Anita Adams has over 25 years experience working in film and television. She got her start in the film industry as an actor, and has worked in development and production on various feature films and shorts. 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 helped to promote over 400 Canadian films and countless talent.
In April 2015, as part of the First Weekend Club brand, Anita and her team launched CanadaScreens.ca, a Video on Demand service exclusively for Canadian film. CanadaScreens.ca is the only all Canadian film VOD platform and is filling a huge gap in the market place by helping Canadian filmmakers find their audience.
Director of Operations
Priya has over 15 years experience in various areas of the Canadian film & tv industry. 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. Her feature film KUSH KUSH IN THE BUSH, is a romantic comedy being directed by Richie Mehta. 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.
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.
These days Priya is most often found with a glass of wine in hand as the creator and co-host of the tv show, THE DRINK, for Bell FIBE TV1.
Director of Public Relations & Writer
Since establishing her public relations agency, Random Minds PR, in 2003, Katherine has been working primarily with clients within the entertainment industry on campaigns that blur the lines between the traditional, grassroots, social/digital — and whimsical.
Some of her placements include top Canadian outlets like The Globe & Mail, Playback, National Post, Toronto Star, CTV, Elle Canada, Maclean’s, eTalk Daily, ET Canada, CBC, and Global TV. In the U.S., she’s secured coverage from popular outlets like Vanity Fair, Salon, Yahoo Entertainment, The Washington Post, CNN.com, and trades that include The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Screen International.
That understanding of what makes a story compelling for journalists (and their editors), stems from being one herself. Katherine has written for publications like The Washington Post, The Guardian, Esquire, Variety, Vulture, Entertainment Weekly, Playboy Magazine, Elle Canada, Mashable, A.V. Club, Canadian Screenwriter, and others.
She also has an extensive background in copywriting, as well as field producing/EPK and unit publicity, working with companies like NBC/Universal, ABC, CW, CBC, Thunderbird Films, Hallmark, Telefilm Canada, E News, BBC America & AMC Networks, and Amazon Studios.
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.
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 and Something 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 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.