VIWFF 2020 PITCH SESSIONS

March 6, 2020, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Membership with WIFTV is open to all genders. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS. 

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 1:00pm and 4:00pm on Friday, March 6th.
 

Pitch Professionals: 

PITCH PROFESSIONALS + WHAT THEY'RE LOOKING FOR


Laurie McLay, Producer and Executive Producer at Sistar Films Inc. - FULL

Laurie McLay has been working in the film and television industry since 1988 on a multitude of TV series, feature films, movies of the week, music videos, animation, short films and commercials for the likes of Viacom, MTV, Showtime and HBO. Starting out on the original “21 Jumpstreet” and “Sabrina, The Teenage Witch” led to producing the Discovery Channel's “Local Flavor with Joan Cusack” and developing feature films with the participation of Telefilm Canada. Laurie has worked with local and foreign companies from Toronto, London, Hong Kong, New York and LA as well as shooting on location in Spain, Portugal and France. A seasoned producer and storyteller, she has also spent a considerable amount of the last 4 years as creative consultant for multiple investment companies focusing on the development of Canadian Content feature film projects. Laurie has recently completed the thriller Amber’s Descent and is currently looking for feature length screenplays in the genre of drama, mystery, historical and thriller that she can see through development to completion. Stories with strong female leads are of particular interest.

SISTAR FILMS INC. has been working in association with other production and investment companies over the last ten years to develop and produce feature length projects that fit the Canadian Tax Credit requirements. Several projects have been developed with the financial support of Telefilm Canada as well as private equity on a per project basis.

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JASON JAMES, Resonance Films

Jason James is an award winning producer/writer/director based in Vancouver, BC. He recently directed/produced the indie drama ENTANGLEMENT (starring Thomas Middleditch, Jess Weixler, and Diana Bang). He also directed/produced the indie comedyTHAT BURNING FEELING (starring John Cho, Tyler Labine, Emily Hampshire, and Paulo Costanzo). He also co-created and produced the CBC comedy TV series THIS SPACE FOR RENT.

Other projects include producing: THE STEPS by director Andrew Currie (starring Jason Ritter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Brolin, and Christine Lahti), MOUNTAIN MEN by director Cam Labine (starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine), and the Carl Bessai directed features REPEATERS, COLE, FATHERS & SONS, and UNNATURAL&ACCIDENTAL.

Jason has previously been invited to attend the Film Independent Producer’s Lab, Telefilm/CFC/Just For Laughs Comedy Features Lab, Toronto Film Festival Talent Lab, the Rotterdam Talent Lab, a CTV Fellowship at the Banff Television Festival, the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television Program, and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s National Director Apprenticeship program.

His company RESONANCE FILMS has been involved in a number of new and exciting development projects - focusing on drama and comedy for film/tv.



Janine Steele, The National Film Board of Canada Digital (NFB)

Janine is a digital media specialist with over 20 years experience working at the confluence of traditional filmmaking and emerging media/technology. She currently manages production and operations for the English Digital Studio of the National Film Board of Canada, based in Vancouver. Her credits include pioneering interactive documentaries like Circa 1948, Seven Digital Deadly Sins and Bear 71, and virtual reality projects Cardboard Crash and Bear 71 VR. Her work has received a Cannes Cyber Lion, FWA Site of the Year & six Webby Awards. Prior to the NFB, Janine was a Business Analyst with Creative BC, where amongst many other things, she helped launch the inaugural digital media funds for the organization.

The Digital studio specializes in producing experimental mobile, internet and immersive experiences across a variety of digital platforms, including virtual and augmented reality, mobile applications and games, social media stories, physical art installations and websites. We are eager to meet with storytellers and artists from all disciplines in all regions of the country, including filmmakers, writers, photographers, podcasters, interactive designers, computer programmers.


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Shirley Vercuysse, The National Film Board of Canada (NFB)

Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon Studio, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. The studio’s latest projects include the feature-length documentaries Sovereign, The Whale and the Raven and Because We Are Girls; the musical documentary The Road Forward; the animated shorts Shop Class and The Zoo; the short documentaries Highway to Heaven and Now is the Time; and the Webby Award-winning documentary series True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball.


We produce and co-produce linear documentary and animation, from shorts to feature length, in both genres. The filmmakers we work with are as diverse as the places they come from, and represent a combination of emerging, mid-career and established creators with one shared goal: to make creative, engaging, relevant works that reflect their unique points of view. We strive to produce signature work in which the craftsmanship of the creative teams is of the highest level, and within that frame we work diligently to ensure diversity of voice, stories and storytelling styles from across BC and the Yukon.   https://production.nfbonf.ca/en/studio/bc-yukon-studio/

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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, history and environment. We commission for our Storyville strand – our flagship documentary anthology series.

Before you pitch us, please spend time watching Knowledge on-air or online. You can find our guidelines for independent producers at www.knowledge.ca/producers.

