REEL CANADA is a team of creative, witty, hard-working movie lovers from coast to coast. Get to know our team (and our favourite Canadian movies).
Favorite Canadian Film
Too many to list!
Too many to list!
Favorite Canadian Film
ARIEL ABREGO GAITAN
Bilingual Reel Opportunities Coordinator
Senior Coordinator, Development and Festivals
SG̲aawaay Ḵ’uuna (Edge of the Knife)
Educational Resources Manager
The Sweet Hereafter
Senior Coordinator, Bilingual & International Programming
National Canadian Film Day Manager
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Reel Opportunities Coordinator
Director of National Canadian Film Day & Special Projects
Director of Operations
Digital Communications Coordinator
The Silent Partner
Senior Coordinator, National Canadian Film Day
Reel Opportunities Manager
Assistant Technical Director
Senior Communications Coordinator
Take this Waltz
Senior Reel Opportunities Coordinator
There’s Something in the Water
The Grand Seduction
ARIEL SMITH (NĒHIYAW)
Indigenous Film Programme Manager
Rocks at Whiskey Trench
CHANTAL SPEIRS (ANISHINAABE)
Jésus de Montréal
Programming Manager & National Canadian Film Day Manager
Graphic Design/Creative Content Intern
ANDREA NIRMALA WIDJAJANTO
Senior Coordinator National Canadian Film Day
Senior Festivals Coordinator
Administrative and Programming Director
The Sweet Hereafter
PROGRAMMING CONSULTANT, QUEBEC
NATIONAL HONOURARY PATRON
The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
INDIGENOUS EDUCATION CONSULTANT
Ronnie Dean Harris (Stō:lo/St’át’imc/Nlaka’pamux)
NATIONAL CANADIAN FILM DAY PROGRAMMING CONSULTANT
WEB RESOURCE CONSULTANT
MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS CONSULTANT
David Miller, 63rd Mayor of Toronto
REEL CANADA’s Board of Directors and Advisory Committees are made up of dedicated individuals in the film and media industry and related disciplines. We want to give a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of these amazing supporters!
Liz Shorten has been working to build capacity in the film, television and digital media sectors for the past 25 years. In her role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the CMPA, Liz leads staff and oversees organizational operations across the association’s offices in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, and works to implement the CMPA’s corporate strategic plan. Liz previously held senior positions at the Ontario Film Development Corporation (Ontario Creates), British Columbia Film (Creative BC), and CBC Television.
Active in many organizations, Liz is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of REEL CANADA and Secretary/Treasurer of the Pacific Screenwriting Program. Liz was a founding Board member of the Crazy8’s Film Society, Co-founder of Women in View and Founding Chair of Story Money Impact. She was recently named one of BC’s top 500 Business Leaders by Business in Vancouver, “Woman of the Year” by Women in Film and Television Vancouver and “Industry Champion” by the Whistler Film Festival in recognition of her leadership role in the film and television industry.
Reg Bronskill began his career in theatre design and performance. His design work was showcased in plays, musicals, and operas across North America. As Chairman and CEO of The Bronskill Group, Inc and majority owner of three separate operating companies, he enjoyed a successful and dynamic career in the North American sports and entertainment business markets, producing live events, international sports spectaculars, digital animation, interactive media, and experimental marketing programs. In 2017, Reg made the decision to sell his interests in all operating companies, BaAM Productions, Inc, INVIVO Communications, Inc, and Spongelab Interactive, and he now enjoys a tranquil life in retirement. Recognized for his strategic visioning, product development and marketing expertise, while working, his company’s clients included major sports organizations such as Major League Baseball, National Hockey League, National Football League, Boston Red Sox, Seattle Mariners, Kansas City Royals, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, as well as global corporations such as Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Novartis, Biogen Idec, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Centocor, Janssen Therapeutics, Kimberly-Clark, Medtronic, Pfizer, McGraw-Hill and SMART Technology.
ATOM EGOYAN, C.C.
Atom Egoyan has produced a significant body of work in film, television, and theatre. He has won 60 awards and been nominated for 75 others, and has screened his films at festivals around the world. He was the recipient of the Grand Prix and International Critics’ Awards from the Cannes Film Festival and has been nominated for two Academy Awards. He has also received the Governor General’s Award in Performing Arts and is a Companion of the Order of Canada. His films have been presented in major retrospectives around the world and a number of books have been written about his work. Egoyan’s installations have been exhibited at museums and galleries in Canada and abroad, including the Venice Biennale.
COLM FEORE, O.C.
One of Canada’s most celebrated actors and an international success story, Colm Feore has created a host of indelible characterizations on film, television and stage, in both French and English. With a resume too lengthy to replicate in detail, Colm is well-remembered in Canada for his Gemini-winning performance in the mini-series Trudeau, and his Genie-nominated turn as the legendary pianist in Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould. At the Stratford Festival, he’s played virtually all of Shakespeare’s leading men, including Richard III, Iago, Romeo, Hamlet, Macbeth, and King Lear. International screen credits most recently include Borgias, House of Cards, For All Mankind, and The Umbrella Academy. Feore is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a Governor General’s Performing Arts Lifetime Achievement Award laureate.
