BLUE MOUNTAIN FILM FESTIVAL
Blue Mountain Film Festival (BMFF) Executive and Artistic Director Helen du Toit unveiled the festival’s advisory board assembled for this year’s inaugural edition.
A diverse group of leading voices in the industry, the committee includes Daniel Bekerman, Allison Black, Drew Fagan, Jennifer Frees, Marni Moreau, Tamara Podemski, John Rakich, Sudz Sutherland and Tara Woodbury.
The BMFF runs from June 1-5, and the public can now purchase early bird passes and make reservations at Blue Mountain Resort ahead of the June festival. Those interested in attending are encouraged to book accommodation in advance. Passes are available at Bluemtnfilmfest.ca.
BMFF’s advisory members are led by committee chair, Daniel Bekerman. One of Canada’s most prolific producers, Bekerman’s credits include Sundance and Indie Spirit winner The witch, falling, come see daddy, and Percy vs. Goliath. His company, Scythia Films, is also one of the country’s leading production service providers.
“As a film producer, I deeply appreciate festivals and the important role they play in launching a film. I have a long professional history with Helen and her ability to galvanize people and put on a successful festival is second to none,” said Daniel Bekerman. “I am honored to work with this incredibly talented group of people as we come together to help launch BMFF to the world.”
“On behalf of the BMFF team, I am delighted to partner with these exceptionally creative minds,” said du Toit. “The breadth of knowledge and expertise that each member will bring to the committee will ensure a constructive collaboration of ideas to both strategically shape the future direction of the festival and enhance the experience for filmmaker and audience.”
Known for her concern and passion for history, creative producer Allison Black recently produced the international award-winning film Little Giants by director Keith Behrman, which premiered at TIFF ’18. Previously, she produced director Nathan Morlando’s award-winning world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. wicked dreamsand the first feature film awarded at TIFF Citizen gangster. Black is currently in development on several feature film and series projects.
Drew Fagan is a professor at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto and a senior adviser to the McMillan Vantage Policy Group. He was Deputy Minister of Infrastructure and Tourism, Culture and Sport for the Province of Ontario. In addition to BMFF, he is a board member of Waterfront Toronto, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall.
Jennifer Frees is Senior Vice President of Business Development for the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Jennifer was previously Vice President of Partnerships at the Toronto International Film Festival. An internationally acclaimed business development speaker and workshop leader, Jennifer also sits on various boards, including Holland-Bloorview Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital and ArtStarts.
After working in advertising and marketing at CHUM Television, CTV and Rogers Sportsnet, Marni Moreau happily returned to southern Georgian Bay to promote CMH Heli Skiing and the Ikon Pass to ski enthusiasts and to develop Blue Mountain as a location for filming and production projects. .
Tamara Podemski is an award-winning Anishinaabe/Ashkenazi multidisciplinary artist who focuses on sharing stories that amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices. Podemski has received countless accolades, including the Sundance Special Jury Award for his portrayal, an IFC Spirit Award, an ACTRA Award and a Canadian Screen Award for his role on CBC’s Coroner.
A seasoned Location Manager, John Rakich is the current President of Location Managers Guild International and the location caucus representative for the Board of Directors of the Directors Guild of Canada (Ontario). A frequent speaker on filming in Canada, production sustainability, workforce development and training, and the economic benefits of location filming, Rakich is also a regular panelist at San Diego Comic Con. His production credits include American Gods, Shadowhuntersand The extent.
Award-winning writer/director Sudz Sutherland has created his first feature film Love, sex and eating the bones at TIFF, which won Best First Feature and three Genie Award nominations. Doomstown, his next feature, won three Gemini Awards, including Best TV Movie and Best Director. The prolific TV director’s highly anticipated four-part Black History documentary series, titled BLK: An Origin Storyairs on The History Channel on February 26.
As Netflix Canada’s Chief Content Officer, Tara Woodbury is responsible for the development and commissioning of all Canadian scripted series. Previously as Executive Producer and Vice President of Development for Sphere Media Plus, Woodbury developed and produced the hit medical hit Transplant for CTV and NBC. As an independent producer, her sci-fi thriller night raiders by director Danis Goulet was a TIFF gala and won the DGC Discovery award.