VIWFF 2019 PITCH SESSIONS

March 7, 2019, 2:00 - 5:00 PM

 

Location: VIFF's Vancity Theatre Production Room, 1181 Seymour Street, Vancouver BC

A pitch session is a 10-minute one-on-one non-public session that is conducted in an open room in a "speed dating" style.  

PITCH SESSION PROTOCOL

Please ensure that the person to whom you are pitching relates to your project. Before signing up, do your research, both on the company to whom you want to pitch and on the pitch professional associated with that company. Make sure it’s a good fit.

To sign up for a pitch session, click on Register now above where you will be able to select one of the companies below to whom to pitch your project. Once you have submitted your first request you may select another company by clicking on the Register now button again under Purchase another ticket - or Scroll forward to "Finish Registration".  
 
Prior to the pitching day, you will receive a confirmation email indicating the exact time of your pitch session(s) between 2:00pm and 5:00pm on Thursday, March 7th.
 

Pitch Professionals: 

PITCH PROFESSIONALS + WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR


FULL - Mélanie Lê Phan, CBC Scripted Digital Originals

What Are We Looking For? For the CBC Gem, we are primarily focusing on Comedy, Drama and Youth series composed of 10-15 minute episodes at around 6-10 episodes per season. We are prioritizing midform Digital Original series that complement the lean-back experience of watching TV at home, while still giving viewers mobile-friendly content that they can easily enjoy on their phones and mobile devices. These exciting short-form and midform titles come from a wide range of talent, emerging and established alike. No matter the genre, these programs embrace daring, unexpected and niche content for young and diverse audiences.

Mélanie Lê Phan has worked for CBC Television in both Scripted and Unscripted programming since 2013. She is currently an Executive in Charge of Production for Scripted Digital Originals for CBC, overseeing production and development of mid-length series for CBC Gem and of social video series for CBC Comedy. She has worked on the most recent seasons of True Dating Stories, How to Buy A Baby and My 90-Year-Old Roommate in addition to other digital scripted series. Mélanie has also worked on digital unscripted content, including the doc series Farm Crime and The Artists as well as several CBC Docs: Shorts one-offs. 

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FULL - Eric. Y. Lapointe, And Now Global

We are looking for by priority:

All projects must have a global appeal.
1) Finished TV series
2) Finished movies
3) Finished documentaries (definitely needs to have a global appeal)
4) Open to taking a look at TV concepts in development (comedy, dramedy are our strengths)

 

Eric Y. Lapointe is the founder of Western Canada’s newest international TV distribution company And Now Global. Lapointe brings over 15 years of content sales experience with major brands Just For Laughs and Cirque du Soleil. In the past 10 years, Lapointe focused on Foreign TV sales and licensed over 4000 TV hours in over 100 countries. His work has resulted in 250+ transactions.

Eric was also responsible for the digital expansion of Cirque du Soleil onto platforms such as Tou.tv, Hulu and iTunes. This work continued at Just For Laughs where Lapointe headed up the digital monetization team responsible for the company’s various YouTube channels that reached of over 6.5 million subscribers.

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Teri Snelgrove, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, and digital content from a uniquely Canadian perspective. The NFB’s Digital Studio works with a wide range of artists and media-makers interested in experimenting with the creative application of digital technologies and interactivity as it relates to story, expression and community. In practice, this includes digital video shorts, interactive documentaries, augmented/virtual reality and 360 video, mobile and locative media, interactive animations, photographic art and essays, data visualizations, physical installations, community media, interactive video, user-generated media, etc.

NFB Programming Criteria: Talent and vision of the creator/director; Originality of concept and approach; Creative excellence; Great storytelling; Clearly articulated sense of the intended audience; Viability of project (in terms of access, timeframe and budget); Reflecting Canada back to Canadians and the world; Innovation in form.

