Chief Executive, EAVE
Kristina has worked in the film industry in Germany, France, Belgium and Luxembourg since 1999.
– including the German regional film fund MFG-Filmförderung Baden-Württemberg, freelance producer for ARTE, heading the Film Commission Strasbourg and with the European training programme Masterclass Ludwigsburg / Paris.
She joined the European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) in 2004 as program manager. In 2007, she became deputy chief executive and was appointed chief executive in 2009.
Kristina has worked closely with several European festivals and production companies in her career. She has been matchmaker at the Berlinale Co-Production Market for the last few years. She is a member of the documentary commission of the French regional fund Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur and a member of the European Film Academy.
Read more about Kristina on the EAVE website.
Program Manager, EAVE
Satu is based in Luxembourg and has worked as program manager at EAVE since 2010.
She is responsible for the organization of EAVE Producers Workshop, EAVE+ and EAVE on Demand, among others.
From 2004 to 2010 she worked at the Finnish Film Foundation as part of the team responsible for the international promotion of Finnish films. From 1998 to 2004 she was in charge of the executive management and part of the programming team of Espoo Ciné International Film Festival in Finland. She has also worked as freelance journalist and translator.
Satu is a member of the European Film Academy.
Read more about Satu on the EAVE website.
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.
Senior Programs Manager
Ursula has been with the National Screen Institute since 2004 and is the senior programs manager.
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 the National Screen Institute 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 coordinated NSI Global Marketing, NSI Totally Television, NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative and NSI Pitch to Win! Ursula is also secretary to the NSI Board of Directors.
Oyinkansola (Oyin) Bolaji-Idowu
Administrator, Programs and Operations
Oyinkansola first came to the National Screen Institute as an RBC Career Launch Program associate on secondment in September 2020.
She is now the programs and operations administrator where she provides operational support to all National Screen Institute staff and administrative support to program managers for the successful delivery of NSI programs.
Oyinkansola holds a BA in psychology and philosophy from the University of Manitoba. She is a strong advocate for members of minority communities and looks to create opportunities for people in spaces where they feel like they don’t belong.
She loves exploring new ways to express herself creatively. A few skills she has picked up along the way are crocheting, sewing, photography and digital art. Who knows what’s next?
Meet the students
Writer, The Making of MonaRead bio
Alex Eskandarkhah is a multidisciplinary artist, filmmaker and entrepreneur.
He has been involved in the production of several projects including The Gifted Gab: 1K Convos, a talk show series he produced and directed.
Alex has also directed several pieces including We Are Here as part of the Voices From Home series for the Collective for Black Iranians – a creative and critically conscious non-profit initiative proposing an Iranian culture that stands fully at its Black and African intersections. Alex is one of the six cofounders.
Alex has participated in projects, talks and shows for several broadcasters and organizations including Netflix, CBS, San Francisco State University and Make it Awkward. He is currently living in Edmonton, Alberta where he has recently incorporated his production company Gamble Ave Filmworks, and is developing his first feature length documentary as a director / producer called Coaching While Black.
Producer, The Making of MonaRead bio
Producer, The Making of Mona
Anand Ramayya is a producer based in Saskatchewan and the founder of KarmaFilm.
Combining a passion for inclusive stories and original voices, KarmaFilm founder Anand Ramayya has built an impressive, 20-year track record as a BIPOC and equity seeking producer with over 80 hours of content notably Wapos Bay and Donkeyhead, receiving over 35 awards including five Geminis (two Canada Awards for excellence in diversity), a Canadian Screen Award (six nominations) and a Kidscreen Award.
As a creator of content, Ramayya has written and directed numerous award-winning documentaries including Cosmic Current, Mad Cow Sacred Cow, Who Killed Gandhi? and award-winning series Landing: Stories from the Cultural Divide.
Ramayya is past president of the Saskatchewan Motion Picture Association, an alumnus of the National Screen Institute, Strategic Partners and the CFC.
In 2020 Ramayya was honoured with the Reelworld Trailblazer Award, which recognizes diverse Canadian pioneers in the entertainment industry. More recently he has been recognized for significant filmmaking accomplishments and notable cultural commitment to the Canadian film production community with a CMPA nomination for the 2022 Established Producer Award.
Writer, See You in ChurchRead bio
Dawn is a producer for television, film and web in Regina, Saskatchewan.
She runs three Regina-based production companies: B.E.ZEE Productions Inc., DBD Productions Inc. and Iron Door Productions Inc. Dawn first produced the TV series Teen Zone for Shaw Cable, as well as the comedic web series Over the Fence.
