Meet Our Judges

Grand Jury

Deirdre Brennan
General Manager
Universal Kids

Deirdre Brennan is the General Manager for Universal Kids, NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment’s network for kids 2-12. With a fresh mix of animated content, unscripted entertainment, and proven international hits, Universal Kids represents the world of NBCUniversal family brands.

Brennan oversees all aspects of Universal Kids’ programming, marketing, business strategy and performance. She sets the strategy for all network and digital operations, with organizational oversight that includes programming, development, marketing, digital, finance, communications, insights and strategy. Brennan manages the greenlight process and works closely with producers and international broadcasters as well as with the global creative community to bolster the network’s relationships with top talent, writers, and showrunners. She also works closely across all NBCUniversal businesses to optimize projects and resources that grow the company’s overall kid’s strategy.

Previously, Brennan was at Corus Entertainment, where she was Vice President, Content, overseeing the development, management and execution of the Corus Kids slate of programming, including YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon, TELETOON, Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD. Prior to joining Corus, she was Head of Children’s Television, ABC TV, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, leading programming, acquisition and commissioning across Australia’s most successful children’s services - ABC KIDS, ABC3, and ABC Children’s online and mobile offerings.

Prior to that, she was Director of Content, Australia & New Zealand for BBC Worldwide. Brennan also served as Director of Programming, Nickelodeon Australia. She began her career as a presenter and announcer for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Brennan lives in New York City with her husband.

Elaine Frontain Bryant
EVP, Head of Programming
A+E Networks

Coming Soon...

Richard Kanee
Executive Director, Digital Strategy
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Richard is Executive Director, Digital Strategy for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, consistently ranked the 9th largest digital audience in Canada and fastest growing in the top 10.   

Since 1999, he has led digital strategy and business development for media brands including MuchMusic and CTV.  In that time, he pioneered many cross-platform successes that reached across broadcast, interactive television, web, mobile and live events.

Prior to joining CBC, Richard founded Creative D Inc.  Over its three year life the company developed new content distribution experiences and worked with tier-one media companies including Warner Music, Comedy Central, Fox and Disney.  In 2012 Creative D was selected as a finalist at Midem Labs in Cannes and a winner of the Disney Innovation Challenge.   Richard is a frequent speaker and instructor on the intersection of media and technology.

Anne Mensah
Head of Drama

Anne Mensah was appointed Head of Drama for the entertainment channels in 2011. Over the past six years, Anne has led the growth of original drama on Sky including the critically acclaimed Enfield Haunting, Fortitude starring Michael Gambon and Dennis Quaid and Guerrilla, written and directed by Academy award winner John Ridley. She is also responsible for commissioning some of Sky’s biggest ever original commissions – such as Delicious with Dawn French and Emilia Fox, Riviera starring Julia Stiles and Tin Star starring Tim Roth. Upcoming dramas include Britannia featuring David Morrissey and Kelly Reilly and Melrose starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
Prior to joining Sky, Anne spent 10 years at the BBC where she was latterly Head of Independent Drama as well as Head of Drama for BBC Scotland. Whilst at the BBC, Anne commissioned and worked with the very best in British drama to produce an impressive array of hits across the BBC channels. This includes the multi award winning Wallander starring Kenneth Branagh; Waterloo Road; Case Histories starring Jason Issacs; Zen starring Rufus Sewell and God on Trial with Stephen Dillane, Dominic Cooper, Stellan Skarsgard and Sir Anthony Sher.

Lisa Opie
Director of Factual
BBC Studios

Lisa Opie is the Director of Factual for BBC Studios, the BBC’s commercial TV production arm that creates many of the UK's most successful shows, including Planet Earth II, Strictly Come Dancing, Doctor Who and Top Gear.

Lisa leads BBC Studios' factual teams, working with the creative leads, production management and business teams to enable BBC Studios to deliver and grow its world-class content, across Natural History, Science, History, Arts, Documentaries, Features and Daytime. Its factual programmes, such as Springwatch, Horizon, Child of Our Time, Stargazing Live, Imagine, Jane Austen: Behind Closed Doors, Life and Death Row, Louis Theroux, The Met and Murdered for Being Different are renowned for their quality and loved by audiences in the UK and around the globe.
Lisa was previously Controller of Business for Factual and Daytime, responsible for all business activities across Factual and Daytime from production management through to business affairs and commercial strategy, working with both independent production companies and BBC in-house production.

Before joining the BBC in 2013, Lisa was Managing Director of Two Four Digital, where she helped create digital channels and content for brands, broadcasters and businesses keen to engage audiences on multiple platforms. Previously she was Managing Director of Content at Channel Five, responsible for the creative and editorial strategy for Five’s family of channels, and Managing Director of Flextech Television, a former partner with the BBC in UKTV.


Ahmed Abdelhamid
Head of Programming
Majid Entertainment

Suzan Aledin

During her ten years at Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company she has produced and commissioned hundreds of projects for children and youth in Finland. She has recently left Yle and is now Co-founder and head of the board at Moilo, a production company specialized in children and youth content.

Marie-Eve Arsenault
Content Manager

Marie-Eve Arseneault is a Marketing and Content professional with more than 13 years of experience in the Entertainment industry, in both Television and Video games. Inspired by pop and geek cultures, she is working on the development of digital and interactive content.

