Frances-Anne Solomon

A trailblazer in the film and television industry, Frances-Anne Solomon is a Toronto based award-winning writer, producer, director, curator and distributor in film, television and radio.

She started her professional life at the BBC and had a successful career as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer in England before moving to Canada where she founded the CaribbeanTales Media Group. She has worked internationally including in Canada, the U.K.  South Africa and Ghana.

Her third feature film as a director, HERO – Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross, has received wide critical acclaim on its worldwide tour, that includes theatrical runs in both Canada and U.K. She is a voting member of the director’s branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of Canada and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Nick Davis

Nicholas Davis has worked in radio, television and print for 33 years. He has won many awards for his journalism, including a 2006 Gabriel award. For the past 23 years Nick has worked at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) as a reporter, Manager of Program Development and Senior Producer of Toronto’s number one morning show — Metro Morning on CBC Radio One. Nick is currently the Director of Engagement & Inclusion at CBC.   Nick also coaches basketball at Sheridan College, where he has been an assistant coach since 1994 and he is a member of Basketball Canada’s National Coaching Pool.

Floyd Kane

Floyd Kane started his career as an entertainment lawyer working on productions such as the long- running satirical news program “This Hour Has 22 Minutes” and the Oscar winning documentary, “Bowling For Columbine”. He transitioned into writing with his creation of the half hour CBC drama “North/South”.  Since that time, Floyd has written for a range of series including “Continuum”, “Slasher” and “Backstage” as well as producing several feature films including the award-winning, “Across the Line” (for which he also wrote the screenplay), “Shake Hands with the Devil” and “The Incredible 25th Year of Mitzi Bearclaw”.  Floyd is the creator, showrunner and executive producer for the CBC drama DIGGSTOWN, currently in development on its third season. Earlier this year, he was the recipient of the Sandi Ross award from ACTRA Toronto which recognizes the efforts of individuals striving to create a more inclusive media industry.

Chloe Sosa Sims

Chloe Sosa-Sims is a Toronto-based director/ producer/ writer committed to documentary & stylized filmmaking. Her chilling and emotionally raw feature debut DAN AND MARGOT illuminated the complicated truths of schizophrenia. The film was produced in association with Super Channel and has screened internationally. She has participated in the UnionDocs Documentary Lab, RIDM Talent Lab, and the Reelworld Emerging 20 Program for her new film on women in politics. Her work spans independent documentary, television, branded content, and narrative shorts for VICE, CBC, History, Super Channel, Investigation Discovery, and A&E. She takes on issues from crime to HPV, and advocates for gender equality in the film industry through her work at Film Fatales Toronto. Her previous work includes 5 years as the Industry Programmer at Hot Docs. She holds a BAH in Film & Media from Queen’s University.

Faisal Lutchmedial

Faisal is a screenwriter, and most recently worked on the CBS 1 hour procedural Ransom, Season 3, and Endlings (CBC / Hulu). One of Faisal’s feature projects, the paranormal thriller The Voices Inside, was selected to be developed at the TIFF Studio 2019. He began his professional writing career in 2012 when he won the Writer’s Guild of Canada Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program and served as a Story Editor for the CTV series The Listener, Season 4. As a writer / director, Faisal won the WGC English Script Prize at the Festival du Nouveau Cinema Montreal with his short “Useless Things”, and is currently in post for the short “Beneath Us” funded in part by a grant from the Ontario Arts Council. In documentary Faisal directed the third world labour rights feature My Cultural Divide (2006, 75 min) which played in festivals around the world, and edited the Canadian Screen Award nominee “Burgundy Jazz”, a Radio-Canada interactive and multiplatform project.

Jesse Wente

Director of the Indigenous Screen Office

Jesse Wente is an Ojibwe writer, broadcaster, producer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family hails from Chicago and the Serpent River First Nation. Jesse is best known for his 22 years as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, Jesse spent 11 years with the Toronto International Film Festival, the last seven as the Head of TIFF Cinematheque. Jesse is currently co-producing his first film, a screen adaptation of Thomas King’s best-selling book, The Inconvenient Indian. An outspoken advocate for Indigenous rights and First Nations, Metis and Inuit art, he has spoken at the International Forum of Indigenous Peoples, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, the Canadian Arts Summit and numerous Universities and Colleges. Jesse currently serves on the board of directors for the Canada Council for the Arts and the Toronto Arts Council and was recently named the inaugural recipient of the Reelworld Film Festival’s Reel Activist Award. Jesse just started a new role as the first Director of the Indigenous Screen Office in Canada.

