NSI Business for Producers Faculty

Jeff Peeler, Program Advisor

Producer Jeff Peeler started Three Film and Television after 17 years at a senior management level at the award-winning international film and television production company, Frantic Films. With over 25 years experience in the industry he has overseen the production of hundreds of hours of film and television content across multiple genres.

Jeff’s producer and executive producer credits include the Canadian Screen Award and Banff Rockie winning Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC/IFC), the multiple award-winning Still Standing (CBC), Buy It Fix It Sell It and Backyard Builds (HGTV), The Winnipeg Comedy Festival (CBC), Killer in Plain Sight (Investigation Discovery), High Maintenance: Preventing Disaster (Smithsonian Channel), Meet the Family (City), and the feature films Stand!Into Invisible Light and The Nature of Nicholas.

Jeff produced the sports documentary, The 13th Man for TSN’s Engraved on a Nation anthology which won Best Documentary Series at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2014. He also co-produced the true-crime documentary Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier.

Jennifer Podemski, Program Advisor

Jennifer Podemski

Jennifer Podemski is an award-winning film and TV producer and actor born and raised in Toronto, Canada.

Of mixed First Nations and Israeli decent, Jennifer began her acting career as a teen. Her career blossomed when she was cast as Pique in CBC’s The Diviners followed by a starring role in Bruce McDonald’s Dance Me Outside.

As her career in front of the camera exploded, Jennifer began to notice the inequity behind the lens. Although all of the roles she was awarded as actor were First Nations characters, she rarely, if ever, saw any First Nations writers, producers or directors.

By 25, with a solid career under her belt, Jennifer opened her first production company, Big Soul Productions with fellow, burgeoning producer Laura Milliken. BSP became the first Indigenous owned and operated, full-service production company in Canada, producing hundreds of hours of television including three seasons of the award winning dramatic series Moccasin Flats for Showcase and APTN.

In 2005, Jennifer branched out on her own and founded Redcloud Studios Inc.

Jennifer is also the creator and producer of APTN’s famed paranormal series The Other Side, currently shooting it’s second season; in her ninth year as co-executive producer and creative director of the Indspire Awards for which she was nominated for best lifestyle television show at the 2014 Canadian Screen Awards.

Most recently, Jennifer can be seen as Dr. Crowshoe on the award winning drama series Blackstone; HBO’s Sensitive Skin with Kim Catrall and in Fire Song, written and directed by Adam Garnett Jones.

A storyteller behind and in front of the camera, Jennifer still makes time for training Indigenous youth in film and TV, mentoring and holding self esteem workshops across the US and Canada.

Ursula Lawson, Program Manager

Ursula Lawson

Ursula has been with NSI since 2004 and is a manager of programs and development. She is currently working on virtual training initiatives including NSI Business for Producers, NSI New Northern Voices and the NSI/FTM Manitoba Content Creators Development Accelerator. She also oversees the mentorship, development and delivery of projects for TELUS STORYHIVE.

In 2013 Ursula was honoured to receive the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Circle of Inspiration Award along with colleagues Lisa Meeches and Melissa Kajpust for their contribution to CBC New Indigenous Voices. In 2019, Ursula was nominated for the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference award which celebrates contributions to the growth and development of the arts in Winnipeg.

Instrumental in helping NSI develop and deliver culturally sensitive film and television training to emerging Indigenous content creators, Ursula previously managed CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs and NSI Aboriginal Journalism. She also coordinated NSI Global Marketing, NSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win! Ursula is also secretary of the NSI Board of Directors.

Prior to working at NSI, Ursula held management positions in both the hospitality and healthcare industries.

2020 associate faculty

Mentors

Daniel Bekerman, Scythia Films
Paul-E. Audet, Item 7
Avi Federgreen, Federgreen Entertainment
Carrie Mudd, Peacock Alley Entertainment
Jessalyn Dennis, Seven24 Films
Christina Fon, Rezolution Pictures
Andrew Williamson, Cedar Island Films
David Miller, A71 Productions
Nathalie Younglai, producer/writer/director
Christine Falco, Les Films Camera Oscura
Graham Ludlow, producer
Ellen Rutter, production manager
Charles Clément, Media RendezVous
Sherry White, producer/writer
Tara Woodbury, Sphere Media
Christina Jennings, Shaftesbury
Alexandra Finlay, Shaftesbury
Alex Lazarowich, producer/director/writer
Scott Lepp, Prairie Dog Film and Television
Shaleen Sangha, Boat Rocker Media
Andrew Rosen, Aircraft Pictures

Producers and industry resources

Andrew Barnsley, Project 10 Canada
Anne-Claire Villeneuve, Entertainment One
Charlotte Engel, Rock Yenta Productions
Cheryl Grewar, Tangent Animation Studios
Chris Bell, Entertainment One
Daniel Bekerman, Scythia Films
Kerry Swanson, Indigenous Screen Office
Laura Michalchyshyn, Blue Ant Media
Melanie Nepinak Hadley, WarnerMedia
Richard Lewis, producer
Samantha Kaine, Independent Media Producers Association of Creative Talent (IMPACT)

Director

Jesse Wente, director – Indigenous Screen Office

Distribution

Sarah McCormack, Beyond Distribution

Human resources/business affairs

Rhonda Baker, producer/line producer
David Falk, MA, CMed, Facilitated Solutions
Jolyn Hoogstraten, Merit Motion Pictures
Ardele Karaganis, CPHR, People First HR Services
Greg Rubidge, Syndicado Distribution
Lukas Neville, Ph.D., assistant professor, University of Manitoba Asper School of Business
Nghia Nguyen, Boat Rocker Media
Warren Ross, CMPA

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NSI Business for Producers is funded by Program Partner Canada Media Fund (CMF); Strategic Sponsors Telefilm Canada and The Winnipeg Foundation; Supporting Sponsors Corus Entertainment and Super Channel; Industry Consultants Executive Education Centre, Asper School of Business, Facilitated Solutions and People First HR Services. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.