Kenny Bae
Senior Producer, Marketing Manager
KBS Korean Broadcasting System

Kenny, Kihyung Bae joined KBS in 1991 and has been involved with most of the significant international co-productions initiated by the broadcaster since joining the company. His focus is on documentaries and cultural programs. Currently, he is in charge of KBS World channel marketing and content business with overseas partners at KBS.

Bae has received the Presidential Award and the Best Program Award from the Korean Government. He is an internationally renowned expert in the field of co-production and global producing of content industry.

Zia Bales
Senior Acquisitions Manager EMEA
Turner Broadcasting System EMEA Limited

Zia Bales is Senior Acquisitions Manager, Kids for Turner EMEA, working across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing and Cartoonito. In this role, Zia oversees and negotiates shared acquisitions for Turner’s EMEA kids’ business, working closely with the local heads of programming and acquisitions of each of the channels and the content heads within EMEA.
Zia has been at Turner since 2013. Prior to this she held an Acquisitions role at Disney. Zia has a background in Television Production having held various positions in Production Management.

Justine Bannister
Just B

Mohammed Belhaj
Executive Producer, Commissioning Editor
Al Jazeera Documentary Channel

Mohammed Belhaj is an Executive Producer and Commissioning Editor at Aljazeera Documentary Channel. He’s an award-winning documentary writer-director who carried out many documentaries all over the world.

As a decision maker, he attended various international documentary film festivals and events around the world and oversees Documentary courses- master classes at many training workshops. In addition, he represents the documentary channel in the NPC (Network Programs Committee) which contributes in creating synergies between the channels of the Network (AJE, AJA and AJB); and financing the projects that interest all of them.

Stephanie Betts
SVP Development and Current Series DHX Studios
DHX Media

As Senior Vice President of Development and Current Series, Stephanie Betts is responsible for fostering, managing and expanding the kids and family development slate at DHX Studios, while also taking an active role in the creative oversight of all original DHX Media content. Stephanie’s expertise lies in building strong, creatively driven teams, and in developing series that appeal to domestic and international broadcasters – and most importantly, to kids! Drawing on more than a decade of experience producing and developing award-winning series, Stephanie has spearheaded the development of more than a dozen successful DHX series, including Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Inspector Gadget, Teletubbies, Supernoobs, and Make It Pop. Prior to joining DHX Media, Stephanie worked for more than six years as a Producer and Development Executive at Breakthrough Films and Television, and at Atomic Cartoons.

Brenda Bisner
Baby Toes Media

Allison Bresnick
Social and Digital Strategy
Katie Couric Media

Debbie Brown
Production Executive, Women & Family Television
Corus Entertainment

Colin Brunton
Screamin Banshee Productions

Emerging from Toronto rep theatres The Original 99 Cent Roxy and The New Yorker, Brunton got into the punk music scene as a documentarian in the late 70s, making his short film The Last Pogo, and then went on to build one of the most prolific careers in Canadian indie film and television. He won a Genie Award for Best Live Action Short, The Mysterious Moon Men of Canada, and went on to produce for many of Canada's most well known auteurs.

Brunton’s feature producing credits include the cult classics Roadkill, Highway 61, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. As the first Executive Director of the Feature Film Project at the Canadian Film Centre, he executive-produced some of the most successful projects to come out of that program including Rude and Cube. He then went on to conquer the television world with several series including: Our Hero, An American in Canada, The Newsroom, Puppets Who Kill, How to Be Indie, Little Mosque on the Prairie, Almost Heroes, Connor Undercover, and Spun Out. He exec-produced Kire Paputt’s feature debut The Rainbow Kid in 2016, and recently wrapped up Season Four of the award-winning TV series Schitt’s Creek for CBC; he is currently in development for season five. His filmmaking life has come full circle with the release of his feature documentary on Toronto's punk history, The Last Pogo Jumps Again, co-directed with filmmaker Kire Paputts.

Juliana Capelini
Creative and Executive Producer

Juliana Capelini has been a producer in the Brazilian audiovisual market for more than ten years. As an executive producer, worked for the main Brazilians production companies in TV series, documentaries and feature films, such as “Julie and The Phantoms”, kids live action series for Nickelodeon and TV Band, Emmy Nominee in 2012; “Sitio do Picapau Amarelo – 1th season”, animation series for TV Globo and Cartoon; “Doggy Day School” a Brazilian-Canadian coproduction animation series for Nickelodeon LA, TV Cultura and TV Ontario; “DPA- Detetives do Predio Azul” kids live action series for TV Gloob, “Terra Prometida” a documentary series for TV Cultura, and “DPA- Detetives do Predio Azul - The Movie” feature film released in 2017.

Meghan Cassin
Director, Development
Nat Geo Wild

Meghan Cassin is the Director of Development for Nat Geo Wild. In this role she is responsible for specials, character-driven series, and BarkFest. In addition to linear programming, Cassin develops digital content for Wild and executive produced the multiplatform series Untamed with Filipe DeAndrade.
Previously, Cassin has worked in development, strategy, and production roles at Digitas, Siskel/Jacobs Productions, Intersport, and Sirius XM Satellite Radio.
She is a graduate of The George Washington University’s American studies program and holds a Masters of Science in integrated marketing and communications from Northwestern University.

Aubrey Clarke
Programme Executive
BBC Children''s, CBeebies

Laura Crowson
Sr. Director of Development
Discovery Channel

Laura Crowson serves as Sr. Director of Development & Development Strategy for Discovery Channel. In this role, she works alongside domestic and international producers to develop prime-time series for the network, while helping to steer strategy for new projects.

