Academy Talks events are designed for film, television, and digital media professionals looking to engage with contemporary creatives and ideas and are open to participation by individuals with a range of experience. Events are open to the public and available digitally from anywhere, with tickets available for purchase online.

They are free for all Academy members.

Current Academy Talk Series.


Framing the Future recognizes the adaptive, resilient nature of the film, television, and digital media industries, exploring case studies from the creatives leading and inspiring innovation through health & safety protocols, social equity, accessibility, and new technologies and audiences.

Academy Talks: Ways & Means

Presented by the City of Toronto

You’ve got a great script, a killer cast, and a visionary director. Ways & Means will look at budgeting, funding, tax credits, and all the other considerations that go into getting your project made from pre to post-production

Academy Talks: CLOSE-UP

Presented by Telefilm Canada

Close-Up features in-depth conversation with the creatives behind Canadian classics and future favourites. Close-Up profiles the Canadian talent who are capturing audiences, the platforms and companies who are innovating to stay ahead of the curve, and the strategies which industry leaders are using to engage new markets and succeed today.

Upcoming Talks.

Academy Talks: Ways & Means | World Builders: The Power of the Art Department
Academy events

Presented by the City of Toronto

In partnership with the Regent Park Film Festival


The Art Department plays a key on-set role in building cinematic worlds and immersing an audience in a captivating and realistic on-screen space. This Academy Talks: Ways & Means session welcomes a panel of Art Department creatives such as production designers, art directors, costume designers, stylists, and hair and make-up designers to discuss authentic worldbuilding and representation on screen, portraying cultural nuance and historical accuracy, and their experiences and advice for BIPOC creatives to enter and sustain themselves in the field.


Available to Stream from November 25 – December 2 as part of the 2021 Regent Park Film Festival

Registration required to attend.

Register for your Festival Pass now:



Ryan Reed | Film Hairstylist

With 20yrs of hairstyling in the Toronto film and television industry I have had the opportunity to travel the world, work on big budget Hollywood productions and have my work seen by millions of viewers all over the world.


Meryl Allysa Romo | Production Designer, Costume Designer, Actress

Meryl Allysa Romo is a 23-year-old Production Designer, Costume Designer and Actress. As an advocate for BIPOC and LGBTQ+ crews and talent, she strongly believes that with representation contributing to the storyline behind-camera, there will be more authentic portrayals on-screen. Born and raised in Toronto, Ontario, working on Canadian content is important to Meryl.


Shauna Llewellyn | Makeup Artist

Makeup Artist Shauna Llewellyn brings a passionate, multi-disciplined approach to creating beautiful looks for publications, and media across the fashion, music and entertainment industries.


Carmen Thompson | Filmmaker

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 and over 50 credits to her name. Known for her research & attention to detail with a commitment to cultural authenticity has made her an in-demand member of creative teams in Los Angeles, Vancouver and Victoria.



Roya DelSol | Filmmaker

Roya DelSol is Black lens-based artist, curator & cultural worker currently living in T’karonto/Toronto. Creating motion work ranging from experimental documentaries to music videos; she aims for her work in all spheres to centre and uplift the experiences Black, queer, and marginalized peoples.

November 25
Academy Talks: Close-Up | How to Run a "For Your Consideration" Awards Campaign
Academy events

Now that you’ve finalized your awards submission, what comes next? With voting for the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards opening next week for Academy members, this event provides a closer look at what goes into running a successful For Your Consideration campaign including best ways to spread the word about your production, tips on branding, platforms, and more! 

The first round of voting to determine the nominees for the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards will open for voting members in eligible branches on December 20, 2021. The second round of voting to determine the winners will open for all active voting members in February 2022. 


Free for Academy members. $10 for non-members. 


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December 02
Academy Talks | Building a Production Company
Academy events

One important strategy in creating a self-sustaining talent development network in Canada is helping Canadian producers own and maintain the rights to their IP.  In this special Academy Talks event, presented by the Canadian Media Producers Association, producers from across Canada discuss the road to establishing their independent production companies. From defining a company’s specialization, to structuring a financial plan, to seeking start-up funding or legal help, this panel discusses the first steps to founding a company.

Panelists to be announced.

Free for Academy members, $10 for non-members


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December 13

Watch our past Academy Talks.

Academy Talks: Framing the Future | Amplifying the Canadian Indie Game Community
Academy events

Presented by Ontario Creates


Ways of access and audience demand for video games are only continuing to expand and diversify. This Framing the Future session looks at ways that independent Canadian game studios can continue to foster audience connection, discoverability, and access in today’s marketplace. Our panel of developers and community managers advocate for unique projects and narratives, speak to transferable lessons on discoverability and community event spaces for interactive and video game creators.