Teri Snelgrove is the Associate Producer at the BC & Yukon Studio of The National Film Board of Canada where she has worked on many documentaries including the acclaimed The Road Forward (Marie Clements), Debris (John Bolton), Beauty (Christina Willings), and the interactive project, Bread (Mariette Sluyter). She is proud to have worked on two soon-to-be-released NFB films, Highway to Heaven (Sandra Ignagni), and Because We Are Girls (Baljit Sangra). Teri has also worked on a number of animated projects, including The Mountain of SGaana (Christopher Auchter), Shop Class (Hart Snider) and The Zoo (Julia Kwan). Currently she has a number of projects in development including the documentaries Out of Darkness (Sheona McDonald), Never Going Back (Steve Adams and Sean Horlor) and the animated shorts Zeb’s Spider (Alicia Eisen and Sophie Jarvis) and Two Apples (Bahram Javahery). Teri Snelgrove is a Newfoundlander and a graduate of the film/video program at Emily Carr Institute (now University). She is currently pursuing her Master’s Degree through the GLS program at SFU. 

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Nicholas Klassen, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, and digital content from a uniquely Canadian perspective. The NFB’s Digital Studio works with a wide range of artists and media-makers interested in experimenting with the creative application of digital technologies and interactivity as it relates to story, expression and community. In practice, this includes digital video shorts, interactive documentaries, augmented/virtual reality and 360 video, mobile and locative media, interactive animations, photographic art and essays, data visualizations, physical installations, community media, interactive video, user-generated media, etc. 

NFB Programming Criteria: Talent and vision of the creator/director; Originality of concept and approach; Creative excellence; Great storytelling; Clearly articulated sense of the intended audience; Viability of project (in terms of access, timeframe and budget); Reflecting Canada back to Canadians and the world; Innovation in form.

Nicholas Klassen is an Interactive Producer with the NFB's Digital Studio. Drawing from over a decade of experience creating and producing online content for the social and cultural sector, he works with filmmakers, writers and artists to produce interactive storytelling projects that push the boundaries of story, form and platform.

Prior to his work at the NFB, he co-founded the creative and online strategy agency Biro Creative, where he advised leading movement-building organizations like Greenpeace, WWF, and Avaaz.org on a number of Webby-award winning and -nominated projects. He has also served as Senior Editor at Adbusters, overseeing editorial and online content for the acclaimed and globally-recognized magazine.

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FULL - Patrice Ramsey, Knowledge Network

Knowledge Network is British Columbia’s public educational broadcaster. We commission, acquire, and pre-buy documentaries and limited series on social issues, culture, and environment – films that stand the test of time. An engaging story is paramount, as is a strong filmmaker point of view, and a distinct aesthetic approach. Our priority is for filmmaker-driven creative documentaries and limited series that entertain, enlighten and challenge our viewers.

Before you pitch us, please spend time watching Knowledge on-air or online and make sure you are familiar with our programming. You can find our guidelines for independent producers at www.knowledge.ca/producers. We also have a new initiative to mark the 150th anniversary of British Columbia’s entry into Confederation. To find out more check out: www.knowledge.ca/bchistory.


Patrice Ramsay is the Coordinator of Independent Production at Knowledge Network. She helps bring original Knowledge Network commissions to a BC audience. Recent examples include “This Mountain Life”, “Paramedics: Life on the Line”, and “Shut Up and Say Something”. She is also responsible for the budget of all independent production at Knowledge and manages Knowledge’s Broadcaster Performance Envelope from the Canada Media Fund. She has a Bachelor of Business Administration and recently earned The Osgood Certificate in Entertainment Law from Osgood Hall Law School of York University. 

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FULL - Matthew Cervi, Mad Samurai Productions

Mad Samurai Productions is seeking original genre projects in film and TV that tell interesting and compelling stories.  Specific looking for crime/gangster, thrillers, supernatural/ghost stories, sci-fi, contained action, and smart horror projects.

