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The Indie Filmmaker’s Amplifier

An intensive day of strategies, knowledge, and connections to launch your film projects.

Saturday, March 9, 2024 at the Living Arts Centre from 9:30am-5pm

Do you have a film or series project in any stage of development? Do you want to make your project but face limited resources, closed doors, and other challenges?

About the event

Sponsored by TD Bank Group, Ontario Creates, and presented by Mississauga Arts Council in partnership with producer, Cathleen MacDonald, The Indie Filmmaker’s Amplifier is a full day of in-person interactive workshops with veteran industry professionals, roundtable meetings with industry leaders, and a networking lunch to help filmmakers get their projects made. Participants will come away with strategies, knowledge, resources, and connections to help launch their projects into production.

Who should attend?

Independent filmmakers, including producers, writers, and directors with a project in ideation or development stages who want to get their projects made but need strategies, guidance, and connections to make it happen. Projects can be scripted, documentary, features, shorts, or series, including web series. Participants should have some industry knowledge and experience to benefit from this event. Students enrolled in a post-secondary film or media arts program can benefit. Participants who attended last year’s industry navigation summit will gain further in-depth project-specific knowledge and connections to advance their projects. We encourage filmmakers of all ages, backgrounds, races, genders, and sexualities to attend.

About this event:

What: The Indie Filmmaker’s Amplifier
Where: Rogers Theatre – Living Arts Centre
When: Saturday, March 9, 9:30 AM – 5 PM
Ticket Cost: $20 (Covers Lunch)

The Sessions

9:30 AM – 10 AM

Registration: Coffee, Tea, Meet & Greet

10 AM – 11:30 AM

Workshop 1: Get the Money – Financing Independent Projects

With Shehrezade Mian, Producer, Markhor Pictures

Presented from a producer’s perspective, this seminar with Q&A will cover how to obtain development and production financing for independent narrative and documentary films. Join producer Shehrezad Mian as she demystifies Canada’s film and television financing system and shows how you can finance lower budget projects using grants, broadcaster licenses, distributor minimum guarantees, Telefilm, festival funds and more. Several participants will have the opportunity to describe their projects and receive practical financing plan suggestions. 

11:30 AM – 1 PM

Networking Roundtables with Industry Leaders

  • Michaelangelo Masangkay, General Manager, Raven Banner Entertainment
  • Taisa Dekker, Manager, Industry Initiatives, ACTRA
  • Carroll Chiramel, Producer-Editor, Orange Spot Productions
  • Isioro Tokunbo Jaboro, President & CEO, Producer-Director, True Sail Production & Motion Pictures
  • Madeleine Donohue, Writer-Series Creator
  • Stephanie Herrera, Writer-Performer-Producer
  • Rolla Tahir, Filmmaker and Director of Photography, Smoking Apples
  • Jason Speers, Director Business Development, Knoll Studios
  • Greg Rubidge, President, Syndicado
  • Arika Jiang, Coordinator, Communications, Marketing and Membership, Canadian Media Producer’s Association (CMPA)

Break into small conversation circles with industry leaders, including producers, distributors, production and post service providers, studios, ACTRA, and more. Industry leaders will rotate among the tables to give everyone an opportunity to meet and speak with several of them.

1 PM – 1:40 PM

Networking Lunch

Continue discussions and connections over lunch (lunch provided for free with your ticket by Mississauga Arts Council).

1:45 PM – 3:30 PM

Workshop 2: Persuasive Pitching

With Marina Cordoni, Producer, Marina Cordoni Entertainment

Go beyond everything you’ve learned about pitching. In this unique interactive workshop from producer Marina Cordoni, she will share her persuasive approach gained from over 25-years of successfully pitching and selling films and series. Learn how the art of persuasion can attract collaborators and talent, get you in the room, make a sale, and get financing for your projects. Several participants will have opportunities to test pitches and get constructive feedback.

3:40 PM – 4:45 PM

Workshop 3: The Business of Indie Filmmaking

With Ingrid Veninger, Filmmaker, Punk Films

Whether you’re a passionate creative or an aspiring business professional, this business affairs seminar will help you avoid costly mistakes. Join Toronto-based filmmaker, Ingrid Veninger, who comes from the trenches of making 15 indie films and has lived to tell the tale. You will not want to miss this chance to hear from one of Canada’s most prolific and accomplished cinematic storytellers. Participants will receive how-to-templates to help them with the business of their next indie project.

