Speakers

Note: Speakers and schedule subject to change without notice.


David Shore

David Shore

Executive Producer/Showrunner, THE GOOD DOCTOR

Originally from Canada, and a former lawyer, David Shore has been writing and producing television for more than 20 years. He currently serves as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the hit ABC drama THE GOOD DOCTOR. Prior to that, he created the groundbreaking medical drama, HOUSE, which ran on Fox for eight seasons. Shore’s work on HOUSE earned him several Emmy nominations for Producing and he won the Emmy Award for “Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series,” as well as the Humanitas Prize and the Writers Guild of America Award.

Shore’s additional producer credits include SNEAKY PETE, BATTLE CREEK, HACK, FAMILY LAW, BEGGARS AND CHOOSERS, LAW & ORDER and TRADERS. He was nominated for two Emmy Awards as a producer on LAW & ORDER and was part of the writing team for the Emmy Award-winning first season of THE PRACTICE. Most recently, Shore received a second Humanitas Prize for the pilot episode of THE GOOD DOCTOR.


Chip Johannessen

Chip Johannessen

Executive Producer, HOMELAND

Chip Johannessen was born in Detroit and educated at Harvard University, where he wrote for The Harvard Lampoon. He later embarked on a short-lived career as a rock guitarist before turning his attention to television. His past writer-producer credits include BEVERLY HILLS 90210, THE X-FILES and 24. He also served as showrunner for MILLENIUM, MOONLIGHT and DEXTER.

Chip completed a J.D. at UCLA’s School of Law and passed the California bar just before joining HOMELAND as Executive Producer. At HOMELAND he’s been honoured with an Emmy, two Golden Globes and a WGA award. During this time he also picked up another WGA award, in long form, for SAINTS AND STRANGERS, a mini-series he created while in law school. Chip sits on the board of the Writers Guild of America, West where he co-chaired the 2014 and 2017 negotiating committees.


Stacy Rukeyser

Stacy Rukeyser

Showrunner, UNREAL

Award-winning writer/producer Stacy Rukeyser currently serves as Showrunner and Executive Producer of Lifetime’s critically acclaimed, Emmy Award-nominated and Critics’ Choice Award-winning drama, UNREAL.  A senior writer on the series since season one, she has received both a Peabody Award and an AFI Award for her writing on the show.

Rukeyser’s body of work includes Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award-nominated series WITHOUT A TRACE (CBS), ONE TREE HILL (The CW), OCTOBER ROAD (ABC) and STANDOFF (FOX) as well as GREEK, THE LYING GAME and TWISTED for ABC Family.  She also worked as Glen Mazzara’s (THE WALKING DEAD, DAMIEN) number two on CRASH, the first scripted drama on STARZ and as UNREAL co-Creator Marti Noxon’s number two on GIGANTIC for Teen Nick.

She is currently developing a pilot for A&E Studios and Lifetime and recently adapted PRIVATE, a feature film for Warner Brothers based on the bestselling young adult novel.  She has written pilots for Showtime, Lifetime, MTV and Simon Fuller’s 19 Entertainment.  Among her other feature scripts is THE MANXMANan adaptation of the epic romance novel by her great-great-grandfather Sir Hall Caine.

Rukeyser began her television-writing career in 2002 when she was one of thirteen writers selected for the Warner Brothers Dramatic Writing Workshop.

A cum laude graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her two young sons and her husband, Clark Peterson, producer of Academy Award-winning film MONSTER, DEVIL’S KNOT and KAHLIL GIBRAN’S THE PROPHET as well as the upcoming films IDEAL HOME and REPLICAS. Rukeyser’s late father was Louis Rukeyser, best known as host of WALL $TREET WEEK WITH LOUIS RUKEYSER which ran for 32 seasons on PBS.


Ben Watkins

Ben Watkins

Creator/Showrunner, HAND OF GOD

Ben Watkins is a writer/filmmaker/actor from Berkeley, California. He started his career in Hollywood as an actor, playing the “mysterious” Dr. Wesley Carter on THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. The transition to writing began in earnest with his award winning short film QUEST TO REF, which he wrote, co-directed and starred in. The film was an official Sundance Film Festival selection and won the American Black Film Festival. Soon after adapting that project into a feature screenplay for Universal, Watkins joined USA Network’s BURN NOTICE. He rose from Staff Writer to Executive Producer, before moving on to create the provocative Amazon Originals series, HAND OF GOD. Through his recently launched production banner, Blue Monday Productions, Watkins has projects in active development for AMC, USA and FX Networks among others. He strives to tell stories that change the way we view the world and ourselves.

