2018 SPEED DATING
VWF’s Speed Dating Event brings together content creators with companies and individuals looking for content, partnerships and creative new relationships. Participants get 3 minutes to pitch their projects and themselves, exchange cards and to make an impression. Once the 3 minutes is up, move on to the next person and do it again! Practice your pitching skills and forge new relationships in a fun and fast paced environment. The speed dating will be followed by a cocktail reception aimed to solidify new relationships in a more casual setting.
Kaleena Kiff, Producer
After producing and directing the critically acclaimed web-series Riese:Kingdom Falling (SyFy/NBC Universal Int’l), Kaleena Kiff transitioned into a career in feature films. Kaleena developed and produced the BAFTA award-winning feature film The Legend of Barney Thomson. The dark comedy stars Academy Award Winner Emma Thompson and BAFTA winners Robert Carlyle & Ray Winstone. Additionally, Kaleena produced the comedy feature No Men Beyond This Point which was picked up by Samuel Goldwyn Films at the Toronto International Film Festival and released by Sony Pictures Entertainment in 2016. It is currently being developed as a television series. With her partners in Curiosity Pictures, Kaleena is developing a slate of feature films and television projects in both Canada and abroad, including an Indian/Canadian co-production with the producers of The Lunchbox, as well as a rock ‘n roll origin story of The Doors with legendary guitarist Robby Krieger. Kaleena and her partners are currently in post-production on Stuffed, a documentary feature film exploring award-winning taxidermy artists around the world.
Kaleena is a member of the Producers Guild of America and ACE Producers (Europe).
Producer / Head of Interactive, M1 Films Inc.
Mike is currently a partner, producer and head of interactive media at M1 Films (www.m1films.ca). He has broadcast credits with Bravo!, Much Music, APTN, CityTV, Global, History, Discovery, Movie Central, Vision, Travel + Escape, France AB, and MaoriTV. Selects include producer, writer and editor on Moosemeat & Marmalade Seasons 1-3, producer on A Change of Mind, line producer on the Telus funded dramatic web series Spiral, and producer/director on the APTN webseries Food For Thought. He is also an award winning interactive producer. Having produced all of Moosemeat & Marmalade’s interactive properties, doc channel’s Bugs on the Menu interactive property, Tiga Talk’s award-winning iPhone/Pad app’s (APTN children show), and is also currently in production on Moosemeat & Marmalade Season 4’s interactive component, The History of the Hunt.
Director of Programming, SnackableTV
Kevin Barton has spent his life immersed in creative industries. He began his career at Universal Music Group Canada, where he went on to create the largest Urban Music department within Canada. Kevin’s efforts propelled the division’s sales to record numbers; what’s more, Kevin was a pioneer in experiential marketing, creating a template that would soon be followed by many major corporations in the nation.
In his time with Universal, Kevin grew adept at marrying music with video messaging to deliver dramatic marketing that captured audience attention and carried emotions along with visuals.
Kevin later stepped in to a role as head of Mobile Marketing in the Caribbean for Cable & Wireless. Kevin brought his unique take on marketing communications and content strategy to the task and redesigned the marketing department to better suit a fast-paced, high-noise environment. His efforts paid off as CWJ saw a 100% increase in average revenue per user.
Kevin’s passion for storytelling led him to pursue further education in film and photography, allowing him to focus on bringing his directorial vision to life. Kevin has refined his experiences and skills into a technique he calls “strategic storytelling,” bringing effective marketing and brand-building communications to the deeply connected and unceasingly skeptical audiences of the 21stcentury.
In his new role at Bell Media as Director of Programming for SnackableTV, a new mobile first short- form content platform, Kevin brings this unique perspective to the table in pursuit of building fresh, entertaining on-the-go consumable content for audiences.
Board of Directors, Producer’s Guild of America
Ryan Copple has worked over ten years in digital media with positions ranging from creative development, physical production and business management. He has produced over 200 hours of online content in the geek and gaming arena, including hits like Wil Wheaton's TableTop, the breakout success Dungeons & Dragons show Critical Role, Microsoft's live action adaptation of the popular Halo franchise Halo: Forward Unto Dawn, Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion's Con Man as well as myriad of other scripted and non-scripted projects. HIs efforts have resulted in several Emmy nominations and other award series.
His career began producing the hit digital series Riese: Kingdom Falling which was distributed worldwide across SyFy and NBC Universal. Following the series, Ryan had an award-winning immersive alternate reality game to accompany the series, a prequel novel published by Simon & Schuster, and a tie-in iPhone game featuring narration from Felicia Day. Following the success of this digital series, Ryan went onto write and produce titles for Anchor Bay, BBC America and more.
