Meet With...

Meet With... is a series of informal and intimate information sessions at the Match Club (5th Elementt Restaurant) during the Toronto International Film Festival.

Introduced during TIFF07, this series featured special guest speakers from all facets of the industry to discuss topics including: international co-productions, casting agents and the role of the producer’s rep.

In 2008, Meet With... will offer daily sessions at 11:00am at the Match Club, providing attendees with a unique opportunity to gain insight into the fundamentals of the business and craft of filmmaking from seasoned industry professionals. Meet With... are held Friday, September 5 through Thursday, September 11. Check out the schedule at Match Club for this year's topics.

Meet With... is open to all Sales & Industry and Guest Relations Pass holders.

The Shifting Landscape of Theatrical Distribution in Canada

Paul Barkin, producer-president of Alcina Pictures, leads a discussion about the recent changes to theatrical distribution in Canada and what they mean for the future.

  • John Bain, Senior Vice-President of Distribution, Maple Pictures
  • Michael Mosca, Senior Vice-President & COO, Equinoxe Entertainment
  • Stephanie Azam, National Marketing and Distribution Specialist, Telefilm Canada

Friday, September 5, 11am to 12pm

Alternative Distribution Update

Shane Smith, the executive producer of inflight entertainment at Spafax, takes stock of the current and future digital distribution opportunities for the independent filmmaker.

  • Matt Dentler, Head of Marketing and Programming, Cinetic Rights Management
  • Janet Brown, COO, Cinetic Rights Management

Saturday, September 6, 11am to 12pm

The Omnibus

John Galway, president of Astral Media's The Harold Greenberg Fund, explores the unique challenges of maintaining a singular creative vision when writing and producing a work comprised of many short films by distinct and diverse contributing filmmakers.

  • David Weaver, Writer, Director, Toronto Stories
  • Jennifer Jonas, Producer, Toronto Stories

Sunday, September 7, 11am to 12pm

CASE STUDY: Fifty Dead Men Walking - a Canada/UK Co-Production

  • Stephen Hegyes, Producer, Brightlight Pictures Inc., Fifty Dead Men Walking
  • Kari Skogland, Director, Fifty Dead Men Walking
  • More Guest Speakers TBA...

Monday, September 8, 11am to 12pm

Focus on Directing: Unique Voices

Director, actor, writer and producer Ingrid Veninger (Only, Nurse. Fighter. Boy) explores the particular creative and professional challenges of working as a woman director in today's industry.

  • Sima Urale, Director, Apron Strings
  • Jennifer Baichwal, Filmmaker, Manufactured Landscapes

Tuesday, September 9, 11am to 12pm

Argentine Producers to Watch

Like Canada, Argentina's film history is rife with films that, thematically, are inextricably bound to the geographical and political landscape. With Argentine film production on the rise, could this similar sensibility lead to future co-productions? Canadian producer André Rouleau, Caramel Films, explores the potential for partnership between Argentina and Canada.

  • Sebastian Aloi, Aeroplano S.A., The Paranoids
  • Hugo Castro Fau, LagartoCine, All the Lonely People, Unit 55
  • André Rouleau, Producer, Caramel Films

Wednesday, September 10, 11am to 12pm

Marketing Independent Films - Viral Strategies

A discussion about how marketing strategies have changed since the introduction of web 2.0.

  • Mark Pogachefsky, Co-President, mPRm Public Relations
  • Justin Barber, Producer, Medicine for Melancholy
  • Bill Holsinger-Robinson, COO, Spout, LLC

Thursday, September 11, 11am to 12pm

Meet With... Guest Speakers

Sebastian Aloi, President-Producer, Aeroplano S.A.
Born in Buenos Aires in 1972, Sebastian Aloi studied economics, law, literature and finally film in the Universidad del Cine as well as numerous workshops in the United States and Europe. Since 1995, he has developed his skill in the industry as a writer, director and producer. In 1999 he founded his own production company, Aeroplano, with offices in Buenos Aires and Miami.

Stephanie Azam, National Marketing and Distribution Specialist, Telefilm Canada
Stephanie Azam oversees investments from the English-language marketing component of the Canada Feature Film Fund at Telefilm Canada. Prior to joining Telefilm, Stephanie worked in New York as marketing director for Zeitgeist Films. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Ottawa.

