Shailene Garnett

Shailene is a Montreal-born actress who grew up in Toronto and is now living in Los Angeles. She is best known for her roles as Nomi Johnston in Murdoch Mysteries, and for playing Iris Beals in all four seasons of Diggstown. Shailene came up through John Riven’s Meiner Technique and studied briefly with Frank McNaulty at The Second City in Toronto.

Stephanie Joline

Stephanie is an Indigenous filmmaker based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her feature films include Night Blooms (2021) which was awarded ‘Best Feature Film’ at the 2022 Nova Scotia Screen Awards; and Play Your Gender (2016). Stephanie has also directed for television and streaming platforms. In 2020 she was awarded the Irving Avrich Award from TIFF recognizing rising Canadian talent. In 2022 she won a Canadian Screen Award and was the recipient of the ‘Best Nova Scotia Director’ award from WIFT-Atlantic.

Heidi Brander

Heidi is an award-winning writer for some of CBC’s most popular comedy series: This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Baroness Von Sketch Show, and Still Standing. She has also written for MTV Live, CTV’s Spun Out, and the popular web series Just Passing Through.

Heidi also performs as a stand-up comedian and was nominated for Best Stand-Up Newcomer in the Canadian Comedy Awards. She has appeared on Entertainment Tonight Canada, MTV Live, and Much Music’s Video on Trial.

Jan Miller

Jan is an international consultant specializing in film and television co-production and co-venturing. She presents one of the world’s top Pitching & Content Development Workshops, was a driving force behind Canada’s National Screen Institute (NSI), and designed the Strategic Partners international Co-production Market for the Atlantic Film Festival as well as the Erich Pommer Institut’s Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP), and the CMPA’s Coproduction Accelerator Program. She established the Women in Film and Television-Atlantic Chapter. 

Deanne Foley

Deanne is an award-winning director/writer, best known for the critically acclaimed feature AN AUDIENCE OF CHAIRS. Her feature, RELATIVE HAPPINESS, was nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Directors Guild of Canada Awards, and the ‘Borsos’ Best Canadian Feature at Whistler Film Festival. BEAT DOWN, her debut feature film, garnered three Canadian Comedy Award nominations including Best Direction. She has directed CBC’s REPUBLIC OF DOYLE and the Lifetime TV Movie CHRISTMAS RESERVATIONS on location in the USA. Deanne was awarded BMO Artist of the Year by Arts NL in 2015, and WIFT-AT’s WAVE Award in 2020.

Melani Wood

Melani is a Producer of documentary, narrative film and commercial projects. She also works as a Production Manager and Assistant Director for film and television. When not in the office or working in the field, you will likely find her camping, canoeing or in a coffee shop. Melani’s first feature film “Bone Cage ” was nominated for two Canadian Screen awards in 2021, and is currently playing film festivals around the world. Her most recent documentary “Words Matter”, featuring Mi’kmaq author, activist and educator Rebecca Thomas premiered on CBC Gem in June, 2022.

Emily Bridger

Emily is a writer, filmmaker, and actor from St. John’s, NL. Her short films have screened internationally. She has received the Arts NL CBC Emerging Artist of the year award, RBC Michelle Jackson Emerging Filmmaker Award, and the NL Arts & Letters Award for her stageplay Our Hell is a Good Life (2018). Her feature screenplay, Little Orphans, was selected for the Whistler Film Festival Praxis Screenwriters Lab as well as Telefilm’s Talent to Watch Program, and went on to premiere at the Atlantic Film Festival and win the Borsos Award for Best Canadian Feature at the Whistler Film Festival 2020.

Gina Power

Gina has had an extensive career covering content creation, sales, marketing, distribution; domestic and foreign. She has
25+ years in senior management with The Walt Disney Company developing & implementing sales, programming, distribution, and operations strategies, and is now under the Ho11yrock banner, specializing in creative industries trade missions and international film markets, providing coproduction and broadcast sales expertise to domestic and foreign content creators. She has participated on many boards, industry juries and peer assessments.

Nancy Urich

Nancy is a producer and writer with CUT/OFF/TAIL Pictures, a team of musicians/artists making arthouse genre. Their works have played Sitges, TIFF Midnight Madness, Fantasporto, Fantasia and more. Projects in development include breastfeeding horror, Feed, an adaptation of Algernon Blackwood’s The Willows, and a rotoscoped fantasy feature, Beshader. 

Karen Wentzell

Karen Wentzell is a Nova Scotia-based Producer, and President of Waterstar Entertainment. Waterstar is currently in post-production on a feature about schizophrenia, is in production with Karen serving as Executive Producer on S4 of Diggstown, and is in pre-prep on a feature with Academy Award winning Producer Clark Peterson. Karen is also known as producer of the successful hit television series Trailer Park Boys. Karen recently completed a three-year term as Vice-Chair of Screen Nova Scotia (SNS), and is Chair of the NS Producer Committee.