Ryan also oversaw content development and business strategy for Felicia Day's Geek & Sundry. Born from YouTube's funding, Ryan produced some of the webs biggest geek properties, working with talent like Wil Wheaton, Bryan Singer, Joss Whedon and more. He also launched one of the most subscribed Twitch channels for Geek & Sundry, offering 30 hours of live geek & gaming programming a week. Beyond the online programming, Ryan drove a successful merchandise business, generating over 2M in apparel and gaming accessories, as well as helping launch an international celebration of tabletop gaming called "International TableTop Day."
Shifting into the studio world, Ryan developed and launched the subscription platform Alpha for Legendary Entertainment, the first live paywalled subscription service, that offered both premium and live geek programming. Ryan went on to oversee programming and content strategy for Lionsgate's subscription video division for the Comic-Con HQ channel, where he worked with some of the top names in comedy and genre (such Mark Hamill, Alan Tudyk, and Nathan Fillion). Currently he serves on the board of directors for the producer’s guild, helping to shape how producers interact with digital content.
Founder, North of Now
Tyler Funk is the creator and showrunner of the White Ninja series. The world’s first (and last) narrative Vine series starring Paul Scheer. In additional to his narrative filmmaking Tyler Funk is the founder of North Of Now, a digital production company producing branded digital content and broadcast commercials.
Allan Harmon and Cynde Harmon
Principals, Really Real Films
A feature film and television production company based in Vancouver, BC, since 1998, Really Real Films develops, finances and produces independent film and television projects for the domestic and international marketplace. Company principals, Cynde and Allan Harmon, are veteran filmmakers who have produced and directed for 29 years and have amassed over 250 broadcast hours to their credit. For 25 years, their Ontario and US Corporations have provided services to the film, television and commercial sectors.
In recent years, ‘Really Real Films produced ‘If I Had Wings’ with support from Super Channel, Shaw Rocket Fund. The film has won many awards and screened at festivals worldwide, including Whistler, Germany’s Schlingel, Vancouver’s R2R, Kamloops (winner Best Feature Film Audience Award), Poland’s Al Kino, Ajyal in Doha, Qatar (winner Best Feature Film) and was the 2014 winner of Canada’s ‘Shaw Rocket’ award for the 13-17 yr category.
Other film credits include: ‘Trust’ (Movie Central, Lifetime, TF1); ½ hour comedy pilot ‘Wolf Canyon’ (APTN) winner of 5 LEO awards, ‘Anything But Christmas’ (ION, Bravo, CTV, NBC Universal UK, M6), ‘Shana-The Wolf’s Music’, an official Swiss/Canadian coproduction feature film and winner of 26 international awards at festivals including Germany, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Seattle, Kamloops, Winnipeg, Montreal, Czech Republic, Greece, India, Sweden and Italy.
More recent productions are, ‘Stranger In The House’ (Super Channel, Lifetime), feature documentary ‘Spirit Unforgettable’ Audience winner at VIFF 2016, and ‘A Royal Christmas’ in association with eOne Entertainment. Currently, just wrapped filming
Development Executive, Lark Productions
Briean is a creator, developer and producer of television series concepts and proposals for Lark Productions' Unscripted slate. She has a strong focus on casting and talent development, recently producing CBC's CRASH GALLERY and casting Corus' REAL HOUSEWIVES OF TORONTO. With a background in both factual and lifestyle programming, Briean is committed to finding strong stories that can travel both domestically and internationally.
Founder and CEO, Stareable
Ajay Kishore is the founder and CEO of Stareable, the largest community of web series creators. Stareable.com is a discovery platform for independent television, meant to be a central place to find great new shows to watch. Our creator community forum connects web series creators to their peers so they can learn from each other and find potential collaborators. And we are excited to be launching Stareable Fest, a three day celebration in July 2018 in Tribeca of all things web series and independent television, focused on taking creators' careers to the next level.
CEO, Executive Producer, Producer, Fast Motion Studios & Fast Motion Media Group
Plato Fountidakis is the co-founder and CEO of Fast Motion Studios & Fast Motion Media Group an independent film and new media technology company based in Toronto, Canada.
In addition to managing the day-to-day operations Plato is responsible for media development, strategic planning, and executive project management. In his 20 plus years, Plato has managed to procure several successful media projects from development, content creation, to brokering deals through international business relations. Having produced music videos, action reels, pre-visualization, short films, lifestyle programming, feature films to television series. Plato’s philosophy is simple: narrative adaptation; accumulate knowledge; retain strong work ethics; good leadership skills; transparent communication; and persistently researching creative methods to deliver audiences with the ultimate in visual & audio gratification.
His ‘hands on’ approach; from development, to finance, to locking in studio space, to team-building is crucial in todays globally competitive market and compulsory to accomplish high caliber content while remaining cost effective.
