2019 AWARD WINNERS
Best Canadian Feature Film Winner
The Hottest August
Best Canadian Short Winner
Biidaaban (the dawn comes)
Best International Feature Winner
Alexander John Glustrom
Mark Haslam Award Winner
Shahab Mihandoust & Ariane Lorrain
Best International Short Winner
Industry Conference Green Pitch Winner
Eulogy for the Dead Sea
Best Canadian Feature Jury
Chief Digital Officer, CFC
Ana Serrano is the Chief Digital Officer of the CFC and Founder of CFC Media Lab, the world-renowned and award-winning institute for interactive storytelling created in 1997. With her visionary direction and digitally-forward approach to organizational growth, Serrano is driving the digital transformation of the CFC into a unique blend of talent, product and company accelerator and creative production house. She continually evolves the CFC’s programs as digital media demand new approaches – from the early exploration of web-based storytelling to today’s world of audience-driven multiplatform entertainment.
Alison Zemell is the Administrative & Programming Director for REEL CANADA, an organization that brings festivals of Canadian film to high schools across the country, as well as organizes National Canadian Film Day. In her role since 2011, she constantly watches new Canadian films. Previously she worked at TIFF and CFC’s Worldwide Short Film Festival after having worked in film production. Alison holds a Master’s in Film from Birkbeck University of London.
Marc Glassman wears many hats in the Toronto cultural scene. The recipient of the Toronto Arts Award in literature in 2000 and the Tom Berner Prize for support of independent filmmaking in 2003, he is an editor, film programmer, writer, broadcaster, an instructor at Ryerson University’s Masters of Fine Arts in Documentary Media programme and the Artistic Director of This is Not a Reading Series, a multi-disciplinary project that explores the creative process in literature. Marc is the Editor-in-chief of POV (Point of View) Canada’s leading periodical on documentary culture.
Best International Feature Film Jury
Artistic Director, Festiver Eco Festival
Producer, artistic director, fashion designer at LaSalle College, image consultant at the Marangoni Institute in Milan, special effects makeup artist for film with a background in Production Design and founder of Festiver. She has designed costumes for cinema and theater, and participated in the Circle of Fashion with a film costumes project inspired by gore cinema.
Executive Director & Found, JAYU
Distributor, F3 Media
Natalia Sterlikova started her career in film development and production in 2004 and moved into TV distribution in 2011 when she began working for Digital Rights Group (DRG). After 3 years with DRG, Natalia made the move to All3Media International where she became Format Sales Executive looking after CEE and the Middle East working on projects like Gogglebox and Undercover Boss. Read More
Best Canadian Short Film Jury
Institute Manager at imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival
Adriana Chartrand is the Institute Manager at imagineNATIVE. She has a B.A. and an M.A. in Film Studies and an Arts Administration & Cultural Management diploma. Previously, she worked within the social services community and more recently she has pre-screened short films for TIFF. Born and raised in Winnipeg, MB., she is Salteaux-Métis from the Red River region, Treaty 1 territory, and Irish/Scottish/Welsh/French.
Marketing Manager, Pure + Simple
Kate Petriw leads Marketing Strategy at Pure + Simple, an eco-conscious skincare spa (voted #1 facial in the city). All of their products and facials are non-toxic, and based on holistic Ayurvedic principles. Her background in marketing and advertising spans 15 years, having worked in communications in New York as well as Paris. She also also handles marketing for Extinction Rebellion (Toronto chapter), and is the co-author of the globe and mail bestselling book Let That Sh*t Go.
Winner Best Canadian Short 2018
Farhan Umedaly is a filmmaker with a background in neurobiology, renewable energy and as a multi-instrumentalist music producer with over 19 years of experience in digital audio and video production. Farhan started VoVo Productions in 2009, with the original premise of producing videos and digital media to help explain complex subjects through turnkey video productions using his diverse background. Behind VoVo Productions’ work is Farhan’s vision to help create positive change in the world.
Best International Short Film Jury
Acting Executive Producer, TRT World
Stravroula has 35 years of media experience in both on and off-camera roles. She has played various roles in film and television, including a supporting role in My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) and has as a director, producer, EP, writer and presenter with programs such as AJ Eats. Stavroula has been with TRT World for 2 years as Senior Producer, acting EP and the host of In the Loop, a round table show that brings journalists together to discuss the personal journeys behind the stories they cover. Her latest series for TRT World Life in Ruins will follow female aid workers on the frontline.
Eric Daniel Metzgar
Winner Best International Short 2018
Eric is a two-time Emmy Award nominated filmmaker and fellow of the Sundance Institute’s Documentary Film Program. He directed, shot and edited Reporter (2009), about New York Times reporter Nicholas Kristof, which premiered at Sundance, aired on HBO, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Best Long-form Programming, and the International Film Award by Cinema for Peace. He also directed, shot and edited Life.Support.Music. (2008) which was broadcast on POV, and The Chances of The World Changing (2006) Read More
Ravi de Costa
Planet in Focus Board Member
I originally came to Canada from Australia to take up a Postdoctoral Fellowship in the Institute on Globalization and the Human Condition at McMaster University. Prior to joining FES in 2007, I also taught at Trent University in the Department of Political Studies. My research and teaching interests are in comparative and global approaches to the legacies of colonialism and Indigenous politics. My PhD dissertation was a comparative study of treaty-making in Canada and reconciliation in Australia. Read More
Mark Haslam Award Jury
Planet in Focus Programmer
Julian Carrington is a freelance writer and film programmer based in Toronto. He has contributed to publications including The Globe & Mail, Indiewire, and Cinema Scope, and, in 2014, served as a programming associate with the Toronto International Film Festival. In 2015, he became manger of the Documentary Organization of Canada’s Festival Concierge initiative, supporting filmmakers in developing distribution and audience engagement strategies. Julian joined Planet in Focus as the festival’s associate programmer in 2016.
Planet in Focus Programmer
Lesley Johnson is a director, producer and programmer, based in Toronto and Yellowknife. She studied Film Production in York University’s MFA program, and holds degrees in wildlife and environmental sciences. Before becoming a filmmaker, she worked in community-based research in the Northwest Territories, and on studies chasing after the likes of terns and wolverines. She is the former director and programmer of the Yellowknife International Film Festival, and of a Cinema Politica chapter.