2018 Speaker Announcements Coming Soon!
Note: Speakers and schedule subject to change without notice.
Paul Haggis is the first screenwriter to write two Best Film Oscar winners back-to-back: MILLION DOLLAR BABY (2004) directed by Clint Eastwood, and CRASH (2005) which he himself directed. For CRASH, Haggis won Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. The film also received an additional four nominations including one for Haggis' direction. CRASH reaped numerous awards during its year of release from associations such as the IFP Spirit Awards, the Screen Actors Guild, and BAFTA.
In 2006, Haggis' screenplays included the duo Clint Eastwood productions FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS and LETTERS FROM IWO JIMA, the latter earning him his third screenplay Oscar nomination. He also helped pen CASINO ROYALE, which garnered considerable acclaim for reinvigorating the James Bond spy franchise.
In 2007, Haggis wrote, directed, and produced IN THE VALLEY OF ELAH. The film starred Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon, and earned Jones a Best Actor Oscar nomination for his performance.
In 2010, his film THE NEXT THREE DAYS was released, starring Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks.
And in 2013 he wrote and directed the romantic, personal drama THIRD PERSON, which starred Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, and Kim Basinger.
Most recently, Haggis directed all six episodes of the HBO mini-series SHOW ME A HERO, starring Oscar Isaac, Catherine Keener, Winona Ryder, James Belushi, and Alfred Molina.
Currently, Haggis is co-directing a feature length documentary on the AIDS crises in San Francisco, called WARD 5B.
Equally committed to his private and social concerns, Haggis is the founder of Artists for Peace and Justice. Under this umbrella, many of his friends in the film business have come forward to build schools and a rehabilitation clinic serving the children of the slums of Haiti (www.APJNow.org).
He resides in New York.
Co-Head, AMC Studios and Executive Vice President, Business Affairs, AMC Networks Inc.
Rick Olshansky is the co-head of AMC Studios and executive vice president of business affairs for AMC, SundanceTV, IFC and BBC AMERICA. In these dual roles, he helps direct the growth and development of the company’s studio operation, which is increasingly important to AMC Networks as the company expands its role in producing and owning more of the content featured on its networks, and oversees all business affairs functions for four national networks.
Rick has oversight over production of all television programming owned and produced by AMC, as well as oversight over all distribution of finished programming to third party platforms both domestically and internationally. Current shows include THE WALKING DEAD, FEAR THE WALKING DEAD, HALT AND CATCH FIRE, TURN: WASHINGTON SPIES, HAP AND LEONARD, INTO THE BADLANDS, THE SON, THE TERROR, and DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY.
Prior to joining AMC Networks in 2014, Olshansky held key business affairs roles within the media and entertainment industry. In 2013, he served as a business affairs consultant with Microsoft Xbox Entertainment Studios, and from 2011 to 2013, he was executive vice president of business operations at Bedrocket Media Ventures. From 2004 to 2009, Olshansky was at NBC Universal as executive vice president of television network and studio business affairs. Prior to that, he was head of business affairs for the Endeavor Talent Agency from 1999 to 2004.
Olshansky graduated with honors from University of Michigan with a bachelor’s degree in English, and received his J.D. cum laude from University of Michigan Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of California and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Executive Producer/Showrunner, SHARP OBJECTS
With hundreds of hours of television under her belt, Marti Noxon is one of the most prolific writer-producers in television today. Currently, Noxon has several television series on the air including Bravo’s GIRLFRIENDS’ GUIDE TO DIVORCE, Lifetime’s UNREAL, and CODE BLACK for CBS.
GIRLFRIENDS GUIDE TO DIVORCE, which Noxon created and serves as showrunner on, was Bravo’s first scripted series to air on the network and recently wrapped its third season. Following its season 2 finale, the series received a 3-season pickup locking in its 3rd, 4th and 5th seasons. In addition to her duties as showrunner, Noxon has also stepped into the director role for several episodes of the series.
Noxon is also co-creator and executive producer of the acclaimed Lifetime drama series UNREAL. For her work on the show, Noxon has received an Emmy Award nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series. The show has additionally won countless awards and accolades during its breakout first season, which Noxon was showrunner on, including a Peabody Award and a Women's Image Network Award, for Outstanding Show Produced by a Woman. It was also named one of AFI’s Top Ten Television Programs of the Year and honored by the Critics’ Choice Awards as one of the Most Exciting New Series of the year.