Watkins actively supports community programs and people who are looking to improve issues around civil rights, public education and homelessness.

He resides in El Segundo, California. He and his wife, Kandi, have four sons.


Allana Harkin

Allana Harkin

Producer/Correspondent, FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE

Allana Harkin is a Producer, Correspondent and Segment Director for TBS’s FULL FRONTAL WITH SAMANTHA BEE where she was nominated for a 2017 Emmy Award for her work on NOT THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER. Most recently she wrote and directed THE GODMOTHER, a short film for TNT/Shatterbox Anthology. Allana started her comedy career 20 years ago as a founding member of the acclaimed sketch troupe The Atomic Fireballs where she honed her craft on Toronto comedy stages. She is a MFA graduate of York University and has written for TBS, PBS, Nick Jr, CBC, CTV and her comedic play Real Estate has had dozens of productions across North America.

She currently resides in New York City with her family where she’s failing miserably at meditation. Twitter/instagram: @allanaharkin (which is mostly why she can’t meditate)


Rebecca Addelman

Rebecca Addelman

Writer/Director, PAPER YEAR

Rebecca Addelman is a writer-producer and director who hails from Ottawa, Canada. Her first pit stop was in Toronto, where she started making experimental films and helped start the now long-running alternative comedy showcase Laugh Sabbath. Early in her comedy career, she was nominated for the Tim Sims Achievement Award, given to the best new comedian in Canada, and she was the artist in residence at Toronto’s Drake Hotel. She soon relocated to Los Angeles where she landed writing jobs for network television (NEW GIRL) as well as shows on Adult Swim (CHINA, IL) and Netflix (LOVE). For many years, Rebecca was a featured member of the prestigious Upright Citizens’ Brigade Theatre in LA. She branched into directing with her short film THE SMOKE which was an official selection of the Toronto International Film Festival in 2016. Recently, Rebecca wrote and directed her first feature, PAPER YEAR, starring Eve Hewson, Avan Jogia, Hamish Linklater and Andie MacDowell, premiering June 22.

IG/Twitter – @paperyearmovie @paperyearmovie
Facebook – Paper Year Movie

Michelle Daly

Michelle Daly

Senior Director, Comedy, CBC Scripted Content

As Senior Director of 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 contributed to the success of hit CBC shows KIM’S CONVENIENCE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW, WORKIN MOMS, SCHITT’S CREEK, and THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES. Michelle is also a board member of WIFT-T.

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.


Wendy Litner

Wendy Litner

Creator, HOW TO BUY A BABY

Wendy is a lawyer-turned-writer whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post, xoJane, Today’s Parent, and McSweeneys, among others. She worked as story coordinator on the first season of THE BEAVERTON and was so excited to write for the show’s second season. Wendy is the creator and writer of the CBC original digital series, HOW TO BUY A BABY, which recently won an Independent Series Award for Best Comedy Series. She and the team are currently hard at work on season two. She serves on the Advisory Board of Fertility Matters Canada, a national organization providing support, awareness, and education about infertility and continues to cultivate a strong online community of people struggling with fertility and family building issues.

Wendy is a graduate of Osgoode Hall Law School and the Richard Ivey School of Business, though she is happy to not be practicing law or business. 


Lauren Corber

Lauren Corber

Producer, HOW TO BUY A BABY

Lauren Corber is a producer, entertainment lawyer and the founder/president of LoCo Motion Pictures. One of Canada’s leading digital content producers, Lauren’s most recent series, HOW TO BUY A BABY has been named a top web series to watch by the Globe and Mail and Now Magazine. It premiered on CBC in November, 2017 and has won Best Comedy at the Indie Series Awards, is nominated for a Rockie Award and has been invited to screen at festivals in Canada, the US, Asia and Europe. She also produced two seasons of the CSA award-winning CBC comedy, MY 90-YEAR-OLD ROOMMATE starring Paul Soles (SPIDER-MAN) that has over 1 million views. Next up is children’s series, DETENTION ADVENTURE in partnership with Broken Compass Films for CBC Kids.