A citizen of both Canada and the United Kingdom, Charles Officer studied at Cambridge University and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. He worked as a graphic designer and creative director in Toronto before attending the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York. In 2002, Charles completed Short Hymn, Silent War (TIFF 2002, Sundance 2004) at the Canadian Film Centre’s director’s residency. The film earned his first Genie nomination in 2004. His debut feature, Nurse.Fighter.Boy, premiered at TIFF in 2008, screened in Berlin and at MoMA, and garnered 10 Genie nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director. Charles made Playback magazine’s “10 to Watch” list in 2009 and received the Ontario Premier’s Emerging Artist Award that same year. His debut feature documentary, Mighty Jerome, won four Leo Awards and a 2012 Regional Emmy Award. He was the recipient of Hot Docs’ Don Haig Award of Merit in 2012 and went on to direct an episode of the Engraved On A Nation documentary series, which won a 2014 Canadian Screen Award. Charles has also directed episodes of the acclaimed television series Rookie Blue, Saving Hope and Private Eyes, starring Jason Priestly. He recently completed his second feature documentary, Unarmed Verses, produced by the National Film Board of Canada, and released The Skin We’re In, a documentary that follows celebrated journalist Desmond Cole as he pulls back the curtain on racism in Canada.
JASON RYLE (Anishinaabe)
Jason Ryle is a producer, programmer, curator, story editor, and arts consultant based in Toronto. He is Anishinaabe from Lake St. Martin, Manitoba. Jason was the Executive Director of imagineNATIVE from July 2010 to June 2020. In this capacity, Jason oversaw all operational and artistic activities of the annual imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, including the organization’s year-round initiatives, international partnerships, and special projects. He is currently working as a freelancer, with a focus in Indigenous media arts.
Mina Shum has written and directed award-winning films that have premiered at Sundance, Toronto, and Berlin. Her feature Double Happiness won Best Canadian Feature at TIFF, Best First Feature at Berlin, and an audience award at Torino. Her films include Drive, She Said; Long Life, Happiness & Prosperity; Ninth Floor (TIFF Top Ten), and Meditation Park, which won TIFF Film Circuit’s People’s Choice Award and CAAMFest’s Audience Award.
VERONICA TENNANT, C.C.
Veronica Tennant, as Prima Ballerina danced with such luminaries as Rudolf Nureyev and Mikhail Baryshnikov. Forming Veronica Tennant Productions in 1999, her filmography ranges from arts-performance — to drama — to documentary, winning several awards. Shadow Pleasures, which she conceived and directed, was written by Michael Ondaatje (seven Golden Sheaf Awards, Yorkton Film Festival incl. Norman Jewison Award Best Directing, Best Production, and Best of the Festival). Two of Veronica’s ‘shorts’ have screened in Cineplex theatres nationally: The Cinammon Peeler, pairing with Robert Altman’s The Company, and Something’s Coming – ‘Live’ International Simulcasts. Her Vida Y Danza, Cuba! was invited to the Havana Film Festival – the Canadian broadcast garnering Gemini nominations for Best Directing and Best Performing Arts Production. Inducted into Canada’s Walk of Fame in 2001, Veronica in turn created CWOF film tributes on Cirque du Soleil, Diana Krall, Roberta Bondar, Sarah Polley, and Mordecai Richler. Most recently, she produced Christopher Plummer: A Memoir, which screened at Hot Docs 2018 and was streamed in 2019. Honours include: The Governor General’s Performing Arts Award, and, in 2004, promotion to the highest rank, as a Companion of the Order of Canada.
CURTIS BARLOW, Chair Emeritus
Curtis Barlow began his professional career in the arts in 1977 as executive director of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT). In 1986, he was appointed cultural counsellor to the United Kingdom at the Canadian High Commission in London, and director of the Canada House Cultural Centre. From 1990-1996, he served as Canadian cultural counsellor to the United States, and from 1996 to 2001, was executive director and CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts. From 2001 to 2003, he served as director of the Arts and Cultural Industries Promotion Division at the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Ottawa. Curtis Barlow was appointed deputy secretary (Policy, Program and Protocol) to the Governor General of Canada in March 2003. He became CEO of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship in 2007 and in 2011 completed a two-year term as executive director of the Fort York Foundation. Since 2007, Barlow has served on the boards of directors of the Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation.
Our Advisory Committee
Denys Arcand, C.C.
Sonia Bonspille-Boileau (Mohawk)
Tantoo Cardinal (Cree/Métis)
David Cronenberg, C.C.
Danis Goulet (Cree/Métis)
Paul Gross, O.C.
Ronnie Dean Harris (Stō:lo/St’át’imc/
Norman Jewison, C.C.
Don McKellar, C.M.
Deepa Mehta, O.C.
Alanis Obomsawin, C.C. (Abenaki)
Jennifer Podemski (Anishinaabe)
Dr. Duke Redbird (Anishinaabe)
Amanda Strong (Michif)
Janelle Wookey (Métis)
Reel Opportunities Advisory Committee
Tyson Caron, On Screen Manitoba
Laura Churchill, NF Film Commission
Chris Dunn, Ontario Creates
Katannya Lee, Creative BC
Joy Loewen, National Screen Institute
Christine Maestracci, Bureau du cinéma et de la télévision du Québec (BCTQ)
Monty Montgomerie, IATSE Canada
Erin O’Connor, City of Calgary, Calgary Film Centre
Lisa Purdy, Creative BC
Biju Pappachan, POV