Meet Our Judges

Grand Jury

Brie Bryant
Senior Vice President, Original Programming
Lifetime

Brie Miranda Bryant is the Senior Vice President, Unscripted Development and Programming at Lifetime where she is responsible for development, series and specials for unscripted programming. A seasoned media and entertainment executive, she has shepherded a string of buzzy, critically acclaimed series and specials including the record-breaking, Emmy-nominated documentary for Outstanding Information Series or Special, Surviving R. Kelly, which to date, has reached over 26.8 million viewers. Named as 2019’s program of the year by the Associated Press, Surviving R. Kelly also received the Critics’ Choice Real TV Award for Best Limited Documentary Series, a MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Documentary, named Program of the Year at
BANFF in addition to receiving the Inclusion Award. Surviving R. Kelly also received the Los Angeles Press Club President’s Award for Impact on Media and a nomination from the Television Critics Association for Outstanding Achievement in News and Information. Most recently, Surviving R. Kelly has been named as one of the 60 programs under consideration for a 2019 Peabody Award.
 
Bryant shepherded the launch of the follow up documentary, Surviving R Kelly Part II: The Reckoning, which has been nominated for a BANFF Award in 2020.

Under Bryant’s purview are the highly anticipated featured documentaries including The Wendy Williams Story and Whitney Houston & Bobbi Kristina: Didn’t We Almost Have It All. Bryant also oversaw the documentary series Hopelessly in Love,a feature length docs detailing the tragic love lives of infamous couples Left Eye Lopes& Andre Rison, Anna Nicole Smith and Larry Birkhead and Faith Evans & Notorious B.I.G.

Additional credits include Once Upon a QuaranTime, The Kamiyah Mobley Special, Beyond the Headlines: NXIVM, Beyond the Headlines: The College Admissions Scandal, Gretchen Carlson: Breaking the Silence, Breaking their Silence: Inside the Gymnastics Scandal, The Antoinette Tuff Story, Corey Feldman: The Moment of Truth, Seatbelt Psychic, Women on Patrol, Raising Tourette’s, Bring It!, Dance Twins, the Little Women franchise and The Rap Game.

Prior to Lifetime, Bryant was the Senior Vice President of Original Programming at BET Networks, where she oversaw all development and production for the network, including Chasing Destiny, Ink Paper Scissors, Music Moguls and Curvy Style. Before joining BET, Bryant was Vice President of Development and Production, Original Programming for Comcast NBC Universal’s Oxygen Media, where she spent over a decade growing the network’s programming slate. During her tenure at NBC Universal, she oversaw several hit shows including The Preachers franchise (LA, Atlanta and Detroit editions), The Prancing Elites Project, Sisterhood of Hip Hop, as well as eleven successful seasons of Bad Girls Club and its spinoff Bad Girls Club: All Star Battle. In addition, Bryant developed Crimes of Passion, Comedians of LA, The Assistants, Secret Celebrity, Find Me My Man, Boss Nails, Street Art Throwdown, Fix My Choir, My Crazy Love, Jersey Couture, Hair Battle Spectacular and Snapped: Killer Couples which is currently in its tenth season on Oxygen.

Prior to her career in television, Bryant worked in publishing for the Conde Nast’s Teen Vogue. She also logged a stint working on the Martin Scorsese and Clint Eastwood documentary, The Blues. And was also part of the launch team for the Tribeca Film Festival.

Bryant was recognized as a honoree for Variety’s 2019 Power of Women NY, where she was also a featured speaker. She was also a featured speaker at The Hollywood Reporter 2019 Power 100 Women in Entertainment event.

Bryant has been named Cablefax’s Most Influential Minorities for 2014, 2015, 2018 and 2019 and is a Gracie Award winner. Formerly a Co-Chair of the NBCU Diversity Counsel, Bryant is also a member of Television Academy, Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT), of the International Radio & Television Society (IRTS) and the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).

Bryant was selected for the Hearst Management Institute (HMI)’s Management Enhancement Program. Bryant has earned three certificates of study for Professional Development from both Harvard University and Yale University. She received her Master’s degree from New York University and her Bachelor’s degree from Southern Connecticut State University.

Libbie Doherty
Head of Children’s Content
ABC - Australian Broadcasting Corporation

As Head of Children’s Libbie is responsible for the Content Strategy and has oversight of 380 hours of internally produced and commissioned content across the ABC’s two dedicated children’s channels, ABCME (6-12yrs) and ABC KIDS (2-6yrs). As a member of the ABC's TV & Radio leadership team, she contributes to the ABC’s audiences, production and business strategy by building high quality and distinctive programming, across all the Children’s distribution channels delivering the #1 Australian Children’s entertainment network.

With 60+ internal creative staff in Sydney and Melbourne, as Creative Leader she sets the bar for creative excellence, innovation and nurtures teams to deliver ambitious, unique and compelling stories that are world class. Driving new partnerships and valuing long-standing creative alliances, her tenure positions the ABC as a trusted partner enabling Australian content to thrive in Australia and succeed in the global marketplace.


James Farrell
Head of Local Originals
Amazon Studios

As Head of Local Originals, James Farrell oversees the development and production of all original series and features under the Amazon Studios banner outside the United States.

Farrell joined Amazon in April 2015 as Head of Content, Asia Pacific. He was named Head of Content, International Expansion in May of 2018, overseeing content for Prime Video in all countries and territories outside of the EU and U.S., before being promoted to Head of International Originals in October 2018.

Local content has been a key driver for Prime Video’s success, and Farrell works with content creators around the world to deliver a high-quality customer experience to Prime Video members everywhere. He manages teams in Los Angeles, Miami, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Mexico, Brazil, Japan and India.

Prior to joining Amazon Prime Video, Farrell spent 10 years at Sony Pictures Television with executive roles in Los Angeles, Toronto and Tokyo during that time.

Farrell received his MBA from Columbia Business School and a bachelor’s degree in international economics and politics from Middlebury College. He, his wife, and their two children live together in Los Angeles.

Dan McDermott
President of Original Programming, AMC Networks Entertainment Group and Co-President, AMC Studios
AMC Networks

As President of Original Programming and Co-President of AMC Studios, Dan McDermott is responsible for content creation across the AMC Networks Entertainment Group – including AMC, BBC America, IFC, and SundanceTV – as well as AMC Studios. He is based in Los Angeles.

McDermott is a multifaceted media executive with an industry-wide reputation for achievements in content creation, development and distribution, combined with skilled management of complex creative partnerships and network organizations. His proven business and creative acumen at top media firms such as Lionsgate, BBC Studios, DreamWorks and Fox, along with his deep roots in the creative community, make him both a valued media executive as well as a prolific and respected creator of content.

Before joining AMC Networks, McDermott was head of the Lionsgate and BBC Studios scripted TV partnership, where he oversaw all aspects of dealmaking, sales, development, production and distribution. Previously, McDermott was a successful producer, writer and partner in Di Bonaventura Pictures Television, with notable credits including The Real O’Neals, Jupiter’s Legacy, and more. For almost a decade, he served as DreamWorks’ first president of television, where he oversaw shows like Spin City, Freaks and Geeks, the award-winning miniseries Band of Brothers, and more. He also held various roles at the Fox Broadcasting Network, where he developed and oversaw such series as In Living Color, Melrose Place, The X-Files, The Simpsons, Married…with Children, Martin, Party of Five, Mad TV, and Beverly Hills, 90210. He was also responsible for overseeing The Emmys, The Billboard Awards and dozens of other specials on the network.

McDermott received his B.A. in film and television from the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television and continued his education as a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute.

Laura Michalchyshyn
Chief Creative Officer, Blue Ant Media, Co-President Content, Blue Ant Studios
Blue Ant Media

Laura Michalchyshyn is Chief Creative Officer, Blue Ant Media & Co-President, Content Production, Blue Ant Studios. In this role, she oversees creative content across multiple Blue Ant Media businesses while co-managing and growing Blue Ant Studios with a focus on the production slate in the U.S. She has run channels and programming teams in the U.S. and Canada for Sundance Ch, Discovery, and Alliance Atlantis Media.

She was Executive Producer (and Co-Founder) of Robert Redford’s Sundance Productions. She has produced content for all entertainment and media platforms in the U.S. and worldwide and has partnered with talent, production companies, studios and networks including Radical Media, Alex Gibney’s Jigsaw Media, Dawn Porter, Marina Zenovich, Joe Berlinger, Isabella Rossellini, Mike Clattenburg, Stephen David Entertainment, Brick City TV, and All Rise Productions. Recent productions include Momentum Generation for HBO and Universal, Bobby Kennedy for President for Netflix, four seasons of Death Row Stories for CNN, American West for AMC and Ocean Warriors for Animal Planet, and John Lewis: Good Trouble for CNN, Magnolia and Participant.

Laura has produced fiction and non-fiction for many networks and platforms including Netflix, Hulu, CNN, HBO, Showtime, AMC, Discovery, BBC, Ovation TV, CBC, EPIX, and Sundance Channel.

Jane Millichip
Chief Content Officer, Europe
Sky Studios

Jane is Chief Content Officer of Sky Studios where she is responsible for UK editorial activities in original drama, comedy and documentary. Jane also oversees Sky Studios’ commercial activities, including international deficit funding and production partnerships.

