Jan Miller is an international consultant and trainer specializing in film and television co-production and co-venturing
She also continues to present one of the world’s top pitching and content development workshops.
In Canada, her unique brand of training has been presented across the country from TIFF and the Academy to Yellowknife and Newfoundland for major festivals and film coops.
Globally her workshops have been featured at Berlin’s Talent Campus, Cuba’s Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV, Poland’s ScripTeast, Cannes, China and Iran. In great demand, Jan’s workshops have also crossed sectors into the music industry where, for almost a decade, she has been offering, through the East Coast Music Association, export-ready training for musicians to present their work to the screen industry and travel internationally.
A talent that makes things happen, Jan collaborated 11 years ago with the Erich Pommer Institut to design the hugely successful Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP), a unique two-module international training program for established film and TV producers. Jan is director of the TAP initiative.
Jan has also served as an international consultant for many organizations including Creative BC and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), leading and supporting Canadian delegations to Hong Kong’s FILMART, Rio Content Market and Berlin. She launched and served as director of Halifax’s Strategic Partners, one of the world’s pre-eminent international co-production markets for 15 years.
Jan was one of the driving forces behind setting up Canada’s first film school, the National Screen Institute, serving as executive director for seven years introducing NSI Features First and the Local Heroes International Screen Festival which she ran for 13 years.
From 1999 to 2001, Jan was vice-president of development for imX Communications, responsible for moving forward numerous features, television and animation projects including her role as associate producer for Lynn Johnson’s acclaimed comic-book strip, For Better or For Worse.
Committed to supporting women working in the industry, Jan established Women in Film and Television-Atlantic (WIFT-AT), serving as the founding chair for six years. During this time Jan launched the annual Women Making Waves Conference, WAVE Awards, Shadow Project for Atlantic women directors and the first collaboration with the Centre for Women in Business, designing the screen version of its Advanced Management and Mentoring Program. Jan continues as a mentor and Women Making Waves program chair for WIFT-AT.
Jan has also been very active in presenting two versions of Five in Focus training opportunities for Women in View. Jan presently serves on the Women in View board and recently completed a term on the AFC board.
Amy Reitsma is an actor by trade who cares deeply about the film and television arts.
She has worked as a professional actor for 18 years, and honed her craft working in the film, television, theatre and radio industries in Nova Scotia before moving to the UK to further her education. She gained her masters of acting from the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, and then lived and worked in London for seven years. She returned home in August 2020 to build her family and reconnect with the industry and people in the Atlantic provinces, which she missed.
Before leaving for the UK, in addition to her acting work (as any actor will attest), she did many things. She served as co-director of two theatre companies in Halifax. She spent two wild festival seasons working for the Atlantic Film Festival as volunteer coordinator, and also worked in a law firm as a legal assistant. While living abroad, she worked as a drama teacher for inner city youth, and served on the board of American Actors UK where she instigated and ran bi-weekly script readings, mixers and professional development workshops.
Amy also recently ran for the provincial NDP in the Chester-St Margaret’s riding in the August 2021 election. Although she did not win, the campaign was watched closely by the media and the other parties. The feeling of getting her hands dirty in the pursuit for positive change is something close to Amy’s heart, and she is honoured to be connected with the National Screen Institute at this time. She is very excited to be managing a program designed to help women and underrepresented groups develop skills which will move more film projects forward in this region.
- 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)
- Jesse Wente, director – Indigenous Screen Office
- 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
Meet the students
Do I Know You From Somewhere?Read bio
Do I Know You From Somewhere?
Arianna Martinez is a filmmaker living in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
She is a co-founding member of Strike Pictures, and with them has produced several short films that have screened internationally and been licensed to CBC for broadcast. She was the recipient of the Women in Film and Television – Atlantic (WIFT-AT) NB Salute Award honouring a woman in film and television in 2019.
Her most recent works include her short film Maya Eterna, which won the 2021 national CBC Short Film Face Off, and producing Jillian Acreman’s feature film Queen of the Andes through the Telefilm Talent To Watch Program.
Not WorthyRead bio
Erica Meus-Saunders is a producer living in Nova Scotia.
Erica was introduced early to the power of storytelling by her grandfather, who would regale his grandkids with stories of Ber Bookie and ber Rabbi.
Seven years ago, she moved to Nova Scotia specifically to work in film, and has produced and directed several short documentaries, Journey of Feet (2017), Mr. Horizon (2018) and The Dreamers (2019) that have all played at local film festivals (HIFF, Lunenburg Doc Fest, FIN).
Her latest documentary, Music Resistance (2022) was funded through Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative (AFCOOP) Linda Joy Award Grant and she’s currently in production on AFCOOP’s Film 5 program, Eua-Lander.
Erica also works as membership coordinator at Screen Nova Scotia.
Gia Milani is a director, writer and producer from Canada’s east coast.
Her feature film All the Wrong Reasons premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), winning the Discovery Prize. The film also won the Script Accessible Award at Slamdance and the Viewer’s Choice Award at Silver Wave Film Festival.
She won CBC Television’s CBC 3-2-1 Award for her short film on human trafficking, A Dark Radius. Her feature screenplay, Strathcona, was shortlisted for the TIFF/CBC Diverse Screenwriter’s Grant (top six). After her win at TIFF, Gia was named as one of the top Canadian film talents to watch.
Please, Return to My FatherRead bio
Please, Return to My Father
Jeana MacIsaac is an Islander who is passionate about all things creative.
She has worked in various departments on set and has thrived in all of them. As more production management work was sent her way in both film and theatre, she quickly realized that producing was exactly where she loved to be. She Has The Tools Productions is Jeana’s new production company whose mandate is helping tell meaningful stories and supporting local artists.
