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Toronto Film Festival Enlists Bill Hader, Stephen Frears, Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Industry Conference

Seven-day conference will run during the film festival and explore issues of finance, digital frontiers and gender bias


Actor-producer Bill Hader, directors Stephen Frears, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Asif Kapadia and an array of movie-industry professionals will take place in the Toronto International Film Festival’s Industry Conference, TIFF organizers announced on Thursday.

The conference, which will explore production, financing, distribution, marketing, gender bias and more, will take place over seven days at the festival, beginning on Sept. 11 and running through Sept. 17 at the Glenn Gould Studio and CBC Conference Centre in Toronto, Canada.

The festival itself runs from Sept. 10-20.

Each day, the conference will begin with a State of the Industry session, led by presenters who will include Bianca Goodloe from Goodloe Law, Lorenzo Soria from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, Mike Goodridge from Protagonist Pictures and Danny Gabai from Vice Media.

Conversations in the Moguls section will include Voltage Pictures producer Nicolas Chartier and Bona Film Group’s Yu Dong.

Master Class sessions will be led by directors Ceylan, Frears and Jia Zhang-ke, the last two of whom will be at the festival with their new films, “The Program” and “Mountains May Depart.”

Industry Dialogues will feature conversations about casting, financing, digital marketing and digital distribution, with panelists including John Fithian from NATO, producer Gareth Unwin and IM Global’s Bonnie Voland. The full list of panels and participants is below.

Another section, Upfront: Gender in Media Discourse, will discuss gender disparity in media, with speakers who will include Wendy Calhoun from “Empire,” Gigi Pritzker from OddLot Entertainment, Rina Fraticelli from Women in View, Niija Kuykendall from Warner Bros., Lydia Dean Pilcher from Cine Mosaic, Melissa Silverstein from Indiewire and Julie Ann Crommett and Daraiha Greene from Google, who will host.

A one-day Asian Film Summit will focus on the Chinese film industry, and will include such panelists as Felice Bee from Huyai Brothers International, Jerry Ye from Wanda, An Xiaofen from Desen International Media and Andy Li from iQiyi.

Another full-day industry event, the Doc Conference, will kick off with a conversation between TIFF doc programmer Thom Powers and “Amy” director Asif Kapadia, and will also include conversations about social change, Kickstarter strategies, philanthropy and the IFC comedic doc series “Documentary Now!,” with Hader.

Other industry events will include a case study of the award-winning indie film “Spring,” a series of panels and roundtables aimed at short filmmakers, and the Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! event, which allows six filmmakers to pitch their feature idea to industry professionals.

The programming includes:


The Perfect Fit: Casting for Independent Film and TV
Carmen Cuba (“The Martian”)
Paul Schnee (Barden/Schnee)
Richard Hicks (Casting Society of America)
Keith Simanton (IMDB) – Moderator

Mo’ Money, More Problems: How Big Budgets Differ Around the World
Jill Gwen Braginets (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
John Fithian (National Association of Theatre Owners)
Al Munteanu (SquareOne Entertainment)
Erik Matti (“Honor Thy Father”)
Kerri Craddock (Toronto International Film Festival) – Moderator

How to Speak Finance-ese
John Vandervelde (The Entertainment and Media Finance Group)
Emily Best (Seed&Spark)
Charles King (MACRO)
Tara Parker (Goodmans LLP)
Adam Leipzig (CreativeFutures) – Moderator

Financing Talent Discovery
Deborah Sathe (Film London Microwave)
Doreen Boonekamp (Netherlands Film Fund)
Laura Michalchyshyn (Sundance Productions)

From Micro to Medio
Aaron L. Gilbert (Bron Studios)
Gareth Unwin (“Kilo Two Bravo”)
Robert Jones (Fyzz Facility)
Mimi Steinbauer (Radiant Films International)

Building A (Successful) Digital Marketing Campaign
Zachary Soreff (Sawyer Studios)
Bonnie Voland (IM Global)
Keyvan Peymani (ICM Partners)

Recouping the Investment
Lisa Bunnell (Landmark Theatres)
Logan Mulvey (Alchemy)
Wayne Marc Godfrey (The Fyzz Facility)
Kent Sanderson (Bleecker Street)
Brad Pelman (The Fremantle Corporation) – Moderator

How to Win at Digital Distribution
Scilla Andreen (IndieFlix)
Michael Murphy (Gravitas Ventures)
Yolanda Macias (Cinedigm)
Eric Stein (Impact Global) – Moderator

Additional topics include Data-Driven Content Development and Show-running, with presenters including:
Isabelle Glachant (Chinese Shadows)
Sarah Goodman (“Porch Stories”)
Michael Gottwald (“High Maintenance”)
Anadil Houssein (Dillywood)
Matt Johnson (“Operation Avalanche”)
Claudia Landsberger (Baseworx for Film)
Sydney Levine (Sydney’s Buzz)
Evette Vargas (Digital Reign)


Seven Awesome Tips for Selling your Film Directly
With Jeremy Boxer (Vimeo)

Do Docs Change Anything? A conversation with Avi Lewis and Naomi Klein
With Katie McKenna (Working Knowledge)

Dangerous Docs: Documentary vs. Journalism
With Angelica Das (Game Lab Center for Media & Social Impact at American University)

The Year Kickstarter Broke $100M for Documentaries
With Dan Schoenbrun and George Schmaltz (Kickstarter)

Finding the Money: A New Study on Documentary and Philanthropy
With Simon Kilmurry (International Documentary Association), Maria De Rosa and Marilyn Burgess (Communications MDR)

Your film can change the world… if the right people see it.
With Christie Marchese (Picture Motion)

Documentary Now! with Bill Hader
With Bill Hader (“Trainwreck”) and director Rhys Thomas (“Documentary Now!”)