Amongst other accomplishments, Plato has been accredited in the industry in an array of diverse roles, including: executive producer, producer, co-producer, associate producer, action director, stunt & fight coordinator, and performer.
Lisa Purdy is an experienced media executive who has worked in creative development, funding, production, broadcast, digital product development, business development, brand, marketing and content distribution. She has played a leadership role in her close to 30 years in media in Canada. She founded Notio Media in 2017 to produce and consult on digital media projects and initiatives.
Formerly Director of Knowledge Kids, part of British Columbia’s Knowledge Network, and the Director of BBC Kids, a national specialty channel, Lisa has also worked for CBC Television and the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
Recent projects include co-producing the scripted web series SPIRAL for TELUS and under the Notio Media banner, working with a range of clients – from tech companies to film festivals – on strategy and analysis. Lisa is also working on a start-up for live performances.
Manager of Development for Scripted, Omnifilm Entertainment
Omnifilm Entertainment is a leading independent Canadian content company. Omnifilm is in production on BLETCHLEY CIRCLE: SAN FRANCISCO, a spin-off of the hit ITV period mystery series for Britbox, ITV and Netflix. Additionally, Omnifilm is in production on Disney XD Series FAST LAYNE, and is in early production on soon to be announced Disney Channel Original Movie. The company also recently completed the second season of MECH-X4, a live-action sci-fi adventure series for Disney XD.
Other current productions include: WILD BEAR RESCUE for Animal Planet, and Season 3 of JADE FEVER for Discovery Canada. Omnifilm's other scripted series include: ARTIC AIR which garnered the highest premiere for a CBC 1-hour drama in over a decade; PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD (CTV/Space, SyFy Channel, ProSieben, and UKTV); DEFYING GRAVITY (ABC, CTV-Space, ProSieben, and BBC); DRAGON BOYS (CBC); and long-running dramedy ROBSON ARMS (CTV). One of Omnifilm's earliest dramas, the Emmy-nominated ODYSSEY, featured a young Ryan Reynolds in one of his first starring roles. Omnifilm's teen drama EDGEMONT, discovered both Kristin Kreuk (Beauty and the Beast, Smallville) and Grace Park (Hawaii 5-0, Battlestar Galactica). On the non-scripted side, multiple award-winning documentary series ICE PILOTS NWT is currently airing on History Canada, Discovery UK, and in 61 other countries worldwide including France, Germany, and Australia.
Based in Vancouver, Omnifilm is a vertically-integrated content company handling development, production and post-production, delivery, and distribution of our brands on both traditional television and digital/VOD platforms.
CEO, Independent Production Fund
The IPF invests in the production of scripted drama series created for any platform - digital or traditional television.
She was the founding Executive Director of the Bell Fund (1997-2014) which supports interactive digital media projects associated with Canadian television programs. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television producing the annual Genie and Gemini Awards (now the Canadian Screen Awards). She lectures on the business of television and digital media and is the editor of publications about the business of TV and digital media production: New Media, New Business: The Producer’s Guide (2001), Create a Winning Proposal – the Handbook for New Media Producers (1999) and the co-editor of MAKING IT: The business of film and television production in Canada (1986 & 1995).
She also served as Managing Director of the Toronto International Film Festival, with the federal government as a Certification Officer setting up the original CAVCO office (and Canadian content “point” system), and at the Film Festivals Bureau promoting Canadian films internationally. She has been awarded the Digital Media Trail Blazer award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, the Champion of Digital Innovation Tribute at Merging Media , an Award of Excellence by the Digi Awards, an Outstanding Achievement Award from the Youth Media Alliance, and has been inducted as an Industry Builder into the Playback Hall of Fame.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of Interactive Ontario and of Women in Film and Television (WIFT-Toronto) and of SIRT (Sheridan Screen Industries Research and Training Centre).
Lead Producer/Copywriter, North of Now Films
North of Now Films (www.northofnow.ca) is a Vancouver, BC based production company. Over the past four years he has written and produced broadcast and digital advertisements for global brands such as LEGO, Band-Aid, Coca Cola and Westin Hotels. In addition to his advertising work, Eric has also produced numerous digital series, garnering tens of millions of views and coverage at SxSW and in outlets such as the Wall Street Journal.
Principal / Executive Producer, Wavelength Entertainment Group
Jeff is a principal partner, founding member and Executive Producer of the Wavelength Entertainment Group. Jeff has been working with the other shareholders since 1999 and is responsible for major decisions on key issues for the Wavelength Entertainment Group of companies. His role entails comprehensive definitive executive management of all functions related to the corporation and its subsidiaries. This involves an ongoing balance of business, creative, marketing, financial, legal and entrepreneurial leadership. For over 18 years his extensive range of key responsibilities have resulted in financing, producing and executive management/supervision of over 400 hours of programming and over $100,000,000 in programming / sales. These productions have been seen in over 150 countries and 30 languages including: Crime Stories/Blood, Lies & Alibis, The Re-Inventors, Bridging Borders, Boomtowners, Genius Factory, Edge of War, Nordic Lodge, Legend Hunters, Escape from Iran, Trading Places, Disasters of the Century and Emmy-award winning, 13 Seconds/Kent State.