Tom Hastings

Director of Drama – Bell Media

As the Director of Drama in Bell Media’s Original Programming Unit, Tom Hastings supervises the development and production of original Canadian dramatic series across Bell Media’s family of channels, including CTV, CTV:Sci-Fi, CTV:Drama, and Crave.
Hastings has extensive relationships with Canada’s independent production community, and is especially known for his respected relationships with Canadian writers and producers. He holds a doctorate degree, having obtained his Ph.D. in English Literature.”

Kathleen Meek

Manager, Original Content, Drama and Factual – Corus Entertainment

Kathleen Meek is Manager, Original Content, Drama and Factual for Corus Entertainment. In this capacity, she is responsible for a portfolio of original scripted and factual series for Global, History Canada, Showcase and W. She is also production executive on History’s #1 drama, Vikings. She recently joined Corus from Bell Media where she was Production Executive, Drama and Feature Film. She was involved in the development and production of various original series for Bell Media’s suite of channels including the critically-acclaimed Sensitive Skin starring Kim Cattrall, Space’s most-watched original series Killjoys, CTV’s hit dramas Saving Hope and Motive and the Peabody Award winning original doc series Hip Hop Evolution. She was also responsible for the pre-licensing of Canadian feature film for Bell Media’s pay TV services, The Movie Network and HBO Canada. Prior to joining Bell Media, she was the Manager of Original Programming for Astral’s pay TV movie services, where she worked on such award-winning shows as Call Me Fitz, Funny as Hell, Less Than Kind, Pillars of the Earth and Transporter. She was also responsible for the commissioning of various feature documentaries such as Love Shines, Super Duper Alice Cooper and Takedown: The DNA of GSP as well as comedy specials Whitney Cummings’ Bleep Show and JFL XXX with Bob Saget. Kathleen started her career at CTV in the drama department where she worked as a production executive on Degrassi: The Next Generation. She has also sat on the board of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival and the advisory committee for Strategic Partners.

Mehernaz Lentin

Senior Director – CBC Films

As Senior Director of CBC Films for Canada’s public broadcaster, Mehernaz Lentin is responsible for overseeing the funding and pre-licensing of Canadian features for broadcast and streaming on CBC platforms. An award-winning independent producer with over 20 years’ experience in the Canadian film and television industry, Lentin began her career at the Canadian Film Centre in 1990: working closely with Filmmakers in Residence, coordinating the Master Lecture Series and developing new programs to highlight the work of Canadian creators. Since then, she has worked with some of Canada’s leading filmmakers, with producing credits that include: Portrait of a Serial Monogamist (2015, Christina Zeidler and John Mitchell), Fall (2014, Terrance Odette), Invisible City (2009, Hubert Davis), Toxic Trespass (2007, Barri Cohen), and three Deepa Mehta features: Heaven on Earth (2008), The Republic of Love (2003) and Bollywood/Hollywood (2002). She has served on juries for the Canadian Screen Awards, Gemini and Genie Awards, Telefilm Canada’s Screenwriters Assistance Programme, Ontario Media Development Corporation’s Feature Film Development Fund, and was a board member for the Toronto Film Commission from 2013 to 2015.

Julie Lacey

VP + Head of Development, Shaftesbury

Lacey is a Gemini award-winning writer who brings two decades of experience in writing, production and development to Shaftesbury. In her role as Vice President, Creative Affairs, Lacey manages Shaftesbury’s extensive scripted drama development slate, with an eye to expanding the company’s international partnerships. At Shaftesbury, Lacey has developed Dr. Vincent Lam’s Giller-winning book of short stories, Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures, into a mini-series for HBO Canada; several television movies for CTV and Lifetime including Eight Days to Live and In God’s Country; 11 seasons of the one-hour hit detective series Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV and ITV Studios Global Entertainment; five seasons of The Listener for CTV and Fox International Channels; and psychological thriller series Slasher now available on Netflix. Lacey’s writing credits include Due South, Power Play, The Zack Files, and Relic Hunter. Lacey is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.

