Evaluation Juries

A jury of experts evaluates all projects that apply for production support through our Experimental Stream and Aboriginal Program, using a criteria-based evaluation process. Projects are selected for support based on the results of this process, and available funding.

The jury provides an external perspective on innovation, and assesses the experience of the production and creative teams on their capacity to deliver the projects submitted for funding.

Evaluation Process

Successful applications are determined using a selective process in reference to an evaluation grid. The four basic assessment criteria and their respective weightings for funding are:

  • Experience and past achievements of the production/development team
  • Innovation and advancement of the project
  • The business plan, including the viability of the project and the financial stability of the applicant
  • The distribution strategy

The jury does not evaluate applications for development and marketing support.

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Andrew Burrows-Trotman
Toronto, Canada

After earning a Double Honours degree in English and History at the University of Toronto, Andrew Burrows-Trotman (ABT for short) moved to Los Angeles to attend the American Film Institute’s Screenwriting MFA programme.

After graduation, Andrew was hired by independent producer, Miles Maker, to write a feature screenplay based on the real story of the Valley Manor Retirement Home about a cook (Maurice Jones) and a janitor (Miguel Alvarez) who stayed without pay to care for abandoned elderly residents when their assisted living home was shut down. The feature script entitled, IF WE LEFT was shortlisted for the prestigious San Francisco Film Society’s Hearst Grant.

Upon returning to Canada, ABT was hired by Conquering Lion Productions co-founders Damon D'Oliveira and Clemente Virgo to rewrite a pilot script for Lawrence Hill’s award winning novel THE ILLEGAL which was set up at CBC to be their follow up mini-series to the smash hit Book of Negroes. More work soon followed when Andrew was hired by Insight Productions and Canadian basketball legend Steve Nash’ Cntrl_Media to write the pilot for their grassroots basketball drama HARDWOOD for CBC. Riding this wave of momentum, ABT was hired as a story editor on the inaugural season of the Shaftesbury produced period detective drama

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
Juror Photo
Carla Beauvais
Montréal, Canada

Carla Beauvais has made diversity and inclusion a major focus in her life. A columnist and social entrepreneur, she’s been tirelessly advocating for better representation and empowerment of Black and marginalized communities for more than 20 years.

A woman of strong convictions, Carla does not hesitate to use her voice for increasing awareness on issues of diversity and inclusion and in speaking out against social injustice. She’s regularly invited to share her opinions on relevant social issues and current events in the media. Her views and articles have been quoted or published in numerous publications including La Presse, Journal Métro (where she was a regular columnist from 2018 to 2020), Le Devoir, The Gazette, and HuffPost. More recently, she was a guest contributor to ICI RDI’s Zone Économie program hosted by Gérald Filion.

With her expertise and in-depth knowledge of diversity and inclusion issues, she’s also worked as a consultant to companies and organizations wishing to implement cultural diversity management programs. In order to better prepare her clients for introducing more inclusive practices, she completed a Diversity and Inclusion Certificate from Cornell University in New York in 2020 and is now in the process of obtaining her Certificate in Leadership and Inclusion from Centennial College in Toronto.

Well-known for her commitment to and involvement with Black History Month, Carla was selected by the U.S. Department of State to participate in the prestigious International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP) in 2013. In 2015, she was named one of top 100 news personalities of the year by The Montreal Gazette.

Carla has been a member of the Véro & Louis Foundation board of directors since 2020. The organization provides services to adults living with autism spectrum disorder. As a mother and someone with personal experience in dealing with the impact of autism, her goal is to help make a difference for families and youth struggling with the disease.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 1
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Pilot Program for Racialized Communities - Round 1
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Feven Ghebremariam
Montréal, Canada

Eritrean-born Feven Ghebremariam is a documentary filmmaker. Over the years, since graduating in communications and training in documentary filmmaking at the Institut national de l’image et du son, she has produced short films that shed light on issues of immigration, inclusion and language decolonization. Concerned about the lack of diversity in film and television, Feven co-founded Black on Black Films, a non-profit collaborative whose mission is to represent and professionalize Afro-descendant creators who wish to work in the audiovisual industry in Québec. Feven is currently developing her first feature-length documentary and recently created her own production company focused on developing powerful content that showcases the rich history and unique voices of underrepresented communities.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 1
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Pilot Program for Racialized Communities - Round 1
Juror Photo
Jacquie Black
Winnipeg, Canada

Jacquie Black is Anishinaabe from the treaty 1 territory in Manitoba. She has worked on numerous projects, productions and programs to promote and showcase creative expression and storytelling through print, music and television.

Jacquie began attending university when she was 5 years old along with her mother Yvonne, who went on to become one of the first Indigenous early childhood educators in Canada. Her mother’s dedication to nurturing children and community provided a pathway for Jacquie to explore and embrace her gifts as a writer and community advocate.

Jacquie studied screenwriting at the University of Winnipeg and at the Banff Centre for the Arts, she is a graduate of Creative Communications, with a major in Journalism, and has written for numerous publications including being published in the book First Lady Nation – Stories of Aboriginal Women. She also received the Eric and Jack Wells Excellence in Journalism Award - Honourable Mention, CTV Fellowship Award – The Banff International Television Festival and the Government of Canada Millennium Scholarship, to mention a few.

Jacquie’s career has flourished over the years and she is proud of all her endeavours including writer/junior story editor for the Parents’ Choice Gold Award-winning children’s television series - Tipi Tales.

She has also written for Indigenous Day Live/Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, The Indigenous Music Awards, CA$HING IN – TV series, Planet Echo – children’s TV series, Wolf Joe – children’s TV series, The Seven Teachings – editor/children’s book, and This Place – producer, adaptation of graphic novel to radio series.

