Doreen Manuel


Filmba Instructor Doreen Manuel

Doreen Manuel (Secwepemc/Ktunaxa), MFA, is the sixth child of Grand Chief George Manuel and Spiritual Leader Marceline. She is the Director of the Bosa Centre for Film and Animation. Doreen serves on the Board of Directors for Knowledge Network Women in Film & Television, and Moving Images Distribution and is an advocate for equity and inclusion in the film and TV industry.

Gregory M Coyes


Filmba Advisor Gregory M Coyes

Gregory Coyes has worked in the Indigenous media community over the last three decades as an award-winning filmmaker, and as an educator and writer. He has produced and directed with the National Film Board, and consulted and written for the Smithsonian at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.

A graduate of Yale University, Greg is currently teaching, and coordinating the Independent Indigenous Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University in North Vancouver. His Masters thesis focused on the SLOW MEDIA Community, which creates and promotes decolonized media, and an Indigenous sense of cinematic time and space. Greg is Metis/Cree from St. Albert, Alberta.

Jennifer Podemski


Filmba Instructor Jennifer Podemski

Actor, Writer, Producer, Director

CEO – Redcloud Studios Inc.

Jennifer Podemski is an award-winning director, writer, producer and actor. Born and raised in Toronto, Jennifer makes her home in Barrie, Ontario.  She is of mixed Anishinaabe (First Nation) and Ashkenazi (Jewish) descent.

In 1999 Jennifer shifted her focus to producing as a way to address the lack of Indigenous representation in the film and television industry. She launched Big Soul Productions with Laura Milliken, becoming Canada’s first Indigenous owned and operated, full-service film and television production and post production company. Big Soul Productions produced a variety of documentary television series, scripted short films and the award- winning, multi-season, all Indigenous dramatic television series Moccasin Flats for Showcase Television and APTN.

In 2005, Jennifer branched out independently and has been creating, producing, writing and directing content through her production company Redcloud Studios Inc. Her most recent credits include five seasons of the paranormal television series The Other Side (APTN), the award-winning feature film Empire of Dirt and two seasons of documentary series Future History (APTN) for which she received the 2020 Canadian Screen Award for Best Director Factual.

In 2020, Jennifer launched The Shine Network, a digital platform designed to amplify the voices of Indigenous women content creators and offer professional development opportunities to Indigenous women.

Annelise Larson


 Filmba Instructor Annelise Larson

Annelise Larson is a digital strategist and former filmmaker who works with creative industry stakeholders to use the digital opportunity to find, grow and engage audiences and work toward sustainable business models.

Her podcast STORY+AUDIENCE with screenwriter Jill Golick can be found on all major podcasting platforms.

She has also recently launched a new digital marketing online course for media in conjunction with the National Screen Institute – Canada and released a study with Telefilm Canada entitled Thanks COVID! 15 Lessons for Film Distribution from the First Wave.

Cynde Harmon


Filmba Instructor Cynde Harmon 

Cynde is Exec Producer/CEO for Really Real Films, a feature film and television production company based in Vancouver, BC, since 1998.

With an educational background in finance from Ryerson University, her film career has included accounting, production management and producing. Cynde is a familiar presence at International Film Markets, and is pro-active with work on CMPA’s national co-pro committee, MPPIA, was a board member for the Alliance Aboriginal Media Professionals, and is involved in mentoring emerging producers for a number of organizations, On Screen Manitoba, AAMP, Women in Film, Whistler’s Aboriginal Filmmaker Fellowship.

Recently,  Cynde produced a slate of four films based on VC Andrews book series, “The Casteel Saga”, for A&E Network. One of the films, Web of Dreams, was nominated for 14 Leo awards, including Best TV movie.

Previous titles include Pumpkin Pie Wars, Joyous Christmas, Maggie’s Christmas Miracle for Hallmark, Christmas Calendar (seven Leo nominations),  and A Princess for Christmas (winner of four Leos 2018 including Best TV movie) and feature films If I Had Wings and Shana-The Wolf’s Music, an official Swiss/Canadian coproduction feature film, winner of 26 international awards.

John Ritchie


Filmba Instructor John Ritchie

With over thirty years of experience, John Ritchie has overseen the creation of more than 500 hours of scripted and documentary films, television series and one-offs through his company Force Four Entertainment, which was acquired by Entertainment One in 2014. John is now heading his own independent company.

John began his career writing and directing documentaries, including numerous biographies for CBC, as well as natural history, science and social issue documentaries for broadcasters such as CTV, Discovery U.S, Knowledge and W Network. He produced the multiple award-winning feature length documentary 65 Red Roses (CBC/OWN), which won awards at the Banff World Media Festival and Vancouver Film Festival and was selected to the Oprah Winfrey Documentary Club.

Highlights of John's career in the scripted realm include executive producing two seasons of the sitcom series Seed, (CITY/ The CW). He has executive produced numerous television movies, including Playing for Keeps (CTV/ Lifetime) and was a co-producer of the Peabody Award-winning mini-series Human Cargo (CBC)He has also won numerous Gemini, Leo and Canadian Screen Awards for his work.

John has a Bachelor of Education from the University of British Columbia and a Diploma of Media from Capilano University and is Board Chair of FactualWEST, an annual Vancouver conference for factual television and documentary filmmakers.  He is also Chair of the BCIT Broadcast Media Program Advisory Committee.

Nathaniel Lyman


Filmba Instructor Nathaniel Lyman

Nathaniel is an associate lawyer at Chandler Fogden Aldous Law Corporation in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he provides legal services in the areas of film, television, digital media and music. His clients include production companies, individual producers, animation studios, writers, directors, performers, musicians, visual artists and others in the creative fields.

He joined the British Columbia bar in 2013 after graduating from the Peter A. Allard School of Law at the University of British Columbia.

Nathaniel is a board member of the Whistler Film Festival Society, chairs the board of Up In The Air Theatre Society, and volunteers with Big Brothers of Greater Vancouver. Nathaniel is originally from Ottawa, Ontario, and is of Mohawk/Delaware ancestry of Six Nations of the Grand River.

Sarah Nathanson


Filmba instructor Sarah Nathanson

Sarah is General Counsel, where she applies her expertise and comprehensive legal and business affairs experience to support both the production crew and the corporate team across Thunderbird Entertainment. She has been in entertainment law for more than twelve years, both in private practice and in-house.

Sarah was previously a Director of Business & Legal Affairs at DHX Media (now WildBrain). She studied Law at the University of Victoria. Sarah has worked on numerous productions, including the Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs television series and My Little Pony.


Shaelyn Johnston


Filmba Instructor Shaelyn Johnston

Shaelyn Johnston is an award-winning, Anishinaabe and Irish Canadian writer from Vancouver, BC. She writes predominantly for screen but also enjoys creative non-fiction and uses both genres as a way to explore her culture and the interconnectivity of relationships.

Shaelyn's short film, The Healing Dance, which she wrote, directed, and co-produced, was one of 30 Telus Storyhive productions in the inaugural Indigenous Storyteller Edition in 2019. It has since screened at festivals across Canada and the USA including the LA Skins Festival in Los Angeles and the St. John's International Women's Film Festival in St. John's, Newfoundland. 

In 2020, Shaelyn was selected as a participant in both the Netflix-Banff Diversity of Voices Initiative and Whistler Film Festival's Indigenous Filmmaker Fellowship. She was also awarded a Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) award and Aboriginal Graduate Fellowship through the University of British Columbia, where she is currently a full-time MFA student in the School of Creative Writing. Shaelyn is a co-teacher with the esteemed Women in Film & Television, Tricksters and Writers feature film screenwriting program.