Board of Directors

The board of directors of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC creators
are a strong and diverse group of talent from across Canada.

Julian Carrington

Racial Equity Media Collective, Toronto

Kadon Douglas

BIPOC TV & Film,
Toronto

Jennifer Holness

Black Screen Office,
Toronto

Lalita Krishna

Independent,
Toronto

Barbara Lee

Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Vancouver

Tony Merzetti

Independent,
Fredericton

Shivani Saini

Creatives Empowered (CE), Alberta

Benjamin Sobaz

Independent,
Halifax

Sarah Spring

Independent,
Montreal

Haydn Wazelle

Independent,
Vancouver

Julian Carrington

Racial Equity Media Collective,
Toronto

Julian Carrington is Managing Director of the Toronto-based Racial Equity Media Collective (REMC), a national not-for-profit organization committed to equity for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) creators in Canada’s film, television, and digital media industries. Julian leads the organization’s research and advocacy initiatives, which aim to remove structural barriers faced by BIPOC creators. Previously, he served as Senior Industry Manager at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Film Festival. In that capacity, he supported the administration of the Hot Docs portfolio of funds, Including the Hot Docs Blue Ice Docs Fund, the Hot Docs CrossCurrents Doc Funds, and the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund. Julian also oversaw the Festival’s Distribution Rendezvous pitch program and the Doc Shop sales platform. In addition, he is the founder of For Viola, the Hot Docs Cinema’s BIPOC-focused community screening series, named in honour of Viola Desmond. Prior to joining Hot Docs, Julian was an associate programmer at the Toronto International Film Festival, and a distribution consultant with the Documentary Organization of Canada. Julian is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law and brings a commitment to social justice to all his professional endeavours.

Kadon Douglas

BIPOC TV & Film,
Toronto

With a profound respect for artists and storytellers, combined with a strong dedication to justice and liberation, Kadon Douglas finds joy in supporting artists and cultural producers in their career development. Before her role at BIPOC TV & FILM, Kadon spearheaded dynamic marketing and communication approaches at The Creative School at Ryerson University, as well as at Women in Film & Television-Toronto. Kadon’s accolades include participation in prestigious programs like the Hot Docs International Film Festival: Doc Accelerator (2013) and the Shaw Media Diverse Voices initiative (2015). Recently, she earned recognition as a Globe and Mail Top 25 Most Influential People in Canadian Television. Kadon maintains an active presence within the screen-based media community, generously offering her time as a speaker and advisor. Notably, she chaired the Reelworld Film Festival (2020) and holds positions on the boards of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for Black and POC creators (CISF) and Work in Culture. A Caribbean native—Grenada—Kadon lives in Toronto with her anime-loving teenage son and their cat, Lord Philip Onyx Douglas the First.

Jennifer Holness

Black Screen Office,
Toronto

Jen is a happy workaholic who writes, produces, and directs. She is the first Black woman in Canada to win a CSA for Best Writing and is the 2021 Indiescreen Producer of the Year award-winner. She was also awarded the prestigious 2022 WIFT Award for Creative Excellence. Recent projects include producing R.T Thorne’s debut feature, 40 Acres, and directing the feature documentary Subjects of Desire, about Black women and beauty, which premiered at SXSW. The film was a Top Ten Audience favourite at Hot Docs and won best doc prizes at seven festivals internationally before airing on Starz in the US, TVO in 2022, and on Crave in Canada in 2023. Subjects of Desire was also a TIFF Top Ten Film. Other credits include co-creating the documentary series BLK: An Origin Story for History and Global, which won five Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Director for one of the two episodes she directed. She co-produced Stateless (2020 Hot Doc’s Special Jury Prize). Earlier dramatic features Home Again, and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones have won numerous festival awards, including the Best First Feature Film Award at TIFF. Her TV documentaries include Speakers For The Dead (CBC), Badge of Pride (CBC and PBS), Brick By Brick (Omni), and Yin Yin Jade Love (TVO). Jen also created and produced the drama series Shoot The Messenger and the multiple award-winning mini-series Guns for CBC, for which she shared a Canadian Screen Award for Best Writing. In addition to serving as Co-Chair of CISF, Jen is the Founder of the Black Screen Office, a CMPA board member, and Co-Chair of the REDIAC Action Committee for the organization. Jen has three kids, two dogs and one husband who is her partner in crime at Hungry Eyes Media.

