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MEET THE FILMMAKERS

MONKEY BEACH CREATIVES

Loretta Sarah Todd

director | producer | writer | showrunner

Female. Cree. Metis. White. Writes (been to Sundance Writer’s Lab). Directs (many films, lots of festivals). Thinks (essays full of tersely cogent remarks or flamboyantly theoretical analysis). Produces (she understands the labyrinth). Challenges herself and others and makes things happen. And yes, she has many awards and accolades. Known for lyrical, expressionistic imagery combined with strong storytelling skills, Todd tells truths that are haunting, funny and real.

Ms. Todd credits include award-winning documentaries, such as Forgotten WarriorsThe People Go On and Hands of History, with the NFB of Canada, digital media work and television. She created, produced and directed Tansi! Nehiyawetan, a Cree children’s series on APTN. And, she created MyCree, a Cree language learning app – and which has over 20,000 downloads. Currently she is in production with Season 3 of Coyote’s Crazy Smart Science, the award-winning children’s series about Indigenous science. Ms. Todd was invited to speak at Kidscreen 2019 on the Indigenous Representation: Getting it Right Panel. And Coyote Science was also invited to MIPJr, on a panel on diversity in Canadian children’s programming. And she created, produced, wrote and directed Skye and Chang, a martial arts sci-fi mash-up that one Best Drama at the American Indian Film Festival in San Francisco.

This fall, Ms. Todd is releasing Monkey Beach, her first feature film based on the iconic Canadian novel by Eden Robinson, And she created Fierce Girls, a web series and transmedia project for Indigenous girls about Indigenous girl superheroes. She is also in development with a new animated children’s series called Nitanis & Skylar.

Selected Festivals include: Toronto International Film Festival, American Indian Film Festival, Sundance Festival, Yamagata Documentary Festival, the Museum of Modern Art, Hot Docs, Vancouver Film Festival, Chicago Film Festival, etc, etc. Other significant honours for her work include the 2018 Women in Film Artistic Innovation Award, NYU Rockefeller Fellowship, participation at the Sundance Scriptwriter’s Lab, Mayor’s Awards for Media Arts (City of Vancouver), as well as numerous film awards, such as Best History Documentary at Hot Docs Festival, Special Jury Citation at Toronto International Film Festival, Best Documentary at the American Indian Festival, as well as awards from the Chicago Film Festival, Taos Talking Film Festival, Yorkton Film Festival – to name a few.

In demand as a writer and lecturer on arts and media, Ms. Todd spoke at the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples at the United Nations, as well as other prestigious institutions such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of the American Indian and numerous conferences on Indigenous language to AI and Immersive technology. Her essays appear in many publications from MIT Press to UBC Press.

Ms. Todd also initiated organizational change within cultural practice in Canada, helping to develop media training programs, reviewing policy through various committees and creating  the IM4 Lab – a VR/AR Lab in collaboration with Emily Carr University of Art and Design. Recently she was chosen as a Lead Fellow to MIT, through the Indigenous Screen Office.

Author of Monkey Beach (the novel)

Eden Robinson

Composer

Jesse Zubot

Co-Composer

Russell Wallace

Costume Designer

Carmen Thompson

Cinematographer

Stirling Bancroft csc

Producer | Writer | Journalist

Carla Robinson

Executive Producer | Producer | Line Producer for Independent Production

Patricia Poskitt

Producer

Jason James

Executive Producer

Tom Rowe

Executive Producer

Matthew O’Connor

Producer

Lisa Richardson

Author of Monkey Beach (the novel)

Eden Robinson

Eden Robinson is the author of the bestselling Son of a Trickster, a 2017 finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize; the sequel Trickster Drift (October 2018), which won the Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize for Fiction; Blood Sports (2006), Traplines (1996), and Monkey Beach (2000), winner of the Ethel Wilson BC Book Prize and a finalist for the Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Award. Monkey Beach is a perennial bestseller read in schools and universities; 80,000 copies are in print. It has just been shot as a feature film. Eden won the $50,000 Writers Trust of Canada Fellowship in 2017. She has matriarchal tendencies and her hobbies include: Shopping for the Apocalypse, using vocabulary as a weapon, nominating cousins to band council while they’re out of town, chair yoga, looking up possible diseases or syndromes on the interwebs, perfecting gluten-free bannock and playing Mah-jong. She lives in Kitimat, BC, where she is working on the third book in the Trickster Trilogy, which has just been picked up by CBC for a TV series to be aired in 2020.

Composer

Jesse Zubot

Jesse Zubot is a multiple JUNO award-winning musician and an in-demand record producer and film composer.  His album productions include Tanya Tagaq’s Polaris Prize winning album ‘Animism’.   He has recorded and performed with an extensive range of artists, including Steve Reich, Dan Mangan, Veda Hille, Fond of Tigers, Eugene Chadbourne, Hawksley Workman, Destroyer, Stars, Mother Mother, Kelly Joe Phelps and he is part of Tanya Tagaq’s main touring trio.  In recent years, Jesse has delved heavily into the world of film scoring. He has been nominated for multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Leo Awards and recently received a SOCAN Award for Achievement in Feature Film (Indian Horse).   His scoring credits include Monkey BeachIndian Horse, Two Lovers and a Bear, Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Whale and the Raven, and Koneline: Our Land Beautiful.

