Meet Our Judges

Jury

Manuel Alduy
Head of Cinema and International Development
France Télévisions

After a media career spanning almost 25 years, Manuel Alduy has helped broadcasters to acquire, market and promote the best scripted content to their audience. During a 22 year tenure, Manuel took on different roles ranging from management control to head of Cinema and Foreign Series acquisitions (2008-2014) to Head of Canal+’s OTT division (2014-2016) in charge of SVOD and web content.

Manuel joined The Walt Disney Company via the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox where he was locally responsible for the sale of Fox & FX content to broadcasters and SVOD services in France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, Africa and Switzerland as well as locally managing scripted format sales. At Disney, Manuel became SVP Content Sales for Europe, Russia and Africa.

In February 2021, Manuel was appointed Head of Cinema and International Development at France Télévisions, and is currently in charge of cinema strategy and acquisitions, and international series coproductions and acquisitions. He was elected to the EBU TV Committee in April 2021.


Peter Andrews
Head of Network Programming TV & Online Content
SBS

Peter Andrews is the Head of Network Programming for Australian Broadcaster SBS and is based in Sydney. He is responsible for the overall programming & content strategy for SBS, SBS VICELAND, SBS Food, SBS World Movies and SBS On Demand overseeing the team that is responsible for the acquisition of content in all genres, including scripted and non-scripted content & formats, for all SBS platforms, acquiring over 8,000 hours of distinctive and premium content.

Prior to SBS, Peter was Network Program Manager for Network TEN Australia from 2002 to 2013, and before that Program Manager for Channel Seven Sydney.

With almost 20 years in the content business, Peter has a great passion for storytelling in all its forms, and is always looking for world-class, innovative content that has genuine impact & provokes with purpose, inspires, surprises and delights audiences.

Tina Apostolopoulos
Sr. Production Executive, Original Programming, Factual, Reality and Documentaries
Bell Media

Tina Apostolopoulos is a Senior Production Executive for Factual, Reality and Documentaries on Bell Media’s Original Programming team. In this role, Tina works with Canadian production companies and filmmakers on the development and production of various original unscripted series and feature documentaries for Bell Media’s family of channels and platforms including the main conventional channel CTV, premium SVOD service Crave, and specialty channels Discovery and CTV Life.

Currently, Tina oversees CTV’s hit series MasterChef Canada: Back to Win, multi-award winning Mary's Kitchen Crush and inspirational series starring Mike Holmes entitled Holmes Family Effect for CTV and Fox. She is also an executive on a variety of award-winning and critically-acclaimed feature film documentary programming for Crave including The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, Anthropecene: The Human Epoch, Sharkwater Extinction, Carmine Street Guitars – all of which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. At the moment, Tina is also overseeing Crave's upcoming docu-series We're All Gonna Die! 

Tina is the Diversity and Inclusion Lead for the Original Programming group, a member of the Bell Media Diversity and Inclusion Task Force, D & I Content Advisory Committee and the D & I Think Tank.

Prior to joining Bell Media, Tina was a sought-after director and producer for a number of award-winning, highly-rated reality and factual entertainment series such as So You Think You Can Dance Canada (CTV), Canadian Idol (CTV), and Project Runway Canada (GLOBAL).

Jennifer Askin
Senior Vice President, North America
All3media International

Alison Barrat
SVP, Production & Development
Love Nature

As SVP, Production & Development, Love Nature, Alison Barrat provides a leading role in finding, developing and commissioning new projects for Love Nature’s growing slate and is responsible for executing programming strategies for the brand’s international channels through development and production. She also oversees all production management and post production and serves as the main point of creative contact for both in-house and independent production companies.

Barrat is a multi-award and Emmy-winning film professional with over 20 years experience in natural history film production. Prior to Love Nature she launched a specialist wildlife film production unit at the Living Oceans Foundation where she executive produced films for PBS, the Smithsonian Channel and Curiositystream. Over the last two decades she has written, produced and directed natural history and science documentaries and series for National Geographic Channel, Discovery Communications and PBS. Barrat’s experience also includes leadership roles in development and production with National Geographic Television.

Mike Beale
Managing Director Global Creative Network
ITV

Mike Beale is Managing Director of the Global Creative Network at ITV Studios, a creator, producer and distributor of world-leading programmes. Part of ITV plc, it includes the UK’s largest commercial broadcaster.
 
ITV Studios crafts nearly 9,000 hours of original programming a year across 55+ production labels globally. Its footprint spans 13 countries including the UK, US, Australia, France, Germany, The Nordics, Italy, The Middle East, Israel and the Netherlands.
 
Reporting to Julian Bellamy, Managing Director of ITV Studios, as leader of the Global Creative Network Mike helps to drive the creative and development efforts across the Group’s business globally with a particularly active role with the UK and US teams. He is responsible for identifying new opportunities to build ITV Studios’ creative pipeline via development deals and partnerships with format creators across the world.  Armoza Formats is a part of the Global Creative Network.

Mike joined ITV Studios in June 2011 to establish ITVS Studios’ enviable slate of formats on the global stage including, The Chase, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, Hell’s Kitchen, Come Dine With Me and the increasingly popular global hit, Love Island.

Prior to joining ITV, Mike was Vice President of International Production for NBCUniversal where he looked after global production of shows such as Top Chef, Minute to Win It and Real Housewives. His career began in television production working for a range of companies including Planet 24, LWT, Bunim Murray, Hat Trick and the BBC. He was also one of the founders of 12 Yard Productions.

Shannon Bishop
Manager, Creative Affairs
Entertainment One

Shannon Bishop works as part of the Entertainment One, Family & Brands team as Manager, Creative Affairs. She is responsible for acquiring new content and managing projects in active development. eOne Family's current slate of programs include Peppa Pig, PJ Masks, Ricky Zoom and Cupcake and Dino.

Brenda Bisner
Chief Content Officer
Kidoodle.TV

BRENDA BISNER is the Chief Content Officer for A Parent Media Co Inc. the creators of the SAFE STREAMING™ Platform: Kidoodle.TV®. She is an integral force behind the successful acquisitions of top children’s media content from around the world, as well as a future caster for all new business development on behalf of the company. Brenda has a proven expertise in the navigation of an ever-shifting children’s digital media landscape. She has the rare talent to spot trends and recognize brand potential along with an innate ability to optimize for their success. Brenda’s work with Kidoodle.TV continues to set a standard for a more safe and reliable online space to relieve parents and help protect and entertain kids from over 160 countries as they learn and grow into the best versions of themselves.

Over her 21+ year career in the children’s media space, Brenda has developed, produced and sold live action, animation and reality series across multiple channel worldwide and executed on numerous Licensing & Merchandising deals. Working with companies such as Scholastic, Cookie Jar Entertainment, Tom Lynch Company, and more, Brenda has helped these major brands develop precise and thoughtful plans for today, while anticipating the future of the business for tomorrow. Discovering novel ways to bring great content to children in a SAFE way all around the globe is her goal, and she pursues it with passion.

Brenda is a Member of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Additionally she serves as a Member of the Chief Network, is a Judge for the Webby Awards, Kidscreen, Banff, ATF and many others.

Cara Bleskie
Production Manager, Nelvana Studio
Nelvana Ltd

Cara Bleskie is a Development Executive at Nelvana Ltd. (a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.) and is dedicated to identifying up-and-coming talent in the world of animated media. She specializes in sourcing dynamic children’s content, with a focus on fostering inclusivity and sharing authentic stories from creators of diverse backgrounds. Cara is a driving force in Nelvana’s development team, equipped with a BFA (Hons) in Visual Arts and English.

Daria Bondarenko
EVP of Sales, Co-productions and Acquisitions
START (Yellow, Black and White Group)

Daria Bondarenko is EVP of Sales, Co-Productions and Acquisitions at START, an SVOD streaming service co-founded by the producers of a major film studio Yellow, Black and White. 

Previously at Sreda Production and CTC Media, Bondarenko handles START's international relations, profiling its shows, identifying distribution and coproduction partners and overseeing acquisitions. Under Bondarenko, START has secured its first distribution deals with Apple TV+, Netflix, Amazon, Walter Presents, Endeavor, NHK Enterprises, Globoplay, Beta and ZDF Enterprises.

Kristen Boychuk
Director of Development
Great Pacific Media

Kristen has over a decade of experience developing and working on series for broadcasters like Discovery, HGTV, Food Network, T+E and OUTtv. The Ryerson Journalism grad has spent the better part of her career in unscripted development, chasing down compelling characters and stories for TV. But she still catches the production bug now and then.

Most recently, she worked on Mud Mountain Haulers (Discovery Canada) and w/t Styled (HGTV Canada), two shows she helped develop at Great Pacific Media.

Bettina Brinkmann
Co-Founder, Keeno
Keeno

Dr Bettina Brinkmann is a Senior Consultant with a broad expertise in co-productions, corporate strategy, business development, branded content and global relationship management and is currently working for various media companies and organizations. Parallel to this she is very engaged in the field of animal welfare and on the Board of two international companies and Co-Founder of Food Visionaries. Before starting her own business she worked in various executive roles in the media and public relations sector, covering a broad scope of responsibilities. She held management positions both within the private sector (Bertelsmann) and the public sector (ZDF) and at a multinational organization (EBU) in Geneva. She studied at the Universities in Bochum and in Düsseldorf and holds a PhD. She has continued advanced studies at the International Institute for Management Development in Lausanne, Switzerland and is regularly giving lectures.

Cooper Brooks
Development Producer
National Geographic

Cooper Brooks is a Development Executive with National Geographic Partners. He has been with the network for 6 years, developing both talent and non-scripted programming Nat Geo’s linear network and Disney Plus content.

Hedda Bruessing
Head of Media & Business Development
BNNVARA

Hedda has been working in the film and television industry since 1996 and worked on a wide range of television programs for public broadcasters and production companies.

