Access BIPOC Producers: Announcing the 22 producers selected to develop their skills and companies to compete in the global market

Twenty-two (22) producers have been selected for Access BIPOC Producers – a training and mentorship program presented by the Canada Media Fund (CMF), European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs (EAVE) and the National Screen Institute.

First row L-R: Alicia Petrusa, Amanda Roy, Amar Lohana, Anam Abbas, Baljit Sangra, Brishkay Ahmed. Second row, L-R: Cole Vandale, Diana Dai, Émilie Martel, Farhad Pakdel, Gavin Seal. Third row L-R: Israel Ekanem, Kathy-Ann Thomas, Lanette Ware-Bushfield, Laura Friedmann, Maria Kennedy, Maytham Jbara. Fourth row L-R: Michelle Mama, Nach Dudsdeemaytha, Patricia Chica, Sarah Kapoor, Shyam Valera.

Access BIPOC Producers, formerly EAVE On Demand Access Program, provides training and mentorship to producers in Canada who identify as Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) as they develop themselves, their companies and a feature film or series to compete in the global market.

Through this training, participants will develop global relationships, facilitate the growth of their companies and advance the financing, export and co-production of their intellectual property. Participants will build national and international connections while completing assignments on project strategy, finance, company / career planning and script development.

Participants will develop their leadership and business skills while studying pitching, script writing, financial and company planning and contract writing from industry experts such as Mmabatho Kau, fiction series script consultant, Raindrop Media; Titus Kreyenberg, CEO and founder, unafilm; Marcia Douglas, vice-president of growth and inclusion, management team, Canada Media Fund; and Nghia Nguyen, vice-president of legal and business affairs, Wildbrain.

“Programs like Access BIPOC Producers are critical in supporting Indigenous, Black and racialized creators to forge a path to long-term success,” said Valerie Creighton, President & CEO, CMF. “The Canada Media Fund is proud to partner with EAVE and the National Screen Institute for the second year in a row to ensure that more Canadian creators can bring their stories to life and compete on the global stage. Congrats to this year’s participants!”

The selected participants are:

  • Alicia Petrusa (Toronto, ON)
  • Amanda Roy (Montreal, QC)
  • Amar Lohana, writer Habiba Nosheen (Toronto, ON)
  • Anam Abbas (Brampton, ON)
  • Baljit Sangra (Vancouver, BC)
  • Brishkay Ahmed (Vancouver, BC)
  • Cole Vandale (Vancouver, BC)
  • Diana Dai (Toronto, ON)
  • Émilie Martel (Orleans, ON)
  • Farhad Pakdel, writer Leila Khalilzadeh (Montreal, QC)
  • Gavin Seal (Montreal, QC)
  • Israel Ekanem (Halifax, NS)
  • Kathy-Ann Thomas, writer Diana Roldan (Montreal, QC)
  • Lanette Ware-Bushfield, writer Kathryn Fasegha (Aurora, ON)
  • Laura Friedmann, writer Kyle Schmalenberg (Toronto, ON)
  • Maria Kennedy, writer Tope Babalola (Toronto, ON)
  • Maytham Jbara, writer Ahmed Yassin Al-Daradji (Toronto, ON)
  • Michelle Mama, writer Julianna Notten (Toronto, ON)
  • Nach Dudsdeemaytha, writer Mayumi Yoshida (Burnaby, BC)
  • Patricia Chica, writer Isabel Dréan (Montreal, QC)
  • Sarah Kapoor (Creston, BC)
  • Shyam Valera, writer Kashif Pasta (Surrey, BC)

Read the participants’ bios here.

The curriculum is developed using EAVE’s methodology, tailor-made for delivery in Canada. Recent EAVE graduates have seen a 182% increase in co-production projects after participation.

Alumni have credited the program with amplifying their voice on a global stage:

“Since the program, I have developed more confidence in navigating the production arena beyond the ponds,” says 2022 alumnus Ryan Singh. “Because of this program, I am now able to have conversations with international partners and may soon be working with a global team to realize my project. I am also developing my slate of projects with an international lens given the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded creatives internationally.”

Faculty includes program advisor Jeff Peeler, senior programs manager Ursula Lawson, program manager Julie Hackett, and program support from Oyinkansola Bolaji-Idowu.

Access BIPOC Producers is presented by EAVE and the National Screen Institute, in partnership with the Canada Media Fund (CMF); Host partners Manitoba Film & MusicCreative BC; Strategic Sponsors Telefilm CanadaBell MediaSociété de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC)Ontario Creates; Industry Supporter Bell Fund; Tuition Partner National Film Board of Canada. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council. More sponsors to be confirmed.

About EAVE, European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs
EAVE is Europe’s leading training, development and networking organization for producers. In addition to their flagship program, the renowned European Producers Workshop, they are involved in a variety of programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America, North America, Africa and the Middle East. Founded in 1988, EAVE’s objectives are to provide professional training opportunities and to bring producers from different regions of the world together with the aim of facilitating co-production relationships. EAVE’s unique international network comprises over 2,600 producers and key decision-makers.

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voice and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite and IPTV distributors.

About the National Screen Institute
Propelled by a visionary network of donors, private and public organizations, board members and staff, the National Screen Institute supports creators from across Canada to tell unforgettable stories. Through industry-informed training and mentoring in film, television and digital media, students and alumni find their voice and place on the global stage, inspiring us to shape a better world.

We are committed to training participants from a diverse community of voices including Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, women, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning and two-spirit (LGBTQ2S+), people with disabilities, those outside large urban centres, those from regional and remote areas and various religious groups.