During her time with the network, Crowson has been an instrumental part of the Discovery team that is responsible for developing such hits as Naked and Afraid, Fast N' Loud and Edge of Alaska.

Before joining Discovery, Crowson was a Development Executive/Producer for Gurney Productions in Los Angeles, CA. While at Gurney, she was responsible for pitching and developing projects for multiple networks including Duck Dynasty for A&E, American Guns for Discovery Channel and Auction Hunters for Spike TV.

Prior to her work with Gurney Productions, she was in the highly prestigious agent trainee program at Creative Artists Agency.

Crowson holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Dartmouth College where she majored in English Literature and Film and Television Studies. She is based out of the Discovery Communications’ West Coast office in Los Angeles, CA.

Atar Dekel
Head of Global Drama
Keshet International

Atar Dekel is Co-Head of Global Scripted Co-productions and Acquisitions at Keshet International (KI), overseeing a slate of more than 20 cross-border projects with partners in all corners of the world, from Brazil, Germany, Italy, France, Canada, Belgium and Argentina.

In 2015, Atar seconded to LA in order to help set up KI’s US production arm Keshet Studios with CEO Alon Shtruzman. There she handled business development for all US scripted projects prior to the appointment of the current President of Scripted, Peter Traugott.

Before joining Keshet International, Atar served as The Israeli Cultural Attaché in Los Angeles, covering all cultural exchanges between Israel and the Southwestern region of the US, specifically overseeing business opportunities within the Hollywood community. Prior to that, she headed the International Department at Kneller Artists Agency, Israel’s largest literary agency, representing a some of the country’s most internationally renowned screenwriters, directors and authors.

Piotr Derewenda
Script Editor

Scriptwriter, creative producer, sript editor, tv expert at the tv series, fiction and TV theatre productions. Jury member of international film festivals, such as Prix Europa Festival, Berlin (TV drama category) or the BANFF World Media Festival. He graduated from the National Academy of Dramatic Art in Warsaw (The Theatre Studies). Piotr has been working at the TVP since 2006. At present, responsible for artistic and literary supervision of films and tv series. His projects were recognized at numerous Polish and international festivals.

Ben Dwertman
Senior Manager of Prorgramming
Science Channel

Lauren Evans
Cherrydale Productions

Laura Fleury
SVP, Head of Programming, International
A+E Networks

Laura Fleury serves as the SVP/Head of Programming, International, for A+E Networks. Named to the role in late 2016, she is responsible for setting A+E Networks’ international programming vision to drive performance and growth across the company’s portfolio outside the U.S., which includes HISTORY, H2, Lifetime, A&E Network, FYI, Blaze and Crime + Investigation. She oversees the global programming teams on development of original content and co-productions, as well as scheduling and acquisition strategies, with the objective to increase cultural relevance around A+E’s brands worldwide. In addition, she has oversight of content sourced from A+E’s U.S. networks and is a key decision-maker behind international investments in original productions, co-productions, movies and scripted. She collaborates closely with the international GM’s and regional brand programming heads to strengthen the channels as powerful global brands through aligned but regionally-crafted strategies. Also key to her role is evaluating brand expansion opportunities as well as developing and executing programming strategies for new channel launches. Fleury oversees a New York-based programming team as well as programming leads for all A+E brands internationally. She also continues to serve as a senior advisor to A+E Networks for crime programming.

Prior to her role in International, served in the role of Head of Programming & Development for LMN (Lifetime Movie Network) since 2013, and was named SVP/Head of Programming & Development of LMN in 2015.

Fleury has also held senior positions at A&E Network and Bio Channel. Prior to working in television, Fleury worked in independent film production on scripted and unscripted films, including the award-winning documentaries “Brother’s Keeper” and “Paradise Lost.”

A graduate of the Women in Cable and Telecommunications' prestigious Betsy Magness Leadership Institute, she has also received a NAMIC Vision Award, a Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award and has several Emmy nominations. Fleury graduated with highest honors from The University of Virginia, where she created her own major, “The Psychology of Visual Arts,” and wrote her thesis on the “Psychology of Suspense in Hitchcock Films”.

She is (nearly) fluent in French and currently resides in NY.

Sarah Fowlie
Head of Original Production, Comedy
Bell Media

Colby Gaines
Back Roads Entertainment

Colby Gaines is an executive producer and founder of Back Roads Entertainment, a New York based content creator specializing in comedy and lifestyle programming.

In his role, Gaines is responsible for the company's programming, development and day-to-day operations. Back Roads Entertainment develops, sells and produces across all genres for broadcast and cable networks, both domestically and internationally, as well as digital platforms.

Since establishing the company in 2011, Gaines has created, sold and produced over 30 series, specials and pilots for networks such as such as A&E, Lifetime, Discovery, Food, Travel Channel, TLC and E! among others. He oversees and manages a production slate that includes Big Bad BBQ Brawl (Cooking) and the upcoming variety format 50 Central (BET) starring music icon, actor and entrepreneur 50 Cent. Other credits include Joking Off (MTV), Lake Life (DIY) as well as Culinary Beats (Yahoo).

