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STAR Producer Program: Past modules

Module: Identifying and acquiring IP

Presentation | Sweat & Hustle: Damon D’Oliveira on optioning books for the screen

Recorded on December 16, 2020 

Our kickoff event featured an “in conversation” webinar with Damon D’Oliveira (Conquering Lion Pictures), discussing his experience optioning books such as Lawrence Hill’s Book of Negroes and David Chariandy’s novel, Brother. The discussion focused on how to option a book for a production project, and how to approach the adaptation project once it has been acquired.

Damon was joined by veteran publisher Barbara Howsen, and the discussion will be moderated by Ontario Creates’ Erin Creasey.

CMPA members can access previous webinars here.

Networking | Producers & Podcasters: Digital speed dating event

As the global podcasting industry booms, podcasts have become a growing source of IP for screen adaptations. On the week of January 18, 2021, the CMPA facilitated a digital speed dating event to connect CMPA members with podcasters to discuss potential collaborations and business opportunities.

We were happy to welcome the following executives from Canada’s leading podcasting companies:

CBC Podcasts
Arif Noorani – Executive Producer & Co-Founder
Geoff Turner– Managing Producer
Christopher Oke – Senior Producer
Tina Verma – Producer

Chris “Dunner” Duncombe – Director of Podcasting & Streaming
Dila Velazquez – Manager of Content & Audience Development

Indian & Cowboy
Ryan McMahon – Chief Creative Producer

Kelly & Kelly
Chris Kelly – Partner & Creative Director
Lauren Bercovitch – Head of Production

Resources | Identifying and acquiring IP

We scoured high and low for a wide range of helpful materials, focused on identifying, acquiring and adapting IP for the screen. Check out the resources from Module 1 below. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from Module 1 below.  For resources from past modules, click here.

Impact Field Guide & Toolkit

An open source resource guide for documentarians that offer ideas and approaches so you don’t have to solve a problem that someone else has already cracked, and can focus on the unique challenges of your own project.




Toronto Screenwriting Conference

Over the past decade, the TSC has become an established conference for working creative talent to come, hone their craft, network with fellow writers and producers, and get noticed through our awards, mentorships, and bursaries which serve to nurture emerging to mid-career talent.



Program / event

Pacific Screenwriting Program

The Pacific Screenwriting Program is building a vibrant screenwriter community in British Columbia by providing a training ground for BC’s aspiring and active screenwriters. Combining real-world story-room experience, mentorship, bootcamps, workshops and information sessions, the program equips writers with the skills, experience, and connections necessary to establish a sustainable career in the province’s dynamic screen industry.



Program / event

Module: Planning and executing co-productions

Presentation | Co-production 101: An introduction on the basics of co-production and co-development featuring Telefilm and CMF

Recorded on April 28, 2021

On Wednesday, April 28 at 12:00 pm ET/ 9:00 am PT, the CMPA hosted a webinar to kickoff module two of the STAR Producer Program. The discussion was targeted at producers who were interested in learning more about the “how’s and whys” of co-production and co-development projects.

The discussion featured Susan King from Telefilm Canada and Nathalie Clermont from the CMF and was moderated by the CMPA’s Sarolta Csete.


Presentation | Cross-border success: How to execute effective international co-production projects

Recorded on June 8


Drawing on their professional experiences, four Canadian producers with wide and varied production backgrounds provided practical advice to help attendees map out successful international co-production projects. Panelists:

  • Christina Piovesan – First Generation Films
  • Ina Fichman – Intuitive Pictures
  • Aonan Yang – GreenGround Productions
  • Amos Adetuyi – Circle Blue Entertainment

CMPA members can access previous webinars here.

Networking | Screen Ireland speed networking event

The CMPA and Screen Ireland brought together Canadian and Irish producers for a digital networking reception on June 2, 2021 at 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT. With the intent of facilitating new transatlantic connections, this event was targeted at experienced producers who were actively looking for co-production partners for live action feature and series projects currently in development.

CMPA members had up to 4, 10-minute meetings with Irish producers.

Resources | Planning and executing co-productions

CMPA staff have carefully pulled together an extensive range of materials, focused on co-productions and international incentive programs. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from Module 2 below. For resources from past modules, click here.

Inclusion in Netflix Originals - Executive Summary

An USC Annenberg report that analyzes the makeup of Netflix’s on screen talent as well as their creators, producers, writers and directors.




Ontario Creates guide to online professional development resources

A summary table from Ontario Creates that provides links to a wide selection of online professional development and special interest courses that are offered by a number of industry organizations and government agencies. This list is updated on a regular basis.




Erich Pommer Institute

The Erich Pommer Institute (EPI) is one of the leading providers of advanced training in the German and European media landscape and a recognised industry-specific think tank. With its expertise in media law and management and with a variety of formats and publications, the EPI supports the on-going process of digital transformation in the media industry. The Erich Pommer Institute was founded in Potsdam-Babelsberg in 1998 as an independent non-profit limited company and is an institute affiliated with the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF and the University of Potsdam.



Program / event

Module: Virtual production and funders

Presentation | Producing for virtual productions

Recorded on July 21, 2021

Designed by Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) and presented in association with the Canadian Film Centre, this webinar provided producers with a working knowledge of virtual production and the contributing technologies, an understanding of the hardware and crew implications of virtual production; and how this approach to production shifts resources from post-production to pre-production.

