steve Program Director

Steve Rosenberg

Steve Rosenberg is an award-winning writer/director based in Vancouver, BC.  His dramatic shorts: Watching Mrs.Pomerantz, Vannica, Divine Waters and, Shanti Baba Ram have screened at various prestigious festivals around the world.

In 2000, Watching Mrs. Pomerantz earned him numerous international awards, including the award for Best Director at The Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival. His films have played on The Sundance Channel, CBC, WTV and Bravo. He is an alumni of The Canadian Film Centre, Canada’s most prestigious film institution. In past, he taught at the Vancouver Film School and the Environmental Youth Alliance. In 2006, hosted and produced Blink, a weekly TV talk show devoted to obscure films that come and go in a blink.  As founder of InFocus Film School, he loves the creative energy and also feels inspired to continue producing films.  He currently has several tv/web series in development.


Ryan Atimoyoo

Ryan Atimoyoo is a First Nations, international award-winning writer, director, and producer within the Vancouver filmmaking community. He has studied at New York’s Circle in the Square Theater School, The University of Saskatchewan, The Vancouver Film School and holds a Joint MFA in Screenwriting and Film Production from The University of British Columbia.

Ryan has gathered numerous international awards and screenings ranging from being a 2011 semi-finalist in the Sundance Screenwriting Program, Best Webseries/ Best VFX in The New Media Film Festival, Best Horror Screenplay in The Canada International Film Festival, A Golden Ace award from The Las Vegas Film Festival and various others and works as a professional VFX Editor at FuseFX.

Ryan has enjoyed the full range spectrum of storytelling from directing and cinematography through to acting and visual effects. He has recently finished shooting a short film commissioned by The Canada Council for the Arts titled Macimanitonahk or “The Devil Dwelling” as well as working on his first full-length Feature Film for his thesis Project titled “The Circle”.

leslie Cinematography

Leslie Kennah

A graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Leslie Kennah has been exploring life through the lens for over a decade. Several years of experience working with artistic, non-profit and small business organizations have fostered Leslie’s passion for collaborative work. Her practice as a digital media artist, working with both photography and video, has honed her skills as a visual storyteller. Experienced with transforming conceptual ideas into dynamic and engaging visual content, she is committed to bringing imagination and style to all projects.

Katrin Directing

Katrin Bowen

Katrin Bowen is a Vancouver-based director whose award-winning films include Amazon Falls, Financially Strapped, Spitting Reality, Someone, Almost Forgot My Bones and Sandcastle.

Katrin won the 2011 Artistic Achievement Award for direction in her first feature film: Amazon Falls. Amazon Falls premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) and won the best debut feature at the 2011 female eye festival. Katrin directed the Gemini nominated slam poetry film Shane with Shane Koyczan that opened the 2011 Doxa Festival.



Julia Ivanova

Julia Ivanova is an award-winning Vancouver documentary filmmaker, whose film, “Family Portrait in Black and White”, won at Hot Docs 2011 as the Best Canadian Feature, played at Sundance and was nominated for Genie Award.

She grew up in Moscow, studied filmmaking at the Russian Film Institute (VGIK) and immigrated to Canada in mid-nineties. Since then, she has been directing, editing and filming documentaries. She has made a number of intimate films on the topics of love, adoption, cultural differences and family, partnering with CBC, Global TV, Knowledge Network, PBS and Discovery. Ivanova has been actively involved in the documentary filmmaking community by organizing professional development workshops for DOC BC, co-chairing DOC BC, being on the Board of Hot Docs Festival and mentoring emerging filmmakers through “Giving Voice” DOC program. Being a director/editor/cinematographer and an avid fan of international documentaries, she believes in the emotional power of visual storytelling and poetic cinema.


ric Screenwriting

Ric Bearisto

Ric Beairsto is an award-winning screenwriter, director, and producer who has been active in the Canadian film and television industry since 1980. He has written over a dozen feature-length screenplays, while his TV writing credits include The Beachcombers for CBC and Mixed Blessings – broadcast by APTN where Ric is the Creator and Head Writer. Ric has also written, directed and produced extensively in the area of nonfiction film, including both one-hour and documentary series for CBC and Knowledge. His documentary production Picture Start, produced for Bravo! and released in 2011, captures the remarkable story of the world-renowned ‘Vancouver School’ of photoconceptual artists, chief among them Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham and Ian Wallace. In 2012 Ric wrote, directed and edited a documentary essay called What Happyns, exploring the unlikely merging of a group of elderly lawn bowlers and youthful skateboarders.

Since 1987, Ric has taught screenwriting at various post-secondary institutes, including and has actively workshopped more than 1500 short screenplays. Ric is the author of THE TYRANNY OF STORY: Audience Expectations and the Short Screenplay, published in 1998, and now available in a revised 2nd edition. The book has been used as a regular textbook in over a dozen North American film schools, including UCLA and the American Film institute.