Dawn’s first film, Bread Thieves, won the Rising Star Award at the Canadian International Film Festival in 2014. She also wrote and produced the short film Dressed to Impress, which was one of three winners of the ACTRA diversity competition and shown at Yorkton Film Festival in Saskatchewan. Dawn has also helped produce several TV commercials (SGI, SaskTel and Saskatchewan Union of Nurses) and worked as an associate producer on the reality TV series Nordic Lodge.
Dawn is a producer of a preschool animated TV series called Why Am I for Citytv. She is working on the show’s fourth season which will air in August 2022.
Dawn completed production on the feature film Mercy in 2020 which was nominated for Borsos Best Canadian Feature at Whistler Film Festival, won Best Queer Narrative at Beyond the Curve International Film Festival and has recently been picked up by Summer Hill Films Distribution.
Currently, Dawn is in post-production on a comedic web series picked up by CBC Gem called Zarqa set to air mid-May.
Diane De La Haye
Writer, Shalom JamaicaRead bio
Writer, Kasàlà, ou l’art de la célébrationRead bio
Producer, HalfwayboyRead bio
Fonna Seidu burst onto the film industry in 2018 with Alison Duke’s short film Promise Me, winner of Best Canadian Short at the 2020 AfroPrairie Film Festival.
She’s since worked on 40+ projects including Being Black in Toronto, Canadian Screen Award winner for best direction for a documentary series and Virgins!, a web series created by Aden Abebe, funded by IPF, Bell and CBC, currently in post production.
She also produced Lu Asfaha’s Fresh Meat, which was developed with CBC and won the 2020 Reel Work Filmmaking Fund from BIPOC TV & Film as well as the 2021 Inside Out RE:Focus Post Production Film Fund.
In collaboration with writer / director Lora Campbell, their feature film Stonewalled is in development with the Attagirl Film Lab, a global feature incubator designed to support women and non-binary talent.
As a Black queer producer, Fonna champions character-driven projects with compelling storylines and niche audiences while always prioritizing BIPOC & 2SLGBTQ+ teams and projects.
Fonna has additionally produced content for clients like Cossette, TD Ready Commitment, Breakthroughs Film and Television, City of Toronto, Western University and OYA Media Group.
Gentille Menguizani Assih
Producer, Kasàlà, ou l’art de la célébrationRead bio
Gentille Menguizani Assih
Producer, Kasàlà, ou l’art de la célébration
Gentille Menguizani Assih has been working in the film and television business for over 15 years.
She made her first documentary Itchombi in 2009. That same year, she produced and directed the short drama Bidenam, l’espoir d’un village (jury prize, Vues d’Afrique International Film Festival, Montreal).
In 2010, she directed the documentary Akpéma which laid the groundwork for Le rite, la folle et moi (The Rite, the Madwoman and Me). Released in 2012, this documentary feature won numerous awards, including the audience choice award for best documentary at Cinémas d’Afrique d’Angers in France. She earned her master’s in film from UQAM in 2013. Into the Light is her first NFB film.
In her work, Assih turns an intimate lens on her subjects and fearlessly shines a light on taboo topics. While her camera remains unflinchingly focused on social issues and injustices, her sensitive writing conveys a distinctly positive vision of humanity.
Some management training also saw her find work on the production side of the TV and film business. Since settling down as an immigrant in Quebec, Gentille M. Assih worked as a production manager and producer respectively for six years at Serdy Video Inc.; two years at Productions Déferlantes Inc. and two years at Untamed Productions Inc.
In 2020, Gentille M. Assih created her own company Productions Colorées Inc. so she can produce more stories that match her values.
Gursimran Datla is an emerging writer, director and producer living and working in Toronto, Ontario.
He is a postgraduate in advanced filmmaking and arts management. His diploma short film Refuge won the best film award at Donny Awards (Toronto, Canada) in 2017.
With more than seven years of experience in film production and media arts, Gursimran has a deep interest in cinema as a tool to showcase overlooked stories. His recent short film Cinnamon Tea screened at North America’s largest South Asian film festival IIFSA (South Asian International Film Festival, Toronto) in Aug 2021.
In 2021, he established his own production company BetterHalf Films with the motive to create content-driven films and dramas for international and Canadian markets.
Right now, BetterHalf Films is producing a feature-length international documentary which is currently in production. Gursimran is also developing a narrative film on the backdrop of the First World War and a comedy-drama pilot featuring South Asian cast.
Producer, Diaries of a DowryRead bio
Producer, Diaries of a Dowry
Haui is a mixed media artist who directs, designs and devises for film, theatre and opera. He is an artist-in-residence with Wildseed Black Arts Fellowship (Black Lives Matter-Canada).
Recently, his award-winning feature film debut MixedUp was produced with trans filmmaker Jack Fox and OUTtv. He was assistant producer to Marie Clements on her feature film Red Snow, currently on CBC Gem.
