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2 017 J UDGES
Vancouver Web Fest was honored to have the following judges for the 2017 festival:

Anita Adams
Founder First Weekend Club
Vancouver, Canada

Anita Adams has nearly 30 years experience working in film and television. She got her start in the film industry as an actor, and has worked in development and production on various feature films and shorts. In 1998, Anita launched the Alibi Unplugged Script Reading Series, a monthly forum that brought provocative screenplays to life in front of a live audience. In a short time, the script series became an integral part of the Vancouver film community serving writers, directors, producers and actors.

In February 2003, Anita launched the First Weekend Club, an initiative designed to build audiences for Canadian films and to support a film’s critical first weekend in theatres. What started as a Vancouver based initiative has grown into a national organization which has helped to promote over 400 Canadian films and countless talent.

In April 2015, as part of the First Weekend Club brand, Anita and her team launched CanadaScreens.ca, a Video on Demand service exclusively for Canadian film. CanadaScreens.ca is the only all Canadian film VOD platform and is filling a huge gap in the market place by helping Canadian filmmakers find their audience.

Maike Buckmakowski
Social Media Consultant
Berlin, Germany

Stories, films, media; Maike always felt drawn to the world of moving images. Already at the age of 12 her father, a professional photographer, gave her a camera that she used to make her first short videos with. For her there was nothing more exciting than thinking of stories she could reenact with her sister and cousins.

She continued with internships in media, and started her studies in International Communication Management in the Hague, followed by a Masters degree in International Business and Marketing in Paris.

After several months abroad in NYC she began working for Darewin in 2014, one of the upcoming creative agencies for Social TV and digital storytelling in Paris. There she was hired as an International Community Manager for clients such as Unitymedia (Liberty Global) and was soon given the role of Account Manager. Developing new skills, she started working for other clients including Netflix.

After living abroad for almost 8 years, in 2015 she assisted in setting-up the German office of Darewin in Berlin. As of November 2016, she is a self-employed Social Media Consultant and works for various clients. You can follow her story on social media.

Marc Checkley
Founder / Creative Director, IO Creative
Singapore, Singapore

Originally from Auckland, New Zealand, Marc Checkley has more than 16 years experience in broadcasting, content production, development and consultancy. Marc has worked extensively in Asia the past 11 years, his first stint being in Beijing where he was news producer and co-anchor of the Olympic Channel for the China Daily. He then moved to Singapore where he has worked with numerous media/content companies. Recent television credits include Luxe Asia (Channel News Asia), Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 3 (Fox/StarWorld), ZooMoo’s Got Brains (ZooMoo Networks International), Photo Face Off (History/A+E Networks Asia) The Food Detectives (MediaCorp), The Taxi Chronicles (Yahoo! Singapore), Hiccup & Sneeze (Okto/Nine Australia), E! Entertainment News (NBC Universal Asia) and an original animated Star Wars concept for Disney Asia.

A proactive member of the creative industry, Marc regularly speaks at content business events including Formats Asia and the Asian Television Forum. He is the Chairman of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content, served two terms on the New Zealand Chamber of Commerce ExCo (2014-2016) and was an advisor to Singapore’s Workforce Development Agency for television and screenwriting training frameworks (2009-2012).

Most recently Marc was Senior Development Producer with Global 500 recognised prod-co Beach House Pictures where he developed and produced original content for the Kids and Entertainment divisions.

In July 2016 he launched IO Creative a content production, development and consultancy agency with offices in Singapore and Switzerland. As Creative Director, Marc is charged with creating original content and series with prod-cos and multiplatform clients in Asia and Europe and to grow key collaborative partnerships, bridging territories, people and ideas to make world-class entertainment.

Sarah Coursey
Americas at Zee TV USA Inc
New York CIty, USA

Highly regarded for her expertise in international sales, acquisitions and development, Sarah has 13 years of managerial experience at global media companies. She is currently Head of Sales & Co-Productions, Americas for ZEE, managing 210,000 TV hours, 3,500 films and a growing formats catalogue.

Sarah has headed sales and acquisitions departments in the US, Italy, Germany, UK and Brazil, and speaks 5 languages. Sarah is the co-creator of Love at First Bite, aired on Discovery Real Time in 2013. She has also co-developed food/cooking formats with US and Italian producers.

She has contributed management skills in consultancy roles, furthering clients’ agendas to sell original content. She has worked with local and global teams, supervising 12 people in 5 countries and managing multi-million dollar budgets.

