Behind the scenes

Helen duToit -

Artistic Director

For three decades Helen du Toit’s passion for building community, developing talent, and inspiring audiences has made for an exciting international career as a programmer, indie film producer and event planner.

Helen is a Genie nominated producer. Her various production credits include serving as U.S. co-producer on Mark Cousins critically acclaimed 15 hour documentary The Story of Film: An Odyssey, about the evolution of creativity in international cinema.  She developed an Italian-Canadian co-production based on John Berger’s novel To the Wedding to be directed by award-winning director Andrea Pallaoro.

A long-term film fan, Helen consulted for film festivals in various capacities for over two decades. She produced the TIFF’s Talent Lab for five years and was Creative Director of Vancouver IFF’s Film & TV Forum for three years. As Artistic Director, Helen was instrumental in rebuilding the Palm Springs International Film Festival, building their audience share into the third highest attendence in the U.S.

Our Advisory Committee

Daniel Bekerman Head of Committee

One of Canada’s most prolific producers, Daniel Bekerman produced The Witch (Sundance and Indie Spirit winner), Falling (directed by Viggo Mortensen), Come To Daddy (starring Elijah Wood) and Percy Vs. Goliath (starring Christopher Walken) amongst many others. His company Scythia Films is also one of the country’s leading service production providers (How It Ends, Ready Or Not, The Craft, Firestarter)

Tamara Podemski

An award-winning Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi multi-disciplinary artist, Tamara Podemski transitions seamlessly from Broadway to the Great Tipi on Manitoulin Island and the Aboriginal People’s TV Network to HBO Studios, sharing stories that amplify under-represented and marginalized voices. Tamara received the Sundance Special Jury Prize for Acting, an IFC Spirit Award, Best Music Video Award at imaginative and American Indian Film Festival Awards, and an ACTRA Award and Canadian Screen Award for her role on CBC’s “Coroner.” Her new Amazon series “Outer Range,” that aired in Spring 2022.

Tara Woodbury Netflix

Netflix Canada’s first content executive, Tara Woodbury is in charge of developing and commissioning all Canadian scripted series. Previously as EP & VP Dev for Sphere Media Plus, Tara developed and EP’d the smash medical hit Transplant for CTV and NBC. As an independent producer, her sci-fi thriller Night Raiders by director Danis Goulet was a TIFF Gala, won the DGC Discovery Award, and is being distributed by Samuel Goldwyn in the US.

Rachel Nelson FVP Original Programming and Head of Corus Studios

With over 25 years of experience across the industry, Rachel Nelson spearheads a diverse portfolio of Scripted and Unscripted content as Vice President of Original Programming at Corus Entertainment. In this role, Rachel leads strategies for commissioning, developing, and producing first class series for Corus’ slate of channels, and continuously demonstrates a devotion to empower and inspire world-class talent in an ever-evolving market.

Under Rachel’s leadership the Original Programming team oversees Canadian content for all of Corus’ original flagship channels including, but not limited to: Global, History, HGTV, Food Network, YTV, and Adult Swim. With a passion for character-first storytelling, Rachel has also grown content in the Corus Studios catalogue, which has garnered interest on an international level with more than two hundred hours of content sold thus far.

Over the years, Rachel has worked closely with the independent production community and possesses an exceptional ability to discover the next generation of content creators. She has led multiple teams in the Canadian content space and has partnered with independent producers from coast to coast. She has been a key leader in the production of many hit series in her career, with hundreds of hours of content created under her purview, and helped build the Canadian industry into the success it is today.


Surrounded by deep relationships in the media space, Rachel has left an indelible mark on dozens of award-winning, top-rated shows in Canada, the U.S., and abroad.

Allison Black

Known for her care and passion for story, creative producer Allison Black most recently produced the international award winning Giant Little Ones by director Keith Behrman, which premiered at TIFF ’18.  Previously, she produced director Nathan Morlando’s award winning Cannes Film Festival Mean Dreams, and the TIFF award winning debut feature Citizen Gangster. Black is currently in development on several feature and series projects

John Rakich

A seasoned Location Manager, John Rakich is the current President of the Location Managers Guild International and the Location Caucus Representative for the board of the Directors Guild of Canada (Ontario). A frequent speaker about filming in Canada, production sustainability, labour workforce development and training, and the economic benefits of location-based filming, John is also a regular panelist at San Diego Comic Con. His production credits include American Gods, Shadow Hunters, and The Expanse.

Marni Moreau

After working in advertising and marketing at CHUM Television, CTV, and Rogers Sportsnet, Marni Moreau happily returned to South Georgian Bay to promote CMH Heli Skiing and the Ikon Pass to ski enthusiasts, and to develop Blue Mountain as a location for film and production projects. Marni is the Co-Founder of BMFF.

Stephanie Azam

Stephanie Azam is Director of Content for Disney Streaming, Canada. She served for 13 years as National Feature Film Executive at Telefilm Canada overseeing production financing for English Canada. Her distribution roles include Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at Canada’s MK2|MILE END and Director of Theatrical Marketing at Zeitgeist Films in New York. 

Moira Holmes

President of Film Finances Canada, Moira Holmes has overseen the completion and delivery of countless films from Canada’s most celebrated producers and directors. Her previous 15 years experience as an independent producer on feature films, episodic television and documentaries garnered her many awards including Genie, Gemini, Cable Ace awards, among others.

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