Haui is the 2021 recipient of the Jack King Award for video/projection design in Canadian theatre. His work has been seen at the Luminato and Shaw Festivals and upcoming at the Stratford Festival in 2022.
As a visual artist, Haui’s photography was commissioned for the Canadian Opera Company’s production of Rufus Wainwright’s Hadrian and his photography has been showcased internationally in Harper’s Bazaar UK, Greystone Books and TIFF.
Haui’s developing a plurilingual television anthology series with Sharada Eswar சாரதா ஈஸ்வர் and Alison Wong 黃巧文 and writing a libretto about Canadian contralto Portia White supported by the Canadian Opera Company.
Heather Hatch is a Haida (First Nations) filmmaker whose focus is on writing and directing films that explore female and Indigenous stories.
This approach extends to her latest project, Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace, where she looks at the devastating impacts of land development on Indigenous ways of life.
She seeks the truth with a tenderness for her characters that comes through on screen. Her first documentary, Jaat Sdiihltl’lxa: Woman Who Returns, follows her adoption into her Haida clan and examines themes of female empowerment and identity – premiering at Edmonton International Film Festival and seven international festivals.
She wrote for CBC’s Peace River Rising, a digital short documentary about the rise of violence against Indigenous women in the presence of a transient workforce. Her CBC children’s pilot, The Girl Who Talks to the Moon, promotes her Haida language and culture.
Heather is a recipient of the Gil Cardinal Legacy Fund award, WIFTV Banff Fellowship, Whistler Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship, Hot Docs Doc Accelerator Program and Netflix Diversity of Voice Initiative – Banff World Media Festival. She served on the board of DOC Alberta in communications for two years and currently serves on the diversity committee for WIFTA.
Wochiigii lo: End of the Peace is Heather’s first feature film and to make it she received support from Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. This film premiered at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 2021, 11 other film festivals and is still in the festival circuit at this time.
She is currently working on a documentary – a multimedia short that traces her family’s story through her great grandparents’ love.
Jeanette Kong (she/her), the driving force behind Jiang Media Inc., is a Jamaican-born, Chinese-Canadian documentary producer and director based in Toronto.
Recently, she completed A Brief Record of My Father’s Time at Sea, a feature about her dad’s intimate account of his immigrant journey from China to Jamaica in 1949 and then Canada. The film premiered at the 2021 Reelworld Film Festival.
In 2012, she produced and directed the documentary Finding Samuel Lowe: From Harlem to China about an African-American family’s search for their Chinese grandfather. In 2015, Reelworld Film Festival selected the documentary as its opening night gala film. It won the ReelChoice Audience Awards for Reelworld’s Toronto and Markham festivals. The film was broadcast on PBS, The Africa Channel and Flow Network in the Caribbean. It was also shortlisted for Best Diaspora Documentary at the 2014 Africa Movie Academy Awards.
Her short documentaries — The Chiney Shop and Half: The Story of a Chinese-Jamaican Son — screened at many international film festivals and museums. In July 2014, they were chosen to commemorate the 160th Anniversary of the Arrival of the Chinese to Jamaica at the Institute of Jamaica.
Jeanette honed her craft as a director at TVO. She earned her master of arts in media production from X University in 2010 and holds a bachelor of journalism degree from Carleton University.
Previously, she taught in the School of Design at Beijing Normal University in Zhuhai, China and in the Media Foundation Program at Humber College. She is also a mentor in residence with the Neighbourhood Arts Network at Toronto Arts Foundation.
Jennifer Pun is a partner at Edge Entertainment, a Sault Ste. Marie-based film and television production company.
Jennifer and producing partner Rosalia Chilelli share an inspired vision about the diversity of voices in this country, and others, and the opportunities awaiting them in the film, television and digital medium.
Jennifer’s producer credits include the award-winning tween comedy series How to be Indie, action/adventure series Connor Undercover, Canadian Screen Award nominated feature Fall and cult horror The Void.
Jennifer also served as co-executive producer on the feature Girl and consulting producer on features The Cosmic Dawn and Nowhere. Most recently she produced the survival thriller Cascade starring Sara Waisglass and Joel Oulette.
In addition, Jennifer acts as business affairs and production consultant to leading film and television companies. Prior to this Jennifer held management positions at Heroic Film Company and Capri Films.
She is an alumna of the Banff Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media, Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab, National Screen Institute’s Global Marketing and Totally Television programs. She holds an HBA and MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, UWO and an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts.
Juan Andres Arango
Writer, Whispering SkinRead bio
Kulbinder Saran Caldwell
Kulbinder Saran Caldwell
Kulbinder Saran Caldwell is the founder and producer of REALLIFE Pictures Inc., an award-winning production company in Toronto, Ontario. She is also an agent and manager for diverse, neurodiverse and LGBTQIA+ emerging screenwriters.
