Our Team

 
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Suzette Laqua
Executive Director /Founder
 

suzette@vancouverwebfest.com
An Entrepreneur, Executive Producer and Writer of TV, Digital Series and Short Films, Suzette brought her vision to Found the VWF in 2013.

“It’s so humbling and gratifying to see the joy Vancouver Web Fest brings to creators and their teams. The life long friendships that have been made, the deals & contracts signed and the free hugs! Thank you all for making VWF possible! Just remember 'Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.'”


 
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Paula Hoffmann
Director of Development

paula@vancouverwebfest.com

Paula has been with Vancouver Web Fest since the beginning.  Starting VWF with Suzette in 2013, Paula and Suzette have worked together creating a festival and conference that has been dubbed the ‘Sundance of WebFests’. A versatile voice actor with good range and great characters, Paula is always looking for new and exciting challenges, particularly in the field of animation. Specialties: Voice work  includes cartoons, commercials, e-learning, website marketing, real estate marketing, audio books and much more.

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Myles Liversidge
Director of IT

myles@vancouverwebfest.com

Myles, part of VWF since its inception in 2013, has been a fundamental part of the festival’s success. In addition to working with the festival on its general IT needs throughout the year, as the festival dates approach he also coordinates all submission content, and makes “screen-ready” all materials for screenings, panels, keynotes and workshops.  As the behind the scenes IT guy with a love for “post”, Myles has provided an ‘Oscar-like’ touch to the awards ceremony.

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Stephanie M Scott
Brand Director
/VIP Liaison

stephanie@vancouverwebfest.com

With over 15 years in film communications and short form storytelling, Stephanie works diligently to ensure no matter what the original draw, creators, experts and media can learn and share in every VWF opportunity.  A huge asset to the inner workings of VWF.

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Shiva Kashi
Program Director

shiva@vancouverwebfest.com

Shiva is founder and producer at Eriol Pictures Inc, a socially empowered film production company, and advocate for freedom of speech, civil liberties, and transparency. There is no better person to ensure our official selections, screeners and judges communication is voiced. Her role is an essential one to holding the VWF’s long standing reputation for integrity and fair opportunity to be screened and celebrated at our festival.

 

 
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Gordon Au
Director of Operations

gordon@vancouverwebfest.com

Gordon has been with the VWF since 2015 (nearly day one) and holds a unique perspective to help us grow efficiently. His Event planning experience to many prestigious events such as , Big Data Week, Rifflandia, Music 4.5 seminars, Canada Day London celebrations, the Juno Awards and the Car Free Day festivals, locally drawing over 10 000 people.  We know his team leadership and logistical wheelhouse will help VWF explode in the best possible way in it’s 5th exciting year.

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Alessandro Di Francesco
Director of Int'l Relations

alessandro@vancouverwebfest.com

Alessandro lives is Rome, Italy and has been VWF’s European liaison since 2015.

Movie and theater actor, Alessandro has worked as an organizer and event producer for short films and plays. In recent years he has dedicated his time in organization and production toward the realization of multimedia art projects, both nationally and internationally. Alessandro is a talent scout for various actor agencies, as well as working as an assistant teacher.

As Director of External Relations for the first edition of the Roma Web Fest (2013), a Member of the Technical Committee in the evaluation commissions of Roma Web Fest 2013 and Roma Web Fashion Film Fest 2013, Alessandro brings to Vancouver Web Fest exceptional talent and skills.

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Alicia Bernbaum
Director of Partnerships

partnerships@vancouverwebfest.com

Alicia is passionate about supporting and mentoring creatives. She co-chaired the Vancouver Independent Film Industry Meetup with more than 1100 members. She is also a co-producer of Canada's largest film making incubator Crazy8s Film Event. There, Alicia works on developing stories and projects each year, she handles administration, coordinates sponsorship efforts and fundraising initiatives, such as writing the first edition of the Crazy8s How to Pitch Short Film eBook. Alicia has helped develop and produce more than 12 short films. You can follow her on social media @aliciabonline

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Mitch Hulse
Stage Manager

Our VWF Awards Ceremony & Gala is more than an offering of accomplishment, it provides entertainment, education and celebration to all those that take part at our 3-day festival and conference. Mitch’s expertise for film festivals in both the US and Canada including Whistler Film Fest + Summit and Boulder Film Fest, allows him to masterfully conduct our run-of-show and onstage talent.  Mitch also has his Masters of Public Policy, University of British Columbia.

 

 

 

 
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Mike Cavers
Entertainment Director

Mike Cavers is a film and TV actor based in this gorgeous city we call Vancouver.  He most recently botched a bank robbery in Jon Flahr's Noravera Studios production of comedy short film: Niko, appearing this year at The Berlin Short Film Festival. Mike is delighted daily to be the owner / Artistic Director of The Character Guys Inc., one of Vancouver's most prominent corporate entertainment companies, as well as a pro emcee of high-profile events in the Pacific Northwest.  This is Mike's 4th year participating in our totally unique & awesome festival.

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Stephanie Halber
Technical Coordinator

Stephanie is a swiss army knife working in Vancouver’s local film industry. She recently joined the Vancouver Web Fest team as Technical Coordinator & Moderator.  What makes Stephanie so versatile and easy going is her talent as a professional Actress & Casting Director. She used her magic over the past three years as the Co-producer & Production Coordinator with the Crazy8s Film Event and is the Community Partnership Coordinator for the Vancouver Short Film Festival bringing huge success to both events with her dedicated support to the community.

