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The Director’s POV

Tuesday March 20, 10:30am to 5:30pm
Scotiabank Theatre


Sponsored by the Directors Guild of Canada Ontario

Each year our CFF team puts together an exciting, unique and immersive Masterclass that has become one of the best-attended and most talked about events at our Festival. The CFF’s mission to celebrate and inspire Canadian Filmmakers is on full display during this Signature Masterclass: The Director’s POV sponsored by DGC Ontario. We completely give the audience a front-row, all-access pass (literally - you get a CFF FEST PASS worth $220!) to the process and pressures of directing and creating from the moment the director opens the script, to the second their director’s cut hits the screen.

A director rarely gets to see other helmers in action, live. We see panels and behind-the-scenes snippets where directors talk about they do or show what they’ve done, but unless you’re on set, you never see the second-to-second creative, political and pragmatic decisions that they need to make. Until now. Come to our CFF Masterclass where three amazing, award-winning DGC directors, coming from different backgrounds and genres, will be given the SAME SCENE to work with and the same top-level dynamic ACTRA actors and then edited by three phenomenal DGC editors. YOU will witness the very essence of what a director does. YOU will witness three different point of views unfold in front of you throughout this riveting and fascinating class.

How do directors breakdown a scene, what inspires the shots, how do you prep your shot list, and are they thrown away once shooting starts? How do you navigate the creative language of a scene with the actors, guide a theme through, say something about the world around us? Where do you place a camera to most effectively tell your story, how will the frame sit?

The three stages of directorial participation happen in Pre-production, Production and Post production, You will see our directors do all of this. Breakdown the script, work with the actors to block the scene, shoot the scene, and work with an editor to create their Director’s Cut. All the while constantly shadowed under a director's greatest antagonist... time. This six-hour intensive study into the director's point of view is a Masterclass of epic undertaking, and truly should not be missed.

Designed for directors, actors, producers, writers, DOPs, editors, casting directors, emerging and established filmmakers, storytellers, content creators and film-lovers alike. As an added bonus, Participation in this masterclass also includes a CFF FEST PASS which gets you into every screening, panel discussion and after-party! So don’t miss this phenomenal experience and truly BE A PART of the Canadian Film Fest and celebrate 12 years of amazing Canadian Stories, and the people who make them.

And it gets even better: Lunch is included.

Price: $100

Moderator: Annie Bradley, DGC Director, Alumna of Sundance, TIFF Talent Lab, CFC Directors Lab, WIDC and Film Fatales.



Jeremy Lalonde, Go-Getters (CFF 2018), How to Plan An Orgy In A Small Town (CFF 2016), Baroness Von Sketch
Jennifer Liao, End of Days Inc., Blood And Water, What You Eat
Michael McGowan, Between,One Week, Still Mine


Lovell Adams-GraySlasher, Lost & Found Music Studios, Rogue
Andrea Bang
, Kim’s Convenience, Public Schooled, Sunnyhearts Community Centre
Jonas Chernick, Swingers Weekend (CFF 2018) , Borealis (CFF 2016), Fargo


Sarah Thomas Moffat, Frankie Drake Web Series, Klondike Trappers, Glorious


Phillip Hawkes The Amazon Adventure, The Beaverton
Francesco Puggioni, Three Touches, Storie Maledette
Brigitte Rabazo, Todd & The Book of Pure Evil, Raising Expectations, Rising Suns

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The Future for Females in Canadian Film

Wednesday, March 21 - 12:00pm-1:30pm
Scotiabank Theatre

Without question, the shape of the entertainment industry is changing drastically for women. Seismic shifts are occurring, but is it enough to actually change the reality of systemic sexism that has pervaded for so long?  Certain organizations are trying - for example, Telefilm has committed to achieving a balanced production portfolio that reflects gender parity in key roles (director, writer, producer) by the year 2020.  This fiscal year alone, Telefilm has 44% female directors attached to projects (up from 17% for 2013-14). But many are still asking; just how do I make gender equality work and keep working?

We’ve gathered some of the top game-changers from the Canadian landscape to WOMAN-SPLAIN the state of the industry, the stats, the programs in place, the necessity of action, advocacy, mentorship & more. What makes the idea or call for change into actual action and results? This panel is designed for the Canadian filmmaker/arts worker who not only dreams of an equal playing field for all, but wants a mandate to make it a reality, as well.