Business Head and Senior Vice President Zee Studios International Ltd
As the Business Head and Senior Vice President Zee Studios International Ltd, the international content making hub of India’s largest entertainment company, Zee Entertainment, Subhadarshi has been creating content for the global audience for more than a decade.
Having been trained to be a classical animator, photographer and documentary filmmaker, he is passionate about all things creative. From Animation to VFX, Children’s content to Factual entertainment, News to Education; Subhadarshi has been part of a wide array of industries in his 20-year career and brings with him a knack of identifying the hook that makes content work across geographies and ethnicities.
Producer / Director, Off Island Media
Andrew Williamson is a seasoned producer and director who started OFF ISLAND in 1999. He executive produced the award-winning doc series Emergency Room: Life & Death at VGH for The Knowledge Network/Discovery and High Moon, a pilot coventure with Universal Cable Productions and Executive Producer Bryan Fuller. He also produced Gastown Gamble for the OWN Network.
Andrew is producing the documentary feature The Magnitude of All Things with Jennifer Abbott (The Corporation) and Whale and Raven, a Canadian / German coproduction with the National Film Board of Canada and ARTE. He has worked with all the major Canadian networks and funding agencies including producing ground breaking digital media content like The Dark Corner (Bell Media), Spiral (TELUS) and Yukonic, for the Canadian Government, which premiered in New York’s Times Square.
Andrew was recently VP Production & Digital for Lark Productions where he produced digital and social media campaigns for televisions series including Motive (CTV), Emergency Room: Life & Death at VGH, Gastown Gamble, The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Shaw) and Mom's A Medium (Corus).
Andrew is the founder of Crazy8s and was previously Director of Industrial Relations at the Canadian Media Producers Association, Manager at Directors Guild of Canada and Director of Development for Keatley Entertainment. He volunteers with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to help educate people about climate change.
Tracey Mack, Writer/Producer
Tracey is an experienced, award-winning Writer/Producer with almost twenty years of experience in both live action; animated film, television and digital media, with a focus on programming for children and families. Producer credits include: Scout & The Gumboot Kids, Daisy & the Gumboot Kids, Jessie & The Gumboot Kids, I Love, The Adventures of Little Jake & Many Skies (TV series, web game, iPad app), PARKED (web series.) Awards include: Prix Jeunesse Finalist nomination for Scout & The Gumboot Kids, Merging Media Award 2013 for her trans-media property - Kids’ Cookhouse, Bell Media Producer’s Accelerator Lab, the Sharon Gibbon Lifetime Member Award from Women In Film &; Television Vancouver. Tracey was formerly the Director of Development, Business Affairs and Marketing for Bardel Entertainment, and also served as their Associate Vice-President of Production, where she supervised productions for Radio-Canada, YTV, Teletoon, Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network, including the Elan Award winning Edgar & Ellen for which she also was the Line Producer / Associate Producer. She has also served as a Production Manager on six animated feature films, including Salma Hayek’s, The Prophet. She has an MBA in Arts & Media Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University, a BAA in Radio & Television Arts from Ryerson University, and has served on the boards of Women In Film & Television Vancouver, Spark Animation, and is a founding member of Drawn Together Vancouver.
Business Affairs at Telefilm Canada
In his role as Investment Analyst at Telefilm Canada’s Western Region office in Vancouver, Steve’s responsibilities include assessing the viability of submitted films and reviewing/approving the related financier agreement terms, recoupment structures, and distribution arrangements. Steve joined Telefilm in 2007 after having worked at production company Peace Arch Entertainment as Director of Production Finance and at broadcaster WIC Western International Communications as Director of Business Affairs for its Canadian content department, WIC Entertainment.
Distribution and Development for PNP
Emily Alden heads production, distribution and development for PNP. She is also the executive producer on a number of titles on PNP’s past and current slate of films, including Rebecca Addelman’s Paper Year, starring Eve Hewson, Avan Jogia, Hamish Linklater and Andie MacDowell; Ed Gass-Donnelly’s Lavender, starring Abbie Cornish, Justin Long and Dermot Mulroney; Jason Bourke’s Drone, starring Sean Bean; and Robert Carlyle’s feature directorial debut, The Legend of Barney Thomson, starring Emma Thompson and Robert Carlyle.