Lauren is developing several projects including feature film, THE ART OF BEING BUSY (Telefilm Canada’s PITCH THIS! 2016), drama series, NEW WAVE (NSI Totally Television) and comedy web series HIT ON ME (pitch finalist, Just for Laughs ComedyPro 2017). Past productions include award-winning short films that have screened around the world including EMMA (TIFF 2016, Canada’s Top 10 2016) and THE BALCONY AFFAIR (Locarno 2011).

Currently a member of the Board of Directors of the CMPA, Lauren has been actively involved with the organization for over 10 years. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Commerce (McGill) and a Bachelor of Laws (Osgoode). She is an alumnus of the CFC Producer’s Lab, NSI’s Totally Television Program, the WIFT-T Development Incubator and the Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab.

Lauren was voted most vivacious by her graduating class in high school and has lived up to it ever since.


Hannah Cheesman

Hannah Cheesman

Creator, WHATEVER, LINDA

Hannah Cheesman is a CSA-nominated filmmaker, writer and actor. Named a Playback Five to Watch and a TIFF Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, Hannah’s hit digital series WHATEVER, LINDA is currently in development for television with Bell Media alongside EP Graeme Manson (ORPHAN BLACK), and recently scooped up the top prize during Cannes’ inaugural Canneseries In Development competition (2018). Hannah has directed and written three short films (EMMY, CHEESE, and BRUNCH BITCH), as well as co-directing her first feature film, THE DEFINITES (Whistler, Cucalorus), and has written on such shows as WORKIN’ MOMS and FIND ME IN PARIS. Currently, Hannah is writing her second feature film BORING GIRLS (based on Sara Taylor’s novel of the same name) with Aiken Heart Films and is developing her forthcoming 30-minute cable dark comedy, BADGER, co-producing alongside Patrick O’Sullivan (High Dive Media) and with her own company, The Long Reach Company.


Brooks Gray

Brooks Gray

Co-Creator, THE AMAZING GAYL PILE

Brooks Gray is a two-time Canadian Screen Award winner, two-time Gemini Award winner, and International Emmy Award nominee.

A native of London, Ontario, Brooks studied history at McGill University. His first film, THE SMOKER, won the Audience Choice Award at the McGill Students’ Film & Video Festival. He later joined the cult comedy collective SKITFACED, writing, producing and appearing in dozens of comedy shorts, and performing live at Second City in Toronto.

As a producer and director at MuchMusic, he created award-winning promos (PromaxBDA Gold, 2005), station IDs, show openings, and animated shorts. Brooks wrote and directed an episode of the Gemini Award winning, THE MORGAN WATERS SHOW (CBC, 2006), and later worked on IFC’s mock-rockumentary series, COCK’D GUNNS, as a writer, producer, and co-star (as drummer Barry Ciccarelli). Brooks won two Geminis (Best Writing In A Comedy Series; Best Ensemble Performance In A Comedy Series) for his work on COCK’D GUNNS. He later appeared as a regular cast member on the hidden-camera series, SCARE TACTICS (Syfy), and was showrunner for the hidden-camera series, PRANK SCIENCE (Discovery).

Brooks created, executive produced, directed, and stars (as Reverend Dave) in the CBC/NBCUniversal comedy series, THE AMAZING GAYL PILE (winner of two 2017 Canadian Screen Awards: Best Direction in a Digital Series & Best Digital Series; also nominated for a 2017 International Emmy for Best Short Form Series). The fourth season of THE AMAZING GAYL PILE: APOCALYPSE SOONISH debuted on CBC in March 2018.

Brooks recently appeared in director Andy King’s Rob Ford-inspired feature, FILTH CITY (produced by LaRue Entertainment), and Rebecca Addelman’s directorial debut, PAPER YEAR (starring Eve Hewson, produced by First Generation Films). He currently has several projects in development.


Cory Bowles

Cory Bowles

Director

Cory Bowles is a multidisciplinary artist from Nova Scotia, Canada.  Most known for “Cory” in the TV series TRAILER PARK BOYS, he currently serves as a director, receiving a nomination for the 2016 DGC award for outstanding direction in a comedy series. He was Director of Choreography for the CBC KIDS show THE MOBILES, the award winning CBC mini series STUDIO BLACK!, and is a writer for the CBC comedy, LITTLE DOG (2018). After making a number of short films, his first feature BLACK COP (2017) premiered at the Toronto International Film festival and went on to earn Best Canadian Feature at the 2017 Vancouver International Film Festival, Best Narrative Feature at the St. Louis International Film Festival and a Canadian Screen Award (John Dunning Discovery Prize). He is currently developing his second feature, and a social-satirical comedy series.


