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Guests in Attendance

Film Guests | Industry Guests

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

A

Ali Adab

Ali Adab


VP Content & Partnerships
BroadbandTV
As VP Content & Partnerships at BroadbandTV (BBTV), a leading digital entertainment company, Ali has been vital to the growth of the business. Today, BBTV generates 27.7 billion monthly impressions, 265MM hours viewed per month and is the third largest video property in the world –
in terms of unique viewers – following only Google and Facebook. Ali is focused on growing and developing BBTV’s network of content creators, overseeing original content initiatives, expanding the business in new and emerging markets and managing BBTV’s key strategic partnerships with the NBA and The Huffington Post. Prior to joining BBTV, Ali founded Miso Digital, a digital marketing and distribution company focused on connecting artists directly with fans. He has personally worked with artists such as DMX, and the Wu-Tang Clan.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

Jamie Alain

Jamie Alain


Picture Editor for Film & TV
Jamie Alain is an award-winning, Vancouver-based film and television editor whose recent work includes the Netflix series Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency and Travelers, as well as Ice for the Audience Network. He also worked on two films screening at VIFF this year: Indian Horse and Entanglement.
VIFF AMP - Summit

B

Simon Barry

Simon Barry


Writer/Executive Producer, Ghost Wars
Simon Barry is the Vancouver based Writer/Director/Show-Runner and Creator of Ghost Wars, a paranormal series debuting this year on SyFy and Netflix. He’s best known as the Creator/Show-Runner of the multi-award winning time-travel series Continuum which has been broadcast in over one hundred and thirty five countries worldwide. Recent Television Projects also include Writing and Directing as Executive Producer on Neil LaBute’s Van Helsing. Simon also served as Writer/Executive Producer on the Rogers/Netflix 6 part limited series Ban Blood. Over the last 20 years, Simon has written feature film and television projects for Warner Bros., DreamWorks, Universal, Columbia, Working Title, SkyBound, Freeform, Warner Bros. TV, CBS, FOX, USA, FX, TNT, CTV, MGM, SKY, DHX, and many independent companies.
A Day in the Life
In the Writers Room
Creator Talk: Carlton Cuse, Showrunner
Creator Talk: Simon Barry, Creator, Ghost Wars

Billy Baxter

Billy Baxter


Chief Lighting Technician
Billy Baxter was born in Ohio and grew up in Louisville and Seattle. He graduated from The Northwest School of the Arts specializing in Humanities and Environmental studies. He also attended Bard College and Columbia in New York where he completed a Master’s Degree in History. After graduating, he worked in Seattle’s exploding music scene, directing music videos for Soundgarden, Nirvana and Tad among others. At the age of 19, his feature career began as a gaffer on a micro budget version of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Nights Dream. He continued working with music videos while also working on Seattle TV shows and features. He moved to Vancouver, BC, and continues to help make larger budget features such as a DP and gaffer.
Power Hour


Vicki Dobbs Beck

Vicki Dobbs Beck

Executive in Charge, ILMxLAB
Vicki Dobbs Beck has more than twenty-nine years of broad-based management experience in the entertainment industry. She drives top-level strategic vision and translates that into successful, sustainable strategies that foster creative growth, innovation, and excellence. She strives to be holistic in her approach and a catalyst for transformation in this increasingly dynamic environment. Currently, Vicki is the Executive in Charge of ILMxLAB, a new division launched in June, 2015, whose mission is to create, develop and release premium, story-based Immersive Entertainment experiences for the home, theater and public venues. ILMxLAB wants to make it possible for people to ‘Step into our Stories.’ The division combines the storytelling and innovation talents of Lucasfilm, ILM, and Skywalker Sound and builds on a foundation of pioneering R&D in real-time computer graphics and virtual production. Vicki received her MBA from Stanford University's Graduate School of Business where she also completed her undergraduate studies, earning a BA with distinction in International Relations.
Keynote: Virtual Reality Day

Jeremiah Benskin

Jeremiah Benskin


Director, Confine
Jeremiah Andrew Benskin was born in Montreal. He grew up in Europe where he studied the French language, literature, and philosophy. This foundation has provided him with a rich exposure to international art, literature, and theater from a young age. As a result, J. A. Benskin remains a well-rounded open vessel who explores rich global concepts. Whether it’s through writing, immersive art or films, he strives to spark discussion through a creative medium. He divides his time doing freelance work as a filmmaker and mixed media artist, all while making time for his friends, pets and family.
Power Hour

Damon Berger

Damon Berger


VP, Global Strategic Partnerships
Fullscreen
Damon Berger has been a pioneer of the digital entertainment space, helping create some of the industry’s earliest successes. As Global Head of Strategic Partnerships at Fullscreen, Berger works across Fullscreen’s talent network, brand services organization and content units to build strategic partnerships. Berger was previously CEO of What’s Trending, the digital media company behind the news- and pop culture-focused YouTube channel of the same name. Prior to that, he was director of digital marketing at 20th Century Fox Film, among others.
A 2012 Primetime Emmy nominee, Streamy and IAWTV award winner, Berger has also served on the Interactive Media Peer Group at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and mentored at American Film Institute’s Digital Content Lab.
Keynote: The Changing International Telescape

Emily Best

Emily Best


CEO/Founder
Seed&Spark
Emily Best is the founder and CEO of Seed&Spark, an entertainment platform built to increase diversity and inclusion for filmmakers and audiences. Seed&Spark’s curated streaming platform is fed by its crowdfunding platform, which has the highest campaign success rate in the world. Emily also produced the feature film, Like the Water and most recently co-created and co-directed the web series F*ck Yes!. She was named a 2013 Indiewire Influencer, a 2014 New York Woman of Influence, was included on the 2015 Upstart 100 list, and graduated from the 2016 class of Techstars Boston. Emily has raised millions of dollars in traditional funding, equity crowdfunding, and rewards-based crowdfunding, and contributed to over 300 crowdfunding campaigns.

Moving Forward with Inclusivity
Digital Storytelling Platforms

Valerie Biggin

Valerie Biggin


Music Supervisor
The SongRep Music Supervision Inc. - Chesapeake Shores, My Little Pony
Valeria is a 25-year music veteran who started as an aspiring recording engineer but ended up thePresident/Studio Manager for Mushroom Studios in Vancouver for over 13 years. With additional stints at SOCAN , AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MUSICIANS and Business Instructor ( Sound Design Dept) at the Vancouver Film School , Valerie’s passion and knowledge of music and its business was firmly established and respected. She is currently working on a number of projects for Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies and Mysteries, Lifetime and Netflix.
VIFF AMP - Summit

John Bissell

John Bissell


Music Supervisor
Mothlight Music
John Bissell has been music supervising for 20 plus years, and has worked on dozens of films and television series including, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hurt Locker, The Horse Whisperer, A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas, The Lucky One, No Reservations, Lord of War, Ladder 49, American Wedding, Hearts in Atlantis, Lowriders, Ugly Betty, The Bridge, The Blacklist and the upcoming mini-series, The Long Road Home. Commercial campaigns have included Cadillac, Nike, Hummer, American Express, Levis, Axe, Chobani and a bevy of ads for Old Navy.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Jake Black

Jake Black


Head of Virtual Reality
Create Advertising
Black serves as head of CreateVR, developer of cinematic Virtual Reality experiences. Recent releases include the Sony Pictures blockbuster Spider-Man: Homecoming, Ghostbusters VR: Now Hiring, and the highly acclaimed The Walk. Previously Black oversaw the motion graphics department at Create and has directed commercials for franchises such as God of War, PlayStation, and Just Dance.
Brands Jump In: 360 Advertising and Branded Content

PJ Bloom

PJ Bloom


SVP Film/TV Music
Warner Film & TV
PJ Bloom is a 25-year Entertainment Industry veteran and has remained a top Music Supervisor for well over a decade. He is a two-time Guild of Music Supervisors Award winner, two-time ASCAP Award winner, four-time BMI Award winner, placed No. 80 on Billboard Magazine’s annual Power 100 list, owns a Grammy-winning record label and is partners in one of the top Music Supervision firms in the US. In 2017 PJ was named Senior Vice President of Warner Bros. Records. He has created unique soundtracks for over a thousand episodes of television and fifty films as well as video games, advertisements and even amusement park thrill rides. He has collaborated with such prolific filmmakers and television producers as Steven Spielberg, Ryan Murphy, Michael Mann, Jerry Bruckheimer and Ridley Scott.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Chris Bobotis

Chris Bobotis


Director Immersive
Adobe Systems Inc.
Chris is Director of Immersive at Adobe, overseeing the company’s Immersive Media efforts. Chris is the software architect for the SkyBox suite of 360˚ video and cinematic VR tools, which Adobe recently acquired from Chris’ previous company Mettle. Chris co-founded Mettle in 1992, and was Partner & Creative Director. Mettle transformed the nascent 360˚ VR video industry with their SkyBox software plugins for Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, providing a dedicated toolset for editing and manipulating 360˚ video and introducing core features and functionality that had previously been missing from the market. Today, Mettle customers include Facebook, Google, Apple, Samsung, CNN, HBO, New York Times,NASA, and virtually all other professional 360˚ content producers.
The Rise of Cinematic VR