From 2007 to 2019 she has been working for the public service broadcaster NTR, first as executive producer for the youth department and later as NTR's head of production and head of media business. In this role she was responsible for setting up all international co-productions and business development. During her tenure, Hedda worked on successful kids shows like Emmy-nominated science series Fulll Proof, Ketnet/ NDR co-pro Animal Detectives and the sex education format The Doctor Corrie Show which was adapted locally in Belgium on Ketnet and is in the works in Canada and Australia.

Since November 2019 she joined public service broadcaster BNNVARA as head of media and business development. In this role she will be responsible for international co-productions, collaborations and business development and will be heavily involved in children content acquisitions, development and original production.

Tessa Bryson
Producer
Al Jazeera Media Network

A graduate of the Falmouth School of Arts, Tessa Bryson has over a decade of experience in broadcasting. She has worked exclusively with international broadcaster Al Jazeera since 2007. Her career began at Al Jazeera English in London, later joining Al Jazeera's award-winning Investigative Unit in Qatar whose mission is to not report the news, but to make the news. She is currently the Unit Manager for the Investigative Journalism Department. In 2011 Bryson was a Trustee for the Arab British Centre, a cultural organisation that promotes understanding between the United Kingdom and the Arab world through arts and culture.

Michael Carrington
Director Entertainment & Specialist
ABC-Australian Broadcasting Corporation

As Director of Entertainment & Specialist at the Australian pub-caster, Michael Carrington oversees content commissioning for the ABC’s National Radio, Television, and On-demand platforms. Having logged more than 30 years in his media career, Carrington has a wealth of knowledge and experience in broadcasting, content commissioning and production management.

Carrington returned to Australia in 2016 having spent twenty-six years abroad working in various capacities for the BBC, Turner Broadcasting, HIT Entertainment, LEGO TV & Film, and Zodiak Media. Carrington is a member of AACTA, BAFTA, Royal Television Society, and the International Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Lynne Carter
Manager, Original Content, Lifestyle
Corus Entertainment

In her role as Manager, Original Content, Lifestyle at Corus Entertainment, Lynne oversees the development and production of a slate of series for Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, and Global, managing a team of Production Executives and driving the day-to-day operation of the Original Content, Lifestyle department.

With over 30 years of experience in the television world, Lynne has worked in the documentary, factual, scripted, reality and lifestyle genres. For IFC Canada, Lynne oversaw the channel’s slate of originals (Cocked Guns, Ink: Alter Egos Exposed, Vice Guide to Film) as well as over 25 documentaries.

At Shaw Media, as Executive-in-Charge-of-Production, she gained extensive experience in the Factual space working on multiple, award-winning original series and one-off programs for HISTORY (Museum Secrets, War Junk, Mummies Alive, Miracles Decoded, Ancient Weather, Dino Hunt Canada). Lynne’s portfolio also included award shows, scripted and reality programs for Global (Canada’s Walk of Fame, The Indspire Awards, The Gemini Awards, The Genie Awards, The Kennedys and Big Brother Canada).

At Corus, Lynne’s knowledge of both the production and broadcasting processes saw her elevated to the position of Manager, Original Content, with a focus on Lifestyle. She also continues in her role as Executive-in-Charge-of-Production working most recently on Farmhouse Facelift, Big Brother Canada, and The Canadian Country Music Awards.

Lynne has seen many changes in the television industry throughout her lengthy career but her passion for telling great Canadian stories, and producing entertaining and meaningful content has never wavered.

Vanessa Case
SVP, Production and Operations
VICE Studios

Vanessa Case is SVP, Production and Operations VICE Studios, overseeing physical production and production operations, working in partnership with VICE Studios global development and creative teams.

A senior executive with a long-standing successful career in media, Vanessa has deep expertise in content strategy. Her recent projects for VICE Studios include QAnon: The Search for Q for Vice TV, Shine True for OUTtv and Fuse and Vice TV’s highest rated series, Dark Side of the Ring.

Prior to joining VICE, Vanessa was EVP Content at Blue Ant Media where she was instrumental in the launch of several world-renowned brands landing in Canada and internationally including BBC Earth, Smithsonian Canada and Love Nature. Prior to her role at Blue Ant, Vanessa held positions at Shaw Media, CanWest and Alliance Atlantis, where she launched new services, commissioned hundreds of hours of original content, developed original production slates and led scheduling and acquisition strategies for some of Canada's top specialty channels.

Sydney Clover
Senior Director, Development
National Geographic

Based in New York, Sydney Clover is the Senior Director of Development for National Geographic. In this role, she works alongside the global production community to develop original premium content for the brand.

Prior to National Geographic, Clover served as the Director of Development at Discovery Channel in New York where she lead development for the motor team and worked as a producer for the Street Outlaws franchise. This was her second experience at Discovery. The first was as an Associate Producer in Los Angeles where she played an instrumental role on the team that produced such hits as Naked and Afraid and Shark After Dark.

Before Discovery Channel, Clover spent three years at ITV America where she developed and packaged projects for Leftfield Pictures, Riot and Sirens Media. Clover holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from New York University where she majored in Film and Television.

Philippa Collie Cousins
Commissioning Editor, Drama
UKTV

Philippa is UKTV’s dedicated drama commissioner. Since joining in 2018, Philippa has commissioned the hit forensic series Traces - starring Martin Compston (Line of Duty) and Molly Windsor (3 Girls, Cheat) - and We Hunt Together - a thriller detective written by Gaby Hull (Cheat). Both are set to return for a second series each on UKTV’s specialist crime drama channel Alibi next year.  

Also coming soon to the channel and commissioned by Philippa is The Diplomat - written by Ben Richards (Spooks, Cobra, The Tunnel) - and Ragdoll - a serial killer thriller based on the bestselling novel by Daniel Cole, co-commissioned with AMC, produced by Sid Gentle Films Ltd (the company behind Killing Eve), and starring Henry Lloyd-Hughes (The Irregulars, Killing Eve), Thalissa Teixeira (Trigonometry) and Lucy Hale (Pretty Little Liars).   

Phillipa’s recently launched commission Annika - a co-commission with US network Masterpiece based on the successful Radio 4 drama, starring Olivier-award-winner Nicola Walker (The Split, Unforgotten) - has become Alibi’s highest rating show ever with the launch episode consolidating to over 1.3 million viewers.  

Prior to joining UKTV, Philippa was the head of drama development at Hartswood West, head of drama Development at Fresh One and head of production for BBC Series and Serials in BBC Indie Drama Commissioning. She won best European Director for her film Happy Now, starring Jonny Rhys Myer and Paddy Considine, and is the BAFTA-award winning director behind The Deadness of Dad starring Rhys Ifans. 


Sumi Connock
Creative Director of Formats
BBC Studios

In her role at BBC Studios, Sumi has responsibility for an extensive formats catalogue of more than 300 titles, including popular entertainment brands such as Dancing with the Stars, The Great Bake Off and Top Gear, alongside scripted formats Luther, Doctor Foster and The Office.

Prior to joining BBC Studios, Sumi worked as Head of Entertainment at ITV Studios in Manchester, where she was responsible for multiple formats including Countdown, University Challenge and You've Been Framed!, as well as creating and developing new formats including the hidden-camera magic show and Broadcast Digital Award
winning Tricked (ITV2), returning daytime cookery format, Yes Chef and children's quiz, Top Class (CBBC).

Sumi has an extensive background in Entertainment, having previously spent three years as Commissioning Editor for Entertainment at BBC Daytime, where she oversaw output including Eggheads, Are You an Egghead?, Strictly It Takes Two and Through the Keyhole; and also as an Executive Producer in BBC Entertainment with credits including Just the Two of Us, The Big Finish with Graham Norton and Dear Father Christmas.  

Further credits include: Streetmate, The Big Breakfast, MTV Europe Music Awards,
Dirty Sanchez, An Audience with the Spice Girls, Animals Do The Funniest Things
and Blind Date.

Liz Cowie
Senior Manager, Development & Alternative Programming
VICE

Liz Cowie is the Senior Manager of Development & Alternative Programming at Vice TV. In this role, she has developed and overseen a variety of original series for the network such as The Devil You Know, Betraying the Badge, Fringe Nation, and many more.  

Prior to her role in development, Ms. Cowie helped to create and produce digital spots and featured segments for the series VICEonHBO and nightly the HBO series, Vice News Tonight.  Ms. Cowie has been with Vice for over 10yrs where her career with the company has flourished.  In 2007 she helped launch VBT.tv, VICE's first online content channel (now Vice.com). She then went on to work as the Associate Producer to VICE founder Shane Smith on several projects including The Vice Guide to North Korea, Vice Guide to Liberia, and The Vice Guide to Film. She has held the roles of Production Coordinator, Line Producer, Producer, Director, and Post Producer and she has extensive experience in both field and post production across a variety of work on VICE’s various platforms. Ms. Cowie has overseen production on various series, documentary content, music videos, as well as larger, feature length projects, advertising campaigns and commercials. She has worked alongside the likes of director Spike Jonze and DP Lance Bangs, as well as great number of on-camera (and off-camera) talent and personalities. 

Born and raised in Atlantic Canada, Ms. Cowie completed a BFA in Media Arts (focusing on Film,  Video, and Photography) at The Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. 


Amanda Culkowski
Vice President, Music Program Development
MTV Global

As Vice President of Music Program Development at MTV Amanda Culkowski is responsible for developing original music and talent driven series for MTV’s 170+ global linear channels, as well as Paramount+ premium content. Since joining the network in 2019 she has overseen the series development of My Life on MTV, YO! MTV Maps, Sounds Like a Game Show and the upcoming 2022 premiere, Hip Hop My House.

Prior to MTV, Amanda was a part of the WE tv development team where she oversaw the series development of Jim & Chrissy: Vow or Never, Hustle & Soul and Untold Stories of Hip Hop with Angie Martinez. She has previously held positions at HGTV in New York and at PBS member stations ThinkTV and WOUB.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Amanda is originally from Toledo, Ohio.


Camilla Curtis
Creative Executive
HBO Europe, Original Programming

Camilla Curtis is a Creative Executive for HBO Europe, Original Programming where she works on scripted drama and comedy across all the HBO Europe territories. 

