APA Mentors and Instructors

Andrew Barnsley
Project 10 Productions
Andrew Barnsley is a Toronto and Los Angeles based Executive Producer of film and television. He is a two-time Emmy nominated (Outstanding Comedy Series) and multi-nominated/three-time Canadian Screen Award winning (Best Comedy Series) Executive Producer. Barnsley is currently the Executive Producer on CTV/Bell Media’s 14 x ½ hour comedy series Jann starring Jann Arden, CBC/PopTV’s 80 x ½ hour series Schitt’s Creek starring Eugene Levy and Catherine O’Hara, Family Channel/CBBC’s 15 x ½ hour tween series My Perfect Landing. His 2020 development and production slate includes series with CTV/Bell Media, CBC, City TV/Rogers Media, Amazon Studios, and Hulu. He has served previously as the Executive Producer on CTV’s 26 x 1/2 hour sitcom Spun Out starring Dave Foley, the TMN/Movie Central documentary series Sports On Fire and the HBO Canada documentary feature Spirit Unforgettable (2016). Since 2001, Barnsley has produced content across multiple genres and formats including comedy, animation, live-action, children’s, documentary and multiple live concert specials.

Andrew currently serves Executive Producer in Residence at Toronto Film School. He is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association, the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (USA) and the Academy of Canadian Film & Television. He holds an MA in Communications and Culture from Ryerson and York Universities, a BAA from Ryerson University’s Radio and Television Arts Program and a BEd from St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Chris Bell
Chris Bell is VP, Scripted Development, Television at Entertainment One. Based in Toronto, Chris oversees eOne’s active development slate out of Canada, with a focus on partnering with top writing talent on the development of original series concepts as well as targeting high value IP. Under his leadership, the team is dedicated to providing strong support for Canadian creators to bring their stories to audiences worldwide. Previously, as VP, Current Programming, Chris oversaw eOne’s impressive production slate of scripted series across North America, including Mary Kills People (Lifetime/Global), and hit series Private Eyes (Global) and Saving Hope (CTV/ION).

Prior to joining eOne, Chris worked at Corus Entertainment, where he oversaw a slate of original dramas, comedies and unscripted content for networks including Movie Central, HBO Canada, W Network and CMT. Chris was also responsible for all of the Canadian feature film and documentary licensing for Corus. With over a decade of experience in independent production and the broadcasting industry, he is a leader in original programming and a strong advocate for high-quality content. Chris has a Masters in Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and has served as an Associate Faculty member of the National Screen Institute, as well as a member of the Canadian Film Centre’s Features First advisory committee.

David Cormican
David Cormican is an Emmy®-nominated producer. He is Co-Founder and President of Don Carmody Television (DCTV), a co-founder of Mogul Productions, co-founder and CEO of PaperChasePRO and a member of the prestigious Producers Guild of America (p.g.a.) and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).

DCTV projects include the International Emmy®-nominated mini-series Tokyo Trial for Netflix and NHK, the Rogers-Netflix original series Between, the Emmy®-nominated The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe for Lifetime and ShadowHunters for Freeform. Cormican’s most recent career evolution comes as Co-creator, Writer, series Showrunner, Producer and EP on the freshman family drama series Northern Rescue for CBC gem and Netflix which bowed in 2019 simultaneously for audiences globally.

Tulipani, Love, Honour & A Bicycle, the Dutch-Italian-Canadian co-production and film festival darling from two-time Academy Award® winning director, Mike van Diem, recently premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

Selected by The Hollywood Reporter as Next Generation Canada: Class of 2014, Cormican was also recognized by Playback in 2012 as one of the Top 10 to Watch and again in 2015 as Playback’s New Establishment. He received the National Screen Institute’s Producer Drama Prize in 2010. He is also a graduate of the Erich Pommer Institute’s Trans Atlantic Partners programme. In 2016, Cormican received the Distinguished Alumnus Award, MacEwan University’s highest honour, where he was recognized by his Alma Mater for his outstanding achievements in the areas of business, arts and culture, lifelong learning and community service.