Catalina Briceño

Catalina Briceño


Director of Industry and Market Trends
Canada Media Fund
Catalina Briceño has nearly 20 years of experience in the audiovisual and new media industry. Her role is to ensure that the policies for supporting the production of Canadian television and digital media content are aligned with emerging developments in Canada, and internationally. She provides the CMF with the market intelligence required to develop effective policies and plays an instrumental role in developing and incubating strategic funding partnerships and initiatives. Previously, Catalina was Producer and Director of Operations at Salambo Productions, where she helped build the strategy and business model behind the internationally acclaimed, multiplatform project Têtes à claques. She served as Vice Chair of the Board of the Regroupement des producteurs multimédia (RPM) and received the 2008 Prix de la Relève from the Association of Women in Film, Television, and New Media.
Key Trends in Canadian Media Catalina Briceno, Director of Industry and Market Trends, CMF

Caitlin Burns

Caitlin Burns


Executive Producer
StoryTech® Immersive
As a producer for over 15 years, Ms. Burns has developed story worlds and sustainable multiplatform strategies for franchises ranging from global blockbuster feature films, award-winning television shows and AAA console games to 360° video, VR, AR, Mixed Reality and WebVR. She also works with international brands and organizations, using new media technologies to reach audiences and create impact. She is currently Vice Chair of the Producers Guild of America New Media Council. Past projects include Pirates of the Caribbean, Fairies, Descendants and Tron Legacy for Disney; James Cameron’s Avatar for Fox; Halo for Microsoft; Happiness Factory for The Coca- Cola Company; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles for Nickelodeon; and Transformers for Hasbro. Other clients include Wieden+Kennedy, Hush, Showtime, Pepperidge Farm, Diageo, EY, Reebok, Stratasys and UNICEF Kid Power.

VR News and Documentary Best Practices
Content with a Cause: The Changing Landscape of News and Documentary Filmmaking

C

Meredith Carlin

Meredith Carlin


Meredith Carlin, Director of Content Marketing & Development
Scripps Lifestyle Studios, Scripps Networks Interactive
Meredith Carlin is the Director of Content Marketing and Development for Scripps Lifestyle Studios. Previously, Carlin was the Executive Producer for ULIVE.com and successfully launched the series This is a Show for Parents of Gay Kids and #Craving. Prior to that, Carlin worked as a Production Manager and Line Producer for Food Network and Cooking Channel and oversaw production on Iron Chef America, 30 Minute Meals, Guys Big Bite, and Thanksgiving Live. Carlin is a member of The Producers Guild of America, Women in Cable Telecommunications, The International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences and NAMIC. Cynopsis Media also named Carlin one of the Top Women in Digital in 2016.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

Marie Clements

Marie Clements


Writer, Director and Actor
Marie Clements Media
Marie Clements is an award-winning writer, director and producer who has worked to ignite her brand of independent story-making in a variety of mediums including film, TV, radio and live performance. Her feature musical documentary The Road Forward, produced by the NFB, premiered at the Hot Docs Festival and will screen at The Atlantic Film Festival, The Margaret Mead Film Festival and The ImagineNative Film Festival this fall. She is currently working on a slate of projects with her company MCM, including a short doc series, Looking at Edward Curtis, and her feature dramatic film Red Snow.
Content with a Cause: The Changing Landscape of News and Documentary Filmmaking

Ane Crabtree

Ane Crabtree


Costume Designer, The Handmaid's Tale
A costume designer for film and television, Ane Crabtree made an immediate and lasting impression when she created the look for Westworld, Luck, The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Sopranos original HBO pilot. Her singular vision has her working well with a wide range of directors and producers, including Warren Littlefield, Mimi Leder, Michael Apted, Michael Mann, David Milch, and Robert Kirkman. She is known for her personal touch with actors such as Anthony Hopkins, Ed Harris, Thandie Newton, Ann Dowd, Elisabeth Moss, Dustin Hoffman, Viola Davis, Morgan Freeman, Antonio Banderas, Lizzy Caplan, and Michael Sheen. Her recent work includes the Scottfree/FOX pilot for The Passage. She has been nominated for a Costume Design Guild Award for PanAm (2012), Masters of Sex (2015), and Westworld (2016). Ane’s most recent achievement is being Emmy nominated for The Handmaid’s Tale Season One.
Creator Talk: Ane Crabtree, Costume Designer, The Handmaid's Tale

Irena Cronin

Irena Cronin


President and CEO
Spout Reality
Irena Cronin is the President and CEO of Spout Reality, an Augmented and Virtual Reality consulting company, and the Editorial Director of VR Society. She is the creator and administrator of the largest Virtual and Augmented Reality closed (non-public) Facebook group, with a focus on up-to-date news and commentary. Previous to this, Irena worked several years as an equity research analyst with extensive experience at valuating both public and private companies. Irena has a Joint MBA in Finance/MA in East Asian Area Studies from the University of Southern California and an MS in Information Technology – Management and Systems from New York University. She graduated with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania with a major in Economics.
How and Where: VR Financing and Distribution

Carlton Cuse

Carlton Cuse


Writer/Exec. Producer, Bates Motel
Carlton Cuse is currently writing, executive-producing, and showrunning for Jack Ryan (Amazon) and Colony (USA). Shows The Strain and Bates Motel wrapped multi-season runs this year. Cuse also wrote the hit Warner Brothers disaster film San Andreas. His first TV gig was as a writer on Crime Story. He then became co-creator and executive producer of Fox series The Adventures of Brisco County, Jr. In 2004, Cuse teamed with Damon Lindelof as showrunner and executive producer for Lost on ABC.

Creator Talk: Carlton Cuse, Showrunner

Larry Cutler

Larry Cutler


Chief Technical Officer
Baobab Studios
Larry Cutler is CTO of Baobab Studios. The company’s Emmy-award winning VR animation, INVASION!, starring Ethan Hawke, launched to substantial critical acclaim and is the first VR experience to become a feature film. Larry brings deep technical leadership in animation and serves on the Digital Technology Subcommittee for the Oscar Technical Achievement Awards. Prior to Baobab, he was the VP of Solutions at Metanautix, a big data analytics startup. Previously, Larry was Global Head of Character Technology at Dreamworks, leading character development, rigging, animation workflow, and simulation. Larry began his career at Pixar as a Technical Director on the films Monster’s Inc., Toy Story 2, and A Bug’s Life. Larry holds undergraduate and master’s degrees in Computer Science from Stanford.
Keynote: Jump-In. The Emergence of Immersive Entertainment

D

Lisa Day

Lisa Day


Director, Energy Initiative
20th Century Fox
Lisa Day is the Director of Sustainability at 20th Century Fox, which is one of the leading developers, producers and distributors of feature film and television shows. Its productions include some of the most iconic and enduring film and television properties in history, as well as the two highest-grossing films of all time: Avatar and Titanic. In her current, role, Lisa is responsible for developing and implementing Fox’s sustainability programs at the iconic Fox Studios in Los Angeles, as well as at Fox Studios Australia, in Fox’s offices worldwide, and on every feature film and television show the studio produces. Her job entails everything from tracking and reducing carbon emissions and water use to incorporating sustainable materials into set design and construction and working to achieve the company’s zero-waste goals.
Studio Roundtable

Lydia Dean Pilcher

Lydia Dean Pilcher


CEO and Founder
Cine Mosaic
Lydia Pilcher is CEO and Founder of New York based Cine Mosaic, a production company specializing in international co-productions and independent films. With partners in the US, Europe, India, Turkey, Africa and the Middle East, Pilcher has produced over 35 feature films including Queen of Katwe, the eleventh film in a long collaboration with director Mira Nair. A two time Emmy Award winner, Pilcher was nominated for an Academy Award in 2014 for Cutie & The Boxer. Most recently she produced The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks (dir: George Wolfe) with Harpo and HBO Films, and Radium Girls which she also co-directed with Ginny Mohler. Pilcher is VP of Motion Pictures, a member of the Producers Guild of America, and Co-Chair of PGA Green.
Collaboration and Collective Action

Marcia Douglas

Marcia Douglas


Director, Business Affairs & Digital Initiatives
CMPA
Marcia Douglas has extensive experience and strategic insight of the Canadian media landscape for traditional and digital platforms. Currently, she is the Director, Business Affairs for the Canadian Media Producers Association. Prior to joining the CMPA, she was the program manager for the Bell Fund, where she oversaw the day-to-day operations of the national cross-platform fund, supporting the development and production of hundreds of projects. She also served as an analyst for two other national screen productions funds - the Cogeco Fund and the Independent Production Fund. Marcia has spoken at various industry events across Canada about digital production and financing, and also serves on several industry and program advisory committees including the Academy, Interactive Ontario and Centennial College.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