Molly McGlynn

Molly McGlynn

Director

Molly McGlynn is a Montreal born, New Jersey raised and Toronto based Writer and Director. Her first feature film, MARY GOES ROUND, premiered at 2017’s Toronto International Film Festival.

Molly has a BAH in Film and Media Studies from Queen’s University and a graduate degree in Writing & Producing for Television from Humber College. She is an alumna of the Cineplex Entertainment Writers’ Lab at the Canadian Film Centre and the Reykjavik International Film Festival Talent Lab, and was a TIFF Studio 2017 Participant.

While working as an assistant to filmmaker Deepa Mehta, Molly made several short films, including I AM NOT A WIERD PERSON, which screened at festivals across North America, and was noted by Lena Dunham to be a “special haunting little short” that is an “excellent use of five Internet minutes” and was featured on Vimeo, Film Shortage, She Does the City, Awardeo.tv and Jill Soloway-curated website Wifey.tv.

In 2012, Molly received a Drama Prize from the National Screen Institute for her short, GIVEN YOUR HISTORY, starring Katie Boland and Rachel Wilson. After screening at almost a dozen film festivals including the Women in Film and Television showcase in Toronto, it aired on the CBC in April 2015. She received the Corus Female Fearless Director award from the NSI Online Film Festival for her work.

Molly’s last short film, 3-WAY (NOT CALLING), premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016 and is distributed by Ouat Media.

Since then, Molly since has directed ten episodes of HOW TO BUY A BABY, a digital comedy series for the CBC, an episode of season 2 of WORKIN’ MOMS for CBC, two episodes of LITTLE DOG for the CBC and Cameron Pictures, and most recently, two episodes of season 2 of BAD BLOOD for City.


Linsey Stewart

Linsey Stewart

Director

Linsey is a WGA award-winning writer/director that premiered her first feature film, I PUT A HIT ON YOU, at Slamdance that she made with her creative/life partner Dane Clark, which received NNNN’s in Now Magazine and was released by Mongrel. Together they’ve made several shorts, including LONG BRANCH and MARGO LILY, both of which became Vimeo Staff Picks and won the A&E Award for Best Film at the NSI Film Festival, as well as BICKFORD PARK, which premiered at the TIFF in 2017. They also created and directed The Awesomeness web series THE COMMUTE, which has garnered over 12 million views. They’ve been deemed “People to Watch” by Toronto Star and are currently developing their next feature MERV with Matt Baer Films and adapting the book MS. BIXBY’S LAST DAY with Gunpowder & Sky. She’s also been a staff writer on the CBC shows Being Erica, and for the past four years, Mr.D, which she will be directing an episode of this summer. She’s an alumni of the Canadian Film Centre and TIFF Studio. And she’s really into dill.


Carole Kirschner

Carole Kirschner

Director, WGA Showrunner Training Program

Carole Kirschner is the Director of the Writers Guild of America’s Showrunner Training Program  and the creator and Director of  CBS Diversity Writers Mentoring Program. Having worked as a senior level television development executive for eighteen years (including posts at CBS and as head of Steven Spielberg’s first Amblin Television), Carole has heard over 3,000 pitches, bought hundreds of projects and was involved in developing dozens of television series.

Now an international speaker and entertainment career coach, she teaches creative professionals how to navigate the often baffling waters of show business. Through her popular workshops, Carole teaches real world strategies so screenwriters and producers can move up and thrive in Hollywood.

Her book, Hollywood Game Plan: How to Land a Job in Film, TV and Digital Entertainment, published by Michael Wiese Publishing, is assigned as a textbook in film/television classes at colleges and universities throughout the U.S.


Corey Mandell

Corey Mandell

Playwright and Screenwriter

Corey Mandell is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter who has written projects for Ridley Scott, Wolfgang Petersen, Harrison Ford, John Travolta, Meg Ryan, Julia Roberts, Warner Brothers, Universal, 20th Century Fox, Fox 2000, Fox Family, Working Title, Paramount, Live Planet, Beacon Films, Touchstone, Trilogy, Radiant, Kopelson Entertainment and Walt Disney Pictures. Corey is also a distinguished instructor at UCLA, where he earned his MFA. He is also a teacher and mentor for Film Independent’s Screenwriting Lab. His students have gone on to sell or option scripts to Warner Brothers, Paramount, Sony Pictures, Disney, Fox, Fox 2000, MGM, Universal, Showtime, FX, USA Network, AMC, MTV and HBO. Others have been staffed on such shows as COMMUNITY, JUSTIFIED, BONES,THE MENTALIST, THE FOSTERS, YOUNG AND HUNGRY, PLAYING HOUSE and TREME.