Noxon also serves as executive producer on the CBS medical drama series CODE BLACK. The show is based on the Los Angeles Film Festival award-winning documentary of the same name, which Noxon executive produced as well.
Up next for Noxon on the television side is HBO’s SHARP OBJECTS, an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling novel of the same name. Noxon will serve as showrunner on the series with Academy Award® nominated actress Amy Adams attached to star and Jean-Marc Vallee set to direct.
Additionally in the works for Noxon is DIETLAND for AMC, a series based on the bestselling novel of the same name by Sarai Walker. The series, which was highly sought after by several networks, will be one of the first projects created under Noxon’s recently-minted overall deal with Skydance Media. Under the three-year deal, Noxon will create and develop new projects for the independent studio.
On the film side, Noxon will make her feature directorial debut with film TO THE BONE. Written by Noxon and loosely based on her own personal experience with eating disorders, the film stars Lily Collins, Alex Sharp, Keanu Reeves and Carrie Preston. The project premiered in competition at this year’s Sundance Film Festival earning strong reviews and quickly selling to Netflix for $8 million, making it one of the highest sales to come out of this year’s festival.
Over the course of her impressive career Noxon has written and served as executive producer on some of the most beloved and critically acclaimed series of the past two decades, including BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, GREY’S ANATOMY, PRIVATE PRACTICE, BROTHERS & SISTERS, POINT PLEASANT and STILL LIFE. She has also acted as a consulting producer for MAD MEN, PRISON BREAK, ANGEL, and GLEE. Noxon’s screenwriting credits include, I AM NUMBER FOUR and FRIGHT NIGHT.
A graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Noxon currently lives in Los Angeles with her two children and is co-owner of Grist & Toll, an urban flour mill in Pasadena.
Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner, ARCHER
Adam Reed was born and raised in the beautiful mountain town of Asheville, North Carolina, where he spent his formative years being shooed away from the television.
He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he majored in English and (almost, were it not for one lousy F) minored in Drama. After graduation from U.N.C. in 1992, Reed began to pursue his lifelong dream of pestering his awesome older sister, Anna, to get him a job in her division at Turner Broadcasting.
Reed moved to Turner’s Cartoon Network in 1994, where he began working with Matt Thompson on the seminal HIGH-NOON TOONS. After leaving Cartoon Network in 1996 – rather abruptly, during production of A.M. MAYHEM with Carrot Top – Reed and Thompson moved to New York, where they spent a year in the sordid underbelly of daytime talk shows before founding 70-30 Productions.
From 2001 to 2008, Reed and Thompson helmed the somewhat-popular SEALAB 2021 and FRISKY DINGO on Adult Swim. Reed left 70-30 Productions in 2008 to stagger across the sun-blasted interior of Spain for some reason, and while doing so had the idea for ARCHER, which FX was cool enough to buy.
Reed founded Atlanta-based Floyd County Productions in 2008 and is the voice of gay-and-fabulous agent “Ray Gillette.” He also enjoys motorcycling and a cat.
Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner, HALT AND CATCH FIRE
Christopher Cantwell was born in Chicago, but in the early ’80s his father moved the family to Dallas in order to pursue career opportunities in the computer business. Cantwell is an alum of the USC School of Cinematic Arts screenwriting program and has also worked as a creative director for The Walt Disney Company.
HALT AND CATCH FIRE marks but one collaboration with writing partner Christopher C. Rogers. Cantwell currently lives in Claremont with his wife, published poet Elizabeth Cantwell, their son, Cooper and their dog, Albee.
Creator/Executive Producer/Showrunner, HALT AND CATCH FIRE
A Virginia native, Chris began his career with the Atlantic Media Company (publisher of The Atlantic and National Journal) in Washington, D.C., before relocating to Los Angeles to work as a research editor for Condé Nast’s Architectural Digest and a bookseller at Los Feliz’s Skylight Books.