Previously, Sarah was VP Global Sales for Newzulu, a factual content and software start-up. Before that, she created a format sales and acquisitions department for MEG (Media Entertainment Group), launching 20 formats internationally.

Prior to MEG, Sarah headed two departments at Zodiak: Format Sales & Acquisitions. She supervised acquisitions from 34 production companies. She managed the sales team and handled formats and films in her territories, selling The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

A dynamic communicator, Sarah has shared her expertise as a panelist/lecturer at NATPE, DISCOP, Rose d’Or and EBU. She is also a judge for the International Emmy’s and the Vancouver Web Fest.

Constant contact with channels and producers has given her knowledge on best practices and emerging trends. She has a valuable network and a proven ability to identify a TV show's USP.

Marie-Charlotte Derne
FX TD - Weta Digital
Wellington, New Zealand

Marie-Charlotte started her career in Europe as a graphic designer and project manager working in the commercial industry. She eventually progressed to doing SFX for advertising, short films and live performances before expanding into Visual Effects on feature films in Vancouver. After years in British Columbia, she moved to New Zealand to join the crew of Weta Digital.

Taking part in the Vancouver Web Festival is an honour as well as an exciting experience, as it gathers talent from all over the world! It is a great and stunning showcase of what smaller studios and independent artists can bring to visual effects. Most recent credits include: Raving Rabbits, Fast and the Furious 7, Batman vs Superman, The Finest Hours, Independence Day 2, Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy.

Delia Dobritoiu
International TV Producer
London, UK

Geeky, curious, always looking for a challenge. Delia started working as a Vision Mixer for “Big Brother” Romania over 10 years ago. Shortly after that she was invited to provide consultancy for Endemol International in Croatia and Bulgaria, switched from technical to production and began the creative journey in the Media Land.

She worked on a large number of international formats for the Romanian market such as “FC Nerds”, “Boiling Points”, “Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader”, “Megastar”, “Psychic Challenge”, “I Love My Country”, ”Rich Kids on a Poor Budget”, but also developed original formats such as “See What You Get”, “VIP Maid” and “Unknown Author”, all prime time shows.

She was also Commissioning Editor, Head of Reality and Factual for the top 3 stations in Romania and in 2011 she joined the On Air team of Discovery Romania. One year later she moved to London to further her education with a MA in Video Production and Film Studies. She continued working for Discovery’s Emerging Business On Air team in London working across various projects within the Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa Region.

Lindsay Elizabeth Donovan
Consultant and Director of Sales, Technicolor Canada, Inc.
Vancouver, Canada

Shortly after receiving her degree in film & philosophy from SFU, Lindsay Elizabeth Donovan began her film career working in production coordination and executive assisting for producers, actors and directors. Taking a break from the industry for a few years in her 20s, she worked as a personal chef to a traveling group of professional poker players in Vegas, Spain, Ireland and Amsterdam before moving on to work in the music industry for two years in Manhattan. Jumping at a chance to work with one of her heroes, Stephen Colbert, she returned to Vancouver for the 2010 Olympics, bringing her back to the BC Film Industry. Currently she is the director of sales for the celebrated post company, Technicolor. This wonderful new position has led to work with The Motion Picture Production Industry Association, BC Creative, The Vancouver Post Alliance, The Whistler Film Festival and now for the second year, The Vancouver Web Fest. In her spare time she loves traveling overseas or even just over to the gorgeous BC islands, writing and spending time with her friends.

Tom de Grunwald
Director of Media, Blurrt Ltd
London, UK

Tom de Grunwald is a senior, award-winning producer whose career has seen him head up social media at The Project Factory, where he devised Downton Abbey's social media strategy and executed editorial analytics for Made in Chelsea, forming the basis of a short form series on All 4, and looked after the marketing of the number 1 app, Sherlock The Network.

He set up his own consultancy, Microclimate, which produced the disruptive digital democracy platform, Swap my Vote, in 2015, and has worked with clients including pressure groups, broadcasters and content distributors to help them devise their social distribution strategy.

Whilst at Channel 4 Tom produced award-winning shortform series with Scope (What Not To Do) and HUK (Helluva Tour), before leaving to become Director of Media at Blurrt, where he is working with rights holders, broadcasters and producers to understand the social media conversation and integrate it into their programming in bold, innovative ways.


