International Co-production Accelerator Program
The CMPA is working with renowned international consultant Jan Miller to offer the International Co-production Accelerator Program (ICAP). This flagship initiative will facilitate international cooperation between Canadian and international companies for the creation of feature films and drama series. The driving force of this initiative is to create project partnerships and long-lasting business relationships between Canadian and international production companies.
The ICAP program is composed of two streams. The Feature Film Stream will run from early-October to the end of November 2021. The Drama Series Stream will run from mid-January to mid-March 2022. ICAP will be presented virtually, offering masterclasses with industry players in the international production arena, content development, case studies, and pitching. As well it will include networking opportunities with international producers and 1-2-1 project consultations, with experts providing targeted feedback. The time commitment will be a maximum of two group sessions per week as well as five one-to-one sessions with industry experts over the course of the eight-week program.
In addition to group sessions, the program will put great emphasis on personalized support services to each participant. In advance of the program launch, each producer will meet with the program leadership team to establish goals and objectives for their company and project. All the masterclasses, panels and presentations will be designed to move forward projects in development with resources and information that will be applicable to each participating producer. As well, the one on one coaching and consultations sessions will be tailored to meet the needs of each participant.
In the two separate streams, global landscape for feature film and television series financing in Canada, the US and beyond
Overview of legal considerations for doing business internationally with a special focus on collaboration between participating countries
Distribution/marketing/festival strategies, structures and players
One-on-one consultations with experts, providing targeted feedback on project pitching, financing, legal considerations, securing private equity, marketing, and OTT distribution strategies
One-on-one meetings between participating producers
Participating expert bios
Jayme Alter is a partner in Dentons’ Media, Entertainment and Sports practice group. Based in Toronto, Jayme advises clients involved in a variety of industries, including film, television, music and advertising. She represents producers, artists, broadcasters, distributors and creators in negotiating agreements in connection with the development, financing, production and distribution of film, television and commercial projects. In addition, Jayme’s particular expertise is in cross-border guild issues and in advising her foreign clients on such issues and production matters as they arise. Prior to law school, Jayme successfully completed various professional internships in the entertainment sphere, including placements in the legal department of a prominent Hollywood talent agency and, prior to law school, in the publicity department at the Canadian office of a prominent Hollywood film studio.
David Cormican is an Emmy®-nominated producer. He is Co-Founder and President of Don Carmody Television (DCTV), a co-founder of NFT marketplace and blockchain-based studio Mogul Productions, co-founder and CEO of PaperChasePRO and a member of the prestigious Producers Guild of America (p.g.a.) and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC). DCTV projects include the International Emmy®-nominated mini-series Tokyo Trial for Netflix and NHK, the Rogers-Netflix original series Between, the Emmy®-nominated The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe for Lifetime and ShadowHunters for Freeform. Cormican’s most recent career evolution comes as Co-creator, Writer, series Showrunner, Producer and EP on the limited family drama series Northern Rescue for CBC gem and Netflix which bowed in 2019 simultaneously for audiences globally. Tulipani, Love, Honour & A Bicycle, the Dutch-Italian-Canadian co-production and film festival darling from two-time Academy Award® winning director, Mike van Diem, premiered at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.
As SVP Acquisitions at Banijay Rights, Simon Cox leads the global distributor’s acquisitions team in setting the overall acquisition strategy for Banijay Rights. Simon will present where and how he acquires product; at what point he gets involved; what he’s looking for in terms of the package; working within a slate; and the kind of deals a producer can negotiate. As well, as Banijay own labels, how does this influence his search. Whilst Simon doesn’t have a crystal ball, he will delve into what the future might hold with such a fast-evolving global marketplace.