Co-Composer

Russell Wallace

Russell Wallace is a composer, producer and traditional singer from the Lil’wat Nation in B.C. His music has been part of a number of soundtracks (film and television) and theatre/dance productions across Canada. Most recently Wallace received a Leo Award for Best Musical Score for a documentary series, “1491: The Untold History of the Americas Before Columbus”.

He was the composer in residence for the Chinook Winds Aboriginal Dance program from 1996-2003 at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Commissions include: the formation of Nunavut Gala in 1999, the Vancouver Peace Conference in 2004 which hosted the Dalai Lama and other international dignitaries, and various chamber ensembles and choirs. He has produced CD’s that have been nominated for awards at the Juno’s, Canadian Aboriginal Music Awards, and at the Native American Music Awards in the USA. In 2019 Wallace was the artist in residence for the Vancouver International Jazz Festival.

Costume Designer

Carmen Thompson

Carmen Thompson (Diitiidaht/Kyuquot/Coast Salish) has been designing and building costumes for theatre, television, music videos and feature films for more than 15 years. Her attention to detail and commitment to cultural authenticity has made her an in-demand member of creative teams in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Victoria. Her work is being recognized with two Leo Nominations for Costume Design. Carmen’s father, the late Art Thompson (Diitidaht/Coast Salish), was a renowned First Nations carver and painter and he inspired her to combine both her cultural background and technical training in her work. Her mother, the late Cathy Leo (Kyuquot), raised Carmen to pursue a career in the arts, which started with acting at the age of 13 in feature films and television in Vancouver.

Career highlights include serving as the costume designer for Jamie Foxx’s Intuition Tour and the BET Award Show honouring Michael Jackson; costuming the Haida and Coast Salish cast for a Murdoch Mysteries episode; recreating costumes for the Teen Choice Awards and VH1 Rock Honors-The Who; and designing Polynesian costumes for host Duane “The Rock” Johnson and 24 dancers for the Kids Choice Awards. Recently, she has worked on the award winning feature film, Red Snow and the upcoming feature film, Monkey Beach. She has moved into theatre with the award winning, Inheritance and God’s Lake and with the opera, Missing. Carmen was the Costume Designer for the international TV series, 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus, which involved designing more than 150 historic costumes representing different Indigenous nations such as Amazonian, Anishnaabe, Inuit, Aztec, Maya, Blackfoot, Cahokia, Cree, Inca, Iroquois, Kwaguilth, Nuuchahnulth and Pueblo.

Carmen was given the Nuu-chah-nulth name “Tl’aakwaa” from her Uncle Ron Hamilton/Ki-ke- in, means copper and it is particularly appropriate for an artist whose works are luminous, brilliant and culturally centred.

Cinematographer

Stirling Bancroft csc

Stirling is a Vancouver-based cinematographer working in film and television. Projects he photographs consistently receive nominations in cinematography and premiere at top-tier Festivals. His last two features, Freaks (2017, Dir. Adam Stein and Zach Lipovsky) and Adventures in Public School (2016, Dir. Kyle Rideout) both premiered at TIFF before being sold. He recently photographed Monkey Beach, (Director. Loretta Todd) based on the novel of the same name by Eden Robinson and Sniper: Assassin’s End (2019, Dir Kaare Andrews). Stirling is a cinematographer, equally at home working underwater, hanging from buildings, cliffs or helicopters, riding backwards on snowmobiles, and creating natural lighting in-studio.

Producer | Writer | Journalist

Carla Robinson

Carla Robinson is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations. As a screenwriter and producer Carla draws on her experience as a television broadcaster with CBC-TV, a print journalist, and an entrepreneur. Carla is a creative consultant script advisor on CBC’s The

Trickster TV series. In 2018 she helped produce Monkey Beach, the feature film adaptation of her sister Eden Robinson’s award-winning book of the same name.

In 2017 / 2018 she wrote and co-produced The Guide through Sheridan College which screened at the American Indian Film Festival, LA Skins Film Festival, the Hamilton Film Festival, and won Best Drama in Top Shorts, an online film festival. Carla also earned anhonours degree in mass communications from Carleton University and has a Masters degree in Journalism from the University of Western Ontario.