Rogers is a graduate of the WGA Showrunner Training Program. He is co-author of THE KNOLL, which placed on the Hollywood Black List, and in partnership with Cantwell has been named one of Variety's 10 TV Scribes to Watch.
Chris resides in the Silverlake neighborhood of Los Angeles with his wife, Meghan, and dog, Tilly. He is Co-Creator, Executive Producer, and Co-Showrunner of AMC's HALT AND CATCH FIRE.
Award-Winning Playwright & Screenwriter
Co-Creator/Writer/Executive Producer, KIM'S CONVENIENCE
Ins Choi was born in Korea, grew up in Scarborough and now lives in Toronto with his wife and 2 children. The stage play, KIM’S CONVENIENCE, debuted at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Theatre Festival before opening Soulpepper' Theatre Company's 2012 season. Since then it has toured to eleven Canadian cities and will be in New York this July. Ins is a co-creator, a writer and an executive producer for the tv show KIM’S CONVENIENCE.
Co-Creator, KIM'S CONVENIENCE
Kevin White is a writer and showrunner who has worked on some of Canada’s top scripted comedies including THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES and CORNER GAS. Currently he is a co-creator with Ins Choi of KIM’S CONVENIENCE based on Choi’s award-winning play. In addition Kevin’s been a writer and executive producer on SCHITT’S CREEK which last year won him a Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series. He was also an executive producer and co-creator of CBC’s INSECURITY and CTV’s DAN FOR MAYOR.
Vice President of Film and Television Production, Gran Via Productions
Mark Ceryak has worked at Gran Via Productions for the past 10 years as an influential collaborator with veteran producer Mark Johnson. As the Vice President of Film and Television Production and in conjunction with his Gran Via colleagues, he’s helped develop a variety of television programming including the AMC series HALT AND CATCH FIRE and the Hulu series SHUT EYE and a number of films including the THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA franchise and the STX film THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Prior to Gran Via Productions, he attended Florida State University Film School (BFA 2003) and worked at the Broder Webb Chervin Silbermann and ICM agencies.
President of Production, The Middleton Media Group
A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Alex began his career in the music industry working in business and legal affairs for Bertelsmann Music Group in NYC. After transitioning to film, he served as Line Producer, Production Manager, and Second Assistant Director on numerous New York based independent films including STARTING OUT IN THE EVENING, LOST REVOLUTION, and DESCENT. After moving to Los Angeles in 2009 and attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts – Peter Stark Producing Program, Alex worked as a Finance & Development Executive at Mandalay Vision, where he Co-Produced Lionsgate’s THE VOICES (2014). Alex joined Vertigo Entertainment as Vice President at the beginning of 2014, and Executive Produced the Open Road/Vertigo Entertainment film SLEEPLESS starring Jamie Foxx & Michelle Monaghan. Most recently Alex was named President of Production at The Middleton Media Group, the central production and finance company of financier and producer John Powers Middleton (THE LEGO MOVIE, BATES MOTEL, RINGS, DEATH NOTE).
Director of Development, Color Force
Allison Friedman grew up in Las Vegas and attended The University of Pennsylvania before getting her MFA through the Stark Producing Program at USC. While at USC, she produced an award winning short film and found her passion for story. She started her entertainment career at MGM in the features department, then worked at Simon Kinberg’s production company, Genre Films, helping develop projects like X-MEN and THE MARTIAN. She left Genre to join Nina Jacobson over at Color Force where she’s working in both film and television. Color Force is best known for producing THE HUNGER GAMES movies and most recently, AMERICAN CRIME STORY: THE PEOPLE VS. O.J. SIMPSON for FX. Allison is currently developing projects of all genres and sizes. She recently produced SUNSPRING, a short film written entirely by an artificial intelligence starring Thomas Middleditch.
Creator / Director / Writer / Executive Producer
Award-winning Mohawk filmmaker Tracey Deer has multiple credits to her name as producer, writer and director in both documentary and fiction.
Beginning her career in documentary, Tracey teamed up with Rezolution Pictures for feature documentaries ONE MORE RIVER: THE DEAL THAT SPLIT THE CREE, MOHAWK GIRLS, and CLUB NATIVE, as well as the documentary series WORKING IT OUT TOGETHER, seasons I & II. This collaboration has continued into fiction television with MOHAWK GIRLS, THE SERIES, which she is co-creator, is directing and co-executive producing.
