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Vancouver Economic Commission 2017 Speed Dating
Sponsored by the Vancouver Economic Commission, VWF’s Speed Dating Event brings together content creators with companies and individuals looking for content, partnerships and creative new relationships. Participants get 3 minutes to pitch their projects and themselves, exchange cards and to make an impression. Once the 3 minutes is up, move on to the next person and do it again! Practice your pitching skills and forge new relationships in a fun and fast paced environment. The speed dating will be followed by a cocktail reception aimed to solidify new relationships in a more casual setting.

Vancouver Economic Commission
Nancy Mott, Executive Director, Film and Media Centre
Speed Dating MC
Vancouver, Canada

As Executive Director of the Film and Media centre, Nancy works strategically to grow the screen-based industry for the City of Vancouver. Her work to strengthen the Vancouver economy included focusing on foreign direct investment and trade as well as promoting Vancouver in foreign markets worldwide. Included in her portfolio are film, television, visual effects and animation, games and interactive entertainment. Additionally, Nancy promotes the City of Vancouver as a world-class destination for business opportunities and a city where industry talent can thrive in the screen-based entertainment sector. With her move to the Vancouver Economic Commission in 2011, Nancy brought with her 20 years of experience in the film and television industry in both physical production and business development in film production, visual effects and animation

CBC Digital
Chris Harris, Executive Producer, Digital – Scripted
Toronto, Canada

Chris Harris is an Emmy-winning media professional and content leader with more than 15 years experience as a digital production executive, business leader, media strategist, interactive producer and journalist.

Before returning to CBC in 2015, Chris was Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at the Emmy Award-winning interactive content studio Secret Location.

Prior to that, Chris led the Digital Content teams at Shaw Media (via Canwest and Alliance Atlantis) as both Director and Head of Online Content, as well as being Shaw Media’s first ever Head of Social Media. During that time, Chris guided the creation of globally recognized award-winning work, which resulted in significant growth in audience, engagement, and revenue.

Prior to joining Shaw, Chris spent more than seven years as an award-winning interactive producer and journalist with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, working in Sports, News and Kids.

CBC Digital
Zach Feldberg, Executive in Charge of Production, Digital Originals
Toronto, Canada

With over a decade of experience at the crossroads of TV and digital, Zach has seen the creative media industry from many different angles. At CBC, he oversees the Digital Originals strategy for Scripted and Unscripted programming, developing and commissioning content for all platforms. Prior to starting that new role in late 2015, Zach spearheaded Shaw Media’s first digital-first programming slate, including Global TV special The Second City Project, comedy series But I’m Chris Jericho!, Food Network Canada’s Super Snack Bros., and others. He also delivered successful and award-winning digital products and content associated with the company’s priority linear series, including Big Brother Canada, Vikings, Rookie Blue, Remedy, Yukon Gold, Continuum, Kenny vs. Spenny and Endgame, the latter of which yielded an International Digital Emmy® win in 2012.

GRB Entertainment
Michael Lolato - Senior Vice President, International Distribution
Los Angeles, USA

Michael Lolato brings two decades of experience in all facets of the television industry to GRB. He hails from Canada, where he started his career in TV advertising and marketing at Astral Television. Segueing into distribution and affiliate sales, he helped launch six networks for Canada's Bell Media before transitioning to international program sales at Canamedia. Michael has sold programs to almost every country and in a nearly every genre, expanding his sales efforts to multi-platforms, including mobile, digital and OTT, while continuing to grow linear channel sales.

Just for Laughs
Eric Y. Lapointe, Senior Director, International Sales & Digital Development,
Montreal, Canada

Eric Y. Lapointe joined Just For Laughs in 2015, after spending 15 years in international marketing and sales which included a prior role as Senior Advisor of Content Distribution at Cirque du Soleil.

As the Senior Director of International Sales and Digital Development at Just For Laughs, Lapointe is responsible for the global digital video distribution strategy for YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other new emerging platforms. His role also involves licensing rights to television channels in Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, while also partnering with foreign broadcasters and platforms interested in producing comedy specials at the Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, the world`s largest by invitation only comedy festival attracting over 2 million people annually to Montreal.

Just For Laughs produces festivals and tours worldwide (including in Sydney, Vancouver, Toronto, London), over 50 hours of television programming annually including English and French language stand-up comedy productions, as well as the world`s funniest and most renowned non dialogue hidden camera program: Just For Laughs Gags which now includes 309 half-hour episodes and a YouTube subscriber base of 5.5 million fans.

Million Faces Productions
Joely Collins, Founder, President
Vancovuer, Canada

Joely Collins is a Canadian, award-winning producer, director and actress with over 20 years experience in the film and television industry. Her most recent project is the multi award-winning digital series “CODED”, which is currently screening on the festival circuit. Her feature film “Becoming Redwood”, a quirky, heart-warming, coming-of-age story, became an instant hit on the festival circuit and won Best Canadian Feature at the Edmonton International Film Festival and Most Popular Canadian Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival. With her production company Million Faces, Joely is actively producing films, television series and digital media projects. She is also passionate about directing and empowering women in film.