Robert Chomiak

Robert Chomiak is co-writer of the zombie-comedy cult feature Fido. He has written English adaptations for three animated theatrical features (Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade, Escaflowne – The Movie) and 207 episodes in seven animated series (Gundam Seed, Zoids, Inuyasha) which have aired on Cartoon Network and Teletoon. Other television work includes the sitcom Alienated and the Gemini-nominated children’s special Twisteeria. His pilot script Slaughter Landing is optioned to Frantic Films and his horror screenplay Creeped is with Brightlight Pictures.

He is co-writer of the R-rated comedy screenplay My A**hole Neighbor, with eOne on board as distributor and co-producer. His screenplays have received development funding from Telefilm, the Harold Greenberg Fund and BC Film.

Robert graduated with a BA in Dramatic Arts from the University of Lethbridge and studied for two years in the Simon Fraser University film program.


Ileana Pietrobruno

Ileana Pietrobruno is an editor with extensive experience in feature-length documentaries and dramas. She has cut films for the National Film Board of Canada (This Land, River of Life, Between The Laughter, The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam, In Other Words, Pocket Desert, Sticks And Stones, Surviving Death) and has also edited for producers such as Jayme Pfahl, Prem Gill, Evan Adams, Desiree Lim and Shan Tam. These films have won awards and screened at hundreds of festivals, including the Berlin International Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival.

Pietrobruno’s editing credits include a range of styles: cinéma vérité, direct cinema, docudrama, personal narrative, cinematic essay, animated documentary, educational, promotional, mockumentary, comedy, adventure and horror. She believes that an editor’s greatest asset is the ability to listen to the material; to utilize the grammar of film as a platform that allows the film to speak for itself. Her editing work has been described as seamless, innovative, humourous, intelligent and provocative.



Mary Frymire

With over 30 years experience in diverse genres, Mary M. Frymire has developed, directed and produced around 400 hours of production projects in over 75 countries, working in 4 different languages.

Mary honed her filmmaking skills studying and working for several years in Europe, Latin America & Africa on both documentary and dramatic projects. For many years Mary has been lead judge for Vancouver International Film Festival Artistic Merit Award and served as board member with WIFT-T, WIFTV, and for past 5 years, Mary has been on the board of Creative Women Workshops Association.

Mary’s work has been distributed through Bravo, OWN, Lifetime, Nickelodeon, Fox Network, National Geographic, OLN, W Network, Discovery Canada, BBC, Knowledge Network, CBC, CTV, Global TV, and more. She is a Director member of the DGC and Writer member of the WGC.


Master Class Leaders


Danny Nowak c.s.c.

Danny started his career as a maverick young cinematographer based in Vancouver, British Columbia. After making a dozen of his own short films, he excelled behind the camera, shooting various projects around the world. In recent years, he has served as Director of Photography on many TV movies and over 20 feature films, including Tristar’s “The Big Hit”, Neil Simon’s “The Goodbye Girl” and Bruce McDonald’s “Hard Core Logo”. Awards for his work include a Gemini (Canada’s Emmy) and top prize from the Canadian Society of Cinematographers.

He is a full member of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers, a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, and a member of the International Photographers Union (IATSE 669). A patriot of Canadian Cinema, Danny is devoted to the development of the local and international film art.


Penelope BuitenhuisDirecting

Penelope Buitenhuis

Since 1984 Penny Bruitenhuis has been directing and producing films throughout Europe and North America. She started in Berlin’s super-8 community with aesthetically gritty films that challenged Hollywood’s glossy veneer. Penelope has since directed 18 features and numerous short films. A self-made female director, her recent feature A Wake has won numerous awards around the world.

Penelope encourages new directors to develop and produce their own work, as waiting for funding or support from bureaucratic systems can be disillusioning and often pointless. Make it, show it, be proud of it. Anyone with the passion can be a filmmaker, you just have to do it.


Jeffery LandoDirecting and Producing

Jeffery Lando

Director, writer, and producer, known for Savage IslandThirstHouse of Bones and Roboshark. His latest release, Suspension, won him Best Director at Montreal HorrorFest, and was released by 20th Century Fox as one of the ‘8 Films To Die For’. His first feature film as a director, Savage Island (2004) won best feature awards at The Strasbourg Film Festival, Fright-Fest and ShockerFest.

Since then Lando has directed a further 13 films, produced 12, and written four. Before plunging fully into filmmaking, Lando attended NYU to study film and cinematography. He started his career as a cinematographer in the New York indie scene and after DPing a dozen odd features moved to Vancouver in 2001. Lando brings together an expansive creative and cultural vision for his auteur genre films that, combined with his electrifying visual style and comprehensive technological understanding, put him right on the “bleeding” edge of contemporary filmmaking.