Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television announces new Board of Directors

Academy appoints New Board

Toronto, July 13, 2011 – The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce its new Board of Directors, effective immediately. Producer Martin Katz (Prospero Pictures) is the new ACCT Chair.

The 12 new ACCT Board Members, from all areas of the film, television and digital media industries (in alphabetical order) are:

·                     ACCT ChairMartin Katz, President, Prospero Pictures

·                     Barry Avrich
, President, Endeavour Marketing

·                     Celia Chassels, Partner, The Gary Goddard Agency

·                     Jonas Diamond, Executive Producer, Smiley Guy Studios

·                     Anne Fitzgerald, Chief Legal Officer, Cineplex Entertainment

·                     Bryan Gliserman, Co-President, eOne Films

·                     Robin Mirsky, Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds

·                     Gabriel (Gabe) Nachman, (retired partner PricewaterhouseCoopers)

·                     Mary Powers, President, M. Powers Communications

·                     Mark Slone, SVP Marketing & Publicity, Alliance Films

·                     Kevin Wright, Senior Vice President, Astral Television Networks

·                     John Young, Managing Director, Temple Street Productions

“The composition of this active new industry board presents a real opportunity to reinvigorate the Academy,” says ACCT Chair Martin Katz.  “Now we can better connect our current members with our corporate partners and reach out to some 400,000 professionals working in the Canadian media industry today.”

ACCT Quebec Chair Charles Ohayon welcomes the change: “We begin a new chapter in the history of the Academy with this new Board of Directors which has taken on the responsibility of the organization as we move into the future.”

Mr. Ohayon, who also spearheaded the strategic changes, thanked the industry players who were on an interim advisory council to steer the ACCT through a challenging period. In alphabetical order, they are: Sandra Cunningham, President, Strada Films; Alain Gourd, Consultant; Martin Katz, President, Prospero Pictures; Michael Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Filmed Entertainment, Cineplex Entertainment; Robert Lantos, Producer, Serendipity Point Films; Robin Mirsky, Executive Director, Rogers Group of Funds; John Riley, President, Astral Television Networks; Andra Sheffer, Executive Director, Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund; Mark Slone, SVP Marketing and Publicity, Alliance Films; Jay Switzer, Founder, Jay Switzer Media Consulting; and Patrice Theroux, President, Filmed Entertainment, Entertainment One.

ACCT will soon create a National Advisory Council made up of representatives from across Canada to ensure major regions are represented.

Following the 26th Gemini Awards, ACCT will create a new Awards Governance Committee composed of representatives from the nation’s Unions, Guilds, and Associations to review the rules and regulations governing the Gemini and Genie awards.

Established in 1979, the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is a national, non-profit, professional association dedicated to the promotion, recognition and celebration of exceptional achievements in Canadian film, television and digital media. Unifying industry professionals across Canada, the Academy is a vital force representing all screen-based industries.

For further information, please contact VK & Associates

Virginia Kelly, 416 466 9799,


Suzan Ayscough
, ACCT Director Communications, Marketing & Development (Interim)
(ext. 231)
(ext. 231),

New Board of Directors – Mini-Bios

ACCT Chair – Martin Katz – Prospero Pictures
Prospero Pictures Founder and President Martin Katz is one of Canada’s most prolific film and television producers. His long-time collaboration with celebrated director David Cronenberg includes the award-winning Spider and continues with two new features – A Dangerous Method, starring Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen and Michael Fassbender, and Cosmopolis, starring Robert Pattinson, Paul Giamatti and Juliette Binoche.

Katz’s feature film and television productions include the Academy Award and Golden Globe multi-nominee Hotel Rwanda, written and directed by Terry George; Michael Winterbottom’s The Claim; the Gemini Award-winning music television series Spectacle: Elvis Costello With…; and Bronwen Hughes’ Stander, which the London Observer called “the greatest heist film since Reservoir Dogs.”

Katz holds degrees in law from the University of Toronto and the Université de Paris (Panthéon-Sorbonne), and has served as Professor of Law at the French-language Université de Moncton and as Special Lecturer in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Toronto. Katz is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and a Director of the Institute for Canadian Citizenship.

Barry Avrich – Endeavour Marketing
Barry Avrich, Toronto, Ontario. Born in Montreal, Quebec. Barry Avrich has been a marketing executive and film and television director/producer for over 25 years. As  President of Endeavour,  Barry has been responsible for hundreds of cultural marketing campaigns including TIFF, Luminato, AGO and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Barry is also the author of three marketing books including the best selling Selling the Sizzle: The Magic and Logic of Entertainment Marketing. As a film director and producer Barry is known for such acclaimed films The Last Mogul, Unauthorized: Inside Harvey Weinstein and The Tempest and Caesar Cleopatra. Barry is also a director of The Toronto International Film Festival Group, and the Canadian Opera Company.   