Previously, Jane was Managing Director of Sky Vision, Sky’s former production and distribution arm, which was merged into NBCU last October. At Sky Vision, Jane and the team grew the business from £8m revenues to £250m in six years, spearheading Sky’s investment into independent production companies and content distribution.

Jane started her career as a journalist, and since moving into TV, has been a commissioning editor, producer and distributor.

Jane is a Trustee of the Royal Television Society and a board member of the Edinburgh TV Festival and several UK and US production companies. She is also a Trustee of the environmental educational charity, SEEd.

Jane has seven sheep, Seamus the dog, two ‘almost adult’ sons, and a long-suffering husband - but not necessarily in that order of preference!

Miranda Wayland
Head of Creative Diversity
BBC

Miranda Wayland is the Head of Creative Diversity at the BBC. In this role she is responsible for overseeing the overall on-air, onscreen diversity and inclusion strategies across output; supporting the commissioning teams and independent suppliers to drive change, increase representation and ensure the BBC delivers against its strategic goals and public purpose.

She provides specialised knowledge and expertise on diversity related matters, plans, develops and implements effective interventions related to on-air talent portrayal, commissioning guidelines, diverse audience panels, monitoring and reporting that will further strengthen a culture of diversity and inclusion.

Previously, Miranda held the role of Interim Head of Diversity and Inclusion, and Diversity Lead for Radio and Education as well as BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial production arm that creates world-class programmes including Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and EastEnders.

Miranda She has built strong relationships across the industry, through her involvement with the Creative Diversity Network (CDN), working closely with the BBC, C4, Sky and independent programme makers to implement change across the sector. Her contribution as a CDN Board and Committee member has enabled the organisation to deliver the world’s first pan industry Diversity monitoring system: Diamond.
Before joining the BBC, Miranda worked at ITV plc for nine years, most recently as a Social Partnership Executive for ITV Studios and ITV Broadcast and previously as a Diversity and Inclusion Manager, playing an integral part in defining ITV’s diversity strategy, increasing on and off-screen representation and implementing highly effective initiatives that enabled the business to remain competitive, inclusive and accessible to all.

Miranda received a 'Special Recognition Award’ at the Asian Media Awards recently for her contribution and dedication to diversity and inclusion within the media industry. She sits on the advisory board for ScreenSkills, and provides consultancy advice for a number of charitable organisations. Her knowledge is recognised outside of the media industry and she is frequently asked to be a guest speaker at events.

Jury

Aletta Maria Alberts
Executive Head of Content Strategy and Third-Party Channels for Africa
Multichoice South Africa

Aletta Alberts is a media content strategist and innovator. Currently, Executive Head of Content Strategy and Third-Party channels for Africa’s giant pay-television business MultiChoice, she has over 30 years’ experience in the competitive African television market. She combines her proficiency in the business of television, Production, Content, Marketing and Technology with a strong drive for innovation and management. This enables her to create both quality output and commercial value for the business. As demonstrated during her time at MultiChoice she has created six best-selling products and its subscriber base double.

She has a gift for scouting television talent and has groomed many successful television executives during her 27-year career.

She is respected as a visionary leader which she combines with a strong intuition and a drive to challenge existing paradigms. To this end, she can anticipate the future of media and television because she understands its past. She relentlessly researches the industry, its technologies, content trends, global corporate movements and influencers.

Navigating rapid media and television shifts, she is able to turn threats into opportunities and effortlessly translates new technologies into commercial ideas. Her ability to position the business ahead of the technology curve is an invaluable attribute for any media business today.

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
Production Executive, Original Programming, Factual and Reality
Bell Media

Tina Apostolopoulos is a Production Executive, 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 documentaries for Bell Media’s family of channels and platforms including CTV, Crave and CTV Life. Currently, Tina oversees CTV’s hit series MasterChef Canada, Mary's Kitchen Crush and upcoming Mike Holmes series for CTV.

She is also an executive on a variety of award-winning and critically-acclaimed feature documentary programming for Crave including The New Corporation, Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band, Anthropecene: The Human Epoch, Sharkwater Extinction, Carmine Street Guitars as well as Crave's upcoming doc series We're All Gonna Die! (working title).

Prior to joining Bell Media, Tina was an independent director/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).

Umay Ayaz
HEAD OF ACQUISITIONS
Global Telif Haklari Yapimcilik TIC. A.S (Global Agency)

Umay Ayaz has been in charge of acquiring TV content worldwide for 11 years in the international TV market across multiple international territories. As Head of Acquisitions in a leading international distribution company (Global Agency), she personally has been evaluating 500+ global format ideas annually. In her current position, she has been exceeding all short/long term goals to add various contents from CEE, Asia, CIS, Europe, USA, MENA and Russia to the company line up.

Her presence at key gatherings and more than 10 major content markets/events each year has helped her build the knowledge and understanding of all major dynamics internationally. She is very familiar with global market trends and industry shifts through cooperation with different production companies and independent creators from various territories for years.

Kenny Bae
Senior Producer, Marketing Manager
KBS Korean Broadcasting System

Kenny Kihyung Bae has extensive experiences of television production since he joined KBS in 1991. He has produced a lot of documentaries, cultural programs as well as entertainments. He has been involved most of significant international co-productions initiated by KBS. He worked as a Head and Executive Director at KBS international Relations. He launched ABU Song Festival and CARE documentary co-production initiatives when he worked as an Expert Project Manager at the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union. Currently, he is in charge of KBS World channel marketing and content business with overseas partners at KBS.

He received the Presidential Award and the Best Program Award from the Korean Government. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of co-production and global Producing of Korean Wave content. He served as jury for International Emmy, Banff, Hotdocs, Sunnyside of the Doc, DMZ Doc, Busan, Jeonju and many more film festivals. His publications include “CONTENT will set you Free,” “MCN,” “Understanding OTT Service,” “Documentary Pitching,” “International Co-production,” “Television beyond Borders, Programs in Competition” and “Television Content Market & Global Producing.”

Zia Bales
Senior Manager, Acquisitions & Coproductions, Kids EMEA
Warner Media

Zia Bales is Senior Acquisitions Manager, Kids, EMEA for WarnerMedia International, working across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Cartoonito, Toonami, Toonix and the kids’ section of HBO.

In this role, Zia oversees and negotiates shared acquisitions for the EMEA kids’ business, working closely with the local heads of programming and acquisitions of each of the channels and the content heads within EMEA. In addition, Zia works closely with production and coproduction partners to provide creative consultation throughout the development and production of select series, including Taffy, an original series for Boomerang with Cyber Group and Mush Mush and the Mushables.

Zia joined Turner in 2013. Prior to this, she held an Acquisitions role at Disney. Zia has a background in Television Production having held various positions in Production Management.

Mike Beale
MD, Global Creative Network
ITV

Nathalie Biancolli
EVP International Fiction - Coproductions and Acquisitions
France TV Distribution

Nathalie Biancolli is Graduate in Foreign Languages Applied to business and has now aggreagated more than 30 years of experience in the media – sales and programs acquisitions. She began her career at CLT (RTL Groupe-Pandora), part of France and part of Luxembourg. She was in charge of sales and has notably developed the SND’s structure (Société Nouvelle de Distribution) – productions, acquisitions of feature films. She joined the TF1 Group in 2000 and more specifically AB Groupe, as Acquisitions Director to develop the catalog and supply the different channels. She participated in the development of channels and the launch of TNT (NT1 and TMC). She joined TF1 in 2010 and took the lead in the Group’s acquisitions (acquisitions of linear and non-linear rights). In 2017 she joined the France Télévisions Group as EVP International fiction (acquisitions and co-productions).In 2018, she launches the Alliance (ZDF / RAI) for international co-productions.

Shannon Bishop
Manager, Creative Affairs
Entertainment One Ltd.

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 acquisition 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 will 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.

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, Acquisitions and Co-productions
Yellow, Black and White Group

Daria Bondarenko is currently EVP of Sales, Acquisitions and Co-productions, at Yellow, Black and White (YBW), one of Russia’s leading media and entertainment groups.

Bondarenko started her career in media at respected independent Russian production studio Sreda Production (Trigger, Trotsky) before moving to CTC Media, where she was deputy head of acquisitions working with major studios to secure content for up to five free-to-air national channels in Russia.

At Yellow, Black & White, Bondarenko handles all international outreach and relations, promoting YBW as a group, along with its streaming service Start, as well as identifying co-production and distribution partners and overseeing global acquisitions. Under her leadership, YBW has secured its first distribution deals with global giants Netflix Originals and Amazon Originals and Exclusives, taking Start’s dramas to international audiences for the first time.

Bondarenko has a degree in Economics and Media.

Kristen Boychuk
Director of Development
Great Pacific Media Inc.

Kristen has over a decade of experience creating and working on series for Discovery, Food
Network, HGTV and OUTtv, among others. The Ryerson journalism grad has spent the better
part of her career in development, chasing down compelling characters and stories – but she
still catches the production bug now and then. Most recently, she was the Field Producer
on Mud Mountain, a series she had a hand in developing for Discovery Canada.

Bettina Brinkmann
Co-Founder, 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.