Cathy Galeota
SVP, Preschool Content

Cathy Galeota is Senior Vice President of Preschool Content, Nickelodeon Group. A 20-year Nickelodeon veteran, Galeota oversees production on all current Nickelodeon preschool series including co-productions and original shows, such as the top-ranked PAW Patrol, Blaze and the Monster Machines and Shimmer and Shine. She also maintains creative and business oversight of the preschool Executives In Charge (EICs).
Since 1997, Galeota has served in several positions at Nickelodeon. She began her career at the company in the network’s production management group, handling long-form projects in development for Nick Jr. and on-air promos. She went on to become a producer on both Dora the Explorer and Go, Diego, Go!, and later, Director of Preschool Current Series as an EIC for Dora, Diego and Team Umizoomi, before taking on the role of Vice President of Preschool Current Series.
Prior to joining Nickelodeon, Galeota worked at Disney Channel and The WB in Los Angeles, serving as production manager on various short-form projects, on-air creative branding and creative development for the networks.
Galeota lives with her family in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Alan Gasmer
Executive Producer & Principal
Alan Gasmer & Friends

Alan Gasmer is an Executive Producer of the award-winning History Channel series Vikings, now in its fifth season. As a principal in the entertainment management company Alan Gasmer & Friends and the newly formed Veritas Entertainment Group, Gasmer executive produces You Me Her, the DirecTV comedy that’s going into its third season. He currently has Fahrenheit 451 shooting for HBO and Crash & Burn shooting for Hulu.

His company’s production arm has many projects in development at broadcast, cable, and digital networks and also for the stage. Among them are Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles, Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad at TNT and BBC, The Distributor with Allen Coulter directing, and Elvis, a four hour documentary at HBO in addition to many other projects setup in various stages. Alan is also producing the feature remake of Cannonball Run at Warner Brothers, Barnes starring Jeff Bridges, and Brilliant with Morgan Freeman as well The Honeymooner’s at the Paper Mill Theater. In 2017, former CAA and Paradigm literary agent, Bob Bookman formed a joint venture with Gasmer and Peter Jaysen called Veritas Entertainment Group to adapt intellectual properties from his long list of clients including John Irving and Michael Crichton into film and television projects. Together, the three of them recently sold Hotel Honolulu based off the well-known book by Paul Theroux to Fox as well as The Mosquito Coast to Fremantle and All the Shah’s Men to Amazon.

In addition, his company represents many well-known television and motion picture writers and represents several libraries of intellectual property.

Before opening his own firm, Gasmer was a highly regarded William Morris film agent, described in Vanity Fair as “the King of Specs” for his part in creating and supplying the spec screenplay marketplace.

Athena Georgaklis
Head of Development, Nelvana
Corus Entertainment

Gustavo Gontijo
Content Development Manager
Globo TV International

Gustavo Gontijo has been with Globo Studios (Brazil´s biggest) since 2000 when he was hired as a writer in a long-term contract for many of the company´s shows and series. In 2014, with the creation of Drama Weekly division, dedicated only to drama and comedy series, he was named Head of Development, a position which he holds to this day. During the period, he helped to conceive and develop hits like “Under Pressure” (the number 1 series in Brazil), “Supermax”, Mister Brau”, “The Wise Ones” and the 2017 MIPtv Grand Jury Prize “Jailers”.

Jennifer Goodhue

Jen is an award-winning comedic actress, writer and improviser with over twenty five years of sketch writing and performance experience. She's an alumni of The Second City Mainstage and current staff writer for the hit series Baroness Von Sketch Show (CBC, IFC). She's previously written for Because News (CBC), 22 Minutes (CBC), That's So Weird (YTV) and Stroumboulopoulos Tonight (CBC). Jen wrote and co-starred in five seasons of the sketch comedy series Comedy Inc. (CTV, Comedy Network). She's performed in various sketches on Baroness Von Sketch, and her film credits include Guidance and No Stranger Than Love. In 2017, she won two Canadian Screen Awards (Best Writing in a Televised Variety/Sketch Show and Best Televised Variety/Sketch Show, Baroness Von Sketch) and has previously won several Canadian Comedy Awards for her ensemble work with both The Second City and Monkey Toast – an Improvised Talk Show.

Chris Harris
Executive Producer, Digital Scripted
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

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 the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation 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 CBC, working in Sports, News and Kids.

Kevin Healey
Head of Alternative Programming
Propagate Content

Kevin Healey has created, written, developed and produced an incredibly diverse array of shows including Tru TV’s Fameless with David Spade, Scare Pewdiepie for YouTube Red, Syfy’s Megahit Scare Tactics, BETTY WHITE’S Off Their Rockers for NBC, the FOX comedy reality hit Mobbed with Howie Mandel, The Carbonaro Effect for TRU TV, Animal Planet’s Fool’s Gold, NBC’s 25 Million Dollar Hoax, SPY TV, World’s Most Amazing Videos, Howie Do It and You Asked for It; ABC’s The Big Moment; FOX’s World’s Dumbest Drivers, Oxygen’s Breaking Up With Shannen Doherty; Comedy Central’s Emmy Award-Winning Win Ben Stein’s Money; Nickelodeon’s critically-acclaimed animation series, CatDog and the DreamWorks animation series Toonsylvania. Kevin’s efforts have earned him the reputation as the industry’s most sought after expert in hidden camera/comedy and horror/comedy.

