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Scroll down to check out our schedule for Making Waves!

Friday, April 19

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Business Affairs: Building Blocks for Producers

Producing in Canada is a complicated interplay of creative, legislative, regulatory, financial, and legal factors. This session will provide participants with an understanding of the basic building blocks of the business of production: incorporating a company, acquiring rights to a property, building a production budget, contracting basics, tax credits, licenses, public and private funding sources, finance plans and recoupment schedules, banking, distribution, and marketing. Participants will learn about the many business models and production structures commonly used in Canada, including the rules and requirements for Canadian content production, foreign and location service production, treaty co-productions, and inter-provincial co-productions. We will look at the different financing models for television, feature film, digital linear, and digital interactive productions.

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Film Festival Strategy 101

From shorts to documentaries and features to TV series, film festivals provide a platform to showcase works to a wider audience. However, film festivals also are excellent for making connections with industry professionals, networking with fellow talent, and gaining press, accolades and awards. Most importantly though, the festival circuit sells yourself and your work. This session is designed to demystify the process of the film circuit, providing practical information, case studies and insights to customize your festival strategy and leverage resources to maximize your experience. Film Festivals 101 is an interactive session that encourages participants to examine their projects and craft their unique festival journey from local exposure to the global stage.

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Creating Chaos - The Creative Course for Developing a Digital Series

When Creator/Director Heyishi Zhang made her short film Gay Mean Girls in film school, she did so to subtweet her peers and professors for their micro agressions and incompetence. Despite the pushback, Heyishi forged ahead in her desire to connect with her online audience. When the film went viral with over 4 million views, Heyishi and her creative team leveraged its success and turned it into 2 seasons of a web series. Over the project's 10 years, this autofictional web series became Heyishi's vehicle for artistic and personal growth. The coming of age dramedy anthology follows queer teens of colour as they learn to navigate frenemies in an unjust world. As the creator/director, Heyishi led the series to achieve over 33 accolades internationally and 3 CSA nominations. This 3 hour workshop delves deeply into the development, production, and release of the first and second season of Gay Mean Girls. Heyishi will explore: her writing process, the creative evolution of the story, showrunning the first season's writing room, implementing lessons learned into the second season, and working within a tight budget.

1:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Demystifying Entry into the Union World with IATSE and DGC

Whether you’re a technician, a producer, or both, working towards or within the Union space can seem unreachable or too overwhelming to contemplate. When is the right time to join the union? When is your project ‘big enough’ to warrant signing a union contract and managing all the administration that goes along with that? This workshop will reassure you that you can have a foot in both worlds and guide you through the steps to start working with Unions.

6:00 - 8:30 PM
To Kill A Tiger - Screening at the Lighthouse Arts Centre

Join us for this extraordinary opportunity to watch the Oscar Nominated documentary To Kill A Tiger with Writer and Director Nisha Pahuja in attendance. We will be screening the film on Friday evening at the Lighthouse Arts Centre followed by an audience Q&A with Nisha, hosted by WIFT-AT Board member Ife Alaba. In To Kill a Tiger, Ranjit, a farmer in Jharkhand, India, takes on the fight of his life when he demands justice for his 13-year-old daughter, the survivor of sexual assault. In India, where a rape is reported every 20 minutes and conviction rates are less than 30 percent, Ranjit’s decision to support his daughter is virtually unheard of, and his journey unprecedented. To Kill A Tiger premiered at TIFF where it won the Amplify Voices Award for Best Canadian Feature Film. Following its remarkable launch, the film was Oscar nominated for Best Documentary feature and has won 24 awards including two DGC awards and three Canadian Screen awards.

8:30 - 10:00 PM
Reception at the Prince George Hotel

We’re ending an awesome day at the Terrace in the Prince George Hotel. We invite everyone in the industry to join the WIFT-AT Board for this free industry reception (yup – it’s true! You don’t need to be a WIFT-AT member or conference attendee). Don't miss out on this opportunity to mingle, chat, and celebrate an amazing weekend!

Saturday, April 20

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

8:45 - 10:15 AM
Keynote Conversation with Nisha Pahuja

Following the Friday night screening of To Kill A Tiger, Emmy and Oscar nominated Nisha Pahuja will discuss her critically acclaimed feature documentary with host Jackie Torrens. The film took eight years to make. Dev Patel, Mindy Kaling, Rupi Kaur and Priyanka Chopra Jonas came on as Executive Producers, joining an already committed and passionate team of EPs. Facing some extremely challenging and sensitive situations, Nisha comments “I don’t believe we should not do the things we do as filmmakers because so many of us are motivated by change and justice in improving human rights. But, over the course of making this film, I was really forced to confront my privilege and my responsibility.” In this candid conversation, Nisha will explore her remarkable journey to bring this film to audiences around the world.