She supports and encourages writers and directors to use their own unique POV in their storytelling and projects. She works to build sustainable careers for writers by coaching them to create pitch-ready, original content. She is an active member of CMPA and PRO.
Kulbinder was born and raised in small-town northern British Columbia, Canada. Through hard work, her immigrant parents carved out a new life for their family. Since her parents didn’t speak, read or write English, Kulbinder learned a lot from television shows growing up and tried to emulate the family life that she saw on screen. When she grew up and met other first generation immigrant kids, she recognized a key similarity in all of their lives: the constant struggle to understand exactly where they actually belong.
While television showed her what it was like to be white in Canada, Kulbinder had to navigate the world she was living in, which had a lot of colour. Her vision is to have more BIPOC-authentic representation in the film industry and put a spotlight on diverse storytellers.
Writer, The Making of MonaRead bio
A project director by trade, Mitra brings a highly efficient, strategic personal approach to filmmaking as a producer at 1844 Studios.
As an Iranian-Canadian Bahá’í, who has lived and travelled extensively in the Caribbean and Africa, Mitra has gravitated towards international stories which resonate with Canadian audiences.
With a distinguished record in business leadership and project management, Mitra has served in various leadership roles globally. She holds two master’s degrees in management and leadership from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Canada and Landegg International University in Switzerland. Mitra has over 20 years of experience working in the private and public sectors.
In 2013, Mitra assumed the role of project director of a $31.062 million (CAD) project in the Caribbean funded primarily by the Canadian Government. The Strengthening Distance Education in the Caribbean (SDEC) project increased employment and income generating opportunities for Caribbean citizens by improving the institutional capacity of the Open Campus of The University of the West Indies to offer increased access to post-secondary education regionally and abroad, through enhanced programs and learning sites.
As one of the producers of 1844 Studios, Mitra has served as a producer on several projects, notably My Lyric I Never Knew (narrative short); Precarity (documentary); When I Was George (narrative feature); Undetonated: Women in Terror (documentary series); Power Move (narrative short); Shades of Worth (narrative short); Colorblind (narrative short); Abu & Mo (animation short); Breaking the Hate (documentary); and several music videos.
Writer, 15 Kinds Of Casual SexRead bio
Mylène Augustin is a producer based in Quebec.
After working for several years as a French copywriter and web content editor, Mylène enrolled in the Institut national de l’image et du son (L’inis) intensive program in interactive production.
From 2014 to 2020, she worked as an associate producer on a dozen projects ranging from short to feature documentary, to short animation films, at the English documentary and French animation studios of the National Film Board of Canada.
In a desire to support emerging and underrepresented filmmakers, she joined forces with Marie Ka in 2020 to found Inaru Films. Their vision for this production company is to shine new faces of auteur cinema, and more particularly the voice of Black creators in Quebec.
Mylène is also a founding member of Black on Black Films, a Montreal film collective whose mission is to support Black creators and facilitate their access to the audiovisual industry.
Producer and writer, A Camaican in QuebecRead bio
Producer and writer, A Camaican in Quebec
Natasha Vassell is a producer and writer based in Ontario.
Natasha Semone Vassell is a notable member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television & Radio Artists (ACTRA), Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television (ACCT) and Women in Film and Television (WIFT) in Toronto, Canada. She also sits on the diversity committee for ACTRA Toronto local office.
Natasha is currently in pre-development for a TV series with CBC. The project has received support from the Canada Media Fund.
Natasha has also been awarded development financing with Ontario Creates and Telefilm Canada for the project Brown Baby. She has written the script for this project and is currently working with an extensive writing team whose credits include working for a variety of CBC TV series such as Frankie Drake and Diggstown.
Natasha has recently acquired the option for a Canadian novel titled Through the Sad Wood Our Corpses Will Hang by Ava Farmehri. The project has received From Page to Screen option support from Ontario Creates and development funding from Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates. This project will be an international co-production.
Natasha is a producer on a Canadian/German co-production titled Riptide with German producer Sigi Kamml and director Christian Alvart of Syrreal Entertainment. This project is supported by Telefilm Canada and Ontario Creates. CBC is also attached. She was able to secure a co-production with MNET – South African broadcaster; resulting in having the entire continent of Africa with a pre-sale broadcast license. The film will be distributed with Mongrel Media in Canada and Square One in Germany. ARRI Media is attached for world sales.
Natasha is a lead producer on an Italian/Canadian co-production titled I Will Not Starve. The project is in development with Italy’s top broadcaster Rai Italia. She has also secured Canadian national distribution for the project.