Nicole Steeves

Nicole Steeves is an award-winning Writer, Director, Actor, and Producer. She has written and directed six short films, two feature films, and most recently produced Tara Thorne’s debut feature film Compulsus. Along with co-writer Struan Sutherland and producer Andre Pettigrew, Nicole became one of the CineCoup Top 15 finalists in Canada with their concept for Namas-DIE. Gnaw, a short film created for Cinecoup was picked by Telefilms Not Short On Talent Program and screened at Clermont Ferrand short film market.


Nancy Lynch

Nancy is a filmmaker from New Brunswick with a certificate from UCLA in screenwriting for film and television and two feature films scripts.  She wrote and directed two award winning short films, Hello Ladassia and Side of the Road.  Nancy collaborated with a New Brunswick author to adapt his books into screenplays for a web series.  In 2021 she co-directed a feature documentary Vulnerable Innocence that has won 22 awards to date at film festivals. 

Ali Dixon

Ali is a Canadian-based multimedia artist and filmmaker. She is a graduate of Queen’s University (Kingston, Ontario) with a Bachelor of Arts degree in the Film and Media Studies Department.

She is currently pursuing an MFA at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. In 2019, Ali was one of three students to receive the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts Scholarship.

Briony Merritt

Briony is a writer and actor based in Kjipuktuk/Halifax, Nova Scotia. She is a founding member of BARE Theatre Co. In FIN Atlantic International Film Festival’s Script Development Program, she completed her first feature screenplay, Love in Marginalia. Her short story, Blackfriars Bridge, was selected as the winner of the Budge Wilson Short Fiction Prize by the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. Onscreen acting credits include The Colour of Spring (Winter Light Productions) and Stephen King’s Chapelwaite (MGM/EPIX).

Martina Kelades

Martina Kelades is an actor, mental health speaker and podcast host in Halifax. She has performed principal roles in Diggstown, Trapped, and The Madones, and was recently cast in a Netflix series, as well as appearing in many advertising campaigns including Charm Diamond Centres national, Tourism Nova Scotia, Atlantic Lottery and Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union. Martina is excited about the opportunity to work with her mentor and coach, Shailene Garnett, and has big dreams of expanding her work as a professional actress in meaningful ways. 

Catarina Ciccone

Catarina is a graduate of St. Lawrence College’s Music Theatre Performance program, based in Kjipuktuk (Halifax).

She has worked both in front and behind the camera and is currently working to expand her knowledge of affirming creative practices including set etiquette and intimacy coordination.

Hope Latta

Hope is a budding screenwriter. She is from Nova Scotia, Canada and is a second-generation immigrant on her mother’s side. In her free time, Hope enjoys dancing, singing, and reading.

Jeana MacIsaac

Jeana is an Islander with over 25 years of experience in the Arts and Culture sector. She is a graduate of the Professional Acting Program at Dalhousie University. In February of 2021 she produced her first short film In My Heart shot on PEI, which was purchased by CBC. Jeana recently produced a six-episode lifestyle series for Bell Fibe TV1, and children’s theatre production.

Loretta Linden

Loretta grew up in a small fishing town in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. While working on the water as a deckhand, she always knew her passion was writing and being creative. She made the move to Dartmouth to be closer to industry opportunities, and recently had her first on set experience on season 2 of VOLLIES as a PA/Transport.

Tracy McNeil

After many years living  in Alberta, Tracy returned to her home province. After classes with WFNS and acting in a friend’s short film, Tracy decided to combine her enjoyment of writing and acting with screenwriting. Currently growing her voice as a writer with Toronto Film School online, Tracy feels passionate about her work on a feature-length fantasy of an epic battle for humans’ existence that plays out among the beautiful landscapes of eastern Canada. Tracy is currently editing her first short film through AFCOOP’s Film One program, and participated in their Write Small program, polishing a micro feature screenplay with mentorship support.

Mel Hennigar

Mel believes in the power of storytelling to change the world. A copywriter and creative director based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Mel developed her creative chops in the marketing and advertising industry, writing and producing award-winning ads, online videos, and even a successful web TV series. Mel holds degrees in History and Public Relations and is a self-proclaimed word nerd. In her spare time you can find her playing bass with her band and putting big ideas on little pieces of paper.

Tracey Lavigne

Tracey Lavigne is a writer, director, and producer of several award winning short films, the winner of the 2020 CBC Pitch Competition for her script “Travelog”, and WIFT-AT’s recommendation to Telefilm’s Talent to Watch in 2022 for her first feature screenplay, queer coming-of-age drama Glitter. Tracey produced the Ryan O’Toole feature length fantasy drama Further Than the Eye Can See.

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