Tim Bryans
Managing Director
ALT Animation

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.

Sarah Burney
Director of Programming
REELZ Channel

Sarah Burney is Director of Programming at REELZ— a leading independent cable and satellite general entertainment network that is home to factual entertainment, television events, miniseries, movies and series with a focus on the real lives and real stories of real celebrities. Programming ranges from the critically acclaimed and award-winning The Kennedys and The Kennedys: After Camelot to Autopsy: The Last Hours Of…, Breaking The Band, Scandal Made Me Famous and Story of The Songs. At REELZ, Sarah schedules the programming for the channel as well as coordinates (from development to air) approximately 200 hours of original programming per year.  Sarah is a graduate of the University of Colorado School of Journalism and Mass Communication and began her career in production at KRQE News 13 followed by working in technical operations at REELZ before moving into the programming department.

Sarah is a native New Mexican who enjoys triathlons and snowboarding. 

Melissa Campbell
President
Contentum Consulting & Management

Experienced in production, marketing, and PR, Melissa started into the representation business at Plum Productions, helping to pioneer their branded and short-form entertainment division. She made the move to agency life in 2005, joining the Gersh Agency, and quickly gravitated to reality television. She brought her varied client list to the Kaplan Stahler Alternative department in 2009, and packages shows for broadcast, cable, and emerging networks. In 2015 she became the Head of Unscripted Television with a varied client list of U.S. and international production companies, showrunners, and producers.

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 25 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 Inc

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 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 on a variety of programs for Food Network Canada, HGTV Canada, Slice and Global, including Iron Chef Canada, Farmhouse Facelift, Big Brother Canada, The Canadian Country Music Awards, and Stronger Together/Entre Nous.

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 NA
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.

Wissam Chahine
Producer/Director, Head of Production
Orbit Productions, Orbit TV Network

Wissam Chahine has a proven track record with more than 25 years in Lebanese and Arab world media broadcast, including television and journalism.

An accomplished writer, director and producer, Chahine has created more than 17,000 hours of broadcast television. As a journalist, columnist and author, he has been a fixture in Arab media for over 20 years.

Chahine is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and an Emmy Awards juror since 2010. He is also a production consultant for IREX MENA Media ME/USA and Community Media Network/Jordan.

Candice Chambers
Senior Director, Distribution and Brands
9 Story Media Group

Candice Chambers is a seasoned television executive with over 15 years of experience in distribution, acquisitions, brand building, sales and production. As Senior Director of Distribution and Brand Development, Candice oversees 9 Story’s brand development strategy, and handles content acquisitions with third party producers. Prior to joining 9 Story in 2011, Candice held various positions at Warner Bros International Television Distribution across sales and business administration. Candice also held prior positions at Corus Entertainment within programming (W Network) and production (CMT).

Devin Cheema
Head of Business Affairs & Content Acquisition
CuriosityStream

Suzy Choueiri
Owner
Chatterbox Productions

Suzy is an experienced series producer who has been creating content for both US and Canadian broadcasters for over 13 years. As the showrunner for Holmes and Holmes 3/Holmes 911, Save My Reno, Canada’s Handyman Challenge and many more, Suzy has learned the ins and outs of renovation/design production.

While she has expertise in lifestyle and reality programming, Suzy has also worked on several children’s series for TVOkids (Cutie Pugs, Now You Know) and PBS Kids (Odd Squad). She has a diverse and eclectic production background that includes scripted, union-based shows as well as lifestyle programs casting real people. She is as comfortable on set with Mike Holmes shooting a scene about load-bearing walls, as she is working with union puppeteers and animation markers in a green screen studio.

In 2013, Suzy started her own production company, Chatterbox Productions, focusing on lifestyle and factual-based programming. Shortly after founding Chatterbox, Suzy produced her first documentary short film, Synapse Dance (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4yXyZjmWMI), through a bravoFACT grant. Synapse Dance saw great success as an award winner at the 2015 Austin Revolution Film Festival. The film was blogged about by the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and featured in a BBC News story in 2018.

In 2020 Chatterbox Productions began service production on Dr. Cheddar, a kid’s series about kindergarten preparedness for TVOKids, combining her passion for factual and children’s programming in one delightful show (https://www.tvokids.com/school-age/dr-cheddar).

Aubrey Clarke
Senior Programme Executive, CBBC
BBC Children's

Aubrey has worked for the BBC Children’s Animation and Acquisitions team for 7 years. As Senior Programme Executive, he is editorially across co-productions, pre-buys and ‘Off the Shelf' acquisitions for Cbeebies and CBBC.

He is the channel executive on The Next Step, Scream Street, My Perfect Landing, The Zoo & Tee & Mo plus brand manages shows such as Holly Hobbie, The Deep & Mustangs FC.

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.

Sumi Connock
Creative Director of Formats, International Production and Formats
BBC Studios Distribution Limited

Sumi has responsibility for an extensive formats catalogue of more than 200 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. She works closely with all our IP creators to identify potential global formats of the future and is also responsible for the annual DWTS, Bake Off and International Production Development Creative Exchanges.

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.

Stuart Coxe
President
Antica Productions

Stuart has been producing TV and film for more than 30 years. His best-known projects include launching Dragons' Den, Shark Tank and, more recently, Gord Downie's last 3 films including Secret Path and Secret Path in Concert. In 2015 he launched the Antica Podcast network, which was subsequently sold to eOne, and included hit shows like Sickboy and Our Fake History. Antica Productions has continued to produce podcasts for the past four years and highlights include best new Canadian podcast nominee (2018), Ask Mr. Wonderful and best Canadian tech podcast (2018) The AI Effect.

Antica is one of North America's largest independent podcast studios. Recent shows include: Lost Kids (NBC/UCP); Revisionaries with Michele Romanow (Audible); 7 Truths with Tanya Talaga (Audible); Hustled (Toronto Star) - picked by Apple as one of their favourite podcasts of 2020. In 2021 multiple new shows launching, including the much-anticipated Translators with the Black Eyed Peas.

Gregory Crompton
Producer
Artaban Productions

Greg Crompton has been making documentary films for over twenty years, shot in Canada, the US, Asia, Africa, and Europe. He is passionate about getting diverse and previously unknown stories on screen. He is the director/producer/writer of the award-winning feature documentary Eddy’s Kingdom. It screened at Hot Docs, DOXA, CIFF, and many other festivals. Other documentary projects include the multiple Leo nominated series BC Was Awesome, feature Guns to Mics, and many other festival and broadcast shorts.

Amanda Culkowski
Senior Director, Music Program Development
MTV Networks International

As Senior Director of Music Program Development at MTV International, Amanda Culkowski is responsible for developing original music and talent driven long form series and specials for MTV’s 170+ global channels. Prior to joining MTV, Amanda was a member of the WE tv development team in New York, where she oversaw the series development of Jim & Chrissy: Vow or Never, Hustle & Soul and Untold Stories of Hip Hop with Angie Martinez. Previously, Amanda was a part of the HGTV production team and has held positions at ThinkTV Public Television in Dayton, Ohio and WOUB in Athens, Ohio. She holds a Master of Arts degree from Ohio University. She is based in New York City and is originally from Toledo, Ohio.

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.

Elyse Delmore
VP, Unscripted Development
MGM Studios, Inc

Elyse Delmore is the Vice President of unscripted development at MGM Studios, the studio that produces CBS’s Survivor, ABC’s Shark Tank, and NBC’s The Voice plus many more. She develops and produces game shows, competition formats, variety shows and everything in between for broadcast, cable and streaming platforms. Elyse started her career on the buying side at VH1 working in creative development on hit shows including VH1’s longest running and highest rated docu-series: TI and Tiny: the Family Hustle. She then transitioned to 51 Minds Entertainment where she worked in the current department and created, staffed and produced on projects for MTV, BET, CMT, VH1, Oxygen, E!, Lifetime and The History Channel.

Connie Dercho
Executive Producer/Business Development

Connie is a creative executive invested in guiding outstanding work with the best business practises.   Her career began with a passion to see great ideas evolve from concept through to their final execution.  Producing award winning animation was her original calling including show opens for U.S. and Canadian Networks for both Winter and Summer Olympics as well as VFX for feature length and short films.  Post Production has been Connie's forte for the past two decades, as she brings together the best creative and technical talent, culling together top-notch production teams through to flawless delivery, working in documentary, film and commercial domains. Connie's passion for content has naturally led her to working with creators and orchestrating the right co-productions for scripted drama, factual and documentary projects, with global partners.   Her strong relationships with Broadcasters, streamers, creatives, production and post production enables the right team is in place for each project. 

Dolyn Dobro
Director, Production & Development
CNBC

Dolyn Dobro is Director of Development for CNBC Primetime Alternative Programming, based in New York City. In her role at CNBC Prime group, Dolyn oversees development of original content with a business and money focus. She is responsible for finding new formats and working with independent production companies to bring their ideas to fruition. She helped launch the CNBC Prime department as one of the first members of the team.

Since joining CNBC Prime in 2013, Dolyn has worked on programs including but not limited to: Deal or No Deal, The Profit, Billion Dollar Buyer, West Texas Investors Club, The Deed: New Orleans, The Deed: Chicago, and Jay Leno’s Garage. 