Jeana is a lifelong learner who continues to push herself while seeking inspiration and knowledge from those that surround her. She strives to create an environment of encouragement, inclusivity, kindness and professionalism.
Above SnakesRead bio
Jessica Brown has been working in the film and television industry since 2003.
In 2012 she incorporated Peep Media Inc. with award-winning writer / director Jackie Torrens. They have since completed four television documentaries which include: Small Town Show Biz: 2 Dreams from a Harbourtown (CBC, documentary Channel), Edge of East (CBC, documentary Channel; Screen Nova Scotia Award nominee for best documentary), My Week on Welfare (CBC, documentary Channel, Screen Nova Scotia Award nominee for best documentary) and Bernie Langille Wants to Know … Who Killed Bernie Langille (BravoFACTUAL).
Jackie and Jessica are currently producing the feature-length documentary version of Bernie Langille Wants to Know What Happened to Bernie Langille for CBC’s documentary Channel.
Jessica also produces in the scripted world, and worked as head researcher / field producer for CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes; she produced low-budget feature film Noon Gun; short films My Younger Older Sister and The Toll, the short film / digital media project Hidden Window; as well as line producing the feature film Bunker 6, and producing the television series TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens for Shaw Media (Gemini Award nominee – best host).
In 2008 she produced her first feature-length documentary film Chasing Wild Horses (BRAVO, CBC, OASIS HD), which has screened around the world, and won awards at New York International Independent Film Festival (best international documentary) and Worldfest Houston (Platinum Remy Award).
An RèiteachRead bio
Lynn Matheson is a producer based in Nova Scotia.
Lynn Matheson has transitioned into the screen industry after working in communications and administration. She holds a master of business administration and bachelor of public relations. Lynn has developed her filmmaking skills through workshops and courses and a Canadian Media Producers Association internship.
She produced a short film, Bound, which screened internationally, competed in the CBC Short Film Face Off, and won the A&E Short Filmmakers Award (National Screen Institute Online Short Film Fest) and Screen Nova Scotia Award for best short film. In addition, she produced a feature film Headspace, and wrote, directed and produced a short documentary, When We Were Poor, which has screened internationally.
Over the past 19 years, Maja has worked on film sets and at post-production facilities in Vancouver, Toronto and Moncton.
Her passion for filmmaking has shifted to producing and directing, breaking out with her first feature film In God I Trust. The film went on to screen at several film festivals around the world, winning numerous awards.
She now wants to channel all the knowledge she has absorbed over the years into producing. Her goal is to shoot her next feature film Motherland in 2023, develop her original TV series Burtts Lake and to work full-time as a producer.
Birthday BalloonRead bio
Renée Hackett is a producer, actor and writer from Newfoundland & Labrador.
After over 20 years in the industry, primarily as an actor, Renée produced her short film Some Saturdays. A successful film festival run sparked an immense enthusiasm and drive to make films and television.
Since then, she has participated in the LA Emerging Producers Mission, the WIDC-CAM at the St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival, back-to-back WIFT-AT mentorship programs and became a partner in Blue Pinion Films.
Most recently she produced the proof-of-concept for What Odds, her original half-hour series for television.
Party PirateRead bio
Ruth Lawrence (she / her) is a multi-award-winning filmmaker based in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
Her feature directorial debut Little Orphans was produced through Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program and won the Borsos Competition for Best Canadian Feature at Whistler Film Festival in 2020.
She directed the CBC documentary, Circus by Komatik, and was a writer / director on the portmanteau feature, Hopeless Romantic. In 2021, she produced or co-produced six short form TV series including the national hit Missus Downstairs with Mary Walsh.
Her next feature, Party Pirate, is scheduled to shoot in 2022.
- Richard Agecoutay – Spirits of Summer (Toronto, ON)
- Jason Arsenault – Off The Wharf (Charlottetown, PEI)
- Flore de Bayser – The Outsider (Waterloo, ON)
- Ian Bawa – The Amazing Alan Cassavettes (Winnipeg, MB)
- Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh – Brother, Man (West Vancouver, BC)
- Ervin Chartrand – Highway 45 (Selkirk, MB)
- A.J. Demers – Old Growth (Toronto, ON)
- Priyanka Desai – Fearless Inks of the Nisga’a Nation (Vancouver, BC)
- Alex Duong – Breaking Bread (Burnaby, BC)
- Andrea Feltrin – Natural Habitat (Vancouver, BC)
- Kate Fenton – Filmores (Toronto, ON)
- Carmen Forsberg – #generation:ocean (Richmond, BC)
- Stuart Matheson – True Hearted Punk (The Pas, MB)
- Jacob Pratt – Lands Wandered (Regina, SK)
- Carla Robinson – Bully (Brantford, ON)
- Alex Sangha – Emergence – Out of the Shadows (Delta, BC)
- Kulbinder Saran Caldwell – The Nightbird (Toronto, ON)
- Fonna Seidu – What Comes After (Toronto, ON)
- Bram Timmer – Netherworld (Calgary, AB)
- Jen Viens – Autonomic (Montreal, QC)
- Seth Williams – Baiter (Canmore, AB)
Janelle Wookey, Wookey Films
Chris McIvor, Frank Digital
Carlyle Paetkau, Build Films
Orlando Braun, Prairie Boy Productions
Frederick Kroetsch, Open Sky Pictures
Eric Rebalkin, Mosaic Entertainment
Spencer Estabrooks, Insurrection Films
Dawn Bird, B.E.ZEE Productions
Lioz Bouganin, Landslide Entertainment