She started her career in the industry working in production, before joining the drama development team at ITV Studios. During her ten years there she worked on a wide range of drama series including Shetland (BBC), White Heat (BBC2), The Jury (ITV) and Vera (ITV)

Since joining HBO Europe in 2018 she has, alongside the local HBO Europe teams, worked closely with writers and producers on scripts in development in Spain, the Nordics and Central Europe. In the last couple of years she has stepped into the role of Executive Producer for HBO Europe on greenlit shows: Por H o Por B (Spain), Welcome toUtmark (Norway), Kamikaze (Denmark), The Informant (Hungary) and Lust (Sweden).


Aurelie de Troyer
SVP, Head of International English Content
Audible Inc.

As SVP, Head of International English Content at Audible, Aurelie de Troyer heads up the content teams across Canada and international English territories. In her role, she is in charge of Audible’s overall content output across audiobook and podcasts, including its Original Slate, and leading overall acquisitions, development, commissioning, partnerships and strategic planning.

Aurelie’s expansive career in entertainment spans Film, TV, Documentaries, Comedy, Brands and now Audio. Awarded Global Screen's "Global Programming Trendsetter'" award in 2017, Aurelie thrives in entrepreneurial setups within blue chip content companies, driving deals and partnerships with world-class, top-tier creative communities and talent. She previously set up and led the team managing acquisitions and co-productions for AMC Networks’s digital platforms, bringing to the US such hits as Discovery Of Witches; she also spent eight years leading International Acquisitions and Originals for Universal Pictures International Entertainment in London, acquiring and commissioning over the course of her tenure more than two hundred titles for global distribution by NBC Universal across all its companies (theatrical, video, licensing, digital), most of them involving top-tier global talent and brands.

Aurelie holds an MBA from ESSEC Business School, one of France’s Grandes Ecoles.

Christian Drobnyk
EVP Programming Disney Branded Television & National Geographic
The Walt Disney Company

Chris Duncombe
Director of Streaming & Podcasting
Corus Entertainment Inc

James Durie
Head of Scripted TV
Cineflix Rights

James Durie is Head of Scripted at Cineflix Rights, where he leads the distributor’s global strategy for sales, pre-sales, acquisitions, and co-productions of scripted content. Cineflix’s portfolio [slate] includes the SYFY/CTV Sci-Fi Channel award-winning series Wynonna Earp, the CBC/NBCUniversal International Networks hit series Coroner, and the riveting espionage thriller Tehran airing globally on Apple TV+.

Part of the executive team driving the rapid expansion of the company’s scripted activities, James is also responsible for building distribution partnerships with talented producers which include Buccaneer Media, who currently have two new series in production: Irvine Welsh’s Britbox original Crime and the Acorn TV crime procedural Whitstable Pearl.

James joined Cineflix from Miramax where he was Vice President, Sales EMEA across the company’s TV, feature film, and library businesses looking after iconic brands such as Pulp Fiction, Scream, and Shakespeare in Love. He started his career at sports media agency IMG, where he oversaw TV rights to major sports federations such as the English Premier League, PGA Tour, and Wimbledon.

Kelsey Espensen
Development Producer, Unscripted
marblemedia

Kelsey Espensen is a Development Producer at marblemedia who focuses on Unscripted Entertainment and Formats. She developed Race Against The Tide for CBC and created Best In Miniature for CBC Gem which launches February 2022.

Kelsey has a Bachelor of Arts in Radio & Television from Ryerson University and a diploma in Broadcast Television from Conestoga College. She has over 7 years experience working in both the television and radio industries. Prior to working at marblemedia, Kelsey was part of the marketing team at Sony Pictures Canada and was an on-air radio reporter for 101.7 The One at Blackburn Radio.

Russell Ford
VP - Creative Development
Propagate Content

Russell Ford is the VP of Creative Development at Propagate Content (Chopped, Untold, Our Kind of People).  After earning his BFA in TV Production at Chapman University, Russell joined Maker Studios, helping the company grow from millions to billions of monthly views.  Since then, he has developed and produced shows for digital and linear channels, both domestically and internationally.  Recent projects include the American Song Contest for NBC, Baking Impossible for Netflix, and Kings of Pain Season 2 for History.

Beth Fraikorn
Head of Content
Transform Films

Beth Fraikorn is an Emmy award winning Executive Producer with an established reputation for her deep acumen in development, production and distribution. Known for expertise in crafting deals, a passion for content and meaningful industry relationships, Fraikorn has built companies and launched corporate divisions.

Fraikorn has worked alongside the CGI pioneers, in AI and at NHK, has turned around graphics and post-production facilities and established global footprints for production companies. Beth has worked across genres from commercials to films to long-running series. She was one of the few women and youngest General Managers at Disney IDEAS. Her entrepreneurial spirit launched Remarkable Content Group, a successful international development and distribution company. Early in her career she worked on Palm-D’or commercials, significant min-series such as Lost Civilizations and The Stand; eventually moving to long running series such as The Perfect Murder and network shows such as Extremely Weird. She produced award winning documentary films including Baring It All and Lost Animals.

Having been responsible for content creation, strategic alliances and growth for numerous US and international production companies, Beth has developed and placed hundreds of hours of non-fiction original, library and scripted content into domestic and global TV markets and with nearly every US commissioner. Beth has served as a Judge for the PGA, Emmys, Real Screen Awards and as Chair for the PGA Non-Fiction and Documentary Committee and currently sits on the Board of Delegates for the Producers Guild of America.

Zara Frankel
Director, Programming & Development
PBS

Zara Frankel works in PBS Programming as the Director of Programming and Development. She collaborates extensively with filmmakers, production companies, and new talent to develop interesting and innovative content across genres for PBS. Prior to her current role, Zara served as the Development Manager for PBS Programming, evaluating submissions and providing editorial feedback, and worked as a Project Coordinator in digital content and online games with PBS KIDS.  
 
Prior joining PBS, Zara worked for digital ad agency, AKQA. She is a graduate of Florida State University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Film and a Master’s degree in Education.

Angela Freedman
Director of Development
Travel Channel

Angela Freedman joined the Travel Channel team in early 2019. As Director of Development, she collaborates with producers to develop breakout series for the network, as well as helping to steer strategy for future programming. 

Prior to Travel Channel, Freedman was at Mic Productions, where she developed and produced documentaries and series across linear and digital, including executive producing Hulu’s cultural hit Fyre Fraud. She previously worked in development at BBC America, Oxygen and MTV.

A storyteller at heart, Freedman is a proud alumna of NYU Tisch’s Department of Dramatic Writing. She works and lives in New York City with her husband and two children.

Sioned Geraint
Content Commissioner - Children and Learners
S4C

Sioned is a Content Commissioner at S4C - Children and Learners. She commissions for the industry-award winning brand ‘Cyw’ aimed at chidren up to 7 years of age and ‘Stwnsh’ for children 7-12 and during 2022 will play a key role in the development of a new and important 5-year children’s strategy for S4C.

She is an award-winning, bilingual former Series Producer and Exec with over 30 years of experience in production for S4C, BBC, Cbeebies and ITV. With single and multi-camera director experience in pre-recorded and live environments, Sioned formerly worked across a variety of genres – factual, factual entertainment, entertainment, children, live - events and music.

As a successful creative team leader, in 2007 she was employed to head a new children’s unit at BBC Wales where she was responsible for the live and award winning series Mosgito for S4C. 

Since then she has been the lead on many children’s productions including most recently a landmark series for S4C on Evacuees with Wildflame Productions. 

Sioned says she is now in her dream job as a Content Commissioner for S4C and is looking forward to the next chapter in her career. 

 

Tommy Gillespie
Director, Children's Programming
PBS

As Director of Children’s Programming, Tommy leads the strategic rollout of video content for PBS KIDS, including scheduling and content planning for the U.S. public broadcaster’s national children’s service and the PBS KIDS 24/7 channel and livestream. He is also the production executive on several PBS KIDS series, including the Emmy-winning Arthur, now in its 23rd season, and the new series Molly of Denali. Tommy developed, launched, and programs the top-rated PBS KIDS Family Night, a destination block for kids and parents that airs every weekend on PBS stations, pbskids.org, and the PBS KIDS Video apps for mobile and OTT platforms. Originally from eastern Kentucky, Tommy joined PBS in 2009 after stints at the U.S. Senate and NPR.

Manny Groneveldt
Director & Executive Producer, Entertainment Production and DEI Content
Bell Media

Manny Groneveldt is Director of Entertainment Production, Diversity & Inclusion Content at Bell Media Studios. He leads multiple television productions, including the award-winning and top-rated entertainment program, etalk. He also oversees variety television specials, various event programming, and branded entertainment content.

As Diversity & Inclusion Content Editor, Manny works to develop content strategies to increase representation onscreen and behind the scenes. With eighteen years of experience producing television, previously, Manny held numerous management positions at Bell Media, such as Executive Producer - Specialty Production, Supervising Producer, and Line Producer.

Olaf Grunert
Vice Director
ZDF Digital

Olaf Grunert began working for German public broadcaster ZDF in 1986 after finishing his studies of History and German and Scandinavian philology in Kiel, Reykjavík and Tampere.

Since 1991, he has been working for the German-French Cultural channel Arte in different positions. From 2004 to 2013, he worked at Arte headquarters in Strasbourg as head of theme nights. Since then, he has been responsible for fiction programs and feature-length documentaries. Films he commissioned have won numerous awards, including the Prix Italia, the Golden Nymph (Monte Carlo), the Rockie Award and the prestigious German Grimme Award.

Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia
Senior Scripted Acquisition and Co-Production Manager
Red Arrow Studios International GmbH

Rodrigo Herrera Ibarguengoytia is the Senior Scripted Acquisition and Co-Production Manager at Red Arrow Studios International. Based in Munich, he oversees all scripted development and acquisition activities, working with both production companies within Red Arrow Studios as well as third party producers and writers, with the aim to package, co-finance and co-produce projects for the international market.

