BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Leah Rifkin Visionscapes Realities and tells commercial stories with Soul. She is an award-winning director, producer, and author of “Beyond The Director’s Chair”. She has produced web series, short films, music videos, and her latest digital content venture: “The Sonic Room”, Canada’s #1 music variety show.
Leah has produced three years of T.O. Webfest awards shows. As President of WebSeries Canada, she continues to help lead the development and production of Canada’s premier web series festival as the Festival Director.
In 2019, Leah was a finalist for Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative. She was runner-up of Armoza Formats’ Formagination Pitch Competition at Realscreen West and a 2022 finalist for the same pitch competition. Leah and her creative partner, Sonja Verpoort, were runners-up for the Junior Entertainment Talent Slate Initiative in 2021.
Leah is also music video director and YouTube producer for RiVerse (Canadian pop/RnB group) with over 659,000 subscribers and 232+ million views.
Andra Sheffer is the former CEO of the Independent Production Fund which invests in scripted short-form drama series (web series) and television drama series (1991-2019). She was also the founding Executive Director of the Bell Fund (1997-2014) which supported interactive digital media projects associated with Canadian television programs. Previously, she was the founding Executive Director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television producing the annual Genie and Gemini Awards (1980-1989 – now the Canadian Screen Awards). In retirement, she is an advisor, mentor, project evaluator and supporter of the Canadian film/tv/digital industry and Board Member of WSC and Telus Fund.
Charlie David is president of Border2Border Entertainment which produces and promotes a unique brand of award-winning, critically acclaimed film, television and digital projects for diverse, underserved audiences made by people with lived experience – 2SLGBTQ+, women, and people with disabilities as key participants in what Border2Border Entertainment creates.
He has been selected as the Canadian Filmmaker in Focus by the Kashish Film Festival in Mumbai, India, an invited guest of the Canadian embassy in South Africa to share his documentary on HIV+ youth, executive produced the documentary film Beyond Gay: The Politics of Pride; a global look at pride celebrations and winner of multiple awards including the HBO Best Doc award at the Miami International LGBT Film Festival. Border2Border Entertainment webseries include Avocado Toast, Dating Unlocked, and Womb Envy which have been nominated for eleven Canadian Screen Awards and won eight Telly Awards.
Border2Border Entertainment is a certified supplier and member of the Canadian Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, the Canadian Media Producers Association and a signatory producer with ACTRA. Charlie works on the REDIAC (Restructuring, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Action) committee with the CMPA and is a board member with WebSeries Canada.
Katie Uhlmann is best known as the creator, producer, co-writer and director of two seasons of her award-winning digital comedy series MY ROOMMATE’S AN ESCORT; in addition to six years of her own talk show KATIE CHATS, where she interviewed over 3000 professionals in the film and television industry. Katie is also on the board of the Independent Web Creators of Canada; and is heavily involved in the Women’s Committee at ACTRA, where she has lobbied politicians on behalf of artists, and child performers. With 14 years experience in the industry, Katie has worked with thousands of entertainment professionals across Canada and the U.S., and is one of the most well-connected and well-respected producer/writer/director/actors working in the business today.
Sunny Chen (they/ze/she) was born in Nanjing, China, in the 90s. They immigrated to unceded Coast Salish territories at the age of six, and completed school in so-called Langley, BC. Sunny began writing creatively at eight years old, and hasn’t stopped since! At 17, they obtained a student loan, and moved to MST lands, Vancouver. They hold a BA in psychology with a minor in English literature from the University of British Columbia. The showrunner of award-winning Canadian web series Open Ethnicity, Sunny writes, casts, directs, produces and/or develops DIY music videos, films, episodics, and their original play End of a Cycle. They make and perform 2000s-inspired pop music, and prioritize intergenerational healing, inclusion, and holistic wellbeing. Sunny advocates for solidarity between Black, Indigenous, and Asian communities, decolonization, and equitable practices from all positions and places they inhabit. Without community support and allyship, Sunny wouldn’t be able to do this work. Sunny understands the magic in creating, acting, and storytelling, and hopes to work in the arts for a lifetime. They wish to shout out their paternal grandma 奶奶 who raised them, their lil sis, and the neighbourhood immigrant kids when they lived at Metrotown.
Jamila Pomeroy is a WGC screenwriter and TWUC internationally-published writer with nearly a decade of experience; spanning print, new media, film and animation. She also works as a director and producer on both factual and scripted film and television. She has worked with over 20 globally-recognized outlets, namely, BBC, CBC, Telus, Red Bull Media, Hypebae & Hypebeast, Network Entertainment, Quibi and many more. Her work across all mediums is known to be impact-driven, with immersive worlds that unpack contemporary social issues. Specifically, her work often champions historically underrepresented people and narratives, while generating both accessible and intellectually-charged storylines. Jamila is the founder and head of development at independent production company RUCKUS Machine Pictures INC, Jamila has set on a mission to help mend gender and racial disparities in the film industry; through developing and producing film and television content that champions underrepresented people and communities. Jamila graduated from the Arts Institute of Vancouver in 2014, focusing on food anthropology, culinary and business. She is presently enrolled in certificate programs for screenwriting and Feminist and Social Justice at Michigan State University and University of California, Santa Cruz, respectively; and looks forward to completing a Disruptive Strategy program at Harvard Business School later this year. In addition to this professional development, Jamila is excited to be a part of the Netflix X Banff World Media Festival, Diversity of Voices 2023 cohort.