Julian Geneen

Development Executive

Julian brings a wide breadth of knowledge in both feature and television development, having worked for some of the country’s most established production companies such as Scythia Films, Jobro productions and most recently Shaftesbury. In his role as Development Executive at Shaftesbury, Julian’s focus is on literary adaptations and the finding and fostering of fresh voices in the industry

Chris Bell

VP, Scripted Development EntertainmentOne

Chris Bell is VP, Scripted Development,Television at Entertainment One. Based in Toronto, Chris oversees eOne’s active development slate out of Canada, with a focus on partnering with top writing talent on the development of original series concepts as well as targeting high value IP. Under his leadership, the team is dedicated to providing strong support for Canadian creators to bring their stories to audiences worldwide.
Previously, as VP, Current Programming, Chris oversaw eOne’s impressive production slate of scripted series across North America, including Mary Kills People (Lifetime/Global), and hit series Private Eyes (Global) and Saving Hope (CTV/ION).
Prior to joining eOne, Chris worked at Corus Entertainment, where he oversaw a slate of original dramas, comedies and unscripted content for networks including Movie Central, HBO Canada, W Network and CMT. With over a decade of experience in independent production and the broadcasting industry, he is a leader in original programming and a strong advocate for high-quality content. Chris has a Masters in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and has served as an Associate Faculty member of the National Screen Institute, as well as a member of the Canadian Film Centre’s Features First advisory committee.”

John Galway

President, Harold Greenburg Fund

John Galway (President of The Harold Greenberg Fund): an MBA graduate with over twenty-five years of experience in film and television, John’s career has ranged from film festivals, to development, production and financing.
After staring his career at TIFF, his interest in development and production led to a position with Independent Pictures and contract work on several film and television projects. He then moved into financing, with positions at the Ontario Media Development Corporation (now Ontario Creates), the Canadian Media Fund and at Telefilm Canada where he served as a Regional Director and the Television Sector Head.
In 2005, he joined The Harold Greenberg Fund as President and Board Member. As President, he is responsible for the strategic and financial management of the organization, as well as industry and board relations. During his time at the Fund, he has overseen investments of more than $40 million and has helped develop over 1300 feature film projects. In addition to the main feature film development and production programs, John has overseen partnerships with film festivals, script writing labs and film promotion initiatives as well the support of documentary and short film projects.
He is also the co-Founder and Executive Director of the Toronto Irish Film Festival and sits on the board of the Canadian Film Fest.
HGF Website: www.bellmedia.ca/harold-greenberg-fund
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-galway-mba-b3155920/”

Anita Lee

Executive Producer, NFB

Anita Lee is Executive Producer of the NFB Ontario Studio, which develops and produces documentary projects as domestic and international co-productions. Lee serves as the NFB chair for the NFB/CFC Creative Doc Lab and leads a creative non-fiction lab in Toronto for interactive and immersive projects. Since 2005, Lee has produced some of the most critically acclaimed works at the NFB, including Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, Best Documentary Feature by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, and Toronto Film Critics Association. Recently, Lee executive produced Unarmed Verses (Best Canadian Feature, Hot Docs, VIFF 2017) and A Better Man (Hot Docs, DOC NYC 2017). In 2005, she also produced NFB’s first interactive production, an interactive feature film, Late Fragment‎, in co-production with the CFC. As executive producer, ‎more recent acclaimed credits include Highrise: Universe Within (awarded a 2015 Canadian Screen Award and a 2016 Webby Award); The Deeper They Bury Me (premiered at NYFF, selected by Columbia Digital Storytelling Lab’s Digital Dozen: Breakthroughs in Storytelling, 2015); The Space We Hold (Sheffield, FoST 2017); and Draw Me Close (a VR project that premiered in competition at Venice 2017). Lee is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Valerie Creighton

Canada Media Fund

Currently serving as President and CEO of the Canada Media Fund, Valerie positions Canadian programming at the forefront in world markets advocating successful, innovative Canadian content and software applications for current and emerging digital platforms. Valerie has taken part in foreign trade missions and is regularly called upon to present the CMF model internationally.
Valerie was invested into the Saskatchewan Order of Merit in 2016 and the Order of Canada in 2019. She was named one of 2016’s 20 most powerful women in global television by The Hollywood Reporter, was recognized in 2017 by Women in Television and Film – Vancouver for her major contribution to promoting gender equality in media, and was bestowed the Honorary Maverick Award at the 2017 Female Eye Film Festival. Most recently, she received C21’s 2020 Content Canada Impact Award.
Valerie holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Saskatchewan, has served on a variety of regional, national and international juries and boards and has produced radio dramas for the CBC in Saskatchewan, where she owns and operates the Red Horse Ranch.”