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 “Haida Modern” ,“This Mountain Life”, and “Paramedics: Life on the Line”. 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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Matthew Cervi, Mad Samurai Productions

Mad Samurai Productions is seeking original genre projects in film and TV that tell interesting and compelling stories. Specifically 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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Elizabeth Schofield, Omnifilm Entertainment

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

Omnifilm Entertainment recently completed THE BLETCHLEY CIRCLE: SAN FRANCISCO, a spin-off of the hit ITV period mystery series, which can be found on Netflix, BritBox, ITV and Citytv. Additionally, in the live-action kids space in 2018/2019, the company completed Season 2 of MECH-X4 for Disney XD, the Disney Channel Original Movie KIM POSSIBLE, the Disney Channel series FAST LAYNE, and Season 1 of Disney Channel series GABBY DURAN & THE UNSITTABLES. Season 2 of GABBY DURAN started production in January 2020.  

Omnifilm’s past scripted primetime series include: DRAGON BOYS (CBC); ARCTIC AIR which garnered the highest premiere for a CBC 1-hour drama in over a decade; PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD (CTV/Space, SyFy Channel, ProSieben, and UKTV); DEFYING GRAVITY (ABC, CTV-Space, ProSieben, and BBC); and long-running dramedy ROBSON ARMS (CTV). One of Omnifilm’s earliest dramas, the Emmy-nominated ODYSSEY, featured a young Ryan Reynolds in one of his first starring roles. Omnifilm’s teen drama EDGEMONT, discovered both Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast, Smallville) and Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0, Battlestar Galactica).

Other current productions include: DINOSAUR COLD CASE for CBC and Smithsonian Channel; YUKON’S WILD GRIZZLIES for Smithsonian Channel; Season 6 of popular jade mining documentary series JADE FEVER for Discovery; the indie feature THE LAST VICTIM; and NAMASTE STRONG for ONE: GET FIT.

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. 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.

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Jameson Parker, Brightlight Pictures

Jameson Parker is an award-winning Canadian actor, producer, and director who currently serves as the Director of Development for Brightlight Pictures (COLOSSAL, 50/50, THE INTERVIEW, FIFTY DEAD MEN WALKING)

 In 2017 he produced SUMMER OF ’84 for Brightlight Pictures and Gunpowder & Sky. The film was directed by RKSS (TURBO KID), written by Matt Leslie and Stephen J. Smith and had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in 2018. Most recently Jameson produced the Netflix series JULIE AND THE PHANTOMS with Kenny Ortega (HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL, DESCENDANTS) Executive Producing and directing.

 He has directed music videos for local and international artists including Anami Vice, The Simpson Brothers Band, and his video for Fake Shark Real Zombie’s single Girls can be seen on Much Music. In 2014 he directed “The Price is Precise”, a sketch written by 3-time Canadian Comedy Award Winning sketch duo Peter N’ Chris for internet comedy giant CollegeHumor. 

 Jameson also produced and starred in the feature film PRODIGALS directed by Michelle Ouellet, written by Nicholas Carella, and also starring David Alpay, Sara Canning, Tiio Horn, and Brian Markinson. The film was released theatrically in Canada by LevelFilm and had its world premiere at the 2017 edition of the Whistler Film Festival. He served as Executive Producer on the first season of WHITE NINJA, the first narrative series developed for Vine, starring Paul Scheer, as well as directing 5 episodes for the series. In 2015 he served as Associate Producer on the made-for-TV-movie THE MECHANICS OF LOVE for Pixl starring Shanae Grimes and Tyler Hynes. 


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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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Bo Wen XI, Reality Distortion Field

DAVID TURKO will be replaced by his assistant Bo Wen Xi.

Bo Wen Xi is the Development Coordinator at Reality Distortion Field (RDF), a writer-driven television and film production company headquartered in Vancouver. 

 
Wen began her career in film/TV in 2017 whilst working as an EPK shooter at Banff World Media Festival. There she met Emily Andras (Wynonna Earp showrunner) who encouraged a move to Vancouver to get on-set experience. Wen worked as a Production PA on commercials for seven months before being referred to Mr Stephen Hegyes, President of RDF, to work as his Assistant during season 1 of Warrior Nun, RDF’s original series for Netflix. From there she developed into her current role.
 
Wen has degrees in Commerce and Law from Australia, and cut her teeth in seed financing for technology startups before moving into a career in media. 

COMPANY PROFILE Reality Distortion Field (RDF) is a writer-driven television and film production company built around our personal tastes in genre storytelling. Headquartered in Vancouver with a presence in Los Angeles, we develop stories that are compelling, elevated and relevant, which are executed with the greatest consideration for intelligent, quality production. We use genre to explore themes that are important to our audiences, stimulate conversation, and generate an exchange of ideas across all platforms. RDF’s primary focus is on developing an original slate of television series and feature films. We work in all facets of genre including grounded sci-fi, fantasy, thriller, action/ adventure, and YA

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Brady Roberts and Mike Howorun, Rogue Panda Pictures

Brady Roberts is the co-founder of Vancouver based production company Rogue Panda Pictures. Brady co-created the comedy sitcom Paper Champions, currently airing on Amazon Prime, as well as the animated series Space Slam with his writing partner Mike Howorun. He also produced the viral Nightwing digital series and the IPF supernatural series Demon X. He has received fellowships and mentorships with the National Screen Institute, Telus, and the IPF, and has secured awards and nominations for producing and writing at the Leo Awards, the Los Angeles Webfest, and the Machinima Film Fest.

Rogue Panda Pictures is looking to round out their slate with scripted television of all genres, as well as feature film scripts.


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