Celia Chassels –The Gary Goddard Agency
Celia Chassels has worked in the world of film and television all her life. Her early years were spent as a production assistant/researcher for such diverse hosts as Pierre Berton, Morton Shulman and Stephen Lewis. The leisure time in those formative days was spent going to all the film and theatre available in Toronto.

She has been an agent with the Gary Goddard Agency since l982, and presently represents such artists as Oscar nominee Sarah Polley and Gemini Award-winner Michael Riley.  The agency represents an exemplary theatre/film cross-over with such actors, writers, and directors as Jacob Tierney, Scott Speedman, Peter Stebbings, Luke Kirby, Kristin Booth, Ken Welsh, Allan Hawco, Raoul Trujillo, Alberta Watson, and Wes Williams.

Ms. Chassels was a founding member of The Centre for Investigative Journalism
and Performing Artists for Nuclear Disarmament, and continues her membership in Toronto Women in Film and Television and the Academy of Canadian Film & Television.

Jonas Diamond – Smiley Guy Studios; iThentic
Jonas Diamond is the Executive Producer of Smiley Guy Studios and CEO of iThentic. Jonas joined up with the Guys as a contractor in the fall of 1999 and successfully arranged financing for and managed the company’s development of Odd Job Jack.  For more than a decade, Jonas has been instrumental in growing the company’s production business as well as arranging financing for its many original shows.

Jonas is producer of the award-winning animated series Odd Job Jack (52x30). The series received a Gemini, CFTPA Indie, Banff Rockie and Canada New Media Award for Best Cross Platform Project. Additional Accolades for Odd Job Jack include a nomination for Best Interactive Program and Best Animated Show at the Banff Rockie Awards, Best Convergent Project by the Banff Institute as well as multiple Gemini and Canadian Comedy Award nominations. Jonas
ʼ producer credits include Odd Job Jack, Hotbox and Bigfoot for The Comedy Network / CTV, Pillars of Freedom for TVO, Turbo Dogs for CBC / Qubo, The Dating Guy, skatoony, Sons of Butcher and the upcoming GeoFreakZ MMOG for Teletoon, The World of Bruce McCall for CBC, and the interactive storyteller Legends of Me as well as many other projects for various platforms.

Anne Fitzgerald – Cineplex
Anne oversees all legal and government relations issues for Cineplex Inc., having joined the company in 2004 in order to direct the acquisition of Famous Players, making Cineplex the largest theatre exhibition company in Canada.  Since that time, she has directed multiple other acquisitions and divestitures, public offerings, credit arrangements and litigation matters.   As a member of the Cineplex executive team, she is heavily involved in business matters, including the creation of the SCENE Loyalty Program, the development of the Metropolitan Opera alternative programming series, the development of the Cineplex Store and the development of captioning and descriptive technologies to make movies accessible to the hearing and visually impaired.   She was also instrumental in the passage of Canada’s anti-camcording legislation.

Anne has been licensed to practice law since 1990 and has practiced in North Carolina, Illinois, New York and Ontario in areas of commercial and criminal litigation as well as corporate securities and entertainment.   She has produced theatre both in the US and in Canada and has twice been a finalist for the National Post/ZSA General Counsel of the Year Awards.   Anne holds her undergraduate degree as well as a Juris Doctorate from Duke University and attended the Harvard University Kennedy School of Business for leadership studies.  She also has the ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors managed by the University of Toronto Rotman School of Business.

Bryan Gliserman – Entertainment One
A veteran of the Canadian film industry, Bryan Gliserman brings more than 25 years of distribution experience to the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television.Bryan is currently Co-President of Entertainment One Films Canada where he oversees development, acquisitions, marketing and sales. Recent successes include: Barney’s Version, Incendies, Gnomeo and Juliet and The Twilight Saga.

He previously served as president of Odeon Films, a division of Alliance Films, where he oversaw all aspects of distribution during a fourteen year tenure that included the release of Brokeback Mountain, Eastern Promises and Atonement.

’s background in film in distribution also includes positions at Orion Pictures, Columbia Pictures, MGM/UA and Telefilm Canada. He is currently Co-Chairman of CAFDE, the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters.

Robin Mirsky – Rogers Group of Funds
Robin Mirsky is Executive Director of the Rogers Group of Funds.  Robin joined Rogers Communications in 1989 as the Project Coordinator for Rogers Telefund, the interim financing fund established by Rogers to assist in the production of high-quality Canadian programming.

Today Robin Mirsky is responsible for - the Rogers Telefund which has approximately $34 million available for bridge financing for Canadian programs.  The Rogers Documentary Fund, with a budget of $2,000,000 per year, has given grants to more than 300 Canadian documentary films. The Rogers Cable Network Fund an equity investment fund for Canadian cable channels will infuse an estimated $8 - $10 million annually into Canadian independent production.