Carlos Hulett Guinand
CEO, Founder

Kirsten Hurd
Acquisitions, Children's Media

Working in Acquisitions for TVO, the technological extension of Ontario’s public education system, Kirsten is responsible for sourcing a wide range of kids programming. She is also the Production Executive for TVO on 5 co-productions each year. In her previous positions she spent 15 years in international sales and acquisitions of finished programming, most recently as Director of Acquisitions and Canada Sales at Distribution360. Prior to D360, Kirsten served as Director of Sales for factual distributor BuzzTaxi Communications, and has held sales and management positions at Cookie Jar Entertainment, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Decode/DHX Media. As a specialist in program sales, Kirsten worked within territories across the globe including North America, Latin America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East, New Zealand and Australia. She has attended international markets extensively including Kidscreen, MIPCOM, MIPTV, Banff Media Festival, Hot Docs, AIDC, TIFF, Realscreen and NATPE.

Monika Ille
Executive Director of Programming & Scheduling
APTN Aboriginal People's Television Network

Michael Katz
Michael Katz Media Consultancy

Michael E. Katz is the principal driving force behind an innovative international media consultancy that leverages a breadth of experience in both domestic US and global linear and digital channel building, programming strategy and planning, IP development, production, sales and distribution. His inaugural clients include an international production company and a global cross-media thought-leadership conference.
Michael brings to this consultancy a long and distinguished history as an innovator in broadcasting, from pioneering the boom in factual entertainment to translating parochial TV networks into global media brands. His reputation for recognizing industry trends and anticipating their business opportunities makes him a favorite with trade journalists and at media conferences around the world.
As Vice President, Programming and Production for A+E Networks International, he led international channel development, program strategy and planning for the Disney/Hearst joint venture. He worked closely with many of the world’s major media companies in North and South America, Europe, The Middle East, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Rim to develop channel propositions across all delivery platforms.  These included A&E, History, Lifetime, H2, BIO, CI, and FYI plus digital and free-to-air channel brands.  During his tenure, A+E Networks International built 84 branded international TV channels and program services in 39 languages reaching more than 330 million users with over 12,000 hours of IP across more than 200 territories.
Along with expanding its international channel business, Michael built from scratch and managed A+E Networks International’s content sales and distribution business.   From that launch, he supervised a sales and distribution staff based in New York, London, Singapore and Montreal increasing sales more than 10 fold from start-up to hand-off and built its client base to over 100 of the globe’s premiere broadcasters. That business now generates $125 million in revenue a year.
Prior to his role in A+E’s international expansion, he served as Head of Daytime, Comedy and Specials Programming for A&E Network in the US where he worked with likes of John Stewart, Steve Carell and Louis CK, overseeing late night and daytime program development, execution and scheduling. He was also responsible for the acquisition, development and scheduling of the network's special event programming with a concentration on world premiere documentary mini-series and crime-based reality.
In pioneering the area of premium unscripted programming events, Michael served as Executive Producer for A&E Network on a number of the channel’s highest-rated specials and groundbreaking documentary mini-series. He has received a CableAce, a SIVA Educational Award, a National Educational Media Award, Sons of The American Revolution Citation, a Banff Rockie Award and two national Primetime Emmy nominations.
Before joining A&E in 1989 as Director of Development for A&E Network, he was Executive Producer of WABC-TV, Disney-owned ABC’s O&O in New York.  In that capacity, he was responsible for The Morning Show's entry into national syndication as Live With Regis and Kathie Lee and received an Emmy for the local show in 1983 and an Emmy nomination for the national show in 1989.  Michael also served as Line Executive for New York Style,New York Hot Tracks, and Joel Siegel's Road to the Academy Awards. His television credits also include such projects as The Tony Awards Telecasts,The CBS 50th Anniversary Shows, David Frost's Headliners, We Interrupt This Week and The Robert Klein Show.
Michael Katz is a member of the Television Academy and served on the Board of Directors of the Banff World Media Festival and as chair of the Advisory Board for History Makers. He was a principal at A+E Networks for 26 years.
A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Michael graduated cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Tulane University with a BA degree in English.  He and his wife live in New Rochelle. Their two sons, A.J. and Oliver are also in the media business.

Alyssa Landry
Eurodisney Studios

An "American in Paris" for many years, Alyssa Landry is a storyteller and director who writes and designs immersive and interactive audience experiences. She is a free-lance show writer and director for Disneyland Paris whose credits include The Jedi Training Academy, Frozen Sing-Along, and The Forest of Enchantment, among others. She is a producer and narrative designer for Double Eye Productions, spearheading an augmented reality experience for the premiere of Cardboard City at the 2016 New York Film Festival and developing Metropoles, a multi-player virtual reality experience on the subject of gentrification. Her musical theater writing credits include Énooormes (co-author), Bons Baisers de Broadway and #Hashtags!, her first transmedia project. She is currently Narrative Director for Incarna, a new location based virtual reality game.

Su Lei

Mackenzie Lush
VP, Television, Development & Production
First Generation Films

As Vice President, Development and Production for First Generation Films’ television division, Mackenzie spearheads the acquisition, development, and production of new scripted series.
Previously serving as Director, Creative Affairs for leading global studio Entertainment One Television, Mackenzie has worked on numerous scripted half hours, one hours, and mini-series both within Canada and abroad. Most recently, she collaborated in the acquisition, development, and production of Global Television/Lifetime’s MARY KILLS PEOPLE, a provocative and darkly comic drama series created by Tara Armstrong, Executive Produced by Tassie Cameron (ROOKIE BLUE), and starring Caroline Dhavernas (HANNIBAL). She was involved in the development and production of the smash hit PRIVATE EYES, a new P.I. procedural for Global Television starring Jason Priestley, and the upcoming CBC event series, CAUGHT, based on Lisa Moore’s critically-acclaimed novel, and adapted by and starring Allan Hawco (REPUBLIC OF DOYLE, FRONTIER). She has served as Associate Producer on the CBC MOW, WISHING WELL from writer Sean Reycraft (THE VAMPIRE DIARIES), and was involved in the development and production of several eOne series including BITTEN (Space/Syfy), MEN WITH BROOMS (CBC), and award-winning comedies CALL ME FITZ (TMN/Movie Central/Direct TV), and ALMOST HEROES (Showcase/Hulu).
In addition, Mackenzie has served on advisory committees, panels and juries across Canada including the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, the imagineNATIVE Film & Media Festival, All Access Manitoba, the Vancouver International Film Festival Gatekeeper’s Panel, as well as the CSAs, the CFC, and many more.

