Big Pitch Audience Award Winner

Victoria Anderson-Gardner & Laura Friedman for the feature drama

“Tenaya”

Big Pitch Jury Winner

Lisa Rideout
for the feature documentary

“What Night Taught Them”

Participants

Jury

Paige Murray
CBC

David Plant
Trinity Square Video

Karam Masri
Ontario Creates

Hans Engel
Directors Guild of Canada

Gosia Kamela
Bell Media

Kevin Wright
The Optimal Pitch

Karam Masri

Program Consultant – Ontario Creates

Karam Masri is a Program Consultant for the Film and Television sectors at Ontario Creates. As Program Consultant, Ms. Masri develops and delivers screen-based programs that provide financial and strategic support to Ontario’s cultural media companies to sell content projects and advance their business development goals. Prior to her current role at Ontario Creates, Ms. Masri was the Business Analyst at the Bell Fund.

Gosia Kamela

Production Executive – Bell Media

As a Drama and Feature Film Production Executive for Bell Media’s Original Programming team, Gosia Kamela is responsible for the development and production of original drama series across Bell Media’s portfolio of channels and platforms, including: CTV, CTV Sci-Fi, CTV Drama, and Crave/HBO Canada. She also oversees the Canadian Feature Film slate for Crave. Her TV projects include the critically acclaimed series Orphan Black and more recently CTV’s new drama Transplant and The Surrealtor for CTV Drama. Previously, she was the Executive on MTV Canada’s Degrassi: The Next Generation, CTV’s limited series The Disappearance, CTV Drama’s Carter, Bravo’s 19-2, and CTV’s Flashpoint. Prior to joining Bell Media, Gosia was a Producer at True West Films (It’s All Gone Pete Tong).

David Plant

Executive Director – Trinity Square Video

As the Executive Director of Trinity Square Video, Canada’s oldest artist-run media arts centre, David brings a broad range of experience in media, entertainment and technology, with depth in both the public and private sectors, having worked in Hollywood, Silicon Valley and Europe to bring together story-telling, art and technology. As Toronto’s former Film Commissioner, he assisted over 1200 film producers internationally and has credits on Academy Award-winning films such as Good Will Hunting. Recently, he executive produced several projects including Terrarea’s “Office Space Modulation” which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Wingfield Farms: Lost and Found” starring Stratford’s Rod Beattie; “For When Dying is a Gift” at the ImagineNATIVE Film Festival and “The House” at the Canadian Filmmakers Festival. He is active with many film industry associations including the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and an Ambassador for the AFI/Sundance Re:Frame project for gender equity. He serves on the Board of the Independent Media Arts Alliance, Media Arts Network of Ontario, Performing Arts Lodge of Toronto, and on the Program Advisory Committee at Sheridan College Advanced Television and Film, and Bachelor Film and Television and advisory committees at the University of Toronto.

Paige Murray

Production Exective – CBC

Paige Murray has worked at the CBC for over nine years within the content areas. She is currently Executive in Charge of Production, YA Digital Originals, overseeing production and development of short and mid-length series for CBC Gem. She most recently worked on Queens, Late Night in the Studio, and Decoys. Paige is also the programmer for Canadian Reflections, the longest running Canadian short film showcase on national broadcast television. She oversees the film acquisition, programming and
scheduling strategy of this weekly show. Additionally, Paige currently sits on the board of Breakthroughs Film Festival. Breakthroughs is the only festival in Canada devoted exclusively to showcasing short films made by emerging women and non-binary directors.

Hans Engel

Senior Manager – Director’s Guild of Canada

Hans Engel is the Senior Manager of the National Directors Division at the Directors Guild of Canada where he also oversees the Directors Rights Collective of Canada. Hans began his career in the Canadian creative scene at the age of 11 as an actor. In his early years he was seen on Toronto stages in Waiting for Godot as well as the multiple Dora Award Winning controversial hit, Spring Awakening. He also had many guest starring roles in television. He pursued theatre directing and worked at the Canadian Stage Theatre as well as the Shaw Festival. He was the Assistant Artistic Director of the Banff Theatre Arts Program where he spent two years. In the midst of all this, he was also a fine artist with solo shows at galleries across Canada. Hans has been at the Directors Guild of Canada since 2006 creating many signature initiatives, engaging and advancing its creative members.

Kevin Wright

Trainer – The Optimal Pitch

Trainer, educator, consultant and Principal, The Optimal Pitch. Kevin has 30 years experience in screen-based media, having commissioned over 60 television series and having heard thousands of pitches! Kevin was previously Senior Vice-President, Programming for Astral Television Networks responsible for the acquisition and scheduling of content for HBO Canada, The Movie Network, TMN Encore, The Family Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. He joined Astral in 1995 as Vice-President, Programming for Family Channel and simultaneously served as Vice-President Programming for Teletoon where he participated in the licensing and launch of the network. Prior to that, he held positions at YTV Canada, Paragon International and Telefilm Canada.