INDUSTRY EXCLUSIVE

Film & TV Forum

TV Directing Masterclass with Jeremy Podeswa

Thursday, May 30th10:30 am - 12:00 pm
Internationally recognized feature film and television director, producer and writer Jeremy Podeswa (Fugitive Pieces, The Five Senses) has a distinctive cinematic style that early on, caught the eye of HBO’s Six Feet Under producer. That launched an extraordinary career, earning 4 Emmy Nominations and directing the world’s top television series including Game of Thrones, The New Look, Handmaid’s Tale, Station Eleven, 3 Body Problem, Boardwalk Empire, and The Newsroom, among many others. In this masterclass, Jeremy will discuss his influences and his creative process, and share advice on how to build a successful career in premium television.  As a filmmaker with a 360-degree view of the industry, he will speak to the changing landscape of television/streaming and to what lies ahead in the path towards making commercially successful, award-winning programming.

Producing Movies that go against the grain

Thursday, May 30th1:15 pm - 2:45 pm

Behind every great Filmmaker stands a great Producer. International award-winning Canadian producer Daniel Bekerman is a case in point. With over 50 features under his belt, Dan is heading to the French Riviera with The Apprentice (about Donald Trump) for its world premiere in competition at the Cannes Film festival. Join moderator/critic Jason Gorber in this soup to nuts idea-development-financing-production-distribution session, replete with stories and specifics along the way.

Blue Mountain Location Tour

Thursday, May 30th3:30 pm - 6:00 pm
SpeakerJosh Ary

On this 90 min tour of The Blue Mountains, top location manager Josh Ary breaks down his location search process from concept meetings to negotiating with municipalities and site owners. The tour itself will introduce you to a stunning array of sites: chalet mansions, versatile and exclusive private ski club chalets, the best private beach on South Georgian Bay, downtown Clarksburg – a village lost in time, a Tom Sawyer Swimming hole, and a final stop at one of our local cideries and orchards/vineyards to sample some of the incredible locally produced beverages!

Opening Night Screening

Thursday, May 30th7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Let the lights dim, the curtains rise, and immerse yourself in a captivating experience that sets the stage for an extraordinary festival ahead! We kick off the festival in style with the much-anticipated opening night screening.

Opening Party

Thursday, May 30th8:30 pm - 11:00 pm

Join us for an unforgettable evening of Caribbean vibes and Chef Perrin’s award-winning southern BBQ following the opening night screening. From creatively crafted appetizers with several vegetarian selections to a whole roast hog, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cocktail upon arrival and then kick back Jamaican style.

How to make an impact with TV & Streamer Execs

Friday, May 31st9:30 am - 11:00 am

One of the biggest challenges for creators and producers is connecting with top decision makers. And often when you do the moment is fleeting. At BMFM’s Creative Forum, Canada’s top TV executives will tell you what they are looking for, how best to approach them, and how to develop a relationship that enables you to partner with them.

Gondola Meetings

Friday, May 31st11:15 am - 12:30 pm
Do you have a great film or TV project in need of a home? Itching to get feedback on how best to advance it? In our 10 minutes gondola meetings you can sign up to chat with broadcasters, producers, a distributor, and financing expert about your project while taking in the spectacular views of South Georgian Bay. What better way to start a new relationship?!

Code 8 Case Study

Friday, May 31st2:00 pm - 3:15 pm
When Jeff Chan, Robbie and Stephen Amell made their short film Code 8, they came to set with big ambitions. A cornerstone of their expansion plan was to build a strong relationship with their audience and convert them into avid fans. Through crowd-sourcing those fans ended up raising a big chunk of their feature film budget – while inspiring other funders to close the gap. The result? Two wildly successful feature films and a production company with wind beneath its wings! Join us for an in-depth conversation with Jeff Chan and Robbie Amell, whose story will inspire you to think well outside of the box.

Filmmaker Hike

Friday, May 31st3:45 pm - 5:15 pm
Slip on your hiking boots and slap on some sunscreen for one of our perennial favourite events: The Filmmaker Hike. Prior intrepid Hike leaders were Patricia Rozema and Atom Egoyan. This year, writer-director Nathan Morlando & creative producer Allison Black will lead participants on a magical hike through the forest and up the mountain to stunning vistas. We will stop periodically to catch our collective breath and hear great behind the scenes stories and insider tips from Nathan and Allison’s distinguished careers in cinema and television.

Summitview Industry Party

Friday, May 31st6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Get ready to mingle, connect, and celebrate at the Summitview Industry Party, where innovation meets networking in an electrifying atmosphere!

