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Board & Staff


  Lauren Howes
Executive Director

Lauren Howes has been working as the Executive Director of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre since 2006. She is also currently the Chairperson on the Board of the Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO) 2009-present, she sits on the advisory committee for Visual and Media Art at the Toronto Arts Council, and served as Treasurer on the Board (2008-2010) of the Independent Media Arts Alliance. Through her work in distribution she attends numerous film festivals and media art markets worldwide promoting and presenting Canadian media art globally, including: Dublin, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg, Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Seoul, Bangalore and Buenos Aires.

  Aimée Mitchell
Distribution Manager
Educational Development + Outreach


Aimée has been active with the Centre since 2005 through the Film Preservation Committee, the Young Canada Works Internship Program, and CFMDC Special Projects. She has been a Project Coordinator for The Visible City Project + Archive, The Leona Drive Project, and The Expo ’67 Expanded Cinema Project, supporting the work of artists and important research in Canadian film history and art practice. She has sat on the Executive Committee for the Film Studies Association of Canada (2009-2011) and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies (2010-2012). Aimée is currently completing a PhD in Communication & Culture at York University, studying Canadian amateur cinema, the politics of the archive, cultural historiography, and film preservation. Oh, and she has two cats.

  Genne Speers
Operations Manager

Genne has been with the CFMDC since 2007. She has worked on the technical team for several film festivals including; Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs and Inside Out LGBT Film Festival. Genne holds a Masters in Cinema and Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia and is pursuing a PhD in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. She has worked on projects at the BFI National Archive, Berkhamsted, and UNESCO, Paris. Her research interests include: traditional and counter archival theory, critical theory and experience, and regimes of perspective in documentary practice. She lives with Hoito.

  Claire Egan
Membership + Acquisitions

Claire Egan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University. Her work has shown in galleries across Toronto as well as in New York City, Panama City and Amsterdam. In addition to her position as Membership  + Acquisitions Coordinator at the CFMDC, Claire has worked for numerous festivals and not-for-profit organizations including: Subtle Technologies, aluCine Latin Media Festival, XPACE Cultural Centre and the International AIDS Conference. Claire also co-founded and co-facilitated conSECUENCIAS, an experimental animation workshop for at-risk youth in Panama. Prior to the CMFDC, she programmed the experimental sidebar for Inside Out, Toronto’s LGBT Film & Video Festival. Claire is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

  Edward Fawcett Sharpe
Technical Coordinator

Edward Fawcett Sharpe is a Filmmaker, Freelance Videographer/Editor, and the Technical Coordinator at CFMDC. Just ask him about codec’s!


Mariam Zaidi
Distribution Coordinator

Mariam Zaidi holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Documentary Media from Ryerson University in Toronto. Her short films have shown at festivals across North America, India and the UAE. Alongside her role as Distribution Assistant Intern at CMFDC, Mariam works as a freelance production coordinator and associate producer with the team at Tiger Spirit Productions, creating short and feature-length documentary films for broadcast and festival exhibition.

Office Dog

Supervisor of courier deliveries.



  Mary J. Daniel

Mary J Daniel is a media artist and educator, with a 20-year history of making hard-to-categorize works focusing on the poetry and artistry of everyday experiences. She has a background in experimental film, intertwining interest in educational and community-based video, and held teaching positions at Purdue University, Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia--Okanagan. Her body of work encompasses an award-winning anthology of experimental shorts, a feature film, and a series of collaborative documentaries. Her films and videos have traveled international, queer, women's, and experimental festival circuits; screened at Cinematheques, universities, micro-cinemas and art galleries; and have featured in curated programmes of Canadian works, including at the Kassel Documentary Festival and the Anthology Film Archives in New York City.

  Inga Dievulyte

Inga Dievulyte is an Executive Producer with a Toronto-based production company Films in Blue. She has over 10 years of experience in the fields of film and television production, and, most recently, broadcast acquisitions and programming. Inga holds degrees from York University (BFA in Film & Video Production) and the University of Oxford (MSt in Film Aesthetics). She has been a member of the CFMDC since 2008 and joined the Board in 2013.

