National Advisory Council

The National Advisory Council is comprised of professionals from all screen-based industries across Canada. The NAC provides input, support and advice to the Academy Board. With advice from Academy Members, the National Advisory Council ensures that all regions of Canada are equally represented. The National Advisory Council is an integral part of ongoing strategic planning.

Members of the National Advisory Council are:

Anand Ramayya

Anand Ramayya


President, Karma Film (SK)

Anand Ramayya, president of Karma Film, grew up in a film family and has been working on films since the age of 15. Ramayya founded the boutique production Karmafilm in 2002 to facilitate director-driven content. Karma Film productions including Cosmic Current, WaposBay, Mad Cow Sacred Cow and 45 RPM have shown at numerous festivals internationally and been recognized with over 30 awards including five Geminis.

Ramayya served a term as President of the Sask Motion Picture Association and is an alumni of the Canadian Film Centre, National Screen Institute and Trans-Atlantic Partners Program. Ramayya is currently in post-production on the web series My Lupine Life (winner of five Hollyweb Awards), and two feature films, Ferocious by Robert Cuffley (Walk All Over Me), and Rufus by Dave Schultz (45 RPM), all scheduled for release in 2012. Anand resides in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan (the ‘Paris of the Prairies’) with his wife Teresa, son Owen and daughter Inna Marie.

David Paperny

David Paperny


President, Paperny Entertainment / Executive Producer, Documentary Filmmaker (BC)

David Paperny is an Academy Award®-nominated and Gemini-award winning documentary filmmaker and head of the Vancouver-based television production company, Paperny Entertainment.

David received his B.A. from the University of Toronto and his M.A. from the Annenberg School of Communications, University of Pennsylvania. He began his career in broadcast journalism in 1983 at CBC Toronto where he worked as a field producer on national current affairs programs.

In 1994, David received an Academy Award® nomination for The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter (CBC/HBO), a riveting film that documents the two-year odyssey of a young man dying of AIDS. Shortly after receiving his Oscar nomination, David and his wife Audrey Mehler formed their own independent production company. Paperny Entertainment specializes in non-fiction programming and has produced over 30 original documentary specials and 20 long-running series. The company’s popular programming includes the hit CBC series The Week the Women Went and Eat St. for Food Network Canada.

David received the top honour in the Canadian television industry by winning a Gemini Award for ‘Best Biography Documentary Program’ for the feature film Confessions of an Innocent Man, which he directed and co-produced.

Denise Robert

Denise Robert


President and Producer, Cinémaginaire Inc. (QC)

President of the production company Cinémaginaire, Denise Robert has made her mark on cinema in Quebec and in Canada. She has produced more than forty internationally award-winning films, including Denys Arcand’s The Barbarian Invasions, which won the Oscar for Best Film in a Foreign Language. She recently produced Omertà by Luc Dionne, Sense of Humour by Émile Gaudreault, Driving to the Edge by Paul Arcand, A Better Life by Cédric Kahn and Father and Guns by Émile Gaudreault, which became the top French-language box-office earner of all time in Québec and Canada.

Denise Robert is a member of the prestigious Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) and the Académie des arts et techniques du cinema (César).

J. Joly

J. Joly


CEO / Founder, dimeRocker | Cinecoup (BC)

From his first job working at a cinema on a Canadian base in Germany, J. has spent two decades working in media. During his undergraduate at Queen’s he founded a recording group that toured with acts such as The Tragically Hip, Wilco and Primus. After graduation he directed award-winning shorts and worked as a stage manager at the Just for Laughs Festival and at every level of production on films, television and commercials in Toronto.

Relocating to Vancouver, he founded OverInteractive Media, receiving private investment from Bootup Labs and local angels to develop dimeRocker, a cloud-based platform designed to accelerate the creation of branded social games, gamification and social TV strategies. dimeRocker was a finalist for “Best New Media Technology" at the 2010 CNMA Awards, and J. was identified by Techvibes as “Digital Media People to Watch in 2011”. Clients include Disney/ABC, Weinstein Company, CBC, V-Tele and PwC. Recent conference panels include 2011 Banff World Media Festival, 2011 Vancouver International Film Festival, 2011/12 Merging + Media, 2011 nextMedia and 2012 Mpower Mobile Conference. Recently, J. was appointed to the board of the Vancouver International Film Festival.