Ken Dhaliwal is a Partner with Dentons Canada LLP, practicing in the Toronto office. Ken primarily practices in the film, television and digital media industries. His national and international clients are involved in a wide range of activities from financing to production and distribution. He acts for banks and other financiers, film and television producers, distributors, broadcasters and creators. In assisting his clients achieve their transactional goals, Ken brings his extensive industry experience, balanced approach and goal-oriented focus. He frequently advises them on the areas of Canadian incentives, which he combines with international incentives, treaty co-productions and co-ventures, and structuring productions to maximize the benefits of these programs. Ken has been peer-rated as “most frequently recommended” in the annual Canadian Legal Lexpert® Directory annual survey as one of Canada’s leading entertainment lawyers in Best Lawyers in Canada. In 2015, Ken was awarded a Crystal Mentorship award from Women in Film and Television-Toronto.
With a background in publishing then international TV distribution, Ben Donald has twenty years experience in the TV industry. For 10 years he served as Executive Producer for International Drama at BBC Studios (formerly BBC Worldwide) responsible for developing and managing international co-productions for drama, taking projects through from concept stage to funding and on to completion. He also worked closely with the Originals and commissioning departments within broadcasters internationally, with a particular focus on Europe. In this role he established many firsts in scripted international co-production, including global hits such as Death in Paradise (the first Anglo-French scripted co-production, BBC1/France 2); the first Anglo-Polish co-production, Spies of Warsaw (BBC4/TV Poland/ARTE France), the first Anglo-Spanish scripted co-production, The Refugees (ATresMedia/ BBC Worldwide); and Left Bank Pictures’ Zen (BBC1/Canale 5 Italy/ ZDF/ WGBH). Ben also served as BBC Studios’ Executive Producer, for the Terry Pratchett Discworld series adaptation, The Watch, recently launched on BBC America. The Mallorca Files (BBC/Britbox/ France/ZDF) was his first show as Cosmopolitan Pictures which he founded in 2015.
Paul Donovan co-founded Deadpan Pictures in 2014 to focus on comedy drama. Company credits include 2 series of Can’t Cope Won’t Cope, Nowhere Fast and The South Westerlies. Most recently Paul completed Dead Still, a 6 x 1 Hour critically acclaimed series for Acorn, RTÉ and ZDFE with Shaftesbury in Canada as co-producers. He is currently returning the favour on Departure 2 with Shaftesbury as lead Canadian Producers. Prior to Deadpan Paul co-owned Grand Pictures where he exec produced International Emmy Award winner Moone Boy starring Chris O’Dowd, for Sky; was producer of Monte Carlo TV Festival nominated Trivia; Val Falvey, TD; and Stew, winner of both IFTA and Celtic Film and Television awards. Paul’s feature film credits include exec producer of The Bright Side (2020): co-producer of Four Kids and It (2020), starring Academy Award-winner Michael Caine, based on the best-selling children’s novel by Jacqueline Wilson; he also produced the feature films The Last Right (2019) Wide Open Spaces (2008); Dead Long Enough (2005); Mapmaker (2001); and The Last Bus Home (1996). He is a graduate of ACE, EAVE and Screen Leaders.
As VP, Creative and Co-Productions for Toronto-based drama producer Shaftesbury, Alexandra Finlay leads on the company’s international slate out of London, with a focus on development and creative partnerships. Before pivoting into scripted production, Alex was a UK network buyer, most recently at BBC Studios-owned UKTV where she headed up premium drama acquisitions and coproductions and was a key contributor to the network’s market-beating growth. Prior to this she worked at Channel 4 as a feature film Editor, and the BBC as a programme executive and production assistant. A Broadcast Digital award-winner and MIPCOM Content Trendsetter, Alex has a keen interest in aligning commercial imperatives with creative ambition and nurturing underrepresented narratives and talent. She is currently in the final stages of the National Film and Television School’s Development Diploma programme.
Former General counsel of Pandora Cinema a sales and financing company based in Paris and LA, Ilann Girard set up ARSAM a one-stop consultancy and production operation based in Paris. He also founded Olffi.com, the largest database and toolbox on public funding around the world. Ilann teaches media economy and film production at Paris Dauphine University. Ilann’s career begun in TV production and sales before focusing on feature films. His production credits include “March of the Penguins” “Goodbye Bafana”, “Lebanon”, Stanley Tucci’s “Final Portrait” and Alla Kovgan’s 3D feature dance documentary “Cunningham”. His last production, the Bangladeshi film “The Salt in our Waters” tackling climate change issues premiered in Pusan and screened at COP26. For the last 2 years Ilann has been working on 3 TV series revisiting the role of coproduction structures in TV financing.