Helen du Toit

Helen du Toit


Interim Senior Director
CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund
For over two decades, Helen had a hybrid career as an independent film producer and international film curator, which kept her on the move. She worked at the Toronto, Edinburgh, Seattle, Vancouver, and Palm Springs International Film Festivals. In between festivals she developed and sometimes produced films. The most fun and biggest learning curve she’s had on a film was co-producing (and sound recording) the U.S. portion of Mark Cousin’s 15 hour feature documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey. In December of 2016, Helen was asked to head up CBC’s new Breaking Barriers Film Fund, a program established to support the work of under-represented filmmakers.
Creator Talk: Jeremy Podeswa, Director, Game of Thrones and Greg Middleton, Cinematographer, Game of Thrones

Natasha Duprey

Natasha Duprey


Music Supervisor
Silent Joe
A musical career that started with an obsession with The Clash at age 13, a short stint as a music video producer and then a decade long slog through the trenches of artist management (54-40, Junkhouse, Copyright) finally landed Natasha Duprey in the position of music supervisor in 2003. She has worked on hundreds of hours of episodic television including the series Motive (CTV/NBC), Continuum (Showcase/SyFy), Arctic Air (CBC), Bitten (Space) and The L Word (Showtime) as well as a host of movies of the week, reality series (Yukon Gold, Peak Season), trailers, national ad campaigns (Telus, Sephora, Dodge, Bud, Winners, Canadian Tourism), documentaries (I Am Johnny Cash, I Am Heath Ledger, Love Shines) and feature films such as Frankie; Alice which garnered Halle Berry a Golden Globe nomination and VIFF’s 2015 best Canadian feature Preggoland.
VIFF AMP - Summit

E

Kevin Eastwood

Kevin Eastwood


Optic Nerve Films
Kevin Eastwood is a Vancouver-based producer and director. His producing credits include the CBC series The Romeo Section, the feature films Preggoland, Fido and The Delicate Art of Parking, and the non-fiction features Vancouver: No Fixed Address, Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World, and Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson. Kevin’s directing credits include the award-winning documentary series Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH as well as music videos, documentaries and second unit work for episodic television.
A Day in the Life

Kenneth Ebie

Kenneth Ebie


Deputy General Counsel and Director of External Affairs
NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment
Kenneth Ebie is Deputy General Counsel and Director of External Affairs at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment, where he directs the Office’s legislative agenda and negotiates partnerships with key government, community and industry stakeholders supporting the City’s $9 billion TV/film industry. Ken spearheaded NYC Film Green, the first government-sponsored sustainable TV/film production program in the U.S. In 2017, he was named one of Brooklyn Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in Brooklyn Culture. Ken graduated from Harvard College and Yale Law School. He and his wife Racquel live in Brooklyn with their twin sons, Luke and Solomon.
Policy Advances for Sustainable Production

Garvin Eddy

Garvin Eddy


Adjunct Professor
University of British Columbia
For over 44 years, Garvin Eddy has been a Hollywood production designer and was awarded a Primetime Emmy Award. His numerous credits include The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun, and That 70’s Show. Mr. Eddy has taught at Art Center College of Design and UCSB. In 2010 ATAS inducted him into the Archive of American Television. He has been conducting sustainability in the arts research for 10 years forming alliances with UBC Wood Sciences and the Centre for Interactive Research in Sustainability. Mr. Eddy is currently an Adjunct Professor at UBC/Theatre & Film.

Next Generation

Paula Elias

Paula Elias


Director of Strategic Partnerships
StoryUP VR
Paula Elias, Filmmaker, Speaker and Director of Strategic Partnerships for StoryUP VR, believes in the power of story to change the world. In 2016, she and her team traveled to the Amazon to film the Munduruku’s struggle to save their ancestral lands, and to the Congo to tell the story of those fighting to save the last mountain gorillas. The resulting Virtual Reality film played at the Cannes Film Festival and SXSW. As Co-Founder of the Citizen Jane Film Festival, Paula led the festival to be named one of the Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals in the World by MovieMaker Magazine in 2015.
Content with a Cause: The Changing Landscape of News and Documentary Filmmaking

Sheri Elwood

Sheri Elwood


Writer/Executive Producer, Lucifer
Sheri Elwood is a writer, producer and director. After graduating from Ryerson University’s Cinema Arts Program, she was awarded the Television and Film Academy’s National Apprenticeship Award. She then created the live action single-cam comedy I Was A Sixth Grade Alien, as well as Beta Males, and was a Supervising Producer on Defying Gravity. During that time, Elwood also made the award-winning dark cable comedy Call Me Fitz. Sheri created The B-Side, Bagel Nation and The Bone House as well. For the last three seasons, she has also written and produced Bruckheimer’s hit dramedy Lucifer. Elwood is also adapting Consumed, The Admissions, and writing the comedy feature Besties. Sheri is currently in prep with the feature film, INFINITE, a mind bending dramedy about surfing, physics and the absurdity of marriage.
In the Writers Room

F

Charlie Fink

Charlie Fink


Writer
Forbes
Charlie Fink writes about VR, AR, and New Media for Forbes. In the 90s, he was COO of VR pioneer Virtual World Entertainment; he then went on to become an early employee at AOL. Perhaps most famously, from 1986-1992, Charlie was VP of Creative Development at Disney Animation, where he developed Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King, the last of which was based on his original idea, “Bambi in Africa.” Charlie speaks frequently at VR events like CES, AWE, ARinAction, Digital Hollywood, VR Toronto (keynote) and VR Voice (keynote). His book VR AR Update 2018 is due in January from Cool Blue Press.
Fireside Chat: Bear 71 VR

Becca Friedman

Becca Friedman


Content Acquisition Manager
HTC Vive
As a Content Acquisition Manager for Viveport, HTC’s app store for virtual reality, Becca is responsible for helping build HTC’s global VR content portfolio. She supports VR creators and developers across a wide variety of verticals including entertainment, news, sports, education, lifestyle, creativity, games and enterprise. She formerly worked in Film and Television production at ILM, Lucasfilm, Pixar, and ABC, and traveled the festival circuit with her student Emmy-winning documentary short thesis Past Their Prime. She is a graduate of UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism documentary program, and NYU’s Tisch school of Film and Television.
How and Where: VR Financing and Distribution

G

Liz Gallacher

Liz Gallacher


Music Supervisor
Masters of Sex
Liz started her career as a Music Researcher and Associate Producer for a number of UK based TV companies. She then created Liz Gallacher Music Supervision and following her first film, The Full Monty, quickly established herself as one of the most sought after music supervisors in film and television. In her 20-year career, she’s supervised over 100 films, spanning indies, studio films, and documentaries, as well as a variety of TV series. Liz’s film credits include the Oscar Award winning documentaries One Day in September and The Cove, and feature films such as Layer Cake, 24 Hour Party People, Resident Evil, Calendar Girls, Bend It Like Beckham, Fish Tank, Elysium and The Guard.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Jem Garrard

Jem Garrard


Writer/Director, Android Employed
Jem Garrard has made music videos for Ringo Starr and Linkin Park, directed episodic TV, and shot documentaries around the world. She has won four Leo awards for her work and was recently chosen as one of the 5 in Focus directors: an initiative by Women in View to support and highlight five talented female directors across Canada. Recently she directed four episodes of Disney’s action series Mech X4 and just released her own series, Android Employed. She is currently in development on her debut feature, Project IVAN, which has just received support from the Harold Greenberg Fund.

Moving Forward with Inclusivity

Kyle Gest

Kyle Gest


Creator, The Lapse Podcast
As writer, producer, and editor of The Lapse, Kyle Gest is oft-mistaken for a team of many. Whether trapped in a touring carnival, running a marathon across Antarctica, or accidentally joining a cult, The Lapse share true stories as fascinating as they are painstakingly crafted. Encouraging his listeners to see with their ears, Kyle recreates moments with extensive foley work, lending a distinctly filmic flair to an audio-restricted medium. While he shares an award with NPR’s Serial for iTunes Best New Podcast of 2014, Kyle continues to record The Lapse Storytelling Podcast from his bedroom closet.

