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Image: Traje de Luces | Suit of Lights (2018) by Francisca Duran

Staff

Genne Speers

Executive Director

Genne Speers is Director of the CFMDC. She is a scholar of the archive, film and art history as well as a practicing archivist, counter archival activist, programmer and arts administrator. Speers holds an MA in Film Archiving from the University of East Anglia where her research and practice concentrated on the collaborative relationship between artists, archivists and approaches to research creation. She is also a PhD Candidate in Cinema and Media Studies at York University. Genne has supervised thesis students and teaches courses in the Image Arts F+PPCM program at Toronto Metropolitan University. She has served as an advisory member of the TMAC board and served on the boards of the Media Arts Network of Ontario and the Independent Media Arts Alliance. 

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Edward Fawcett Sharpe

Senior Technical Manager

Edward Sharpe is the senior technical manager at CFMDC. He is a third generation settler from Treaty 13 territory, traditionally the territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples. Edward is a practicing filmmaker and holds a BA in film studies from Carleton University in Ottawa. He was previously the co-owner/operator of Highfield Media, a video production and web design company, as well as Eastern Studios, a co-working space and studio.

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Rolla Tahir

Media Arts Technician

On Leave 

Rolla Tahir is a filmmaker, director of photography, arts administrator, and media technician based in Toronto. She’s lensed short, narrative and experimental films, which screened across Canada and internationally. Obsessed with the durability, longevity and spontaneity of the analog film medium, Rolla has worked with Super 8, 16mm and 35mm to explore the analog process and its possibilities. Her passion in cinematography stems from the need to bring narratives to life, work with visionary creatives, and to understand and be understood. In 2017, Rolla co-founded the Toronto Arab Film, a non-for-profit that celebrates and platforms pan-Arab films through an annual festival and professional development initiatives. 

 

Contact Rolla with questions related to technical specifications for new work deposits, technical services, or special projects.

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Aaditya Aggarwal

Programs & Collections Coordinator

Aaditya Aggarwal is a film curator, writer, and editor based in Toronto and New Delhi. Aaditya has previously worked at the Toronto International Film Festival, Images Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Mercer Union. Aaditya has also contributed writing on film to outlets like C Magazine, Rungh, POV Magazine, Canadian Art, The New Inquiry, Ethnic Aisle, as well as organizations including Trinity Square Video, South Asian Visual Arts Centre, and FADO Performance Art Centre. Aaditya is also a collective member of Sanghum Film. sanghumfilm.com.

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Winsor Ytterock

Distribution & Membership Coordinator

Winsor Ytterock (she/her) is the Distribution and Membership Coordinator at CFMDC. She is a Canadian American multi media artist who holds an HBA in Cinema Studies and English from the University of Toronto. Winsor continues to experiment with various art forms and is enthusiastic about connecting with others in the various art scenes of Tkaronto/Toronto.

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Larissa Fan

Communications Support

Larissa Fan is a Toronto-based artist who works in 16mm and Super 8 film. She studied at OCAD and has an MFA in Film Production from York University. Her work has screened at national and international venues including Anthology Film Archives, Images Festival, and Kassel Documentary Film & Video Festival. Larissa worked for many years at CFMDC, first as Membership Coordinator and then Distribution Manager, and now handles CFMDC's social media and newsletter on a part-time basis.

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Morgan Sears-Williams

Communications Support

Morgan is an interdisciplinary artist and cultivator based in Toronto and Vancouver. Her art practice bridges eco-processing, experimental film and queer history (both personal and political) where she aims to create intimate experiences for viewers to expand their ideas of queer space and time. She was the recipient of the Roloff Beny Award in 2022, the graduate scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council in 2023, and has received grants to support her practice from Canada Council for the arts and Ontario Arts Council. She has worked with CFMDC in multiple capacities first as Membership Coordinator and then Programming Manager, and now handles CFMDC's social media.