In his role, Rodrigo takes primary responsibility for the management and executive production of all Red Arrow Studios International’s scripted projects, including Vienna Blood, produced by Endor Productions and MR Film for ORF (Austria) and ZDF (Germany); Departure, produced by Shaftesbury for Global (Canada), and Maigret, currently in development with Playground and Georges Simenon Limited.

Before relocating to Germany, Rodrigo graduated from the BFA, Screenwriting program at York University in Toronto, Canada.

Brad Holcman
Senior Director of Non-Fiction & Alternative Programming
A+E Networks

Brad Holcman joined A&E in 2012 as Senior Director, Non-Fiction and Alternative Programming. In this role, Holcman oversees the development and production of many of A&E’s unscripted critically acclaimed projects including 60 Days In, Intervention (4-time Emmy Nominee), Accused: Guilty or Innocent?, A&E’s Home.Made Nation block (Triple Digit Flip, Zombie House Flipping), Digital Addiction, Panic 9-1-1 and other series yet to be announced. He has also overseen some of A&E’s past hits including America’s Top Dog (A&E’s first competition series), 9-1-1: I Was There, Duck Dynasty, Behind Bars: Rookie Year, Gangland Undercover, The Employables and Undercover High to name a few.

His passion is to build relationships with the world’s producers and broadcasters to develop and produce for A&E. Additionally, he serves on many of A&E’s DEI committees and leads a Monday Motivation group. 

Holcman came to A&E from fox21 where he served as Director of Creative Affairs, and was responsible for overseeing the development of all reality and alternative programming including Countdown, Beauty and the Geek, Saved, Untitled Jamie Kennedy Project and Game Show in My Head, as well as numerous pilots for broadcast and cable networks.  He also assisted with fox21’s slate of scripted projects, including Homeland, Sons of Anarchy and Brickleberry. Prior to fox21, Holcman worked in Drama Development at 20th Century Fox Television.  

Brad received his Bachelor’s degree in Sports Management and Communication from the University of Michigan. Brad is also a Volunteer Firefighter for his hometown fire department and training to be an EMT.

Kelly Hornsby
Head of Acquisitions
A+E Networks UK

Kelly Hornsby is Head of Acquisitions across the A+E Networks UK portfolio, solely responsible for acquisitions and pre sales across the company’s range of channels and territories, as well as screening and identifying suitable programming for acquisition. These channels are: HISTORY, Crime + Investigation, Lifetime, History2 and BLAZE.

She is a key part of cross-departmental collaborations to secure new content, attract new audiences, and negotiate co-productions for the company’s portfolio of channels. 

As well as monitoring the performance of third-party titles and keeping track of programming trends, her role includes working with each A+E Networks UK channel to share information on potentially suitable content, and then negotiate a single deal for the company.

In charge of overseeing programme budgets, Kelly negotiates licence fees and terms for content, and tracks shows and series through all stages of development, identifying potential new content. In addition, she compiles business cases for potential acquisitions for internal board approval.

She maintains strong and productive relationships with Distributors and Producers, and seeks new contacts for acquisition opportunities, regularly attending the top TV markets and conferences. She is also part of the core project team working on new channel launches, and liaises with various departments on key deliverables including programme research, PR and marketing.

Kelly joined A+E Networks UK in 2013 as Acquisitions & Commissioning Editor, HISTORY & H2, and she then became Acquisitions & Commissioning Editor, Lifetime & Crime+Investigation. Both roles saw her screen and identify suitable programming for acquisition for channels in all territories, and negotiating licence fees and terms for content.

Kelly has more than ten years of experience in the television industry, which began when she joined Channel 5 in 2006 as an Acquisition Assistant. She also worked as Acquisitions & Digital Channels Assistant and EA to Director of Programmes before being appointed Acquisitions Executive in Factual. Reporting to Channel 5’s Director of Programming and Head of Factual, she was responsible for identifying suitable factual shows for its range of channels, and negotiating programme deals. 

Prior to working in television, Kelly worked at an international architectural firm, property companies and a Marketing and Brand agency.

Kirsten Hurd
Acquisitions, TVO Kids
TVO

Working in Acquisitions for TVO, the technological extension of Ontario’s public education system, Kirsten is responsible for sourcing a wide range of kids programming. She is also the Production Executive for TVO on 5 co-productions each year. In her previous positions she spent 15 years in international sales and acquisitions of finished programming, most recently as Director of Acquisitions and Canada Sales at Distribution360. Prior to D360, Kirsten served as Director of Sales for factual distributor BuzzTaxi Communications, and has held sales and management positions at Cookie Jar Entertainment, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Decode/DHX Media. As a specialist in program sales, Kirsten worked within territories across the globe including North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. She has attended international markets extensively including Kidscreen, MIPCOM, MIPTV, Banff Media Festival, Hot Docs, AIDC, TIFF, Realscreen and NATPE.

Katie Isaacson
Senior Director, CNN Original Series
CNN

Katie Isaacson is Director of Development for CNN Original Series at CNN, based in New York City. In this position, she is responsible for cultivating relationships within the creative community and developing original programming across a variety of CNN platforms. She is responsible for the development of show concepts for CNN Original Series and HLN Original Series.

Niam Itani
Acquisitions Manager, TRT World
TRT World

Lebanese American filmmaker, educator and media executive, currently leading the Acquisitions Team at TRT World in Istanbul. TRT World is the English Language news and current affairs channel owned by Turkish Radio and Television Corporation. Itani started her corporate career at Al Jazeera in 2005 where she produced programs for Al Jazeera Arabic News Channel. Between 2010 and 2017 Itani moved to independent filmmaking. Her projects have been selected for grants and industry events by the Doha Film Institute, Arab Fund for Arts and Culture (AFAC), European Producers Network, and the Rotterdam Film Lab of IFFR, among others. Films she produced / co-produced / directed as of 2010 have screened at the Venice Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Seattle International Film Festival and other Academy Award qualifying film festivals and won several awards. Itani holds a BA in Communication Arts from the Lebanese American University in Beirut and an MFA in Screenwriting from Hollins University in Roanoke, VA (USA). She has taught screenwriting and video production at her alma matters and conducted multiple screenwriting and filmmaking workshops. While a strong advocate for equality and social justice, she is herself a full-time slave to her 5 feline children.

Andrew Johnson
Executive In Charge of Production

Andrew Johnson helps develop and commission factual and documentary programming for Corus channels HISTORY and Global in Canada. He has overseen current and past programs like Rust Valley Restorers, Cheating Hitler, Fight to the Finish, Big Timber, History Erased, D-Day in 14 Stories, 100 Days to Victory, Hunting Nazi Treasure, Yukon Gold, Real Vikings and Ice Pilots NWT.

Previously, he was Commissioning Editor of the award-winning CBC News Network documentary series The Lens and Rough Cuts and Senior Producer of The Passionate Eye. He began his career in independent production and has won numerous prizes as a Producer and Director, including a Peabody Award and several Geminis, plus a BANFF Rockie Award and an International Emmy nomination.

Miriam Johnson
Producer
Pacific Content (Rogers Media)

Miriam is a writer, producer and musician with a passion for stories and sound. Before joining Pacific Content, she worked in film and TV on documentaries for National Geographic, The Discovery Channel, and HBO. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times. Miriam performs in a band, trains as a boxer, and loves hiking in the woods with her Swiss Shepherd dog.

Gwen Jones McCauley
Director, Global Distribution
CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

With over 20 years experience in content distribution, Gwen Jones McCauley has had a hand in launching and expanding several successful content sales operations, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s re-launched international content sales department, CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution. She continues to serve as Director of Global Distribution, overseeing the department’s acquisitions and sales initiatives, the Archive Sales department and the Brand Licensing team. 

Prior to CBC, Gwen was Director of Sales and Acquisitions at Blue Ant International where she helped to build and expand the company’s global distribution business. Gwen has also served as VP Sales and Co-productions at BBC Studios in Canada. Over her 13 years with the company, she held responsibility for sales of all content genres in the Canadian market in addition to having key responsibility for BBCS’s Canadian news and current affairs, formats and children’s businesses as well as playing a key role in the launch of BBCS’s Canadian digital business and domestic channel launches.


Dane Joseph
VP, Unscripted Series
Hulu

Dane Joseph currently serves as Vice President of Unscripted Series for Hulu.

Prior to that, Dane served as Vice President of Development for the MTV Entertainment Group, where he worked on such series as Infamy: When Fame Turns Deadly, My True Crime Story, My Celebrity Dream Wedding, and True Life: First Time First Responders.

Prior to MTV and VH1, Dane created Your Husband Is Cheating on Us for Bravo with Hot Snakes Media and did development and casting for a variety of their series, including The Sisterhood: Becoming Nuns for Lifetime, Breaking Amish, Return to Amish and Escaping Alaska for TLC, Extinct or Alive for Animal Planet and The Pioneers for National Geographic.

 

Audrey Kamga
Sales Manager
ARTE France

Audrey Kamga is an award-winning, multilingual executive with in-depth knowledge, and experience in most key TV markets including the Americas and EMEA.

Successfully working with ARTE France - one of the largest publicly-funded European broadcasters, she possesses a very diverse distribution background working with documentary specials,  limited doc series, unscripted formats, and factual entertainment with experience in sales, acquisitions, marketing, and business affairs.

Well versed in TV History and Pop Culture, she truly believes in the importance of multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion, and a gender-balanced approach both on and off-screen. 


Joana Klaus
Kids Content Coordinator
Globo Comunicacao E Participacoes S/S

Based in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Joana Klaus is Kids Content Coordinator at Grupo Globo. In the broadcasting business for more than 10 years, she is the curator of animation and live-action streaming content for preschool children at Grupo Globo's newly restructured digital department. Prior to moving to the streaming business, she worked for Gloob, Grupo Globo's TV Channel for kids, where she integrated the Acquisitions & Programming team and later became Original Content Coordinator. At Gloob, she oversaw licensing, content development and international coproduction of IPs such as Miraculous - Tales of Ladybug and Catnoir, Power Players and Alice & Lewis.

