Speakers’ Biographies


Anne Wheeler

Born in Edmonton, Anne Wheeler graduated from U of A with a Mathematics degree in 1967 and began a Masters of Music before starting her filmmaking career in the early seventies dedicated to defining what it was to be western Canadian. In 1978 she joined the National Film Board to help establish a regional presence across the country. Her documentary, A War Story, based on her Father's experiences as a doctor in a Japanese POW camp won several international awards. By the eighties she was writing and directing dramatic material including adaptations of Canadian short stories and television series such as DaVinci's Inquest, Cold Squad, North of Sixty, and This is Wonderland. To date she has directed more
than twenty feature length films including Loyalties, Bye Bye Blues, Angel Square, The Diviners, The War Between Us, The Sleep Room, The Investigation, Suddenly Naked, Better than Chocolate and Living out Loud. Respected as an award winning filmmaker and teacher, she has received six Honorary Doctorates and The Order of Canada.


Michelle Mason 

Michelle Mason is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker from Vancouver, and a film instructor at Capilano University. Born on the North Shore, Michelle began her career in international journalism, working with the CBC in London and Washington, D.C., and freelancing in Berlin. She returned home to found Cypress Park Productions in 2000 to make The Friendship Village (Cypress Park, 2002), a tragic and inspiring story about an American veteran's efforts to transcend war by building a reconciliation project with the Vietnamese General who killed his entire platoon. The film earned six international awards, and Mason the YMCA International Peacemaker Award (2005) for her efforts to facilitate reconciliation and raise money for the village through film screenings.Michelle next wrote and directed Breaking Ranks, (Screen Siren/NFB, 2006) the story of four American military deserters seeking sanctuary in Canada from the Iraq War for reasons of conscience. Michelle is currently enjoying motherhood, teaching and working on a documentary project about the Spanish Civil War. 


Trish Dolman

In 1997 producer Trish Dolman founded Screen Siren Pictures, a Vancouver based production company known for quality, innovation, fiscal responsibility and discovering new talent. She has been writing, directing, and producing Canadian film and television for eighteen years. Trish has produced more than ten award-winning documentaries and series: Britannia Beach  (NFB, CTV and TVOntario), Michael Mason’s The Friendship Village  (Executive Produced), the Gemini- nominated Drawing Out the Demons: A Film About the Artist Attila Richard Lukacs  (for Bravo! And TVO), the four part Gemini nominated documentary series Girl Racers (sold to AETN), Breaking Ranks with the NFB and CanWest Global and Reservation Soldiers for CTV, APTN, SCN and Knowledge.

Trish has completed several international treaty co-productions, including the Banff Rockie nominated Ice Girls  with the BBC and CTV in 2001, which she also directed. Most recently, she coproduced Mark Cousin’s The First Movie, a UK/Canada co-production which was nominated for a 2010 Banff Rockie for Arts Documentary and won the prestigious Prix Italia. Trish is currently in post-production on Thom Burstyn’s Hot Docs pitch winner Some Kind of Love.

Additionally, Trish has produced five features: Max McGuire's Foreverland , Michael Goldbach’s Daydream Nation , Year of the Carnivore  by writer/director Sook-Yin Lee, The Score  by director Kim Collier and Keith Behrman’s multi-award winning Flower & Garnet.She is currently producing Hector and the Search for Happiness,  a $15.4 M co-production with Germany directed by Peter Chelsom, starring Simon Pegg, Rosamund Pike, Stellan Skarsgaard, Toni Collette, Jean Reno and Christopher Plummer. In 2003, Trish was the youngest recipient ever to be awarded Woman of the Year from Women in Film and Video Vancouver. She was also honoured as Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin La Grand Dame 2003 Woman of Distinction.

In 2010, Trish was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun.


Lisa Jackson

Named one of Playback Magazine’s 10 to Watch in 2012, Lisa Jackson’s genre-blending films span documentary and fiction and include current affairs, animation, and a musical. They’ve appeared on most networks in Canada, screened at major festivals internationally, and garnered numerous awards, including a 2010 Genie for Best Short Film. She is Anishinaabe and lives in Vancouver.


Fiona Rayher

Fiona is the Artistic Director of Gen Why Media - a production group working to innovate civic engagement using media, events and public art. 

With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Communications from Simon Fraser University and a Graduate Diploma in Social Innovation, Fiona has been involved with social justice initiatives for years, getting her start with Development and Peace (CCODP) in Toronto and the BC Civil Liberties Association (BCCLA) in Vancouver.

In 2010, Fiona switched gears into event planning, film making and speaking out for social change using creative mediums. She has been a speaker at TEDxVancouver, TEDxMileZero, and was a core organizer for TEDxGeorgiaStrait. Fiona’s past films include Generation Why (2010) and Most Livable City (2010), included in numerous short film festivals.

She is currently directing and producing a feature documentary entitled Fractured Land. The film follows the story of Caleb Behn (Dene Za / Echo Dene), a First Nations law student, exposing the natural gas industry in his home territories in northeast BC. As a symbol of the growing global movement of interconnected indigenous young people, the film follows Caleb all around the world, charting his development through law school, deep community division, sharing knowledge with other indigenous communities - like the Maori, speaking to increasingly large and prestigious audiences, honing his skills, building a movement.

Fiona is also on the board of DOC BC, the BC chapter of the Documentary Organization of Canada. She frequently speaks at schools and events, including UBC and Yale, about engagement through media production and documentary film.