Before joining CNBC, Dolyn worked in independent film production and development in Los Angeles. She graduated from Emory University and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Dolyn lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Manpreet Dosanjh
Executive Producer, Drama
Sky TV

Manpreet is currently an Executive Producer at Sky, overseeing new dramas across both Sky One and Sky Atlantic. Before joining Sky, Manpreet was a Commissioning Editor at Channel 4 Drama for four years. During her time she oversaw a number of shows including Kirstie Swain’s comedy drama Pure, crime-thriller Baghdad Central by Stephen Butchard and Dominic Savage’s female-led anthology I Am and Ackley Bridge. Prior to C4, she worked at ITV Studios label, Silverprint Pictures, developing projects and serving as Script Executive on the highly acclaimed crime drama Vera. She also worked at the BBC, as a Producer in the Continuing Drama Dept.

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 seriesWynonna Earp, the CBC/NBCUniversal International Networks hit seriesCoroner, and the riveting espionage thrillerTehranairing 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 originalCrimeand the Acorn TV crime proceduralWhitstable 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 asPulp Fiction,Scream, andShakespeare 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 strives to create original formats and to work with third party formats to develop amazing content. 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 industry. 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.

Lisa Fahrenholt
VP, International Development, Scripted
Endemol Shine North America

Lisa Fahrenholt was named Vice President, International Development, Scripted, Endemol Shine North America, in March 2018.

Fahrenholt is charged with identifying, facilitating and packaging programming opportunities with a key focus on adapting Endemol Shine Group-owned global formats for the U.S. market.
Most recently, she helped develop Fox’s new drama series Almost Family, which is based on the hit Endemol Shine Australia program Sisters.

Fahrenholt has also been involved in the development of upcoming drama Utopia for Amazon Prime, a scripted thriller based on the British series of the same name. Gillian Flynn, the best-selling author and screenwriter of Golden Globe-nominated Gone Girl, is behind the nine-episode adaptation.

And she’s currently helping oversee the development and launch of Endemol Shine North America’s upcoming drama Ripley for Showtime. The series is being written and directed by Oscar-winner Steve Zaillian Schindler’s List ) and stars Andrew Scott (Fleabag ).

Fahrenholt, who formerly served as Director, North American Acquisitions for Endemol Shine International, continues to also oversee finished program acquisitions and co-financing opportunities for the company’s international sales division.

Prior to the Endemol Shine merger, Fahrenholt served as Manager, Acquisitions, for Endemol Worldwide Distribution and previously was on the Endemol Studios programming team in Los Angeles, working across such series as Red Widow, Low Winter Sun and Kingdom.

Luca Fiore
Director of Content
Azoomee

Luca Fiore is Director of Content at Azoomee / Da Vinci. He manages the acquisition, production and programming of video and games content for the global media company, which reaches an audience of 60 million families and kids in over 190 countries and in 19 languages, through its mobile apps, TV apps, and TV channels.

Luca has a background in childhood education and joined Azoomee / Da Vinci over five years ago with the aim of giving kids positive media experiences that help them develop.

Catherine Fogarty
President & Executive Producer
Big Coat Media

Catherine is the president of Big Coat Media, a Toronto based television production company. An accomplished producer, writer and director, Catherine has produced many award-winning reality and documentary series including the critically acclaimed, Gemini nominated series Love It or List It. Now in it’s ninth successful season on HGTV US, the series ranks as one of Canada’s most successful international formats. The series is also produced in England, Australia and French speaking Quebec.

Catherine is also Executive Producer of Love it or List it Vancouver and Love It or List It Vacation Homes.

In addition to the Love It or List It franchise, Catherine has produced several other lifestyle, reality series including Animal Magnetism (W Network), Jillian and Justin (W Network), Chef Worthy (W Network), and Paranormal Home Inspectors (Investigative Discovery Canada). Catherine also produced and directed I Don’t Have Time for This, an intimate documentary about young women with breast cancer (W Network).

Catherine Fogarty is also the founder of www.storyhunterpodcasts, a story-driven podcast network that aims to bring compelling true stories to listeners around the world. It has been recognized as one of the best new Canadian true crime Podcasts.

In addition to her television production company and podcast network Catherine has just finished writing her first non-fiction book called Murder on the Inside: The true story of the 1971 Kingston Penitentiary riot and its deadly aftermath. The book will be published in April, 2021. The debut novel has been recognized as a “must read” by Publishers Weekly.

Catherine holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction from Kings College, Dalhousie University, a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Sydney and a Master of Business Administration from the University of New England. She has attended Harvard University’s School of Business and has recently completed the Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Catherine was recently shortlisted for the Marina Nemet Award for creative writing at the University of Toronto, School of Continuing Studies.

Catherine is a member of The Canadian Media Producers Association, Toronto Women in Film, and the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Russell Ford
VP - Creative Development
Propagate Content

Russell Ford is the VP of Creative Development at Propagate Content in Los Angeles. After earning his BFA in Television 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 in partnership with Eurovision, a singing format with CJ ENM, and the cosmic competition Space Hero.

Beth Fraikorn
Head of Content Development and Partnerships
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.

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.

Marni Goldman
Production Executive, Lifestyle Content
Corus Entertainment Inc

Tereza Gonzalez
Senior Director Content Development
VIS, a Division of ViacomCBS

Tereza González is Senior Director Content Development of VIS Americas, responsible for
leading the fiction development area at a pan-regional level (Brazil, Latam and Canada).

Previously, she held the position of CEO of Porta dos Fundos, of the former Viacom group.
She leaded projects such as the series Borges, which was screened on Comedy Central
and Netflix; and Homens Season 1 and 2 (created by Fabio Porchat), which was seen on
Comedy Central and Amazon Prime. Still at Porta dos Fundos, Tereza was also a producer
of projects such as the “Porta dos Fundos Especial de Natal: Se Beber, Não Ceie which is
also on Netflix, and winner of the 2019 International Emmy® Award in the Best Comedy
category; She was also in charge of launching Backdoor on April 19, the Porta Dos Fundos
channel in Spanish, based in Mexico, which today has more than 3.77 million subscribers.

She worked in the audiovisual industry for more than 30 years. Throughout her career, she
was responsible for the production of 29 feature films and more than 200 advertising films.
As a producer, she premiered feature films and series such as O Grande González (FOX);
the 1st and 2nd season of the series O Negócios (HBO); the journalistic satire Greg News
(HBO); and the documentary series Portable (Comedy Central) that competed for the
International Emmy® Award in 2017 in the category of “best artistic program”.

Helene Goujet
VP Acquisitions & Editorial
HBO Europe

Helene Goujet has been working for HBO Europe since 2016. She is in charge of the editorial choice of content on the acquisition and pre-buy side. HBO Europe is in several different territories in Europe (Nordic, Iberia, CEE) and their aim is to find the best content possible for their subscribers, always trying to have the next series that people will talk about no matter where it comes from.

Before joining HBO, Helene was at French public broadcaster France Television for 13 years in the acquisition department for both movies and series.

Magda Grace
Head of Prime Video Canada
Amazon Canada

As Head of Prime Video Canada, Magda Grace is responsible for the company’s development and expansion efforts into Canada. She previously held positions at Starz and ICM Partners. Magda has a Master of Laws from UCLA School of Law and a Juris Doctor degree from McGill Law.   

Melanie Green
Producer/Host
Pacific Content (Rogers Media)

Melanie Green has always wanted to tell stories. She’s a fervent chase producer and the host of Remote Works by Citrix. After being a current affairs associate producer on CBC’s The Early Edition and On the Coast, Melanie moved to Star Vancouver, a digital expansion of Torstar’s Toronto Star, where she reported on culture, public policy and politics. In her previous professional life, Melanie managed a restaurant and live music space. If she’s not working, you can find her growing, harvesting, or cooking food.

Spencer Griffin
Head Of TV Development
Just For Laughs

Spencer Griffin is currently the Head of TV Development for Just For Laughs and has recently sold and developed projects for HBO, Amazon, CW, Hulu, Starz, CBC, E!, Sony Pictures Animation, NBC Universal, and more. Previously he has been an Executive Producer for shows on TruTV, IFC, PopTV, MTV, CBC, YouTube Premium, Facebook Watch, and more. And has sold and developed projects for Comedy Central, IFC, Freeform, TruTV, MTV, Audible, Eko, and more. Spencer has held Development and Executive positions at Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, Big Breakfast, and CollegeHumor. He was recognized with a Webby and Telly Award for his co-direction and production of a rap video starring a rapping First Lady Michelle Obama.

Manny Groneveldt
Director of Entertainment Production, Diversity & Inclusion Content at Bell Media Studios
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.

Cathy Hare
Director, Acquisitions, North America, International Distribution
Entertainment One Television International

Cathy has over 13 years of experience in the film and television industry and has been with eOne since 2010. As Director of Acquisitions for eOne’s TV International Distribution department, she currently oversees all third party scripted and non scripted acquisitions out of North America. She holds an Honours BA in Film, Theatre, and History from The University of Toronto.

