2020 Mentors

Below are some of the incredible folks who have stepped forward to offer guidance. Click here to see the mentorship matches for 2020.


Ann Bernier

Title/Organization: Producer, Vertical Productions Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Ann has been producing film and documentaries for close to 20 years. She has experience as a producer and in production management including development, production, and marketing, content creation of documentaries, features and tv drama/comedy. She also has experience in business affairs, working with new talent and established filmmakers. With this program, Ann hopes to be able to pass on some relevant guidance to anyone trying to produce their project.


Jessica Brown

Title/Organization: Producer, Peep Media Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Jessica has been working in the film and television industry since 2003, in the capacity of production coordinator, production manager, and producer.  Her areas of expertise are producing, production management, financing, legal clearances, music licensing, contract negotiations, scheduling, content creation, business development, grant writing, post production scheduling, and festival submissions. With this program,  Jessica hopes to support and educate emerging filmmakers on the position of producer and working with directors and crew; inspire emerging filmmakers to tell their stories.

Please note: Jessica will be mentoring her mentee with her business partner, Jackie Torrens. 


Sarah Bryne

Title/Organization: Picture Editor, Freelance

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Sarah’s career focus is post production and editing. She has 20 years of experience working on a wide range of projects from broadcast documentaries and half-hour comedy series to short films and low budget features.  Sarah can provide guidance on strategies for how to approach footage on different types of projects and working in collaborative environments with directors. By participating in this program, Sarah hopes to provide guidance to someone interested in pursuing a career in editing while passing on the knowledge she’s acquired throughout her career.


Jordan Canning

Title/Organization: Filmmaker, Get Set Films

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Jordan’s career focus over the last twelve years has been writing and directing for film, digital content creation, development of television projects, feature filmmaking, and directing episodic television (comedy and drama). With this program, Jordan hopes to connect with the next wave of female creators and offer up any of her experience and guidance that could be helpful!


Nicole Close

Title/Organization: Assistant Director, Freelance (Member of DGC)

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: As a first assistant director Nicole works very closely with production, especially on independent films. Her areas of expertise include leadership through communication, facilitation and mediation. Nicole has 18 years of experience working in film and television (features, TV series, web series, shorts, etc.) and 10 years of experience mentoring with the Atlantic Film Cooperative on FILM 5. With this program, Nicole hopes to inspire and support other women to work in film and/or television,  be inspired and learn from those she mentors.

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Donna Davis

Title/Organization: Writer / Producer / Director, Ruby Tree Films

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Donna has made dozens of award-winning films that have toured festivals internationally and aired channels in Canada, the US and Europe. She has a strong background in documentary filmmaking and a special interest in the horror genre. Donna can provide guidance in the areas of project development, honing concept, preparation of pitch package,  production and post. By participating in this program, she hopes to continue to foster new talent and give back to the film community.

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Tracey Deer

Title/Organization: Writer / Director / Showrunner, Mohawk Princess Pictures


Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Tracey is a writer, director and showrunner with 20 years of experience in long form documentary, docu-series, fiction (both comedy & drama) and narrative features. Tracey can give guidance in the areas of show creation (developing world, character, season arcs), how to successfully pitch your ideas, and all aspects of directing. With this program, she hopes to help a fellow woman climb to the next level of her career. Tracey says she has lots of experience falling down, picking herself back up and finding a way to achieve her goals. She loves sharing what she’s learned so that it may be easier for the next woman!

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Lisa Fennell

Details coming soon. Stay tuned!

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Deanne Foley

Title/Organization: Director and Writer, Broadside Productions Inc


Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Deanne can give guidance in the areas of directing for feature film and TV and writing feature films. Over the past 20 years, she has directed short films, 1 hr TV documentary, TV doc series, 1 MOW and 4 feature films. She has also co-written several feature films that have screened around the world. She has developed many features and TV series. Her main focus is directing but she has also written and story edited. Deanne hopes to help foster future feature filmmakers and TV directors in the Atlantic region.


Erin French

Title/Organization: 2nd Assistant Director, Hudson & Rex

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Erin has six years of experience as a 2nd assistant director working on episodic television and features. Before that, she spent six years as a production coordinator. By participating in this program, Erin hopes to develop and grow the local AD talent.

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Terry Greenlaw

Title/Organization: Vice President / Producer, Picture Plant Limited

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Terry has 34 years of experience producing feature films, feature documentaries, TV music specials, and TV series. She hopes to mentor emerging producers of drama and documentary programming.