Lisa Gray
Executive Producer / Content Consultant, Interactive - Television - Development
London, UK

LISA GRAY is a seasoned Executive Producer of factual television and digital entertainment across the US, UK and Australian markets. A passionate advocate for interactive storytelling, Lisa’s championed numerous cross-industry collaborations and been sought out to share her unique expertise on panels for MIPTV, MIPCom, SPAA, Mumbrella 360 and X Media Lab. In 2014, she won the MIPFormats Pitching Competition and was a finalist for Power To The Pixel’s ARTE International Prize. Her acclaimed teen multiplatform music format ‘Stay Tuned’ (60 episodes) has sold into 30 countries. She’s judged for both the International and International Digital Emmys, BANFFs and was recently granted an extended Exceptional Talent visa to the UK for her skill in digital innovation. Lisa's clients include The BBC, The Guardian, MIPCOM, RG/A , the projects*, CBBC and The Guardian.

Robert Guastini
Dialogue Editor, Sony Pictures
Los Angeles, USA

Robert has been a part of the audio post-production community, primarily in the greater Los Angeles area, performing all manner of sound editorial, in just about every format possible, since 1989.

His credits include seminal films such as "Menace II Society", "The Mask", and "Training Day", as well as iconic TV shows "Buffy The Vampire Slayer", "Sopranos", "Entourage", and "Justified".

Robert is currently working for Sony Pictures Studios performing dialogue editorial for the Fox Network TV series "Empire

He has won 4 MPSE Golden Reel Awards for Outstanding Achievement in sound editing and has been nominated for 8 Primetime Emmy Awards, 5 Daytime Emmy Awards, and 13 MPSE Golden Reel Awards.

Pola Hempowicz
Channel Executive, Comedy Central Poland
Warsaw, Poland

Pola Hempowicz has been working in broadcasting for almost 10 years. She is a digital media expert, specializing in linear channels and VOD content management, audio and video postproduction and business development. She has learnt from the best in business both in the UK and Poland. In 2013 she founded P.U.M.A. Digital Entertainment – a media consulting company based in Warsaw Poland. She has been advising European TV Broadcasters, VOD service owners and content distributors. In August 2016 Pola has joined Viacom and took over the position of Channel Executive for Comedy Central Poland.

David C. Jones
Writer / Director
Vancouver, Canada

Writer, director, actor, producer and teacher, David C. Jones makes his living in the performing arts, barely. A graduate of Studio 58 and a teacher at The Vancouver Film School he has acted in plays by Mamet, Coward, Shakespeare and Stoppard and worked with local companies like The Arts Club, Vancouver TheatreSports League and Carousel Theatre.l He also works as a corporate comedian and a keynote speaker. His short film Same Boat on the People’s Choice Award in 2015. He is was shocked to be recipient of a Legacy Award in The Arts and was equally surprised when he was sainted by the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. He also likes to casually mention he was the Entertainment Manager of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Jesper Kjolsrud
Visual Effects Supervisor
London UK

Recently having moved back to London, UK, Jesper worked at Image Engine and Double Negative in Vancouver. At Image Engine he looked after some of the company’s largest and most challenging projects. With 19 years of expertise in visual effects and an impressive roster of feature film credits, Jesper was the first Image Engine employee to have his name appear on the title card of a feature film, as the production Visual Effects Supervisor for The Thing.

Starting his career at Bild för Bild in Sweden and the Moving Picture Company in the UK, Jesper went on to become a member of the primary team responsible for setting up Double Negative Visual Effects in the UK. He remained on board for the next 10 years, taking on a variety of roles including On-set Supervisor and Visual Effects Supervisor, and accumulated credits including The Da Vinci Code, Enemy at the Gates, The Chronicles of Riddick and 10,000 BC.

Strengths in client relations, Jesper’s creative direction and managing large teams have been crucial to films including R.I.P.D, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Lone Survivor where Jesper shared the production visual effects supervisor credit together with Grady Cofer of ILM.

Jesper is committed to passing on his experience to the next generation of visual effects students, and his contributions have included a Master Class in Digital Matte Painting for MA students at Bournemouth University, UK, alongside presentations at many other festivals and schools.

Sylvia Kocman
Director of Business Development, The Format People Inc.
Montreal, Canada

Sylvia has been active in the global television industry for over 10 years, beginning her career in 2004 as a PR Liaison for the CBC entertainment program, Just for Laughs: All Access Pass. From there she moved into global distribution at Distraction Formats, working in Legal and Business Affairs. From 2009 to 2011 she worked in the Acquisitions department at Radio-Canada, and in 2011 returned to the international sector, working in sales and marketing as Director of Business Development at The Format People (TFP). Sylvia has been instrumental in growing the professional consultancy business of TFP. She sources top trending, new international formats as well as finished content for TFP’s various premium clients, with a strong focus on Asia.