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Sonya Mwambu

Media Arts Technician

Sonya Mwambu is an experimental filmmaker and editor based in Toronto. Born in Kampala, they grew up in Canada and their work centres on the intersections of their identities through the exploration of race, gender, language and the connections they find through the experimentations of analogue film. Their films have shown at Nuit Blanche Toronto, the8fest, Toronto Queer Film Festival, McMaster Museum of Art, Cinema Politica, Toronto History Museums and Queer City Cinema. Their work has also been published in qumra journal, pitch magazine and The Archive of Forgetfulness supported by the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg. Their last digital project was commissioned by the Art Gallery of Ontario in collaboration with Nada El-Omari. Mwambu holds a BFA in Film Production from York University.

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Tara Hakim

Media Arts Technician

Tara Hakim is a multidisciplinary artist who creates public displays of vulnerability that invite the viewer to meditate on notions of self, multi-cultural identities, and spaces in between – both physically and mentally. Her first short film ‘Teta, Opi & Me' screened in festivals around the world including RIDM, and won Best Documentary and Audience Choice at MOMO in Zurich 2019. Since then, Tara has been creating short films, experimenting with gallery spaces and has dipped her toes in the world of acting. Tara has worked with Images Festival, imagineNATIVE, the8fest and is a contributing writer with Point of View Magazine.

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Daniel Loker

Collections Assistant

Daniel Loker is a graduate student in Toronto Metropolitan University's Film Preservation and Collections Management Master's program.  Daniel is conducting a residency placement at CFMDC, and will be processing collections from storage.  They hold an Honours BA in Film Studies from York University, with an interest in experimental and genre works, and have previously worked at V Tape and Retrontario doing film and video digitization and exhibition.

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Wua Ling (Karen), Wu

Collections Intern

Wua Ling is a graduate student in Toronto Metropolitan University's Film Preservation and Collections Management Master's program. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Film Studies and has previously worked at the Taiwan Film & Audiovisual Institute. With her interest in filmmaking and film material, she has experience as a gaffer in film production and as a print coordinator in film festivals. Wua Ling is now conducting her internship at CFMDC.

Staff & Board: Meet the Team

Board

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Derek Jenkins

Chair

Derek Jenkins (Canada/USA) is a motion picture photographer born in Monroe, Louisiana in 1980. His practice is handmade, personal, and documentary, with an interest in labour, ecology, and technology—specifically the reciprocal relationships between tools, materials, and ways of knowing. He received a BA (2003) and an MA (2008) in English from the University of Arkansas, and an MFA in Documentary Media from Toronto Metropolitan University (2021). His films, including Contents (2018), The Shouting Flower (2019), Livestock (2019), and Grounders (2020), have been exhibited at festivals, museums, and galleries, including DocLisboa, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, McMaster Museum of Art, ARKIPEL – Jakarta International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, Antimatter Film Festival, the8fest, FRACTO Experimental Film Encounter, Photophobia, Media City Film Festival, and Experiments in Cinema, among many others. He is Executive Director of Hamilton Artists Inc. and previously worked as a technician at Niagara Custom Lab.  He lives in Hamilton, Ontario.

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Robin Riad

Secretary

Robin Riad is an Egyptian-Canadian Toronto-based experimental filmmaker, animator and
artist. Robin works primarily with analog mediums, specifically 16mm,Super8, and Regular
8mm film. She experiments with different modes of processing and printing techniques,
along with direct animation, for her films. Robin is inspired by feminist and queer literature
and experiences, and aims to explore these themes in her work. As one of the Technical
Coordinators at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT), she supports
many artists and independent filmmakers with their arts practice. Robin also works as a
technician at Niagara Custom Lab.

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Almudena Escobar López

Board Member

Almudena Escobar López is an independent curator, archivist, and researcher from Galicia, Spain. She is Assistant Professor on Film History, Film Preservation and Collection Management at the School of Image Arts of the Toronto Metropolitan University. Her interdisciplinary research centers around documentary and artist’s moving image practices concerned with decoloniality, visual historiography, and alternative information ecologies. She holds a Ph.D. in Visual and Cultural Studies from the University of Rochester, and a MA in Film and Media Preservation from the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation. Some of her more recent projects include Cinema of Sensations: the Never-Ending Screen of Val del Omar, an exhibition devoted to the work of José Val del Omar at the Museum of Moving Image in New York with the support of the Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the 67th Flaherty Film Seminar, Continents of Drifting Clouds which he co-curated with Sky Hopinka.