Sylvia Kocman
Manager, Distribution
Attraction Distribution

Sylvia has been active in global television for the past 15 years, beginning her career in Prague, working in the Telecommunications and Media practice area for international law firm, Linklaters. Her career in television started in 2004 working as PR Liaison for the entertainment program, Just for Laughs: All Access Pass, broadcast on CBC during the Just for Laughs International Comedy Festival in Montreal. Her responsibilities included booking top comedy guests and provide on-location access to shoot stand-up comedy shows. In 2006 Sylvia moved into global distribution at Distraction Formats as right-hand to the President, coordinating acquisition, license and option agreements in the Legal & Business Affairs Department. From 2009 to 2011 she worked in the Acquisitions department at Radio-Canada, and in 2011 returned to the international television industry working in sales & marketing as Director of Business Development at The Format People (TFP). Sylvia was instrumental in growing the professional consultancy business of TFP. Additionally, she oversaw the management & logistics of the global development of Format Master Classes; sourcing new international formats as well as finished content for TFP’s various clients such as Star China, Mongol TV, KOCCA, with a strong focus on Asia. Sylvia worked in several countries, managing TFP professional events such as the KOCCA Format Master Classes in Seoul (2014 to 2017); LightHouseNation Format Master Classes in Beijing (2015 and 2016), as well as developing new business at international markets such as MIPTV and MIPCOM in Cannes, the Asia TV Forum in Singapore, Promax BDA Global Excellence Awards in Los Angeles and Singapore, IEMMY’s. In her current role at Attraction Distribution International Sylvia seeks and strengthens relationships with International Producers as part of the development and execution of the acquisition content strategy for drama series, sci-fi, thriller kids and family films as well as formats. She was invited to moderate a panel on Non-Scripted Entertainment at the IEMMY’s in 2016. Sylvia is a jury member for the IEMMY’s, the Banff World Media Programming Competition, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television for Les gémeaux (The Canadian Screen Awards) and The Vancouver Web Fest. Sylvia holds a B.A. in foreign languages and photography from Bishop’s University as well as a Certificate in Public Relations Management from Concordia University. She is fluent in English, French and Czech.

Anna Kozanecka
Head of Film Programming and Acquisitions, Telewizja Polsat
Cyfrowy Polsat S.A.

Anna Kozanecka began working for the first commercial broadcaster in Poland Polsat in 1998. During the last 20 years Polsat (now called Cyfrowy Polsat), a privately owned company, has become one of the biggest media holdings in the region. 

Anna’s responsibility within the company is selecting and programming films for the main channel Telewizja Polsat. Anna is also buying movies on a presale for all rights from independent producers. During the past 20 years she has successfully negotiated contracts with companies worldwide. Although Anna is mainly focused on acquisitions of films with theatrical potential, she also has experience in acquiring all kinds of television programs.

Before joining Polsat Anna had worked for the public broadcaster TVP and in the National Film Archive where she was head of archive cinema based in Warsaw.


 

Els Kuiper
Senior Buyer
NPO Netherlands Public Broadcasting

Els Kuiper received her Master’s degree in Art and Culture Studies from the University of Amsterdam in 1986. For the past 30 years she has been working for the Dutch public broadcaster VPRO TV as a buyer and creative producer of local children’s television programmes.

She is also the buyer and programmer of children’s films and programmes for the Dutch public children’s channel NPO Zapp (having about 200 film slots per year) and was an advisor for the Dutch National Board of Culture (2006) and a committee member for the Holland Film Fund, specializing in youth film production and distribution.

Els has been part of several industry juries over the years and is currently a board member with the Taartrovers film festival in Holland.

Jarmo Lampela
Head of Drama
YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company

Jarmo Lampela is currently the Head of Drama at YLE and has been since 2015, with the aim to increase the international co-productions before 2020. At current, YLE has over 11 different series that have been produced or in production with 9 different countries.

He has worked as scriptwriter and directed numerous productions for cinema, television and theatre since 1992 and received multiple awards for his films The River (2001) and Eila (2003). His recent mini- series for YLE Ihan Sama (Whatever) was nominated for Best Children and Youth Programme at the 2015 national Venla TV awards.

Jarmo’s background includes working as the Professor of Film Directing and Head of the Department of Film, Television and Scenography at Aalto University, Helsinki (2008 – 2015) whilst simultaneously running his own production companies Lasihelmi Filmi (1994 – 2013) and Vegetarian Films (2010 – 2015).

Jarmo has over 40 productions in film, television and theatre, serving as the director, writer or producer.

Liz Lewin
Commissioning Editor, Drama
Sky

Liz Lewin is currently a commissioner in Sky's drama team, where she oversees a small (but perfectly formed!) slate of provocative dramas. From this slate has emerged The End (See-Saw Films) by Samantha Strauss and I Hate Suzie (Bad Wolf) created by Lucy Prebble and Billie Piper and written by Lucy Prebble, both of which she executive produced for Sky.

Alongside her commissioning role Liz has developed and executive produced two series of the award winning Derry Girls, and is currently working on the 3rd series with Lisa McGee and Caroline Leddy.

Jennifer Liang
VP, Acquisitions
Topic

Laura Luckenbaugh
Director, International Programming and Development
AMC Networks

As Director of International Programming and Development at AMC Networks, Laura develops scripted series and oversees international co-productions for AMC, SundanceTV, BBC America, and AMC+.  Recent projects include Gangs of London, Kin, Quiz, and the upcoming series This Is Going To Hurt and Interview With the Vampire.

Andrew Lutin
Director, Original Programming, Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Paramount Network
ViacomCBS

Jennifer McCann
VP, Kids and Family
Shaftesbury

Jennifer McCann is an award-winning producer with over two decades of experience in both Europe and North America in multiplatform content production, international co-production, and development.

Beginning her career in Paris at Marathon Media, part of Zodiak Kids, Jennifer held several positions, including Director of Post-Production and Creative Producer, developing overseas co-pro operations, and establishing two satellite studios in Montreal and Los Angeles. Jennifer was recently Director of Development at 9 Story Media Group and Senior Producer at Toronto based Pubcaster TFO. 

Ashley McFarlin Buie
Vice President, Unscripted Development
WE TV

As Vice President of Development for WE tv, Ashley McFarlin Buie oversees new and developing projects for the network and serves as an executive producer on the popular series Waka & Tammy: What the Flocka and the new hit series Brat Loves Judy.

With over twenty years in the industry, Buie has garnered a strong reputation for crafting layered, elevated stories of larger-than-life characters that are relatable, real and wildly entertaining. She founded Bird’s Eye Entertainment, Inc., and has worked on a multitude of shows with various television networks including Bravo, Discovery, OWN, Oxygen, CNN, MTV, The Travel Channel, and VH1, producing popular series such as, Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Potomac (season one), The First Family of Hip Hop, and Southern Charm New Orleans (season one). She also produced VH1’s Love and Hip-Hop spin-off series Meet The Mackies, as well as VH1’s hit Girls Cruise, starring Lil’ Kim, Chilli, and Mya. Buie began her career as a production assistant at CNN.

Buie has served as an Adjunct Professor at Montclair State University, a guest lecturer at Yale and Clark Atlanta Universities; and as Co-Director of a non-profit teen empowerment organization based in Harlem: The Power of You Teens, Inc. She has also published a book of daily devotionals, The Truth: Wrapped In Love.

Buie received her B.A. in Mass Communications from Howard University, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude.

Kathleen Meek
Manager, Original Content, Scripted & Factual
Corus Entertainment Inc

Kathleen Meek is Manager, Original Content, Drama and Factual for Corus Entertainment. In this capacity, she is responsible for a portfolio of original scripted and factual series for Global Television, History® Canada, Showcase, and W. She is production executive on Global’s new event drama, Departure, History’s hit show Vikings, YTV’s up-coming drama Hardy Boys and factual series Salvage Kings and The Wild Ones.

She joined Corus in 2018 from Bell Media where she was Production Executive, Drama and Feature Film. She worked on various original series including CTV’s Motive, Saving Hope and The Detail; Space drama Killjoys and HBO Canada’s Hip Hop Evolution and Sensitive Skin. She also managed the pre-licensing of Canadian feature films for Bell Media's pay-TV services, The Movie Network and HBO Canada.

Prior to Bell Media, she worked for Astral where she was responsible for licensing of Canadian film and worked on original series like Call Me Fitz, Funny as Hell, Less Than Kind and Transporter as well as various feature documentaries and comedy specials. Kathleen started her career at CTV in the drama department.

Luca Milano
Executive Director of Rai Ragazzi
RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana

Luca Milano is the manager at RAI Radiotelevisione Italiana, the Italian public broadcaster.

Executive Director of Rai Ragazzi (Rai Kids), controlling 2 free-to-air TV Channels (Rai Yoyo, the leading Italian children's channel, and Rai Gulp), as well as the units for production and co-production of Animation, kids' drama and live shows. RAI Ragazzi is one of the main European commissioners and investors in kids’ content. He is currently Chairperson of the EBU Kids Media experts Group.

Previously, Luca has been working for years as Deputy Director of Rai Fiction, Rai's department in charge of TV drama production. Before joining RAI, he worked as a journalist of international affairs, as UN information officer and as manager of an Italian consulting firm. 


Malin Nevander
Head of Development
SVT Swedish Television

Malin Nevander has worked as Head of Development at SVT Drama (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Bridge, Real Humans) – Swedish Public Broadcaster – since 2017.

With 25 years experience developing and writing animation, feature films and tv series, Malin has worked with most production companies and creatives in Sweden. She has taught classes at the National Film School in writing for television and is a well-respected guest teacher at several film schools.

Prior to joining SVT, Malin worked as a freelance script consultant and scriptwriter. She is the co-creator and writer of the successful and award-winning epic drama series The Restaurant (Vår tid är nu/Our time is now). All three seasons have been the most-watched tv series in Sweden, both in broadcast and the online platform.

Malin has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Cinema Studies from the University of Stockholm.