Sylvia holds a B.A. in foreign languages and photography from Bishop’s University as well as a Certificate in Public Relations Management from Concordia University.

Eric Y. Lapointe
Senior Director, International Sales & Digital Development, Just for Laughs
Montreal, Canada

Eric Y. Lapointe joined Just For Laughs in 2015, after spending 15 years in international marketing and sales which included a prior role as Senior Advisor of Content Distribution at Cirque du Soleil.

As the Senior Director of International Sales and Digital Development at Just For Laughs, Lapointe is responsible for the global digital video distribution strategy for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other new emerging platforms. His role also involves licensing rights to television channels in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, while also partnering with foreign broadcasters and platforms interested in producing comedy specials at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, the world`s largest by invitation only comedy festival attracting over 2 million people annually to Montreal.

Just For Laughs produces festivals and tours worldwide (including in Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, London), over 50 hours of television programming annually including English and French language stand-up comedy productions, as well as the world`s funniest and most renowned non dialogue hidden camera program: Just For Laughs Gags which now includes 309 half-hour episodes and a YouTube subscriber base of 5.5 million fans.

Sandra Lehner
Head of Content, TMWA\ Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland

Storytelling has always been the core of Sandra’s career.

As Head of Content at Swiss creative agency TBWA\ Switzerland, Sandra is developing and producing branded content across all platforms (TV, Online, Social Media) for the TBWA\ Switzerland clients and is an ambassador for TBWA's Disruption Live and backslash approaches. Before joining TBWA\ Switzerland, she was Head of joiz Studios – the creative agency of Swiss Social TV channel joiz - and created bespoke cross-platform content.

Sandra landed her first job in TV after attending a ‘Writing for Daily Drama’ course at the Film and TV University in Babelsberg (Germany) and hence developed drama series across all platforms for leading daily drama producer UFA Serial Drama.

Before moving to Zurich (Switzerland) end of 2014, Sandra was living and working in London (UK) for four years. She worked as a Digital Producer for football YouTube Channel ‘Copa90’ and as a Social Media Producer on TV shows such as ‘Downton Abbey’ (NBCU), ‘Sherlock’ (BBC), ‘Made in Chelsea’ (Channel 4), and ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’ (Sony).

She blogs on a monthly basis for industry blog MIPBlog und the corporate arvatoBlog. She has also been a panellist at industry events such as MIPTV, MIPCOM, BAFTA and SWIM talking about digital innovations and Social TV.


Lissa Lloyd
Talent Agent, Lloyd Talent
Vancouver, Canada

Lissa Lloyd is the senior agent representing and managing all the principal talent signed to Lloyd Talent. Born in Toronto, Lissa became involved in music at a very young age. She is an accomplished musician and has trained at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto in piano, voice and flute. She has toured and recorded as a soloist, and with various bands and vocal groups and has experience in musical theatre. In 1984 Lissa attended university in British Columbia and graduated in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree with a concentration in Business and minors in English, Education and Music. She has extensive experience in sales and marketing and in 1989 began Lloyd Talent Agency in Vancouver and Lloyd Talent Management in Los Angeles. Lissa's interests include health and fitness, herbology and naturalpathic medicine, travel, music, wine, cooking, pilates, yoga and cycling. She is a competitive trail and marathon runner in both Canada and the United States. Her favourite pastimes are daily work-outs and training, motorcycling and spa pamperings whenever possible.  


Michael Lolato
Senior Vice President, International Distribution, GRB Entertainment
Los Angeles, USA

Michael Lolato brings two decades of experience in all facets of the television industry to GRB. He hails from Canada, where he started his career in TV advertising and marketing at Astral Television. Segueing into distribution and affiliate sales, he helped launch six networks for Canada's Bell Media before transitioning to international program sales at Canamedia. Michael has sold programs to almost every country and in a nearly every genre, expanding his sales efforts to multi-platforms, including mobile, digital and OTT, while continuing to grow linear channel sales.

Tyler Massey
Vice President, International Distribution and Co-Productions, IM Global TV
Los Angeles, USA

Massey heads IM Global Television's APAC business focusing on distribution of films, scripted and unscripted television series and formats, and international co-productions. Massey joined IM Global Television in 2016 after two years running his own content distribution and development company, MassMedia International.