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 – 2015-2018),” “Accused: Guilty or Innocent?,” “America’s Top Dog (A&E’s first competition series),” and A&E’s upcoming home block. He has also overseen some of A&E’s past hits including “Duck Dynasty,” “Behind Bars: Rookie Year,” “Gangland Undercover,” “Panic 9-1-1,” “The Employables,” “Undercover High,” and “The Impossible: Live” 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.

Tiina Holsti
Senior Acquisitions Executive
Sanoma Media Finland Ltd/Nelonen Media

Tiina Holsti is Senior Acquisitions Executive for Finnish commercial broadcaster Nelonen Media.


Nelonen Media is part of Sanoma Media Finland, which is the leading media house in Finland.


In this role, Tiina is responsible for searching and reviewing new international scripted and non-scripted content within all genres as well as feature films and kids’ content for Nelonen Media’s four FTA channels and AVOD and SVOD platform, working closely with linear and non-linear scheduling teams. She negotiates the deals with TV, VOD and format distributors worldwide. In her role she establishes new business partnerships and maintains the current ones.


She’s been also responsible for planning and scheduling FTV kids’ morning block. During this period, the kids’ morning block became the commercial FTV market leader in kids’ target group.


Tiina joined the Acquisitions team with Nelonen Media in 2007 and four years later was promoted as Acquisitions Executive followed by Senior Acquisitions Executive position in 2016. Prior to that, she’s worked in different roles at Sanoma Group since 2001.



Kelly Hornsby
Head of Acquisitions
A+E Networks

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 Manager of Development, CNN Original Series
CNN

Katie Isaacson is Senior Manager 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.

Maria Ishak
SVP, Sales North America
All3media International

Maria Ishak is Senior Vice President North America Sales at all3media International and manages the licensing of rights of over 11,000 hours of programming including Midsomer Murders, Undercover Boss and the award-winning Fleabag. Moreover, Ishak is charged with growing the North American business by managing factual co-production between the UK and US, working closely with producers to identify, pitch and sell their projects at development stage.

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 4 feline children.

Philip Jackson
Co-Founder, CEO
Starfield Independent Studios Inc

Driving the creative and commercial fusion of new content, helping Starfield Indie’s digital team develop new platform implementation of content outreach and effective transmedia, particularly in relation to its TV and film productions.

Phil Jackson is an owner-Manager of Starfield Indie, a Toronto -London with a diversity of producing, finance and legal talent heading the management team. His company’s motto is “Imagination Works”. Philip and his Starfield Indie team are in an ongoing mission to keep that vision at the tip of both creative and commercial realms. This means investing in risk, as outstanding entertainment product has rarely, if ever, come from invention-adverse management.

Philip embraces producing work with an imaginative and challenging edge. So far – audiences embrace Starfield Indie in return.

Properties headlining 2019-20 include the just completed sci-fi series Starhunter: REDUX (44 eps) and heading into Season 3 Starhunter: Transformation (22 eps), the features Captain Reggie, The Odds, Prison Moon IO and the first season of the sci-fi drama FATman at Lightspeed.


Angela Jain
Managing Director
ITV Studios Entertainment

Angela Jain is Managing Director, of the multi-award-winning label, ITV Studios Entertainment, the UK's largest entertainment producer. ITV Studios Entertainment created the world's fastest-growing entertainment format, Love Island and are the producers of the successful show in the UK. The company is also responsible for creating I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here, which is successfully produced in 10 other territories and producers of The Voice, in the UK. For the UK they produce amongst many shows Dancing On Ice, University Challenge and Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway. Hot Drop is the label's first commission for Quibi, the major SVOD platform launching in the States in a few months.

Prior to this role, Angela worked in broadcast commissioning. Whilst Controller of ITV2 (and the family of digital channels) she acquired Family Guy and commissioned the award-winning shows: Plebs, The Big Reunion and the phenomenon which is Love Island. Under her leadership ITV2 won numerous awards including Broadcast Digital Channel of the Year.

During her tenure at Channel 4 she oversaw seven series of Big Brother, commissioned Space Cadets, Misfits and The Inbetweeners. Whilst in charge of E4 the channel received both the Broadcast and EITF Channel of the Year, achieving its biggest ratings ever. She also had a commissioning stint at Channel 5. Angela's career started in television production as a music researcher. She went on to direct and produce shows for all the major channels.

Angela currently sits on the boards of London First and The Edinburgh International TV Festival. She was previously on the boards of Film London and Creative Access. Last year she featured in the Hospital Club 100, a list celebrating the UK’s most innovative and influential talent working across the creative industries. When not working she is cooking and seeing the world.

Andrew Johnson
Executive In Charge of Production
Corus Entertainment Inc

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.

Gary Jones
Writer, Actor, Host

Gary's a Leo Award-nominated writer & actor and Jessie Award-winning playwright. His thirty-seven year-long career spans more than thirty-six years! During that time he’s appeared in countless features, MOW’s and TV episodics. His comedic work began with Toronto’s fabled Second City Improv Theatre and the rest, as they say, is super-boring but he has to write a bio so, whatever. Gary appeared for 10 years and over 100 episodes on the sci-fi smash Stargate SG:1. He's acted alongside screen icons Mickey Rooney, Nick Nolte and Andre the Seal (one of whom ate a bucket of fish a day). He’s performed improv in the home of Bill and Melinda Gates. (Shaking hands with Bill was like waving a silk hankie while Melinda’s grip fused two of the knuckles on Gary’s right hand). He’s currently writing on his 15th season of CBC Radio’s The Debaters and has one Oscar to his name: his 20 year-old son, Oscar Jones.

Gwen Jones McCauley
Director, Global Distribution
CBC Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

With over 20 years experience in distribution, Gwen Jones McCauley has had a hand in launching and expanding several successful content sales operations, including the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s recently re-launched international content sales department, CBC & Radio-Canada Distribution. She continues to serve as the Director of Content Sales and Consumer Products, overseeing the department’s acquisitions and sales initiatives, while managing a sales remit of her own which includes North and South America, Oceania and much of Europe, while leading CBC's Archive Sales and the Merchandising & Licensing teams.

Prior to CBC, Gwen held a senior level position at Blue Ant Media where she was instrumental in the build of the company’s global distribution business, and the expansion of their premium content library through acquisition of content as well as through sales across several global territories.

Gwen has also served as VP Sales and Coproductions at BBC Worldwide Canada. While with the BBC, she was responsible for the year-on-year growth of the program sales division including spearheading some of their largest Canadian presale and format deals. Over her 13 years with the company, she also held primary responsibility for BBCWW’s Canadian news and current affairs business, children’s business as well as playing a key role in the launch of BBCWW’s Canadian digital business and domestic channels.

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. 


Jana Kaun
VP Local Fiction
Sevenone International GMBH

Since 2009 Jana Kaun works for the Seven.One Entertainment Group. Her career began as Commissioning Executive in the department for International Co-Production & Documentaries. Past projects include Pillars of the Earth, World Without End, Labyrinth, Primeval, Crossing Lines.

In 2018, Jana started working as Executive Producer for the German Fiction department. Since February 2020 she’s Vice President Local Fiction by proxy. Jana is currently working on several projects and co-productions - adaptations as well as originals. She is very excited to co-produce the bestselling book Blackout by Marc Elsberg together with the recently launched platform joyn plus.

The Seven.One Entertainment Group is a leading player in the German entertainment market. We want to offer great entertainment – whenever, wherever and on any device. Every day, 45 million TV households in Germany, Austria and Switzerland enjoy our 15 free and pay TV channels.

Joana Klaus
Content Specialist
Globosat Programadora Ltda

Based in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Joana Klaus is Kids Content Specialist at Grupo Globo. In the broadcasting business for more than 10 years, she is the curator of animation and live-action streaming content for 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 last 20 years Polsat now called Cyfrowy Polsat, privately own company has become one of the biggest media holding in the region. Anna’s responsibility in 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 kind 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.

Brandon Lane
Producer, Nelvana Studio
Nelvana Ltd

Su Lei
Director
SMG DOCUCHINA

Su Lei has been the Director of Shanghai Media Group (SMG)’s Documentary Channel since 2002. She has a deep understanding of documentary films both, foreign and domestic. Recently, she was the chief director for Fruit Stories, where she implemented new shooting methods with artistic breakthroughs.

Since 2002, Su Lei has been responsible for more than 50 documentary program productions. She has received several awards in China for her programs and a Rockie Award in 2015 for Endless Love.

Liz Levenson
President
Cactus Tree Entertainment

Liz Levenson is an international television executive who works with global networks, platforms, and producers to develop and distribute top-quality content around the world. With extensive experience in creative development and global business, Liz works closely with content generators and expanding digital and linear platforms to create content and opportunities that engage, inspire, and drive viewership. Liz has shared her experience on panels and at conferences around the globe, including MIPTV, MIPCOM, Realscreen, NATPE, the Banff Television Festival, ATF, Discop Africa, and more.

After recognizing the rapid shift in the television industry and evolving landscape of the international distribution business, she co-founded Cactus Tree Entertainment, an international consulting company aimed at working alongside producers and broadcasters to find alternative means of developing, financing, and distributing content with a global appeal.

In 2020, Cactus Tree Entertainment executive produced Covid-19 documentaries The Ripple Effect and The Race for the Cure in partnership with ZDF Networks (Germany), M-Net Networks (Africa), and Re:Source Media Inc; My Name is Reeva with MGM Studios and Bloodrose Productions; and is currently in development on several other series and documentaries.

