Admission: $5 at the door / Free for Badge & Pass Holders
Show us the money! From crowdfunding to ultra low-budget to multi-million dollar financing, watch our panelists discuss the pros and cons of each avenue of funding, how to access them, and why so many independent filmmakers seem to be working with micro-budgets to get their next film projects off the ground.
Moderator: Austin Wong, Director of Business & Legal Affairs, DHX Media
Jennifer Liao, Director/Producer
Frank Manzo, Account Manager, TV & Motion Picture Group, National Bank
Ayah Norris, Marketing & Community Manager, IndieGoGo Canada
Aeschylus Poulos, Producer, Blue Ice Pictures Inc.
Lisa Valencia-Svensson, Producer, Storyline Entertainment
Jennifer Liao recently made her feature directorial debut with THE END OF DAYS AT GODFREY GLOBAL INVENTORY, which she also produced (with Sandy Kellerman), and previously directed, wrote, and produced the short films WHAT YOU EAT (Bravo!FACT/Ontario Arts Council), CEO (Toronto Arts Council), PRIDE WAR, PERSON, A TINY PROPHECY, and produced the Golden Sheaf Award-nominated short film FAMILY FIRST (Bravo!FACT). Collectively, they have screened at over twenty-five film festivals worldwide, and been broadcast on CBC, Bravo! Canada, Movieola, and Air Canada in-flight entertainment. Jennifer was a writer on the social media storytelling project CRUSHING IT! A SOCIAL MEDIA LOVE STORY (Story2.Oh), and directed behind-the-scenes videos for the IPF-supported web series RUBY SKYE P.I. She also produced (with writer/director Jeremy LaLonde) the ensemble comedy feature film SEX AFTER KIDS, which premiered at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and received 7 Canadian Comedy Award nominations.
Frank Manzo has over 10 years experience in securing financing for Film, TV and New Media production in Canada. He has worked at the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) administering the Ontario film & TV, animation & SFX and digital media tax credits, and more recently he has worked for Corus Entertainment, leading the Production Finance team responsible for all of Corus’ internal production financing. Frank currently leverages his expert knowledge of production financing as an Account Manager with National Bank’s TV & Motion Picture Group. The mission of the National Bank’s TV and Motion Picture Group is to offer a wide range of made-to-measure banking products and services to the Canadian film, TV, multimedia, video game, and entertainment production and distribution industries. The team specializes in financing large-scale projects in the entertainment industry and has a clientele ranging from producers, distributors and film studios to post-production, special effects and equipment leasing companies.
Ayah Norris leads Film and Creative in Canada for Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. She works closely with creators across the country to bring their ideas to the world through Indiegogo, raising funds and building community along the way. A passionate crowdfunding advocate, Ayah speaks across Canada at events on crowdfunding, finance, film, digital media, technology and social entrepreneurship, and is regularly featured as a voice for Canadian crowdfunding in media including the Globe and Mail, National Post, Toronto Star, Huffington Post, CBC, Reuters, Playback and Elle Canada. A storyteller at heart, Ayah is also Co-Creator of The INSIGHT Project, an award-winning, crowdfunded digital media platform sharing the stories of grassroots, creative game-changers. She is a graduate of the Queen’s School of Business, and led national initiatives in strategy and marketing for one of Canada’s leading hospitality brands before making the leap into the creative world. When not crossing the country for Indiegogo or the globe on her next great adventure, Ayah calls Toronto, Ontario home.
Over the years, Aeschylus Poulos has worked as a producer, associate producer, line producer or co-producer on acclaimed projects such as Slings & Arrows, Teaching the Life of Music, Triple Sensation, and Blindness. In 2010, Aeschylus joined Foundry Film where he co-produced Ruba Nadda’s thriller Inescapable and Kate Melville’s Picture Day. In 2012 Foundry Films joined the Blue Ice Pictures Team. Aeschylus produced the critically acclaimed indie film Molly Maxwell and most recently co-produced Ruba Nadda’s October Gale, starring Patricia Clarkson, Tim Roth and Scott Speedman. October Gale premiered at TIFF in 2014 and will be released theatrically in the USA and Canada in the new year. In his capacity at Blue Ice Pictures he continues to develop and produce on a varied and extensive slate of productions.
Lisa Valencia-Svensson is an award-winning documentary film producer based in Toronto who has been involved in the industry for over a decade. Her first feature length documentary was Herman’s House, which won an Emmy for Outstanding Arts & Culture Programming and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award: Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/ Political Documentary. Herman’s House was broadcast on the PBS documentary series POV and on documentary channel in Canada. She associate produced several films, including The World Before Her, which have garnered Emmy nominations and Canadian Screen Awards, have been broadcast internationally, and been screened and won awards at festivals including TIFF, Tribeca, Hot Docs and IDFA. Her passion is for film projects which explore issues of inequality and social justice, and which encourage audiences to view their world through a constructively critical and creatively unique lens.
Austin Wong is a Chinese-Canadian filmmaker. He has worked in the Canadian film industry for the last 14 years at such companies as Rhombus Media, Alliance, and Lionsgate. He was a producer of Bruce McDonald’s feature film “This Movie is Broken” and was Associate Producer for such features as Fernando Meirelles’ “Blindness” and Paul Gross’s “Passchendaele”. The short film “Gaysian” is his writing and directorial debut.