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Barbara Sternberg

Board Member

Toronto filmmaker Barbara Sternberg has been making films since the mid-seventies. Her work has screened widely across North America and Europe including at MoMA, NY., Centre George Pompidou, Albright-Knox Gallery, and n.ow.here, in the UK. Her work is also featured in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada. Sternberg taught at York University, wrote the column "On (Experimental) Film" for Cinema Canada, was an organizer of the International Experimental Film Congress (May 1989), and is a founding member of Pleasure Dome Artists' Film Exhibition Group and AfFA (Artists for Film Art). She has been the visiting artist at a number of Canadian universities as well as the Université d'Avignon and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She works in other media, including video, performance and installation. Sternberg was a recipient of the Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts in 2011.

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Christine Vu

Board Member

One of Christine’s first jobs was presenting sneak-peek screenings of summer blockbusters for Citytv Edmonton. She also hosted the movie reviews segment for Breakfast Television and moved on to becoming a video journalist in Vancouver at Shaw TV. Specializing in conceptualizing and creating content, she now joins the Reel Asian team after honing her marketing skills at places like NXNE and Momofuku. Christine is also an actor and writer.

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Karan Singh

Board Member

Karan is a Montréal, Canada based writer, filmmaker, and community artist. Born in Shimla,
India, after immigrating to Canada, Karan started his film work with a short film ‘Faceless’
(2012), which explored supremacy of the white majority in the LGBTQI+ communities in North
America. As a gay person of South Asian origin, Karan’s projects aim to bring South Asian stories
to an international audience. Karan is currently working on his first feature film ‘Zoya iman
Ayaz’, which receiving screenwriting mentorship at the Canadian Film Centre and his latest
short film ‘Mum Singh’, received funding from the Canadian and Québec Arts councils, is in the
festival and exhibition circuit. Having served on various film festival juries including the
Percéides International Film and Arts Festival, the Yorkton Film Festival and the South Asian
Film Festival of Montréal, Karan is currently part of the Montreal Arts Council’s cinema jury for
a three-year term.

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Krishna Anaberi

Board Member

Krishna Anaberi, founder of Anaberi Films, is a Film Producer based in Montréal. He is dedicated to amplifying stories about the South Asian diaspora and beyond. Anaberi studied Media Production at Northumbria University in Newcastle upon Tyne, where he honed his skills in visual storytelling. He then pursued an MA in Creative Writing at Kingston University, London. With over a decade of experience in film production and film financing, Anaberi began his career in Hyderabad, India, before contributing to Bollywood productions in Mumbai. He has primarily worked as a film development producer and a script doctor, shaping compelling narratives and refining screenplays. Currently, Anaberi is completing his recent directorial project Hear Me while also serving as Chief Strategy Officer at a Singapore-based private equity media fund.

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Muriel N. Kahwagi

Board Member

Muriel N. Kahwagi is a writer and curator, working primarily across publishing and programming. Her research is centered on the politics of collecting and archiving the performative; and the act of listening as a form of preservation in and of itself. In 2023, she was the TD Curatorial Fellow at Art Windsor-Essex, and a curator as part of Vtape’s Curatorial Incubator, v.19. She has previously held editorial positions at the Sursock Museum (2015-2021) and the Arab Image Foundation (2021-2022). She is currently the Assistant Curator at Contemporary Calgary and a programmer at the Toronto Arab Film Festival.

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Yuma Dean Hester

Board Member

My name is Yuma Hester. I am half Anishinaabe (Neyaashiinigmiing), and half Ililowuk (Moose Factory). I have spent the better part of the last 20 years in community development, working and consulting with over 30 First Nations communities. I specializes in consultation and facilitation skills, relationship development, open and effective communication, and solution-oriented discussion. I am currently a founding member, and Creative Director with Bawaadan Collective. Along with a diverse group of Indigenous artists and accomplices, we work to continually develop our collaborative approaches to modern artistic storytelling and film production processes. It is one of our primary goals to constantly adjust our organizational structures and modes of storytelling to create inclusive, mindful spaces, and better represent Indigenous peoples in the mainstream.

Staff & Board: Meet the Team
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