Heather Hatch on What She Learned at #Banff2017

We caught up with Heather Hatch, the 2017 Banff World Media Festival Mentorship recipient. This mentorship awarded Heather a pass to attend the Banff World Media Festival, June 11- 14, 2017 at the Fairmont Banff Springs. Prior to the festival, she had a chance to consult with her mentor, Cynde Harmon, Producer and CEO for “Really Real Films Inc.” (Stranger In The House, If I Had Wings), as well as meet with members of the WIFTV team both before and at the festival. Here is what Heather had to say.

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2017 Benff Mentorship Recipient, Heather Hatch

How was the Festival? What was the biggest highlight for you?

The first meeting I attended with my team, I did not say a word, I just smiled and nodded, but the BBC can be overwhelming for a first meeting. So, at first the festival was very intimidating but attending the parties and meeting people in the industry at these event made it easier. The biggest highlight was meeting people who have sat on committees for some of the grants I have gotten and getting good news in a pitch meeting.

 

What did you learn throughout your Banff World Media Festival Experience?

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From left to right: Tami Gabay, Cynde Harmon, Karen Wong, Heather Hatch, Pamela Jones

You have to put yourself out there, and working as a team makes it easier. Even if your pitches are not what somebody is looking for, asking them what they are interested in can help you choose projects you want to invest in creatively. Write down on the business cards, something about the person and your conversation so that you can remember them, and make possible connections after the festival. If you have meetings, look them up so you know what they look like, and can talk about some of their projects to break the ice. When booking a meeting, pick a location or it can get hairy trying to find them. Attending the workshops is full of information and can help you meet people.

 

Did the mentorship benefit you? What did you learn from your mentor and how did she help you?

The mentorship with Cynde Harmon, was unbelievable, she was a bubbling well of information, from how to organize my computer files, pitching advice, getting business cards, how to navigate the Banff media website, and how to keep track of and schedule meetings. Mentorship is so important in this industry, you can learn so much form a veteran of the trade, its knowledge that you can not gain through education alone. My Banff experience would not have been as successful without her guidance.

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Heather Hatch (centre) with her mentor Cynde Harmon (left) and WIFTV Treasurer Karen Wong (right)

Do you have any new projects on the Horizon? Or further development of current projects because of this experience?I was lucky enough to get the Telefilm micro grant this year to make a feature length documentary, the story of an Elder who wants to fight for her land that will be flooded by the Site C Dam in British Columbia which you can follow at #DellaFilm. The show that Women in Film and Television sent me to Banff for was a successful pitch meeting that turned into development, which was unbelievable. This show involves indigenous language and storytelling for children, and was created with alliance between myself and my team which you can check out at catapult pictures and open sky pictures.

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WIFTV Banff World Media Festival Mentorship Program

Mentorship programs play a key role in WIFTV’s continual efforts to support the professional development of women in the Canadian screen-based media community. That’s why, once again, Women in Film and Television Vancouver is proud to partner with the Banff Media Festival for the WIFTV Banff World Media Festival Mentorship Program.

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Left to right, Dusty Kelly, Dawn Brett-Hauschild (last years recipient), and Canadian Heritage Minister Melanie Joly at the 2016 Banff World Media Festival. Read more about Dawn’s festival experience here.

Successful applicants (mentees) are provided with:

  • a festival pass to the Banff World Media Festival (June 11-14, 2017),
  • a pre-festival consultation with an experienced television producer or development executive; and
  • two supporting meetings a fellow WIFTV member, before and during the festival.

Going into their 38th year, the Banff World Media Festival is one of the world’s largest gatherings of entertainment and digital media executives, making it the ideal place to make new contacts, find production partners and green-light new projects. The event features in-depth spotlights on key international territories, pre-booked Face-to Face Meetings with industry decision makers, and unparalleled opportunities for networking with potential partners from across the globe.

We’re pleased to offer WIFTV members a discounted pass … and on top of that, we’ll send one exceptional writer, director, or producer to the festival with some well-deserved support.

Learn more about the application process here.