She is the producer on a Scandinavian co-production (Norway, Sweden) titled Run. This project currently has development funding with Eurimages. Natasha was selected to participate in the Junior Entertainment Talent Program held during Berlin International Film Festival in 2019.
Natasha was the co-producer on Tomb and secured a featured market screening at Cannes International Film Festival 2017. It was the first Caribbean science fiction movie to be screened in Cannes, France.
Most recently Natasha has been selected to participate in the Diversity of Voices Professional Development Program held at Banff World Media Festival 2021. Her past industry awards include top 20 Emerging Film producers (E20), Reelworld Film Festival. In addition, a mentorship program with Cameron Bailey, artistic director of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) through the Innoversity Summit.
Natasha was a participant in the Independent Television Producers Program at the Centre of Entrepreneurship at Centennial College in 2015. The program focuses on the business aspects of the television and film production industry. With an emphasis on the importance of an entrepreneurial spirit and a global outlook, students explore the legal, financial and regulatory frameworks of the industry and develop skills necessary for producing in the current Canadian market.
A Canadian born, native residence of Toronto, Natasha has lived in Italy and Germany for the past 10 years. She splits her time between Toronto, Canada and Germany. She holds degrees from Ryerson University, Humber College and Centennial College in new media, advertising, graphic design and web development. She also can speak conversational French and Italian.
Producer, People of the NorthRead bio
Producer, People of the North
Neegan Trudel is a producer based in Quebec.
Neegan began his career in the field of VFX and 3D animation. He then worked on many projects as a 2D composer at Moment Factory, a multimedia entertainment studio. During this time, he worked on the animated film Ballerina, created by Atelier Animation and The Little Prince of Mikros Image.
In 2017 he worked on INIS productions as an ideator and director with two short films Audrey and Guanzillum. As co-writer and director, Neegan added a feature film to his credits, Vacarme for Tak Films and the web series Ahchiouta’a broadcast in 2020 on APTN and TV5. In recent years, he has also written, directed and produced other short films such as Ashen Sleep for SPASM and Alice for Welcome Aboard.
Ngardy Conteh George
Ngardy Conteh George
Co-founder of OYA Media Group, Sierra Leonean-Canadian Ngardy Conteh George is a two-time Canadian Screen Award winning filmmaker.
She is committed to working with systematically excluded and often unheard communities, especially those that represent the rich cultures and complexities of the African diaspora.
Most recently she directed, co-wrote and co-produced TV hour Mr. Jane and Finch (CBC, 2019) winner of two 2020 Canadian Screen Awards: the Donald Brittain Award for best social/political documentary and best writing for a documentary.
Her first feature-length documentary The Flying Stars is an intimate portrait of amputee athletes in her native West African country, Sierra Leone. The film premiered at Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM, 2014), received grants from the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Fund, won best documentary at Bronze Lens Film Festival in Atlanta, Georgia (2015) and been broadcast around the world including NHK in Japan, DR in Denmark, documentary channel in Canada and Al Jazeera.
Ngardy’s films also include short documentaries Soldiers for the Streets (NFB/CBC Newsworld, 2004) and Dudley Speaks for Me, part of the Akua Benjamin Legacy Project (best Canadian presentation, Caribbean Tales International Film Festival, 2016).
Along with Alison Duke and Notisha Massaquoi, Ngardy co-founded OYA Black Arts Coalition, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on supporting Black filmmakers and entrepreneurs in the film, entertainment and digital media industry. She is also a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada and sits on the board of the Documentary Organization of Canada Ontario Chapter.
She is currently in production producing two feature length documentaries with OYA co-founder Alison Duke as well as working on a cinematic 360 interactive VR documentary project and is a BPM & MIT Open Doc Labs visiting artist fellow.
Writer, Winnipeg StreetsRead bio
Writer, People of the NorthRead bio
Producer and writer, Pass the SaltRead bio
Producer and writer, Pass the Salt
A graduate from Groundlings School of Comedy in Los Angeles and a recipient of the 2021 SNL scholarship, an alumna of the WIDC program, Panta Mosleh is a bisexual Muslim Middle Eastern/West Asian-Canadian writer / producer / director / performer.
She is also a member of the CMPA and has worked for over seven years as a production coordinator, production manager and a producer.
She was the associate producer on The Switch the first transgender-themed Canadian television comedy series on OUTtv in 2016 and a recipient of the pre-development CMF funds for her sitcom series Pass the Salt. The series draws from her personal experiences, struggles and accomplishments which makes it a very personable and relatable story not just for the LGBTQ2SIA+ Muslim community, but also for a wider outreach and the many people just trying to find our way in a messed up world. Panta is very passionate about joyful representations of minority groups.