Caroline Habib is a TV and Film Executive based in Montreal, with nearly 20 years of experience in development, acquisitions, sales & distribution. She is currently a Development Producer with Sienna Films and was recently a Selection Committee Member for Netflix Canada and The Canadian Film Center. Prior, she served as the VP of Development for New Metric Media and is the former Acquisitions & Sales Director at Toronto’s distributor Mongrel Media. In her extensive distribution and international sales career, she has helped bring hundreds of films to Canadian and international audiences.
Noreen Halpern has been working in the television industry for over 30 years. She is the founder and CEO of Halfire Entertainment which has offices in Los Angeles and Toronto. The company’s mission is to develop, produce, and finance great programming for the Canadian, U.S., and international marketplaces. Noreen eats, breathes and sleeps TV. It’s a family thing: Her husband is a TV writer/producer and their 13 year-old is determined to watch every show they make, especially the inappropriate ones. Halpern has executive produced over 350 hours of television for syndication, streamers and linear outlets including Another Life (Netflix), Alias Grace (CBC/Netflix), Hung (HBO), Rookie Blue (ABC/Global), Call Me Fitz (DirectTV), Hell On Wheels (AMC), Haven (Global/Syfy), and many more. Prior to Halfire, Halpern founded independent studio Blueprint Entertainment which she sold to eOne to become their President of Scripted Programming.
Diane Houslin is a New York City based television and film producer. Her work as a writer/director/producer has been shown on several broadcast and cable networks, including; HBO, MTV, ESPN, PBS, NBC and others. As a narrative producer, Diane’s work has premiere at domestic and international film festivals, including, Sundance, SXSW, Berlinale and more. In 2010, Diane partnered with best selling novelist, Walter Mosley, to form B.O.B. FIlmHouse, Inc. The company has several projects in development and production. Diane serves as Executive Producer/Showrunner on their upcoming limited series of AppleTV, THE LAST DAYS OF PTOLEMY GREY, based on Mosley’s novel of the same name. Most recently, the company signed a deal with Amblin Entertainment to produce Mosley’s popular private detective series featuring the character Ezekiel ‘EASY’ Rawlins. Diane was selected by the prestigious Sundance Institute as a Fellow in the inaugural class of the Creative Producing Lab. She participated in the Trans Atlantic Partners International producing fellowship (TAP), only one of four American producers selected that year. Diane is a member of New York Women in Film and Television and the Producers Guild of America (PGA) where she is a board member. She resides in her hometown of Brooklyn, NY.
Christina Jennings is founder, Chairman and President of Shaftesbury, a content company known for innovative storytelling and hugely successful productions both in Canada and internationally. Spanning the production of TV, feature film and digital content, Shaftesbury titles are sold in over 180 countries worldwide. Primetime projects include acclaimed international hits Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries, Hudson & Rex, Departure and ReGenesis. Digital projects include the global phenomenon Carmilla (created through a branded partnership with U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark) and the queer sports comedy Slo Pitch, recently acquired by IFC for a second season. Shaftesbury’s slate of kids and family programming includes global hit Life With Derek, as well as the upcoming series Ruby and the Well for BYUtv and WildBrain. Jennings currently serves as Chair of the Canadian Film Centre’s Board of Directors. In 2019, she was appointed to the prestigious Order of Canada.
Jan Miller is an international consultant and trainer specializing in film and television co-production and co-venturing. She also continues to present one of the world’s top Pitching & Content Development Workshops around the world. A talent that makes things happen, Jan collaborated eleven years ago with the Erich Pommer Institut to design the hugely successful Trans Atlantic Partners (TAP), She is now the lead on CMPA’s international Coproduction Accelerator Program. She also launched and served as Director of Halifax’s Strategic Partners, (Now FIN Partners) for 15 years. Jan was one of the driving forces behind setting up Canada’s first film school, the National Screen Institute. Committed to supporting women working in the industry, Jan established Women in Film and Television-Atlantic and co-designed and presented four iterations of the Five Women in Focus training opportunities for Women in View including one specifically for animators, and one for Indigenous writer/directors.
