The Drake Hotel, Toronto • 11-13 September 2023

Moderator: Johanna Schneller
Arts Columnist
Globe and Mail
Johanna Schneller is one of North America’s leading freelance journalists specializing in entertainment features. She has profiled the most prominent actors of our time – among them, Julia Roberts, Diane Keaton, Brad Pitt, Julianne Moore, Michelle Pfeiffer, Jeff Bridges, Liam Neeson, Robert Downey, Jr. and Nicole Kidman. Her cover stories have appeared in every major magazine, including Vanity Fair, In Style, Premiere, Zoomer and Ladies Home Journal. She was a senior writer in the Los Angeles bureau of GQ magazine from 1990 to 1994. Her weekly Bigger Picture column in The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, has been nominated for five National Newspaper Awards, and won in 2021. For two years, she also wrote a daily What I’m Watching TV column in The Toronto Star and Metro. She is the president of the Toronto Film Critics Association, the first woman to hold that position. As co-host of CBC’s summer series The Filmmakers, which ran for two seasons, Schneller interviewed directors and film experts about classic Canadian films. She also hosted TVO’s renowned film series Saturday Night at the Movies. As well, she regularly conducts on-stage interviews for the Toronto International Film Festival, the Directors Guild of Canada and the Toronto Public Library. Schneller co-wrote the best-selling book Uncontrollable, about Rob Ford, Toronto’s notorious mayor; and the best-seller Woman Enough, about the transgender cyclist Kristen Worley’s legal battle with the International Olympic Committee. Her most recent book, The Last Doctor: Lessons in Living from the Front Lines of Medical Assistance in Dying, co-written with Dr Jean Marmoreo, was a finalist for the $60,000 Writers’ Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy. As a screenwriter, Schneller’s work includes adaptations of Sailor Girl, based upon the novel by Sherri Lee Olson, for Markham Street Productions; Every Lost Country, based upon the novel by Steven Heighton, for Rhombus Media; Girl Crazy, based upon the novel by Russell Smith, for House of Films; and The Girls in the Balcony, based on the book by Nan Robertson. Schneller earned a BA in English from the University of Virginia. She took the American Film Institute’s script analysis course in Los Angeles, and the inaugural television writing course at the Canadian Film Centre. She and her husband, the writer and broadcaster Ian Brown, live in Toronto near their two adult children.  

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