Innovations in Storytelling

Tim Goodman

Tim Goodman


Chief TV Critic
The Hollywood Reporter
Tim Goodman is the Chief Television Critic for the Hollywood Reporter. He writes reviews plus trend and analysis columns, mostly about failure.
Creator Talk: David Slade, Director, American Gods
In the Writers Room
TV Talk Podcast

Jon Granat

Jon Granat


SVP, Head of Global Synch Licensing
Nettwerk Music Group
Jon oversees Nettwerk’s Film/TV Department in its pitching and licensing of all Nettwerk repertoire, as well as guiding the global strategy in relationship to catalog exploitation, new partnerships and expanding repertoire through 3rd party representation deals and creative means.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Michael Grassi

Michael Grassi


Writer/Executive Producer, Riverdale
Michael Grassi is a Peabody Award-winning writer, currently serving as Co-Executive Producer on the CW series RIVERDALE. Michael was also a Writer/Producer on Supergirl (CBS) and Executive Producer/Showrunner on Lost Girl (Syfy). Other credits include Wynonna Earp, Schitt’s Creek, and Degrassi: The Next Generation.
In the Writers Room

Kim Guise

Kim Guise


Director, Content
Telus Communications
Kim Guise is the director of local content at TELUS and oversees a multi-million dollar portfolio which supports filmmakers and cultural organizations from BC and Alberta. Since joining TELUS in 2013, Kim has played a key role in setting TELUS’ local content strategy and driving TELUS to become an innovator and leader in local programming and the creative industries. Kim is passionate about enabling people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to tell stories that are meaningful to them and their communities. Before joining TELUS, Kim spent 10 years in the western office of Telefilm Canada. Prior to that, Kim was a financial services lawyer at a national business law firm with a practice that combined secured lending and entertainment law.

Innovations in Storytelling

Robin Guthrie Prybil

Robin Guthrie Prybil


Director, Worldwide Media & Entertainment, Content & Distribution
AMD Studios
Robin was the Visual Effects Executive on Avengers, Man of Steel, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Fast 7, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Jungle Book, The BFG and Pete’s Dragon. She has contributed to Academy-nominated efforts on films such as I Robot, King Kong, AVATAR, The Adventures of Tin Tin, and worked closely with notable directors: Jim Cameron, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson and VFX Supervisor, Joe Letteri. Given her background in virtual production and VFX, it was only natural that Robin segued into virtual reality and emerging technologies. Robin has been involved with the marketing of VR experiences for SMAUG, Jungle Book, The BFG, and Pete’s Dragon. Moreover, she has been a conduit for the filmmaking community in monetizing this medium.

How and Where: VR Financing and Distribution

H

Julia Hamilton Trost

Julia Hamilton Trost


Business Development & Content Partnerships
Google
As Business Development Lead for Google VR, Julia manages content partnerships across Daydream and Jump - Google’s VR camera technology - with a focus on VR video. She works alongside partners to bring compelling content to VR and support Google’s VR for everyone mission. Julia joined Google in 2006 and led partnerships with tech brands in Google’s media sales division. Passionate about media and tech, she worked at The Atlantic magazine and CNN’s Larry King Live in Washington, DC prior to Google. Julia resides in San Francisco with her husband and graduated from Duke University.
Great Performers: L.A. Noir

Chris Harris

Chris Harris


Executive Producer, Digital
CBC
Chris Harris is an Emmy-winning media professional and content leader with more than 15 years of experience as a digital production executive, business leader, media strategist, interactive producer, and journalist. Previously, Chris was Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at the Emmy Award-winning interactive content studio, Secret Location. Prior to that, he led the Digital Content teams at Shaw as both Director and Head of Online Content and Head of Social Media. During that time, Chris guided the creation of globally recognized award-winning work, which resulted in significant growth in audience engagement and revenue. Prior to Shaw, he spent more than seven years as an award-winning interactive producer and journalist with the CBC, working in sports, news and kids content.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

David Hayman

David Hayman


Music Supervisor
Supergroup Sonic Branding Co
David Hayman is the founder, Lead Music Supervisor and Creative Director at Supergroup Sonic Branding Co, a company dedicated to the art of Music Supervision and Authentic Music Curation. David’s numerous credits include Network television dramatic series (Rookie Blue, Between, Burden of Truth) and comedies (Kids in The Hall Death Comes To Town, Letterkenny, Less Than Kind), numerous independent and studio feature films, and he has made a career as one of the busiest music supervisors in the advertising industry, winning multiple awards and leading his team of curators and music supers to new creative heights.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Abbey Hendrix

Abbey Hendrix


Music Supervisor
Walker - Nike, Old Spice, Samsung
Abbey Hendrix lives in Brooklyn and is the Sr. Producer at Walker, a music supervision and production company. Winning several Cannes Lions, Clios, and AMP awards, she has worked with brands such as Nike, Old Spice, Coca-Cola, Target, Google, Miu Miu, Coach, and more.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Jonas Hudson

Jonas Hudson


Co-Founder
360 AdSpots
Jonas Hudson is a Co-Founder of 360 AdSpots. 360 AdSpots is a dedicated 360/VR ad platform, CausePlay, LLC, and provider of mobile solutions for grocery and CPGs that put coupons and rebates on the blockchain through a Virtual Cash Back Token (VCB Token). 360 AdSpots is a global publishing network that provides pre-roll, 360, and VR ads within a white label. CausePlay provides mobile solutions for retailers and brands, targeting the grocery industry. Jonas has worked in marketing and distribution both at Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema. At Warner Bros., he planned and executed marketing and promotional strategies for the launch of the patented new DVD technology, under Warren Lieberfarb.
Brands Jump In: 360 Advertising and Branded Content

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Sara Irvine Erickson

Sara Irvine Erickson


1st AD, Ghost Wars
Sara Irvine Erickson has worked for over 20 years in the film industry as an Assistant Director. She has worked as the First Assistant Director on numerous projects, including SYFY’s Ghost Wars and Continuum, CW’S The Flash and, most recently, Bad Angels Productions’ The Hunt. Sara has also worked as a producer, and her latest short FTL is having great success on the festival circuit, having recently screened at the LA Shorts International Film Festival and the Phillip K Dick Film Festival in New York.
A Day in the Life

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Mark Jowett

Mark Jowett


President, Int'l, A&R, Publishing
Nettwerk Music Group
Mark co-founded the Nettwerk Music Group with Terry McBride in 1984. Mark has steer-headed Nettwerk’s Publishing division and A&R for the company since that time. Mark worked with artists such as Sarah Mclachlan, Avril Lavigne and then in more recent times with Delerium, Great Lake Swimmers, Frazey Ford, Passenger and many others. Nettwerk’s philosophy is always to work as internationally as possible so Mark helped set up offices in LA, New York, Nashville, London and Hamburg and to establish strong sub-publishing relations in key territories for the company. Most recently Nettwerk’s publishing division has had success in working with country writers in Nashville and with rock artists such as Black Stone Cherry, Young the Giant and Killswitch engage.
VIFF AMP - Summit

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Catherine Keithley

Catherine Keithley


Vice President Of Development
Brian Graden Media
Catherine Keithley is the VP of Development at Brian Graden Media. Since the company’s inception in 2013, Catherine has produced Escape the Night (YouTube Red), Walk of Shame Shuttle (VH1), Lance Loves Michael: The Lance Bass Wedding (E!), & HitRECord on TV starring Joseph Gordon Levitt (Pivot). Before BGM, she was a Development Associate for Tom Forman (Extreme Makeover: Home Edition & Catfish) at Critical Content. She helped develop shows like the Emmy Award winning, Trisha’s Southern Kitchen (Food Network) & Car Matchmaker (Esquire). Catherine graduated from The University of Southern California with a B.A. in Communication & Cinematic Arts.
Anatomy of a Digital Hit

Armando Kirwin

Armando Kirwin


VR Creator
With more than twenty completed projects to his name, Armando Kirwin is considered to be one of the most experienced creators working in the field of cinematic virtual reality. These projects have gone on to win four Emmy nominations, seven Webby nominations, and the Grand Prix at Cannes, along with numerous debuts at Tribeca, SXSW, and Sundance.
Great Performers: L.A. Noir

Daniel Kuypers

Daniel Kuypers


VP, Director of Music
Energy BBDO
Daniel Kuypers is a 17-year music industry veteran who has been producing music for brands for the past 9 years. Prior to joining Energy BBDO to start and run the music department, he was at Music Dealers, where he led the creative department focusing on the Coca Cola account, working on multiple award-winning campaigns. Getting his start as a musician, and establishing EV Productions & EV Records, an umbrella of Chicago’s most well respected indie labels, distribution companies and recording studios, Daniel released over 100 records across three labels. As the VP, Director of Music at Energy BBDO Daniel works with internal teams, clients, artists and music companies around the world to use music in new, innovative ways while creating value for both the artist and the client.
VIFF AMP - Summit

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Rachel Langer

Rachel Langer


Consulting Producer/Writer, Ghost Wars
Rachel Langer is a screenwriter based in Vancouver. Her credits include two seasons of the critically acclaimed CBC series This Life and the upcoming YTV series Reboot: The Guardian Code, as well as the award winning digital series Aeternus, which she co-created and produced. Most recently, Rachel was a consulting producer/writer on the SYFY/Netflix series Ghost Wars. Rachel writes and develops with her partner Derek Langer, a director with whom she has produced three short films currently in post-production. Rachel graduated from the Canadian Film Centre’s prestigious Prime Time Television Program in 2014. She is also a published essayist, with work that has appeared in Chatelaine and on Medium.
A Day in the Life

Megan Lau

Megan Lau


Manager, STORYHIVE: Communications, Engagement & Equity at TELUS
Megan Lau is the Manager of Communications, Engagement & Equity at TELUS STORYHIVE. Megan has written and edited for publications and organizations across Canada, including Maisonnueve, Megaphone, Reader’s Digest, the Toronto Star, and Ricepaper Magazine. She is also part of the founding team of SAD Mag. Passionate about environmental sustainability, Megan joined hua foundation, a local organization established to empower Asian Canadian youth to fully participate in advancing social change in 2014. As Associate Director of Communications and Development, she developed programs to support food justice, and contributed to fundraising, strategic communications, and digital engagement. In 2016, she co-founded The Future is You and Me, a free, community-based leadership program for women of colour, ages 19-25, in the arts.
Moving Forward with Inclusivity

Adam Lawson

Adam Lawson


Writer, Director and Showrunner
Escape the Night
Adam Lawson is the writer, director, and showrunner of YouTube RED’s flagship series Escape The Night, which has millions of views and billions of impressions across both seasons. He directs and produces the Legendary Digital series Wil Wheaton’s Table Top, TitansGrave: The Ashes of Valkana, Arcade Arms, Force Grey, Worthy Opponents, Spellslingers, and Sagas of Sundry: Dread. He wrote the theatrical feature film Game Therapy, which stars the biggest names in Italian YouTube talent, and opened in theaters across Italy to amazing success. He also wrote the action/horror movie, Game of Assassins for Lionsgate.

