At the National Screen Institute, we’re blessed to see firsthand the difference training makes in the lives of storytellers. On our website throughout December we’re sharing impact stories from many of our talented alumni who’ve told us how NSI training transformed their lives and careers.
Today’s featured alumna is Jennifer Podemski who went through NSI Global Marketing training in 2004 and the Telefilm Canada Spark Plug Program in 2005.
Jennifer is an award-winning film and television producer, and actor born and raised in Toronto, Canada.
She formed Big Soul Productions with Laura Milliken and is president of Redcloud Studios Inc. Jennifer is also the creator and producer of APTN’s famed paranormal series The Other Side, co-creator, producer and director of the provocative documentary series Future History and will co-write, produce and direct Unsettled, a drama series slated to go to camera in February 2020 for APTN and TVO.
She continues to work in front of the camera and remains committed to working with Indigenous youth as a mentor and facilitator of workshops designed to inspire and empower potential.
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How did your training through NSI help you get to the place you’re at in your career today?
I was part of two NSI programs very early in my career and I believe both programs provided me with the tools and resources that set me up for the career I have today. To this day, I believe that NSI has been a huge part of my success.
What was most memorable or helpful about NSI training?
The most memorable was going to MIPTV in Cannes. I was so young and impressionable with so many ideas. I’d never pitched so many people before and I was exhausted. It remains one of the most memorable times of my career to date.
Did you make enduring connections with peers and industry folks?
Yes I did. I met my long-term business partner at NSI Global Marketing – the late Bob Crowe. We made many projects together after meeting there.
What advice or encouragement would you give a prospective applicant considering NSI programs?
I believe in training. I believe in learning. NSI has been a place where I can learn and grow and be 100% guaranteed to walk away with valuable tools to take me to the next level of my career.
What has your career trajectory looked like between when you completed training and now?
When I went through the last NSI program I was in the middle of a massive career shift. I was reinventing myself. The program set me up for everything I’m doing today. It hasn’t always been easy but I stick with it and persevere because I believe this is what I’m meant to be doing. I’ve been reaching for the stars ever since!
What was the most transformative part of your learning experience?
One program I participated in partnered me with the great Tassie Cameron. She taught me a lot about writing for television and helped me look at my work more objectively. I remember that day very clearly; I was terrified to get notes. After working with her I think I had renewed confidence in my ability as a writer and became less sensitive to notes and feedback.
What project(s) are you currently working on?
I’ve just completed season 2 of a doc series called Future History currently airing on APTN (season 1 is on CBC Gem) and I’m going into production on a drama series I co-created, co-wrote and will be co-producing and co-directing with Derek Diorio. I also have several projects in development at various stages.
Where can people find out more about your work online?
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