Ins and Outs of Shooting in Canada
Exploring the incredible advantages of filming in Canada, advancing production goals and transforming the landscape for black Canadian crew.
Karyn Edwards is EVP, Business and Legal Affairs. Edwards joined Brightlight Pictures as Vice President, Business and Legal Affairs in July 2002. She advises on a complete range of film industry, business and corporate issues and in conjunction with her work at Brightlight, represents Canadian, American and German producers. Karyn obtained her Bachelor of Laws from University of British Columbia in 1999. Karyn is an incumbent to the B.C. CFTPA Branch Council and served as a Director of Women in Film & Video Vancouver from 2003-2005. She is a member of the CFTPA Industrial Relations Committee and actively a member of the legal film community.
Her recent feature film and television credits include: In the Name of the King – a Dungeon Siege Tale, Saved, American Venus, White Noise, White Noise: The Light, Postal, BloodRayne: Deliverance, Seed, About a Girl, Passengers, They Wait and The Guard (formerly Search & Rescue).
Jennifer Holness is a writer and producer with numerous award-winning films and television programs to her credit. Her latest feature film project, Home Again, is Sudz Sutherland’s sophomore feature that is in post-production and slated for a 2013 wide release. Also in development with Telefilm are two comedy features, Operation Red Dog: Bayou of Pigs and Colour Blind.
Jennifer is also producing a new feature documentary called The Numbers Game, which looks into the world of math education as well as her first iOS app The Music Biz scheduled to be released in 2012.
On the TV side, Jennifer co-created the thirteen-part half-hour comedy series She’s The Mayor currently airing on VisionTV. She’s The Mayor tells the story of sixty-something political neophyte, Iris Peters, who unexpectedly becomes the Mayor of a crumbling steel city.
Her two-part miniseries, Guns which stars Elisha Cuthbert and Colm Feore aired on CBC in September 2009, and won five of nine Gemini nominations including best writing and directing. Jen’s documentary Badge of Pride – about gay cops with award-winning filmmaker Min Sook Lee, aired on CBC’s The Passionate Eye and PBS. Jen has also produced the environmental documentary Brick by Brick with Genie award-winning filmmaker Catherine Annau which aired on OMNI TV & won the Heritage Toronto Award for Excellence.
Jennifer is currently co-writing the pilot Trust, a one-hour drama series for CBC about a family law practice. She has also developed the thirteen-part mini-series Common Law for CTV along with a one-hour documentary, The Sexpat.
Her feature film, Love, Sex & Eating The Bones won 9 festival awards internationally including the City TV prize for Best First Feature at the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. The Film was voted one of the Top Ten Films of 2003 and won the Blockbuster Audience Award for Best Feature at the American Black Film Festival in Miami. Love, Sex & Eating the Bones was released theatrically in Canada in March 2004. The film also received 3 Genie nominations – Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for the 2004 Genie Awards.
Jennifer’s other documentary films include: Dolores: The Art of Art Modeling and on/black/stage/women, for BRAVO; Yin Yin/Jade Love, which aired on TVO won the award for Best Canadian Film at the 2003 ReelWorld Film Festival and Speakers for the Dead, which she co-directed for the National Film Board that won Best Documentary at the 2000 Reel Black Film Awards and aired on VisionTV and CBC Rough Cuts. In 2001, She line-produced the six-part documentary series Skin Deep II, which won a Gemini for Best Lifestyle Series. She also directed 2 episodes of the series, one of which won the 2002 BFVN award for Best New Documentary.
Also of note is her short film My Father’s Hands which premiered at the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival, won the HBO Award for Best Short Film airing on that network, it was also nominated for a 2000 Gemini Award for best Short Film and won four awards at Yorkton for Best Drama, Best Script, Best Director and Best Actor (Ardon Bess).
Jennifer is a 1999 Producer’s Lab graduate at the Canadian Film Centre where she produced the quirky dark comedy Chez Amore.
On her down time Jennifer chases after her three delightful girls.
Charles Officer studied visual art Cambridge in the United Kingdom and communication design at the Ontario College of Art & Design. Charles worked as a graphic designer and creative director before attending the Neighbourhood Playhouse School of Theatre in New York City. His training continued at the Canadian Film Centre where Charles completed the Directors Lab in 2002. Since then, Charles has appeared in film, television and stage productions, notably starring in the Soulpepper production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun.
Officer’s debut short film, When Morning Comes premiered at the 2000 Toronto Int’l Film Festival to wide acclaim. His second film, Short Hymn_Silent War received a Special Jury Citation at TIFF 02’ and a Genie nomination in 2004. In 2005, Charles helmed the video clip Strugglin’ by international recording giant K’Naan. Developed and directed the television pilot Hotel Babylon, then followed up with a short documentary commissioned by Canadian reggae, punk band Bedouin Soundclash entitled, In The Year of Our Lord. 2007 found Charles focusingon episodic television directing two episodes of the hit comedy series, Da Kink In My Hair for Global Television.
His screenplay, Nurse.Fighter.Boy was selected to participate in the ‘Sparkling Tales’ Writers Lab moderated by acclaimed producer Fred Roos at the 57th Berlinale Film Festival. The lyrical love story about a young boy’s faith in magic premiered at TIFF 08’ and was picked up by international sales agent Rezo Films. Nurse.Fighter.Boy was theatrically released in 2009 by Mongrel Media across Canada, and in the U.S. with New York distributor Film Movement in 2010. Nurse.Fighter.Boy garnered 10 Genie nominations (Canadian Oscar), where Charles was recognized for his achievement in direction and original screenplay at the 30th Awards.
Named “10 to Watch” by Playback magazine in 2009, Charles was also the recipient of the Ontario Premier’s Emerging Artist Award that same year. His first feature documentary Mighty Jerome: The Greatest Comeback in Track & Field History was fully financed and produced by the NFB. The film was theatrically released across Canada in 2011, won four Leo Awards and nominated for an Emmy Award in 2012. He completed Fuelled By Passion, The Return of the Jets, a one-hour documentary produced by the CBC about the Winnipeg Jets return to the National Hockey League for the 2011-12 season. Currently, Charles is working on a one-hour documentary “The Stone Thrower” commission by CTV celebrating the 100-year anniversary of the CFL (Canadian Football League).
His film features the story of Chuck Ealey, an undefeated African-American Quarterback who went undrafted in the NFL in the 70s, but found an opportunity to play the game he loved in Canada. Recipient of a Special Jury Mention for the 2012 Don Haig Award, Charles is moving back to fiction for his third feature film, a contemporary noir entitled, Torchbearer slated for production in 2013.
Elizabeth Powell is Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs at IM Global. Prior to IM Global, Powell was vice president of business and legal affairs at a leading independent film sales company, where she was the lead attorney responsible for negotiating and documenting agreements with producers, financiers, distributors and financial institutions. In addition, Powell attended theatrical markets and festivals worldwide, including the Marché du Film in Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival and the American Film Market, to provide immediate legal drafting, negotiation and support to the sales team.
Powell began her career assisting a business affairs agent at William Morris Agency and served as a law clerk at the Screen Actors Guild. Powell is a member of the California Bar. She received a J.D. from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles, CA and a B.A. in Communications with concentrations in Television and Film Production from Howard University in Washington, D.C. Powell currently serves on the Legal Committee for the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA) and Co-chairs the Entertainment Law Committee of the Langston Bar Association.