Anatomy of a Digital Hit

Todd Legault

Todd Legault


Music Supervision & Production
X-It Music, Inc. - Music Trailers
Todd Legault began in the movie trailer business in 2000, for Intralink Film in Los Angeles, California. Since then, he has started Set Tone Music Supervision and has worked on close to 500 theatrical marketing campaigns as a Music Supervisor. His main focus is helping his clients at trailer houses and studios enhance their projects by establishing the ever-so-important emotional connection with audiences through sound. Todd is the founder of X-It Music Inc, a production music company specializing in original composition and sound design. X-It Music can be heard in over 1000 trailers for film, tv & video games. Clients include Netflix, Warner Bros., HBO & Disney. Recent placements include Valerian, Blade Runner 2049, Aquaman, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Kristin Lehman

Kristin Lehman


Actor, Ghost Wars
c/o Ghost Wars office
Kristin Lehman is an award-winning Vancouver based film and television actress, producer, and director. She top lined the multiple award nominated hit police procedural drama, Motive for four seasons on CTV, making her the only female actress to star in, produce, and direct a major Canadian network television show. Currently she stars both in Netflix’s Altered Carbon and ScyFy’s Ghost Wars, which she will also direct. Celine has also worked extensively for all the major television networks having lived in the U.S. for more than a decade, and returned to Vancouver nearly 8 years ago to film seasons one and two of AMC’s critically acclaimed drama, The Killing.
A Day in the Life

Amy Lemisch

Amy Lemisch


Executive Director
California Film Commission
Amy Lemisch oversees the state’s efforts to facilitate motion picture, television and commercial production. In addition to administering California’s Film & Television Tax Credit Program, she oversees a wide range of support services and coordinates with all levels of government to create a film-friendly environment. Under her leadership, California has maintained its competiveness as a production locale amid intense global competition. Amy helped shepherd the passage and implementation of the state’s uniquely targeted tax credit program, enacted in 2009. She is also credited with reducing red tape and launching a series of marketing initiatives, including co-production of the annual Film in California Conference.
Policy Advances for Sustainable Production

Bronte Lord

Bronte Lord


Content Strategy Lead & Producer
CNN VR
Bronte Lord is a producer and head of Content Strategy for CNNVR. With a background in live television as well as shooting and editing, Lord has worn many hats at CNN. Today she is spearheading content strategy for CNN’s entrance into immersive storytelling, CNNVR. So far, the unit has produced over seventy 360 video stories as well as the most-watched live 360 event in history: The Eclipse of the Century. With the launch of CNNVR, CNN’s mobile app became the third largest VR-capable mobile platform behind YouTube and Facebook.
Content with a Cause: The Changing Landscape of News and Documentary Filmmaking

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Michael Mansouri

Michael Mansouri


Co-Founder
Radiant Images
Michael Mansouri is the co-founder of Radiant Images. A recognized hub of digital cinema and VR innovation, Radiant collaborates with creatives in Production & Post, Co-Production. He has developed into one of the leading industry voices in helping content creators understand and harness the power and promise of VR and 360-video technology. Radiant’s recent VR work has included providing cameras and technical support as a partner in the 360 VR livestream of the Red Carpet World Premiere of Walt Disney Studios’ Beauty and the Beast, produced by SuperSphere VR. Streamed via Facebook Live, the broadcast garnered 2.3 Million views – three times more views than the 2D feed.
The Rise of Cinematic VR

Doreen Manuel

Doreen Manuel


Coordinator/Instructor - Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking
Capilano University
Doreen Manuel (Secwepemc/Kootenai) is the sixth child of Grand Chief Dr. George Manuel and Marceline Manuel. Manuel has an MFA in Film Production from UBC and a BA in English from Thompson Rivers University. She is an award-winning documentary and fiction film director/writer and the Coordinator and an instructor of the Capilano University Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking Program. As a media professional, Manuel has directed for television and the held a position as the Canadian Correspondent for the Native Heartbeat and North West Indian News, both USA Native American news magazine programs.
Moving Forward with Inclusivity

Angel Manuel Soto

Angel Manuel Soto


Director, La Granja
Angel Manuel Soto is an L.A. based Puerto Rican local, who studied advertising and architecture. At an early age, he began his career as a TV producer and later focused on Art Direction at a local advertising agency. Angel is also in the forefront of Virtual Reality, directing and supervising VR Content for RYOT News. His work has been featured at Cannes Film Festival and the Guanajuato Film Festival. His latest critically acclaimed VR doc, Bashir’s Dream, premiered in Sundance and has since then been presented all over the world, including the 2017 Cannes Film Festival NEXT Program.
VR News and Documentary Best Practices

Jeremy Mathieu

Jeremy Mathieu


Albert International Manager
British Academy of Film and Television Arts
Jeremy works as a Sustainability Advisor for the Film and TV industry in the UK, both at the BBC and with the BAFTA albert consortium. He helps productions reduce their environmental impact, develops and delivers training courses for a variety of roles (from Production to Editorial, Leadership to Technology), and contributes to the ongoing development of the growing list of albert tools and projects. Jeremy is also the albert International Manager where he develops a collaborative network of partners across the world, giving them access to the necessary tools facilitating the transition to a truly sustainable industry worldwide.

Collaboration and Collective Action

Kyle Merkley

Kyle Merkley


Director of Music & Technology
arpixmedia
Kyle Merkley is Director of Music and Technology at Arpix Media. His music supervision credits include Murdoch Mysteries (CBC), Remedy (Global TV), Pure (CBC) and more. Kyle’s musical endeavours have included performances on Entertainment Tonight Canada and MuchMusic’s disBAND; he has also written and performed with top-24 Canadian Idol contestants.

Greg Middleton

Greg Middleton


Cinematographer, Game of Thrones
Gregory Middleton’s diverse body of work includes many art house films, mainstream features, and television projects. His other films include many critical hits such as The Five Senses, Better than Chocolate, James Gunn’s horror/comedy Slither, Eduardo Ponti’s Between Strangers starring Sophia Loren, and the multi-award-winning Fugitive Pieces based on the novel by Anne Michaels. He has won several awards for his work including the CSC award and Genie for Fugitive Pieces and the WW1 drama Passchendaele respectively. In 2014 he joined the team of Cinematographers shooting HBO’s epic drama series Game of Thrones for which he was nominated for a 2 Prime time Emmy Awards for his work on Season 5 and 6. He continued his work on Game of Thrones in Season 7.
Creator Talk: Jeremy Podeswa, Director, Game of Thrones and Greg Middleton, Cinematographer, Game of Thrones

Tony Mugavero

Tony Mugavero


Founder and CEO
Littlstar
Tony Mugavero is a 4x tech entrepreneur and executive with a media, business, and computer engineering background. He is the Founder and CEO of Littlstar, a premium cinematic Virtual Reality network putting viewers at the center of experiences using immersive technologies. Littlstar has the best VR content in the world from companies like ABC, NBC, Showtime, Nat Geo, Discovery, PBS, Red Bull, Virgin, Disney, and more.
How and Where: VR Financing and Distribution

Sean Mulligan

Sean Mulligan


VP Creative - Music Publishing
Entertainment One
Sean Mulligan is a Los Angeles based Music Supervisor having worked on numerous feature films and television series for producers such as Adam McKay, Will Farrell, Kristin Wiig, Olivia Wild, Greg Kinnear, and Darren Aronofsky. He’s just finished music supervising Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut feature film Molly’s Game (NOV 22 release) and is currently working on famed video director Anthony Mandler’s directorial feature film debut Monster, as well as Drunk Parents with Alec Baldwin and Selma Hayak, Puppy Love, and season two of the Antoine Fuqua created TV series Ice. In 2015 Sean was nominated for a Guild of Music Supervisors Award for his work on the independent feature film Welcome To Me.
VIFF AMP - Summit