  Francisca Duran

Francisca Duran (MFA Film York, BAH Film Queen’s) is a Toronto based filmmaker, experimental media artist and educator. Her media arts work combines digital and analogue formats and explores the intersection points of memory, history, politics and technology. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in numerous film festivals, galleries and group screenings. Born in Chile in 1967, Francisca came to Canada as a refugee following the 1973 military coup. Related design interests in graphic arts production led to a seven-year professional practice where she produced promotional print materials for cultural sector and non-profit clients Francisca is currently teaching as adjunct faculty in the York/Sheridan Department of Design.

  Janine Heath

Janine Heath began her career with a BFA in Film from York University. Soon she was producing short films, notably the 35mm drama Frog Pond by Director Bradley Walsh, which screened at TIFF in 1999. Since then, she has spent time honing her core skills in the business of film finance through roles at the OMDC and Shaftesbury Films. In 2006, her spirit for documentary filmmaking led her to Yap Films where she became the Head of Production. In this role she line produced the Gemini award winning feature documentary Vimy Ridge: Heaven to Hell that premiered at Canada’s War History Museum and was broadcast on History television.

In 2010, Janine’s expertise in creative non-fiction was sought by the NFB and she was hired to production manage Stories We Tell, a feature film by Director, Sarah Polley (TIFF 2012, Canada’s Top Ten 2012). She is an active member of Women in Film &Television Toronto and the Documentary Organization of Toronto. In 2013, Janine looks forward to co-producing an auteur driven pov documentary by Marc de Guerre titled AD:After Digital.

  Sally Lee

Sally Lee has worked in the not-for-profit arts sector for over 20 years. Past affiliations include LIFT (Membership Coordinator), the Reel Asian International Film Festival (Executive Director), the Images Festival (Board), the Toronto International Film Festival (Public Affairs Manager) and Soulpepper Theatre Company (Government Relations and Foundations Manager). She currently serves as the Director of Development for Artists for Peace and Justice Canada. She is also sits on the Advisory Board of Reel Asian and the Advocacy Committee of the Toronto Arts Council.

  Frank Manzo

Formerly the Manager of Production Finance at Corus Entertainment/Nelvana in Toronto, Frank currently works as an Account Manager for the Film & TV Finance group at National Bank. From 2001 to 2007, he was a Tax Credits Business Officer with the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Frank produced, wrote and directed the short film FunNight in 2000. He has an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Film and Television Diploma from the Trebas Institute.  Frank is also a trained dancer, teacher and choreographer. In 2009 he acted as Artistic Director for the Business for the Arts (bfta) Awards Arnold party and his dansical With Somebody Who Loves Me will debut with a preview run at Toronto’s Fringe Festival 2012, before a two week run in August, 2012.

  Terra Jean Long

Terra Jean Long is an independent filmmaker and educator. She creates tapestry like works that draw on personal narrative, history, and the spaces between the real and the imaginary. Currently, she is the Special Projects Coordinator at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) where she contributes to a suite of dynamic community and education initiatives. She holds a double major BFA in film production and women’s studies from Concordia University and has recently completed the MFA in film production at York University. Her works have screened at film festivals and micro cinemas around the world and in her hometown, Toronto.

  Gigi Morin

Gigi holds degrees from the University of Guelph (B.A.H.1990) Dalhousie University (MA 1992) and the University of New Brunswick (LL.B. 1995) and was called to the Ontario Bar in 1997 after articling with Fraser & Beatty (now Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP). Gigi joined John Duncan & Assoc. in 1998 and became a founding partner in Duncan Morin LLP in 2000. Gigi acts for a variety of television and film live action, documentary and animation producers on a broad range of matters including rights acquisitions, broadcast and licensing matters, financing including Canadian content structures and international co-productions, Errors & Omissions insurance and clearance matters.

  Gina Vanni

Gina is currently the Vice President of Take 5 Productions, a Toronto based television production company whose credits include international series The Tudors, Camelot, the Borgias and the upcoming mini-series, World Without End. Prior to joining Take 5, Gina was the Vice President of Production Finance at Dufferin Gate Productions where she managed development and financing for the company’s considerable slate of productions.

Previous to that Gina worked with the Ontario Media Development Corporation in several capacities including Team Lead in the Tax Credits and Financing Department as well as Director of Tax Credits, where she oversaw the administration of Ontario’s six cultural media tax credits. Gina has a background in Management Accounting, and has sat on the board of the CFMDC as Treasurer since 2007.