Tuesday, November 2, 2021

3:00 – 4:00 PM ET

Zoom Webinar





Meagan Byrne | Founder, Achimostawinan Games 

Meagan Byrne is an Apihtawikosisân (Métis of Ontario)​ ​new media artist and game designer born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario. Her designs incorporate narrative, game mechanics, sound and traditional art and are deeply rooted in indigenous futurisms, language and indigenous feminist theory. Meagan is currently the founder and lead designer of Achimostawinan Games in Ontario working on their upcoming title Hill Agency.


Ericka Evans | Head of Production, Phantom Compass 
Ericka Evans is a Gemini award-winning writer and producer with over 20 years of experience in the television, film and interactive digital media industries.  She has been a partner at Phantom Compass Inc. since 2011 and has produced dozens of original games and interactive digital media projects for clients, publishers and other developers.  She has launched games on most major platforms, including the award-winning “Rollers of the Realm” (PC, PS4, PSVita) and the anticipated sequel, “Rollers of the Realm: Reunion.”

Len Predko | Executive Director, Hand Eye Society 

Len Predko is an artist and curator working in Toronto, Ontario. He graduated from OCAD U with a BDes in the Digital Future. They have worked for the past 12 years making installation based art and have more recently worked in multimedia game making and interactive works. Through play he explores themes of mental health, monstrosity, and gender. By creating worlds to be explored he examines questions about embodiment, self, and our relative experiences.


Moderated by: 


Kelly Lynne Ashton | Screen-Based Media Consultant

Kelly Lynne Ashton has worked in the Canadian film, television and digital media industries as a business affairs executive in television production companies, as a producer at a children’s web studio, as manager of an online youth research company and in government relations and media policy for a talent union. Kelly Lynne is currently bringing together the different strands of her career in the Canadian cultural industries – legal, business, marketing and research – to provide consulting services to clients. As a multi-racial Canadian, diversity and inclusion are a priority in her work and she brings that lens to everything.  

Free for Academy members. $10 for non-members.


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November 02
Academy Talks: Close-Up | Music Video Production
Academy events

Crypto-Art, Blockchain, and Non-Fungible Tokens

October 18
Academy Talks: Framing the Future | The Future of the Creative Workforce
Academy events

Presented by Ontario Creates

A joint study from Ontario Creates and VICE Media Group, The Future of the Creative Workforce identifies Generation Z and Y professionals’ interest and awareness of the creative jobs and opportunities available to them.

Following a short presentation of the research, our panelists elaborate on their professional values, the roadblocks they have met, and the professional skills and support young creators need to enter and sustain themselves in the creative industries today. This session offers guidance on the resources and career counselling we can offer the post-pandemic, future creatives in front of and behind the scenes.



Wednesday, October 6, 2021

2:00 – 3:00 PM ET / 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM PT

Zoom Webinar



Headshot of Zaarin Bushra, Director of Operations, The Future of Film Showcase

Zaarin Bushra | Director of Operations, The Future of Film Showcase

Zaarin Bushra is a South Asian actor and filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. She held the role of Director of Operations at The Future of Film Showcase, where she worked extensively to build numerous industry workshops and developmental programs for young and emerging filmmakers, and especially those from the BIPOC and LGBTQ+ community. She now works as the Director of Branding and Marketing at Fae Pictures, as well as the Programming Coordinator at Reelworld Film Festival.


Headshot of a man in front of a brick building

Varun Raj Gandhi | Picture Editor

Varun is an Editor based in Toronto. He completed his MFA in Picture Editing degree from Chapman University, California in 2015. He began his career editing Digital Media promos for Disney Studios in LA. Later he edited promos for a big budget VFX film in India. Since 2019 he has worked as an Assistant Editor in Toronto with clients such as NFB, Scott Brother’s Entertainment & Tier A DGC Productions. Varun is a mentee of the CCE’s Mentorship Program. He is currently wrapping editing on a CBC Originals Documentary based on the life of Toronto Raptors Superfan Nav Bhatia.


Woman in a blue dress, standing in front of a green wall.

Rebeccah Love | Writer/Director/Producer

Rebeccah Love is a Toronto-based filmmaker, writer, visual artist and community organizer. She studied at the University of King’s College, then completed a BFA in Film Production at Ryerson University, and an MFA at the University of Guelph in Creative Writing. She has produced eight short films, focusing on love, illness and neighbourhoods.


Selfie of a woman dressed in a white shirt, in front of a white wall.