Cameron Labine

Cameron Labine

Lead Writer, Ubisoft Toronto

Cam brings two decades of film, television, and digital experience to his role as Lead Writer at Ubisoft Toronto, where he has shipped several AAA titles, including WATCH DOGS 2  and ASSASSINS CREED: UNITY. Cam was a staff-writer on Disney XD’s MR. YOUNG, and has developed original series with Bell and Corus. His award-winning feature films CONTROL ALT DELETE and MOUNTAIN MEN have played around the world.


Sarah Glinski

Sarah Glinski

Executive Producer/Showrunner, HOLLY HOBBIE, DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS

Sarah Glinski is an Emmy-nominated TV writer/producer currently serving as Executive Producer and Showrunner on the Hulu/DHX/Universal Kids series HOLLY HOBBIE. Previously, she ran DEGRASSI for Netflix/DHX.  Over the last decade, Sarah’s produced over 200 episodes of television and 2 MOWs. She has also staffed on LITTLE MOSQUE ON THE PRAIRIE, and BILLABLE HOURS.

Sarah’s been nominated for three Emmys, won three Canadian Screen Awards and was named one of Hollywood Reporter’s Next Generation. When Sarah’s not brainstorming ways to get characters in trouble, she’s keeping her two young daughters out of it.


Dr. William Watson

Dr. William Watson

Professor, Department of Criminology, University of Toronto

Dr William Watson obtained a BSc in Sociology from the University of Leicester in 1987 and a PhD in Social and Political Sciences from the University of Cambridge in 1993. His doctoral research is a contribution to the sociology of architecture, focusing on the design of English secure psychiatric hospitals. He has taught in the Criminology, later Criminology and Sociolegal Studies, program at the University of Toronto since 1992. His research interests include forensic psychiatry, the history of psychiatry, psychopathy, theory and practice of corrections, and social and political theory. In addition, he has a research interests in Arts and Crafts architecture and traditional American music. Samples of his writing on these topics and recordings of original music can be found online at watsonsketches.com.


Mike Akpata

Mike Akpata

Team Lead Public Safety, Investigations, & Counter Fraud i2 National Sales, IBM Canada

Michael Akpata joined IBM Canada in November of 2015 as the Team Lead Public Safety, Investigations, & Counter Fraud i2 National Sales after serving 20+ years with the Windsor Police Service in Windsor Ontario.  Then Senior Constable Akpata was recently assigned to the Financial Crimes and Arson Unit where he served as both an Arson and Fraud investigator.  Mike specialized in power of attorney fraud and financial crimes against seniors. Mike has had a diverse career with the Windsor Police Service which has seen him assigned to drugs and gangs, break and enter, training branch, and uniform patrol. For 4 years, he was the Ontario Police Memorial Sergeant Major, and had been the Windsor Police Honour Guard Sergeant Major since 1998.

As a Windsor Police Officer Mike has been recognized and has received several awards including the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, the Neal Jessop award for excellence and the Senior Constable John Atkinson Memorial Award. In 2015, he was recognized by the Coordinated Community Response Coalition of Wayne and Oakland County (Michigan) and was named the Advocate of the Year for Older Adults.

Mike retired from the Canadian Armed Forces primary reserve with 26 years of service.  In 2007, he served in Afghanistan with 2nd battalion Royal Canadian Regiment where he received both the Taskforce Commander’s Commendation, and the Area Commander’s Commendation.  Mike stays active with veteran’s issues and is currently involved with the Operation Stress Injury support group, as well as the Royal Canadian Legion.

In 2014 Mike ran and was elected to the position of Councillor for the Town of LaSalle where he resides with his wife Sheri and his 2 children Reece and Regan.