Kevin Murphy is a veteran showrunner of comedy and drama series. He most recently ran AMC’s The Son, starring Pierce Brosnan. Other credits: Desperate Housewives (Golden Globe winner, 2x Writers Guild Award nom, Emmy nom), Defiance (creator/showrunner), Battlestar Galactica prequel Caprica (showrunner), Valentine (creator/showrunner), Hellcats (creator/showrunner), Honey I Shrunk the Kids (syndicated series, creator/showrunner), Martial Law, Ed, Reaper, Jack & Jill, So Weird, Get Real, Weird Science. He has also co-written several stage musicals, most notably the multiple award-winning Heathers the Musical which premiered Off-Broadway in 2014 and has seen hundreds of professional and amateur productions around the world, including a 2021 national tour and multiple West End productions. Other stage work includes Reefer Madness which Kevin co-adapted into a Showtime Original Movie starring Kristen Bell and Alan Cumming. The film premiered at Sundance in 2005 and Kevin received an Emmy Award for outstanding music and lyrics.
Shane Murphy is an independent Scripted Consultant and Executive Producer. He has 30 years commercial and editorial experience at senior level in Content Commissioning, Development, Production, Co-Production, Distribution and Broadcast in Europe, North America and Asia. The bluechips he’s worked for include Discovery, Fremantle, Granada, Tiger Aspect. Most recently, Shane was Head of Drama & Comedy with RTE, Ireland’s Public Service Broadcaster, commissioning drama & comedy for TV, Radio & On-line. Prior to that, he set up Acorn Media Enterprises, taking the company from an acquisitions-based business to a commissioning and co-producing one. It has since been acquired by AMC. In recent years, the shows he’s commissioned or co-produced include: HIDDEN ASSETS (6 x 60′), KIN (8 x 60′), SMOTHER 1 & 2 (12 x 60′), DEAD STILL (6 x 60′), FAIR CITY (Continuing Drama), FINDING JOY 1 & 2 (12 x 30′), WOMEN ON THE VERGE (6 x 30′), MRS BROWN’S BOYS (18 x 30′) and TALKING IT OUT (6 x 10′).
Valérie Pechels is a senior executive/entrepreneur in the media industry in France. Her knowledge covers theatrical distribution, video, Television (Pay and Free) sales and acquisition as well as streaming platforms. Her extensive experience includes the launch and development of a successful television distribution company, as well as a theatrical distribution operation. She also handled many major sales and acquisition deals between US companies and French or European broadcasters and/or Production Groups. Her involvement was instrumental in the French success of DEXTER on Canal Plus and of HEARTLAND on French TV and in the DVD market, but also in the Worldwide success of the Spanish Hit series UN DOS TRES. Valérie created the top French theatrical distribution company SND, acquiring such movies as GANGS OF NEW YORK (Martin Scorcese) and finally selling it to the M6 Group. After years of negotiating deals between major US and International Groups and French and European broadcasters, she launched and carried a TV production company that created the International hit series RANSOM, with eOne, Global, TF1, RTL and CBS as partners. More recently, Valerie has advised Canal Plus Group on its Free TV acquisition strategy, handling these operations on their behalf for eight years, and then handled a similar contract for 18 months for the newly TF1/France Television/M6 Streaming venture, SALTO.
Yi Qiao joined Director for Drama at ZDF Enterprises, the commercial arm of German public broadcaster ZDF in 2020. There, she is responsible for drama acquisitions and sales operations across Scandinavia and the English-speaking territories. Her remit covers identifying scripted projects at early stage for co-production and co-financing opportunities as well as initiating pre-sale conversations and sales of finished content into these markets. Prior to joining ZDFE, Yi Qiao has worked as a senior sales manager for Red Arrow Studios International in London, overseeing sales of scripted and unscripted content into the UK, Benelux, Scandinavia, Middle East and Africa.
