20th FEMALE EYE FILM FESTIVAL, "Always Honest, Not Always Pretty"


FRIDAY, JUNE 10, 2022
9 – 10:30 AM EST - CINEMA 5


Representatives from the funding and production sector provide information necessary for filmmakers, screenwriters, and producers to evolve their projects, steer them through the development phase, and ultimately get their pictures made.


Industry guests: Anna Newallo, the Program Consultant, Ontario Creates, Canada Media Fund (CMF) TBA and Telefilm Canada TBA; Lori McCurdy, Feature Film Executive, Atlantic Region; Sam Schleifer, (she/her) Development Executive, Scripted Programming - marblemedia.

Supported by

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Program Consultant, Film &TV, Industry Development at Ontario Creates.

Anna Newallo has three decades of experience in the Film and Television industry. As a Program Consultant at Ontario Creates, her portfolio contains a wide range of programs and initiatives including the Film Fund (Production and Development), Marketing and Distribution Initiative and Industry Development Program. As a producer, her award-winning independent films have played major international festivals, and as a writer, her short stories have appeared in numerous publications. Prior to joining Ontario Creates, she worked on projects for The Disney Channel, CTV, Discovery Channel, CBC, TMN (now Crave), CityTV and BRAVO!


Feature Film Executive, Atlantic Region.

Lori is on Telefilm’s Project Financing team which is responsible for funding decisions on feature films at all levels.  Her mandate is to develop and support feature film talent (producers, writers and directors) in the Atlantic region, primarily through investment in an annual portfolio of projects with budgets less than $3.5 million but she is also here as the primary contact for all Atlantic feature film clients and to help them navigate Telefilm and its programs.  Lori has held a number of positions at Telefilm since her hiring in 1997, including Analyst, Business Affairs Lead Analyst, Television Business Unit Director, National Officer, Industry Development and Director, Performance and Quality Management.

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Development Executive, Scripted Programming - marblemedia.

Sam Schleifer is a development executive at marblemedia in scripted programming. Prior to joining marble, she produced an acclaimed YouTube series called Speechless with Carly Fleischmann which included a segment on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. 


Sam has a Bachelor of Arts in Radio and Television from Ryerson University as well as a post-graduate degree in Corporate Communication from Seneca College. Sam has recently returned home to Toronto after living in Los Angeles and Vancouver where she worked with showrunners, writers, and producers on projects such as The Good Doctor, Shut Eye, and Deadpool.


20th FEMALE EYE FILM FESTIVAL, "Always Honest, Not Always Pretty"


10 – 11:30 AM EST - CINEMA 5


Join us for a moderated panel discussion that will offer a fresh perspective on the business of going to market with your film, whether it’s with a distributor, an aggregator, through self-distribution, or using a combination of sales strategies. We will also discuss creating and building momentum for your brand and target-marketing.

Industry guests: Robin Smith, Kino Smith, CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc.; Kylie Bechberger, Director of Distribution at Vortex Media and more delegates TBA.

Supported by


CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc.

Robin Smith is currently the CEO of Blue Ice Docs Inc. – a distribution and equity funding company dedicated to funding, acquiring and distributing the best non-fiction work from around the world.


Robin brings a strong background of over 25 years of film, video and arts-related work to the marketplace having worked at a variety of distribution companies including The National Film Board of Canada, Alliance Films, Lions Gate Film Entertainment, Seville Pictures and Capri Releasing and has managed and navigated the release of such hits as CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, AWAY FROM HER, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, BLACKFISH and the recent hit KEDI.


Robin has also acted as Executive Producer on a variety of award-winning documentaries including the Oscar-nominated ABACUS: SMALL ENOUGH TO JAIL (dir: Steve James), the Emmy-Award winning SOLITARY (dir: Kristi Jacobson), recent multiple-award winning doc ADVOCATE (dir: Rachel Leah Jones, Philippe Bellaiche) and the soon-to-be-released feature A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX (dir: Rodney Asher).


Robin also acts as the Cinema Programmer for the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema in Toronto that is operated by the Hot Docs International Documentary Festival. The Hot Docs Cinema Ted Rogers Cinema is a 700 seat cinema dedicated to screening documentaries throughout the year.

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Director of Distribution at Vortex Media.

Kylie Bechberger got her start in the film industry in 2009 as an intern at Entertainment One, and shortly after, she moved into the Theatrical Sales department booking a variety of films in theatres across Canada.

After 10 years with Entertainment One, Kylie moved to the Director of Distribution at Vortex Media in 2019 and is responsible for film sales across all windows, not only theatrical. Kylie is a co-director for The Pioneering Women committee and serves on the board of the Canadian Pictures Pioneers.

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Welcome to the 20th Edition of the Female Eye Film Festival! Ontario Creates is proud to be a long-time supporter of Female Eye’s professional program – including expert panels, workshops, master classes and networking sessions that support and elevate the voices of female filmmakers in the world of cinema.

Huge congratulations to everyone whose work contributes to the success of Ontario’s creative industries. From music to publishing and, of course, the screen industry – Ontario is home to an incredible wealth of talent that is thriving on the international stage.

On behalf of the Ontario Creates Board and staff, we congratulate all of the featured FeFF filmmakers as well as the festival team who’ve put together another terrific program line-up that champions and showcases women filmmakers to the world.

Wishing everyone a great festival

Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO, Ontario Creates.