Lalita Krishna

Independent,
Toronto

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Barbara Lee

Vancouver Asian Film Festival, Vancouver

With over 25 years of advocacy experience, Barbara has significantly increased opportunities for Canadian racialized artists in mainstream media by creating an ecosystem to nurture, incubate, showcase and advance careers. Under the umbrella of the Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF), Canada’s oldest Asian Film festival, Barbara also founded Elimin8Hate.org, an international award winning anti-Asian advocacy program, Asians in Movies, Music and Media (AIM3), a professional development program and co-founded the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon (MAMM), a talent incubator and mentorship program. Barbara is also a writer/director/filmmaker and previously a broadcast journalist. She received the 1998 National Radio and Television News Directors’ Association Award for Best Editorial. Her film Between the Laughter was selected for the 2004 National Film Board’s Reel Diversity Program. In 2023 Barbara created and launched the East by Northwest (EXNW) Global Summit under RESO to create greater opportunities for Canadian racialized diaspora content to be shared with the world.

Tony Merzetti

Independent,
Fredericton

Tony Merzetti is the Executive Director of the New Brunswick Filmmakers’ Co-operative, a position he held since 1986. He is a sessional film production instructor in the Department of Media Arts and Culture at UNB since 2000. In 2005, he received the Award of Excellence in Community Cultural Development from the NB Arts Board and in 2012 received the Caisses populaires acadiennes Arts and Cultural Management Award from the NB Foundation for the Arts. In the community he has served on various film and arts related boards over the past 3 decades and is currently the treasurer of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund. Besides being a mentor to emerging filmmakers and a cinematographer, he has made several fiction and documentary films focusing on historical, cultural and regional topics including Gruff and Ready: The Mazzuca’s Story, Francis Sherman: When All is Said and Done, and Bliss Carman: Divine Force of Nature.

Shivani Saini

Creatives Empowered (CE), Alberta

Shivani is an award-winning producer, consultant, strategist and skillful communicator with over 30 years of professional film, television, media and arts experience. She is a dedicated advocate for equity within the public sphere. A Radio & Television Arts graduate from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson), her career spans all genres of production, from the creative to the business side. Her portfolio includes critically acclaimed film and television, groundbreaking museum content, cutting edge theatre, international visual arts affairs, social media initiatives and festivals that cultivate new works. Select producing credits include the award-winning dramatic tv series Blackstone

Her company Atelier Culturati, EMPOWERS INCLUSION in arts + culture through strategic consulting, communications and creating social impact.  Shivani is a 2021 Reelworld Trailblazer Award Recipient. This award recognizes talented Canadians who have set themselves apart as innovators and change-makers in the entertainment industry through their constant and committed efforts to improve and diversify our vibrant media landscape.  Shivani is also the Founder of Creatives Empowered, the first non-profit organization in Alberta for film + tv, media and arts professionals who are Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. 

Benjamin Sobaz

Independent,
Halifax

Sobaz Benjamin is an award-winning filmmaker, the Founder and Executive Director of In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Arts Association: a film production company and multi- purpose film training lab, Centre Stage Community Development Co-operative Ltd. and In My Own Voice (iMOVe) Media Production and Learning Co-operative Ltd. Sobaz is a filmmaker and social entrepreneur, community worker, advocate, mentor, program facilitator and educator. In 2009, he partnered with the Nova Scotia Justice Department to deliver his Life Story program: the (Kintsugi Monologues). Sobaz, currently in partnership with NSCAD University, is a director of a film production training program called Free Film School and the Community Media Mobile Lab.

He has also received a Humans Rights Award for his work with youth, a Multicultural Award in education, a Crime Prevention Award from the Provincial Government and film directing awards from the National Film Board and the Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television. Sobaz has certificates in Compassionate Listening, Community Based Conflict Transformation and Peacebuilding (from the Coady Institute at St Francis Xavier University and the Compassionate Listening Project in Indianola, Washington), and Diversity and Restorative Justice training and facilitation. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Mass Communication from York University in Toronto and a BFA in Film and Video Production from York.

Sarah Spring

Independent,
Montreal

Executive Director of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC) and a veteran producer and consultant, Sarah has been actively involved in Canada’s vibrant film community for almost twenty years. The company Sarah co-founded in 2010 with Selin Murat, Parabola Films, is a boutique production house known as a champion of independent cinema and innovative storytellers. Sarah served as Board Chair of Montreal’s RIDM documentary festival and is currently on the Board of the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC (Black and People of Colour) Creators. In her role as Executive Director of DOC Sarah advocates toward an equitable, sustainable and inclusive film industry.

Haydn Wazelle

Independent,
Vancouver

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