Prof. Bryan Gaensler

Prof. Bryan Gaensler

Director, Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto

Professor Bryan Gaensler is the Director of the Dunlap Institute for Astronomy and Astrophysics at the University of Toronto, and is the Canadian Science Director for the billion-dollar Square Kilometre Array project. He received his PhD from the University of Sydney in 1998, and subsequently held positions at MIT, the Smithsonian, Harvard and Sydney, before taking up his current role in 2015.

Gaensler has authored more than 350 scientific papers on cosmic magnetism, neutron stars, supernovae and interstellar gas while his popular astronomy book Extreme Cosmos has been translated into six languages. He tweets as @SciBry on astronomy, rugby, and science-fiction.


Dr. Aled Edwards

Dr. Aled Edwards

Director and CEO, Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC)

Al is a scientist who now runs a multinational research organization called the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC), which is funded by foundations, governments and companies. As a driver of a new movement called “open science”, the SGC carries out science relevant to drug discovery and places all the results into the public domain without patenting anything.

As part of this effort, Al has started a new drug company called M4K Pharma (Meds 4 Kids), the first company that shares its science openly and is committing to price any new drug affordably. Al is also a Professor of Molecular Biology in Toronto and Oxford, is an Ashoka Fellow for social entrepreneurship, and was the science consultant for the TV series REGENESIS. He also has published a couple of hundred very geeky scientific papers.


2018 Roundtable Participants

Bill Lundy

Bill Lundy

Vice President of Development, Pier 21 Films

Bill Lundy is  Vice President of Development for Pier 21 Films, leading the company’s Comedy and Drama slates.  Prior to joining Pier 21 in 2018, Lundy was Production Executive, Comedy at Bell Media, developing and producing shows such as LETTERKENNY, THE BEAVERTON, and JUST FOR LAUGHS: ALL ACCESS.

Lundy got his start in programming at Alliance Atlantis before moving over to CTV in 2007. Bill was named in The Hollywood Reporter‘s Next Gen Canada: 15 Hottest Talents Under 35 in 2014.


Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy

Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy

VP, Scripted, Marblemedia

Carrie Paupst Shaughnessy champions marblemedia’s scripted slate. Working with showrunners, writers, agents and producing partners, Carrie will source, develop and oversee the scripted projects for marblemedia while building on the company’s relationship with broadcasters and producing partners.

Carrie is an experienced Creative Executive, having led the scripted divisions of several companies. Most recently, she worked as a Production Executive at Bell Media overseeing top shows SAVING HOPE and BITTEN and CTV’s upcoming drama CARDINAL.

Previously, Carrie spent over seven years on the feature film team at Telefilm Canada, where she oversaw dozens of produced films and supported the careers of many filmmakers. She has also worked on the Experimental Team for the Canada Media Fund, where she selected highly innovative digital projects for funding.

Earlier, Carrie founded and ran an independent development company, The Development House, that had a roster of independent story consultants and development executives who worked on scripted and unscripted projects across the country.


Ken Cuperus

Ken Cuperus

Writer/Producer

KEN CUPERUS has written and produced over a hundred hours of broadcast television across a wide spectrum of genres, ranging from pre-school to multicam sitcom to prime-time drama, on such series as STARGATE: ATLANTIS/SG-1 (Syfy/Space), THE LISTENER (CTV/NBC), MY BABYSITTER’S A VAMPIRE (Disney), CARTER (Bravo), and MR. YOUNG (Disney/YTV). Ken is also the co-creator/showrunner of family sitcom, The Stanley Dynamic, which ran for 52 episodes, and was the first ever live action multicam series to integrate a fully animated lead character. Over the course of his career, Ken has been nominated for several awards, including a daytime Emmy, a Canadian Screen Award, two WGC Screenwriting Awards, and two Canadian Comedy awards.


Michelle Melanson Cuperus

Michelle Melanson Cuperus

President, Headspinner Productions Inc.

Emmy Nominated, Michelle has over 25 years experience in the production business with hundreds of episodes produced and over 50 awards and nominations. Most recently Michelle was President of Radical Sheep Productions, executive producing such shows as the worldwide hit THE NEXT STEP, as well as FANGBONE!, THE BAGEL & BECKY SHOW, TEE & MO, STELLA AND SAM, THE YUP YUPS and OLLIE THE BOY WHO BECAME WHAT HE ATE. Michelle has won the Canadian Screen award, the Grand Prize of the Youth Media Alliance, mulitiple Kidscreen Awards and Cynopsis Awards. She also has a Juno Award for producing the Stella and Sam Album.

