Before winning prizes and international acclaim with her documentaries on art, music, and design; film director and writer Janice Zolf worked as an arts and entertainment reporter and producer for CTV News. Her award-winning films have screened on CBC’s Documentary Channel, Air Canada, and toured festivals around the world. Her current documentary film Into the Light, about the immersive projections that reimagine history on the walls of Old Montreal, will appear on CBC and GEM in October 2020. Janice’s other films include Michael Bublé: Audacious, a Governor General’s Awards film, profiling the artist behind the superstar and Revealing Marie Saint Pierre, about the influence of artist Jean-Paul Riopelle on a renowned Canadian fashion designer. Janice holds a Master’s of Digital Experience and Innovation from the University of Waterloo.

Expert:

Craig Thompson - President and Executive Producer, Ballinran Entertainment. Craig has 25 years’ experience in content creation, production and management, and more than a decade as a working journalist (CBC, CBC Radio (England), CTV). Specialties: Film and television production management, event management, financing, strategic and business consulting in the media industry. Founder, DocFest Stratford and No Boundaries. Author, acclaimed public speaker, and experienced educator, committed to inspiring the next generation of media professionals. Recent feature documentary credits: Game Changers (2017), The Truth is in the Stars (2017), Mostly Sunny (2016) Chaos on the Bridge (2014).

1:00 - 2:30 p.m.

Shorts That Get You Noticed

Almost every famous Director got their start with a short film. Film school, DIY, or funded through grants or investors, the short is a rite of passage that can help make your career take off. This panel of experts brings together experience from all facets of the industry to help you with how to develop, fund and shoot that short film that jumpstarts your career.

Moderator and Panelists

Moderator:

TBD

Panelists:

Greg Jeffs - An NSI Features First alumni, has written and produced short films that have been broadcast, released theatrically and are available on iTunes. His short film, THE HUNT, was named the best short film of 2013 by RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE. His directorial debut, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD premiered at the 2016 Horror Channel Fright Fest and continues to tour the worldwide festival circuit. Through his work with William F. White he helps new talent learn the industry procedures and develop a plan for their project that will help maximize the results.

Richmond Obeng - Richmond Obeng is a Canadian cinematic director moved by thought-provoking authentic narrative. Starting his filmmaking journey shooting commercials, music videos and corporate branded content, Richmond quickly embarked on his own inspired path, focusing on creating stories grounded in truth and representation. These efforts include the award-winning and internationally praised anti-bullying short “Helping Hands”, and the HIV/AIDS branded content trifecta “PrEP”, “It Takes Courage” and “The Test”, which was featured at various community events including World Aids Day 2017. Continuing on his mission to bring important stories to light, Richmond’s long-form debut came with his 2018 Toronto inner-city documentary “Some Sort of Judas”, which after debuting to 100,000 homes on TVO, has been dubbed by several educators and activists as one of the most important Canadian documentaries in crime and justice, and made its way to the 2018 Cannes Marche du Film. Richmond’s latest project takes him to historical non-fiction, as he works with Peoples Temple cult survivor Leslie Wagner-Wilson, author of “Slavery of Faith” and the main focus of his June 2020 YouTube short docu-series “No Church in the Wild”. After securing the rights to Leslie’s autobiographical novel Richmond is now working on adapting it into a scripted miniseries.

Paige Murray - has worked at the CBC for over eight years within the content areas and is currently the Development Manager, Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television. As the key point of contact for comedy and drama submissions, Paige actively looks for new talent and projects and evaluates series pitches to fulfill CBC’s programming needs. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections, the longest running Canadian short film showcase on national broadcast television. Paige currently sits as Vice Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival Board. Breakthroughs is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to showcasing short films made by emerging women, trans and non-binary directors.

3:00 - 4:30 p.m.

PitchFest

Witness regional talent pitch their unique film concepts to a panel of working professionals who will then test the artistic and marketing value of each pitch before choosing a winner. It’s the DRAGONS DEN of filmmaking! Prizes for the Best Short Concept Pitch Totalling $12,000 are waiting to be won! This event is a pay-what-you-can to watch, and $30 to pitch your idea. If you are a filmmaker looking to pitch, learn more and register now.

Learn More here
Moderator and Panelists

Moderator:

Jordan Morris is an award-winning producer and director of films like Nintendo Quest and FCFF Best Documentary winner, Missing Mom. He has also worked on numerous films as an actor, production designer, art director and screenwriter. Since 2013, Jordan has been creating and hosting popular seminars and workshops on the nebulous art and science of writing screenplays.

Judges:

Greg Jeffs - An NSI Features First alumni, has written and produced short films that have been broadcast, released theatrically and are available on iTunes. His short film, THE HUNT, was named the best short film of 2013 by RUE MORGUE MAGAZINE. His directorial debut, IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD premiered at the 2016 Horror Channel Fright Fest and continues to tour the worldwide festival circuit. Through his work with William F. White he helps new talent learn the industry procedures and develop a plan for their project that will help maximize the results.

Kirk Cooper - is the founder of Film Market Access, a film consulting and PR firm. Kirk’s contribution to the international film community spans over 17 years with experience in the global arts and the entertainment industry. His strength lies in Film Programming, Communications, Professional Development, and Project Management for Film. Kirk has created film programming for festivals such as - Durham Region International Film Festival, Victoria International Film Festival, ReelWorld Film Festival, Inside Out (LGBT) Film Festival, Planet In Focus, Canadian Film Festival, River to River, Pan Africa Film Festival. Kirk is currently the Festival Manager for Raven Banner Entertainment - a genre distributor in Canada.

Paige Murray - has worked at the CBC for over eight years within the content areas and is currently the Development Manager, Comedy and Drama for CBC English Television. As the key point of contact for comedy and drama submissions, Paige actively looks for new talent and projects and evaluates series pitches to fulfill CBC’s programming needs. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections, the longest-running Canadian short film showcase on national broadcast television. Paige currently sits as Vice Chair of the Breakthroughs Film Festival Board. Breakthroughs is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to showcasing short films made by emerging women, trans and non-binary directors.