Her own production company, Mohawk Princess Pictures, recently produced the feature documentary SEX SPIRIT STRENGTH and the youth documentary series DREAM BIG, both for APTN’s 2015 fall season.
Her work has been honored with two Gemini awards and has earned acclaim from multiple film festivals, including Hot Docs and DOXA. She has worked with the CBC, the NFB, and numerous independent production companies throughout Canada in both documentary & fiction. In 2016, she was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best direction in a comedy series for her work on MOHAWK GIRLS and she was honored at TIFF as a recipient of the Birks Diamond Tribute Award.
Tracey is currently in development on MOHAWK GIRLS season 5 for APTN and is writing her first feature, a coming-of-age story of a Mohawk girl during the Oka Crisis, with Ema Films.
Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer and producer. She co-created and produced the 8-part serialized drama SHOOT THE MESSENGER for CBC, about cops and journalists. She also created and produced the thirteen-part comedy series SHE’S THE MAYOR. Jennifer co-wrote and produced the two-part CBC miniseries, GUNS, staring Elisha Cuthbert and Colm Feore that won five Geminis’ including a shared best writing award for Jen. She has produced numerous documentaries for broadcast, and is currently in production on the feature doc, HISPANIOLA.
On the feature side she co-wrote and produced the feature film HOME AGAIN with director Sudz Sutherland. The film stars Tatyana Ali, Lyriq Bent and CCH Pounder and won the prestigious PAFF–BAFTA Festival Choice Award. The film was also nominated for two Canadian Screen Academy awards and a DGC nod for Best Directing. Jen also produced the feature LOVE, SEX AND EATING THE BONES that was nominated for 3 Genie’s and won 9 festival awards including the Best First Canadian Feature at Toronto International Film Festival.
Katrina is currently a writer on PRIVATE EYES (Global), which is in the middle of shooting their second season. Previously, she wrote on seasons 4 and 5 of SAVING HOPE (CTV, ION), and seasons 5 and 6 of ROOKIE BLUE (Global, ABC). She also wrote and directed webisodes for ROOKIE BLUE's ‘In Session’ and SAVING HOPE's ‘Last Call,’ with both web series’ being nominated for Digi Awards in 2013. The latest short film she wrote, ARLO ALONE, received BravoFACT funding last year and is currently in post-production. Her first short film, THE APPOINTMENT, which she wrote and directed, screened across North American and Europe, and garnered her a DGC Award for Best Director at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards in 2012, as well as a Best Short Film and Best Short Screenplay award at the 2012 Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival. Katrina is a graduate of Humber College's Film and Television Production program.
Courtney Jane Walker
Courtney Jane Walker started her television career sitting in courtrooms as a researcher for the CBC drama THIS IS WONDERLAND. Her other credits include THE LINE, LIVING IN YOUR CAR, and for the past 5 years, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION and DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS. She is passionately committed to her family, smashing the patriarchy, and telling stories about things that matter.
Robby Hoffman is a small red-headed ex-Chasidic lesbian Jewish stand-up comedian and writer. She was recently New Faces at JFL42 (2015) and also performed at Off-JFL in Montreal (2016). She was fan favourite at the All Jane Festival in Portland (2016) and was asked to industry showcase at the Funny Women Fest in Los Angeles (2016).
Robby's original voice resonated early on, starting with her one-woman, Montreal Fringe Festival show, Robby Who (2010), which finished as one of the best selling shows of the fest. She followed it with another show at Montreal Fringe (2011), Autobiography: So What, You Think You're Better Than Me, which again billed at the top. She was then featured at The Women in Comedy Festival in Boston (2012), opening for Judy Gold, which earned her the Mary Scruggs Scholarship for Best Up and Coming.
Before moving to Toronto, she was named one of the “Top 10 Comedians” by the Montreal Mirror (2014), and hottest Top 50 on afterellen.com (2014). She also made the semi-finals (top 10) in SiriusXM's Canada's Next Top Comic Challenge (2013) and created a hit mini web-series (2013) sponsored by Just for Laughs, "Comedy in Biblical Proportions," where she comedically interpreted bible passages.
