Guest Speakers

Guest Speakers

Stay tuned! We will be announcing more guest speakers over the next few weeks.

Michael Ghent

Title: Producer
Company: Two 4 The Money Media Inc.

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Michael Ghent has eighteen years of experience in the film/tv industry, including five years as a Production Executive for CanWest Global Broadcasting (now Shaw Media). During his career Michael has been part of over 500 hours of factual, scripted, general entertainment, true crime, current affairs, documentary and lifestyle content for a variety of Canadian and international networks. His roles include Producer, Story Producer, Writer and Development Consultant. He won a Gemini in 2007 for Best Documentary Series for Global Currents. He currently develops television movies and series for production companies in Vancouver.

Long active in the media community, Michael was the Creative Director of the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Film and TV Forum for the 2009 season, a Canadian Images programmer for the VIFF, Festival Director for Moving Pictures; Canadian Films on Tour and a publicist for the NFB/ONF. Michael has served on the board of directors for the Whistler Film Festival Society, represented Executives on the board of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television and continues to advise the VIFF Industry Conference (formerly the Forum). He is a programming consultant for international films at the VIFF. He holds an MBA/DES from ESSEC University in France.

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Michelle Ouellet

Title: Director/Producer, True Heroines

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Michelle Ouellet (Director/Producer) is an award-winning director and producer. Her feature debut Hooked on Speedman (starring Nicholas Carella, Christopher Jacot, the late Maury Chaykin and Paul Gross) was the recipient of the Maple Leaf Award for Best Canadian Film at The Prince Edward Island International Film Festival and was nominated for three Canadian Comedy Awards including best direction of a film. Hooked on Speedman has toured to a number of festivals and has played on CBC, City TV, FX Canada and Super Channel & is distributed by eOne.  For the web, Michelle directed all six episodes of the critically acclaimed web series The True Heroines, which has been garnering praise from notable publications such as USA Today, The Vancouver Province and The Huffington Post to name a few. For her work on The True Heroines Michelle has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and won awards at The Leo Awards, Vancouver Web Fest and LA Web Fest. Most recently, Michelle has been travelling the festival circuit with her second feature film Afterparty including Whistler last December and to The Canadian Film Fest where she was awarded The William F. White Reel Indie Award. Last fall, Playback Magazine named Michelle to their prestigious 10-to-Watch list in their annual Hall of Fame Induction issue. Up Next: Michelle is directing and co-producing the web-series Paranormal Solutions Inc. which is funded by the Independent Production Fund. 

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Nicholas Treeshin

Title: Development Producer
Company: Force Four Entertainment

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Nicholas Treeshin is a writer/director with over 75 episodes of television under his belt, directing for the likes of National Geographic, OLN, HGTV, OWN, CityTV and W Network. Constantly creating and evolving new concepts, Nicholas was born for development. His love of music has led him to numerous collaborations with hip-hop music producer Religion, directing videos for Moka Only, EDGE and Pittsburgh native Jasiri X. In addition to lifestyle-reality television, Nicholas is also passionate about the scripted side of things and his latest short film Leave Us Alone had its Los Angeles festival premiere at Screamfest 2013. With a BFA in film production, Nicholas is a graduate from the University of Regina.

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Nicole Clemens

Title: Senior Vice President Series Development
Company: FX Networks

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Nicole Clemens is Senior Vice President and Head of Series Development for FX Networks where she oversees the strategic development of new comedy and drama series for the network as it continues to expand its robust slate of groundbreaking original programming for FX and FXX. Clemens has been instrumental in guiding a coveted roster of critically-acclaimed new original series, which include Tyrant, The Strain, You’re The Worst, Married starring Nat Faxon, Man Seeing Woman starring Jay Baruchel, and The Comedians starring Billy Crystal and Josh Gad. 

Previously, Clemens was head of the motion picture literary department of ICM Partners, a talent and literary agency representing clients in the fields of motion picture, television, publishing, music, theater, branded entertainment and digital media. 

After founding the agency’s life rights department almost 18 years ago and later serving as a book-to-film/television agent, Clemens transitioned into the motion picture literary department, where she presided over an impressive list of clients including Melisa Wallack (Dallas Buyers Club), Neil LaBute (Death at a Funeral), Jason Winer (Modern Family, 1600 Penn), Kurt Sutter (Sons of Anarchy), Angela Robinson (True Blood), Jennifer Celotta (The Office),

Prior to her tenure at ICM Partners, Clemens ran Rod Holcomb Productions at NBC and was a television executive at Spelling Television.

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Nicole Perlman

Title: Screenwriter, Guardians of the Galaxy

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Nicole Perlman received her Film and Dramatic Writing degree from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 2003. Since then she has gone on to win the Tribeca Film Festival's Sloan Grant for Science in Film for her screenplay Challenger, which also placed on the 2006 Black List. The same year she was named one of Variety Magazine's Top Ten Writers to Watch, and more recently was listed in The Playlist's Ten Screenwriters On the Rise in 2013. Nicole has written for Fox 2000, Universal Studios, National Geographic Films, Disney Studios, Cirque Du Soleil Films, and 20th Century Fox. She was a member of the Marvel Writers Program from 2009 to 2011 where she first began developing Guardians of the Galaxy. She is currently adapting the upcoming YA novel The Fire Sermon for Dreamworks, as well as developing the Matthew Swift fantasy book series for Skydance Television. 