“We don’t just want to be defined by our trauma.”
“Laughter truly is the greatest medicine!”
Paola Arriagada Nuñez
Producer, Whispering SkinRead bio
Paola Arriagada Nuñez
Producer, Whispering Skin
Paola Arriagada Nuñez is a producer based in Quebec.
Paola has been immersed in the world of production since a very young age. She was coordinator and supervisor of content for over five years and, in 2018, was promoted to content producer. She has since worked on more than a dozen documentary series and single documentaries for Pimiento.
Paola has worked as a content producer on the development of two feature-length fiction films, financed in scriptwriting by SODEC. In 2019 she co-produced her first short film La petite Floride.
Paola has since worked as a line producer on various web advertising projects, as well as acting as a producer on music videos and shorts. She will produce her first web series, St-Jean-du-Lac, for Noovo.ca in 2022.
Producer, Shalom JamaicaRead bio
Producer, Shalom Jamaica
Patricia Scarlett is a producer based in Ontario.
Patricia’s early experience in the industry began at TVOntario where she worked primarily in international sales. As a highly successful sales executive at TVOntario, Patricia was responsible for opening the Latin American market. She initiated and closed TVOntario’s first educational broadcast and educational non-broadcast sales in Brazil.
During that time, she developed and nurtured a few valuable relationships with producers and broadcasters which have culminated in several significant professional achievements, including her representation of Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, winner of the Camera D’Or at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival.
She is a regular at industry trade events such as MIPTV and MIPCOM in Cannes, France; Banff World Media Festival and NATPE where she meets with international broadcasters to pitch original TV and film projects.
Over the span of her career, Patricia has comfortably worn many hats, including those of entrepreneur, educator, producer/executive producer and consultant. She founded Media Business Institute (MBI), a Toronto-based training, production and TV consulting company created to deliver business affairs training to content creators and to create and produce original content that explores the intersection of race, class and culture through a black lens.
She has developed ongoing relationships with many international broadcasters and independent producers: TVOntario, TMN, Bravo, Syfy Channel, South African Broadcasting, Treehouse TV, Norflicks Productions, Daisy Productions, Spoken Song Productions, Loten Media, Inner City Films, Seahorse Worldwide and Two Sisters Productions.
Patricia’s production credits include: RasTa: A Soul’s Journey (documentary feature) – creator/executive producer/producer; Rastafari Then and Now: A Message from Jamaica (documentary) – creator/executive producer/producer; Crazy Opera (animated Christmas special) – executive producer; Mighty Machines, season 2 – executive producer (pre-school series).
Praneet Akilla is an Indian-Canadian actor / producer best known for his recurring roles on The CW’s Nancy Drew and Disney Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem.
Prior, he starred in his breakout role in the Netflix series October Faction. He will be starring as the series lead on the upcoming Paramount Plus/CBC show Skymed.
Over the last few years, in addition to his acting work, Praneet has been producing a variety of narrative content starting with the independent feature Jewel Fools in 2014 which premiered at Calgary International Film Festival and had a subsequent VOD run. He has starred in and produced many critically acclaimed short films/web series such as Freya currently on CBC Gem and Lux Me on Telus Optik TV.
In 2020, Praneet started his production company 1271882 B.C. LTD. (name to be updated) along with fellow writer/producer Tesh Guttikonda. Too often stories with BIPOC protagonists are about their ethnicity or their traumas. Praneet’s mandate with his company is to steer away from the stereotypes of skin colour and produce content that showcases BIPOC protagonists in fun, genre-bending stories you don’t typically see.
Praneet’s most recent project with his production company is the short film Mom vs Machine. A cyber-punk, anime influenced dark sci-fi comedy about an Indian mother who must battle a sentient Indian food-making machine to compete for the affection of her son. Mom vs Machine is currently on its festival tour which started with a world premiere at Whistler Film Festival in December 2021.
Writer, Ape TownRead bio
Raj Panikkar is an award-winning Toronto-based producer, who also operates and functions as an independent writer, filmmaker and creative consultant for film, television and digital media.
With his outfit Fifth Ground Entertainment, his productions have included the documentary series Reelside (The Movie Network); the half-hour comedy series Rent-A-Goalie (Showcase); the music documentary series The Rawside Of… (IFC); Players’ PlayBook a digital documentary series with over nine million views, in association with BlackBerry and the NHLPA; and with Yahoo! Originals, Beyond the Bases, a digital doc series about the Toronto Blue Jays. Currently he’s writing and developing the horror drama series Dark Hall, with support from Corus and the CMF.
Airing now is the science adventure series Leo’s FishHeads for TVOkids, with spin-off series Leo’s Pollinators in post production for an April 2022 launch. Also in development with TVOkids is science adventure series Space School.