Executive Producer | Producer | Line Producer for Independent Production

Patricia Poskitt

With over 30 years of television experience, Patti brings to independent producers/directors and broadcasters the security of complete financing and management for their projects. Second Son Productions Inc., Patti’s company, oversees all aspects of development, production, post and delivery of the final project. Patti’s role focuses on the creative financial supervision of production for the participating broadcasters and stakeholders as well as the critical selection and management of crew. Patti manages production scheduling,business affairs and bank financing.Other services include budget management, production cost reporting, and film tax credit and funding applications and production audit preparation. Patti Poskitt has extensive experience in all aspects of production. A graduate of Capilano College’s rigorous Media Program, she has worked her way through the ranks in production coordination, management and all forms of producer titles. Stints in daytime television have provided Patti with strong connections to countless resources. She has numerous credits in all genres of programming, but prefers to focus on award winning one off documentaries doc series and music specials and independent feature films.In addition to this, for over 17 years,  she has been a part of the veteranproduction team that producesVariety –The Children’s Charity annual televised “the Show of Hearts”, assisting in raising many millions of dollars for children with life limiting illnesses in British Columbia.Just last year Patti joined the faculty at the Capilano University’s School of Motion Picture Arts as a part time instructor for Independent line and production management.Patti’s the president of Second Son Productions Inc. and under this banner she devotes her expertise to collaboratively developing and creatively managing and financing television productions. She recently co-developed the Ethical Producer curriculum for Capilano College.

Producer

Jason James

He recently directed/produced the indie drama ENTANGLEMENT (starring Thomas Middleditch and Jess Weixler). He also directed/produced the indie comedy THAT BURNING FEELING (starring John Cho, Tyler Labine, Emily Hampshire, and Paulo Costanzo). He also co-created and produced the CBC comedy TV series THIS SPACE FOR RENT.

Other projects include producing: MONKEY BEACH by director Loretta Todd (starring Grace Dove and Adam Beach), THE STEPS by director Andrew Currie (starring Jason Ritter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Brolin, and Christine Lahti), MOUNTAIN MEN by director Cam Labine (starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine), and the Carl Bessai directed features REPEATERS, COLE, FATHERS & SONS, and UNNATURAL&ACCIDENTAL.

Jason has previously been invited to attend the Film Independent Producer’s Lab, Telefilm/CFC/Just For Laughs Comedy Features Lab, Toronto Film Festival Talent Lab, the Rotterdam Talent Lab, a CTV Fellowship at the Banff Television Festival, the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television Program, and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s National Director Apprenticeship program.

Executive Producer

Tom Rowe

Tom was a principal of Vancouver-based Reunion Pictures, formed in 2004, which produced the likes of
Masters of Horror, Flash Gordon, Dreamkeeper, Emmy award-winning Tin Man, and the successful
series, Continuum.
Previous to his role as Executive VP, Creative Affairs at Sextant Entertainment, he co-founded Pacific
Motion Pictures with Matthew O’Connor in 1989. Over the following decade, they produced more than
80 movies for television and several features, including Canada’s best-selling video title, Magic In The
Water. The company received a George Foster Peabody Award for Excellence In Television for The Baby
Dance, and Tom received an Emmy nomination for Best Mini-Series for producing Truman Capote’s In
Cold Blood.
Over the years, Tom served as co-chair of the Minister of Heritages’ Canadian Feature Film Fund
Advisory Group, Chair of the BC Producers Branch of the Canadian Film and Television Production
Association (as well as serving on the national executive), and as a member of Emily Carr University’s
Foundation Board.

Executive Producer

Matthew O’Connor

Matthew O’Connor has been a Producer, Industry builder and entrepreneur in the entertainment business for over four decades. The entertainment companies he has founded (including co-founding Reunion Pacific Entertainment Inc.) have produced over two billion dollars in feature films, long-form and series television, garnering numerous awards and nominations including Emmy, Peabody, People’s Choice, Saturn, Humanitus, Canadian Screen Award and the Golden Globe. 2nd unit directing has also been a passion of Matthew’s, with a focus on VFX, action and splinter units. Matthew has also partnered in several other companies focusing on VFX, Post Production, Agency, Studio and Distribution. Having served as Chairman of the Board of Sextant Entertainment and as a shareholder and three term board member of Thunderbird Entertainment, Matthew has experience in public markets and the operation of larger companies. He has been active with industry associations, founding the BC producers Branch of the CMPA, where he worked the establishment of the federal and provincial tax credits. Matthew is currently on the advisory board for the Capilano University BMPA.

Producer

Lisa Richardson

Lisa’s career in film and television spans over 30 years. She worked alongside Mathew O’Connor and
Tom Rowe at Pacific Motion Pictures for several years before launching her own production company,
Dogwood Pictures, in 1998. Through Dogwood Pictures, Lisa developed and produced feature films,
such as “The Butterfly Effect” and worked with many international companies such as New Line Cinema
and Lions Gate Films. Dogwood Pictures also produced television movies and mini-series for all of the
major US networks.
Prior to joining Pacific Motion Pictures, Lisa was one of the founding partners of western Canada’s
leading film payroll and accounting software company, Televector Disc, a company that was acquired by
EP Canada in 2003. In April 2004, Lisa again joined Tom Rowe and Matthew O’Connor to form Reunion
Pictures. Since then, Lisa has produced or executive produced a number of series or mini-series
including, among others, the Showtime series “Masters of Horror” and “Masters of Science Fiction”.