WIFTV was pleased to present the 2016 workshop series, read more about the workshops that were offered below!

We are grateful for the support of Telus and our experienced workshop facilitators and industry partners. 




Date & Time: October 15, 2016, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Location: Boardrooom at the Alliance for Arts and Culture, 100-938 Howe Street.  


  • What is a film publicist?
  • Publicity streams (unit, festival, release/ what are the various roles of a publicist)
  • The business aspect
    • How to look at a film as a business
    • How to look for the elements of a film that can be commodified

Everything’s Gone Green, directed by Paul Cox, written by Douglas Copeland and produced by Elizabeth Yake, will be the case study and the afternoon will be spent analyzing this from a publicist’s perspective.

If you are a film producer looking to learn how to work with a publicist, or having to wear the hat of the publicist, or a communications student or professional looking to expand your areas of expertise, this workshop is for you. 


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM        Registration and introduction

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM          What is a film publicist? Publicity streams and the business aspect

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM            Lunch break (bring your own lunch or purchase nearby)

1:30 PM - 5:00 PM            Everything's Gone Green case study  


Kate Perkins is a former freelance film publicist who spent over 10 years involved in every area of film publicity. During that time, Kate worked on Canadian and US productions' publicity that ranged from unit publicity (during production), festivals and theatrical releases. Responsibilities included building, coordinating and executing press schedules, booking screenings, overseeing photographers and video crews. In addition, Kate's experience covered all talent and agent handling and writing and submitting press releases to media and trades.

Kate retired from the industry five years ago, but remains a strong advocate for Canadian film, talent and the importance of telling our stories.



Date & Time: Thursday, March 10, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Location: Vancity Theatre Atrium, 1181 Seymour St.


  • Balancing the role of Writer/Director/Producer: The Director as the driving force behind a film.
  • Translating Vision: Working in Synch with the Production Designer.
  • Working with Actors:  Directing Believable Performances at 24 Lies Per Second  


- 10:00 – 12:30am ---> Introductions

Balancing the role of Writer/Director/Producer: The Director as the driving force behind a film


Translating Vision: Working in Sync with the Production Designer.

- 12:30 – 1:30pm --->  Lunch (bring your own or purchase nearby)

- 1:30 - 4:00pm --->  Working with Actors:  Directing Believable Performances at 24 Lies Per Second 

This portion of the workshop will focus on giving the director tools to create the physical realities that allow an actor to create a believable performance. Body language is the greatest broadcaster of truth and the audience will always believe the actor’s physicality before they believe her or his words. 

Cost: members - $60/ non-members - $100



A presentation by Media Strategist Tracey Friesen

Registration Open

Date & Time: Friday, March 11, 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Location: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street

Tracey Friesen focusses on the content of her new book, STORY MONEY IMPACT: Funding Media for Social Change.  This is a book about opportunity.  Many mission-aligned filmmakers, financiers and activists share common goals around impact. Today, social-issues storytellers are sharpening their craft, while funders with finite resources focus on reach, and strategic innovators bring more robust impact evaluation tools. STORY MONEY IMPACT illuminates the sweet spot at the core of these three pursuits.  

Apply to be a case study for the Story Money Impact presentation, and your project may benefit from being publicly workshopped. 


  • For session registrants only.
  • BC based filmmakers.
  • Project in development.
  • Documentaries prioritized, but dramas may also submit.  

If interested, prepare the following as one single pdf document and send to workshop@womeninfilm.ca

  • Your name, email address and phone number
  • Story – synopsis (150 words max).
  • Money – partners/ funders secured and/ or sought.  (bullet points)
  • Impact – preliminary outreach strategy (150 word max)

Tracey Friesen is a media strategist, committed to supporting storytellers and social innovators in the creation of impactful content. Formerly an Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s studio in Vancouver, her credits include ScaredSacred, Carts of Darkness and Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie. Tracey spent three years on the board of Women in Film & Television Vancouver - serving one term as president - and was honoured with their 2013 Woman of the Year Award. She was a mentor for the Minerva Foundation and a protégée in Women in View’s Creative Leaders program. After the NFB, Tracey wrote three major media industry research papers and the documentary film Amplify HER, directed by Ian MacKenzie and produced by Nicole Sorochan. In 2015 she became the Director of Programming for Roundhouse Radio 98.3 Vancouver, a hyper local commercial station with a community impact focus.  Tracey’s first book Story Money Impact: Funding Media for Social Change is being released by Routledge/ Focal Press in March 2016. 

Cost: members - $30/ non-members - $50



Date & Time: Friday, March 11, 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Location: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St.