Robby also writes a whole bunch for TV, most notably for ODD SQUAD (PBS), winners of the Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing in April (2016). She has written for various other kids and teen shows and is now writing on CBC’s hit primetime show, WORKIN MOMS. She has had two originals in development, one having been optioned by Muse Entertainment.
Robby was featured at the 2017 Winnipeg Comedy Festival in April, and will be at the prestigious 2017 Bridgetown Comedy Festival in May. She is also set to headline the 2017 QUeF Comedy Festival in Portland this summer, in addition to performing in Denver’s 2017 Crom Comedy Festival this spring. For her writing work on ODD SQUAD, she is nominated for a 2017 Daytime Emmy Award at at this year’s 44th Daytime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles this April.
Andrew De Angelis
Creator, WHAT WOULD SAL DO?
Until his late twenties, Andrew’s only claim-to-fame was having been a red-faced, sweaty pioneer of childhood obesity. Some say he was a poster boy, though no poster could ever truly capture him.
Not one to rest on his chubby laurels, Andrew enrolled in the CFC Prime Time Television program and went on to write for several Canadian shows such as 18 TO LIFE, LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, MR. D, FUGGET ABOUT IT, and the Emmy Award winning ODD SQUAD. In 2015, Andrew wrapped production on his first series, WHAT WOULD SAL DO? a comedy about a godawful Second Coming which premiered on CraveTV, Canada’s premier subscription video on demand service, in March 2017.
Andrew is currently working on season 3 of the Space hit show, KILLJOYS.
Head, Wattpad Studios
As Head of Wattpad Studios, Aron Levitz connects the entertainment and publishing industries with new voices and original content created by Wattpad Stars, the biggest influencers on the platform. Leveraging data and community insights, Aron works with the industry to co-produce Wattpad stories for film, television, print and digital formats.
Previously, as Head of Business Development, Aron helped establish the company’s monetization strategy and launched Wattpad Brand Stories, a native advertising solution. He was also instrumental in launching the Wattpad Stars program that gives top influencers access to a variety of opportunities.
Throughout his career, Aron has connected the entertainment industry with emerging technology and mobile platforms. As Senior Director of Strategic Alliances at Xtreme Labs, Aron developed business and mobile strategies for the world’s top media brands including MTV. Prior to Xtreme Labs, he was Director of Entertainment and Global Content Acquisition at BlackBerry where he worked with artists and other talent, as well as launched innovative music, movie, TV, and gaming services. Aron received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Waterloo.
Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury
One of the media industry’s most accomplished producers, Christina Jennings founded Shaftesbury in 1987 as a feature film company, producing such acclaimed titles as CARMILLA, starring Jessica Tandy and Bridget Fonda, and LONG LIFE, HAPPINESS, AND PROSPERITY, starring Sandra Oh. Since then, Jennings has evolved Shaftesbury into a diversified, global business spanning the production of scripted drama, kids and digital content sold in 120 countries worldwide.
Shaftesbury is known for its innovative international co-production, financing and distribution partnerships as well as award-winning storytelling. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 11 seasons of MURDOCH MYSTERIES for CBC, UKTV and ITV; detective drama FRANKIE DRAKE for CBC; HOUDINI & DOYLE for Corus Entertainment, Fox, ITV and Sony; thriller series SLASHER for NBCUniversal’s Chiller and Netflix; and hit Kids’ CBC series THE MOBLEES.
With a view to evolving media consumption habits and the impact of technology on traditional media, Jennings acquired groundbreaking digital studio Smokebomb Entertainment in 2008, which produces convergent experiences for television and original projects including branded entertainment. Smokebomb was named Playback’s Digital Producer of the Year in 2015.
In June 2014, Shaftesbury partner with Youth Culture to launch shift2, an innovative agency that helps brands harness the power of video content on YouTube and explore their millennial voice using scripted series and social media to drive measurable results. With 82 million views and counting on the company's KindaTV channel, the largest scripted YouTube channel for millennials in Canada, branded entertainment projects include the hit U by Kotex®-funded drama series CARMILLA and mystery series V MORGAN IS DEAD, brought to life by RBC.