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Ian Neville

Ian Neville


Climate Policy Analyst
City of Vancouver
Ian is the Climate Policy Analyst for the City of Vancouver. Since joining the City of Vancouver in 2013 he managed the Charge and Go EV Infrastructure Field Test and deployed over 100 public, workplace, and residential EV charging stations within Vancouver. Most recently, he supported the development of the Renewable City Strategy framework, under which the City of Vancouver has committed to transitioning to 100% renewable energy use before 2050. He is the lead author of Vancouver’s 2016 EV Ecosystem Strategy that will accelerate the transition to 100% renewable transportation in Vancouver, and is presently working on its implementation.
Power Hour

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Michael Permultter

Michael Permultter


Music Supervisor
Instinct Entertainment
Michael has placed thousands of songs in TV shows, films and documentaries, seen and heard around the world. Michael has been working in the music/film/TV industries for 20+ years. Select TV credits include: The Handmaid’s Tale, Ten Days In The Valley, Houdini & Doyle, Mary Kills People, Degrassi, Private Eyes, Beauty and The Beast, Cracked, Haven, The LA Complex, Vikings, Penny Dreadful. Select Film credits: Arbitrage (Richard Gere), Little Italy (Hayden Christensen, Emma Roberts, Danny Aiello), Love Jacked (Amber Stevens West, Omar Epps) The Other Half (Tatiana Maslany), Kiss & Cry (Sarah Fisher), Across The Line (Stephan James), The Colony (Laurence Fishburne), A Beginner’s Guide To Endings (Harvey Keitel).

VIFF AMP - Summit

Jeremy Podeswa

Jeremy Podeswa


Director, Game of Thrones
Jeremy Podeswa is an Emmy-nominated director (for HBO’s Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire and The Pacific). He has directed many innovative cable series including True Detective, The Newsroom, True Blood, Rome, Six Feet Under, Carnivale, Homeland, Ray Donovan, The Borgias, The Tudors, Dexter, The Walking Dead, and American Horror Story: Asylum and Coven. He has also written and directed the feature films: Fugitive Pieces, The Five Senses (Directors’ Fortnight, Cannes); and Eclipse (Berlin, Sundance). Most recently, he has directed the premiere and finale episodes of Game of Thrones (Season 7) and Here, Now by Alan Ball for HBO. He will next be directing Handmaid’s Tale for HULU.
Creator Talk: Jeremy Podeswa, Director, Game of Thrones and Greg Middleton, Cinematographer, Game of Thrones

Kevin Polowy

Kevin Polowy


Screenwriter
Yahoo Movies
Yahoo Entertainment senior correspondent Kevin Polowy is a veteran of entertainment media who previously covered Hollywood for MTV, AOL/Moviefone, NextMovie, Film.com and URB Magazine. He is also a writer, director, producer, actor, DJ and father of two. His obsessions include Bill Murray, A Tribe Called Quest, and hot sauce.
Trending Now

Guy Primus

Guy Primus


Co-Founder and CEO
The Virtual Reality Company
Guy Primus is co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), a market leader in the production and distribution of cinematic Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality content. Prior to co-founding VRC, Guy was Chief Operating Officer at Overbrook Entertainment, the film and television production company founded by actor Will Smith and producer James Lassiter. Guy is chairman emeritus of the advisory board of Georgia Tech’s top-ranked School of Industrial and Systems Engineering and is a member of the Georgia Tech Advisory Board. Guy is also a member of the board of trustees of Southern California Public Radio, Park Century School and The VR Society, and is a voting member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (The Emmys).
The Rise of Cinematic VR

Ryan Pulliam

Ryan Pulliam


Co-Founder
Specular Theory
Ryan is the co-founder and CMO of Specular Theory, an award-winning immersive
entertainment and game studio that creates and distributes premium, authentic experiences
for VR/AR/MR. Specular Theory has won numerous awards and recognition for their thought-provoking and innovative work including their Perspective VR series, a trailblazing original series for VR and one of the most talked about pieces at the 2015 (Perspective Chapter 1) and 2016 Sundance and Tribeca Film Festival (Perspective Chapter 2). Most recently the studio was announced a Innov8 finalist for the Store No. 8 V-Commerce competition which will showcase in LA on October 18th.

Brands Jump In: 360 Advertising and Branded Content

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Zahra Rasool

Zahra Rasool


Senior Producer Innovation Research Department Product Dev. & Innovation Directorate
Digital Division
Zahra Rasool is the Editorial Lead for Contrast VR — Al Jazeera’s new immersive media studio where she focuses on the production of compelling 360-degree video, Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) content. Before joining Al Jazeera’s Innovation Team, she was the Managing Editor of HuffPost RYOT where she was responsible for RYOT’s editorial strategy, managing the content team and combining journalistic storytelling with VR and 360-degree technology. She used VR to cover the 2016 conventions in Cleveland and Philadelphia. This was HuffPost’s first election coverage using VR and 360-degree video. She also worked with Fault Lines, an Emmy-award winning investigative documentary show on Al Jazeera.
VR News and Documentary Best Practices

James Robbins

James Robbins


Production Designer, Ghost Wars
James Robbins’ is an award-winning Production Designer whose work can be seen across a wide variety of feature films, television series, music videos and commercials. Recent projects include the SyFy original series Ghost Wars , the Netflix original series Travellers , feature film This is Your Death, directed by and starring Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad) and Josh Duhamel (Transformers), and Lifetime Televisions Unbreak my Heart, for which he garnered his second Leo Award. Described as a “Visual Futurist”, James is perhaps best known for his decade of work on the smash hit television series, Stargate SG-1 , one of television history’s most prolific sci-fi shows as well as both franchise spin off’s Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe .
A Day in the Life

Brian Roth

Brian Roth


VP Sales
Immersv, Inc.
Brian is a 12-year advertising technology veteran with a passion for emerging digital platforms and media. Currently, Brian is the VP of Sales at Immersv, a mobile advertising platform which powers innovative, immersive advertising experiences utilizing 360˚ and virtual reality environments to show interactive ads. Brian helps brands, ad agencies, and content developers utilize Immersv as an emerging media channel to reach audiences within VR experiences and smartphone applications. Prior to Immersv, Brian led sales and business development efforts at early stage advertising technology startups including Tapjoy, FusePowered, and AppThis.
Brands Jump In: 360 Advertising and Branded Content

Winston Rowntree

Winston Rowntree


Writer/Director, peopleWatching
Winston Rowntree is a Toronto-based writer and artist who has been producing the award-winning online comic series Subnormality since 2007. Winston has also been producing the award-winning animated webseries peopleWatching since 2017. In addition, he has been a contributor to humor site Cracked.com since 2009.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

Michael Rucker

Michael Rucker


Co-Founder and COO
OmniVirt • Virtual Reality Advertising
Michael Rucker is the Co-Founder and COO of OmniVirt, a 360° VR advertising and distribution platform. Prior to OmniVirt, Michael spent 7 years at YouTube holding a variety of different leadership positions. Michael led YouTube’s content strategy across its 5 main verticals: Entertainment, Music, Sports, News, & Education. Before that he was the Product Manager for YouTube’s Original Programming and Multi-Channel Network initiative. Joining YouTube in 2007, Michael helped drive YouTube’s growth from its early days, launching YouTube’s first monetization products to leading consumer marketing for the site across Asia-Pacific. Michael has touched both the consumer and business side of the digital video business.

Brands Jump In: 360 Advertising and Branded Content

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Thomas Schnauz

Thomas Schnauz


Writer/Executive Producer, Better Call Saul
Thomas Schnauz is a New Jersey-born graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His credits include The Lone Gunmen, The X-Files (with NYU alum Vince Gilligan), Night Stalker, Reaper, and Man in the High Castle. Tom rejoined Vince during Season Three of Breaking Bad, and made his directing debut with Season Five’s Say My Name, which he also wrote and was nominated for both WGA and Emmy/Best Episodic Drama Writing Awards. He’s collected two Emmys with Bad’s producing team for Best Drama and three WGA awards for Best Dramatic Series. Tom now works on AMC’s Emmy and WGA-nominated Better Call Saul, where the team is currently plotting Season Four.
In the Writers Room

Tony Scudelarri

Tony Scudelarri


SVP Television Music
Sony Pictures Entertainment
Throughout his life, Tony Scudellari has combined his passions for music and visual media. As Senior Vice President of Television Music at Sony Pictures Television (SPT), Tony oversees music on all of the studio’s television and digital programming. SPT’s programming currently includes over 50+ shows on over 20+ content platforms in all genres including game shows, daytime dramas, syndicated series ̧ unscripted, animation, comedies, dramas, limited series & movies. He is the lead creative executive on all of the division’s music releases, which have included Better Call Saul, The Boondocks, Breaking Bad, Community, and Justified. During his tenure, SPT’s programming has received 3 Guild of Music Supervisor Awards, 8 Emmys and multiple ASCAP, BMI and SESAC Film & TV Awards.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Brian Seth Hurst