Previously, Massey served as Executive Director of International Sales at Eyeworks, where he helped launch international hit formats, such as Celebrity Splash, and Adam Looking for Eve, and top finished series such as ABC's Extreme Makeover: Weightloss Edition. Prior to Eyeworks, Massey worked with GRB Entertainment, selling factual entertainment, and Disney Educational Productions where he produced multiple award-winning original educational programs Safety Smart with Bill Nye the Science Guy: Electricity, and Wild About Safety with Timon and Pumbaa: Safety Smart at Home, as well as over 200 DVDs for the international educational marketplace.

Massey started his career at Abrams Artists Agency as Agent In Training for the Kids Theatrical and Voiceover departments, after receiving a BS in Journalism from Oklahoma State University.

Edith Sierra Montaño
Consultant and Producer, Interactive & Transmedia Content
London, UK

Originally from Colombia and a Graduate of Social Communication with emphasis on Educational and Audiovisual contents at the Pontificia Javeriana University in Colombia, specialized in Multimedia Creation and Production by the Master specialized of Engineering School "Telecom-ParisTech" and the National Audiovisual Institute, "INA" in France.

Edith Sierra had been working as Audiovisual Producer, Project Manager for cultural and publishing projects since 1998 and she has served as head of digital and transmedia projects in France since 2009. She has worked in Colombia since 2012 solving problems of digital communication and transmedia strategies for different companies and statement institutions. She has been consultant and tutor of various cross media and transmedia projects and interactive audiovisual documentary and fiction projects.

Omri Marcus
CEO, The Comic Genome Project
Tel Aviv, Israel

Omri is involved in the development and writing of major entertainment shows on Israeli TV. Among his successes is “Eretz Nehederet” (“What a Wonderful Country”), enjoying regular ratings of over 30% and winning 4 Israeli Academy Awards.

In 2009 the Entertainment Master Class granted Marcus its prestigious fellowship, given to professionals involved in designing the media of the future. Marcus also writes regularly for numerous leading American and European papers and blogs (Huffington Post, TV Gawker, Jewcy etc.) about Israeli current affairs and the TV business.

In his spare time Marcus volunteers in his family humanitarian organization - Eye from Zion, that performs free medical surgeries in third world countries.

Sean Patrick O’Reilly
CEO and founder, Arcana Studio
Vancouver, Canada

Sean’s passion and energy has driven the vision behind Arcana studios. Sean continues to push the limits of storytelling by using a trans-media approach to adapting stories into a variety of entertainment mediums. He’s won the Top 40 Under 40 award from both the city of Vancouver and on a national level. His original creations include Kade, Ezra, The Gwaii, Clockwork Girl, The Hope Virus, Continuum, Pixies and Mighty Mighty Monsters to name a few.

Michele Partridge
Owner/Head Instructor, The Drama Class
White Rock, Canada

Film Industry Professional Michele Partridge is the founder and owner of White Rock's The Drama Class. Michele has worked in B.C.’s local film industry for over 25 years working in front of the camera (acting professionally for 10 years) and later behind the camera (casting and producing). Her filmmaking career as a film producer took her to several international film festivals and speaking engagements around the world. The critically acclaimed Canadian feature film she produced, “Horsey” was distributed in Roger’s Video stores across Canada and later on pay per view on Movie Central. Michele has also owned several businesses including 2 successful acting studios in the lower mainland, The Studio on the Drive (co-founded) and Kids Only Acting Classes.

Wanting to try a different industry, Michele worked at Electronic Arts producing video games for a few years before moving to White Rock and starting a family. Michele has also been a board member on several boards including Women In Film and Video Vancouver, the Ocean Park Business Association and Peninsula Productions. Michele has been a judge for several performing arts programs including the Leo Awards and the Joey Awards. Michele is honoured to be part of the judging panel for Vancouver Web Fest 2017.


Doug Paterson
Sound Designer and Founder of Big World Sound
Vancouver, Canada

Doug Paterson founded Big World Sound in March 1991 in order to provide a nurturing environment for burgeoning songwriters and bands. The studio’s early success culminated in its relocation to Downtown Vancouver in 1993. Doug constructed a brand new studio from the ground up, and secured the contract for the film score for Beyond Borders: Redwood Films highly regarded travel documentary. Other producers were quick to hire Big World to compose scores, and the company moved into sound design and audio post-production in 1999.