Michael Dobbin

Capital Motion Pictures

With one foot on either side of the Atlantic, Michael takes pride in bringing the world together on screen. He’s a seasoned production executive, distributor, mentor and consultant, with a specialization in international co production (Quiet Revolution Pictures – Canada) and (Peardrop Productions – United Kingdom); and as a distributor (Capital Motion Picture Group). Michael is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), a former board member of the Ontario Creates screen advisory, an alumnus of ACE, and part time instructor at Toronto’s Ryerson University.

Hilary Hart

Canadian Game Theory Films – Distribution Company

Hilary studied political science and film studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax. After university she completed an internship in short film distribution at Ouat Media in Toronto. From there she moved onto the Canadian Film Centre (CFC), working first as an intern in development and later being taken on as staff in administration and distribution. During her time at the CFC she also contributed to an online film magazine, The Seventh Art. At The Seventh Art she managed a Live Directors Series, which brought prominent directors including Paul Schrader and Whit Stillman to Toronto to screen and discuss their work. In 2015 Hilary accepted a position at Meridian Artists, where she worked for three years in talent management. In 2018 she received a certificate in Entertainment Law from Osgoode Hall Law School. In July of 2018 she partnered with Will Woods to create Game Theory Films, a Toronto based independent film distribution company. To date Game Theory has released 13 titles theatrically and on VOD, and are on track to release an additional 3 titles by the end of 2020.

Jon Taylor

CEO, Independent Production Fund

Jon Taylor is a Canadian digital media strategist and production executive. As a producer, Jon has worked at the Olympic Games, Academy Awards, and spent several years as a senior producer at CTV News. As Executive Director at the Global Online Video Association (GOVA), Jon supported the advertising, licensing, and distribution interests of emerging media companies such as NewForm Digital, Jukin Media, Kin Community, and Machinima, to accelerate the growth of the online video industry in the US. As Vice-President of Digital Products & Strategy at Bell Media, Jon led the launch of CraveTV, launched over a dozen TVE apps, and helped to create Bell Media’s first ever advertising partnership with YouTube.

Carly McGowan

CEO, Independent Production Fund

Carly McGowan has been working in the Canadian media industry for over a decade. Starting with a degree in journalism and following various stints in production and news, she landed at the crossroads of the Canadian media today. Currently serving as the Manager of the Independent Production Fund, she has also filled this role previously for the Cogeco Fund and the Bell Fund. Managing these funds, she has seen nearly every type of media project, for every screen, and every stage of creation. Within the Funds, Carly has the opportunity to liaise and work with each sector of the industry – producers, broadcasters, distributors, digital platforms, etc. Having reviewed over 1,000 applications, and supported over 80 web series through development and production, Carly has worked hard to enable creators on their path to create quality content that will be successful and find an audience. Carly’s industry work includes being invited to serve on various Juries and panels ranging the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Canadian Film Centre to Creative Saskatchewan and Vancouver Web Fest, among others.

Erin Burke

Canadian Film Centre

Erin Burke is a production and development executive with more than 15 years of experience in feature film. As CFC’s Associate Director, Content, she is responsible for selection, development, production, packaging and distribution of all “marketplace intended” content generated and incubated under the umbrella of CFC Programs, as lead by the Chief Programs Officer, including the CFC shorts, Showcase pieces for the Cineplex Entertainment Film Resident Program, Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, CBC Actors Conservatory and Slaight Music Residency, as well as content development under other marketplace initiatives.
Burke plays an integral role in curriculum design and development across all programs, and in establishing project recruitment, program strategies and resource planning, including: new program/marketplace initiative integration; high level stewardship of existing and potential new program partners/sponsors; packaging and promotion of content; and increasing awareness of the CFC as a go-to source for exciting and original content.”