Margaret Harrison

Title/Organization: Producer, IoM Media Ventures

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Margaret is an industry professional with 20+ years of experience, as well as an NSI Alumni. She also taught Production Management at NSCAD and AFCOOP. Margaret can give guidance in the areas of line producing and production management whether in the field of animation, live-action, or both. By participating in the program, Margaret hopes to meet new people as well as peers and to share knowledge, stories and tricks of the trade.

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Shauna Hatt

Title/Organization: Production Manager

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Shauna has 25 years of experience in production as a producer's assistant, production coordinator, script coordinator and production manager. She can give guidance in the areas of professional development, unions and guilds, recruitment and hiring, script breakdown, insurance, casting administration, US and service production, feature vs series, and cost reporting. By participating in this program, Shauna hopes to meet and be inspired by the next generation of filmmakers. In addition, she wants to acknowledge all of the help and support she’s had along the way by paying it forward.


Renee Horton

Title/Organization: Owner, Horton Publicity


Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Renee has worked in film and television publicity for more than 20 years, both behind the scenes and on set. Her area of expertise is providing publicity support for film and television, such as writing press kit material, social media direction, media relations and working with photographers and producers on capturing EPK materials. By participating in this program, Renee hopes to pass on the knowledge of film and TV publicity in Atlantic Canada to the next generation.

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Tracey Jardine

Title/Organization: Producer, Freelance

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Tracey’s area of experience is producing in television in Canada - for both Canadian and international audiences - in a variety of genres. She has more than 20 years in the industry in various roles and participating in the production of more than 900 half-hours of content. Tracey’s current career focus is on developing new projects in various genres and for various audiences. This includes continuing to work in the scripted linear television space, as well as continuing to work with digital or online properties, and creating for streaming services. Genres mainly focus on comedy, drama and kids programming. She is also dipping a toe into the feature film world. With this program, Tracey hopes to work with someone who is passionate about the industry and eager to learn, and to stretch herself to help them reach their own goals. 


Robin Johnston

Title/Organization: Director, Original Programming, Factual & Reality, Bell Media

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Robin oversees unscripted programming for Bell Media services (CTV, CRAVE, Discovery, etc). She has worked in media for 30 years as a producer and as a commissioning editor for a number of channels. Robin can give guidance in the area of broadcasting:  How do broadcasters think? What are their challenges? What are their expectations? How do you work with them? By participating in this program, she hopes to help mentees in any way she can, especially helping someone who wants to learn how to work with broadcasters.


Angie Kokic

Title/Organization: Production Accountant, Self-employed

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Angie’s career focus is production accounting and small business development. She has 25 years of experience freelancing in film and television. By participating in this program, she hopes to share her experience in positive livelihood development and good business practices.

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Louise Lalonde

Title/Organization: Producer, Louise Lalonde Productions

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Louise’s business administration experience and training in film production have served her well in producing film and video projects as well as managing professional development activities for both producers and screenwriters.  Her principal focus is to expand her screenwriting skills while continuing to produce for both film and television in French and English.    Louise can provide guidance in the areas of writing, development and production in French and English. By participating in this program, she hopes to share her knowledge of attracting funding, developing projects and expanding her own knowledge of creating content. 


Teresa MacInnes

Title/Organization: Documentary Filmmaker, Sea to Sea Productions Ltd.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Teresa is primarily a producer and director who loves to collaborate with others to make documentaries. She has more than 30 years of experience in documentary filmmaking from concept to delivery. She just launched two docs she produced and co-directed last year and she is currently developing a few ideas with other filmmakers. She recently enjoyed becoming an Executive Producer,  loves to edit and on occasion she is even the location sound person! By participating in this program, Teresa hopes to inspire you to create.

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Mary Louise McCloskey

Title/Organization: Script Supervisor / Director, Pith Quest Films

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Mary Louise’s career focus is content creation and production continuity. She has 20+ years in the industry in a variety of positions including script supervisor, director, writer, background performer, set decoration, props, painter, craft services, and construction. She can provide guidance in the overview of on-set production, continuity and script supervising, and continuity as a path to directing. By participating in this program, Mary Louise hopes to pay forward the fantastic real-world film education she has received from so many great mentors.