Jennifer Baichwal, Filmmaker, Manufactured Landscapes
Award-winning filmmaker, Jennifer Baichwal has been directing and producing documentaries for over 15 years. Her first film, Looking You In The Back of the Head, was first broadcast, to critical acclaim, on TVOntario's From the Heart. Let it Come Down: The Life of Paul Bowles (TIFF98), her first feature documentary, was widely distributed and highly acclaimed. Other feature films include The Holier It Gets, The True Meaning of Pictures and Manufactured Landscapes. Baichwal founded Mercury Films Inc. with Nick de Pencier in 1998. Her current project, now in post-production, is called Act of God, a feature documentary on the metaphysical effects of being struck by lightning, which features Paul Auster, Peter Greenaway and Fred Frith.

John Bain, Senior Vice-President of Distribution, Maple Pictures
John Bain is responsible for acquisitions and Maple Pictures' theatrical releases. Maple's films include The Bank Job, Forbidden Kingdom, Brideshead Revisited and the infamous Young People Fucking. Some of Maple's upcoming releases are My Best Friend's Girl, W, Happy-go-lucky and The Spirit.

Justin Barber, Producer, Medicine for Melancholy
Justin Barber is an independent producer and couch-surfer living off of left-over craft service snacks somewhere in California. His credits include Barry Jenkin's Medicine for Melancholy and the upcoming feature, City on a Hill. He's originally from Boston and is a graduate of the Florida State University Film School.

Paul Barkin, Producer/President, Alcina Pictures
Paul Barkin has produced for some of Canada's top directing talents through his company Alcina Pictures. Selected credits include Kardia by Su Rynard, winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Film Prize at the 2005 Hamptons International Film Festival, and the award winning The Tracey Fragments by Bruce McDonald. Currently, he is in production with Amreeka, written and directed by New York-based, Palestinian filmmaker Cherien Dabis. Upcoming projects include the comedy The Con Artis by Risa Bramon Garcia (200 Cigarettes) and The Colony a sci-fi/horror by Jeff Renfroe (Civic Duty, One Point O).
Janet Brown, COO, Cinetic Rights Management
In her role as COO for Cinetic Rights Management, Janet oversees a team dedicated to maximizing revenues for filmmakers from effective rights management across multiple digital platforms. Prior to joining Cinetic Media, Janet worked in business strategy for Yahoo! Media Group in Los Angeles.  She started her career in Accenture's media and entertainment strategy consulting practice in London where she worked with a variety of clients including News Corp, Warner Music, Film Four, Telewest, BT and Nokia.  Janet received her B.A Joint Honours in Economics and Political Science from McGill University and her MBA from Columbia University.

Matt Dentler, Head of Marketing and Programming, Cinetic Rights Management
Matt Dentler is the head of marketing and programming for Cinetic Rights Management, a sister company of Cinetic Media in New York. Prior to that, he spent five years as the Producer of the South by Southwest (SXSW) Film Conference & Festival in Austin, TX, starting in 2003. He is the executive producer of PJ Raval and Jay Hodge's documentary feature, Trinidad.

Hugo Castro Fau, Founder, Lagarto Cine
After graduating as a lawyer from the University of Buenos Aires, Hugo Castro Fau took graduate courses in Europe on international contracts and audiovisual law at the Rijsuniversiteit Leiden (Netherlands) with a scholarships from Fundación Rio de la Plata. In 1997, he founded Lagarto Cine. In 2001, he joined Matanza Cine as producer and acted as executive producer, producer and lawyer for the following films: El Bonaerense, Mi Mejor Enemigo, La Mecha, Familia Rodante, among others. Back in Lagarto, as producer, he is currently developing the following projects: Dioses (by Josue Mendez), Unit 25 (by Alejo Hoijman), Amanecio Naranja (by Alejandra Szeplaki), among others.

John Galway, President, Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund
As the President of Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund, John is responsible for the Fund’s management and the funding of feature films and industry events. His career began with TIFFG and the inaugural year of the Cinematheque Ontario. John then moved into development and production with Independent Pictures and ultimately into financing with Telefilm Canada where he was the Sector Head for English Television.
Stephen Hegyes, Producer, Fifty Dead Men Walking Stephen Hegyes is producer and co-chairman of Brightlight Pictures. Recent credits include Fifty Dead Men Walking, a UK/Canada co-production starring Ben Kingsley and Jim Sturgess; the series The Guard for Global Television and distributed by Lionsgate; and Stormworld, an Australian/Canadian co-production for Space and Nine Network. Hegyes also serves on the advisory board of Telefilm Canada's Feature Film Fund working group and is the long-term Chair of BC's Feature Film Committee.