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Rachel Nelson
Corus Entertainment
VP Original Programming and Head of Corus Studios
Carlyn Klebuc
Bell Media Inc.

GM Original Programming

Kerry Appleyard
eOne Canada

SVP Scripted and Unscripted

Nathan Morlando
Director & Writer
Virginia Rankin
Blink49 Studios
Executive Producer – Scripted TV
April de Haas
Amazon MGM Studios
Senior Production Executive – Unscripted
Adam Feigen
Incendo
Development Executive – Series and Movies
Dan Bekerman
Scythia Films
President & Founder
Moira Holmes
Film Finances Canada
President
Matt Orenstein
Vortex Media
Vice President of Acquisitions and Strategy
Jeremy Podeswa
Writer/Director
Jeff Chan
Director
Robbie Amell
Actor
Allison Black
Producer
Kathleen Meek
CBC

Executive in Charge of Production, Comedy at CBC

Teza Lawrence
Amaze Film
Executive Producer/Co-owner
Helen du Toit

Artistic Director

Marnie Moreau

Blue Mountain Production Liaison

Jason Gorber
That Shelf

Editor-in-Chief and Chief Film Critic

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Helen du Toit

Artistic Director

“A programmer, producer and event planner, Helen du Toit is BMFM’s Co-founder and Artistic Director. She produced TIFF’s Talent Lab for five years, was Creative Director of Vancouver IFF’s Film & TV Forum for three years, Artistic Director at the Palm Springs International Film Festival for over a decade, and ran CBC Films overseeing the development and production of 12 Canadian feature films in the programme’s inaugural year.

Her 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.”

Jeremy Podeswa

Writer/Director

Jeremy Podeswa has been nominated four times for Best Director Emmy (HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire”, “Game of Thrones” (twice), “The Pacific”. He has recently directed “3 Body Problem” (Netflix) and “The New Look” (Apple). He was EP and Director on “Station Eleven” (HBO Max) earning a DGA nomination. The show was nominated for 7 Emmy Awards. Other directing credits include: “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “True Detective”, “The Newsroom”, “True Blood”, “Rome”, “Six Feet Under”, “Carnivale”, “The Loudest Voice”, “On Becoming a God in Central Florida”, “Homeland”, “Ray Donovan”, “The Borgias”, “The Tudors”, “Dexter”, “Weeds”,“The Walking Dead”, “American Horror Story: Asylum and Coven” and the mini-series “Into the West” (Steven Spielberg producer). He has also written and directed three award winning feature films: Fugitive Pieces, The Five Senses (Cannes), and Eclipse.
Jason Gorber
That Shelf

Editor-in-Chief and Chief Film Critic

Editor-in-Chief and Chief Film Critic of That Shelf, Jason Gorber is a film journalist and member of the Toronto Film Critics Association, OFCS and the Critics Choice Association. He is CBC Radio Metro Morning’s Film Correspondent, and regularly contributes to POV Magazine, RogerEbert.com and CBC Radio’s q programme. His writing has appeared in numerous publications including Esquire, The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The National Post, Screen Anarchy, IndieWire and more.
Dan Bekerman
Scythia Films

President & Founder

Scythia Films is a production company with operations in Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Los Angeles led by Daniel Bekerman. Scythia develops original works, international co-productions, and is also one of the premiere service production companies in Canada. Upcoming projects include The Apprentice starring Sebastian Stan, Jeremy Strong, and Maria Bakalova, directed by Cannes winner Ali Abassi, and I, Object directed by Oscar nominee Andrew Niccol, starring Anna Faris and Karl Urban.

Previous projects include major titles such as Sundance Winner, The Witch, Viggo Mortensen’s directorial debut Falling, and Close To You starring Elliot Page. Recent Service Productions include Love Me starring Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun; Winner starring Zach Galifinakis and Emilia Jones; and A Nice Indian Boy with Jonathan Groff.

Marnie Moreau

Blue Mountain Production Liaison

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.
Rachel Nelson
Corus Entertainment

VP 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 and Head of Corus Studios 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, W, YTV, and Adult Swim. In addition to Corus Originals, Rachel oversees the growing portfolio of Corus Studios, which has become a leader in distributing home-grown Canadian Lifestyle, Factual, and Drama series internationally.

With a passion for character-first storytelling, Rachel has worked closely with the independent production community and possesses an exceptional ability to discover the next generation of content creators. Through her years in various roles in production and broadcast, 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.