Christine McLean

Title/Organization: McLean Media Enterprises


Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Christine is primarily a television documentary writer/director.  But, she has also produced her own projects.  She has also worked as a script doctor, story editor and has experience supervising TV documentary series. With this program, Christine hopes to help encourage the next generation of television filmmakers and pass on the knowledge, connections and strategies that have proved successful in her career in television writing, directing, story editing.


Kimberlee McTaggart

Title/Organization: Editor, Freelance

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Kimberlee has been editing in all genres for more than 30 years and her focus is on editing narrative TV series and films. She can offer guidance on post production, both technical and creative. She can also offer career path advice to emerging editors. By participating in this program, Kimberlee hopes to help foster the talents of the next generation of editors.


Gia Milani

Title/Organization: President, Shore Road Pictures Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Gia has 15 years of experience working in film on the east coast and putting out award-winning content. Her career is mainly in content creation: writing, directing and producing. She is currently transitioning from writing features to writing and creating television, but her past experience is in feature film, talent development and mentorship. Gia can provide guidance with writing/editing feature scripts, and navigating indie feature filmmaking on the east coast. By participating in this program, Gia hopes to inspire women to tell their unique stories and help get their feet (both of them!) in the door.


Jan Miller

Title/Organization: International Consultant, Lowenbe Holdings

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Jan’s areas of expertise are consulting, content development, pitching, and international co-production. Jan has 25+ years’ experience in training and development around the world. To name a few, National Screen Institute, Strategic Partners, Trans Atlantic Partners, WIFT-AT, international training across the globe. In this program, Jan hopes to support women moving forward in their careers, empower women to own their voice and unique abilities, and offer guidance for career decisions.

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Erin Oakes

Title/Organization: Producer, Tell Tale Productions Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Erin’s career focus is producing and content development of documentaries. She is a former programmer for the Atlantic Film Festival Association. Erin can give career guidance in the areas of Identifying 'sell-able' topics, research, writing pitch packages and proposals, finding common ground with commissioning editors, business affairs, and enduring the rope-a-dope. By participating in this program, Erin hopes to discover new talent.

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Stephanie Ouaknine

Title/Organization: Producer & Development Executive, Freelance

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Stephanie’s career focus is television development and production, short form digital and audience development. She can give guidance in the areas of series pitching, audience development and the path to market strategy. She has experience with digital series, feature film and documentary. By participating in this program, Stephanie hopes to connect with more Atlantic talent and forge long-lasting creative relationships.

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Becky Parsons

Title/Organization: Director of Photography/ Camera Operator, IATSE 667

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Becky’s areas of expertise are feature dramatic, feature doc, tv episodic, short dramatic, short doc, music video, commercial directing of photography, camera operating, technical current trends and innovations, and technical know-how to meet deliverable standards. Becky can give guidance in the following areas:  technical camera requirements on and off set, directing photography with various sizes of a technical team or without, the process from prep to post, framing and unique style, and career relationships. With this program, Becky hopes to make suggestions of how to do this job, find a day for a shadowing work experience and share her excitement for the craft of cinematography, technical camera and the aesthetic of motion picture.

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Tamara Podemski

Title/Organization: Actor, Writer, and Consultant

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Tamara can provide guidance about character development, cultural sensitivity in regards to writing outside your personal experience, how to speak to actors and writing for documentary television. Tamara has experience working as an actor in film/television for more than 25 years, working as an Indigenous consultant for the past 5 years, and writing two seasons of the doc series Future History (For which, she received a 2020 CSA Best Writer nomination). By participating in this program, Tamara hopes to offer guidance and support to diverse writers from marginalized communities, empower directors to empower their actors, and get inspired by the next wave of storytellers.

Pamela Segger

Title/Organization: Executive Director | Director of Programming, Lunenburg Doc Fest

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: With an education in Feature Film (UCLA) and a range of consulting experience, Pamela’s areas of expertise are festival submission strategy, how to make the most of your festival and market experience, distribution considerations and contacts. Pamela has a broad international network and selectively consults filmmakers on projects at the concept stage, script development, festival strategy, and distribution opportunities. By participating in this program, Pamela hopes to create opportunities for mentees including making the most of festival submissions and on-site festival and market experiences, as well as elevate mentees' access to select industry decision-makers.


Mary Sexton

Title/Organization: President, Rink Rat Productions Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Mary has 25 years of experience producing and her career focus is development and production for feature films, TV and content creation. Currently, her main focus is working with writers on feature-length scripts. Mary can provide guidance in the areas of development, production & post-production on feature films and content. She has experience with budgets, financial plans and tax credits. She also has real experience in the ebb and flow of development and production with funding agencies and partners. By participating in this program Mary hopes to work with like-minded producers, directors, writers and creators. She believes there are so many stories out there, that need to get the light shined on them.