Jennifer Jonas, producer, Toronto Stories
Jennifer Jonas’ latest feature film, Toronto Stories, will premiere at TIFF 2008. Other feature film credits as producer include Otto; or Up with Dead People, All Hat for which she was nominated CFTPA Producer of the Year, Monkey Warfare and Childstar. She served as the Associate Producer of the Cannes Film Festival Prix de la Jeunesse Winner, Last Night.

Michael Mosca, Senior Vice-President & COO, Les Films Équinoxe
As Senior Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Équinoxe Films, Mr. Mosca spearheads strategic management and oversees a growing team of executives in a vertically integrated company that produces and distributes film and television properties in Canada and internationally. His career in the film business spans nearly twenty 20 years.

Mark Pogachefsky, Co-President, mPRm Public Relations
Co-founder and co-president of mPRm Public Relations, Mark Pogachefsky shares in the strategic direction and overall management of the company. He also provides guidance for the company's film and corporate clients. Campaign highlights include In the Bedroom, Memento, Elizabeth, You Can Count on Me, The Ice Storm, L.A. Confidential, The Usual Suspects and Fargo. He founded The Pogachefsky Company in 1992, which was merged into mPRm in 1998.

André Rouleau, a lawyer by trade, has been a member of the Bar of Montréal since 1983. During his practice, he has developed specific expertise in areas such as international financing, mergers and acquisitions and financing major real estate projects. In 1996, André founded Balzac Films. Since then, he has produced and co-produced more than twenty feature films and made-for-TV movies with European and American co-producers.

Kari Skogland, Writer-Director-Producer, Fifty Dead Men Walking Kari Skogland's most recent film as writer-director-producer is Fifty Dead Men Walking (TIFF08). Kari was named by Hollywood Reporter as one of its "Ten Directors to Watch" for her debut as writer-director of Liberty Stands Still. Her films The Size of Watermelons, Men with Guns, Liberty Stands Still (written and directed by Skogland) and The Stone Angel (TIFF07), have all screened and won awards at major festivals in Canada, the United States, and around the world. Most recently, she won the DGC award for best director for her work on the mini-series Terminal City.

Shane Smith, Executive Producer, In-Flight Entertainment, Spafax Canada Inc.
Shane Smith oversees all in-flight entertainment initiatives for Air Canada. Prior to this he was director of programming for the digital TV channels Movieola -- The Short Film Channel and Silver Screen Classics. He was director of the Worldwide Short Film Festival for six years and currently programs short films for the Sundance Film Festival.

Sima Urale, Director, Apron Strings
Sima Urale has been a writer-director in the film and television industry for fifteen years, from commercials and documentaries to drama. Her short films O Tamaiti and Still Life have won numerous international awards, including at the Venice, Chicago and Montreal film festivals. Apron Strings is her first feature film.

Ingrid Veninger, Producer/Director, Only
Ingrid Veninger is a producer with numerous award-winning credits to her name including the Gemini-nominated performance-documentary Standards and Genie Award-winner Gambling, Gods and LSD. Veninger joined with Anais Granofsky to form pUNK FILMS INC. Together they have collaborated on three features: Have Mercy (99), On Their Knees (TIFF01) and The Limb Salesmen (TIFF04). Current undertakings include Charles Officer's Nurse.Fighter.Boy (TIFF08); Granofsky's Puja's Bat Mitzvah; and Only (TIFF08), co-directed with Simon Reynolds.

David Weaver, Writer-Producer-Director, Toronto Stories
David Weaver has directed five short films, including Moon Palace, which screened at nearly forty film festivals and won over a dozen international awards. Weaver's feature film debut, Century Hotel, premiered at the Festival in 2001 and received two Genie nominations. He went on to direct Siblings (TIFF04), written by Jackie May. His latest feature Toronto Stories (TIFF08) is an anthology film in which he directed the final segment, "Lost Boys."


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