Kerry Appleyard
eOne Canada

SVP Scripted and Unscripted

Appleyard is Senior Vice President, Scripted and Unscripted, Television at eOne Canada, having joined the organization in the Spring of 2024. She oversees the scripted and unscripted television teams, directing both groups creatively.

Prior to her role at eOne Canada, Appleyard served as Senior Vice President, Head of Scripted Canada at Boat Rocker Studios and was an Executive Producer for original prime time series including the critically-acclaimed clone thriller Orphan Black (Space, BBC America), the spinoff series Orphan Black: Echoes (AMC), the World War II spy drama X Company (CBC), the comedy Cavendish (CBC) and the recent drama Robyn Hood (Corus) created by Director X. She also oversaw the space adventure series Killjoys (Space, Syfy) under the company’s previous Temple Street banner.

Additionally, Appleyard shepherded teen phenom The Next Step (Family Channel), its spin-off, Lost and Found Music Studios (Netflix) and the hit series Wingin’ It (Family Channel Canada, BBC), and worked on the Gemini award-winning television movie The Nativity (CBC, BBC).

Appleyard also produced the BBC’s hit show Hustle, and the children’s spy comedy-drama M. I. High. Other credits include Lynda La Plante’s Trial and Retribution, The Bill and Life on Mars II.

Carlyn Klebuc
Bell Media Inc.

GM Original Programming

As General Manager, Carlyn Klebuc oversees development and production of all of Bell Media’s award-winning English-language independent programming and original digital content.

Klebuc and her team work closely on productions commissioned from independent producers, as well as original digital production for Bell Media’s multiple English-language linear and digital
properties and platforms.

Klebuc joined Bell Media in 2008, most recently acting as Assistant General Counsel, Canadian Independent and In-House Production. Previously, Klebuc was an associate at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, specializing in lending, structured finance and securitizations and entertainment law.

Klebuc completed her degree in Film Studies at Queen’s University, and later received her LL.B. at the University of Saskatchewan.

Virginia Rankin
Blink49 Studios

Executive Producer - Scripted TV

Virginia Rankin is an award-winning producer working across scripted development and production in Canada, the U.S. and internationally. At Blink49, Virginia is Executive Producer of Sight Unseen (CTV/CW) and Ride (Hallmark/Bell Media/CW) and Producer of Wild Cards (CBC/CW). Prior to joining Blink49, she was Executive Producer of multi award-winning medical drama Transplant, which aired to critical acclaim and ratings success on CTV and NBC. Prior to Transplant, Virginia served as Executive Producer of four seasons of the International Emmy-nominated police drama 19-2 (CTV) which won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Dramatic Series in 2015. She also executive produced This Life S1 and S2 (CBC) and Bad Blood (Netflix). Previously, Virginia was Executive Creative Consultant on the CTV/CBS hit drama Flashpoint.
April de Haas
Amazon MGM Studios

Senior Production Executive - Unscripted

April de Haas, is originally from Collingwood, Ontario/Blue Mountain, and pursued her formal education at the University of Ottawa and later Algonquin College (broadcasting). She also completed her Masters degree at Birmingham University in the U.K. She spent over a decade working across Canadian comedy series, Canadian and American awards shows, studio productions, and docuseries. Notable stops in her journey include CTV and MTV, where she was on the founding team that created ground breaking series like “”The Aftershow”” and “”MTV Live””, and brought formats such as Cribs, and Made, to Canada, as well as countless specials including Live8.

In 2009, April moved to Amsterdam joining the MTV/Nickelodeon International team. She has since made the move from linear to streamers, and is currently Senior Production Executive at Prime Video on the World Wide unscripted team where she oversees unscripted original and paper formats, reality, and documentaries.

April is thrilled to see a growing media festival hosted in her hometown!

Teza Lawrence
Amaze Film

Executive Producer/Co-owner

Teza Lawrence is an award-winning producer and the co-founder of Amaze. She is a passionate storyteller and has a wide variety of interests that she hopes will positively impact the planet, specifically a deep love for trees. Over the past 20 years, Teza has co-built Amaze to be a creative incubator and producer of market-driven television and films. Past projects include the feature film, EVERYTHING’S GOING TO BE GREAT, starring Bryan Cranston and Allison Janney. Amaze produced AMAZON PRIME VIDO’S first scripted Canadian comedy, called THE LAKE, starring Julia Stiles. CARTER for SONY and BELL MEDIA, THE STANLEY DYNAMIC for CORUS, and CALL ME FITZ for HBO CANADA. She also executive produced three feature films: FINN ON THE FLY and SAINT RALPH, which had their world premiere at TIFF, and BEING CANADIAN, which premiered at HotDocs.

