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IFFA Workshop Presenter Bios

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Panelist: Josh Miller – CEO, Edmonton Screen Industries Office

Currently serving as CEO of the Edmonton Screen Industries Office, Josh is an award-winning writer and producer. From 1990 to 1995, following a successful TV writing stint in Hollywood, Josh became Director of Development for Canadian pay-TV broadcaster Superchannel. Then from 1995 to 2003, Josh was a partner at indie production company Minds Eye Entertainment, after which he became the president of his own Canadian independent film and TV production company, Panacea Entertainment.

Josh has served on the Board of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canadian Media Production Association, has chaired the Edmonton International Film Festival and The Edmonton Jewish Film Festival and twice been Chair of the Alberta Media Production Association. He has also sat on the Alberta Film Advisory Council and the Edmonton Film Commission Focus Group. He currently serves as Board Secretary for the International Quorum of Motion Picture Producers.

Josh has a BA in English and Drama from the University of Alberta, an MFA in Film Production from New York University and was a Screenwriting Fellow at the American Film Institute Center for Advanced Film Studies in Los Angeles.

Josh has earned dozens of awards for his work both as a writer and a producer, but is most proud to have received the Alex Barris Mentorship Award from the Writers Guild of Canada in recognition of his commitment to mentoring emerging writers.

Panelist: Dylan Pearce – Director/Producer, Lucas Talent

Dylan Pearce is an award-winning director/producer with Lucas Talent. Dylan is a graduate of the Red Deer College Motion Pictures Arts program and has been working within in the Canadian film industry for the past ten years. Dylan has gone on to direct 7 feature-length films, episodic TV and has worked extensively in new-tech storytelling through VR and 3D. Dylan has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award, won a Lumière award at Warner Brothers Studios and a Rosie Award for directing “40 Below and Falling 3D”. Dylan is a member of the Directors Guild of Canada, and sits on the AMPIA board.

Panelist: Kimberly Evans – Industry Development Manager, Alberta Film

Kimberly is the Industry Development Manager for Alberta Film, in the Cultural Industries Branch of the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Her area of expertise covers consultations with industry, and making recommendations regarding funding policies and strategic initiatives to promote industry growth. Her office also handles promotion of the Alberta Media Fund, which is the Provincial Government’s financial incentive program.

Kimberly has worked in government for the past 11 years.

Panel Moderator: Michael Jorgensen – Chair, AMPIA

Michael is an Emmy® award-winning filmmaker and network storytelling consultant in both the fiction and nonfiction genres. As a producer, writer and director, his films have earned him more than 80 international, national and regional awards. Michael has garnered five titles as WCNPA Television Photojournalist of the Year. In 1992, he was one of the first journalists to go into war-torn Somalia prior to the UN-sanctioned “Operation Restore Hope.” Since then, Michael has acted as a network storytelling consultant and helped launch the world’s first weekly science program: Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet.” Michael is the only filmmaker in history to be granted access inside a classified U.S. Department of Defense weapons competition. “Battle of the X-Planes” earned Michael his first Emmy® for best long form documentary.

He has produced, written and directed numerous primetime specials for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History, PBS, ZDF Germany and Arte France. Network credits include the Gemini® nominated “Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy”, “Hunt for the Mad Trapper”, “Hitler’s Stealth Fighter” and “Lost Nuke”. As the supervising producer of the landmark Discovery Channel series; “Mars Rising”, Michael negotiated access to NASA, and Russian and European space agencies to tell the story of the people working on the first human mission to Mars. Michael has been a judge for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmys® since 2010. In 2014, his feature-length theatrical documentary; “Unclaimed” opened to international acclaim and was long-listed for an Oscar®. In 2017, Michael helped launch The Edmonton Screen Industries Office. He is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association, The Giant Screen Association, Women in Film & Television and the prestigious Producers Guild of America.

Remembering Arvi Liimatainen

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Arvi Liimatainen, noted filmmaker and recipient of AMPIA’s David Billington Award (1997), has passed away at the age of 68. During his four decades in film and television, Arvi was part of the Gemini-winning team behind Da Vinci’s Inquest and its offshoots, also producing Medicine River, Legend of the Ruby Silver and Jake and the Kid. Other credits include a fruitful collaboration with director Anne Wheeler, with Arvi acting as producer for Marine Life, Angel Square, Bye Bye Blues and Cowboys Don’t Cry. Among Arvi’s directing credits are episodes of The Beachcombers, Mentors and Breaker High. He remained active in recent years, working on Hiccups, Gracepoint and The Romeo Section as well as the television movie Borealis for SEVEN24 Films/Slanted Wheel Entertainment/CTV-Space.

The esteem in which the industry holds Arvi is evidenced by the positions he held as Chair of the Banff World Media Festival (then known as Banff Television Festival) and Director of the National Screen Institute. Arvi served on AMPIA’s Board of Directors, including two years as President in the 1980s. This Finnish-born producer will long be remembered for his contributions to Alberta’s and Canada’s production communities.

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