From thriller, horror, sci-fi, to fantasy, the ever-growing popularity of genre films is being celebrated by filmmakers and audiences alike across the world. Featured guests offer a better understanding of this unique market, storytelling styles, and how to break the rules!
Featuring panelists Karen Lam (Evangeline), Jordan Hall (Carmilla) and Lindsay Peters (Fantasia Festival/Frontières Market), Susan Curran (A71), and moderator Elisabeth de Mariaffi (“Hysteria”).
Karen has worked full-time in the film and television industry since 2000. Starting her career as a producer and entertainment lawyer, Karen has produced five feature films, eight short films and three television series. Her first short film as a writer/director (The Cabinet) won the NSI Drama Prize in 2006. She has since written/directed seven short films, a music video, Very Bad Men (2012) a true-crime documentary series for Investigation Discovery (US), a web series Mythos (2015) created for TELUS and three feature films -- Stained (2010), Evangeline (2013) and The Curse of Willow Song (to be released in the fall of 2019).
In 2016, Karen entered into the world of television drama, first working as a story editor for the SYFY series Van Helsing under showrunners Neil Labute and Simon Barry. She was a staff writer and writer on two episodes of Simon Barry’s SYFY series Ghost Wars, now streaming on Netflix worldwide. In the fall of 2018, she was commissioned to write and direct a short film tribute to Sandra Oh entitled Sandra Oh: Inspiration, which premiered at the Governor Generals Performing Arts Awards in Ottawa in April 2019. Karen is currently in development on two true crime series.
Jordan Hall is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose work focuses on climate change, the exploration of genre, and the development of the fully-realized female protagonist. Her work has been dubbed “stellar, insightful” by Plank Magazine, “thoughtful” by CBC Radio, and “vivid, memorable” by NOW. She has been an Associate at Playwright’s Theatre Centre, as well as Playwright-in-Residence for both Pi Theatre and Up in the Air Theatre. Her work has been supported by grants from both the British Columbia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts.
Her first full-length play, Kayak, won Samuel French’s Canadian Playwrights Competition, and has been produced to critical acclaim across North America. Subsequent plays include How to Survive an Apocalypse (Flying Start 2016, Samuel French 2018), A Brief History of Human Extinction (with Mind of a Snail Puppet Theatre), and The Cupertino Effect—forthcoming, with support from the BCAC.
As a screenwriter, Jordan co-created Carmilla: The Series (Winner: CSA, Digital Fiction) for SmokeBomb Entertainment, and was Carmilla's lead writer for three seasons and the subsequent movie. She has been a finalist at the LA Comedy Fest, a winner of the Crazy8s Short Film Production Competition, and a 2019 recipient of a Corus Writer's Apprentice Fellowship at Banff. She teaches screenwriting at Capilano University.
Lindsay Peters is the Executive Director of Frontières, a co-production market, incubator & networking platform for the genre film industry organized by the Fantasia International Film Festival with the Marché du Film - Festival de Cannes. She has over 10 years of experience in international festival management & film programming, with past positions at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian Film Centre, Fashion in Film, & the Museum of the Moving Image. She is on the advisory boards of the Overlook Film Festival and the Stoneboat Artist Retreat, and has been a mentor for the Film Agency for Wales, the Nordic Genre Boost & Shudder Labs.
Elisabeth de Mariaffi
Elisabeth de Mariaffi is the critically acclaimed author of three books: the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated short story collection How to Get Along with Women (2012), and two thrillers, the Bernardo-era The Devil You Know (2015), and the Hitchcock-style Hysteria (2018). She is hard at work on a third suspense novel as you read this. Both a Globe and Mail Best Book and lucky number 13 on the National Post 100, The Devil You Know was shortlisted for the prestigious Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and optioned immediately after publication. A winner of the 2016 WIFTV From Our Dark Side genre screenwriting competition, de Mariaffi's resulting original vampire horr-com, Fly Girls, is in development with Triton Media. Elisabeth de Mariaffi has taught fiction and screenwriting at UBC, Memorial University, and through the Humber School for Writers. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph.
Over the last two decades, Susan has worked as a marketing executive for BMG, Sony Wonder, Tower Records, Universal Music and Anchor Bay. During her 12-year run as Executive Director of Marketing/Acquisitions for Anchor Bay Entertainment Canada, notable accomplishments include the release of over 1000 titles into the Canadian retail marketplace, over 100 of which were Canadian acquisitions. Her innovative marketing and advertising strategies built Anchor Bay’s company profile, and consistently delivered results that exceeded expectations.
As COO of A71 Entertainment Susan continues to be a champion of new talent, enjoying the energy and ingenuity of the creative people she meets in the independent film community while successfully bringing their projects to the marketplace. Latest releases include the female directed Canadian films Audience of Chairs, Honey Bee, Into Invisible Light and coming soon Red Snow, She Never Died, Between Waves and Don't Click.