Tania Sarra has worked as an executive in the film and television industries for over a decade. As a Director at MGM Studios, Tania spearheaded and oversaw all the buying and distribution for MGM’s acquisitions across Europe, Middle East and Africa. Working within the Television Division, Tania oversaw output deals across the region, working alongside MGM’s TV partners to develop content strategies that met the demands of each individual market. In 2015 the Business of Film named her a top Upcoming Executive, and in 2014 she was named a Future Leader by Screen International. She is a member of the Advisory Board for the London Film Academy and has been the Guest of Honour at the Marche du Film Producer’s Breakfast at the Cannes Film Festival which celebrates producing talent across the world. She is the Founder of Hot Sauce – a boutique consulting firm specializing in Producing, Executive Production and Creative Direction for major film and television projects.
Dominic Schreiber is SVP of Co-Productions and Acquisitions for Newen Connect, the distribution arm of France’s leading producer of audiovisual content. Based in the UK, he is responsible for scripted co-productions across the group, working closely with Newen’s in-house production companies as well as third-party producers and creators. In addition, he oversees the acquisition of scripted series from independent producers in the UK and other English-speaking territories, as well as Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands. Dominic also continues to oversee a slate of drama series projects at Reel One Entertainment, which was acquired by Newen in 2019, including an English language remake of the award-winning Belgian drama series Team Chocolate. Dominic was previously International Development Manager at Channel 4, where he was responsible for developing the channel’s drama co-production strategy and helped to structure its first international co-production with Kudos Film and Television, for the hit supernatural drama series Humans.
Carrie Stein has worked in the entertainment industry for over 25 years in all phases of the business, including feature film, television development, and production. Stein’s specialty over the last 15 years has been developing and packaging scripted series for the global market, including co-productions, pre- sales and original production in local markets. Stein is one of a handful of executives who is able to navigate the US, UK, Canadian and European markets both creatively and commercially. Stein is currently heading up the Global Film and TV business for AfterShock Media, charging with expanding their comic book slate globally. Prior to this, Stein was EVP of Global Scripted Content for eOne where she was responsible for expanding the company both corporately and commercially in the global space, forging strategic alliances with global producers as well as packaging and overseeing production for international co-productions
Bob Tarantino is Counsel at Dentons Canada LLP and focuses his practice on the interface between the entertainment industries and intellectual property law, with an emphasis on film and television production, financing, licensing, distribution, and IP acquisition and protection. His clients range from artists and independent producers to Canadian distributors and foreign studios and financiers at every stage of the creative process, from development to delivery and exploitation. He holds graduate degrees in law from Osgoode Hall Law School and the University of Oxford, including a PhD from Osgoode Hall Law School. Bob is the co-author of Canadian Film & Television Business & Legal Practice (published by Thomson Reuters), and has also been recognized as one of Canada’s leading lawyers in the area of entertainment law in the Lexpert / American Lawyer Guide to the Leading 500 Lawyers in Canada, Who’s Who Legal: Canada and The Best Lawyers in Canada.
The bios of the feature film stream that concluded in November can be found here.
The deadline to submit your application is August 6, 2021, 8:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm PT. We are accepting applications for both the feature film and drama series streams until the deadline stated above.
- Canadian applicants must be CMPA members in good standing
- International producers must be from countries that have a co-production treaty with Canada. For a list of Canada’s audiovisual coproduction treaties and memorandums of understanding please visit Telefilm Canada’s website
- Must have at least five years of experience in the screen content industry
- Must have at least one producer credit on a feature film and/or at least one producer credit on a series created for a traditional broadcaster or on an OTT platform
- Must have a project in development that is suitable for international co-production
- Feature film project minimum requirement: first draft stage
- Drama series project minimum requirement: first draft bible stage
A Selection Committee will choose a maximum of 16 producers in the feature film stream and 16 producers in the drama series stream. Of the 32 participants, a maximum of 16 CMPA members and 16 international producers will be selected.
The cost to participate in the program is CAD $1,500 for Canadian producers. This fee is subsidized by Global Affairs through its CanExport for Associations Program. The participation cost for international producers is CAD $2,500. Fees are payable upon the first consultation session.