Jennings is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre and serves as Chair of the Centre’s Board of Directors.
Named to Maclean’s Power List of Canada’s 50 Most Powerful People, Jennings was recognized as Playback’s Producer of the Decade in 2010 and was honored with the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television’s prestigious Academy Achievement Award at the 26th Annual Gemini Awards. Jennings was a finalist in the 2011 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards and received the PROFIT Award for Excellence in Entrepreneurship at RBC’s Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Awards in 2008 and the Innovative Producer Award at the 2009 Banff World Television Festival.
A Partner of the A71, Miller is President of A71 Productions, Co-President of A71 Entertainment and Vice-President of Marketing for Agency 71.
David Miller is an internationally established producer, who has overseen independent productions both within Canada and abroad. His films have collected many prestigious awards around the world and over a dozen Canadian Screen Nominations/Genie nominations. Some highlights include six Genie nominations with one for Best Motion Picture for AMAL, Best First Feature at TIFF and the Grand Prix at Cannes Ecran for BLACKBIRD, and three Canadian Screen Award nominations and Best Picture Award at the Beijing Film Festival for SIDDHARTH.
Miller most recently completed a handful of new feature films – THE CHILD REMAINS (Michael Melski), RIVER (Jamie Dagg), THE OTHER HALF (Joey Klein, starring Tatiana Maslany) and HE NEVER DIED (Jason Krawczyk, starring Henry Rollins). He is currently in pre-production on MY FOOLISH HEART (Emmanuel Shirinian, starring Robert Klein), and packaging BASEBALLISSIMO (written by Jay Baruchel & Jesse Chabot), PANDORA (directors RT!, Charles Officer, Calum de Hartog), as well as three TV series.
In 2013 Chad Maker, David Miller and Kirk Comrie created a boutique distribution company, A71 Entertainment, and to date have released over 20 films, including ACROSS THE LINE (director X), NUMB, PRETEND WE’RE KISSING, BERKSHIRE COUNTY, CHOKESLAM, and upcoming films TULIPANO, LOVE JACKED and RABID. Recently A71 Entertainment released three feature films theatrically and digitally in the U.S., taking quality Canadian films across the border for new audiences.
David Miller is a standing member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), sits on the CMPA Feature Film Committee, and resides on the Board of Directors for Channel Zero Inc.
Senior Director, Drama, CBC Scripted Content
Helen Asimakis was appointed Senior Director, Drama, CBC Scripted Content in October 2013. She leads the team responsible for managing the creative development and production of CBC Television’s slate of dramatic programming including: ANNE, BELLEVUE, PURE, MURDOCH MYSTERIES, HEARTLAND, X COMPANY, THIS LIFE, ROMEO SECTION, SHOOT THE MESSENGER and the upcoming limited series adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s, ALIAS GRACE.
Helen joined the CBC in 2001 as an Executive in Charge of Production, Drama. During this period, she oversaw the development and production of such varied projects as HEARTLAND, REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, THE DON CHERRY STORY, MR. HOCKEY: THE GORDIE HOWE STORY, to name a few.
Helen has worked in the television industry since 1988 and has a broad knowledge of production, distribution and management. Prior to CBC, Helen held a variety of positions, including Supervisor of Program Development and Production at CTV; Story Editor and Director of Development at Sullivan Entertainment; Associate Producer at Sarrazin Couture Entertainment.
John Vincent Lombardi
VP of Development, Quadrant Pictures
John Vincent Lombardi is the VP of Development at Quadrant Pictures (Doug Davison’s production company- THE RING, THE DEPARTED, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, OLDBOY, and the upcoming AMERICAN MADE starring Tom Cruise). His love for movies and television began at a young age, and after studying screenwriting and producing at NYU he got his first job in Hollywood as a script reader for Bruce Cohen Productions (AMERICAN BEAUTY, MILK, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK). Working in the industry for more than seven years, he has honed his craft in Hollywood working on studio feature projects at Lionsgate, Warner Bros., Universal Pictures, Paramount, and a number of independent financiers such as Cross Creek, Lava Bear, QED, MGM, and more. When he’s not reading scripts, developing projects, or pitching ideas, he spends his time watching movies, playing tennis, and eating too much pasta. John Vincent splits his time between Los Angeles and his hometown of Toronto.
Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming, Temple Street
Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming, Kerry Appleyard is responsible for development and production of all scripted projects at Temple Street, as well as strengthening relationships with screenwriters and broadcasters in North America and Europe. Leading a team of five, Appleyard captains all aspects of production for Temple’s original scripted content, serving as Executive Producer on critically acclaimed clone thriller ORPHAN BLACK (Space, BBC America) and WWII spy drama X COMPANY (CBC). She also oversees space adventure KILLJOYS (Space, Syfy). Appleyard also shepherded teen phenom THE NEXT STEP (Family Channel), its spin-off, LOST AND FOUND MUSIC STUDIOS (Netflix) and the hit series WINGIN’ IT (Family Channel Canada, BBC), and worked on the Gemini award-winning television movie THE NATIVITY (CBC, BBC).
Prior to joining Temple Street, Appleyard developed her extensive knowledge of the U.K. and European markets while working for UK-based Kudos Film and Television, where she produced the BBC’s hit show HUSTLE, and the children’s spy comedy-drama M. I. HIGH. Other credits include Lynda La Plante’s TRIAL AND RETRIBUTION, top-rated police drama THE BILL and international smash LIFE ON MARS II. Appleyard has a 1st Class Honours degree in Communications from the University of Lincoln and Humberside.
Co-Creator/Executive Producer, X COMPANY
Mark was the co-creator and executive producer of FLASHPOINT (CTV/CBS). He and his partner Stephanie Morgenstern were designated 2013 Showrunners of the Year by the Writers Guild of Canada. Their writing received multiple awards as well as the Academy Board of Directors Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring Contribution to Canadian Television, the 2013 Canadian Screen Award and 2009 Gemini for Best Dramatic Series, and earned them the Sea to Sky Innovative Producers Award at the Banff World Media Festival. FLASHPOINT is licensed in more than 100 territories and translated into 22 languages.
Their second series, X COMPANY (CBC), also airs around the world. A World War II spy drama, X COMPANY is set in Europe and Canada and films in Budapest. The show has also been recognized with WGC and Canadian Screen award nominations including a best series nod.
Senior Director, Comedy, CBC Scripted Content
As Senior Director, Comedy, CBC Scripted Content, Michelle Daly leads the team responsible for managing the creative development and production of CBC’s slate of comedic programming. Michelle joined the CBC as Executive in Charge of Production in 2011, and has overseen such comedies as KIM’S CONVENIENCE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, WORKIN’ MOMS, SCHITT’S CREEK and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES.
Prior to joining the CBC, Michelle was the Director of Content at The Comedy Network where she managed the creative elements on such programs as CORNER GAS, DAN FOR MAYOR, PICNICFACE and THE JON DORE TELEVISION SHOW. Her passion for comedy extends back to one of her first positions as an assistant to THE KIDS IN THE HALL.
Michelle is currently a board member of WIFT-T.
Miranda de Pencier
Miranda de Pencier is the founder of Northwood Entertainment, an independent film and television production company. Her producing credits include: ANNE, written by Emmy Award-winning Moira Walley-Beckett (BREAKING BAD) for CBC and Netflix; THANKS FOR SHARING, written and directed by Academy Award nominee Stuart Blumberg (THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT) and starring Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Tim Robbins, Josh Gad and the international pop star Pink; BEGINNERS, directed by Mike Mills and starring Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer. Beginners won the 2011 Gotham Award for Best Picture of the year and Christopher Plummer won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the film; ADAM starring Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne. Released by Fox Searchlight after premiering at the 2009 Sundance film festival, the film won the Alfred P. Sloan Prize; and PU-239 for HBO, and executive produced by George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh.
de Pencier recently made her feature film directorial debut with THE GRIZZLIES. Filmed in the Canadian Arctic and currently in post production, THE GRIZZLIES is executive produced by Frank Marshall (JURASSIC WORLD, INDIANA JONES, BOURNE IDENTITY) and stars Ben Schnetzer (SNOWDEN, THE BOOK THIEF), MadTV’s Will Sasso and emerging talent from Canada’s north. Her first film as a director, THROAT SONG, which she also wrote, premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won numerous awards including the prestigious Best Live Action Short Drama Award at the 2013 Canadian Screen Awards.