Marney Malabar
Director of Kids TV

Sandy Marshall
Marshall Media

A 20-year comedy veteran, Sandy Marshall is a Chicago Emmy-nominated writer/producer, director, and entrepreneur currently develoipng comedic projects for television + brands.

Formerly a director at the legendary Second City improv theater, Sandy heads-up Marshall Media, a development studio focusing on comedic and space-related content in Toronto, New York, and Los Angeles. He’s a former VP of Second City Works (the B2B arm of Second City), and he co-created the produced television pilot "Shiny People."

In the digital media world, Sandy serves as a jurist at the Banff World Media Festival and has appeared in Fast Company, Crain’s Chicago Business, and on CBC News. He writes for Contently’s The Content Strategist and Canadian Business, speaks about the intersection of comedy and business at conferences, and served on Drake University's Board of Trustees.

As a film & television actor, Sandy has appeared alongside Vince Vaughn in Ron Howard's "The Dilemma,” Thomas Lennon in “Eden Court,” in the Comedy Central special “Still Hungry,” and in dozens of commercials. He’s a regular performer on “The Download with Justin Kaufmann” on WGN Radio, and is a founding member of the Chicago sketch ensemble Schadenfreude.

Nicole Matiation
Executive Director
On Screen Manitoba

Marie McCann
Senior Director CBC Kids
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Marie McCann is the Senior Director of Children’s Content for CBC. She began her career as an actress before earning a degree in English and Cinema Studies at the University of Toronto. She has written, directed and produced award winning children’s content for over 20 years. At CBC Kids she heads up the teams responsible for in-house television and digital content and oversees acquisitions and programming created with independent producers for Canada's national public broadcaster.

Kristen McGregor
Kristen McGregor

Kristen McGregor is an Emmy and Canadian Screen Award nominated children’s media producer, director and writer. As show producer, director and writer for Sunny Side Up for Sprout (NBCUniversal) Kristen has overseen over 500 hours of preschool children’s television content, and directed talent such as First Lady Michelle Obama, William Shatner, Julie Andrews and multiple extremely cute puppets, animals, and children. She has helped build 36 playgrounds across Ontario as the director, developer, and supervising producer of the Youth Media Alliance Award-winning Giver with TVOKids and Sinking Ship Entertainment (Season I, II, III & IV). Other shows for children she’s created/directed/produced/written on and researched include: Sesame Street, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, Babar and the Adventures of Badou, Dino Dana, What’s Inside?, Furze World Wonders, Abby Hatcher Monster Catcher, Hippothesis, Can You Imagine That?, Are We There Yet? World Adventure, Roll Play, Pirates Adventures in Art, MathXplosion, Chirp, and Bubble Guppies.

Kristen completed her Master’s Degree from Teachers College, Columbia University in 2012 focusing on cognitive development of children in relation to screen-based media, and was the recipient of the Youth Media Alliance’s Emerging Talent Award in 2013. When not making incredible content for kids, she can usually be found petting a dog.

Patrick McGuire
Head of Content
Vice Media Inc.

Patrick McGuire is a journalist and documentary producer who is currently VICE Canada's Head of Content. As VICE launched their Canadian TV network VICELAND last year, Patrick has been on the team overseeing original television production, alongside the youth-targeted digital and print journalism the brand is known for, which spans a network of ten online channels and a monthly print magazine.

Stephanie Morgenstern
Actor & Writer

Stephanie Morgenstern’s award-winning career spans many disciplines: beginning as an actor (Maelström, Denis Villeneuve; The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan), she branched into filmmaking, screenwriting, directing and showrunning. Most recently, Morgenstern was co-creator, writer, executive producer and showrunner, alongside her partner Mark Ellis, of CBC’s WWII espionage drama X Company. Shot on location in Budapest over three seasons, it earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination for Best Television Drama in its premiere year, and aired its two-part series finale last spring, which Morgenstern directed. Just prior to that, Ellis & Morgenstern were co-creators, writers, and executive producers on Flashpoint (CBS/CTV/Ion), jointly winning the Writers’ Guild of Canada's inaugural ‘Showrunner Award’ in 2013 when bringing the show to a close after a five-season run. Flashpoint earned the 2009 Gemini and 2013 Canadian Screen Awards for Best Dramatic Series, the Innovative Producers Award at the Banff World Media Festival, and was honoured with the Academy Board of Directors Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring Contribution to Canadian Television in 2013.