Jeff Chan

Director

Jeff Chan, founder of Collective Pictures, co-wrote, directed and produced the hit film “Code 8” (2019) and its sequel “Code 8: Part II” (2024). Both films reached #1 on Netflix’s Top Ten Movies charts. His work as a Canadian producer spans genres, including Lionsgate romantic drama “Float” (2024), and the upcoming sports comedy “Racewalkers.” Jeff also produced the award-winning short film “Same Old” (2022) which played in competition at Cannes Film Festival and is now being adapted into a full-length feature. Collective Pictures landed #18 on PlayBack’s Indie List in 2023 and is partnered with PlayFight VFX and Alter Ego Post.
Robbie Amell

Actor

Robbie Amell’s career spans both television and film, with standout roles in Amazon’s “Upload” (2020-present) and Netflix’s “The Witcher” (2023). He’s also made his mark in blockbuster franchises like “Resident Evil” (2021) and the comedic horror series “The Babysitter” (2017), which premiered on Netflix. Beyond acting, Robbie produced and starred in the successful films “Code 8” (2019), and its sequel “Code 8: Part II” (2024) both of which topped Netflix’s top movie charts upon release. As a partner at Collective Pictures, he continues to produce compelling projects, including “Float” (2024), in which he also stars, which premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival before landing on Amazon Prime Video.
Nathan Morlando

Director & Writer

Nathan Morlando is an award-winning film and television director and writer. Selected credits include the critically acclaimed feature film MEAN DREAMS which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Director’s Fortnight, his debut film EDWIN BOYD which won the TIFF Award for Best Canadian First Feature, and the international Emmy-winning drama series CARDINAL on which he directed and executive produced the final season. He is currently developing a new television drama series in partnership with Sphere Media and Participant Media. Nathan’s feature film Mean Dreams hit #1 on Netflix this month.
Allison Black

Producer

Allison Black is one of Canada’s top creative producers. Her credits include the international award-winning film GIANT LITTLE ONES, winner of the Göteburg Film Festival Audience Award and various international Youth awards, the Cannes Director’s Fortnight selection MEAN DREAMS, and EDWIN BOYD, winner of TIFF’s First Feature Award. She is currently developing a new television drama in partnership with Sphere Media and Participant Media.
Adam Feigen
Incendo

Development Executive - Series and Movies

Adam’s career includes over 15 years of experience at some of Canada’s top production companies and broadcasters. Currently, Adam is the Development Executive at Incendo Media, managing the creation of television series and movies for a global marketplace. Previously, Adam worked at Marblemedia managing the development of scripted series. As a broadcaster, Adam has worked at Shaw Media in their Original Drama Content department on programming across Global TV, Showcase and History Television, as well as at the CBC as Executive in Charge of Drama Development, where he was responsible for reviewing and evaluating pitches for new scripted drama series.

By championing inclusion, diversity and distinct talent, Adam has garnered strong relationships with a vast range of different writers, directors, and creatives both in Canada and abroad. Adam got his start in television at Canwest Broadcasting where he worked for Entertainment Tonight Canada, and as a Network Programmer for Global Television.

He is a strong advocate of mentorship and has participated as an industry mentor with the CFC Prime Time Writers’ Program, Banff World Media Festival, Innoversity and The Reel World Film Festival.

Moira Holmes
Film Finances Canada

President

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.
Matt Orenstein
Vortex Media

Vice President of Acquisitions and Strategy

Matt Orenstein is Vice President of Acquisitions and Strategy at Vortex Media. Notable Vortex Media titles include Peace By Chocolate, Nitram, I Don’t Know Who You Are, and National Anthem. Previously, Matt was the co-founder of the Canadian film distribution company, ABMO Films, which released films including Academy Award-nominated First Reformed and Suspiria. Matt also worked at eOne as part of the US acquisitions group and is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario and the Newhouse School at Syracuse University with an MS in Media Management.

Kathleen Meek
CBC

Executive in Charge of Production, Comedy at CBC

Kathleen Meek is a seasoned content executive with diverse experience across scripted, documentary, factual and feature film. She is currently Executive in Charge of Production, Comedy at CBC where she is responsible for several original comedy and short form digital series such as fan-favorite Run the Burbs and up-coming North of North, produced in partnership with Netflix and APTN.

Prior to joining CBC, she was Manager of Original Content, Scripted and Factual at Corus. She also worked for Astral overseeing acquisition and pre-licensing of Canadian feature film, documentary, and comedy specials. Additionally, she was production executive on various award-winning series.