Dan Pasqua
Production Executive, Original Lifestyle Content
Corus Entertainment Inc

In his role as Development Production Executive of Original Lifestyle Content with Corus Studios, Dan contributes to the development and production of top-rated HGTV Canada and Food Network Canada television series.

Recently, Dan oversaw the development of HGTV Canada’s upcoming Pamela Anderson’s Home Reno Project (w/t), Styled, and Hoarder House Flippers.  He also contributed to the development of hit shows, Wall of Chefs, Junior Chef Showdown, Project Bakeover, The Big Bake, The Great Chocolate Showdown, Rock Solid Builds, and Scott’s Vacation House Rules. Dan is currently overseeing production of HGTV Canada’s Farmhouse Facelift (Season 2).

Prior to joining Corus, Dan had a 15-year career in production, including stints at CTV, Insight Productions, and Cineflix Productions. He has extensive experience as a showrunner, writer and director on both large studio shoots and field productions, and honed his skills working on a wide range of award-winning lifestyle and documentary programming.

Before his current position, Dan spent four years as Head of Development at Cineflix Productions, developing lifestyle and factual shows for the US market. Dan is known for having a keen eye for talent, and a unique style of dreaming up formats that resonate with audiences around the world. With an engaging and approachable demeanour, Dan eagerly collaborates with the Canadian production community to create homegrown hits. 

Dea Perez
Senior Manager Content Acquisitions
Topic

Silvia Perez Chavarria
General Director of Media and Audiovisual Content Analysis
Instituto Federal de Telecomunicaciones

With over 20 years of on-going experience in the audio-visual industry, Silvia has performed and developed in the public television broadcasting sector (Canal 11), as well as for the private sector (HBO Latam) in the following areas: Programming, Production and Content Purchasing aimed at child and adult audiences, specifically in planning, coordination management of financial and human resources, as well as in programming strategies.

Silvia got her BA in Communications from Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana. She has taken several workshops and earned certificates in TV Executive Production, Script, and most recently in several regulations on advertisement in TV and radio, children's content and content consumption habits of different kinds of audiences.

She has participated in different domestic and international markets, such as NATPE, Mipcom, Mipcom Jr., Mip Cancún, BBC Showcase, Mercadoc, Kidscreen and others, which have provided her with a wide scope of international trends of TV contents' offer and consumption.

She has collaborated with the Media and Audio-Visual Content Area since 2015, in her position as General Director of Media and Audio-Visual Contents at the Federal Telecommunications Institute where the main activities are: observe the compliant of rules for advertising spaces in private and public television and radio, develop different research of audiences behavior, and promote media literacy among content consumers.

Irene Pothecary Huse
Acquisitions Executive
NRK Super

Irene Pothecary Huse is an experienced Acquisitions Executive/ Project Manager for the Norwegian Public Broadcasting Corporation (NRK)

Initially, Irene joined NRK as part of the creative team behind the development and launch of NRK’s second channel, NRK2. She has since served as an executive buyer as well as co-producing and developing content for NRK1, NRK2 and NRK3.

In 2007, Irene became part of the team developing NRK’s designated children's platform, NRK Super.

NRK Super has been awarded several prestigious awards for their productions, and is broadcast on FVOD, linear TV, radio, and social media. Viewers appreciate  a wide variety of external acquisitions, in addition to in-house and co-productions of a variety of formats and genres. 

 

Katrina Ray
Acquisitions Manager
ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Katrina has 20+ years experience in the television industry working in publicity, production and brand licencing for companies such as Grundy Television and Fremantle Media. Joining the ABC Acquisitions team in 2008, Katrina sources, negotiates and acquires for ABC TV, ABC TV Plus and iview. With a multi-genre remit across scripted and non-scripted programming Katrina has a keen eye for arts, comedy and features.

Jillianne Reinseth
Sr. Vice President Creative Affairs
Entertainment One Television International

As Senior Vice President of Creative Affairs, Jillianne Reinseth is responsible for overseeing the creative elements of all projects in development and production for eOne Family & Brands.

Since joining the company in 2015, the eOne Family production slate has included My Little Pony: A New Generation, PJ Masks, Cupcake & Dino: General Services, Ricky Zoom, Alien TV, and Ninja Express as well as several unannounced productions with partners around the world.

Jillianne’s 30 year career in entertainment spans children’s animation, primetime comedy and drama in the U.S., Europe and Canada. She has worked with the top creative talent in the industry for companies including Disney, Nickelodeon, DHX, ABC, and CBS with credits on top series such as Kate & Mim-Mim, Johnny Test, Chuck’s Choice, Kid vs. Kat, Martha Speaks, Kim Possible, Lilo & Stitch, The Fairly OddParents and My So-Called Life.

She started her career as a television publicity assistant for Rachel McCallister & Associates working on In Living Color, Charles in Charge and It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.

Elen Rhys
Commissioner
S4C

Elen Rhys is a Commissioner at S4C.  An experienced and passionate executive producer and programme maker, Elen is recognised for delivering creative excellence across all aspects of her 20+ years media career working with national broadcasters, distributors and studios.  Most recently, as S4C’s commissioner of content, Elen has delivered multi award-winning, channel defining programmes  including most recently a Broadcast Award for the Best lockdown category 2021 for Dim Ysgol Maesincla and the winner of the Entertainment Category BAFTA Wales 2021 for Maesincla the Musical.  

Elen’s portfolio spans several genres across all platforms and she relishes the creative challenge of working across such a dynamic range of content - entertainment, scripted comedy, music and many of the channel’s best loved and highly acclaimed popular factual and entertainment formats.  She also oversees the editorial content of many of the channel’s cultural events. 

Lanita Ririnui
Commissioner
Māori Television

Lanita Ririnui commissions content for Maori Television - New Zealand’s indigenous broadcaster - providing a wide range of local programmes for audiences across the country and online; contributing to the revitalisation of the Māori language as a taonga (treasure) at the heart of Māori culture and New Zealand’s unique cultural identity.

Ririnui’s key commission factual contributions include Ake ake ake - The story behind #protectihumātao (Championing an important political movement documentary for all New Zealanders), Beyond Matariki (Supporting the traditional knowledge of Matariki in a documentary series by Dr Rangi Mataamua for the nation), Waiata Nation I & II (Showcasing a new generation of waiata māori produced by rangtahi champions of the reo in music and onscreen), Home, Land & Sea (A look at iwi & whānau enterprises for innovative solutions with intergenerational outcomes), Chatham Islanders (An insightful documentary into the lives & entwined iwi on New Zealand's remote islands), Hurō Pēpi (Championing a fluent parenting series for young whānau raising tamariki in te reo māori).

Prior to her role at Maori Television, Ririnui was the company founder and director of Through The Fire Ltd. as well as a producer, director and presenter for TVNZ, MTS and The Coconet.  

Ririnui has a Bachelor of Communications Studies from the Auckland University of Technology.


Maramena Roderick
Director of Content
Māori Television

Maramena Roderick has been recognised as a Woman of Influence in New Zealand. A multi-award winning practitioner, she began her career in newsrooms and became New Zealand’s first Māori foreign correspondent in Europe and first NZ female journalist sent into war zones.  She has produced and directed critically acclaimed programmes across nearly every genre of television. Maramena has been a journalism lecturer, strategic advisor to government and financial assessor on a number of national panels. She has been the Head of News and Current Affairs, Head of Strategy and Marketing and is presently the Director of all Content at Māori Television.

Trine Ruud
Head of Acquisitions and Dubbing NRK Super
NRK, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation

Trine holds a BA in Teaching as well as a BA in Journalism.

She began her Career working as a teacher and thereafter as a Production Manager  in television production. Trine joined NRK in 1996 when the Norwegian Public Broadcaster launched NRK2 in which she was part of the development team.

In 2007 Trine was managing the development process and launch of NRK Super, NRK’s Children’s channel publishing on VOD, linear TV, radio and social media.  She has since served as Acquisitions Executive and Executive Producer for the channel until she took over as Head of Acquisitions and Dubbing Spring 2017.

NRK Super targets the 2-12 year olds and schedules a mix of acquisitions, in-house- and co-productions of all genres. NRK Super has won numerous prestigious awards for their productions, amongst them three Emmys.

Khaled Sabbour
Founder & President
East Liberty Entertainment

An industry executive, Sabbour has been involved in all facets of production, most recently creating and producing ground breaking, innovative television programs for broadcast networks and global OTTs. During his tenure at Entertainment One Group, Marblemedia, Saloon Media and Architect Films, Sabbour managed multiple outside production partners while simultaneously serving as the primary point of contact for all projects to ensure clarity in communication and high-level oversight.

He has executive produced shows such as Just Like Mom & Dad for BYUtv, Chuck and Danny’s Road Trip for Food Network and Netflix, Tornado Hunters for CMT and oversaw brand integration on Mom Vs Matchmaker for MYX TV .

Additionally, Sabbour has supervised the entire creative process for new series development from the ground up to find new ways of talking to viewers – from treatment review to final delivery on original, co- production and reversion projects.

Kate Sanagan
Head of Sales and Distribution
Sinking Ship Entertainment

Kate Sanagan is the Head of Sales and Distribution at Sinking Ship Entertainment, a multiple Emmy® Award winning production, distribution and interactive company specializing in kids’ and family content. Since its launch in 2004, Sinking Ship has rapidly earned a reputation for high quality, ground-breaking original series and companion interactive experiences.

Kate’s experience and expertise lies in the financing, presales, and sales of completed programs, with a focus on the Americas. Kate oversees the brand stewardship for Sinking Ship’s key brands, including internal IP as well as external 3rd party content. In addition to television and film sales, Kate also manages the company’s efforts in publishing, consumer products, and ancillary content.

Prior to Sinking Ship, Kate was Partner at Picture Box Distribution for 15 years. She has been selling and financing Canadian kids’ and family content for over 23 years.