Stephanie’s talent doesn’t stop there, she is also a Casting Assistant, Acting Coach and associate producer. And of course where her talent really shines is singing show tunes in the shower. http://www.stephaniehalber.com 

 

 

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Sofía Auer
Box Office Coordinator

tickets@vancouverwebfest.com

A native of Argentina, VWF is pleased to have Sofia as the first point of contact when you enter VWF’s doors. Sofia studied Image and Sound Design at Buenos Aires University in Argentina.  She  has worked in different projects in Production area in Argentina: two Children’s Television Programs of 120 chapters, in some music videos and, currently when not busy with VWF she works on-line at “Argentores” (General Society of Audiovisual Authors of Argentina). To add to her festival experience Sofia has volunteered at the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival,  BAFICI (Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival) and DerHumALC (International Film Festival on Human Rights) in Production area.

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Kristin Jackson
Graphic Designer

kcamillej@yahoo.com 

Kristin, a resident of Jacksonville Florida, has been an integral part of the VWF family since it’s inaugural year, 2014.  She is an accomplished graphic designer in print and web, working in the advertising, design, social media and corporate communications fields. From the very large (billboards) to the very small (business cards), web to print, illustration to photography, Kristin has done it all, or at least come close.  It takes a keen eye to develop a visual theme and Kristin’s talent in the fest’s theme creation has proven invaluable as we rely on her to bring it all together each year from VWF’s posters to the fabulous cover to cover festival guide.

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Linda Givetash
Marketing Manager

VWF is pleased to welcome multimedia journalist, Linda Givetash.  Linda brings her inviting wordplay to VWF blogs, newsletters and festival promotions. An avid storyteller, Linda joined VWF to help put a spotlight on the ever-changing world of digital storytelling and promote the creative talents in B.C. and abroad.  We asked Linda “Why VWF?” Her response: “Because I love storytelling in all forms and I’m excited to be joining a vibrant and diverse team that celebrates creators in the digital space.”

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Susie Lee
VWF Correspondent

contact@susielee.ca

We are blessed to have Susie with us as our main spokesperson and on- site correspondent.  And who doesn’t adore this Vancouver actor and travel show host of two travel shows, West Coast Adventures TV and Vancouver’s North Shore Tourism. In her spare time, she enjoys writing on how to live your best on livingyourbest.net.  Her daily goal is to inspire and encourage people through her life, words and work.

 

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Aliya Boulanger
Exec. Assistant /Social Media Coordinator

A Vancouverite, born and raised, Aliya is an actor and creator who is very excited to be joining the VWF team.  Having recently graduated from Capilano’s Acting for Stage and Screen Program, Aliya has performed in film, television, theatre and rediscovered her love of writing while finishing her BSc in Kinesiology.

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Julie Bruns
Live Stream

Julie is a professional actor, writer and entrepreneur in Vancouver. She currently works as a freelance technical and travel writer with eight years of experience.

 

 

 
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Liam Callander
Program Assistant

Vancouver Web Fest has received hundreds of entries from 24+ countries, has had 40+ Judges from 13+ countries and with this Liam has assisted Shiva in the fair grading of content submissions. Liam is no stranger to such potential chaos. He is an independent filmmaker and busy Production Coordinator at Stellar Creative Lab.

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Steve Ferguson
Volunteer Coordinator

steve@vancouverwebfest.com

Steve has been involved in the Vancouver arts community for at least four days and 43 seconds. He is a co-founder of NSHG Films and the producer / cohost of the Music A To Z podcast. When not at work managing your local cinema, Steve is at home taking it easy with his kids, Stinky and Slimy.

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Cleo Yeh
Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

volunteer@vancouverwebfest.com

Cleo is an actor making her way in the Vancouver film industry since 2013.  She was lucky enough to have been part of the cast for “The Actress Diaries”, an Official Selection of VWF 2014. Cleo’s most recent work can be seen in the feature film “The Interview”.  Cleo loves being able to help tell amazing stories and hopes to create some of her own in the near future. Currently, she balances her time between training with some of the city’s talented instructors, seeing patients (she checks on people’s eyeballs!) and hits up various dance classes.

 

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Regina Leung
PR and Media Relations | HyBird Media Group

Regina has 15+ years experience in digital strategies, non-profit stewardship, funding development and PR and cross-cultural media relations. For Vancouver Web Fest PR and Media Relations please contact Regina at media@vancouverwebfest.com


 
 
 

Board of Directors

 
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Michael Lolato
 

Senior Vice President, International Distribution, GRB Entertainment ,
Los Angeles, USA.  Mike brings over 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. He 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.

 

 

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Eric Y. Lapointe
 

Now based in Vancouver, British Columbia and newly elected Chair of the Vancouver Web Fest Board of Directors. Formerly of Montreal, Eric has spent over 15 years in international marketing & distribution sales; of which included 3 year at Just For Laughs and a prior role as Senior Advisor of Content Distribution at Cirque du Soleil. As the Senior Director of International TV & Digital Development at Just For Laughs, Lapointe was responsible for the distribution and licensing rights to television channels and platforms in over 100 countries. Visit Eric’s website to contact him: eylapointe.com

 

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Christine Larsen
 

Media insider Christine is the latest addition as Co-Chair to the VWF family. Christine is a veteran media business consultant, with an extensive background at Creative BC and BC Film. For more than a decade, she has managed industry relationships for development funding, digital media strategies, broadcast and distribution. Christine is a former Executive Board member for Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) where she served for 2 years and is the 2016 recipient of the prestigious WIFTV Wayne Black Service Award.