Andrew Williamson - Producer & Director
Vancouver, Canada

Andrew Williamson is a seasoned producer and director who started OFF ISLAND in 1999 to create content with purpose. He executive produced the critically acclaimed doc-series Emergency Room: Life & Death at VGH for The Knowledge Network/Discovery and High Moon, a pilot co-venture with Universal Cable Productions and Executive Producer Bryan Fuller. He also produced Gastown Gamble for the OWN Network.

Andrew is producing Spiral, a scripted webseries, for Telus Optik Local and Whale and Raven, a Canadian / German feature documentary with the National Film Board of Canada. Andrew previously produced Yukonic, a thirteen-part web-series for the Yukon and Federal Governments which launched in New York’s Times Square.

Andrew was recently VP Production & Digital for Lark Productions where he produced digital and social media campaigns for televisions series including Motive (CTV), Emergency Room: Life & Death at VGH, Gastown Gamble, The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Shaw) and Mom's A Medium (Corus). Andrew is the founder of Crazy8s and was previously Director of Industrial Relations at the Canadian Media Producers Association. He volunteers with Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project to help educate people about climate change.

Nicky Forsman, Head of Creative
Vancovuer, Canada

Nicky Forsman is Head of Creative for OUTtv, Canada’s only LGBTQ television network, a post she has held since 2013. After working as an independent producer, Nicky joined OUTtv’s Vancouver office in 2006 as part of the development team and since then has spearheaded the creation of over 200 hours of content. Not one to stay away from a set too long, Nicky became involved in original production and has produced many network favorites including “Don’t Quit Your Gay Job”, “Psycho Kitty”, and “Homorazzi". Nicky is also responsible for creating the travel series “Operation: Vacation”, a LogoTV partnership series that surprised deserving participants with dream vacations. Most recently, Nicky developed and produced “Kitty 911” a 10-part docu-series about a local Vancouver cat rescue organization, and OUTtv’s first original drama, “#STI”, an educational series created to decrease stigma and increase awareness around STI prevention.

Although she is still heavily involved in series development and production, Nicky's role has expanded to encompass the creative well-being and enrichment of the entire OUTtv team. As a member of senior management at OUTtv, she is responsible for ensuring an environment open to new ideas and out-of-the-box thinking in all areas, from marketing and technology to her home base of original production. This new position was key to the creation and launch of OUTtv’s new streaming service OUTtvGo, late in 2016.

Really Real Films
Allan and Cynde Harmon
Vancouver, Canada

A feature film and television production company based in Vancouver, BC, since 1998, Really Real Films develops, finances and produces independent film and television projects for the domestic and international marketplace.

Company principals, Cynde and Allan Harmon, are veteran filmmakers who have produced and directed for 29 years and have amassed over 250 broadcast hours to their credit. For 25 years, their Ontario and US Corporations have provided services to the film, television and commercial sectors.

In recent years, ‘Really Real Films produced ‘If I Had Wings’ with support from Super Channel, Shaw Rocket Fund. The film has won many awards and screened at festivals worldwide, including Whistler, Germany’s Schlingel, Vancouver’s R2R, Kamloops (winner Best Feature Film Audience Award), Poland’s Al Kino, Ajyal in Doha, Qatar (winner Best Feature Film) and was the 2014 winner of Canada’s ‘Shaw Rocket’ award for the 13-17 yr category.

Other film credits include: ‘Trust’ (Movie Central, Lifetime, TF1); ½ hour comedy pilot ‘Wolf Canyon’ (APTN) winner of 5 LEO awards, ‘Anything But Christmas’ (ION, Bravo, CTV, NBC Universal UK, M6), ‘Shana-The Wolf’s Music’, an official Swiss/Canadian coproduction feature film and winner of 26 international awards at festivals including Germany, Finland, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Seattle, Kamloops, Winnipeg, Montreal, Czech Republic, Greece, India, Sweden and Italy.

More recent productions are, ‘Stranger In The House’ (Super Channel, Lifetime), feature documentary ‘Spirit Unforgettable’ Audience winner at VIFF 2016, and ‘A Royal Christmas’ in association with eOne Entertainment. Currently, just wrapped filming

Seeka TV
George Reese, Co-founder and VP of Programming
Minneapolis-St. Paul, United States

George Reese is an entrepreneur and filmmaker who is currently the co-founder and VP of Programming at Seeka TV. After receiving a BA in Philosophy from Bates College, he began his career in television working on a variety of Hollywood TV shows in low-level roles. Thanks to the LA Riots and the recession of the early 90’s, his career took a detour into technology. He ended up writing several technology books and starting a few companies. Prior to Seeka TV, he sold enStratus to Dell and went back into filmmaking. His recent films include Reconquista and Therapy for the Unlawful. He is also an Executive Producer for the most recent seasons of the web series Theater People, BLEED, Lovers and Others, and Hat Trick Bitches.

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