Doug Paterson is a master sound designer, confident and experienced in every aspect of his craft, and is proud of his reputation as a relaxed, easy-going guy who gets great results. As a musician he understands the creative process, and he knows the importance of timing and rhythm.

Early in 2007, Doug worked on the feature length documentary Let It Ride, a film by Jacques Roiseaux, which won Best Film at the Xdance Film Festival and Best Mountain Culture Film at The Whistler Film Festival.

Doug was nominated twice at the Leo Awards in 2007 in the Best Sound Editing (short drama) category for Adrien van Viersen’s films Pig Tale, and Tit for Tat.

Matthias Puschmann
Co-Founder and Managing Director of VAST MEDIA
Berlin, Germany

Matthias is Co-Founder and Managing Director of VAST MEDIA, a Berlin-based media consultancy specializing in market analysis of digital media and television. Previously, he worked as Editorial Director at ProSiebenSat.1 Group’s video-on-demand service maxdome. Former employers include broadcasters and production companies in New York, Paris and Potsdam.


Thomas Rogel
Writer, N2O Comedy
Recklinghausen, Germany

Starting out as one of the youngest gag writers of German Late Night comedy icon "Harald Schmidt" Thomas freelanced as a comedy writer (while studying Educational Science).

In 2006 he founded, together with two colleagues, a successful writers bureau ("N2O Comedy"). They wrote for the majority of German comedy shows, e.g. "Switch Reloaded", "Sechserpack" and (as head writers) "Licht aus, Sketch an!".

Thomas developed comedy concepts (e.g. sitcom concept “HomeOffice“ about a fictional female German chancellor), movie exposés and wrote spec scripts. With friends, he developed and produced his own adult puppet comedy web series "Space Pirats" on YouTube.

He has been a staff writer of the highly successful and award-winning news satire "heute Show" on public channel ZDF for 6 years now . Since 2015 he has been writing, polishing and punching scripts for RTL´s latest sitcom “Triple Ex“.

Currently he is in the early development phase of a French-German culture clash comedy for a French producer and Bavaria Fernsehproduktion. On this project he is collaborating with French writers Alexandre Charlot & Franck Magnier (“Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis“).

He also offers courses about gag writing, sketch writing and creative writing. He has coached the hosts of an Austrian TV morning show in scripted and improvised entertaining presentations.

Syatirah Safran
Chief Content, CMC WiseMe Media
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

Syat's career has always been in TV, which matches the frequency of her life passion. She started out in production, moved on to distribution, and finally found the perfect match in acquisition and programming. Previously involved with the Global TV platform, Viki, she is now the lady in charge of content in WiseMe TV, a South-East Asian based video streaming aggregation platform.

Kent Speakman
CEO, Producer - KNEKT.TV
Los Angeles, USA

Growing up in Edmonton & Residing now in Los Angeles, Speakman is an innovative producer, entrepreneur and philanthropist whose experience on both sides of the camera ranges from the big screen, to the small screen & the second screen. Examiner.com has called him “one of the most influential entrepreneurs in the entertainment industry.” He has won the "Campaign of the Year" 2016 - iMedia, “Best Entertainment Marketing Campaign” 2009 - iMedia, “Best Mobile Entertainment Startup,” 2012 - iMedia, and he was awarded Evan Carmichael’s “Top 100 Entrepreneurs to Follow” in 2013 preceded by the “iMedia Top Ten Digital Marketers” in 2009. He writes for trade publications, speaks at conferences and film festivals, and engages in interviews on media outlets such as KTLA News, The Los Angeles Times, Inc. Magazine and The Huffington Post.

His experience allowed him to follow his passion for working with charities & social causes, leading to producing & broadcasting world class events. Speakman took the opportunity to leverage technology to connect millions of viewers around the world via live-streaming. He founded KNEKT.tv as the production house behind many top charity gala's shows, bringing A-List celebrity audiences to content that matters, as well as live streaming concerts with artists such as Lil Wayne & ASAP Rocky and video exclusives with artists such as Drake. KNEKT Television is the latest iteration of his vision, a Multi Channel television network available worldwide, focused on social good.