Pari Ludin | Programme Manager, Reel Opportunities

Pari Ludin is an Afghan who was born in Germany and raised in Canada. With her background being in music education & arts management, she’s passionate about bringing communities together through the transformative power of the arts & making it accessible for all. Pari has worn many hats in Toronto’s arts and culture industry, from being an outreach and events coordinator at the Toronto Arts Foundation to the program assistant at the Goethe-Institut. She currently manages Reel Opportunities at REEL CANADA. This programme offers free workshops designed to inform youth nationwide about the many career opportunities in the Canadian film industry.



Woman with black hair standing in front of a colourful rainbow wall

Erin Smith | Manager, Research & Strategic Planning at Ontario Creates

Erin Smith is a strategic planning and policy leader with over fifteen years of experience in the creative media industries.


Research Presenters:

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Julie Arbit | Global SVP, Insights at VICE Media Group

Julie Arbit serves as Global Senior Vice President of Insights for VICE Media Group, where she helps both VICE and its clients better understand and engage with their youth audience. In this role she leverages VICE’s access to consumers and culture coupled with her expertise in quantitative and qualitative methodologies to uncover the most actionable learnings.

Prior to joining VICE, Julie spent over a decade in marketing research agencies working across industries to identify trends, segment target audiences, inform brand strategies, track brand perceptions, and develop communication strategies and new product offerings.


Woman with a black and white polka-dot tshirt standing in front of a bookshelf

Lauren Greenspan | Senior Director, Insights, North America at VICE Media Group

Lauren Greenspan is a Senior Director of Insights for VICE Media Group who helps VICE and its clients better understand the attitudes and behaviors of young people. She leads creative but rigorous qualitative and quantitative research projects across industries. A lover of all things data and human behavior, she believes in the power of transforming raw data into meaningful stories to reveal the complexities and tensions that illuminate why people do the things they do. The research projects she’s led have informed successful brand messaging and positioning, served as a roadmap for new corporate initiatives and outreach, and been presented to clients around the world and on stage at media and research events.

Prior to this role at VICE, she was a researcher at Ogilvy & Mather and the Association of National Advertisers. She holds a Master’s degree in Library and Information Science.


Free for Academy members. $10 for non-members

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October 06
Academy Talks: Ways & Means | In Conversation with Donald Mowat
Academy events

Presented by The City of Toronto

In anticipation of Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of Dune, Donald Mowat (make-up, hair and prosthetics designer/head of department) shares a glimpse of his work designing the extraordinary characters of Frank Herbert’s world. In this intimate conversation, Mowat will share experiences from his over thirty-five year career working internationally from LA, Toronto, and Montreal and the care and craft that goes into visualizing characters for every genre of film and television.

September 23
Academy Talks: Close-Up | Creative Collaborations on Querencia
Academy events

Presented by Telefilm Canada

Creator Mary Galloway and the creative team behind APTN Lumi’s Querencia discuss bringing script to screen and setting the look for the series’ vibrant locations and characters. Our panel provides an in-depth portrait of their process from production through post-production: from inspiration, writing, and funding to cooperatively shaping the story’s cinematography, costumes, and editing.

September 01
Academy Talks: Ways & Means | Framing Documentary Narratives through Editing & Sound
Academy events

Presented by the City of Toronto.

In this Ways & Means session, our panel of documentary creatives discuss how picture editing and sound enhance and influence an audience’s perception of images and how to artfully build an ethical documentary process to craft meaning and accurately represent story in non-fiction content.

August 04
Academy Talks: Ways & Means | Indigenous Screen Office's On-Screen Protocols & Pathways Learning Session
Academy events

Presented by City of Toronto

In this Ways & Means conversation, Indigenous Governance Consultant Marcia Nickerson joins us for a conversation about the Indigenous Screen Office’s On-Screen Protocols & Pathways document. This session will provide additional information about what is currently being developed since the publication of the guide, the Canadian Screen Awards’ new Narrative Sovereignty rule, and will answer questions from members to help provide specific tools and resources to engage with these protocols on your own productions. 

February 22
Academy Talks: Success | Why Mentorship Matters
Academy events

Presented by the Bell Fund and with the support of the Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival.

This edition of Academy Talks gathers emerging and established filmmakers to discuss mentorship: those who have helped boost their careers, how they prioritize nurturing new talent, and how industry development affects and encourages success.

December 01
Academy Talks: In the Room | The Art of the Pitch
Academy events

Presented by Boat Rocker Media, and in partnership with Regent Park Film Festival

Join us at our next Academy Talks: In the Room session at the Regent Park Film Festival (November 26-29, 2020). Our panel of filmmakers will offer advice on how to refine your story and create solid conflict and intrigue in your pitch, what makes a good pitch stand out among many, and advice on how to make the strongest case for funding and resources available.

November 26

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