In-person & Virtual Sessions (via Zoom) Presented by:

OPEN FOR BUSINESS: Attracting out-of-province productions

Mark Sandiford moderates a conversation between Laura MacKenzie, Executive Director of Screen Nova Scotia and Rob Riselli Director of Cultural Industries Ontario North about what out-of-province productions are looking for from a destination.

Laura Mackenzie currently serves as Executive Director of Screen Nova Scotia, a film commission, industry promotion and advocacy association.

Laura has a demonstrated history of activating growth for both independent film and television producers and non-profit screen industry organizations across Canada.  Leading up to her beginnings with Screen Nova Scotia she served as an industry market director and media consultant.  During this time she held such positions as director of the Atlantic International Film Festival’s, FIN Partners, where she annually created the vision for and delivered all aspects of what is internationally known as one of the world’s preeminent international film and television co-production markets. Between 2015-2018 she served as the programming consultant for the Canadian Media Producers Association’s annual conference, Prime Time in Ottawa.  Laura is in her fourth year serving on the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, whose mandate includes advising government on policies and making recommendations on programs to promote arts and culture.

Rob Riselli has over 35 years’ experience in the Arts & Entertainment Industry, having worked in theatre, television and film, predominately in Halifax, Sudbury, Toronto and Vancouver. Rob’s role at CION is in promoting and helping to further the infrastructure of Northern Ontario’s Film & Television Industry through industry programming and workshops. As a Camera & Lighting supplier for many years, he has a great understanding of the industry.

Rob was a founding member of Screen Nova Scotia (serving as Vice Chair), an advocacy group working for the film and television community, as well as a founding member and former chair of the Film and Advisory Committee for Film and Creative Industries Nova Scotia, and participated on many Boards including Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative and Autism Nova Scotia. Rob has participated in the development and training of many technical crew with the various unions and post-secondary schools in Northern Ontario and Atlantic Canada.

Mark Sandiford is a documentary filmmaker with over 40 years of experience in film, television and interactive media including 14 years as producer and executive producer with CBC TV. Mark spent 16 years living and working in the North beginning in the early 1980’s when Mark worked as a trainer with the Inuit Broadcasting Corporation and later as a producer of Inuktitut-language programming with CBC North.
Mark moved to Prince Edward Island in 1998 and after working as senior producer of CBC’s Compass, founded his own production company. Beachwalker Films has produced documentaries for the NFB, CTV, Discovery Channel and APTN. In 2008 Mark’s film, Qallunaat! Why White People are Funny, won the Gemini Canada Award for best reflection of Canada’s racial and cultural diversity.
Mark is currently Executive Director of CreativePEI, a not-for-profit organization that works to improve the outcomes and incomes of arts, culture and creative industry workers in PEI.