Jesse Wente

Jesse Wente


Director of Film Programmes, TIFF Bell Lightbox (ON)

Curator of the world’s largest global native retrospective FIRST PEOPLES CINEMA: 1500 NATIONS, ONE TRADITION and its companion gallery exhibition to be presented at TIFF Bell Lightbox June 21 – August 11, Jesse Wente was a respected film critic and broadcaster in Toronto and across Canada before joining TIFF. He is known for his work with imagineNATIVE Film and Media Festival and with Perspectives Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival. He is a regular guest on CBC’s Newsworld, as well as on Q and TVO’s Saturday Night at the Movies. Currently, Wente’s job as Head of Film Programmes for TIFF Bell Lightbox makes him responsible for the programming of new releases, overseeing series and TIFF Cinematheque programming as well as their scheduling. He has curated retrospectives on Roman Polanski, Bernard Bertolucci, Ousmane Sembene and Studio Ghibli.

 Kari Skogland

Kari Skogland


Director, Representing DGC (ON)

Kari’s most recent film Fifty Dead Men Walking (starring Sir Ben Kingsley, Jim Sturgess), as writer/director/producer premiered at a Gala at the Toronto International Film Festival, won Critics Top Ten, the Vancouver Film Festival top prize and DGC Best Director and a Genie for Best Adapted screenplay. The film was nominated for 7 Genie awards (won 2) and was nominated for a Spirit Award. Kari’s previous film (also as director, writer, producer), an adaptation of the best-selling book The Stone Angel, starring Ellen Burstyn, Ellen Page, (Vivendi) premiered at TIFF; it won a Genie for Best Music. Kari was named by Hollywood Reporter as one of its “Ten Directors to Watch” for her debut as writer/director of Liberty Stands Still (Wesley Snipes, Linda Fiorentino - Lionsgate). Most recently Kari's latest television work includes The Borgias (Showtime) and Boardwalk Empire (HBO).

Kari’s career began in Canada by directing award winning commercials and music videos. She then moved into television where she started with the enormously successful and multi-award winning series Traders. Her film Chicks With Sticks won the DGC Best Director for her work on the mini-series Terminal City. Kari was the honoured director at the 2008 Female Eye Film Festival.

Krista Hurdon

Krista Hurdon


Operations Manager | Representing IATSE (ON)
Krista Hurdon has been working in the entertainment industry for almost twenty years. She has served as Operations Manager of the IATSE's Canadian Office for over a decade. In this role, Krista deals with all of the IATSE's national policy initiatives and lobbying efforts, acts as the lead on national campaigns, and handles all external and internal communications. Additional responsibilities include the drafting of education initiatives, managing Canadian social media and overseeing the general operations of the Canadian Office. Prior to her time with the International, Krista worked in varying capacities first for IATSE Local 873 and then for IATSE Local 667. She is a graduate of Carleton University in Ottawa, where she earned her Bachelor's Degree in English Literature.
Martin Katz

Martin Katz


National Advisory Council Chair (ON)
Academy Chair
President, Prospero Pictures

Prospero Pictures Founder and President Martin Katz is one of Canada’s most prolific film and television producers. His long-time collaboration with celebrated director David Cronenberg includes the award-winning Spider and continues with two new features – Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche and A Dangerous Method, starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender.

Katz’s feature film and television productions include the Academy Award® and Golden Globe multi-nominee Hotel Rwanda, written and directed by Terry George; Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim; the Gemini Award-winning music television series Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…; and Bronwen Hughes’ Stander, which the London Observer called “the greatest heist film since Reservoir Dogs.”