Tony Moulsdale
Global Director, Programming
Motion Content Group

Robin Neinstein
Manager, Original Content
Corus Entertainment

As Manager of Original Content – Scripted, Factual & Kids for Corus Entertainment, Robin Neinstein supervises commissioned original programming for a variety of Corus’ 45 television channels. Original scripted content is developed and created for Global, Showcase, History and W Network. Original factual programming is commissioned for History and Global. Corus also commissions children’s and youth programming for Teletoon, Treehouse and YTV. Prior to joining Corus, Robin was Executive in Charge of Production for CBC Television. He was also Executive Producer and co-founder of production company Media Headquarters. He is an Emmy Award-nominated producer. Robin started his career at Twentieth Century Fox and is a member of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.

Carolyn Newman
SVP, Scripted Programming
Entertainment One

Carolyn Newman serves as Senior Vice President, Scripted Programming for eOne’s Television business, based in Los Angeles. Focused on developing and packaging an elevated US slate for the company, Newman recently expanded her remit to include securing intellectual property from the global market to bring to the US and sourcing coproduction and presale opportunities, coordinating with eOne’s other development hubs in London, Toronto and Sydney.

Newman joined eOne from Amazon Studios where she held senior posts on more than 10 television series and served as the point executive on such series as Bosch, Hand of God, Mad Dogs and Good Girls Revolt. Newman was also actively involved in sourcing and securing international television projects for Amazon Studios. Prior to Amazon Studios, Newman was Vice President of Development and Production for Sphere Media where she oversaw development and executive produced critically acclaimed series 19-2 for Bell Media (Canada).

Alison Norrington
Chief Creative Officer
Storycentral Ltd.

Paul Nunn
Chief Strategy Officer

Dan Odendaal
Ahoy Films

Michele Paris
Senior Manager Children's Programming
Knowledge Network, BBC Kids

Jamie Piekarz
Kids Content Creator, Producer and Consultant

Marly Reed
Manager, Development and Production
CCI Entertainment Ltd.

A graduate of Simon Fraser University’s film program, Marly first began to hone her skills as a story room intern for Anagram Pictures in Vancouver, followed by work as a producer’s assistant, and later as Director of Development for Blake Corbet Productions. Marly currently oversees production and development for CCI Entertainment in Toronto.

Nataline Rodrigues
Director of Original Programming
Rogers Broadcasting Ltd

As Director of Original Programming, Nataline Rodrigues oversees the development and production of original Canadian programming for all Rogers Media non-sports television brands and platforms.

Since joining Rogers in 2013, Rodrigues has led the development and production of original scripted drama Between as well as the Chinese/English procedural drama Blood and Water as well as  comedies Nirvanna the Band the Show, Second Jen and Sunnyside. She is currently focused on new development, the production of event tv drama series Bad Blood: The Vito Rizzuto Story, comedy series Fubar and overseeing the Canadian slate of VICELAND, a new content offering in the media landscape, as part of a joint venture between Rogers and VICE Media.  

Prior to her role at Rogers Media, Rodrigues held the position of Executive in Charge of Production at CBC where she managed the development and production of numerous programs.    Her earlier experience includes working as an Executive in Charge of Production for Canwest and Alliance Atlantis where she was responsible for the development and production of numerous original award winning series.

Rodrigues has also worked in the independent sector as a producer, director, and writer in addition to developing factual and dramatic programming.  Her production credits include:  Canada’s War in Colour, Friendly Fire, Planet Storm and A Deathly Silence.

Zoe Rogovin
VP, Development

Clarence Rolle
Film Commissioner
Bahamas Film & Television Commission

Clarence Rolle was graduated from The College of The Bahamas, now University of The Bahamas, in 1993 with an Associate of Arts in Mass Communications and Journalism. He furthered his education at Clark Atlanta University in the United States, where he continued to develop his acting and writing talents. He has worked as a sports reporter, political and hard news reporter and editor in The Bahamas and the United States.
Later, he joined the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and became general manager of the Ministry's Communications Unit. He now serves as Bahamas Film & Television Commissioner.
He is the writer, director and producer of several plays and films.
Rolle also serves as president of the Bahamas Amateur Wrestling Federation and a vice president of the Bahamas Olympic Committee. He is married to Demetria Dawkins-Rolle. They have two children who enjoy several sports and the creative arts.

Heidi Schorn
Director, Development, Television
Entertainment One

With an extensive background in a variety of lifestyle programming, Heidi’s dedication and leadership as Director of Content across creative teams at eOne have made her a leading talent in the field. In her role, she works closely with the production, post production, accounting and legal teams, implementing strategies for long-term strategic growth across genres. With experience in all phases of development, her talents have contributed to a range of programming including access pieces, and format adaptations such as This Is Highschool (CBC) to original co-productions such as Food Truck Face Off (Food Network Canada/US).

Linda Simensky
VP, Children’s Programming

Vice President, Children’s Programming, PBS
As Vice President of Children’s Programming at PBS, Linda Simensky collaborates with producers, co-production partners, PBS station programmers, and distributors throughout the development, production, post-production, and broadcast phases for PBS KIDS programming.
Since joining PBS in 2003, Linda has worked with renowned producers to develop hit shows ranging from DANIEL TIGER’S NEIGHBORHOOD and WILD KRATTS to ODD SQUAD and NATURE CAT. Linda is currently working on the PBS KIDS creativity-themed series, PINKALICIOUS & PETERRIFIC with WGBH, LUNA AROUND THE WORLD with Joe Murray, and several pilots.
Before joining PBS, Linda was Senior Vice President of Original Animation for Cartoon Network, where she oversaw development and series production of "The Powerpuff Girls," among others. She began her career working for nine years at Nickelodeon, where she helped build the animation department and launch the popular series "Rugrats," "Doug" and "The Ren & Stimpy Show."
Linda also teaches Animation History at the University of Pennsylvania.

