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Speakers named for Okanagan Movie Makers Roundtable

As part of the 2018 Ryga Festival, film professionals will participate in a public conversation on “Mavericks & Movies: Filmmaking in the Okanagan“, to be held on Wednesday, August 29, 10:30 am, at the Summerland Waterfront Resort.  This Roundtable talk is free and open to the public.

Moderator: Larry Reese trained as a musician, became an actor, a teacher, a filmmaker and finally retired to get back to painting. He acted in such Western movies or TV series as Unforgiven, Lonesome Dove, and Brokeback Mountain; he produced and directed films such as Naked Frailties and Mapping Creativity. He founded, developed and chaired the Motion Picture Arts program at Red Deer College in Alberta.

Jon Summerland, Okanagan Film Commissioner since 2007, is responsible for attracting productions in film, television and animation to our region. Building on his long experience as a location manager in the British Columbia film industry, he liaises with filmmakers, location scouts, and production designers, as well as with community leaders, governments and funding agencies.
Sandy Wilson, filmmaker; her first feature, My American Cousin, is the archetypal film about the Okanagan, which swept the Genie Awards in 1986. It was set and shot at Paradise Ranch, near Naramata, where Sandy grew up and still hides out. She has written and directed dozens of films, TV movies and episodes.

Nikos Theodosakis was production manager on My American Cousin, and worked with Sandy Wilson also on a sequel, American Boyfriends. He collaborated with George Ryga on the screenplay of Ryga’s play Ploughmen of the Glacier. Nikos has produced and directed a number of shorts and is widely known for his pioneering work in bringing digital filmmaking into the classroom. His book “The Director in the Classroom: How Filmmaking Inspires Learning” is a classic used for teacher training around the world.

Janice Blackie-Goodine was the first Canadian to be nominated for an Oscar in the Best Art Direction category (for Unforgiven,1992) and she won a Genie award for production design (for Passchendaele 2009). She has worked on dozens of Canadian and American movies and television series, and is a voting member of the Academy of Film and Television Arts and Sciences. She works as an artist, mainly on Western subjects, in her studio in Trout Creek, Summerland.

Donna Wong Juliani has produced two features (Latitude 55 and The Green Chain), and served as an executive for Telefilm Canada. With wide experience in theatre, opera and choral music, she is Artistic Associate for Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, responsible for cultural programming. Donna and her late husband, director John Juliani, worked with George Ryga on a number of projects, and she is currently on the Board of Directors of the Ryga Festival.

Gina Payzant is a writer and producer with Reel Mensch Studios in Edmonton. At her previous post, as archivist in Athabasca, Alberta, she built up a special collection about George Ryga who was born and grew up there. Immediately following the Roundtable discussion, Gina is showcasing her new documentary, Just a Ploughboy, about Ryga’s early life. Reel Mensch filmed the Symposium on RITA JOE 50 at last year’s Ryga Festival.

Kate Twa (writer/director) & Ronan Reinart (cinematographer) are filmmakers who recently moved their production company Mutant Films to Penticton, after shooting The Orchard (2016) in the Okanagan. They collaborated on several features and shorts, including Gods of Youth. This year they bought a building downtown Penticton where they will have production facilities and a black box theatre for actor training and performances.

Kate worked in film and theatre for 25 years, acting, directing and writing. She is also widely known as an acting coach. Ronan is a corporate lawyer with expertise in entertainment law; his passion for the whole filmmaking process has led him to develop his skills in cinematography and visual effects

Maddison Tebbutt made her debut feature film The Darlings (2017) which she produced with her cousin Ivy Allen reputedly on a budget of $10K. Together they founded Domino Masquerade Studios in Penticton. A number of their short films from high school days have won awards across Canada.

The Film Roundtable is free and open to the public.

Reserve a seat through Eventbrite, or by calling the Ryga Festival office at 250-460-3532.

For more information about this event, please contact Peter Hay at 250-494-8533 or email [email protected]