Katz holds degrees in law from the University of Toronto and the Université de Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and has served as Professor of Law at the French-language Université de Moncton and as Special Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Toronto. Katz is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.                                                                                                               

Michael Donovan

Michael Donovan


Executive Producer, Chairman and CEO, DHX Media / Co-founder Halifax Film, a DHX Media company (NS)

Michael Donovan, co-founder of Halifax Film, a DHX Media company, has over 28 years of experience creating, producing and marketing Canadian film and television programming. He co-founded the Canadian production company, Salter Street Films, in 1983, which merged with Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. in 2001.

His Canadian television and film work has been recognized with numerous awards including an Academy Award® for the feature documentary Bowling for Columbine, 18 Gemini Awards, as well as many International and Primetime Emmy nominations. His feature film, Shake Hands with the Devil, was nominated for 12 Genie Awards.

Michael is Executive Producer of the hit comedy series This Hour Has 22 Minutes, now in its 19th season. His many achievements include the motion-capture CG animation pre-school series Bo on the Go!, the CG animation pre-school series Animal Mechanicals, the live action puppet series The Mighty Jungle, the kids spelling challenge series Canada’s Super Speller, the family drama series SOUL and the live-action sketch comedy series That’s So Weird! Recent productions also include the primetime drama series The Guard.
Michael is Chairman of the Board of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) University and is a member of the CFTPA Board.

Michael MacLennan

Michael MacLennan


Screenwriter | Representing WGC (ON)

Having started his career as a playwright, Michael’s first play Beat The Sunset garnered Vancouver's Jessie Richardson Award for outstanding emerging playwright, and the Theatrum National Playwriting Award. Grace won the Theatre BC National Playwriting Competition. His next two plays The Shooting Stage and Last Romantics both won the Voaden Prize and were Governor General's Award nominees. His commissioned play Life After God was adapted from the short story by Douglas Coupland and was followed by his sixth published play, The Good Egg.  He has also written two operas with one of Canada’s most renowned composers, Jeffrey Ryan.

As a screenwriter, Michael MacLennan has been nominated seven times for the WGC Canadian
Screenwriting Award. A producer of over 200 episodes of TV, he began his screenwriting career as
Writer and Story Editor for two seasons of CBC'S Wind At My Back before leading the writing team on
PBS’s Anne of Green Gables series, then show- running the BBC/TV series Super Rupert. He was
Co-Executive Producer on Showtime/ Showcase's Queer As Folk, writing 14 episodes over four seasons.

He co-created, executive produced and show-ran City TV's flagship dramatic series Godiva's.
American pilots include The Healer and Four Corners for CBS, The Box and Afterwives (with
bestselling author Jennifer Weiner) for ABC. With Douglas Coupland he co-created and produced the
CBC series jPod. Other scripts include The Guard and Being Erica, on which he served as Consulting
Producer. More recently he served as Consulting Producer of the CBS/CTV series Flashpoint. Most recently, he created, show-ran, and was Executive Producer on the hit series Bomb Girls, which garnered many awards, including the prestigious 2012 Gracie Award for Outstanding Drama Series.

Current feature projects include the drama Still Life With June for Amaze Film, the comedy Ashore
(recipient of the Telefilm Premiere Writers Program), and the thriller Envoy with Flimshow Inc. He is also adapting Douglas Coupland’s novel Hey Nostradamus! with the acclaimed British director Peter Webber attached.

Born in Vancouver, he divides his time between Toronto, Los Angeles and Vancouver.

Phyllis Laing

Phyllis Laing


President, Buffalo Gal Pictures (MB)

An award-winning film and television producer, entrepreneur, and president of Winnipeg’s Buffalo Gal Pictures, Phyllis Laing continues to leave a lasting impression on the motion picture industry in Canada. Since founding Buffalo Gal Pictures, one of Canada’s most successful independent motion picture production companies in 1994, Phyllis has used creative vision and knowledge of the industry to produce an impressive list of acclaimed feature films, documentaries and TV programs.

Some of her notable recent accomplishments include her role as executive producer on Guy Maddin’s feature film My Winnipeg (2008), which was recently selected as one of the top ten films of the decade by Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times, and as executive producer for the Gemini-winning hit TV series Less Than Kind.

Phyllis' leadership and devotion to the motion picture industry was honoured last year when she received the 2011 Douglas James Dale Industry Builder Award. Phyllis is a longstanding member of the Board of Directors and Chair for Onscreen Manitoba, and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Gimli Film Festival.