Headspinner currently has an active development slate including a reboot of Canadian classic series THE HILARIOUS HOUSE OF FRIGHTENSTEIN and the teen sitcom BRASSY.

Michelle is also the Founder of Women Drawn Together-a free organization that fosters learning, networking and mentorship for Women in the Animation community. In the past four years, the group has grown to 5 cities and over 1000 members.


Rebecca DiPasquale

Rebecca DiPasquale

Production Executive of Drama, Bell Media

Rebecca began her broadcasting career in 2004 developing feature films and television drama for CHUM Television. In her three and a half years in that role, she participated in the development of several Canadian independent films and series that were commissioned for the CHUM family of channels (LESS THAN KIND, MURDOCH MYSTERIES), shifting into the role of Supervisor of Independent Production for Citytv after the channel was acquired by Rogers in 2007. The following year, she took the position of Manager of Development at Space, commissioning dramas, comedies and documentaries in the sci-fi, fantasy and horror genres (TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL, SANCTUARY). Since the summer of 2011, she has been a Production Executive of Drama for Bell Media’s conventional and specialty channels, which include CTV, Space, Bravo and TMN. In this role she has developed and overseen production on several drama series, including MOTIVE, THE LISTENER, and BITTEN. Her current production slate consists of KILLJOYS and WYNONNA EARP, and she oversees around 10 drama series in development.


Sarah Fowlie

Sarah Fowlie

Director, Comedy Original Programming, Bell Media

Sarah Fowlie leads the development of comedic productions to air across Bell Media’s family of channels, including CTV, The Comedy Network, SPACE, MUCH, Bravo, TMN and CraveTV.

Fowlie began her career at Bell Media in 1997 at The Comedy Network and has developed strong relationships with the Canadian and International comedy community. She has held a range of positions in Acquisitions, Original Development and In-House Production, and has acted as Production Executive on many original independent productions for Bell Media, notably, THE INDIAN DETECTIVE, THE BEAVERTON and LETTERKENNY.


Sarah Timmins

Sarah Timmins

Producer/Scripted Executive, Shaftesbury

Sarah is a producer of award-winning film, television and interactive media. She has over 10 years experience in independent production in Canada and Australia. Projects for her own production company Corvid Pictures, include two seasons of the cult-favourite horror comedy TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL and the international award-winning feature film THE TRACEY FRAGMENTS starring Ellen Page (Manfred Salzgeber Prize Berlin International Film Festival, Best Canadian Feature, Atlantic Film Festival).

Released in 2017 was the animated feature TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL: THE END OF THE END, financed after a wildly successful fan-supported crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo.

Previously she has produced interactive projects and worked in factual and documentary production as well as international feature co-productions. She spent a year as a Scripted Executive at marblemedia as part of the Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab and got her start in Canada at Epitome Pictures, producers of DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION.

At Shaftesbury she oversees creative on a range of scripted projects from serialized one-hour dramas to comedies, for conventional television, digital platforms and branded, with a focus on co-productions and co-ventures.


Andrew Rosen

Andrew Rosen

Producer, Aircraft Pictures

Armed with semi-useful degrees in Anatomy and Education, Andrew Rosen did the smart thing and went into the film business. Starting in 1995 as director’s assistant on BRAIN CANDY, Andrew has since worked in many production roles, including four years as a feature film production executive at Alliance. He then produced award-winning short films, and graduated from the Canadian Film Centre’s Producer’s Lab. In 2005, Andrew co-founded Aircraft Pictures, producing film and television projects including the hit horror-comedy series TODD & THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL, tween series WHAT’S UP WARTHOGS, the web-feature CYBERGEDDON, a web series for Microsoft Xbox and short films for SESAME STREET.


Shelly Quade

Shelly Quade

Manager of Programs and Development, National Screen Institute (NSI)

As manager of programs and development, Shelly runs the NSI Features First course and (title) with our TELUS STORYHIVE online initiatives. She takes great pride in her role as facilitator, guide and friend to her teams. Her interest in script reading and proofing has brought even more enjoyment to her job.

Shelly came to NSI from Frantic Films where she used her research skills to delve into all areas of unscripted development. Based on the east coast, Shelly represents NSI from her office in Halifax, always looking for the next story to be told. Shelly’s love of the movie industry began as a teenager when she was cast as an extra in the great Canadian movie Meatballs and got to hold hands with Bill Murray.

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