Filmmaking accomplishments for this intrepid producer include the Christian Slater thriller Stranded, The Tall Man (Jessica Biel), 13 Eerie and Faces in the Crowd (Milla Jovovich). Cormican founded and ran the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition (CSSC), where he produced five of the winning short film scripts, including Rusted Pyre, which premiered at the 2011 Festival de Cannes and Will, which won the Golden Sheaf for Best Drama at the Yorkton Film Festival.

Trish Dolman
Screen Siren Pictures Inc.
Trish Dolman founded Screen Siren Pictures in 1997 and is a leading Western Canadian feature film, documentary, television, digital producer and director. With more than 30 documentary and feature film credits over her twenty-eight-year career, her projects have won acclaim, awards and have screened at various marquee international festivals.

Trish’s recent credits include: French Exit, a feature film starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Lucas Hedges for Sony Classics and Worldwide (premiere at NYFF 2020); The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel (premiere at TIFF 2020); Citizen Bio, a feature-length documentary that she directed about the subculture of biohacking (Showtime Networks, fall 2020); Indian Horse, an adaptation of Richard Wagamese’s award-winning novel, which was the most successful English-Canadian film of 2018; Canada In A Day, for which Trish won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Director, Documentary, and was executive produced by Ridley Scott and inspired by Kevin Macdonald’s Life in a Day.
She is currently producing British Columbia – A History, a landmark four-part historical documentary series for Knowledge Network, set to premiere in 2021; and executive producing Bones of Crows, a dramatic miniseries for the CBC, produced, written, and directed by award-winning filmmaker and playwright Marie Clements.

In 2003, Trish was the youngest recipient of Women in Film & Video Vancouver’s Woman of the Year Award and received Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin’s La Grande Dame Woman of Distinction. In 2010 she was named one of the 100 Most Influential Women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun.

Ilana Frank
ICF Films
Ilana Frank is the award-winning executive producer behind ICF Films, (and previously Thump) a production company focused on creating entertaining and powerful long-form drama.

Frank is the producer for the hit series Rookie Blue, which aired for six seasons. She is currently in production on the CTV fourth season of Saving Hope (18 episodes) and is also working on The Flying Troutmans, written by Semi Chellas and Miriam Toews.

Frank’s illustrious career in film production began after several years of professional experience as a producer of theatrical plays. In the mid-1980s she joined Toronto-based production and distribution company Norstar Entertainment as VP of Production. In this role, Frank supervised the development of more than 20 in-house feature films.

In 1996, Frank established Thump Inc., a production company that released its first feature film The Life Before This in 1998. The film starred Stephen Rea, Sarah Polley, Joe Pantoliano and Catherine O’Hara (who won a Genie Award for her performance).

Soon after, she moved to television production as the co-creator and executive producer of The Eleventh Hour. Over the course of its run, the series was nominated for more than 30 Gemini Awards, chalking up wins in all major categories including Best Writer, Director and Actor.

In 2006, she teamed up with The Eleventh Hour director David Wellington on a four-hour original miniseries for CTV entitled Would Be Kings, starring Ben Bass and Natasha Henstridge (who won the Gemini Award for Best Actress). Frank also produced a one-hour pilot for Showcase entitled, Clean, and the 2008 television movie, Of Memory and Murder (CTV/Lifetime), written by Semi Chellas and inspired by the memoir Who Named the Knife by Linda Spalding.

Throughout her career, Frank has been known for giving now-recognized talent their first break. She has a unique ability to identify, nurture, develop and integrate talent into exciting and commercially successful productions. Her accomplishments in this area were recognized at the 2007 Writer’s Guild of Canada (WGC) Awards when she was awarded the Alex Barris Mentorship Award for her role in nurturing Canadian talent.
 According to one of nine nomination letters received for the WGC Award, “Ilana is a mentor, a bodyguard, a hustler, an advocate, a queen of ideas, a negotiator and a true friend. She isn’t detached or objective; she isn’t remotely hands-off. She’s passionate, engaged and ‘all-in’ all the time. She believes in the voices of the artists she works with and helps them realize their vision.”