Every season of every television series Raj has produced has won or been nominated for major industry awards. He was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for best direction in a documentary series for an episode of Reelside.
Raj executive produced the award-winning feature film At Home By Myself… With You. He is also producing Fifth Ground’s socially conscious documentary productions including the web series The Exceptional Life which depicts three families charting therapy and strategies in raising children with autism. Raj is perpetually developing multiple projects for various platforms.
Producer and writer, Just A GuyRead bio
Producer and writer, Just A Guy
Ramin Eshraghi-Yazdi is a Canadian BIPOC award-winning filmmaker and performer based out of Calgary and Montreal.
As a writer/producer/director Ramin has over 17 years of experience with projects that have included broadcast commercial, web promo, experimental art installation, short form and feature documentaries, music videos, episodic TV and web, as well as a slew of scripted narrative work. Ramin is inspired by all that is visually stunning, and engaging stories not often told.
Producer, See You in ChurchRead bio
Producer, See You in Church
Rua Wani is the co-founder of Adani Pictures, a TV and digital production company based in Toronto.
Adani’s mandate is to bring scale, scope and international reach to marginalized stories in Canada. Adani has an active development slate, having won funding from Ontario Creates’ competitive Interactive Digital Media Fund.
The company was recently selected to join Canada’s first creative industries trade mission to Dubai, and Rua has been chosen for two producer labs: EAVE On Demand Access Program and Reelworld Producer Program.
Previously, Rua was a development executive at a major TV prodco where she worked on some of Canada’s most acclaimed scripted TV shows, including Orphan Black (BBC America, Space), Killjoys (Syfy, Space) and Cavendish and X Company (CBC).
She has assessed and developed scripts and pitches with some of Canada’s foremost TV writers, and identified books and other intellectual property for TV adaptation.
Producer, WitnessRead bio
Guyanese-born filmmaker and actor Ryan Singh’s mission is to create diverse, inclusive stories for all audiences.
He has worked on shows for NBC, FOX, CBS, Amazon, Apple, Hulu, Disney, Rogers, Bell Media, Planet Africa, FEVA TV as well as notable channels across the Caribbean. His recent appearances include Entertainment Tonight Canada and Global News.
Ryan’s acting credits include the television series The Expanse (Syfy, Amazon Prime Video), Designated Survivor (ABC, Netflix), Kim’s Convenience (CBC, Netflix) and Alexander Payne’s feature film Downsizing.
An award-winning filmmaker, his current documentary Memento: A South African Artventure and sci-fi short H.E.N.R.I. have played at more than 30 festivals across six continents. Ryan previously worked on Deborah Ellis’ adapted novel, The Breadwinner, an Oscar-nominated animated film directed by Nora Twomey and executive produced by Angelina Jolie. He has recently secured the option to Deborah Ellis’ new book, The Greats.
He has received funding from Telefilm Canada to develop two new projects including Witness by Shyiem Blair and Delivery, a film he is also writing.
Ryan is a full member of ACTRA, Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), IATSE 873, IATSE 411, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and Documentary Organization of Canada.
In 2020, he participated in the BIPOC Children’s TV Writing Boot Camp where he was mentored by several industry professionals from Nelvana, Disney, Netflix, Corus, CBS, NBC and started development on two television series.
Ryan has continued to hone his craft working with Daniela Saioni’s Mondo Cinema workshop Writer’s Room for Television and Feature Film Development programs. Ryan was part of Reelworld Film Institute’s Emerging 20 incubator in 2021. Ryan is also a participant of Warner Media Access, OYA Black Arts Coalition Scale-Up Business Initiative, Documentary Organization of Canada Breakthrough Programs and the National Screen Institute’s EAVE On Demand Access Program.
Producer, Winnipeg StreetsRead bio
Producer, Winnipeg Streets
Saira Rahman is an independent filmmaker based in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
In 2005, she wrote a three-part documentary series and accompanying teacher’s guide about Muslim Canadians called A New Life in a New Land (Milo Productions) which aired nationally on Vision TV.
Saira, along with the producers, travelled to Southeast Asia for a three-week diplomatic cultural exchange organized by the Canadian Government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.
After completing the digital film production program at Langara College in Vancouver, Saira and her sister, Nilufer, established Snow Angel Films in 2010, producing their first feature documentary Arctic Mosque (CBC, APTN), a story about a mosque that travels to the Arctic to become the most northern mosque in the Western Hemisphere. Later they both produced Prairie Mosque (Bell), a story about the first mosque established in Winnipeg in 1976.
Before entering the world of filmmaking, Saira was a teacher and principal. She received both a BEd and MEd and helped found two private schools – Alhijra Islamic School (1996) in Winnipeg and Olive Grove School (2006) in Mississauga, Ontario.