Liz holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

David Levine
Chief Content Officer
MOONBUG Entertainment Ltd

David Levine serves as the Chief Content Officer for Moonbug Entertainment. David leads Moonbug’s creative and production teams to produce world-class content for pre-schoolers and kids across the globe. David leads Moonbug’s IP expansion by taking properties like CoComelon and Blippi to new formats, markets and platforms to support the company’s continued growth. Leading teams in LA and London, David works with producers, creators and artists to build resonant properties which incorporate diverse representation on-screen and off-screen. David most recently served over 16 years at Disney Channels across a variety of programming and content strategy roles, as well as serving as a recognized leader in diversity and inclusion initiatives. His most recent role was as Vice President, Kids Programming, Disney Channels Europe and Africa/UK & Ireland, responsible for all strategic and operational aspects of Kids Programming across Disney Channels Europe and Africa, including the development of the linear and multi-platform/OTT programming strategy. He was responsible for determining the direction of original production and overseeing the development and production slates of originally produced content, acquisitions and co-productions. As an integral member of the senior management team that built the Disney Channel brand, Levine is credited with leading programmers around the world with a philosophy, approach and processes that helped foster an environment of shared success. While based in Disney's Burbank headquarters for nine years, he aligned strategic programming priorities with production partners, including Marvel and Lucasfilm, and managed the launch of Disney-branded channels in multiple markets including the U.S., Canada, Israel, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe. He also led the programming strategies for Disney's first-ever iTunes collection and designed and launched Disney Channel's first-ever broadband video player, which was nominated for an Emmy Award. David has spearheaded LGBTQ+ inclusive representation in Disney’s programming, with LGBTQ+ characters and themes in commissions such as The Lodge and Best Bugs Forever. He is the founding Executive Sponsor of Pride UK&I, Disney’s first international business resource group for LGBTQ+ and Ally employees, and led that group to organize its first events in London, Dublin and Munich, as well as "Magical Pride," the first LGBT+ event at Disneyland Paris. He was awarded the 2020 British LGBT Award for ‘Inspirational Leader,’ has been named among the UK's OUTstanding/Financial Times Top 100 LGBT+ Executives, and was previously nominated by the British LGBT Awards as a ‘Diversity Hero.’ Prior to Disney, David served in various roles establishing billion dollar brands such as Teletubbies for Ragdoll and itsy bitsy Entertainment, and worked in legal and licensing roles at Marvel Entertainment Group.

Liz Lewin
Commissioning Editor, Drama
Sky Vision

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

Betsy Lippitt
Manager, Content Acquisitions and Partnerships Manager
Tubi

Betsy Lippitt is a worldwide acquisitions executive for Tubi, the largest and fastest growing free streaming service. In her role, Betsy manages relationships with a wide-range of content holders including all of the major Hollywood studios and major broadcast networks. Prior to joining Tubi, Betsy managed digital, home entertainment, and worldwide non-theatrical sales for Miramax, most notably the digital release of Oscar winning director Kevin Macdonald's 2018 documentary, Whitney.

Andrew Lutin
Director, Original Programming & Development, MTV Entertainment Studios
ViacomCBS

Christine Maestracci
Vice President Acquisitions & International Distribution
Quebecor Content

Christine Maestracci is Vice President Acquisitions & International Distribution at Quebecor Content. In this role, she is responsible for the content and format acquisition strategy for the platforms and business models of the group, while developing and maintaining partnerships with studios and distributors. She leads a team that scouts and acquires content across all major genres (films, series, documentaries, formats, entertainment shows, and youth content), to provide fresh, original, and exclusive content for Quebecor's platforms.

With more than 20 years of experience in entertainment and digital media, Christine is a strong advocate for Quebec talent as she oversees the international distribution of the original content and formats developed and created by Quebecor Content in collaboration with local and international partners.

Recognized by her peers, Christine is also acting president of the board of Femmes du Cinéma, de la Télévision et des Médias Numériques, Quebec’s Women in Film & Television chapter (WFTI), which ensures better visibility of women in the entertainment industry.

Suvi Mansnerus
Executive Producer/Yle Drama
YLE Finnish Broadcasting Company

Suvi Mansnerus has had a versatile career in the TV branch, in many companies, tasks, and genres. Currently, with Yle Drama, Suvi develops and produces international drama series, and works as an Executive Producer. She works both in-house and in cooperation with production companies.

The latest drama series has been, for instance, Hooked (8x50 minutes, produced for Yle by Moskito Television), The New Moominvalley seasons 1&2&3 (13x22 minutes animation, produced by Gutsy Animations), Finnish-Spanish crime series The Paradise (8x50 minutes, co-production with the Mediapro Studios and MRP) and political drama thriller Peacemaker (10x45 mins, produced for Yle by MRP).

Sandy Marshall
Partner
Norman Howard

Sandy Marshall is an Emmy-nominated writer/producer, entrepreneur, and business speaker. He is a Partner at Norman Howard, creator of the Workish series via Rogers Media, and is a former director for the legendary Second City. Acting credits include The Dilemma, Still Hungry (Comedy Central), and Odd Squad. A longtime space enthusiast, Sandy is a Solar System Ambassador for NASA's JPL, a 6x NASA Social alum, and co-creator of REACH: A Space Podcast for Kids. He holds a B.A. in History from Drake University, where he later served on the Board of Trustees.

Jennifer Mason
Marketing and Communications Executive

Jennifer is an accomplished marketing and communications executive with over 15 years’ experience in the broadcast entertainment industry working at CBC, Alliance Atlantis, Canwest, Shaw, Blue Ant and TableRock Media. She has extensive experience developing and executing channel and program launches through strategic marketing and PR campaigns that build awareness and deliver on audience and revenue targets.

Throughout her career, Jennifer has overseen marketing and communications for some of Canada’s most popular media brands including CBC, History Television National Geographic, Showcase, HGTV, Cottage Life and the launch the Smithsonian Channel in Canada. Jennifer is currently VP Strategy at Lamb Creative Group, where she manages a diverse group of clients from media and packaged goods industries to sports APPs and athletic apparel.

Jennifer McCann
VP, Kids and Family
Shaftesbury

Award-winning veteran producer with over two decades of experience in multiplatform content production, international co-production, and development. Jennifer has worked in Europe and North America, overseeing projects in both documentary and entertainment programming. Beginning her career in Paris at Marathon Media, part of Zodiak Kids and one of France’s largest animation producers, Jennifer held several positions, including Director of Post-Production and Creative Producer. During her tenure, she played a key role developing the company’s overseas co-pro operations, helping to establish and manage two satellite studios in Montreal and Los Angeles. More recently Jennifer was Director of Development at 9 Story Media Group and Senior Producer at Toronto based Pubcaster TFO.

Neil McDonald
VP, Production, Programming & Development
AMC Networks

Ashley McFarlin Buie
VP, 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 Beyond the Pole.

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, Drama & 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.

Tara Nadolny
Senior Manager of Development
VICE

Tara joined VICE in 2015, and after working in roles across production and post for the network, has been working in TV development for the past three years. During her time at VICE she's worked on series like Gaycation, Bong Appetit, Q Anon: The Search for Q, While the Rest of Us Die, and Dark Side of the Ring as well as developed IP for projects both on and off platform. Prior to her time at VICE Tara worked on feature and short documentaries including award-winning independent feature The Abominable CrimeBeyond Borders for public television, and The Climate Reality Project's 24 Hours of Climate Reality executive produced by Al Gore. 

Malin Nevander
Head of Development
SVT Swedish Television

Malin Nevander has worked as Head of Development at SVT Drama (The Girl with the Dragoon 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.

Victoria Noble
VP, Head of Original Content, Factual, Discovery UK & Ireland
DNI Discovery Networks International

Victoria Noble joined Discovery 14 years ago and is currently Vice President, Original Content, Factual for Discovery.

Based in London, Noble commissions content for Quest, Discovery Channel and discovery+ which launched in November. She develops and executive produces some of Discovery’s most successful factual and specialist factual programming for its male-skewing channel brands, including Discovery Channel which reaches viewers in more than 220 countries and territories around the globe. Victoria has been instrumental in broadening the reach of Discovery’s brands with the introduction of female faces in traditionally male environments in shows like Goblin Works Garage, a show that goes beyond a focus on cars. She’s also been influential in building a number of successful long-running returning series including Wheeler Dealers, Aussie Gold Hunters, and Salvage Hunters which is currently in its 15th series.

Noble’s recent credits include What Killed Maradona?, Richard Hammond’s BIG, Ed Stafford: Man Woman Child Wild, Idris Elba: Fighter, Ed Stafford: First Man Out, Salvage Hunters: Design Classics, Billy Buys Brooklyn, Born Mucky: Life on The Farm, Shed & Buried, Wheeler Dealers, Salvage Hunters, spin-off series Salvage Hunters: The Restorers and Salvage Hunters Classic Cars, Aussie Gold Hunters, Outback Opal Hunters, Combat Dealers, Slider: Ice Warrior Challenge, Body Bizarre, Goblin Works Garage, Wheeler Dealers spin-off Wheeler Dealers Dream Car, and Wheeler Dealers Trading Up.