Supporting the arts has always been a passion of Jacquie’s and she is one of the original team members that produce the Manito Ahbee Festival and the Indigenous Music Awards in Canada.

Committed to culture, creativity and justice, Jacquie is very proud to have also been a writer and director for Eagle Vision Production’s groundbreaking television series TAKEN, which focused on the heartbreaking stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, men and boys, to provide a platform for these unsolved cases. Jacquie continues to open her life and career to new experiences and opportunities that bring positive influence to the arts and bring positive influence to the arts and community.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
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John Gill
Toronto, Canada

John Gill is an independent media consultant providing strategic, business, and programming consultation to Canadian media organizations. Before that, John was the CEO of the National Screen Institute.

He was the Senior Vice President, Dramatic Content for Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc. where he had overall content responsibility for the company’s five dramatic channels – Showcase, History Television, Showcase Action, Showcase Diva, and the Independent Film Channel. John was also responsible for launching BBC CANADA and BBC Kids and has directed the programming of the National Geographic Channel.

As Director of Network Scheduling at TVOntario, he designed the network's broadcast schedules and directed the design, production, and implementation of TVO's on-air positioning. John's educational credentials include an MBA from the Ivey School of Business and a BA from Queen's University.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
  • Fiscal 2020 - 2021: Early-Stage Development - Round N/A
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Mara Gourd Mercado
Montréal, Canada

Mara Gourd-Mercado is an Argentinean-Canadian arts manager specializing in film, television and digital media. In 2014, she joined the RIDM team as communications director and was executive director from 2015 to 2020. She is now executive director of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television– Québec section.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 1
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Pilot Program for Racialized Communities - Round 1
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Rachel Alouki Labbe
Montréal, Canada

From a very young age, I wandered around with a photographic or Super8 film camera and told stories with my images. I quickly became aware that Quebec’s First Nations were little known to non- Aboriginals.The idea of raising awareness about my world in a positive way came to me quite naturally from that time. It became more emphatic with the conflict at Oka-Kanesatake where I was raised, although my mother is Waban-Aki. My fondest dream is to discover and have others discover the world I come from, image by image. My favourite activities are to inspire a passion for creating films all across the province and speak with sensitivity about the Aboriginal communities I know, in particular about the situation of women and children. With my films, I set out to quell prejudice and especially to celebrate the power of the First Peoples and make it better known. To me, rapprochement is achieved through knowing each other. We have to take the time to get to know others – their culture and realities. Understanding leads to acceptance of our differences and similarities.

I have directed numerous documentaries in Aboriginal communities that were broadcast on APTN, TV5’s Canal Vie,Canal and CBC/SRC, CBC north (Mamuuitaau). I have directed three films on the status of women and children in other countries, on the theme of being born, living, surviving and dying in places that are hostile to life. This is how I came to be in a refugee camp, making the film Les enfants de la nuit [Children of the night], which was shown at festivals and broadcast by TV5 and TV5 Monde, as well as in Europe. I made a second film on this subject on the Mexican border in Ciudad Juarez, the city of the dead, a town without pity for women. It focused on Native women from the South, who were subjected to the worst atrocities imaginable in that city... The film is titled Désert de croix [Desert of crosses]. For over six years, I produced the television program Quand passe la cigogne [When the stork flies by] on the Canal Vie network. I also took part in the Wapikoni Mobile circuits for the NFB and acted as an instructor for the program La course de la Grande Tortue [The Great Turtle race] shown on APTN and Canal D. I am currently the director of a series of podcast documentaries presented at CKVL in addition to doing one report per week for the news."

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Indigenous - Round 1
  • Fiscal 2020 - 2021: Indigenous - Round 1
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Ravida Din
Montréal, Canada

Ravida Din is a senior media executive and consultant with substantial experience in production and in strategic and financial planning. She formerly served with the National Film Board of Canada as an Executive Producer and then as Director of English Language Production. She has produced or executive produced numerous documentaries and interactive digital projects. Among her notable successes are the feature documentaries Pink Ribbons, Inc. (World Premiere, Toronto International Film Festival) which went on to become instrumental in the breast cancer activist movement in North American and Payback (World Premiere, Sundance Film Festival), the first film adaptation of a non-fiction work by Margaret Atwood. Din initiated and co- produced First Person Digital, an innovative training and production program for creators to explore new approaches to interactive digital storytelling. This program, in collaboration with Studio XX, a feminist media arts centre for women, fostered emerging talent and sparked creative collaborations between filmmakers and multimedia artists.

Ravida Din began her career in cultural, feminist and community organizations whose values continue to underpin her work in media. She has pioneered gender and racial equality programs. She is a Board Member for The Regina International Film Festival where she also serves as the programming director. Since 2015, she has been a Board Member for Just Vision, a Washington-based organization dedicated to promoting peace in the Middle East by using media to mediate and bring together Palestinians and Israelis. Among her current projects is In Absentia, a ground-breaking digital work on femicide and violence against women and girls.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Pilot Program for Racialized Communities - Round 1
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Zaira Zarza
Montréal, Canada

Zaira Zarza is a scholar and film programmer. She is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Art History and Film Studies at Université de Montréal and is a member of the programming teams at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and the Cartagena International Film Festival (FICCI). Zarza directed the Latin American Studies Association (LASA) Film Festival in 2019. Her project Roots and Routes: Cuban Cinemas of the Diaspora is a travelling showcase featuring the work of Cuban migrant filmmakers.

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Juries
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Early-Stage Development - Round 2
  • Fiscal 2021 - 2022: Pilot Program for Racialized Communities - Round 1