Shaleen Sangha
VP Content, Kids and Family
Boat Rocker Media

Shaleen Sangha has been a part of the Boat Rocker team since 2017. As Vice President of Boat Rocker Studios, Kids and Family, Shaleen oversees the day-to-day operations of its Toronto division with a focus on creative development and production. Shaleen has a passion for content and focuses on building meaningful heartfelt stories that resonate with todays youth.

Shaleen was a CSA nominee as Supervising Producer of the The Next Step Season 6, and was Creative Executive on series such as The Strange Chores, Polly Pocket, Chip and Potato, Chuck’s Choice, Doozers, Looped and many more. Shaleen was instrumental in building online content for many of the series on her slate including the Chuck’s Choice: Choose Your Own Pet Adventure and the Addison: The Invention Detective app. In addition to her roles in development and production, Shaleen has been a writer, director and producer of award-winning short films, including Nayan and the Evil Eye which garnered 14 awards worldwide. Shaleen also has experience in sales and contracts administration in her prior roles at Cinemavault Releasing and Microsoft Canada.

Joseph Schneier
SVP, Production & Development
Discovery Channel

Heidi Schorn
VP of Development
Alibi Entertainment Inc.

Heidi is a seasoned unscripted content development executive with a decade of expertise creating and executing top-tier content across all genres, and for a variety of platforms. As Vice President of Development for Alibi Entertainment, she applies her diverse background in development and production to masterfully cultivate and manage relationships with a range of partners, creators and talent in territories all over the world. Heidi has had a hand in several hit series and format adaptations and continues to demonstrate a deep understanding of the evolving marketplace.

Laurie Sharpe
Executive Producer, Development and Production
CNBC

Laurie Sharpe is Executive Producer of Development and Production for CNBC, responsible for developing talent and original programming for CNBC Prime.

Prior to this role, she worked at ViacomCBS creating content across its MTV, VH1, CMT and Paramount brands. Over the course of her career, Sharpe has developed and produced the widest array the unscripted genre has to offer including the numerous hit series Intervention, Duck Dynasty, Bar Rescueand Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.

Geoff Siskind
Executive in Charge of Program Development
Pacific Content (Rogers Media)

As a producer, writer and director, Geoff has helped launch some of Canada's most popular reality television programs including Storage Wars Canada (internationally known as Storage Wars Northern Treasures), Canada's Worst Driver, Redemption Inc with Kevin O'Leary, Canada's Worst Handyman and Junk RaidersHe’s also worked as a key creative across many award-winning podcasts including Hackable?, Trailblazers with Walter Isaacson and the Audible Original True North Heists with Colm Feore.


Nick Smith
EVP, Formats
All3Media International

Nick Smith, Executive Vice President, Formats at all3media international has over 15 years experience of working with television formats. He has spent time developing formats (part of the development team that devised Strictly Come Dancing AKA Dancing with the Stars), producing formats, and the international distribution of formats.

He’s previously worked for Sony Pictures Television International, the BBC, and a number of independent production companies. He looks after all3media’s international productions, including over 30 versions each of Gogglebox, Kitchen Nightmares, Cash Cab and Undercover Boss, along with format acquisition and strategy.

He is the Visiting Professor of TV Formats at Sunderland University and a founder member of Reed Midem’s diversity advisory board.

Annamaria Sofillas
Head of Programming
Topic

Annamaria Sofillas is currently the Head of Programming at Topic, a new streaming service from First Look Media, and the lead producer of the documentary I'm 'George Lucas': A Connor Ratliff Story, presently in post-production. She recently worked on building the original programming departments at Gimlet Media's scripted division and at the NBCUniversal comedy streaming service Seeso.

She has overseen over 25 original long-form series and 30 stand-up specials, including GLAAD Award-nominated Take My Wife, BAFTA Award-nominated Flowers, HarmonQuest, Bajillion Dollar Properties, My Brother, My Brother and Me, and Night Train with Wyatt Cenac. Prior to Seeso, Annamaria had stints at IFC, TV Guide Network, and Focus Features. Annamaria graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a board member of the HRTS Associates NY.

At Topic, she is tasked with overseeing the slate of originals and acquisitions — comprising hundreds of series and films from around the world — by building and shaping the content, programming strategy, and brand filter.

Nick Solowski
Senior Director, International Sales and Acquisitions
Blue Ant Media

Seventeen years experience in the Canadian entertainment industry specializing in film and television. Currently at Blue Ant Media, a globally placed channel operator, producer and distributor. In the position of Senior Director, International Sales & Acquisitions, responsible for strategically placing Blue Ant International's 4000+ hours into both the domestic and international marketplace as well as developing and acquiring content with production partners. 

Previously held roles at Tricon Films & Television, Spafax Canada and Alliance Atlantis MPD. 

Adam Steinman
VP, Creative, Format, Development & Sales
Warner Bros. International Television Production

Adam Steinman served as Vice President, Non-Scripted International Development & Sales from October 2010 until October 2016 and in November 2016 was promoted to Vice President, Creative, Format, Development & Sales at Warner Bros. International Television Production (WBITVP), where scripted formats have been added to his remit.

In this position, Steinman is charged with overseeing the adaptation, development, and sale of programming based on formats and concepts developed from within the International Television Production Group and international 3rd party producers. He is also responsible for helping WBITVP identify producers and broadcasters to partner with, as well as acquiring formats to be exploited internationally.

During his WB tenure, Steinman has played an integral role in the development, acquisition, and international roll out of Impractical Jokers, The Bachelor, and The Bachelorette, Hello Goodbye, America’s Best Dance Crew, Who Do You Think You Are?, First Dates, Back In Time For Dinner, The Gift, Ellen's Game Of Games, Little Big Shots, and True Story for NBC.

In 2019, Steinman identified and acquired the record-breaking Korean hit series, Sky Castle, for WBTV and Berlanti Productions which was most recently being adapted at NBC. In 2020, he identified a hit Israeli drama which was acquired by WBITVP for multiple European territories.  

Steinman was instrumental in facilitating the CJENM/Warner Horizon first-look unscripted deal, announced in October 2020. That same year he was also thrilled to play a role in identifying the Nippon format, MUTE IT!. This physical gameshow is now part of a multi-territory partnership with WBITVP. In March 2021 the local adaptation launched impressively in Holland on SBS6.

On the scripted side, he has been responsible for identifying two new hit Korean dramas now optioned at WBTV. In 2020, he acquired the rights to a French-Canadian comedy now being developed by WB in Belgium, and the short-form digital series from Canada, How To Buy A Baby, which became a long-form ratings hit in 2021 from WB Sweden for Discovery +. It has been renewed for a second season.

For WB, he oversees the successful WB/CBC Canada Format Incubator which produced the series, Under New Management with two seasons in 2018. In 2020, the second WB/CBC format incubator resulted in the competition reality format, YOU GOT THIS!. Quickly commissioned to series by TVNZ in New Zealand receiving top ratings, it will soon be adapted as a primetime series in Germany for Sat One.

He was instrumental in managing the multi-year TV Asahi co-development deal, and also helped develop and adapt the RTE Format Farm winner, The Hit, which sold to seven territories including Netherlands, China, Russia, and Scandinavia.


Igal Svet
VP, Documentaries, Discovery+
Discovery Communications

Igal Svet serves as Vice President of Documentaries at discovery+ where he spearheads development of the creative vision and strategy behind original documentaries. He is responsible for the ideation and creation of a wide range of projects and oversees the documentary content acquisition from filmmakers around the globe. In his tenure so far, Svet worked with the team at discovery+ to acquire films such as Introducing, Selma Blair, Francesco, Rebel Hearts, Lily Topples the World, Dear Mr. Brody, Groomed, Set!, Miracle Fishing: Kidnapped Abroad, and Citizen Penn. He was also involved in the development of discovery+ original documentaries, Attack of the Murder Hornets and Expedition: Back to the Future. Other credits include executive producer of the anthology series, Auto Biography: Racing Legends, as well as The Lost Lincoln and Great Balloon Bomb Invasion. 

Prior to his current role at discovery+, Svet served as Vice President of Production and Development for documentaries and specials at Discovery Inc. He led the team responsible for development and executing production strategies for event programming, documentaries and specials, including Shark Week. 

Before Discovery, Svet served as Senior Director of Development at National Geographic Channel. In his five years at National Geographic, he was part of the team developing a sweeping slate of the original programs including One Strange Rock, Mars and The Story of God with Morgan Freeman, and live specials including Earth Live and Yellowstone Live. Svet earned his BS from Boston University in Film/Television and Philosophy where he graduated Magna Cum Laude. 


Carlene Tan
Director: Original Productions and Development - Kids (APAC)
WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks

Carlene Tan is responsible for identifying new IP and producing original series for Cartoon Network, Boomerang and POGO in Asia Pacific. Based in Singapore, she oversees the region’s current slate of originals that include the International Emmy-nominated Lamput, the brand-new Monster Beach, as well as steering the production on the long-running Roll No. 21 franchise, and the upcoming series Titoo and Lambuji Tinguji.

Prior to WarnerMedia, Ms. Tan developed original animation with The Walt Disney Company (Southeast Asia) and was studio head at One Animation where she produced Oddbods and Insectibles. Together with the founder of Dreamworks Animation, she also managed the Singapore arm of Cloudpic Global and produced various digital projects for mobile apps launched across Asia. She was also one of the founding members of Singapore’s first animation studio, Peach Blossom Media.

Elisabeth Tangen
Executive Producer, International Co-production
NRK Drama

Elisabeth Tangen has been developing and producing tv series for NRK Drama for more than 20 years.

Her producer credits include: Gutta på Skauen 10 x 30 in post-production, 22. July 6x55, (2020), Monster 6x58 (2017), Eyewitness 6x58 (2015), Struggle for Life 16x45 (2014) and Taxi 4x45 (2011)

Elisabeth Tangen is currently working as Executive Producer for International Co-Production in NRK Drama, the public broadcaster in Norway.

Kate Thomas
Commissioning Editor, Daytime and Features
Channel 4

Kate Thomas is a Commissioning Editor for Daytime & Features at Channel 4.

