Miryam Charles is a Haitian-born director, producer and cinematographer living in Montreal. She has produced several short and feature films. She is also the director of several short films. Her films have been presented in various festivals in Quebec and internationally. She has just completed the production of This House, a hybrid feature film combining documentary and fiction that had its world premiere at the Berlinale this winter and won the Sylvestre Award at the Indielisboa.
Aonan is a co-founder of film production company GreenGround, focuses on producing films that are boundary pushing with high artistic merits, as well, of filmmakers who are visible minorities and from under-represented film communities. His latest production includes two poignant works of Denis Côté – HYGIÈNE SOCIALE, Best Director at Berlinale 2021 in the Encounters section and WILCOX , Locarno 2019; THE NAMES OF FLOWERS by Bahman Tavoosi, Jury Prize at Tallinn Black Night IFF 2019 and Best Feature at Venice Film Week 2020; documentaries PRIMAS by Laura Bari, TAMING THE HORSE by Tao Gu, and IN THE WAVES by Jacqueline Mills, winning awards at True/False, Mar del Plata, RIDM, DOXA, VIFF and Xining First, China. He is Canadian producer in spotlights at Cannes 2019 and alumni of Trans-Atlantic Partners 2019. He recently served as Executive Producer for the award-winning film Geographies of Solitude by Jacquelyn Mills, winner of 3 awards at Berlinale Forum 2022. Aonan is an active guest speaker at film schools and often serves as jury member at festivals and funds. He is also a co-founder of CineGround Media, a unique camera and post production hub in Montreal catering to local film productions and abroad.
After a diverse career including directing and producing documentaries, in 2008 Richard became a partner at Sid Lee; one of the biggest advertising agencies in Canada. Within these last 15 years, Richard founded and successfully led one of Sid Lee’s biggest child company; Jimmy Lee. Richard has produced more than fifty scripted and non-scripted projects including; The LibTv content channel, The Rams, The Chronicles of an Unworthy Mother, The Interns, Make Me a Tale, Éloize, Circus Story, Guantanamera Boxe and Takedown, The DNA of GSP. His productions have been seen in theaters across Canada as well as on CBC, Radio-Canada, TVA, Télé-Québec, TV5, HBO Canada and several festivals. Richard has several nominations and awards to his credit including Numix, Gémeaux, Cyber Lions of Cannes, Boomerang, Digital Marketing Awards and FWA. In 2021 Richard decided to leave the world of advertising to fully dedicate himself to his passions, television and cinema. The scarcity of diversity among experienced producers in Quebec and Canada is no stranger to Richard’s career decision. Richard brings his extensive and unique experience along a different diversity perspective on content produced in Canada.
Mila Aung-Thwin is co-founder of Montreal’s EyeSteelFilm. Productions include Last Train Home (winner of 2 Emmy Awards); Up the Yangtze (Golden Horse Award winner); Rip: A Remix Manifesto (IDFA audience choice prize winner); and I Am the Blues (CSA winner). Most recently, he directed Let There Be Light (Big Sky Fest’s Artistic Vision winner) and co-edited Softie (Sundance Festival award for editing). He frequently mentors upcoming filmmakers – recent workshops include Guangzhou, China; Durban, South Africa; and Yangon, Myanmar.
Diane Gistal is an independent cultural worker and curator based in Montreal. She is the founder and executive director of Nigra Iuventa, a Quebec-based non-profit organization that promotes African and Afrodescendant history and cultures through visual and media arts.
Her recent curatorial work includes Subalterns (CDEx, 2019), I Know Why the Bird Sings in a Cage (Darling Foundry, Georges Vanier Cultural Centre and CDEx, 2020), Breathing (Galerie de l’UQAM, 2020) and Instilling in the Present (Never Apart, 2021).
Ella Cooper is an award winning cultural leader, producer, facilitator, photo-video artist, educator and director of a new series based in Toronto called Sunny’s Quest celebrating Black children across Canada. She has been working in the arts and culture sector for over 20 years. Her creative work explores the diaspora, the creation of positive representations of the Black body in Canada, new representations of motherhood, arts for social change, community storytelling, contemporary dance, children’s programming and hybrid identities through multi-racial feminist lens, across Canada, the US, Europe, the Caribbean and South Africa. She is also the founder of Black Women Film! Black Women Film is a not for profit dedicated to supporting the development of Black women professionals in film and media.
Active member of Makila since 2009 and co-founder of the Cuban Hat pitches, Giulia Frati has directed social documentaries and experimental short films. Her feature film Echoes of Istanbul plunges us into the reality of street vendors in a gentrifying megalopolis. Her work is punctuated by the sounds of the city, and her film won the film won the Iris Award for Best Documentary Sound in 2020. In Pupa’s Garden, the Italian-born filmmaker offers an inspiring portrait of her grandmother, who transformed an illegal dumping ground into a lavish garden in Lake Como, Italy. It has been screened at several international festivals, won a jury prize and was broadcast on French television. Currently, Giulia is filming symphonic recordings of various of different orchestras in Quebec, and she is developing her first fiction projects.
Movement inspires all of Stefan Verna’s creations; ‘Poeticizing our pain’ describes both his process and the impact he seeks with his filmmaking. Stefan started dancing in his late teens and later got involved in theatre before dedicating his professional life to cinema. His deep interest in Afro Culture, Politics and Dance fuels his body of work. A graduate of Concordia University’s Film Production program, Stefan Verna has been active in the film community as a Director, Scriptwriter, Director of Photography and Video Instructor to marginalized youth. As a director he has explored various filmmaking forms: documentary, fiction, music videos and dance films. His camera work has taken him to Nunavik, Cuba, France, Haiti, Mexico and the U.S and has been shown on various Canadian networks such as CBC TV, APTN, Canal D, Canal Evasion and Télé-Quebec. He is a founding member of Black on Black Films, a collective of Black filmmakers in Quebec and has been lecturing around the world about the history & aesthetics of Black Cinema for the last 5 years. His films have been showcased in International film festivals: Ice Storm Cabaret (2000), Chocolate City (2003), Poetry in Motion (2004), Diversidad: a Roadtrip to Deconstruct Diner (2011), Drawing Blank (2012), Equation of Imagination (2015), MONtreal: Jazz Stories (2018), Metamorph (2020). He is presently completing his second documentary feature called NOMAD’S LAND: a Documentary Rhyme, directing NIGHT WATCHES US at the NFB and in developing a feature film ON THIN ICE with Loaded Pictures.
A seasoned change practitioner and manager, Catalina has been involved in the digital transition of the cultural and media sector since 1998. Her expertise is based on her experience as an entrepreneur and producer of audiovisual and web series, followed by a dozen years in management positions within parapublic organizations dedicated to the financing of Canadian screen-based production, including 8 years as Director of Strategic Intelligence at the Canada Media Fund. Since 2010, her role is to accompany cultural decision-makers in detecting the factors of socio-digital transformation and anticipating the effects of these changes on the cultural and media economy. Since 2018, she has extended this passion for research and prospective analysis into the academic sector, as a professor at the École des médias de l’UQAM.
Jason Brennan is a proud member of the KitiganZibi Anishinaabeg community and President of the Gatineau-based Aboriginal production company Nish Media. Since 2005, NISH has produced more than 100 hours of documentaries, dramas and youth programming for several French and English Canadian channels. The fictional works “Le Dep”, “Rustic Oracle” and “L’Inhumain” have all been presented in Canadian theatres and selected in some of the most prestigious film festivals in the world. Most recently, Jason Brennan produced the mini-series “Pour toi Flora”, the first Aboriginal written, directed and produced drama for CBC, available since May 2022.