Our Staff

 

ANITA ADAMS 

Executive Director

Anita Adams has over 20 years experience working in film and television. She got her start in the film industry as an actor and has also worked as development officer for Orca Productions, has produced her own short films, was an associate producer for the acclaimed Crazy8s Filmmaking project, and the coordinator for the CBC Television & British Columbia Film Signature Shorts Screenwriting Competition. In 1998, Anita launched the Alibi Unplugged Script Reading Series, a monthly forum that brought provocative screenplays to life in front of a live audience. In a short time, the script series had become an integral part of the Vancouver film community serving writers, directors, producers and actors.

In February 2003, Anita launched the First Weekend Club, an initiative designed to build audiences for Canadian films and to support a film's critical first weekend in theatres. What started as a Vancouver based initiative has grown into a national organization which has now helped to promote over 200 Canadian films.

 

PriyaWeb

PRIYA RAO

Director of Operations

Priya has over 15 years experience in various areas of the Canadian film & tv industry. She is a Toronto-based actor/producer and will be hosting the upcoming series, THE DRINK, for Bell FIBE1 in summer 2016. She produced and starred in the comedic short, RAJU'S BLIND DATE, which was adapted as a series of radio plays for CBC Radio. In 2004 Priya was awarded the prestigious OMDC Al Waxman Calling Card grant. She produced and starred in the crowd-funded short film, BEST PRIYA and had a 4 episode stint on the new series, ORPHAN BLACK, airing on Space Channel in spring 2013. Her feature film KUSH KUSH IN THE BUSH, is a romantic comedy being directed by Richie Mehta.

As Head of Content for the Banff World Television Festival she conceptualized and programmed a schedule of panels and workshops focusing on television and digital media. In addition to her role overseeing the logistics and execution of the festival overall, Priya was integral in the creation and launch of the Canwest Showrunner Training Program and the Telefilm TV360 Program, and brought top-tier US agents out to Banff for the first time in 2009. Prior to joining Banff, she spent 3 years with the Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, programming the Short Films, Big Ideas Symposium, and was Director of Programming for Toronto's Rendezvous with Madness Film Festival. She has also programmed and produced Prime Time In Ottawa, Realscreen Conference and Playback Summit.

Priya was awarded the Trailblazer Award at the 2006 Reel World Film Festival for her work promoting diversity onscreen, was a councilor for ACTRA Toronto and is a founding Board Member of ACTRA's Credit Union.

 

KatherineWebKATHERINE BRODSKY

Director of Public Relations & Writer

Katherine Brodsky is the owner of Random Minds PR (www.random-minds.com), a boutique public relations agency specializing in entertainment publicity, marketing & event planning. As such, she has worked with all sorts of intriguing clients in film, television, theatre, music, fashion, travel and publishing.

Katherine has also written extensively on film, culture & arts for publications such as Entertainment Weekly, Variety, USA WEEKEND Magazine, MovieMaker Magazine, The Independent Film & Video Monthly, Stage Directions, The Georgia Straight, Alive Magazine, Forward and many others. She has interviewed a variety of figures including Oscar, Tony, Emmy, Genie, & Grammy winners and had appeared as a guest on BBC Radio 5, The Bill Courage Show, The Paul Myers Show, The Early Edition (CBC), The Rafe Mair Show, CKNW, 650 CISL, Urban Rush, The Express, Channel M and was interviewed for the Chicken Soup Book for the Achieving Soul, as well as numerous outlets including E! Online, MSNBC, The Georgia Straight, The Toronto Star, The Vancouver Sun, The Vancouver Province, etc.

Katherine has also written and edited extensively for the web, contributing to online outlets such as CountingDown.com (a Dreamworks SKG Company), MODA Magazine, and MovieWeb.com, where she also had a popular film column entitled, The MovieGuru (fans of the column included the likes of Oscar-winner Roger Avery and guest experts such as producer Peter Guber and actor Eric Stoltz).

In addition to her publicity & journalism work, Katherine is involved with the filmmaking process (her great passion & obsession). She has written a number of screenplays (mostly comedies), provided coverage for various production companies, and is currently developing a few exciting projects.

Katherine has also appeared in front of the lens and has trained as an actor & singer in Vancouver and New York (where she enjoyed very late nights at Carnegie Hall). A dedicated fan of humor, she even did a tad of stand-up comedy training to boot on the recommendation of a certain rather funny Hollywood director/producer, this helps infuse her words with even more jest - when permitted. She is a member of the Association of Independent Video & Filmmakers in New York, founder of The Media Group (also in New York) and is a great, albeit neurotic, fan of Woody Allen's films (whom she had successfully stalked- err, met).

Her personal website is www.katherinebrodsky.com

 

ALEXANDRA STASESON

Programmer & Producer
FWC Screening Series

Alexandra Staseson has been with FWC since 2005. 

She is the producer of the monthly, First Weekend Club Screening Series program in Vancouver, BC, which has been since 2006, a monthly live screening, Q&A, & reception of great Canadian Film. Also busy sharing #CdnFilm buzz you can find her on the @1stWeekendClub and @CanadaScreens Twitter accounts. Outside of FWC, Alexandra works as an actress for film, tv and theatre, she graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and can most recently be seen playing "Jane' in Canadian Feature Film, The Dick Knost Show by Bruce Sweeney (TIFF13/ VIFF13). Alexandra also works as a writer and an online/producer for film & broadcast TV, and has enjoyed working creatively with shows on OLN, Discovery and MTV. If Alexandra could see one thing happen on this earth, it is that each child be given the un-limted, boundlesss opportunity to discover and explore their creative potential. 

 

LU ASFAHA

Content & Web Producer

Lu Asfaha is an emerging filmmaker, writer and editor.  

 Lu Asfaha was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, but migrated to Toronto at a young age and has lived in the 6 ever since. Immersed in Toronto culture most of her life, her number one goal is to share her love of Toronto with the world through the magic of moviemaking.

She has primarily worked in post production, picture editing the short films Bystanders andSomething Like This amongst others, and has had her work showcased at festivals in Toronto, Montreal, Portland and Berlin. Lu also writes extensively and has been the creative mind behind everything from short documentaries to web series. Her directorial debut, Dead End, premiered at the Toronto Short Film Festival in 2015. She intends to do a lot more directing, determined to improve at her craft. 

 

 Anna-Lea Boeki

Content Specialist

Anna-Lea has extensive experience in the Canadian film and TV industry. She currently directing episodes for the upcoming television series, THE DRINK, for Bell FIBE1 launching in summer 2016. She was the Casting Producer for Canada’s Smartest Person (the pilot), Project Lead for Kids’ CBC, Associate Producer for CBC and was a Segment Producer for TVO, Rogers and the Fashion Television Channel. In 2008 Anna- Lea was won the Trinity Square Video Pitch Award for the Toronto Urban Film Festival short film, The Kissing Project. While working for the Banff World Media Festival she ran Broadcaster Briefings, Produced the Awards Lunch and ran the TV Executives Programme. In addition to her role overseeing logistics, Anna-Lea brought top-decision makers from AMC and Fox out to Banff for the first time in 2009. Prior to that she worked on film, television and commercial sets as a Playback Operator and as Key Wardrobe for two seasons of the Comedy Network’s, The Gavin Crawford Show. Anna-Lea can be found writing, shooting photos and video, exhibiting her art, hosting Q&A’s and engaging on social media for the Toronto Urban Film Festival, A Vine Romance and First Weekend Club.

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