A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, de Pencier began her producing career as the Director of Development for Robert Redford’s Wildwood Enterprises, where she was involved in developing several projects including THE MOTORCYCLE DIARIES with Walter Salles, and SPY GAME for Tony Scott.
de Pencier began her entertainment career as an actress and singer, performing in numerous productions on stage and screen. She starred as Josie Pye in the iconic miniseries ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, and performed on-stage in the Canadian premiere productions of LES MISERABLES and ASPECTS OF LOVE.
Sudz Sutherland works on both sides of the fence as a freelance writer and director for TV dramas and feature films.
His most recent project is SHOOT THE MESSENGER, his first Dramatic series that he co-created with writer/producer Jennifer Holness premiered in the fall of 2016 on the CBC.
Sudz’s latest feature film, HOME AGAIN, won the prestigious PAFF/BAFTA Festival Choice Award in Los Angeles and was recently nominated for Best Direction from the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC). Sudz’ debut feature film LOVE, SEX, AND EATING THE BONES won multiple awards including Best First Feature at TIFF. Sudz is in development on a new feature film, OPERATION RED DOG.
Sudz also co-wrote and directed the dramatic miniseries GUNS for CBC based on four families caught up in illegal gun trafficking. Starring Colm Feore and Elisha Cuthbert, GUNS won five Gemini Awards including Best Writing and Directing for Sudz. Sudz also wrote and directed the triple Gemini award-winning (Best Direction, Best Supporting Actress, Best Television Movie) DOOMSTOWN, an MOW for CTV/Sarrazin-Couture.
Sudz also directed THE PHANTOMS, which won an International Kids Emmy. He also won a Canadian Screen Award for Best Direction for the TV movie as well as garnering a Director’s Guild of Canada Best Direction nomination.
Sudz also has directed numerous episodes of dramatic television including Shaw’s PRIVATE EYES, Syfy Network’s HAVEN, CW’s REIGN, CBS’ BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, CBC’s CRACKED, numerous MURDOCH MYSTERIES, HEARTLAND and WILD ROSES. He directed the pilot and second episode of DA KINK IN MY HAIR for Global, DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION for CTV, THE FAMOUS JETT JACKSON for Disney, DROP THE BEAT for CBC, SKIN DEEP III for Life Network, TELL IT LIKE IT IS for W Network.
Sudz lives in Toronto with his wife, three daughters and a small fluffy white dog named Shiloh.
Production Executive, Original Content, Scripted, Corus Entertainment
Susan Alexander is a Production Executive with Corus Entertainment, overseeing the development and production of a variety of dramatic series for our drama services including RANSOM, PRIVATE EYES, and MARY KILLS PEOPLE. Corus has a successful slate of Original drama programming and develops and commissions original scripted content for Global, Showcase, History and W Network.
Prior to becoming a broadcaster, Susan was an award winning Producer on various Canadian comedy, drama, factual and lifestyle series. As Director of Development for some of Canada’s leading production companies she was also involved in the development and production of many successful drama projects for various broadcasters.
Susan is a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Writers Guild of Canada and is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, where she is currently the TV mentor for their Film Programme. She recently completed the WIFT-T Media Leadership Program through Schulich School of Business and York University.
Executive Producer/Showrunner, DEGRASSI
Sarah Glinski is an Emmy-nominated TV writer/producer. For the last five years, she has served as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the Netflix/Family Channel series DEGRASSI. During the eight seasons she’s worked on the franchise, she’s produced over 200 episodes of television and 2 MOWs. She has also staffed on LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, BILLABLE HOURS, and THE SMART WOMAN’S SURVIVAL GUIDE.
Sarah has been nominated for three Primetime Emmys and one WGC Screenwriting Award. She has won three Canadian Screen Awards and was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation in 2013. In addition, with Sarah producing, DEGRASSI received a Peabody Award and was nominated for a Humanitas award.
Sarah is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Primetime Television Program and holds a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University. When Sarah’s not brainstorming ways to get characters into trouble, she’s keeping her two young daughters out of it.