Since joining Channel 4 three years ago, Kate has commissioned a wide range of successful new unscripted series into Channel 4’s features and daytime genres, and also docs and specialist factual content into More4.

These include the smash hit, BAFTA-winning The Great House Giveaway; one of Channel 4’s most successful new launches in recent years, which was recommissioned for a two series 60 part run across daytime and peak.

Kate also commissioned Sarah Beeny’s New Life in the Country, which was Channel 4’s highest rating brand new 8pm launch of 2020, and is currently enjoying a successful second run.

Kate’s broad slate of shows includes Four in a Bed, Junior Bake Off & The Perfect Pitch in daytime and Sarah Beeny’s Little House, Big Plans and Britain’s Beautiful Rivers with Richard Hammond in peak.

Prior to joining Channel 4, Kate Thomas was Creative Director at ITV owned Boom in Wales, where she looked after winning new network commissions across multiple genres, including factual for ITV and the BBC, kids for CITV and scripted for Channel 5.  Prior to joining Boom, Kate was a Head of Development at BBC Studios.


Elizabeth Trojian
Chief Creative Officer &Executive Producer
YAP Films Inc

Elizabeth Trojian is the Primetime Emmy nominated Chief Creative Officer and an executive producer at yap films, as well as an award-winning producer, writer and director. She has worked on and created many television documentaries and series for North American and international broadcasters including – How it Feels to be Free (Emmy nomination best documentary series) Unabomber: in his own words, The Genetic Revolution, Mosquito, Loretta Lynn: Still a Mountain Girl, My Trans Journey and the Smithsonian Channel record-breaking special and Canadian Screen Award nominee, Building Star Trek – marking the revolutionary show’s 50th anniversary.

Currently, she is producing two documentaries for CBC’s The Nature of Things - The State of the Planet(wt) documentary about climate change and The Machine the Feels a documentary about Artificial Intelligence and emotions; along with Battle of the Alphas (season 2) a natural history series for Love Nature.  Also, for Love Nature and Cottage Life she is producing A Cry in the Mist a natural history documentary about the Loon.

Most recently, Elizabeth was the executive producer and producer on Black Liberators World War II, a feature-length documentary about the Black Canadian soldiers WWII experience for History Canada.  She won the Canadian Screen Award as executive producer and producer on Ice Bridge the Smithsonian Channel, CBC France 5, UKTV and SBS, about a group of archaeologists who set out to prove their theory of a cross-Atlantic migration 20,000 years ago. In 2020, Elizabeth won the CSA Rob Steward Award for Best Science or Nature Documentary for A Day in the Life of Earth.


Adem Uysal
Lead Content Strategy and Acquisitions Manager
TV+ (Turkey)

Adem Uysal has 15 years of IPTV & OTT, Pay TV, Thematic TV Channels content related experience in the market of Turkey.  During his career, He has worked on some of telcos’ tv services and thematic tv channels such as TV+ (Turkcell), Tivibu (Turk Telekom), Sinema TV, MTV Turkey, CNN Turk.  He was involved in thematic linear tv channels and IPTV & VOD services launches. Content selection, acquisition and strategy are his main expertise.

Monica Valdes
Director, Programming & Development
HGTV, DIY Network & Great American Country

As Director, Programming & Development, HGTV, Monica Valdes is responsible for managing the development and production of series and specials for the home and lifestyle network. Valdes joined the HGTV team in January 2019 and is the executive behind the network’s smash hit series, Celebrity IOU. She also oversees a number of the network’s most beloved franchises, including Property Brothers: Forever Home, as well as the newly greenlighted series, The Great Giveback with Melissa McCarthy and Jenna Perusich (wt).

Prior to HGTV, Valdes served as Manager, Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media, where she oversaw the network’s highest rated docu-series, Aaron Hernandez Uncovered, as well as the successful, two part special, Dahmer On Dahmer: A Serial Killer Speaks.

Valdes holds a B.S.C. from University of Miami.



 

David Van Poppel
IFE Content Specialist
Spafax Canada Inc

David Van Poppel is the In-flight Entertainment Content Specialist, Air Canada, for Spafax in Toronto. He specializes in programming Canadian film and television content for Air Canada, as well as Canadian and international short films for multiple Spafax airline clients. His work includes strategizing and curating multiple in-flight channels by working closely with several prominent distribution companies, including CBC/Radio-Canada, Entertainment One, and Just For Laughs. He also manages multiple partnerships for Air Canada, including Bell Media, The National Film Board of Canada, and Fairchild Television.

Prior to Spafax, David worked with the Toronto International Film Festival’s Film Circuit department, overseeing the programming of over 45 film series and festivals across Canada. He also spent three years fundraising for the festival, helping to launch and project manage some of their most prominent campaigns, including Share Her Journey.

Outside of work, David is a Director on the Board of The Toronto Outdoor Picture Show.

Amanda Vaughan
Production Executive, Corus Kids
Corus Entertainment Inc

Amanda is a Production Executive at Corus Kids, where she uses her passion for children's programming to assist in the production and development of live-action and animated series for Corus’s YTV, Teletoon, and Treehouse networks.

Previously, she has held other roles at Corus Entertainment on the Kids Original Content team as well as the Kids Programming team. In her programming role, she assisted in content curation for YTV, Teletoon, Treehouse and Disney Channel Canada among others.

In addition to her kids content expertise, Amanda was also actively involved with the launch of the first ever 24-hour Adult Swim network. Some of her Production Executive credits include Esme & Roy, Miss Persona, and Ranger Rob.

Laurene Voilliot
Head of Sales and Acquisitions
ONLY DISTRIBUTION - Only Science, Only Lifestyle

Laurene Voilliot has been working in TV distribution for 10 years. She began as international sales assistant at Upside Distribution and is now heading Only Distrib, the distribution arm of TV Only. She is overseeing the international sales and acquisitions of documentaries, series and shorts from French and international producers. From Science, Green, Lifestyle through Current Affairs and Society; she represents the company’s catalog worldwide by attending various TV markets, fares and festivals."

Oleksandrina Vyshnevska
Development and Co-productions Manager
FILM.UA Group

Oleksandrina is responsible for strategic direction and development efforts of FILM.UA Group across multiple genres (feature films, scripted drama, factual, animation). Oleksandrina evaluates, develops and facilitates the production of scripted drama projects, ranging from original content to local adaptations of scripted formats. Oleksandrina is currently working on several projects intended for the international market. 

Aurelie Wack
Acquisitions Manager, Kids & Young Adults, EMEA
WarnerMedia EMEA

Aurelie Wack is Acquisitions Manager, Kids & Young Adults for WarnerMedia EMEA, working across HBO Max, Cartoon Network, Cartoonito, Boomerang, Boing, Toonami and adult swim.

In this role, Aurelie identifies and negotiates acquisitions and pre-buys for WarnerMedia EMEA kids’ and young adults’ services, working with the local programming leads across EMEA. She has a special focus on France & Africa and oversees editorial quality of local dubbings for France. In addition, Aurelie works closely with co-production partners to provide creative consultation throughout the development and production of select series.  

Aurelie joined WarnerMedia in 2008 and held different positions in Programming, Ad sales and Licensing & Merchandising Departments. Prior to that Aurelie worked at TF1 International. 

She studied in Paris, Stockholm, Bangkok and Lille and has an MBA in business management.

Lauren Whitelaw
Head of Programming
OUTtv Network Inc

Lauren is the Head of Programming for OUTtv, currently with services in Canada, USA, UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. Servicing multiple territories, she has successfully negotiated contracts with companies worldwide. Lauren is part of the development team at the network and continues to work closely with producers globally to find the best LGBTQ+ programming.

Before becoming OUTtv in 2006, Lauren helped launched the service PrideVision TV in 2001. Prior to 2001, she worked for companies including The Movie Network, CBC and Vision TV.

In 2016, for OUTtv, Lauren co-created the OUTtv original series Knock Knock Ghost which went on to have two nominations for a Canadian Screen Award in the category of Best Reality Series, a C21 Format Award, and a Venice TV Award.

Andrea Whyte
Director, Commercial Content Strategy
Spafax Ltd

Andrea Whyte is the Director, Commercial Content Strategy at Spafax in London, where she oversees Spafax’s film programming and acquisitions team, develops global content and brand partnerships, and works with airline clients to create innovative, data-driven inflight entertainment strategies that both delight passengers and demonstrate commercial return.

Prior to moving to London, Andrea was based in Toronto as the IFE Programming and Account Manager at Spafax Canada, managing film and television acquisitions and partnerships for Air Canada. She also directed the Air Canada enRoute Film Festival, a unique short film festival that supported the next generation of Canadian filmmakers.

After receiving her Master of Arts from the University of Toronto, Andrea worked for several years in the programming department of TIFF Bell Lightbox, the Toronto International Film Festival’s year round film centre.

Michael Winter
SVP, Programming & Development
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment

Michael Winter is SVP of programming and development for Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment.  He helped launch the CSS studio with a slate of originals including Vacation Rental Potential (A&E), Being Dad (Netflix), Going For Broke (Crackle) and the Emmy-nominated Hidden Heroes (CBS).  As Chicken Soup has become majority owner of Crackle, one of the leading AVOD services with 13 million monthly unique viewers, he now oversees unscripted original development across CSSE’s VOD platforms.

Prior to joining CSS, Michael was VP for Leopard Films where he developed dozens of projects, pilots and series for various networks including HGTV, Travel, Food, Speed, GSN, Ovation, A&E, and History.

As a director of programming at Scripps Networks, Michael oversaw 30 series and specials for DIY and HGTV, including Under Construction, Yard Crashers and America’s Most Desperate Landscapes partnership with the Today show.  His show Man Caves ran over 150 episodes and Renovation Realities was on air for 15 seasons. 

Michael started his career at Bunim-Murray Productions working on Road Rules for MTV and Love Cruise for Fox.  He was then hired as a producer on The Mole for ABC and multiple projects for MTV and VH1 before becoming the first director of original programming for Outdoor Life Network (now NBC Sports).