A Vancouver native, Matthew Cervi has worked for several film companies over the years including Valhalla Motion Pictures (Terminator, The Walking Dead), Lighthouse Productions (The Sting, Taxi Driver, Mimic), Peace Arch Entertainment and Avrio Filmworks (Mindstorm, Chaos) before starting Mad Samurai Productions and producing the Genie and Leo award-winning short MILO 55160 starring Patrick McKenna.

Matthew followed that success with his first feature THE COLONY starring Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton, and Kevin Zegers, and produced his second feature CRUEL & UNUSUAL in partnership with the Canadian Film Centre and Entertainment One. Matthew’s latest feature JUGGERNAUT, starring Jack Kesy, Amanda Crew, David Cubitt and Peter McRobbie was produced in partnership with Canadian distributor levelFILM and sales agent Spotlight Pictures, with financing from Telefilm Canada and The Harold Greenberg Fund.

Matthew continues to develop engaging genre fare for the feature film and television landscape.  He holds a bachelor’s degree from the USC School of Cinema/Television and attended the Producer’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. www.madsamurai.ca 

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FULL - Elizabeth Schofield, Omnifilm Entertainment

What Omni scripted is looking for:
Necessary requirements: The scripted team are looking for television series pitches (no features), live-action (no animation), and creators must have an agent or manager. For junior writers, the material should include a pitch document, short is fine, and a pilot script. If a pilot script is not available, a sample in a similar genre must be available as an alternative. Hard copies of the material don’t necessarily need to be brought in person to the pitch, it can be sent afterwards electronically – unless of course, it is a look book which helps illustrate the pitch conversation.

Not necessary but preferred: Because it is rare for one financier to be able to solely finance a show, we are looking for projects that can sell in more than one territory and are suitable for multiple targets so that we are not limited in pitching. If a project can only work in Canada, it most likely won’t work for us. Returnable series are ideal (limited can work but less preferred), drama as opposed to straight comedy is preferred, projects that are based on IP with an already established built-in audience helps a great deal. If you are pitching something based on IP, the person pitching should ideally know already if the rights are available.

Elizabeth Schofield is the Director of Scripted Development at Omnifilm Entertainment Ltd. 

Omnifilm Entertainment is one of Canada's leading independent content companies. For nearly forty years, Omnifilm has produced and distributed hundreds of hours of award-winning programming including drama, comedy, factual and lifestyle series, documentaries, and children's programming.

Current non-scripted productions include Season 3 of Wild Bear Rescue, for Animal Planet Canada, and Season 5 of Jade Fever for Discovery Canada. On the adult scripted side, Omnifilm has started writing for season 2 of The Bletchley Circle: San Francisco, a spin-off of the hit ITV period mystery series. Season 1 aired on ITV and Citytv, can still be found on BritBox, and will soon air on Netflix. In the live-action kids space, in 2018 the company completed Season 2 of Mech-X4 for Disney XD, the Disney Channel Original Movie Possibility (releasing February 2019), and is now in prep on the Disney Channel Series Gabby Duran, and Season 2 of the Disney Channel Series Fast Layne (season 1 releasing February 2019). All of our new programmings is available in 4K format, including Season 3 and 4 of Namaste Yoga and Season 4 of Jade Fever.

Based in Vancouver, Canada, Omnifilm Entertainment is a vertically-integrated content company handling development, production and post-production, delivery, and distribution of our brands on both traditional television and digital/VOD platforms.

 

FULL - Lynn Booth, Make Believe Media

Lynn has been making documentaries and factual series for global audiences since 1995. Her series can be found on Netflix, her docs on CBC and she has films in distribution with EntOne, Filmoption, Off the Fence among others. Lynn is a former DOC BC Co-chair, a former HOT DOCS Board Member and remains a member of the Academy, CMPA and WIFTV.