Mario Cecchini

Mario Cecchini


Executive Vice President, Corus Radio and Corus Media (QC)
Mario Cecchini, recently appointed President of RNC Media, owner of 15 radio stations and 5 television stations across Quebec, has worked in the media industry for over 30 years. Mario was previously President of both Corus Média and Corus Radio, managing French-language specialty television brands Historia, Séries+, Télétoon and La chaîne Disney in Quebec, 39 radio stations across Canada, and Corus’ three conventional television stations in Ontario. He was the Senior Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at Astral Radio, Executive Vice-President at Télémédia Radio, and President at Zoom Média. In addition to being Chairman of the Board of the Academy of Cinema & Television - Quebec Section, Mario represents RNC Media as Chairman of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters CEO Radio Council, and is Chairman of the Board of the Canadian Broadcast Sales.
Rob Blackie

Rob Blackie


Co-CEO, Executive Producer, Writer, Take the Shot Productions (NL)

Rob Blackie graduated from Columbia University with an MFA, Film (Directing) after completing a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws from Dalhousie University. He began his career in film as the Director of Business Affairs and Post Production Supervisor in New York. He continued his career by working on projects including The First 48 and Dallas SWAT, as well as by directing the award-winning shorts Deathsquad and Quiet at Dawn.

Since returning home to Newfoundland, Rob has produced such films as Love & Savagery as well as CBC’s Republic of Doyle. Projects currently in production include the Majumder Manor Series with Newfoundland’s own Shaun Majumder, as well as a feature documentary on Great Big Sea’s lead man Alan Doyle.

Theresa Tova

Theresa Tova


Actor, VP Internal, ACTRA Toronto, National Treasurer, ACTRA National (ON)

Theresa Tova is an award winning actor, writer and singer whose career spans Film, TV, the Broadway musical stage and concert venues from New York to Paris, Buenos Aires, Amsterdam, Vienna and Hamburg to name a few. As an actor, Tova starred as Emma Goldman in the First National Broadway tour of RAGTIME and at both the Shaw and Stratford Festivals. Tova has two Dora Award nominations and a Gemini nomination for her role as MARGE on the hit TV series ENG.

Tova wrote, starred, and co-produced STILL THE NIGHT, an emotionally charged look at women in war that won four Dora Awards including Best Production, Best Musical, Best New Play and was short-listed for the Governor General Award for Excellency in dramatic literature. Her latest project, Bella The Colour of Love, co-written with Mary Kerr and choreographed by Danny Grossman is in development for a Canadian run.

As an Officer of the union Tova is ACTRA National Treasurer, ACTRA Toronto VP Internal, Actra National Children’s Advocate and a founding board member of the Creative Arts Savings and Credit Union. She is also a member of Canadian Actor’s Equity Association, American Actors Equity Association and the American Federation of Musicians.

Trish Dolman

Trish Dolman


President and Producer, Screen Siren Pictures Inc. (BC)

Producer Trish Dolman founded Screen Siren Pictures in 1997 and has been writing, directing, and producing Canadian film and television for 17 years.

Most recently, she wrote and directed the critically acclaimed feature documentary Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson, about the notorious environmental activist. As a producer, Trish’s latest feature drama is director/writer Max McGuire’s debut film Foreverland. She has produced other first features including Michael Goldbach’s Daydream Nation; Sook-Yin Lee’s Year of the Carnivore (both co-pros with The Film Farm); The Score, a ground-breaking musical drama by Electric Company theatre director Kim Collier; and Keith Behrman’s Flower & Garnet, which won more than twenty awards, including the Academy’s Claude Jutra for Best First Feature.

Trish has produced more than ten award-winning documentary films and factual series, including a number of international co-pros, such as Mark Cousin’s The First Movie (UK/Canada). Her TV credits include Luna: Spirit of the Whale for CTV. Trish’s awards include Woman of the Year award (2003) from Women in Film and Video Vancouver and 100 Most Influential Women in British Columbia by the Vancouver Sun.

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