Moderated by: Lauren MacKinlay, Co-Founder, Women on Screen


Ashley Cooper, Director/Writer/Producer
Sandra Gillis - Owner of Premier Artists' Management Inc./President of TAMAC
Renuka Jeyapalan, co-Director 2018 CFF "Ordinary Days"
Freya Ravensbergen, Producer, Actor, #AfterMeToo Founding Organizer
Nicola Sammeroff Writer/Producer 2018 CFF “A Swingers Weekend”
Heather Webb, Executive Director WIFT-T


Tools for Casting A Successful Indie Film

Wed March 21st - 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Scotiabank Theatre


When you watch a film, you’re watching performance. Story is conveyed through action. Actors can lift your project up or miscasting can derail your film entirely. A strong, diverse casting process is one of the key steps for a successful film. Many indie filmmakers skip over this, as they don’t believe it will fit their budget or simply have never done it before.

Award-winning Filmmakers & CSA Casting Directors tell us how they would put together a cast for an indie film. They will demystify the process of working with casting, reduced rates for an indie-budget, choosing the right fit and balance of actors, the questions that should be asked by filmmakers but seldom are, attaching “stars” to your film & more. This panel is for Creators, Producers & Filmmakers that want to “next level” their next feature.

Moderated by: David Miller, Producer, President A71 Productions


Jenny Lewis & Sara Kay - Lewis Kay Casting
Ryan Goldhar - Executive Producer, Producer & Agent (Characters Talent)
Michelle Ouellet - Director/Producer CFF “Prodigals”, CFF 2013 “Afterparty”
Tasso Lakas - ACTRA TIP Coordinator


The Journey to Success

Thurs March 22nd - 12:00 - 1:30pm
Scotiabank Theatre

You’ve done it. You’ve pooled your film friends & favours and successfully executed your first few short films. You’ve proven yourself to be a filmmaker & story-teller. Perhaps you’ve even gotten some play in the festival circuit! But what happens next, and where do you go from here?

This panel of short film experts are here to explain the various avenues that are out there. We will discuss the techniques behind award-winning shorts, how to maximize your festival exposure, the programs and funding assistance you may not know about, how to achieve your distribution dream, and how to use that momentum to get your feature or TV series off the ground. This panel is for emerging and established short filmmakers looking to maximize their films exposure to elevate their career, or anyone interested in the art and commerce of short films.  

Moderated by: Director RT! Director, THE TIME TRAVELER (CFF 2015 Award Recipient of Best Short)


Alan Bacchus Programs Manager for Harold Greenberg Fund
Karen Moore & Joe Kicak Filmakers - CFF 2018  “Must Kill Karl”
Dusty Mancinelli & Madeleine Sims-Fewer CFF 2018 “Slap Happy”
Sherren Lee - CFF 2018 “The Things You Think I’m Thinking”
Matt Mason – Projectionist, Tech Guru


The Cinematographer & Director Relationship

Thurs March 22nd - 2:30pm - 4:00pm
Scotiabank Theatre

Creating the sublime moment, using visuals as metaphor and getting the perfect shot -- all come from the cinematographer and director relationship. Having a reliable and dedicated crew is crucial in executing the vision of your indie-film, but appropriate communication and effective collaboration can be tricky business. The center of these key relationships on set is that of the Director & Cinematographer, who depend and rely on each other from the very beginning.  

These Director/Cinematographer teams will discuss their effective working partnerships, the art of communication, the positive technical approaches that worked for them, the challenges and negatives they took away from their experiences and how to prepare for success on set, and in the edit room.

Moderated by: Warren P. Sonoda DIR Trailer Park Boys, This Hour Has 22 Minutes, CFF Chair


Jeremy Benning DOP The Long Road Home, The Expanse, Trailer Park Boys Don’t Legalize It
Catherine Lutes DOP Molly Maxwell, The People Garden and Chelsea McMullan, DIR Nowness
Sarah Thomas Moffat DOP Frankie Drake Web Series, Klondike Trappers and Natalie Novak, DIR Accidentals
Rob Scarborough, DOP and Matt Atkinson, DIR,  CFF 2018 Room For Rent