Arif Noorani
Executive Producer, CBC Podcasts
CBC

Arif Noorani is the Executive Producer and co-founder of CBC Podcasts, the #1 podcast publisher in Canada with significant audiences around the world. He has developed over thirty premium quality podcast series including Uncover (Escaping NXIVM, The Village), Someone Knows Something, Hunting Warhead, Party Lines, Front Burner, Tai Asks Why, Love Me, Alone, Other People’s Problems and Personal Best. He has spent over two decades developing contemporary and vital programs for the CBC and spearheaded innovative approaches to content across platforms in radio, podcasting, video and international distribution.

Tina Ouellette
CEO
Global Mechanic Media Inc

Sophie Parizeau
General Manager, Fiction & Digital Content
Bell Media

Dan Pasqua
Production Executive, Original Programming
Corus Entertainment Inc

Troels Branth Pedersen
Acquisitions Executive
TV2 Denmark

Having worked as a writer for Jeopardy and Trivial Pursuit, Troels Branth Pedersen joined the Acquisitions team with Danish state broadcaster TV 2 in 2007. Three years later he took on the role as Acquisitions Executive within the genres of documentary, factual entertainment and lifestyle procuring programming for Denmark’s leading broadcaster. In addition to the buying role Pedersen has worked with developing and defining individual channel brands of the secondary channels in TV 2 Denmark’s portfolio, not least partaking in building and developing lifestyle channel TV 2 FRI.

Pedersen holds a Master’s degree in Art History and Rhetoric.

Dea Perez
Head of Programming and Acquisitions
Akili Kids Channel

Dea has extensive experience in acquisitions, programming, operations and media planning with over 20+ years in both linear television and OTT services, as well as re-branding, channel and block launch expertise. She has launched 12+ networks, blocks and re-brands.
Dea's current and past experiences include executive positions with Topic OTT, Akili Kids Channel Kenya, Universal Kids (formerly Sprout), QUBO and ION Life, Discovery Kids/Ready, Set, Learn on TLC, Cartoon Network/Boomerang/Adult Swim, Nickelodeon/Nick at Nite/TV Land.

Dea has deep international and domestic relationships and is also a creative executive with a keen eye for what works in general entertainment, features, documentary, true crime, drama, kids, lifestyle, OTT/SVOD/AVOD and international television and media.

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., Mipc 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.

Moritz Polter
Executive Producer International TV Series
Bavaria Fiction GmbH

As Executive Producer International Television Series, Moritz Polter is responsible for Bavaria Fiction’s international co-production slate. Named among Variety’s Top 10 Global Creatives to Watch, Moritz leads the creation, development and funding for series such as Das Boot (Sky), Arctic Circle (Elisa Viihde/ZDF) and Freud (Netflix/ORF).

Previously, Moritz Polter spent nine years with Tandem Productions (formerly Tandem Communications), ultimately as Vice President of Production. In this capacity, he supervised numerous outstanding productions, including the internationally successful TV series Crossing Lines, starring Donald Sutherland and William Fichtner, and the critically acclaimed Spotless, a CANAL+ Création Originale series.

Moritz Polter graduated from King Alfred’s College in Winchester, England in Business, Media and Film Studies.

Irene Pothecary Huse
Acquisitions Executive
NRK, Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK Super

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.

Marly Reed
Vice President, Development
NESHAMA Entertainment

Based in Toronto, Marly oversees creative at CCI Entertainment and Neshama Entertainment, as Vice President of Development for both companies.
 
With over thirty years of experience in television, film production and international distribution, CCI works in all genres, including family, lifestyle, drama and factual.
 
Neshama Entertainment is a new Canadian entity from producer Arnie Zipursky and LA’s MarVista Entertainment. Neshama focuses on sourcing Canadian creative content for development, production and distribution, as well as seeking Canadian partners and talent for TV movies, features and TV co-productions.

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 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.

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

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.

Shaleen Sangha
Vice President Content Boat Rocker 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.

Kyle Schmitz
VP, Comedy Development
Warner Bros.

In his current role as Vice President, Comedy Development at Warner Bros Television, Kyle has had a hand in producing dozens of shows, most prominently TED LASSO (Apple), SHRILL (Hulu), AJ & THE QUEEN (Netflix), FULLER HOUSE (Netflix), and countless others. Prior to joining WBTV Kyle worked in scripted development at Warner Horizon, with a focus on basic cable comedy. He started at the studio in 2008 in reality TV development and production before moving into scripted.  He has a dual degree in Broadcasting and Political Science from the University of Miami and was a Television Academy Intern in 2006.  He is on the HRTS Associates board and is an active member of the WB Triathlon team.

Joseph Schneier
SVP, Production & Development
Discovery Channel

Joseph Schneier is Discovery Channel’s Vice President of Development and Production, heading the West Coast Development team, based at the Discovery Channel offices in Los Angeles.

Schneier first joined Discovery in 2012. He has Executive Produced multiple hours for Shark Week and oversaw the hit series Alaskan Bush People and Moonshiners. He also oversaw the network’s successful true crime series Killing Fields, which returned for a third season on January 4, 2018.

Prior to Discovery, Schneier worked as showrunner and executive producer in New York and Washington DC, producing for Discovery, Animal Planet, Science Channel, A&E and Scripps Networks, among others.

Schneier is a graduate of Tufts University.

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 Director 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.

Christin Simms
Executive Producer
Sinking Ship Entertainment

Christin Simms is a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer and Emmy nominated writer who joined Sinking Ship in 2008. She has written and executive produced multiple exceptional kids and family programs for the company including Dino Dana and Annedroids (Amazon/TVO), Endlings (Hulu/CBC), Ghostwriter (Apple TV+), and most recently Lockdown (YouTube Originals). Christin’s contributions to the industry have been awarded with two Canadian Screen Awards, two Canadian Screenwriting Awards, and the Youth Media Alliance’s Emerging Talent Award. She was named one of Playback Magazine’s Top Ten to Watch, and has recently become a best-selling author.

Geoff Siskind
Executive of Program Development, Pacific Content
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 (aka Storage Wars Northern Treasures on Netflix), Canada’s Worst Driver, Redemption Inc with Kevin O’Leary, Canada’s Worst Handyman and Junk Raiders. He’s produced radio programming and documentaries for public radio networks across North America, including Search Engine (for which he won the New York Festivals’ International Broadcasting Award), Outfront, and The Phone Book Stories. An alumnus of the Canadian Film Centre’s Interactive Entertainment Program, Geoff directed the interactive documentary Tightrope, which has been presented by many festivals, including SXSW (Austin), IDFA (Amsterdam), and Hot Docs (Toronto).

Annamaria Sofillas
Head of Programming Strategy
Topic

Annamaria Sofillas is currently the Head of Programming Strategy 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.

Nick Solowski
Director, International Sales and Acquisitions
Blue Ant Media

Sabrina Spence
Interim General Manager, Ouat Media Inc.
Channel Zero Inc

Sabrina Spence is currently the Interim General Manager of Ouat Media Inc., an international sales and distribution company specializing in short film. Prior to Ouat Media, she produced two seasons of Tiny Talent Time, one of Canada’s longest running television shows.

In addition to her production experience, Sabrina has an extensive background in broadcast programming, with over 8 years of programming both conventional and specialty television channels.

Carlyn Staudt
Global General Manager
Love Nature

Carlyn Staudt heads up Love Nature’s strategic direction and operations globally, including commissioning and development, programming, digital content, marketing and communications, as well as international affiliate sales.

Carlyn is formerly EVP, Programming and Development for Love Nature, where she oversaw the global programming strategy of Love Nature’s linear platforms internationally and she commissioned original content to grow the brand’s extensive library of 4K natural history programming.

Prior to joining Blue Ant Media, Carlyn held numerous leadership roles at National Geographic. As SVP, Global Programming and Managing Director for National Geographic Channels International’s operations in Washington DC, Carlyn was responsible for spearheading co-production partnerships and global acquisitions across NGCI’s suite of channels. Carlyn also served as Channel Manager for Nat Geo Wild internationally, charged with increasing the network’s footprint and managing all content, both commissioned and acquired.

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 original concepts developed from within the International Television Production Group and international third-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, and Little Big Shots.

In 2018, he was instrumental in identifying and setting-up the New Zealand scripted hit series Fresh Eggs with Ellen Degeneres and AVGP along with Warner Television. In 2019, the record-breaking Korean hit series, Sky Castle, was identified, acquired, and placed with WBTV and Berlanti Productions as a US adaptation.
 
For WB, he oversees the successful WB/CBC Canada Format Incubator which produced the ratings hit, Under New Management, with a second season launching March 2019. 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 Ireland, Norway, Netherlands, China, and Russia.
 
Established in 2009, WBITVP has a mandate to acquire or build production companies in major territories around the world, to develop original local programming and to adapt output from the Studio on a market-by-market Basis. In those territories where WBITVP establishes a production base, it operates by developing and producing original programming and also producing local versions of formats owned and controlled by the group. Where WBITVP has no local production capability it licenses Warner Bros. formats to 3rd parties.
 