Focused on one-offs and series, Lynn is currently developing her third film about orphaned elephants in Kenya, THE WILD ORPHANS OF ITHUMBA which she successfully pitched at Sunnyside of the Doc 2018. In 2017 Lynn won the WildScreen Award for her presentation of THE SECRET LIFE OF OWLS which was subsequently produced with CBC and airs internationally. She is acting as a consulting EP on WILD SEASONS a blue-chip 4 part series for Blue Ant Love Nature and Smithsonian.

Lynn is actively developing nature and wildlife series, true crime series and specials with a social impact, and is currently looking for collaborations with strong women creatives for feature documentaries and series.

Lynn is an active member of a co-production alliance of 20 companies representing 10 countries who are developing and creating documentary and series for global audiences with shared financing strategies. To that end, Lynn attends markets including Sunnyside, MIPCOM, WildScreen, Hot Docs, World Science Congress, Jackson Hole, and other key co-production and distribution markets.

Make Believe Media is a creative media agency celebrating 20 years in May 2019. We have created series such as Very Bad Men and Devil You Know, as well as social and culture docs, Secrets, Pretty Boys, Paris Stories and more. We launched the award-winning indigenous music platform in 2011 RPM.fm with the music documentary Music is the Medicine. We have been making wildlife specials and limited series including How to be a Wild Elephant and The Secret Life of Owls. We are a boutique agency focused on developing, packaging, financing to bring inspiring stories to the world. 

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Raymond Massey, Massey Productions

 We are actively looking for feature-length material we feel could be of interest to Chinese audiences, directors, actors and investors. These would be films that resonate culturally with China, as broad as that may be interpreted. Scripts potentially for China do not need to be set there, necessarily. We are also treading carefully into India and are in active discussions with a handful of the hundreds of busy companies there. Again, a film for any audience in India must resonate culturally with them. We are not limited to any genre. We will look at other material but it has to be astonishingly original and a great vehicle for a bankable actor. We are not developing or pursuing anything for half-hour or one-hour television. We are not developing anything intended strictly for web release unless it was viable for a Chinese audience.

MASSEY PRODUCTIONS LTD. is a Canadian production company creating and collaborating on theatrical motion pictures and television/cable movies. MPL was incorporated in 1983 and has produced in a variety of media and formats for theatrical, television/cable/DVD and radio. Today, MPL is focused mainly on larger scale feature films with an emphasis on formal co-productions and including a slate with partners in China. Past films include the China-Canada co-production IRON ROAD. Massey Productions also provides full production services from Immigration and prep through to delivery as required. Massey Productions was incorporated in 1983 and is wholly-owned by Raymond Massey. Massey is credited as Executive Producer, Producer or Supervising Producer on some 35 feature films, documentaries and movies for television. The company keeps offices in Vancouver, Canada.

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Susan Curran, VP of Marketing and Acquisitions at A71 and V71

Currently, A71 is looking for both finished films and projects at packaging phase to acquire either for Canada or World Wide via their international sales division V71. 

Over the last two decades, Susan has worked as a marketing executive for BMG, Sony Wonder, Tower Records, Universal Music and Anchor Bay. During her 12-year run as Executive Director of Marketing/Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada, notable accomplishments include the release of over 1000 titles into the Canadian retail marketplace, over 100 of which were Canadian acquisitions. Susan was responsible for the Canadian marketing and retail sales strategy for various TV series, including notable hits like The Walking Dead, Three’s Company and Sesame Street. Film successes include the festival favourite Spring, the cult hit Battle Royale, Tales of Halloween, the 40th Anniversary Edition of Black Christmas and the Halloween complete Box Set. Her innovative marketing and advertising strategies built Anchor Bay’s company profile, and consistently delivered results that exceeded expectations. 

In her latest position of VP of Marketing and Acquisitions at A71 and V71 Susan continues to be a champion of new talent, enjoying the energy and ingenuity of the creative people she meets in the independent film community while successfully bringing their projects to the marketplace.

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