Prior to KNEKT, Speakman founded ENGAGEIA – a digital, mobile and experiential agency working with startups, brands & entertainment properties. He co-founded FAMEUS, a social network listed on the Huffington Post’s “Top 10 Startups in LA” in 2015, connecting members of the entertainment industry in innovative ways with a unique technology. In 2015, co-founded and excited ('16) an OTT television network, Torio, where he was the executive in charge of all live entertainment production & produced shows such as Maxim Super Bowl Live.

Simon Staffans
CEO, Founder, ReThink
Vasa, Finland

Simon Staffans is an award-winning format and content developer working in Finland. Over a distinguished career he has created everything from TV shows to social media strategies and corporate storytelling campaigns. His knowledge of multiplatform storytelling and transmedia development has taken him around the world for speaking engagements, workshop facilitation and international consultancy. His insightful articles have been published in numerous journals and academic papers and he is an avid blogger on his website Evolving Media. He holds a Bachelors degree in Social Sciences, looking into how storytelling can affect people’s willingness to participate in scientific surveys. He is an appointed expert with the European Commission’s EACEA and Horizon 2020 programmes.

Currently, Simon is the CEO of ReThink – New Media Solutions, a production and innovation company. Additionally, he has his own company Storista through which he channels innovative projects in the multi-platform arena. Previously he worked for MediaCity Finland as a media strategist, content developer and producer.

J. Martin Taylor
Co-Owner, The Mix Room
Vancouver, Canada

J. Martin Taylor is an award winning sound designer and Co-Owner of The Mix Room in Vancouver, BC. His early years were spent in the rock n’ roll world, but he eventually transitioned into the television and film realm. In recent years he has focused on documentary and lifestyle/reality TV as well as digital content.


Brian Topp
Composer, Programmer, Performer and Sound Artist
Vancouver, Canada

Brian has written for a multitude of formats and mediums including contemporary concert works, film, experimental electronic works and live-interactive mixed media works, which have been premiered, performed and broadcast across North America and Europe. His work has received numbers awards including a 2015 SOCAN Award for his work ‘Insomnia.’

Brian is on the board of directors with Vancouver Promusica, an organization that promotes BC composers and creative types through the programming and organizing of such artistic events as the ‘Sonic Boom New Music Festival,’ the ‘Vancouver Electroacoustic Festival’ and the ‘Further Series.’

Brian holds a Bachelors and Masters in music and is currently a doctoral candidate in music composition at the University of British Columbia. Beyond composition, his research includes the development of music production software as well as interactive music systems. This research has included work at the Centre for Electroacoustic Research and Performance (CEARP) and currently at the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS). His research has received recognitions including several Western Graduate Research Awards (WGRS+) and a 4YF Doctoral Fellowship for research and studies at UBC. His interactive music software ‘Trak’ will be featured and presented at the 2016 Electric Spring Festival (UK), alongside the UBC Laptop Orchestra

Claudia Rodríguez Valencia
CEO, Preciosa Media
Bogotá, Colombia

Claudia is a Social Communication graduate with an emphasis on Educational Communication. Her specialization is in the design and development of educational and entertainment media, consulting for broadcast strategy, as well as acquisitions and sales for overseas audiovisual content. I also run workshops on management and development of fiction, documentary and children’s audiovisual media.

She has worked in the selection process and on the juries for many film and broadcast festivals, among them: Docs DF (Mexico), Nordisk Film Panorama (Sweden), Hot Docs (Canada), Festival Nueva Mirada (Argentina), Prix Jeunesse (Germany). I have also performed jury duties for funding programs such as Chile’s CNTV, and EMC Docs for Mexico and Central America, as well as for Colombia’s Ministry of Culture. I am experienced and knowledgeable in the main broadcast markets of Latin America, MIPCOM, Rio Content Market, NATPE, Ventana Sur among others.

Currently, Claudia is in the volunteer position of The Colombia National Coordinator for INPUT, the International Public Television Conference; selecting the best projects each year and integrating proposals with the other Latin American National Coordinators.

After 8 years of experience in managing international relations and distribution of content (4.5 years of international representation of the Colombian public broadcaster, 3 years representing independent producers and 1 year in her own company) in audiovisual markets in international forums and festivals industry events, she has built a strong network of contacts in the global media industry: in production, coproduction, content distribution, sales, acquisition and financing of projects; and since 2016 she has launched her own distribution & consulting media company: Preciosa Media , focused on making alliances between the Documentary and Animation Latino producers - channels and the rest of the world; and do the same for no-latino producers and channels: to introduce them to the Latino Audiovisual Market, and open new windows for them. Preciosa Media is connecting content, projects, people.

