Lisa Meeches, Indigenous Training Programs Advisor
Lisa Meeches is one of the most dynamic and respected producers in the film and television industry, and a proud Ojibway from Long Plain First Nation.
Lisa has produced numerous projects to critical acclaim and more than 180 hours of film and television content including The Sharing Circle, Ice Road Truckers, Tipi Tales, double Canadian Screen Award-winner Jack, Gemini award-winner Elijah, and double CSA winner We Were Children which is widely praised by residential school survivors for its power to heal, while general audiences have been moved by its accurate and truthful portrayal of the impacts of Canada’s colonial past.
As host of her shows The Sharing Circle and Taken, Lisa is a recognizable presence across Canada. In addition to hosting Taken, which was recently nominated for two CSAs and is currently in production on its fourth season, Lisa is also co-creator, executive producer and an episode director. She is also currently co-executive producer of the international hit series Burden of Truth (CBC, CW, Hulu, Universal UK).
Lisa has been the recipient of many local, regional and national awards for her exemplary contributions in culture, media and entrepreneurship. Among her numerous awards and nominations are the 2007 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media & Communication, 2009 YMCA-YWCA Woman of Distinction Award in the area of Creative Communications, 2009 University of Manitoba’s Excellence in Aboriginal Business Leadership Award and Women in Film and Television 2009 Crystal Award for Mentorship. In 2017 Lisa was made a Member of the Order of Manitoba.
Lisa devotes considerable time to other causes and has been critical to the success of the Manito Ahbee Festival as its executive director. Lisa also sits on the national board of the Heart and Stroke Foundation. True to her heritage, Lisa practices the customs of her faith and is a renowned champion fancy shawl dancer.
Lisa is also an alumna of NSI.
Elise Swerhone, Program Manager
As manager of programs and development, Elise is co-manager of the NSI IndigiDocs course. Her extensive work includes the feature documentaries TuTu Much and Ballet High as well as several documentaries for CBC’s The Nature of Things.
She has made over 30 documentaries which have been shown around the world, including work for the NFB, Global TV, HGTV, Vision, National Geographic and Discovery US.
Her dramatic work includes Miss Manitoba, Now & Then, The Mayor of Odessa, episodes of Adventures of Shirley Holmes and the MOW My Mother’s Ghost. Elise is also an alumna of NSI DramaLab.
Kaya Wheeler, Program Manager
Kaya graduated from the University of Winnipeg with a bachelor of arts in Indigenous Studies, and has been working within the Indigenous community in Winnipeg for more than 10 years. She has spent a large portion of this time working with Indigenous youth in many areas, including acting and storytelling for theatre. She has had experience both volunteering and working on film sets, and even had a small stint on the stage and in front of the camera.
Kaya is excited to be in a role that helps hone and amplify new and existing voices in the industry.
Shane Belcourt, Director Advisor
Shane Belcourt is an award-winning and two-time CSA-nominated filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada.
As a writer and director on many Indigenous works, in both narrative and factual, Shane has a vested interested in creating works that speak to his Métis heritage. Notable work includes the feature film Tkaronto; shorts such as A Common Experience, Keeping Quiet and Pookums; the dance-documentary Kaha:wi – The Cycle of Life (2015 CSA Best Direction Nomination); and two Historica Canada Minutes Chanie Wenjack and Naskumituwin (Treaty).
Recent works include the award-winning 2018 CBC Firsthand documentary Indictment (co-directed with Lisa Jackson; 2017 imagineNATIVE Best Documentary), the music documentary series AMLIFY for APTN (series creator, executive producer and show-runner), and the dramatic feature Red Rover (co-writer, director). He is an alumna of the TIFF Talent Lab and NSI’s Totally Television programs.
Michelle St. John, Producer Advisor
Michelle St. John is a two-time Gemini Award winning actor, writer, singer, producer and director.
As an actor, Michelle has appeared in Where the Spirit Lives, Smoke Signals, E.N.G. Disney’s Pocahontas, Northern Exposure and many more. Michelle was a co-founder of Turtle Gals Performance Ensemble, a Native women’s theatre company based in Toronto. For 10 years she and colleagues, Monique Mojica and Jani Lauzon, created, produced and toured their original works, The Scrubbing Project, The Triple Truth and The Only Good Indian … across Turtle Island.
Michelle also created, produced and hosted Redtales, a weekly Indigenous literature show on Aboriginal Voices Radio. As co-artistic director of Red Diva, she has collaborated with playwright/director Marie Clements on several theatre, film and music productions including the The Edward Curtis Project, Tombs of the Vanishing Indian and acclaimed live productions of The Road Forward along with short films Jesus Indian and Prison Chronicles.
Michelle frequently works with director Shane Belcourt – producing the short film, Apikiwiak, the documentary series Urban Native Girl and Heritage Minutes Naskumituwin and Chanie Wenjack. Their new documentary series Amplify will premiere in 2020 on APTN with Michelle as the producer and director of two episodes.
Michelle also co-produced Shane’s most recent feature film Red Rover which is currently touring film festivals internationally. Her first documentary, Colonization Road has screened the world over and garnered a Golden Sheaf Award from Yorkton Film Festival and a Canadian Screen Award nomination for the Donald Brittain Award – Best Social/Political Documentary.
Alanis Obomsawin, filmmaker, NFB
Colleen Alksnis, accounting
Kelley Fry, research and clearances
Kevin Glasier, Tactica Interactive
Diane Konecny, Front Row Insurance
Monica Lowe, Winnipeg Film Group
Anita Lubosch, music and sound editing
Shelley McDougall, APTN
Jon Montes, NFB
Jocelyn Mitchell, Nüman Films
Paul Popeski, lawyer
Cecil Rosner, CBC
Alicia Smith, NFB
Esther Viragh, NFB
Kerri Woloszyn, production manager
Ivan Hughes, editor, Compass Digital
Noah Erenberg, director
David McGunigal, editor
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NSI IndigiDocs is funded by Program Partners APTN, Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and RBC Emerging Artists Project; Indigenous Training Programs Partner Directors Guild of Canada (DGC); Boot Camp Presenting Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Strategic Sponsor documentary Channel; Supporting Sponsors Telefilm Canada, Super Channel, CBC Gem and Corus Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music; Industry Partner the National Film Board of Canada; Industry Supporters imagineNATIVE Film & Media Arts Festival, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival and Service Sponsor Line 21 Media. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. More sponsors to be added as confirmed.