Halle Stanford
President, Television
The Jim Henson Company

Carlyn Staudt
EVP, Love Nature Programming & Development
Blue Ant Media

Carlyn Staudt is EVP, Love Nature programming and development at Blue Ant Media. She is responsible for leading the global programming strategy of Love Nature’s linear and streaming video platforms internationally, with the exception of North America. Her role also includes commissioning original content to grow the brand’s extensive library of 4K natural history programming. Working out of Washington, D.C., Staudt is building and leading a team in the areas of development and production to support Love Nature’s expansion.
Prior to joining Blue Ant Media, Staudt worked at National Geographic Partners as SVP, global content partnerships and strategic development. In this role, she was responsible for managing the company’s relationship with Fox Home Entertainment and 20th Century Fox Film & Television Distribution. In addition, she managed Cinema Ventures, National Geographic’s large-format film business and digital content syndication opportunities. Staudt also held numerous leadership roles within the company, notably SVP, global programming and managing director, National Geographic Channels, International Operations.

Igal Svet
Senior Director, Development
National Geographic

Based in New York, Igal Svet is Senior Director, Development for the National Geographic Channel, responsible for ideation and development of original premium content for the global channel. Svet is the main point of contact with the production community in New York. Prior to National Geographic, he served as Vice President, Development at the Miami-based production company, 2C Media and as Producer on several hit cable network series including History Channel’s Top Gear and truTV’s Full Throttle Saloon. Svet also played an integral role at BBC Worldwide and Reveille LLC, in Los Angeles, where he developed, packaged and sold non-fiction projects.

Charlotte Toledano-Detaille
SVP, Content Development
Lagardere Studios Distribution

Charlotte Toledano-Detaille started her career in 2001 at Endemol France as a creative. She becomes Head of Acquisitions in 2004.

In 2008 she moves to Banijay group as Head of Formats. In 2010, she launches her own media consultancy company with Newen as main exclusive client in France.

In 2015, she joins the Lagardère Studios group as SVP of Content Development

Andrea Ulbrick
Development and Production Executive
Screen NSW

Andrea has been a Sector Investment Manager (Screen) at Create NSW since August 2016. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, she has been working across a broad range of factual programs in film, TV, digital and radio for 28 years — initially as a television reporter, newsreader, TV presenter, director, creative producer, post producer, consultant executive producer for domestic and international broadcasters including ABC (Australia) SBS (Australia), Nine Network Australia, Network Ten, Arte France, BBC, National Geographic, UKTV, Discovery, S4C WALES and CBC Canada.

Prior to joining Create NSW, Andrea was a Commissioning Editor in Factual at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (2014-2016). She is also a competitive sailor and an amateur photographer.

Lucie Veillet
EVP & Producer
Telefiction Inc

Lindsay Watson
Head of Animation
CANUK Productions

Lindsay is a Canadian/British children’s animation producer based in London. She is an entrepreneur, academic and lobbyist whose papers on British animation funding and girls animation have been published by Animation UK and Nordicom’s International Clearing House on Children, Youth & Media.
Her consultancy firm CANUK Productions has aided the development and co-production of over 20 children’s and family projects. Her experience includes original IP, books, series, specials, games, apps, film and digital projects for the international market. She has worked on budgeted projects up to £10M.
She launched Animated Women UK in 2013 and has run it with a board for 5 years, and also obtained a Masters in Professional Media Practice specialising in animation management from Bournemouth University in 2015.
Lindsay regularly provides support to international film boards and funding bodies on assessing new projects and has appeared at festivals worldwide. She was diagnosed with dyslexia in 2015 and is passionate about 2 things: living somewhere warm and sunny with a dog named Rusty…and seeing more positive versions of women and girls in media.

Alice Webb
Director, BBC Children's and BBC North
BBC Children's

Joel Williams
Head of Programming
The Walt Disney Company Australia

Joel Williams oversees all aspects of the programming strategy for Disney Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD television channels and platforms in Australia and New Zealand. He also focuses on acquisitions, emerging nonlinear platforms, content windowing, and supporting franchise development.

Joel is a member of the International Emmys® and has worked in the television industry for more than 19 years, across both subscription television and free to air networks. Prior to joining Disney, Joel held key leadership positions with the National Indigenous Television Network (NITV) and Nickelodeon Australia.

Leah Wolfson
Production Executive, Original Programming, Corus Kids
Corus Entertainment

As a Production Executive in Original Programming, Leah Wolfson is responsible for overseeing the creative development and production of the original programming slate for Corus Entertainment’s YTV, Treehouse and Teletoon networks. Working in partnership with producers, Leah has contributed to the success of several popular and award-winning YTV and Treehouse series, including The Next Star, Splatalot, Cache Craze, Japanizi: Going Going Gong!, Max & Shred, Some Assembly Required, Sidekick, Scaredy Squirrel, This is Scarlett & Isaiah and Splash & Boots.
Leah is a graduate of the Radio & Television Arts Program at Ryerson University and joined Corus in 2007. She is passionate about children’s television and feels so lucky to be able to entertain and make kids laugh.

Marielle Zuccarelli
Chief Operating Officer
GRB Entertainment

Have questions? Need help?
Contact Zoe Sherwood at 416-408-2300 x237 or