Satoru Watanabe
Senior Producer , NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation)
Tokyo, Japan

Satoru Watanabe, Senior Producer of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation), has been involved in the making of news, documentaries, live shows and nature programs, including Conversation of Insects (nature documentary, 2003), We Cannot Understand Children (documentary on juvenile killers, 2005), and He Lived (documentary on an atomic bomb victim in Nagasaki, 2006).

After moving to NHK’s Tokyo Headquarters, Satoru was selected to work on one of Japan’s most famous and popular children’s shows, Shuukan Kodomo News (Weekly Kids’ News). In 2016, he was promoted to a senior producer for the morning show Asa-Ichi and Cinderella Technology, an internet workshop programme for girls.

Since October 2014, Satoru has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Tokyo, teaching production management in Special Lectures in Socio-Information and Communication Studies. In 2016, he embarked on further study on TV formats as a PhD candidate at the University of Leicester.

John T. Wells
VP of Business Development, Frequency Networks.
Los Angeles, United States

Since 2014, John has been VP of Business Development for Frequency, a video aggregation and distribution technology that powers content discovery applications for TV, mobile and OTT operators. John is responsible for licensing content from a wide range of distribution partners to support his digital programming strategy for the platforms.

He is a digital media and internet commerce pioneer. At the dawn of the '90s, John blazed a new trail with Entertainment Media, the first company in the Western United States to offer pre-roll advertising and entertainment at movie theaters. By the mid-90s, he had already ventured into the nascent world of online retail, creating eMerchandise.com, a Website focusing on Hollywood-related merchandise. By the end of the decade, John ran the digital storefronts for many of the motion picture and big media conglomerates such as Sony, NBC, The Henson Company, Viacom, and HBO.

Working through the '00s, John founded several IPTV companies, leading business development and securing content deals with the world's top digital platforms.

John has been the subject of articles in The Wall Street Journal, Interactive Week, The Boston Globe, and books such as the Top 1000 Web Sites and How to Make Money Online.

John is a board member of The Gentle Barn , a national organization that rescues animals from severe abuse and neglect. Once rehabilitated, TGB uses the animals to help give hope and inspiration to at risk children with the same stories.

David Wilkinson
Senior Colourist, Technicolor
Vancouver, Canada

David started at Technicolor in 2003, colouring a diverse number of projects ranging from commercials, television series, documentaries, independents and feature films. He credits both his talented clients and colleagues for mentoring him, thus helping to establish himself as a colourist early on.

As a colourist, David strives to embrace and preserve the original photography on a project, and approaches images with the same level of care the cinematographer had while creating them. He loves natural light and shadows with texture, and he always enjoys working with images that have been acquired using “in-camera” treatments and techniques. He especially enjoys colouring feature film dailies because of the detailed involvement in the project and daily interaction with the cinematographer.

For inspiration and influence, David looks to directors Stanley Kubrick and Francis Ford Coppola, as well as cinematographers John Alcott, Gordon Willis, Michael Chapman, Vittorio Storaro and Ron Fricke. The photography of Gregory Crewdson, David Burdeny and Steve McCurry also serves as great artistic influence for David.

When not at work, David is an avid photographer who explores both digital and film formats with an emphasis on cinematic approach and style.

Nathalie Wogue
Entertainment format Expert & Associate Director, Ascendo TV
Paris, France

Nathalie is a TV entertainment specialist, internationally recognized as TV format
expert, content developer and hunter. She also speaks at media conferences
around the world.

Former TV producer, Head of Development at Fremantlemedia France, VP
Formats International at IMG Entertainment and Chief International Officer at Endemol France, where she acquired or sold big shows like Money Drop, Undercover Boss, Farmer Wants A Wife, Got Talent, she’s now running her own company AscendoTV and work on the scouting / acquisition / development and of course selling of TV formats with indies as well as international production groups.

With Reed Midem (MipTV and MipCom in Cannes), she also oversees the content of MipFormats, the number one event on TV Formats. (www.mipformats.com)

Also a format creator, her experience makes her one of the TV format experts in this industry. Production, acquisition, development of TV formats are her everyday missions. She’s also an experienced executive in marketing. And with the digital disruption exploding in the business and production of TV programmes, she’s been spotting new trends and ideas on the digital front to extend editorial and economic boundaries. Now involved in digital projects, she also speaks at Mip and ATF on the subject "When TV Formats meet digital : the best ideas".


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