Shaping Sound: This discussion focuses on the role of sound in the shaping of a films final presentation.  We will be going through all the various elements that make up the final soundtrack, from Dialogue through to Sound Design. Examples will be shown to demonstrate the complexity of the different layers that make up the final sound mix.

Kelly Cole is currently the Head Re-recording Mixer/Sound Supervisor at Sharpe Sound Studios.  With over 20 years in the industry Kelly has mixed literally hundreds of hours of film and television with numerous awards and nominations in the craft.



Presented by Digital Media & Marketing Mentor Annelise Larson

Date & Time: Saturday, March 12, 9:30 - 11:30 AM

Location: Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour Street

Storytellers and filmmakers can use the digital world to grow an audience and community, affect change, tell stories, grow their professional brand, make money and so much more. In this 1 1/2 hour workshop, digital strategist Annelise Larson will walk through how the digital opportunity can help you accomplish your goals. Topics covered will include:

·         The audience opportunity

·         The engagement opportunity

·         The branding opportunity

·         The data opportunity

Annelise Larson comes from a background as an independent producer, with training at such prestigious institutions at the Canadian Film Centre (Producer’s Lab) and Banff Centre for the Arts (Electronic and Film Media). Since 1995 she has been working in the field of online marketing and has always been an avid gamer and consumer of digital content. She works extensively with government organizations and production companies in the film, television and interactive industries in North America. Her focus is helping content creators and storytellers to use the power of online language and data to define, find, attract and engage their audiences and work toward strategic and sustainable digital business models. She has sat on the Interactive Fund jury for BC Film + Media, the Experimental Stream jury for the CMF, and has taught across the country on behalf of such organizations as Telefilm, Women in Film, BC Film + Media, CHRC and the Independent Production Fund.  Annelise has developed and implemented marketing strategies and gathered and analyzed online data for digital and screen media products as diverse as social TV apps, transmedia experiences, webisode series, feature films, television series and production companies themselves. Her online course Becoming a Storypreneur has been taught to media storytellers across Canada and in conjunction with Boost Hbg in Sweden. 

Pre-registration is required for this event. Click on the OPEN button above to register or register at the event by arriving at least 20 minutes 



Date and Time: January 30, 2016, 10:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Location: SFU Woodwards, Djavad Mowafaghian World Art Centre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 West Hastings. 

Pitching a film project is a very important talent as the filmmaker is selling him/herself andthe project. Both have to be presented in the most articulate light as there is usually only one chance per project to do so. It’s a talent that is needed throughout a filmmaker’s career. Why will a production company or studio chose one project over many others? Come and find out.

This workshop with Melanie Friesen (Bio below) will cover the following topics and will provide all you need to know to prepare, practise and get constructive feedback for your pitch. Melanie will be joined in the afternoon by Elizabeth Yake (Bio below) to provide feedback to the practice pitches. 


- The pluses of choosing a project with a universal theme

- How pitching is a mini-performance of both the story you are selling and who you are as a filmmaker.

- Why would production companies or studios pick your project and not someone else’s?

- The three points that a pitch must have

- Specifically how to tell the story

- How to follow up

This will also be followed by an experience in “thinking on your feet.”


10:00 AM - 10:30 AM        Registration and Introduction

10:30 AM - 1:00 PM          Art of pitching + "thinking on your feet" 

1:00 PM - 2:00 PM            Lunch Break (bring your own lunch or purchase nearby)

2:00 PM - 4:30 PM            Practice Pitching - Those who would like to pitch their projects to the group and to receive constructive feedback are welcome to do so at this time. This afternoon session will be also valuable to those who do not wish to practice a pitch. 

Melanie Friesen has worked as a literary agent for filmmakers in London, UK, as Creative Director in the UK for MGM/UA (finding the feature film projects that the studio would develop), the same position at Cineplex Odeon in Los Angeles and as VP for Martin Scorsese’s company in New York. She has lectured on pitching in Canada, Wales, Luxembourg, Mexico, Hungary and the Republic of Georgia.

Elizabeth Yake is President of True West Films based on the west coast of Canada. As producer, her films have been nominated for more than 15 Genie Awards and each of her features and shorts have premiered at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival. Films/TV include PILGRIMS, EVERYTHING’S GONE GREEN, IT¹S ALL GONE PETE TONG, MISS TEXAS. TWF focuses on structuring international co-productions for the world market. Elizabeth is in post with her feature docu-drama HADWIN¹S JUDGEMENT based on the story of The Golden Spruce in co-production with the NFB and Passion Pictures, UK, Oscar winners 2013 for SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.