Velcrow Ripper creates powerful films that deal with the central issues of our times. He is a Canadian Academy award-winning film director. His 30+ filmography includes Scared Sacred, chronicling his pilgrimage to the Ground Zero’s of the world, searching for stories of transformation in the face of crisis. His new exploration, Fiercelight, captures the inspiring movement of spiritual activism that’s exploding around the planet. Visit: www.scaredsacred.org and www.fiercelight.org.
Camyar Chai has acted in film and television since 1986 so his credits are diverse, ranging from Beachcombers to “Stargate SG-1.” A great believer in indie productions, he has acted in many locally produced short films as well as longer features such as Everything's Gone Green and Protection. In addition to his film and television work, Camyar is a multi award-winning theatre, opera and radio actor, writer, director and producer. He is the original founder of Vancouver's acclaimed neworldtheatre and holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Directing. Camyar is also the Executive Director of Leave Out Violence, BC — a youth outreach organization that helps turn youth who have dealt with violence in their lives in to leaders who promote non-violence.
Born and raised in Vancouver, Gwen Haworth is a transgender filmmaker, editor, and instructor. After graduating with a degree in psychology, Gwen went on to complete undergraduate and graduate degrees in Film Production at the University of British Columbia. She has trained as a director's intern with the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and served on the board of directors as a programmer for Vancouver's Queer Film and Video Festival. Gwen's recent MFA thesis documentary She's a Boy I Knew won the Most Popular Canadian Film at the 2007 Vancouver International Film Festival and has currently been selected by more than 35 festivals, including its premiere at IDFA, the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam.
Uwe Boll embarked upon his directing career with over 10 feature films. He is a larger than life character who dares to challenge the system at all levels. In 2005 Uwe directed BloodRayne in Romania and In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in Vancouver, BC. Uwe went on to shoot a horror film called SEED, challenging some of the most extreme violence ever explored in cinema. He has recently completed a film version of the computer game, Postal, breaking every rule of political correctness and satirizing himself in the film. Uwe is now directing his Vampire-meets-the-Old-Wild-West feature, BloodRayne II: Deliverance. His upcoming features include Tunnel Rats, a Vietnam war movie, Far Cry, and Alone in the Dark II.
At 23 years of age, director Zach Lipovsky created award-winning content in the indie community in the past several years. Recent victories include Best Film at Vancouver’s prestigious Crazy 8s film festival for his short film Crazy Late. The film went on to be personally chosen by Steven Spielberg and Mark Burnett for their worldwide search for up-and-coming filmmakers on the TV show “On the Lot”. Zach achieved 5th place out of 12,000 filmmakers. Since then, Zach has been signed at Endeavor Talent Agency in Los Angeles and is in development on two features. He is also represented for commercial work in Vancouver, New York, and Paris where he completed three spots for McDonalds.
Janine Bizzochi Steele
Janine Bizzocchi Steele is a former Business Analyst at British Columbia Film. She coordinated applications to British Columbia Film's direct funding programs, including the Project Development Fund, Slate Development Fund, Professional Internship Program, Passport to Markets Program and the Scholarship Program. Janine graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Film Studies. She is a past executive for the Board of Women in Film & Television Vancouver, and received the WIFTV Sharon Gibbon Lifetime Member Award in 2007 for her service to the organization. Janine has served on numerous juries locally and nationally, including Summer Shorts, Kickstart, Signature Shorts, the Manitoba Motion Picture Industry Association and the Alberta Motion Picture Industry Association. She was a forum speaker at the 2006 Vancouver Student Film Festival.
Erik Paulsson is an award-winning producer/director of documentaries and feature films. He is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre for advance film study as well as Concordia University’s undergraduate film program. In 1999, Erik founded his company Red Storm Productions, producing Eve & the Fire Horse (2005), Army of One (2003), Say I Do (2002), Protection (2000), and Island of Shadows (2000). Eve & the Fire Horse won the Special Jury Prize in the world drama section at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival. Army of One won Best Canadian Feature Documentary at Hot Docs, and was released theatrically across Canada in the spring of 2004. Island of Shadows, a one hour documentary produced for CTV, won a Gemini Award and three Leo Awards including Best Director for Erik’s directorial work. Among the accolades for Protection include the Vancouver Film Critics Award for Best Canadian Indie Feature, Best First Feature at the Victoria Film festival, and the Silver Platter at the Figueira da Foz Film Festival in Portugal.
Dylan Akio Smith
Dylan Akio Smith graduated from the UBC Film Program in 2000 and has been working in the film industry ever since. In 2002, Dylan’s first short film The Bug won numerous awards and was sold to the comedy network. Dylan followed this up with Man Feel Pain in 2004 and won the Best Short Film Award at the Toronto International Film Festival. The very next year, Dylan premiered his first feature film The Cabin Movie at TIFF and the movie went on to get domestic and international distribution. After completing the Directors Lab in Toronto at the Canadian Film Centre in 2007 Dylan formed a production company called The Whatever Institute with longtime collaborators Brad Dryborough and Kris Elgstrand. They are developing their next feature along with other short films and projects intended for the Internet.