Saira is also a voice and theatre actor. Some of her local stage productions include The Game (Sarasvati Productions), Murder By Poe (PTE Adult Company, Winnipeg Fringe Festival), Boundary Avenue (One Trunk Theatre) and Baby Box (Sarasvati Productions).
As Muslim women of Bangladeshi descent, Saira and her sister, Nilufer, aim to amplify through their films compelling stories of diverse and marginalized voices that encourage constructive conversations toward shaping a more sustainable and compassionate world.
Producer, Ape TownRead bio
Producer, Ape Town
Shant Joshi is a queer Indo-Canadian producer based in Los Angeles and Toronto.
His credits include the films Framing Agnes (Sundance), International Dawn Chorus Day (Berlin, TEDDY Award Winner), Porcupine Lake (Toronto) and Noor & Layla (BlackStar); the hit web series Teenagers (CSAs); and the Dekkoo original series I’m Fine (Outfest).
Shant co-founded the Future of Film Showcase as a launchpad for emerging Canadian filmmakers, and he previously worked at the United Talent Agency, Buchwald and Lit Entertainment Group (fka Madhouse Entertainment).
He is an alum of the Producers Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, holds a certificate in entertainment law from Osgoode Hall Law School and was named to York University’s inaugural Top 30 Changemakers under 30.
Shant is currently a sitting member of the Restructuring, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Action Committee at the Canadian Media Producers Association, the board of directors at BIPOC TV & Film and the advisory board at the Future of Film Showcase.
Writer, Diaries of a DowryRead bio
After living in three different countries (US, Iran and the UK) Shayan’s family finally settled in Canada, between Toronto and Vancouver. After high school he went on to study first at UBC and then at the Langara College film arts program.
Shayan launched an acting career first on stage and later in the film/TV industry with guest star roles on popular TV productions (Prison Break, The Detour, The Magicians) and currently a series recurring role on The Flash.
Working with so many writers, Shayan was inspired to write original works which led to several projects including the dark comedy Faith and Conviction (PBS/WNET TV competition winner and featured on NY Public TV).
Shayan co-wrote and produced the feature-length drama Roads of Ithriyah (dir. Javier Badillo), official selection 2021 VIFF MENA and 2022 Milton Film Festivals, distributed by Indie Rights Movies. Currently, Shayan is on an internship through the Pacific Screenwriting Program on the PK Productions development series Pass The Salt.
Shehrezade Mian is an award-winning, independent producer based in Toronto who seeks to tell unconventional stories that bring light to underrepresented communities.
A well-connected member of the Pakistani film and TV industry, Shehrezade also acts as an international liaison between Canadian productions shooting in Pakistan and vice-versa.
In 2021, Mian was selected for the competitive TIFF-Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellowship and the WIFT Connect mentorship program with VICE Media in 2020.
In 2019, her feature film Concrete Valley was selected for Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program. Her films have also been awarded funding by the Canada, Ontario and Toronto Arts Council. Mian also recently executive produced Worth (19), which won the Air Canada Short Film Award at Reel Asian International Film Festival. She is currently in development on several other projects.
Writer, WitnessRead bio
Producer, 15 Kinds Of Casual SexRead bio
Producer, 15 Kinds Of Casual Sex
Teresa Ho is a producer based in Ontario.
With over 25 years of industry experience in production finance and management, including over 10 years as a producer in Canadian television, Teresa M. Ho is looking to expand her reach as a producer in all markets and platforms.
Recent TV credits include four seasons of CBC’s Frankie Drake Mysteries and two seasons of Corus’ Departure.
Previously, she managed the hit Netflix series Anne with an E, and multiple units on NBC Universal’s reboot TV series Heroes Reborn. She was also the director of production for all of indie producer Shaftesbury’s productions from 2006 to 2015, including Murdoch Mysteries, The Moblees and The Listener.
Her expertise in business and finance brings a practical tone to the creative voices while producing quality programming. Teresa is currently in development on feature film 15 Kinds of Casual Sex which was selected for the WIFT-T NBC-Universal Development Incubator and awarded development funds from the Harold Greenburg Fund and Telefilm Canada; feature film Wild Willie with writer Nathalie Younglai which received financing through the new Telefilm Canada development stream for racialized persons; and in post-production on the web series Hello (Again) created by Simu Liu and Nathalie Younglai, with partners CBC Gem, Bell Fund, CMF and Ontario Creates.
As the entertainment business continues to change and evolve, Teresa has adapted and shifted her focus from supporting to developing and producing her own screen-based projects. When Teresa isn’t racing around sets, you can find her racing around the tennis courts working on her service game.
Writer, HalfwayboyRead bio