The Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Presents

Branded Content and Building an Audience with Steph Ouaknine


One might think that “brands” and “fandom” are mutually exclusive, but they are not – it is possible to create audience-driven, fandom-savvy scripted content for the web, entirely financed by brands willing to take a chance. This session will present a case study on “Carmilla,” the successful Smokebomb branded series made in partnership with U By Kotex; examining what makes it so effective and how it compares to other branded series. We will also examine how “Carmilla” became a sustainable and monetizable franchise: from the YA book adaptation in the works to the production and unique release of “The Carmilla Movie” in late 2017. The session will cover the movie's “untraditional” financing model, combining fan pre-sales, Telefilm, Hollywood Suite, and American digital platform Fullscreen.

We will discuss branded content and digital originals in the context of today’s landscape. Apart from brands venturing into space, who are the new buyers? In this era of multiple niche OTT services and new SVOD platforms springing up regularly, who’s here to stay? Who can independent creator-producers sell to?

This session will also address strategies for audience development, with a special focus on how to grow audiences for scripted YouTube series. Friday, March 9, 2018, at 9:30 AM


Finding Your Audience with Annelise Larson

Bring your ideas, your projects, your companies! Digital strategist Annelise Larson will put you through the process of using online tools and techniques to find and define your audience. Her audience-first approach to marketing has helped multiple storytellers start to develop digitally savvy business models. Learn how to unlock the power of the internet to reach the right people to make a positive impact on your career, your income and even the world. Saturday, March 10, 2018, at 9:30 AM 

Mythology, Genre films and Journeys to the Underworld

In this one hour lecture, story editor and writing instructor, Nikki Saltz, examines the deep connections between ancient underworld myths and genre films of today. Nikki will delve into the Greek concept of katabasis (the journey to the underworld), and explain how archetypes from underworld myths across time, cultures and geography continue to appear in the most successful genre writing of today. Films that will be examined in terms of their katabatic properties will be: The Ritual, Wonder Woman, Sicario, As Above and So Below. While viewing these films in advance of the workshop is not mandatory, it will enhance the audience's understanding of the material. Finally, please note that because many of the clips shown are from horror & crime films, audience members should be aware that some of the visual material may include violence, monsters, and blood.

Followed by a one hour Q&A, this session will be of particular value to writers working on horror, thriller, crime or sci-fi projects. Saturday March 10, 2018 at 9:30 AM 




WIFTV Presents the Producer's Panel Series 

Date & Time:  January 27th and 28th from 9:30 to 4:30
Location:  The Centre for Digital Media - 685 Great Northern Way, Vancouver

Through a series of panel discussions with experienced producers, each overlapping phase of production from development to distribution will be covered through the examination of case studies, presentations, and discussion.

Day one will focus on the production company, the script and development and financing and day two will focus on production, post-production, distribution, and marketing. Each moderated panel discussion will include at least two experienced Vancouver producers and an Entertainment Lawyer. 


Day One: The Production Company; The Script and Development; Financing

Saturday, January 27th, 2018 from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM 

9:30 – 10:00 Registration and Coffee

10:00 – 12:30 Panel Discussion with:

12:30 – 1:00 Breakout session

1:-00 – 1:30 Lunch - provided

1:30 - 4:00  Panel discussion with:

4:00 - 4:30 Breakout Session 

For Panelist Bio's click here. 

Day Two: Production; Post-Production; Distribution; Marketing

Sunday, January 28th, 2018 from 9:30 AM - 4:30 PM 

9:30 – 10:00 Registration and Coffee

10:00 – 12:30 Panel discussion with:

12:30 – 1:00 Breakout Sessions

1:00 - 1:30 Lunch - provided

1:30 – 4:00 Panel discussion with:

4:00 - 4:30 Breakout Session 

Panels discussions will be moderated by emerging producer, Rachelle Chartrand. 

Rachelle Chartrand is an award-winning screenwriter, author, producer and past-president of WIFTV. She has been involved in the film industry for over fifteen years, first as a creative producer of numerous short films, including a co-production shot in South Korea, and now as a full-time screenwriter and script consultant. Rachelle has recently launched her own production company, My Precious Pictures, and is in active development of her first feature film, CHAINED, with award-winning writer/director Titus Heckel.