Whether you are interested in activist filmmaking, POV docs, or bending genres from fiction to non-fiction, this 2-day intensive with move you from SEED to PITCH with cutting edge guidance from industry pioneer, the inspiring and prolific Michelle Latimer.
Michelle Latimer is a Métis/Algonquin filmmaker, actor, and curator who grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario. Latimer’s approach to filmmaking is fluid and attentive. She launched Toronto-based indie production company Streel Films in 2008 and released the mid-length documentary Jackpot, about die-hard bingo players, in 2009. The film was nominated for the Donald Brittain award for best social/political doc program and aired on Global. Latimer followed it up with a number of docs and short features, including animated short Choke, about a young First Nations man who leaves his reserve to pursue life in the city, which received a Sundance special jury honorable mention in short filmmaking and was selected by TIFF as one of Canada’s Top-10 shorts in 2011.
She is also in development on the documentary adaptation of Thomas King’s book The Inconvenient Indian, with production slated for spring 2018. Bell Media’s TMN is producing in partnership with Toronto’s 90th Parallel and the NFB, with 90th’s Stuart Henderson, TIFF’s director of film programs Jesse Wente, NFB’s Justine Pimlott signed on to produce and the NFB’s David Oppenheim coproducing.
Now, Latimer says she’s looking to expand her TV and feature scripted portfolio. First up, Latimer is directing two episodes of the upcoming CBC scripted drama Little Dog (Cameron Pictures and Elemental Pictures), set to debut in winter 2018. She’s also co-writing one script for season three of Discovery and Netflix’s Frontier with Sherry White (Rookie Blue).
She’s in development with Toronto’s Sienna Films on Forgotten: The Freedom Project, based on the life of Renee Acoby, one of the few women designated a dangerous offender in Canada. The long-gestating project was originally intended to be a hybrid documentary/narrative feature, but for logistical and artistic reasons, Latimer is writing it as a scripted dramatic feature. “Even though we write and I can visit her, I’m not allowed to bring cameras in the prison or record,” says Latimer, adding, “I also felt I could do more cinematically by making a fictional film.”
Latimer is also attached as a showrunner and writer on Sienna and Eagle Vision’s Red Nation Rising, a scripted futuristic drama series about the war for fresh water.
This workshop will also weave in and out of special screenings at Junction North on Saturday including IN THE NAME OF ALL CANADIANS, OUR PEOPLE WILL BE HEALED, and DOLORES.
Aisha Jamal will be joining Michelle as a trainer on Sunday. Aisha is a Toronto-based filmmaker, film programmer and college professor. Her short films have screened at festivals and venues worldwide. Her most recent co-directed short film "The Long Way Home" is about wrongfully accused terror suspect Abousfian Abdelrazik and his 6 year ordeal to return to Canada from Sudan. The film is screening across Canada as part of the Hot Docs commissioned series "In the Name of all Canadians." Aisha is currently working on her first feature-length documentary called “A Kandahar Away” about her family inheritance in Kandahar, Saskatchewan for the documentary channel. She is also Head of Programming at the Syria Film Festival and Canadian Programmer at Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Aisha teaches film theory and history at Sheridan College in Oakville, Ontario. Along with Maya Bedward, she runs a monthly podcast on gender and race in film called “The Gaze.”
We are also delighted to have producer Christine Kleckner, part of the team on A BETTER MAN, available to discuss developing a social impact strategy for your film. Christine Kleckner is a producer whose short film Barefoot (2012) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, received honourable mention at The Berlinale, and was selected for the Not Short on Talent Showcase at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. Prior to that, she produced Wapawekka (2010) which screened at the Toronto International Film Festival, Sundance and the Berlinale. During her time with the National Film Board of Canada, she collaborated on groundbreaking projects including Stories We Tell and the multi-platform Filmmaker-in-Residence. She is an alumni of the National Screen Institute of Canada’s Drama Prize Program. Christine resides in Toronto working freelance in documentary and drama.