10:15 - 10:30 AM
Networking Break

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Little Bird: Case Study

A deep dive into the creation and execution of the limited drama series Little Bird with co creator and showrunner Jennifer Podemski and Executive Producer Christina Fon. Only weeks before the CSA’s where Little Bird is nominated for 19 awards including Best Series, Jennifer and Christina reflect on their experience and the details behind the making of the series over the 6 years it took them to get to camera. From concept to completion this case study examines the trials, tribulations and triumphs on the journey to the screen.

12:00 - 1:30 PM

12:30 - 1:30 PM
Switching Career Gears 

This eclectic panel features members of the screen community who have taken unconventional paths to finding their career bliss. Are you hoping to move into the screen industry from an established career in another field? Are you wondering how to get started in Film & TV? Are you thinking about making a career change within the industry? The guests on this panel will candidly share their unusual journeys to finding their place in the screen industry.

1:45 - 3:15 PM
Breakout Session: Beyond the Guidelines - Creatively Crafting Talent to Watch Applications

With Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program for first time feature filmmakers fast approaching, listen in to successful director applicants from across the Atlantic region as they share their experiences with this essential fund for emerging writers, directors, and producers. Panelists will share personal details from their own Talent to Watch projects, give candid advice on how to make your application and pitch video stand out, and help guide you through the application process from a creative standpoint – beyond what’s covered by official Telefilm guidelines.

1:45 - 3:15 PM
Breakout Session: Inspiring Inclusion - Building Skills to Become a Better Leader

Join us for a dynamic 90-minute workshop tailored for women and gender diverse people in the Canadian film and television industry, where we will delve into the vital realm of inclusive leadership. In this interactive session, participants will explore strategies and insights to cultivate environments where diverse voices thrive and flourish. Through this engaging discussion, attendees will gain actionable tools to enhance their leadership skills, foster inclusivity, and drive positive organizational change. From navigating biases to amplifying underrepresented perspectives, this workshop equips participants with the knowledge and confidence to lead authentically and inclusively in the dynamic landscape of Canadian media. Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your leadership journey and make a lasting impact on the industry! Be ready to share, inquire, and grow as a mentor, creative leader and contributor to our industry. This session is for anyone in or aspiring to be in a leadership, managerial or mentorship role.

3:15 - 3:30 PM
Networking Break

3:30 - 5:30 PM
Pitch This! CBC Pitch Competition

The CBC Pitch Competition is back at Making Waves. Five selected applicants will be pitching their short film idea to a panel of industry professionals and a live audience for the chance to turn their script into silver screen magic. With a grand prize of $10,000 and additional in-kind services, this is going to be an exciting event you don't want to miss.

5:30 - 7:00 PM
Breaking the Ice with Bingo

Get ready to break the ice, make connections, and maybe win a prize with Human Bingo. We’re taking a unique and exciting twist on the classic game of Bingo for our networking event this year. Instead of numbers, the grid will be filled with experiences, interests, and traits. Mark your card, find your matches, mingle, and maybe you will yell Bingo! You never know who you’ll connect with.

7:00 - 9:00 PM
Awards Dinner

The WAVE awards are presented annually to honour remarkable women and gender diverse folks working in film, television and screen based media in Atlantic Canada. Hosted by the wonderful filmmaker Katelyn McCulloch, WIFT-AT is thrilled to honour these three awesome talents for their outstanding contribution to the screen industry over a delicious dinner. We also celebrate the winner of the CBC $10,000 Pitch This Competition. Join us for this signature event and celebrate with us. Just a reminder that the online auction closes during dinner, so if you're planning to participate, this is your last opportunity to put in your bid. Don't miss out on the chance to treat yourself and support the Pamela Segger All Access Pass Award and WIFT-AT!

9:00 - 11:00 PM
Wrapping it Up at 902 Post

The conference would not be “making waves” without closing out with the classic/legendary Making Waves party at 902 Post, nearby on Spring Garden Road. A warm and relaxed event with drinks and snacks provided by our awesome hosts Kathy Hilchey and Doug Woods, there will be lots of opportunity to flow through the rooms, chat and mingle as folks settle in and pick up on those conversations started earlier in the day. And while doing that, raise a glass of cheer inside Atlantic Canada’s boutique post facility. The WIFT-AT Board looks forward to seeing you there!

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