In 2008, Frank received the WIFT-Toronto Crystal Award for Creative Excellence in recognition of her achievements and the dynamic quality of her work in screen-based media industries.

Noreen Halpern
Halfire Entertainment
Noreen Halpern is a television executive with more than 25 years of experience in television production and financing. Halpern launched Halfire Entertainment to develop, produce, and finance television series and mini-series for the Canadian, U.S., and international marketplaces in 2013.

Halfire is currently producing 2 series for Netflix, “Another Life”, starring Katee Sackhoff and Selma Blair, which launched in July 2019, and “Sentient”, which starts production in 2020. Also set up is “Grimjack” for Amazon with Joe and Anthony Russo’s AGBO Studios.

Through Halfire, Halpern produced the Netflix six-part mini-series “Alias Grace”, penned by Sarah Polley and directed by Mary Harron, “Aftermath” for the Syfy channel, and “Working The Engels” for NBC.

Prior to Halfire, Halpern was President of Television at eOne, where she launched “Rookie Blue” (ABC, Global), “Call Me Fitz” (DirectTV), “Hell On Wheels” (AMC), “Hung” (HBO), “Haven” (Global, Syfy), and many others. Under Halpern’s leadership, eOne Television became one of the industry’s foremost creators, producers, and distributors across all genres and attracted an impressive roster of creative partners.

Before joining eOne, Halpern founded Blueprint Entertainment, an independent studio. Halpern used non-traditional funding models to create North American-targeted content and produced 200+ hours of quality programming with an estimated production cost of $145,000,000. Prior to that, Halpern was the Senior VP, Creative Affairs at Alliance Entertainment and remained with the company through a merger that formed production/distribution powerhouse Alliance-Atlantis.

Erin Haskett
Lark Productions
With over 20 years of experience developing and producing exceptional content, Erin drives Lark’s strategy and operations, in addition to overseeing the company’s slate of scripted and unscripted content. Lark Productions enjoys a distribution and development deal with NBCUniversal International.

Erin has executive produced spy drama Fortunate Son for CBC and NBCUniversal International, CTV’s successful crime drama Motive (CTV, USA, ABC), the award-winning docu-series Paramedics: Life on the Line and Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH for Knowledge Network, and the hit formats The Real Housewives of Toronto and The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Slice). Lark’s programs succeed domestically and internationally, having been sold in over 180 territories. Other projects include Crash Gallery (CBC), High Moon (Syfy), Mom’s A Medium (CMT), and Gastown Gamble (OWN Canada).

Before joining Lark, Erin was Director of Development with Infinity Features, and was the Executive in Charge of Production for Terry Gilliam’s Academy Award nominated film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Prior to that she was Director of Development at Paperny Entertainment where she oversaw a slate of scripted and unscripted series and was involved in the highly successful original series Eat Street (Food Network Canada).

A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Erin currently serves on the CMPA National Board of Directors and the BC based Pacific Screenwriting Program.

Ira Levy
Breakthrough Entertainment
Since creating Breakthrough over 30 years ago, Ira and his partner Peter Williamson have built a creative partnership and established themselves as one of Canada’s most prolific providers of television programs. As Executive Producer, Ira works with broadcasters, producers and directors to oversee the creative management of projects in all genres, from development through to delivery.

Over the years, Ira has developed successful relationships with national and international networks and production partners on a variety of documentary, lifestyle, drama, factual, and animated programs. Because of these relationships, Breakthrough Entertainment leads in the industry as an award winning producer and distributor in multiple formats and genres.

In 1995 Ira became a member of the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) and was elected chair of the board in 2005. He continues to be actively involved in the CMPA’s committees alongside his involvement with the Canadian Media Fund, The Banff World Television Board and the Alliance for Children and Television.

