“How to Pitch to Production Partners” Panel &
South Asian Filmmakers Networking Mixer

Are you a South Asian film and TV creative living in Toronto and looking to connect with others in the diaspora? Join our panel discussion, presented by South Asian Canadian Film Federation, with support from Reel Asian, “How to Pitch to Production Partners!”

Our panelists, Nicole Mendes, Vinuja Shanthasoruban, and Gurjeet Mann, moderated by Asis Sethi, will share their insights on crafting a strong pitch and demonstrating your voice and project as a storyteller. Following the panel, there will be an opportunity to meet other South Asian creatives and professionals working in the media arts and explore networking opportunities in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. This event is free, and light refreshments are available!

This event is presented by the South Asian Canadian Film Federation, with support from Reel Asian.



Nicole Mendes
VP Scripted Development-Lark Productions

Nicole Mendes currently serves as VP, Scripted Development for Lark Productions where she oversees strategy and development for the scripted arm of the company, and is executive producer of the CBC series, Allegiance. Prior to that she spent over a decade at the CBC, overseeing shows including the hit Canadian drama Murdoch Mysteries, the critically acclaimed series Anne With an “E,” and the Peabody nominated adaptation of The Book of Negroes. Nicole has served on multiple juries and sat on various industry panels for organizations such as TIFF, WGC, DGC, and WIFT. She is also a founding visioning committee member of BIPOC TV & Film.

Vinuja Shanthasoruban
Director of Development-Neshama Entertainment

Vinuja Shanthasoruban is a Tamil-Canadian producer, and actor from Scarborough who is passionate about uplifting underrepresented voices and increasing their access to the entertainment industry. Over the years, Vinuja has developed skills across development, production, post-production and distribution, giving her an edge in the Entertainment landscape in Canada. In 2023, Vinuja participated in the Reelworld Producer Program.  As a Director of Development at Neshama, she’s responsible to source, develop and pitch Thriller, Horror and True Crime projects to Tubi for conception. Vinuja is an expert in accelerated timelines and efficient content development.

Gurjeet Mann
(Executive Producer/DOP) HeartHat Entertainment

He is currently executive producing and serving as Director of Photography on ‘WE BOUGHT A FUNERAL HOME for Discovery+. He is also Executive Producer/DOP and Co-Creator of BOLLYWED.

His body of work goes back almost 30 years. During that time, he has shot numerous series for CBC, CTV, Discovery, Food Network, and HGTV, along with many documentaries and Bollywood films. Last year he wrapped shooting a Bollywood film titled RANG RATA, scheduled for launch in April 2022. He has been nominated for his work on HELLO GOODBYE on CBC by the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

Gurjeet is always looking for ways to push the envelope technically and stylistically and brings a bold creative vision to every project he embarks on. He aims to mentor underrepresented technical crew and bring more diversity to the set.


Asis Sethi
President of SACFF

An alumna of TIFF SERIES ACCELERATOR, WOMEN IN DIRECTOR’S CHAIR and a former PLAYBACK MAGAZINE’s 10 to Watch, Asis Sethi is a South Asian Canadian filmmaker whose career in broadcasting spans over 15 years as a producer and a host on lifestyle shows. Asis has created over 100 hours of content for television. Her REMI Award winning short on menstruation, ‘A BLOODY MESS’, was screened at 30 film festivals. Her 16-episode documentary television series on Sikh shrines in India, ‘DARSHAN DEKH JEEVA’, was funded by the OMNI DOCUMENTARY FUND. She directed a documentary on post 9/11 effects on turban wearers titled ‘THE COLOURFUL CROWN’ which premiered on OMNI Television nationally. Her short film on postpartum depression titled ‘ROCK THE CRADLE’ was funded by the CANADA COUNCIL FOR THE ARTS.  Asis’s feature project ‘SLAM DUNK, SEHAJ!’ was supported by the CFC/NETFLIX CALLING CARD ACCELERATOR and also won Caribbean Tales’ THE BIG PITCH at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022. Asis was one of the 25 pitch participants for the NETFLIX BANFF DIVERSITY OF VOICES Fellowship for the BANFF WORLD MEDIA FESTIVAL 2023.

 Asis is also a mentor at WIFT Toronto, OYA Black Arts Coalition and the M Film Lab.

MON MAY 13, 2024
5:00PM – 7:00PM

401 Commons
401 Richmond St W, 4th Floor

Panel Discussion
Networking Mixer

Light refreshments will be provided

Open Tickets Cart