Nicole Steeves

Title/Organization: Writer/Director, Not for Everyone Films

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Nicole’s areas of expertise are writing, directing, production planning and scheduling. She also works in the industry as a 2nd AD, production manager, and actor. Her ultimate goal is to be able to support herself by just working as a writer-director of original content. She has written and directed seven short films and two feature films. With this program, Nicole hopes to inspire the next wave of female filmmakers. She is excited to hear her mentee’s ideas and help them to reach their potential.

Jennifer Stewart

Title/Organization: Production Designer, Verb Design Productions Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Jennifer has a couple of decades of experience working as a Production Designer on a broad range of projects for film and television. She can give guidance about the process and practicalities of production design including strategies for creative problem solving and successful team building. Jennifer is excited about the opportunity to share my experience and connect with new talent. By participating in the program, she is looking forward to being inspired by someone who is excited about production design, and engaging in a teach/learn relationship involving an exchange of perspectives and ideas.


Maggie Thomas

Title/Organization: Script Supervisor, Freelance (but a member of IATSE 849)


Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Maggie has 30+ years of experience as a script supervisor on a variety of films and TV shows both international and local. Her career focus is to help to tell stories on film well. She can give guidance on working closely with a film crew on set to ensure that the pieces shot will follow the continuity of the story. By participating in the program, Maggie hopes to emphasize the strengths of script supervision as a career but also as a stepping stone for aspiring directors and writers as they watch a script become a film. 

Lindsay Thorne

Title/Organization: Makeup and FX Artist, IATSE 849

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Lindsay has been the head of the department for makeup on a number of films and tv series from basic to period to Fx makeup. She can give guidance in the areas of character makeup, continuity for makeup,  Fx makeup, male grooming, set etiquette, and script breakdown for makeup. By participating in this program, Lindsay hopes to guide and encourage more people to enter the film business confidently, with the knowledge they need to succeed.

Jackie Torrens

Title/Organization: Director/Writer, Peep Media

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Jackie’s career focus is directing, writing, journalism, producing and acting. As well, she has been trying to improve her networking and pitch skills and the expansion of Peep Media. Jackie has directed and written eight films. She is currently in production for her second feature. With this program, she hopes to help provide guidance and support to an emerging female director/writer.

Please note: Jackie will be mentoring her mentee with her business partner, Jessica Brown. 

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Cheryl Wagner

Title/Organization: Children's Television Writer, Showrunner and Producer, Self-employed

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Cheryl’s career focus is content creation, writing and story editing. She has had a long career in children's entertainment, including as a puppeteer on Mr. Dressup and Fraggle Rock, a producer on Bo on the Go and Poke, and a showrunner on Big Comfy Couch. Cheryl can give guidance in the areas of rich character development and writing the Bible for your series.  She is happy to work in early development or to tweak later stages of projects. By participating in this program, Cheryl hopes to support, encourage and guide women dedicated to making world-class stuff for kids.


Karen Walton

Title/Organization: Screenwriter, Inkling Entertainment Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Karen has spent 25 years as a self-supporting full-time screenwriter on major series and long forms. She penned a cult film classic, is a former CFCTV Creator-EP in Residence, and had several original series developed at networks. Karen’s areas of experience are concept, TV series & features script development, finding diverse writers and consultants, pitch packages, and pitching broadcasters. With this program, she hopes to make your screenwriting life more rewarding & your career options more attainable.

Sherry White

Title/Organization: Streely Maid Films

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Sherry is a writer, showrunner and director for television drama and feature films. She can give guidance on career goal management, pitching, writing, time management and career focus. She has worn a lot of different hats as an actor, writer, producer and director, and she has become adept at knowing how to focus her attention to achieve her goals, and she can help you do the same. By participating in this program, Sherry hopes to help people achieve their goals and push their work beyond their limits.

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Aleysa Young

Title/Organization: Director, Shasha Inc.

Career Focus and Areas of Expertise: Aleysa has more than 15 years of experience directing television, commercials and music videos. With this program, she hopes to share her experience with fellow directors, aspiring or otherwise, and help them navigate any unfamiliar territory, as well as lend an ear so they don't have to go at it alone.