Robin also sits on a number of industry related Boards such as the Banff World Media Festival and the Canadian Film Centre.  She is currently co-chair of the Board of Hot Docs Documentary Film Festival in Toronto.

Gabriel (Gabe) Nachman – FCA, ICD.D
Gabe is a retired partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and one of its predecessor firms, Coopers & Lybrand (C&L). During his 38 years with PwC / C&L he served as the National Chair of the C&L Retail and Distribution Services Group from 1986 to 1998, The Partner-in-Charge of the C&L North York office from 1988 to 1998 and the National Leader of PwC’s Entertainment and Media Services Group from 1998 to 2002 and from 2005 to 2007, He had partner responsibility for such well known public company clients in the Entertainment and Media sectors as Alliance Atlantis Communications Inc., Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., CanWest Global Communications Corp., DHX Entertainment Inc. and Cineplex Entertainment. Gabe is a Past National President of B’Nai Brith Canada and currently serves on its Board of Governors. He also serves on the Boards of Portage Program For Drug Dependencies (Ontario), Applied Inventions Management Inc., Danbell Industries Inc. and The Foundation Group Worldwide LLC.

Mary Powers – MPowers Communications
Mary Powers is President MPowers Communications, specializing in strategic communications and brand management for media companies, producers and content distributors in the domestic and international marketplace.  Powers enjoyed a long and prominent career in broadcasting with CHUM Limited, where she directed all Communications as well as Investor Relations and Corporate Sponsorship for the publicly traded company. She then became SVP Corporate Communications for Canada's leading broadcaster CTVglobemedia (now Bell Media), prior to launching her own firm.

A marketing and communications veteran who has been recognized for her support of the media industry, Mary has been active on numerous industry boards, including serving as Chair of The Banff World Television Festival Foundation, Chair of the international marketing and promotion association PROMAX, as well as past board member of CWC and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She also served as Chair of the Communications Committee for the Canadian Association of Broadcasters and was a member of the Toronto International Film Festival Marketing Committee. Mary is currently a board member of the Rogers Documentary and Cable Fund and the National Screen Institute (NSI).

Mark Slone
– Alliance Films
Mark Slone is the Senior Vice President for Alliance Films.  He is a graduate of McGill University with a background in community radio and arts. He specializes in acquisitions and communications for wide release, Canadian, genre and arthouse films.  He has recently served as a Board Director for the Images Festival and the Toronto Jewish Film Society and provides marketing guidance and mentorship for a number of emerging filmmakers.  He lives in Toronto with his wife and daughter.

Kevin Wright – Astral Media
Kevin Wright is Senior Vice-President of Astral Television Networks, a division of Astral Media. In this role, Wright oversees the acquisition, commissioning and scheduling of programming for The Movie Network, HBO Canada, Mpix, Family Channel, Disney Junior and Disney XD.

The original programming teams under Wright have created many hours of popular and award-winning programming including Life with Derek, Stella and Sam, Call Me Fitz and Durham County.

Wright originally joined the Astral team in December 1995 as Vice President of Programming for Family Channel. Simultaneous to this responsibility, Wright was also Vice President of Programming for the animation specialty channel TELETOON(November 1996 to October 2001).

Prior to Astral Television Networks, Wright worked for more than six years at YTV. He was Paragon International’s Manager of Operations and once worked in Telefilm Canada’s Creative Affairs Department. Wright started his career as a camera assistant.

Wright is on the Board of Directors for Astral Media The Harold Greenberg Fund.  He received the Alliance for Children and Television “Outstanding Achievement Award” in 2005. Wright graduated from McGill University in 1981 with a B.A. in Psychology and holds a B.A.A. in Motion Picture Production from Ryerson.

John Young – Temple Street Productions
John Young was born and raised in Loch Lomond, Scotland and graduated from the University of Dundee with an LLB (honors). He also received a Diploma in Legal Practice from Glasgow University.

Mr. Young is the Managing Director of Temple Street Productions, one of Canada’s leading television production companies; producing shows such as Being Erica, Wingin’ It, Canada’s Next Top Model and Recipe to Riches. In addition to running Temple Street’s day to day operations, John has spearheaded the company’s move into branded content and digital media, acting as the lead on deals with some of Canada’s largest brands, while forging new relationships with leading digital agencies.

Mr. Young previously served as Managing Director of OMERS Private Equity.

Mr. Young is a graduate of the Directors Governance College at University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.

He is Vice Chairman of the Toronto International Film Festival Group’s Steering Committee, and in 2005 was voted as one of Canada’s top 40 under 40 in-house counsel.

No comments:

Post a Comment