Brian Seth Hurst


Chief Storyteller, CEO
StoryTech® Immersive
As Chief Storyteller and President at StoryTech® Immersive, he drives the company’s mission to tell great stories that inspire through the unique combination of master storytelling and deep technological expertise in order to deliver best-in-class immersive entertainment. Most recently he is producer of My Brother’s Keeper, a cinematic Virtual Reality narrative for PBS Digital Studios, which premiered on HTC Viveport at Sundance 2017 and was inspired by the PBS Civil War Drama, Mercy Street. It is the first live action VR film shot at 120fps and includes 180 framing and Bokeh inside the sphere as one of many innovations. It is the most widely distributed VR film to date.
Anatomy of a Digital Hit
The Rise of Cinematic VR
Great Performers: L.A. Noir

Jonathan Shore

Jonathan Shore


Vice President, Distribution, Post Production
Brightlight Pictures
Jonathan Shore’s experience in the BC film and television sectors includes senior involvement in over 130 productions, including managing post-production for such feature films as Pitch Perfect and Pitch Perfect 2, The Company You Keep, Piranha, The Possession and Escape from Planet Earth. Often working under tight deadlines and demanding challenges, he has successfully delivered to most of the major international feature film studios and television broadcasters, as well as set up and run post-production workflows out of North America, Europe and Asia. Jonathan currently sits as a Director on the board of the Vancouver Post Alliance.
VIFF AMP - Summit

David Slade

David Slade


Director/Executive Producer, American Gods
Director David Slade is known for his films Hard Candy and 30 Days Of Night along with the third installment of the Twilight Saga, Eclipse. More recently, he is known for directing and producing the pilot episodes of the shows Awake, Hannibal, and American Gods. He is currently completing an installment of the Netflix show Black Mirror along with a segment of the Anthology film Nightmare Cinema, where he served as writer and director.
Creator Talk: David Slade, Director, American Gods

Mike Slavich

Mike Slavich


Director of Sustainability
Mike Slavich joined Warner Bros. Entertainment in the Fall of 2005. As Director of Sustainability, he leads the Studio’s efforts to accelerate towards more sustainable business practices. Key initiatives include green film and television production, energy conservation measures, green building practices, waste reduction efforts, and environmental awareness campaigns. Slavich collaborates with stakeholders across the enterprise to develop and pilot innovative programs and vets emerging products and technologies for viability and value. Further, he works to ensure that sustainability efforts directly support business objectives of cost savings and operational efficiency.
Studio Roundtable

Cary Smith

Cary Smith


Executive Producer
Red Bull Media House
Cary is the Executive Producer at Red Bull Media House where he oversees all moving images production in Canada, including sports, culture, and live events. He is a creative and collaborative producer specializing in content marketing, film, concept development, and large scale live events. Prior to working at Red Bull Media House, Cary was the Executive Producer at Bell Media, overseeing production for multiple specialty channels. When he’s not on location overseeing globally relevant broadcasts or producing notable digital content, you can find him enjoying life in Toronto after spending his formative years in Vancouver.
Innovations in Storytelling

Cowboy Smithx

Cowboy Smithx


Director, Elder in the Making
Cowboy Smithx is an award-winning filmmaker of Blackfoot Ancestry from the Piikani and Kainai tribes of Southern Alberta, Canada. Cowboy is the founder and curator of the highly acclaimed International Indigenous speaker series REDx Talks. He also serves as the Artistic Director of the Iiniistsi Treaty Arts Society. He writes, directs and produces film works in documentary, narrative, music video and experimental. Cowboy is currently working in Indigenous education, Cultural consultation and Youth work across the globe. Cowboy hosts the Silent x podcast and is the founder of the Noirfoot Narrative Labs program.
Moving Forward with Inclusivity

Jason Snell

Jason Snell


Podcaster
The Incomparable
Jason Snell is a prolific podcaster and writer on both technology and pop-culture topics. He was lead editor at Macworld for more than a decade, writes about Apple and related tech topics at sixcolors.com, and hosts podcasts at The Incomparable (theincomparable.com) and Relay FM (relay.fm) networks.
TV Talk Podcast

Joe Staffel

Joe Staffel


President
Madison + Vine
At creative studio Madison + Vine, Joe oversees the development and production of social-first branded entertainment through a collaborative filmmaker think-tank process. Prior to M+V, Joe refined his content skills across executive positions at Meredith, Disney and boutique entertainment shop theAudience. Joe has led innovative content programs for brands such as American Express, Comcast, Disney, Ford, McDonald’s, Pixar, Taco Bell, Target and Walt Disney Studios, as well as on behalf of talent such as Emma Watson, Hugh Jackman, Tyra Banks and Mark Wahlberg. Joe graduated from the University of Texas, Austin with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications.
Fireside Chat with Joe Staffel President, Madison + Vine

Janine Steele

Janine Steele


Director of Production and Operations
National Film Board of Canada
Janine has 15 years’ experience working in the confluence of traditional filmmaking and emerging media/technology. She is currently Director of Production and Operations, Digital at the National Film Board of Canada. Her credits include the pioneering interactive documentaries Circa 1948, Seven Digital Deadly Sins (with The Guardian) and Bear 71, as well as works in the emerging field of virtual reality: Cut-Off (with Vice Canada), Cardboard Crash and Bear 71 VR. Her work has received a Cannes Cyber Lion, an FWA Site of the Year and six Webby Awards. Prior to her work with the NFB, Janine was a Business Analyst with Creative BC, where she established industry-leading digital media funding programs.
Fireside Chat: Bear 71 VR

Cynthia Stegner

Cynthia Stegner


Exec - Post Production
Sony Pictures Entertainment
After graduating from the University of Central Florida, Cynthia got her start in the industry working in theatrical feature production in various positions and in commercial development and production. She received her big break in television as an Associate Producer on Dawson’s Creek, which cemented her heart into the world of Post Production. For the past 14 years, she has been an executive with Sony Pictures Television overseeing such projects as Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul, Outlander, Preacher, Blacklist, Masters of Sex, Bloodline, Damages, Justified, The Goldbergs, The Tick, The Get Down, Imaginary Mary, Timeless, Kevin Can Wait, and soon to be released S.W.A.T., The Good Doctor, and Phillip K Dick’s Electric Dreams.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Nina Sudra

Nina Sudra


General Manager
VICE Canada
With a background in the DIY music industry in Montreal, Nina first joined VICE in 2005 effectively establishing the presence for VICE music in Canada. After stints at ALDO Shoes and AskMen.com Nina rejoined VICE Canada in a business development role where she was primarily responsible for building the VICE brand and content opportunities. Now, as VICE Canada’s General Manager Nina assumes a range of roles including leading business development, strategy, working as an executive producer and acting as a host for DAILY VICE, a daily news and culture series. Her interests include outer space and the deep sea.
Innovations in Storytelling

Bryan Sullivan

Bryan Sullivan


Partner
Early Sullivan Wright Gizer & McRae LLP
Bryan Sullivan is a well-known attorney in the entertainment industry who has represented film distribution companies, independent film producers, production companies, and A-List talent. His clients include, among others, Miley Cyrus, Salma Hayek, Howie Mandel, Dan Petrie Jr., Roadside Attractions, Rick Dugdale, Haroon Saleem, and Lionsgate Films. The Los Angeles and San Francisco Daily Journal named Bryan one of the “Top 20 Attorneys Under 40 in California” in 2015 and one of the “Top 100 Attorneys In Entertainment” in 2016 and was named in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016 and 2017.
Presentation: Demand Your Independence

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Stephen Talbot

Stephen Talbot


Producer
ITVS / Independent Lens
Stephen Talbot has written, reported and produced over 40 documentaries for public television, starting at KQED in San Francisco and continuing with the PBS series FRONTLINE. His work has won nearly every major award in broadcast journalism, including Emmys, DuPonts and Peabodys. For seven years he managed the series FRONTLINE World, commissioning "stories from a small planet." He also was executive producer of the PBS show "Sound Tracks: Music Without Borders." Currently, he is a producer for ITVS and Independent Lens in San Francisco, where he commissions and creates short-form video documentaries for distribution to journalistic outlets.
Content with a Cause: The Changing Landscape of News and Documentary Filmmaking

Suzanne Thompson

Suzanne Thompson


Chair
Vancouver Post Alliance & VP, Sales Deluxe Ent. Services Groups
Suzanne Thompson has over 20 years’ experience as a post-production & VFX sales executive for film, television and commercials. Over the years, she has been a very active industry leader. She sits as an executive board member of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of BC and co-founder and chair of the Vancouver Post Production Alliance, advocating for the growth and prosperity of the British Columbia film industry—specifically in post-production. She is passionate about community, filmmakers, marketing and showcasing the creative talent BC has to offer. Her knowledge of the ever-changing technology, processes and business aspects of the industry is very well respected. Suzanne is currently Vice President of Sales for Deluxe Entertainment Services Group in Vancouver, BC. Deluxe is a global leader in post-production & VFX, and it employs over 7000 people worldwide.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Daniel Tibbets

Daniel Tibbets


President and General Manager
El Ray Network
Daniel Tibbets serves as President and General Manager of El Rey Network, overseeing day-to-day operations for this Latino-infused entertainment brand which revels in the courage, capacity, and creativity of ordinary people on extraordinary journeys. Spearheading the overall growth of El Rey, Tibbets manages digital expansion, content strategy and development, program planning and scheduling, productions, acquisitions, talent relations, ad sales, business affairs and business development. Tibbets has more than 20 years of entertainment programming and producing experience. He most recently served as Chief Content Officer at Machinima.