WIFTV announces #VIWIFF2016 Festival Awards

The exhilarating week that marked the 11th Annual Vancouver Int’l Women in Film Festival (#VIWIFF2016) kicked off with a bang on International Women’s Day, March 8. The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) chose our venue to announce its groundbreaking initiative that 50 per cent of future NFB productions will be directed by women.

The festival week that ensued featured a plethora of films created by women from all over world, and offered numerous opportunities for networking and professional development.

The festival came to a close on Sunday, March 13, with the annual awards gala. Continue reading

NFB Announces Gender Equality Initiative at #VIWIFF2016

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From left: Sharon McGowan, Rina Fraticelli, Claude Joli-Coeur, Karen Day, Susan Brinton

Women in Film + Television Vancouver is proud to have provided the venue for the groundbreaking announcement by the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) in Vancouver on this International Women’s Day, March 8, 2016.

Coinciding with the start of the 11th Annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival, Government Film Commissioner and NFB Chairperson Claude Joli-Coeur announced that at least half of its productions will be directed by women and half of all production spending will be allocated to films directed by women. Continue reading

Martini Madness 2015 – Party Wrap-Up

Talen Agent Esther Cohen at Martini Madness 2015

Talent Agent Esther Cohen at Martini Madness 2015

Well before the summer air turns crisp, filmmakers of all fields begin to plan for festival season. It’s a time of year when our consuming careers demand that we emerge out of the vortex of production and gather for an efficient dose of networking and reconnecting with friends and colleagues. Having old friends intermingled with new talent we have yet to meet provides us with a ripe and fertile circumstance; within which we get to expand our universes.

Our hometown film festival, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has become a celebration of West Coast talent within a vibrant international community. Women in Film and Television Vancouver continues to be involved with that in as many ways as we can imagine. Continue reading

Lois Weber: Filmmaking Pioneer and Revolutionary Storyteller

WIFTV’s 2015 Martini Madness honours creative women working in the silent movie era. Today: meet revolutionary storyteller Lois Weber (1879-1939).

Lois Weber with megaphone (seated behind DP)

Lois Weber with megaphone (seated next to DP)

Director. Screenwriter. Actress. Often referred to as “America’s first female filmmaker,” Lois Weber was a true pioneer in the early days of Hollywood. Besides being the first woman to direct an American feature film, The Merchant of Venice, in 1914, she was also the first woman elected to the Motion Pictures Directors Association. Back in the day her name was recognized alongside DW Griffith and Cecil B. De Mille as one of the top talents in the industry. Continue reading

#VIWIFF2015 Screenplay Competition announces top 10

WIFTV Board Member Michelle Muldoon and her amazing team of jurors spent the last few months reading and discussing a fine selection of international screenplay submissions.

Congratulations to the top ten OFFICIAL SELECTIONS to the 2015 Vancouver International Women in Film Festival Screenplay Competition:

ADDICT AND MULTIPLY – Sarah Higgins
BEST SERVED COLD – Mary Krell-Oishi
DUST TO DUST – Beverly Shapiro
FURY RISING – Sheri Davenport
JAGGED WINTER – Danishka Esterhazy
LIL SURFER GIRL – Lena Rudnick
MIA AND THE MOVIE STAR – Sheri Davenport
REHAB CABIN – Kate Beacom
RETURN FROM SPLIT RIVER – Jennifer Siddle
THE COURTESAN – Marjory Kaptanoglu

Read Michelle’s statement on her blog: VIWIFF 2015 Screenplay Competition.

The 3 winners will receive their awards on International Women’s Day – Sunday March 8, 2015 at 7 PM during the festival’s Closing Night Event.

Closing Night includes the Legacy award film screenings, the presentation of the Legacy and Festival Awards, presentation of the Best Screenplay Award for the International Screenplay Competition, followed by a reception.

Ticket information here.

WIFTV 25th Anniversary Retrospective presents encore screening of Brishkay Ahmed’s daring doc Story of Burqa

burqa photo 2Afghan-Canadian director Brishkay Ahmed‘s daring tale of the origin and future of the burqa, a garment tied to the image of Afghanistan, was one of 17 films handpicked to celebrate the creativity of BC women filmmakers in a matinee retrospective on January 17 and 18. Continue reading