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Ondi Timoner

Title: Director, Creator of A TOTAL DISRUPTION

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Ondi Timoner has the rare distinction of winning the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival twice. Her 2004 doc, DIG!, about the collision of art & commerce through the star-crossed rivalry between the Dandy Warhols and the Brian Jonestown Massacre — and her 2009 top prize-winner, WE LIVE IN PUBLIC, about Internet visionary Josh Harris, who showed by example how willingly we will trade our privacy and in the virtual age — were both acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York for their permanent collection. Her other features include Join Us (2007), The Nature of the Beast (1994), and COOL IT (2010).

Ondi is currently directing and producing A Total Disruption, an interactive video portal for innovators, artists and entrepreneurs- documenting the thought leaders and doers who are driving the greatest revolution in the history of mankind with technology. CEA (Chief Executive Artist) is a series of short films that have emerged from A TOTAL DISRUPTION featuring artists like Shepard Fairey in OBEY THE ARTIST, Amanda Palmer in AMANDA F***ING PALMER ON THE ROCKS (Best Doc Short — Sheffield International Doc Fest), and Russell Brand in RUSSELL BRANDS THE BIRD. She also produces and hosts BYOD (Bring Your Own Doc) — the only talk show focused on documentaries in the world, with an archive of over 100 episodes in which Ondi interviews the leaders in doc filmmaking in discussions about their work.

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S. Siobhan McCarthy

Title: Co-creator/Executive Producer, PARKED

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Award winning film and web series producer, S. Siobhan McCarthy, is the CEO and Executive Producer of blyssful Productions and red trike media inc. She is the co-creator, Executive Producer and showrunner of the web series Parked, which is currently on the festival circuit. Parked received funding from the BC Film + Media Interactive Fund, the IPF and Creative BC, and was a part of the CFC Media Lab’s ideaBOOST Affiliate Program. Down Here, her first feature film, premiered at the 2013 Whistler Film Festival. As an innovative, transdisciplinary artist and educator, Siobhan also produced WAM, BC’s first international disability media festival through Kickstart Disability Arts when she was the Co-Artistic Director. While she was there, she executive produced five short films including Will, which won the Golden Sheaf at the 2013 Yorkton Film Festival and Patience and Absurdity, which represented Canada at the Paralympics Games in London in 2012. Siobhan has been the Production Manager of the Vancouver International Film Festival Forum for over a decade. She has a slate of film, television, and web properties in development. In 2014, she was chosen as a Bell Media National Fellow and won the WIFT Banff Scholarship. 

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After leaving her title as Exhibitor Relations Manager at Magnolia Pictures, Sara Kiener began her grassroots outreach tenure with Frederick Wiseman's La Danse: The Paris Opera Ballet and Nicole Opper's Off and Running before joining forces with Merrill Sterritt to create Film Presence. Since then, Film Presence has implemented grassroots outreach and social media campaigns for over 50 films – including 20 Feet from Stardom and 5 Broken Cameras - as they prepare for their theatrical, DVD, broadcast and festival premieres, with an emphasis on organizational partnerships and community building. Film Presence has also overseen the outreach and social media for multiple crowdfunding campaigns, including An Honest Liar, Miles Ahead and the 2012 Oscar Shortlisted The Waiting Room. Sara is a member of the IFP Advisory Board.

Twitter: @SaraKiener

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Scott Smith

Title: Director, Call Me Fitz

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Shirley Vercruysse

Title: Executive Producer
Company: National Film Board of Canada

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Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada, Pacific & Yukon Studio, based in Vancouver BC. Prior to joining the NFB in February 2014, she was independent film and television producer based in Calgary Alberta. Credits include; Fubar II, the first Canadian film to open the high profile “Midnight Madness” section of the Toronto International Film Festival; Radiant City, winner of the Genie Award for Best Theatrical Documentary & waydowntown winner of the prestigious Toronto City Award for Best Canadian film at Toronto International Film Festival. Other feature credits incldue The Future Is Now!; Angels Crest; Comeback Season; A Problem with Fear. Television credits include Gavin Crawford’s Wild West; My Rona Home, Season's I and II and The Secret of the Nutcracker.

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Simon Davis Barry

Title: Creator, Continuum

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Simon Barry is the Creator & Show-Runner of the top rated Showcase series Continuum which also airs in the U.S. on SyFy. Continuum has been sold in fifty countries world wide and its debut season was nominated for Best Series by the Saturn Awards, the Canadian Screen Awards, the Constellation Awards and the Leo Awards. Continuum just finished airing its third season in Spring 2014.

Over the last 20 years, Simon has sold Film and TV projects to Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Universal, Columbia, Working Title, CBS, FOX, FX, TNT, USA, and many independent companies. Feature Film credits include the Warner Bros. action thriller The Art of War and the micro budgeted independent Hamlet which premiered at the 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival. 

Simon is a graduate of the UBC Film and Television Degree Program and a member of the WGA, WGC, DGC and IATSE.

Twitter: @SimonDavisBarry

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Straith Schreder

Title: Director of Brand Marketing
Company: BitTorrent

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Straith Schreder joined BitTorrent in 2012 to develop the organization’s publishing platform by working with artists, filmmakers, and fans to design a new storytelling format built for the Internet. BitTorrent Bundle, launched in 2013, is an immersive experience that emphasizes the connection between viewers and creators, a toolkit that allows for sustainable direct-to-fan engagement and distribution, and a social object that increases in value each time it’s shared. Recent Bundle projects include Moby’s community songbook, downloaded over 8 million times, the world’s first 3D printed music video, created by Cut/Copy, digital download as global testimony, in partnership with the Oscar-nominated filmmakers of The Act of Killing, and the crowdfunded original content series, Children of the Machine.

Twitter: @BitTorrent

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