Mark Miller
Great Pacific Media
Mark is the Founder of Great Pacific Media. He is one of North America’s most prolific showrunners. He created the hit series Highway Thru Hell, now in its 10th season, as well as dozens of other shows.His current focus is in scripted where he is developing several projects including a limited series on the life of Nazi Scientist and Nasa Engineer Wernher Von Braun.

Mark is a rare mix of successful entrepreneur and artist. An award-winning writer, producer and music composer, his insatiable curiosity and drive for excellence are at the root of his unprecedented commercial success in the international market. Before becoming a showrunner, Mark was a political journalist and international correspondent covering everything from wars to scientific breakthroughs. His work regularly appeared on the CTV, Global, BBC, NPR, ABC, Christian Science Monitor and CBC. He was Born and raised in Alberta.

Joy Rosen
Portfolio Entertainment
Launched in a spare bedroom with a borrowed typewriter twenty-eight years ago, Joy and partner Lisa Olfman transformed Portfolio Entertainment into a powerhouse specializing in the production, distribution and animation of kids and family entertainment for television and digital media content platforms. Portfolio’s current production slate includes Hero Elementary (PBS Kids) and the primetime animated comedy series Doomsday Brothers (Corus Entertainment).

Portfolio’s distribution arm is a global player recognized for intelligent deal-making and enduring relationships with broadcasters, digital platforms and content providers. Its diverse program catalogue now boasts over 2,000 episodes of animation, kids, scripted and digital media content. Portfolio recently cracked the Chinese market, successfully selling its animation series to major SVOD platforms and initiating co-productions with recognized Chinese production companies.

Strategic vision and incorrigible optimism lead the partners to a multi-faceted expansion in 2015, with the launch of Portfolio Animation, a state of the art animation studio. Additionally, the company attracted a key senior management team, diversified its slate, amped up production output and relocated to its new vibrant headquarters in downtown Toronto. Portfolio established an Innovation Tech Lab to continue its experimentation in new production techniques, animation pipeline efficiencies and pushing creative boundaries – with the objectives of enhancing quality and tempering costs.

Portfolio’s earlier productions include: The Cat in the Hat Knows A Lot About That!, Freaktown, DOKI, Carl Squared, RoboRoach, For the Love of Dog and the television movie Stolen Miracle. Portfolio is now expanding into new genres of production with projects in primetime, digital and comedy.

The partners together have won the 2015 WIFT-T Crystal Award for Outstanding Achievement in Business, Rotman Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award, and was named in Profit Magazine’s Top 100 Female Business Owners and Animation Magazine’s Top 25 Rising Women in the Business lists.

Jarrett Sherman
Jarrett is the President and Co-Founder of Fuzerly, a social media content creation platform that gives fans all the official visuals they crave from the entertainment brands they love, and the tools they need to make and share custom GIFs, Memes, Designs and merchandise. For Rights Holders, Fuzerly is the only place where they can be properly compensated for this use of their digital assets. With fandom increasingly being the lifeblood of entertainment brands, feeding fans is more crucial today than ever before.

Prior to Fuzerly, Jarrett was Executive Producer and Co-Founder at Digital Howard where, with business partner Daniel Dales, he developed and produced award-winning audience engagement strategies and large-scale interactive experiences for producers, broadcasters and brands.

In 2007 Jarrett and Daniel co-founded Smokebomb Entertainment, which they and their partners at Shaftesbury Films grew into one of Canada’s leading original digital content companies. Experimenting with innovations in content formats and distribution methods became a hallmark of the company, and led to numerous award nominations and wins, including the 2012 International Emmy nomination for best digital program: fiction.

Prior to Smokebomb, Jarrett was Director and Senior Creative Producer on The Crawlspace, TVOKids’ live daily programming block, collecting 4000+ hours of live multicam studio directing and winning one of the first ever Gemini Awards for digital interactive content back in 2003. He directed and produced original television and multiplatform series for Family Channel, Discovery Kids, CBC and APTN, and created the stickiest of digital experiences for brands including Motorola, Spin Master and Hellman’s.