Elise Swerhone

National Screen Institute

Elise Swerhone is an award-winning producer, director and writer. She has worked as Manager of Programs and Development at the National Screen Institute since 2011. Swerhone directed TuTuMuch, a theatrical feature documentary about aspiring ballerinas, which won awards in China and Chicago and was shown theatrically in Canada and around the world including the Cannes International Film Festival as part of the Telefilm Showcase on Canada.
Swerhone’s documentaries include, Mysteries of the Deep, part of the award-winning series, One Ocean, shown on the CBC’s The Nature of Things, Discovery US and National Geographic. She has done several documentaries for The Nature of Things the most recent being Surviving☺ The Teenage Brain produced by Merit Motion Pictures.
Her body of work includes Ballet High, a feature-length documentary about the graduating class of the professional school at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and a three part series about the children in the professional division of RWB called Ballet Girls, made for BRAVO!; The Science of the Senses: Hearing, The Pill and Drug Deals for the CBC’s The Nature of Things. She also directed Restitution (about the return of Nazi-looted art) and Me, My Brother and My Father’s Van Gogh for CBC’s Witness.
Swerhone has written, directed and edited episodes for all five seasons of the Gemini award-winning series Recreating Eden. Tommy Douglas: Keeper of the Flame a film Swerhone co-produced and directed for NFB is still popular on the NFB website even though it was made in 1986.
Her dramatic credits include episodes for the Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Miss Manitoba, Now & Then and The Mayor of Odessa. She directed the MOW My Mother’s Ghost from the novel of the same name and One of Them, a film about homophobia, for the National Film Board.
Swerhone has won many national and international awards. A full resume can be made available upon request. e.swerhone@gmail.com”

Robin Mirsky

Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds

Robin Mirsky is Executive Director of the Rogers Group of Funds. Robin joined Rogers Communications in 1989.
She is responsible for the Rogers Group of Funds, which includes the Rogers Telefund, a $32 million interim financing fund for Canadian independent productions, the Rogers Cable Network Fund, an $8 million equity investment fund for Canadian television and the Rogers Documentary Fund, a $2 million Fund that awards grants to Canadian independent documentary filmmakers. Collectively, these funds have provided more than $500 million in funding for Canadian independent productions.
Robin also sits on a number of industry related Boards such as the Banff World Media Festival and the Canadian Film Centre. She is currently co-chair of the Board of Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival in Toronto.”

Avi Fedegreen – Fedegreen Entertainment
Chris Yurkovich – Stellar Citizens
Gloria Kim – Director, Winner of ‘Women in the Director’s Chair’ Award from WIDC
Jennifer Holness – Producer, Hungry Eyes
Rama Rau – Producer/Filmmaker
Lauren Grant – Producer, Clique Pictures
Arshad Khan – Producer, director
Borga Dorter – Gearshift Films, Producer
Tiffany Hsiung – Doc director
Dan Montgomery – Producer, MDFF
Karen Harnisch – Producer, Film Forge
Natalie Urquhart – Wildling Pictures

Catherine Bainbridge – Rezolution Pics
Joyce Wong – Writer/director TIFF Talent Lab
Christina Piovesan – First Generation Films, Producer
Nicole Dorsey
James Hyslop – Alibi Entertainment Inc.
Ira Levy – Breakthrough Entertainment
Kathy Avrich-Johnson – Bizable Media
David Gordian – Paragraph Pictures Inc.
Tom McGillis – Fresh TV Inc.
Alfons Adetuyi – Inner City Films Inc.
Jamie Gaetz
Tyler Hagan


Frances-Anne Solomon

A trailblazer in the film and television industry, Frances-Anne Solomon is a Toronto based award-winning writer, producer, director, curator and distributor in film, television and radio.

She started her professional life at the BBC and had a successful career as a TV Drama Producer and Executive Producer in England before moving to Canada where she founded the CaribbeanTales Media Group. She has worked internationally including in Canada, the U.K.  South Africa and Ghana.

Her third feature film as a director, HERO – Inspired by the Extraordinary Life and Times of Mr. Ulric Cross, has received wide critical acclaim on its worldwide tour, that includes theatrical runs in both Canada and U.K. She is a voting member of the director’s branch of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the Directors Guild of Canada and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.