You Say You Want a Revolution

Celine Tricart

Celine Tricart


Director/Producer
Lucid Dreams Productions
Celine Tricart is a VR filmmaker and founder of Lucid Dreams Productions. Her work has been showcased in numerous Academy Awards festivals and she was the recipient of a Creative Award by the Advanced Imaging Society. Celine’s first narrative VR film as a director, Marriage Equality, was showcased at MUTEK and FIVARS. She also produced and directed Slices of Life, a choose-your-own-adventure VR experience. Celine was also the director of photography for Luc Wilson’s Shinola 360 tour, winning a Creative Award for Best Branded Content, and Jaunt VR/Conversation International documentary Under The Canopy, which premiered at Sundance 2017. Celine is producing and directing Maria Bello’s upcoming Sunladies VR experience about the Yazidi women fighting ISIS in Iraq.

The Rise of Cinematic VR

Rose Troche

Rose Troche


Director, Runaround
Rose Troche is an award-winning writer, director and producer of film, television, and new media. Her work includes: Go Fish, The Safety of Objects, The L Word, Concussion, Perspective - Chapter 1, The Party and Chapter 2, The Misdemeanor. Troche conceived, produced, wrote, and directed an exquisite corpse series, Sugar, and directed the award winning 360 music video, Runaround. She was awarded The Sundance Institute’s Time Warner Fellowship Program Grant to support her VR series LGBTQIA. She completed IF NOT LOVE set to be released by Wevr late August, and is working on an interactive VR project, The Stop Go. Troche is also working on her fourth feature film, This Is Not Me.
VR News and Documentary Best Practices

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Evette Vargas

Evette Vargas


CEO | TV + VR Writer | Director | Producer
Digital Reign Productions
Named by the New York Times as an Artist to Watch, Evette is an award-winning writer, director, producer, Virtual Reality and multiplatform storyteller. Her work includes series for Amazon, MTV, Bravo, DirectTV; as well as writing, apps, games and branded entertainment for Fast & Furious, Lord Of The Rings trilogy and Madonna. Evette executive-produced, wrote and directed her digital and Emmy-nominated series Dark Prophet. She sold her half-hour drama series Muses to Turner Broadcasting Super Deluxe and is developing her show Trans with Electus. Vargas’ slate of VR projects includes The Weinstein Company’s VR experience for The Current War. She is also writing and producing two VR projects based on her original IPs, one of which she is producing with Michael Bay’s company, The Rogue Initiative.
Innovations in Storytelling

Shirley Vercruysse

Shirley Vercruysse


Executive Producer
National Film Board of Canada
Shirley Vercruysse is the Executive Producer of the National Film Board of Canada’s BC & Yukon studio, where she leads the team producing documentary and animation projects. The studio’s latest projects include the feature-length musical documentary The Road Forward (Marie Clements), the animated feature film Window Horses (Ann Marie Fleming), and the animated shorts I AM HERE (Eoin Duffy) and The Mountain of SGaana (Christopher Auchter). Projects in production include the mid-length documentary Beauty: Beyond Binary (Christina Willings) and the animated short Shop Class (Hart Snider). Prior to joining the NFB, Shirley was an independent film and television producer whose feature credits include waydowntown, A Problem with Fear, Comeback Season, Radiant City, Angels Crest, The Future is Now!, and Fubar II.
Moving Forward with Inclusivity
The Mountain of SGaana

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Christine Walsh

Christine Walsh


Photo Editor and Producer
The New York Times Magazine
Christine Walsh is a Photo Editor at The New York Times Magazine. She has produced three VR projects for NYT: Walking New York featuring the artist JR, Man on Spire which takes viewers up to the top of 1 Word Trade Center with Jimmy Chin, and Great Performers: L.A. Noir.
Great Performers: L.A. Noir

Ari Weiner

Ari Weiner


Executive Producer
Escape the Night
Ari is an executive producer on the YouTube RED series Escape The Night, which has millions of views across both seasons. Ari has worked as an executive producer and producer on numerous digital series including Wil Wheaton’s Table Top, Arcade Arms, Worthy Opponents and Spellslingers. These series all feature top YouTube and traditional media celebrities. In the documentary and feature film space, Ari has produced the behind-the-scenes documentary for the Madonna Confessions Tour and Los Angeles based filming for the film Game Therapy. Ari served as head of production for BRW FIlmland Los Angeles from 2012-2016 at the U.S office. The BRW Group has offices in Milan, Italy and an Independent office based in London, United Kingdom.
Anatomy of a Digital Hit

Max Weiss

Max Weiss


Producer
Kaleidoscope
Max is a Producer at Kaleidoscope, an exclusive network for top virtual reality creators and industry leaders. Prior to joining Kaleidoscope, Max worked at Here Be Dragons, the production studio arm of VR/AR company With.In. He has served in both creative and operations roles for several startups, including in Israel. Max holds Economics and Creative Writing degrees from Stanford University, where he also worked in the world-renowned Virtual Human Interaction Lab under Professor Jeremy Bailenson. He currently lives in San Francisco.
How and Where: VR Financing and Distribution

Ari Wise

Ari Wise


Agency Director - Composer Agent
Core Music Agency
Before establishing Core Music Agency, Ari Wise was himself an award-winning film composer with over 200 credits to his name. A graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Music Composition program and the University of Southern California’s Scoring for Motion Pictures and Television Advanced Studies Program, he returned to Vancouver in 1992 and scored over 200 works, including feature films, TV movies, live and animated episodes of television, documentaries and short films. Highlights include The Conclave, starring Brian Blessed and James Faulkner; Police Academy: The Series; and School of Life. In 2007 Ari turned his focus towards representing his fellow colleagues. Originally founded as The Canadian Composers Agency, his company quickly grew to become the largest agency of its kind in Canada.
VIFF AMP - Summit

Keith Woods

Keith Woods


Rigging Gaffer
Keith Woods is a Rigging Gaffer and Lighting Designer in Vancouver, BC, Canada. After starting in theatre, he moved on to working with touring concert groups before joining the lighting department at CBC. At present Kevin works primarily in feature film production. His credits include A Series of Unfortunate Events for Netflix, Deadpool, Warcraft, Big Eyes, Tron: Legacy, The Day the Earth Stood Still, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Chronicles Of Riddick, Elf and Insomnia. He also did the site lighting for the nightly event centre at the 2010 Olympics Games in Vancouver. He has had the pleasure of working with DOPs such as Amir Mokri, Larry Fong, Tom Stern, Bruno Delbonnel, Simon Duggan, Claudio Miranda, Daniel Landin, David Tattersall, Wally Pfister, Jonathan Sela and Russell Carpenter.

Power Hour

Jonas Woost

Jonas Woost


Executive Producer
TELUS Original Content & STORYHIVE
Jonas is a digital media and entertainment executive with experience working for start-ups as well as established corporations on both sides of the Atlantic. Since 2015, Jonas has been the Executive Producer of Original Content & STORYHIVE at TELUS, which provides millions of funding dollars as well as exposure to Canadian filmmakers. Previously Jonas was with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) where he ran CBC Music, one of the most successful digital music services in Canada, attracting 1.2 million Canadians every month. Before moving to Canada in 2010, Jonas was the Head of Music at the digital music start-up Last.fm in 2005. He was in charge of all negotiations and relationships with music owners when CBS acquired Last.fm for US$280 million in 2007.
Digital Storytelling Platforms

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Mayumi Yoshida

Mayumi Yoshida


Director, Akashi
Mayumi Yoshida is from Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from Aoyama Gakuin University(B.A., English & American Literature) and Vancouver Film School (Acting, Film & Television). Her role as Crown Princess (The Man in The High Castle) received a 2016 UBCP/ACTRA’s Emerging Actor nomination. She made her debut as a filmmaker with Akashi-あかし- (2017) which she wrote, produced, directed, and starred in. The short film is based on her play NeOn-ね音- (2016 Vancouver Fringe, 2017 rEvolver Festival) and won Best Actor (East Van Showcase 2017) and TELUS Storyhive 2016 Shorts Grand Prize in BC.
Moving Forward with Inclusivity

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