Agenda is subject to change. All sessions include opportunities to ask questions directly to industry experts. Speakers and panellists will be added in as they are confirmed.

Meet the Speakers

Shehrezade Mian

Producer, Markhor Pictures

About Shehrezade Mian

Shehrezade Mian is a Pakistan-born, creative producer based between Toronto and Pakistan. In 2022, Mian’s feature film CONCRETE VALLEY (2022) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by an international premiere at the Berlinale in 2023. The film received critical acclaim and was named 10 best Canadian films of 2023 by the Globe and Mail. Mian is an alumnus of the Toronto International Film Festival-Netflix Talent Accelerator, EAVE Access and Rotterdam Producers Lab. Mian also served as the production and development manager at Hawkeye Pictures where she worked on international feature titles like BROTHER (2022) and SAVING MR. DRESSUP (2023), along with other films which screened at TIFF, BFI London, Busan and more. Mian’s films have played at festivals across the globe, receiving press from The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, Criterion Daily, Mubi Notebook, CinemaScope, The Globe and Mail, CBC and more. In 2021 Mian founded Markhor Pictures, a production company that seeks to champion unique voices from across the globe and places an emphasis on auteur driven cinema that explores innovative ways of storytelling. Mian also runs a mentorship program for emerging South Asian/Muslim filmmakers who are immigrants like herself.

Marina Cordoni

Producer, Marina Cordoni Entertainment

About Marina Cordoni

Following various senior level positions at global entertainment companies, Marina launched Marina Cordoni Entertainment (MCE) in 2015 to bring studio style production services to the independent sector. Marina previously worked for the film division of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, where she handled pre-sales and completed picture sales in foreign territories on major independent hits including 4 WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, DEAD MAN WALKING, FARGO, and SLEEPERS and she helped build the feature film production and foreign sales division at Breakthrough Entertainment. Her recent productions include the feature “Never Saw It Coming” based on the internationally bestselling novel by Linwood Barclay, and “American Hangman” starring Donald Sutherland, streaming on Netflix.

Ingrid Veninger

Filmmaker, Punk Films

About Ingrid Veninger

Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger has produced 15 feature films with premieres at TIFF, Rotterdam, Locarno, Busan, Slamdance, Whistler, Rome, and MoMA in New York. A member of the Directors Guild of Canada and participant in the inaugural TIFF Studio, Berlinale Talents, and Rotterdam Producer’s Lab, Ingrid has been a mentor at the Canadian Film Centre and Screenwriter-in-Residence at the University of Toronto. Currently, she is Director of the York University Motion Media Studio at Cinespace, and is a tenured faculty in the department of Cinema and Media Arts at York University.

Meet the Industry Leaders

Carroll Chiramel

Producer-Editor, Orange Spot Productions  

Taisa Dekker

Manager, Industry Initiatives, ACTRA

Madeleine Donohue

Writer-Series Creator

Stephanie Herrera


Arika Jiang

Coordinator, Communications, Marketing and Membership, Canadian Media Producer’s Association (CMPA) 

Michaelangelo Masangkay

General Manager,  Raven Banner Entertainment 

Greg Rubidge

President, Syndicado

Rolla Tahir

Filmmaker and Director of Photography, Smoking Apples

Isioro Tokunbo Jaboro

President & CEO, Producer-Director, True Sail Production & Motion Pictures

Jason Speers

Director Business Development, Knoll Studios

The Indie Filmmaker’s Amplifier Event Producer

Cathleen MacDonald

Cathleen MacDonald is a Canadian filmmaker whose fiction and documentary features, shorts, and series have screened at festivals and have broadcast nationally and globally. Her work includes the series WORKING ANIMALS (Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, and Canal D), the feature documentary ANIMAL IQ TEST (Animal Planet) the series MOVING ON (CBC, TVO), DE-ESCALATE produced with support from the Ontario Arts Council, and the anthology art series, THE LOST MUSEUM. Cathleen serves as a speaker and juror for industry festivals, organizations, and funders. She has an Honors BFA in Film Production from York University.

The Indie Filmmaker’s Amplifier is sponsored by TD Bank Group, Ontario Creates,
and presented by Mississauga Arts Council.