In 2010, WBITVP acquired Shed Media, one of the leading production companies in the UK, and in 2011, BlazHoffski in Netherlands and Belgium. 2014 marked a historic deal with the acquisition of Eyeworks in 15 countries across Europe, South America, Australia, and New Zealand, adding 13 new territories to its international network of production companies. This acquisition further strengthens Warner Bros. International Television Production's capabilities and sees Warner Bros. take over all of Eyeworks international distribution activities for both formats and finished product.

Alec Strum
VP, Original Series
Epix

Alec Strum joined EPIX in April 2020 as Vice President, Original Series, working on the development and execution of the network's slate of scripted original content.  He most recently served as Director, Drama Programming & Development at Fox Entertainment where he started in 2015 as an assistant.  While at Fox, across both current and development, Alec contributed to series including THE RESIDENT, GOTHAM, THE GIFTED, DEPUTY, THE PASSAGE, PROVEN INNOCENT, NEXT and pilot BLOOD RELATIVE.  He also had the pleasure of covering Fox’s live production of RENT.  Prior to joining Fox, Alec worked as an assistant in UTA’s TV Literary Department, but began his career as a dramaturg, producer and director in New York, serving as Associate Literary Manager at Playwrights Horizons and as an assistant director both on and off Broadway.

Igal Svet
VP, Documentaries, Discovery+
Discovery

Igal Svet is Vice President of Production and Development for documentaries and specials. In this role, Svet is part of the team that oversees development and production strategies for event programming, documentaries, and specials. He also is responsible for the ideation and creation of a range of projects and oversee acquisition of content from filmmakers around the globe.

Most recently, Svet served as Senior Director, Development National Geographic Channel. In his role, Svet was the main point of contact in New York for development of original premium content for the global channel. Since joining the network in 2014, 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 such as Earth Live and Yellowstone Live

Prior to joining National Geographic, Svet served as the Head of Development at 2C Media, the Miami-based production company behind Swamp Wars Airport 24/7: MIA. On the production side, Svet served as both field and post producer on several hit cable network series including History Channel’s Top Gear and truTV’s Full Throttle Saloon. Svet also played an integral role at BBC Worldwide and Reveille LLC, in Los Angeles, where he developed, packaged and sold non-fiction projects.

Paula Taborda dos Guaranys
Original Content, Acquisition and Coproduction Director
Planeta Junior SL

Paula Taborda dos Guaranys is an award-winning Development Executive, with over 25 years experience in the entertainment industry. As Original Content, Acquisition & Co-Productions Director for European leader Planeta Junior, Paula provides expert strategic direction in developing Kids & Family content for the international market. Prior to joining Planeta, Paula was the creative mind behind Globo Group’s kids content hub, spearheading the conception and launch of channels Gloob and Gloobinho. As Director of Content, Development and Programming, Paula managed the channels’ originals and international production through deal-making partnerships, programming strategy and content sales. Under her leadership, Gloob has experienced remarkable growth in ratings since its debut, becoming the 3rd biggest Pay-TV channel amongst Brazilian kids in less than five years of existence. Taborda dos Guaranys has also contributed with her work as a consultant on the Brazilian Kids Film Festival, and as a jury member on Banff World Media, Anima Mundi, lnternational Kids Emmy Awards among others. Paula was also granted the World Screen Kids Trendsetter Award, which recognized her as a prominent voice in international children’s content.

Carlene Tan
Director Original Productions and Development
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 steeringthe 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
NRK

AJ Trauth
VP, Kids
marblemedia

Building on the company’s strong history of creating compelling content for kids and family audiences worldwide, as the VP, Kids and Family Development, AJ Trauth continues to push boundaries by developing original stories for global audiences and identify opportunities through assembling great IP with top showrunners and writers. A champion of great content, AJ generates new ideas, stays on top of industry trends and works with the executive team to deliver the vision for this department.
AJ joins marblemedia with twenty years of experience in the entertainment industry as both on-screen talent and an off-screen creative. Prior to marblemedia, AJ served was an independent producer developing and growing a slate of scripted series in the kids and family space with a diverse cadre of creatives. No stranger to award-winning and beloved family entertainment, AJ was a series regular on the hit Disney series Even Stevens and the CW’s Pepper Dennis. AJ has a lifetime passion for telling compelling stories and producing content that not only reaches global audiences, but content they actively are seeking.

Elizabeth Trojian
Chief Creative Officer
YAP Films Inc

Elizabeth Trojian is 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 - Unabomber: in his own words, The Genetic Revolution, Mosquito, Made by Destruction and My Trans Journey.

Currently, she is producing and executive-producing a 16-part series about engineering for Discovery Channel; The State of the Planet documentary about climate change for CBC’s The Nature Of Things; two PBS documentaries – How it Feels to be Free, an American Masters episode on civil rights and cultural change; and Gangster Gold a Secrets of the Dead episode on Dutch Schultz. Along with Queer Crime a true crime series and Translating Beauty an hour-long documentary both for OUT TV and CBC.

Most recently, Elizabeth was the executive producer and producer on D-Day in 14 Stories, a feature-length docudrama for History and BBC, and executive producer and producer on the CSA winning Ice Bridge for CBC’s The Nature of Things, Smithsonian Channel, 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.

Adem Uysal
Senior Content Manager
TURKCELL ILETISIM HIZMETLERI A.S

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 February 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 and House Hunters, as well as several other new series premiering later in the year.

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.

Kerstin Viehbach
Head of Commissioning & Development (Fiction)
SUPER RTL/RTL DISNEY Fernsehen GmbH & Co.KG

Kateryna Vyshnevska
Head of Development and Co-Productions
FILM.UA Group

Kateryna is responsible for international development efforts of Ukraine's leading TV and film studio - FILM.UA Group. With a specific focus on scripted drama, Kateryna evaluates, develops and executive produces scripted drama projects (ranging from original content to local adaptations of successful scripted formats) and oversees international development and co-production partnerships.

Most recently Kateryna has produced a gangster comedy Koza Nostra in co-production with Pepito Produzioni (Italy) for RAI Cinema. She is also a co-producer of Ukraine's first noir drama - ​Hide and Seek​ - that was featured by MIPDrama Buyers Summit 2019, picked up by numerous international festivals and is now distributed internationally by ZDF Enterprises. Kateryna has been instrumental to the global success of ​The Sniffer​ (the first Ukrainian drama picked up by Netflix and Amazon Prime and adapted internationally) and in bringing to Ukraine and Russia successful international drama formats like ​Step Dave​ (All3Media International) and ​The Red Band Society​ (Filmax).

Kateryna is currently working on several international projects with partners in France, Iceland, Israel, etc. She has served as a juror for multiple international drama awards incl. International Emmy and Rockie Awards. Kateryna has also served on the board of NATPE Budapest Advisory Committee.

Gordon Weiske
Co-Founder
Canwood Entertainment Inc

Gordon Weiske is a film and entertainment producer born in Toronto, Canada. Gordon’s first job in the film industry began in 1997 while assisting Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Robin Williams on the Academy Award winning movie, Good Will Hunting.

A career that now spans two decades, Gordon has continued to work on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbuster feature film productions, including: X-Men, X-Men-2, How Too Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Cheaper by The Dozen, Shoot ‘Em Up, Hairspray, Repo Men, and RED.

He has also worked alongside such luminaries as: Steve Martin, Jude Law, Hugh Jackman, Clive Owen, Paul Giamatti, John Travolta, Charlize Theron, Ray Romano, Gene Hackman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Dennis Hopper, Queen Latifah, Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Forest Whittaker, Lauren Bacall, and Bruce Willis.

In 2011-2013, Gordon was asked to join the DreamWorks development team and worked alongside Steven Spielberg on the sci-fi television series, Falling Skies.

In addition to feature films and television, Gordon
 has produced over 50 music videos and several documentaries, most recently having his environmental film, The Last Straw premiere at the United Nations on World Oceans Day on June 8th, 2017.

Always in search of exceptional entertainment projects with mass audience appeal, Gordon continues to
 work as a producer for feature films, documentaries and television productions for both domestic and international audiences.

Kristi Whisler
Director, Documentary Film & TV
Participant Media

As Director of Documentary Film and TV for Participant, Kristi Whisler sources and develops documentary content and provides support to the company’s documentary film and television slate from development through post-production and release. Notable titles Kristi has worked on include Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert’s American Factory, Steve James’ America to Me, Ai Weiwei’s Human Flow, Rachel Dretzin’s Far From the Tree, Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Look of Silence, Alex Gibney’s Zero Days, Morgan Neville’s The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble and Laura Poitras’ Oscar-winning CITIZENFOURKristi holds a B.S. in Radio/Television/Film and Spanish from Northwestern University.

Lauren Whitelaw
Head of Programming
OUTtv Network Inc

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

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.

Marion Winter
Senior Manager, Acquisitions & Co-Productions
SUPER RTL/RTL DISNEY Fernsehen GmbH & Co.KG

Marion Winter joined Super RTL in April 2011 as Senior Manager of Acquisitions and Co-Productions. Previously, she held numerous positions within the Program Acquisitions and Sales department of parent network RTL Television, and worked as Manager of Content Sourcing for RTL Interactive’s online, mobile and VOD platforms.