Presentation | Virtual Production Workshop

September 21 & 22, 2021

The virtual production workshop aimed to give participants skills and knowledge to identify when and where virtual production can be used as an effective production tool. During the two-day program, participants learned how to plan for, schedule, and execute in-camera visual effects (ICVFX) production shoots. CMPA members can access previous webinars here.

Networking | Summer Fund Fair

The CMPA’s STAR Producer Program hosted a virtual Summer Fund Fair on August 24, 2021 where producers had the opportunity to hear directly from national and provincial funds and network in roundtable discussions. The Summer Fund Fair occurred over three rounds of meetings, each lasting 25 minutes. Producers met in small groups, with the funders of their choice. Representatives from the funding organizations presented an overview on their fund, and set aside a significant portion of time for questions and discussion with participants. There was also an open networking session at the end of the program, which allowed members the opportunity to informally meet with funders and producers alike.


Resources | Production

CMPA staff have carefully pulled together an extensive range of materials, focused on production. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from Module 3 below. For resources from past modules, click here.

Crowdfunding to Build Independence

The Crowdfunding to Build Independence is a course that teaches you the essentials for engaging your audience at every stage of your project, and how to leverage that for distribution and your next project. The class has been taught at hundreds of film festivals, organizations and schools for a reason: class attendees have a 90% success rate funding on Seed&Spark.




Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct

The Canadian Creative Industries Code of Conduct is dedicated to preventing and reducing harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence within Canada’s creative industries. On November 23, 2017, a coalition of Canadian creative industry stakeholders released a statement committing to zero tolerance for harassment, discrimination, bullying and violence and established working groups to explore the development of a Code of Conduct, safer reporting measures and industry-wide education and training. This Code of Conduct is only the first step in achieving these goals.




Producer's Workbook (*fee required)

The Producer’s Workbook 5 (PW5) is an invaluable roadmap for independent producers bravely making their way through the ever-changing complexities involved with bringing a project from script to screen.


*Discount for CMPA members can be found here




Module: Finding story in the editing suite

Presentation | Finding the story in post

Recorded on November 17, 2021 

With large amounts of footage and ever-evolving plot points, tackling story in non-scripted production can be a daunting task. Drawing on their vast experience, a panel of Canada’s leading story editors discussed finding story in the editing suite. To help producers prepare and tackle their next non-scripted project, panelists shared details of the roadblocks they’ve faced, problem-solving techniques they’ve developed, and what it takes to form compelling story in post-production. Moderated by Jean Parsons (Vice-President, Unscripted Development, Lark Productions), the panel included:

  • Dinae Robinson (Writer, Producer, Taken)
  • Margot Daley (Story Editor, The Great Canadian Baking ShowLove It or List It Vacation Homes)
  • Sarah Sharkey Pearce (Showrunner, Executive Producer, Yukon Gold, The Devil You Know, Never Say Goodbye)
  • Ruth Nanda (Story Editor, Backroad Truckers, Rust Valley Restorers, Save My Reno)
  • Dylan Wertz (Story Producer, The Bachelor Canada, Paramedics: Life on the Life)

Resources | Post-production

CMPA staff have carefully pulled together an extensive range of materials, focused on post-production. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from this module below. For resources from past modules, click here.

Script clearance and title search reports

Quick overview of the benefits (and costs) of commissioning a script clearance and title search report for your productions.




The Most Popular Approaches to Translating and Localizing Movies

Having a movie converted into multiple languages is one of the guarantees of its success. Read about the ways to translate films for massive audiences.




Netflix deliverables and best practices

Netflix’s Partner Help Center is a great resource with helpful FAQ’s to help producers prime their deliverables for the SVOD giant.




Module: IP monetization

Presentation | Maximizing your IP monetization opportunities

Recorded on May 11, 2022 

On Wednesday May 11, the CMPA hosted a webinar that looked at how producers can extend the value of their produced content through a range of IP exploitation and monetization opportunities. Drawing on their deep experience, our panelists examined a series of practical case studies that aimed to help producers keep IP exploitation top-of-mind from pre-development and on through the entire production lifecycle. Moderated by Irene S. Berkowitz (The Creative School at Toronto Metropolitan University), the panel featured:

  • Cassandra Butcher – Chief Marketing Officer & Co-Creative Director, BRON Studios
  • Sarah Nathanson – Chief Operating Officer, Thunderbird Entertainment
  • Jeff Pestell – President, Champ & Pepper Inc.
  • Haydn Wazelle – President/Producer, Tabula Dada Productions

CMPA members can access previous webinars here.

Networking | Canadian Interactive Alliance virtual meet-up

On Wednesday May 4, 2022, we hosted a virtual networking event via Zoom that connected leaders working in Canada’s interactive digital media industry with the independent production sector. Presented in partnership with Interactive Ontario, the event included IDM companies from across the country who are part of The Canadian Interactive Alliance / L ‘Alliance Interactive Canadienne (CIAIC), which includes provincial associations such as DigiBC, Interactive Nova Scotia, New Media Manitoba, SaskInteractive, and others. Executives and independent producers were connected to discuss their work and focus, and potential collaborations. The event was split into a number of 15-minute breakout sessions, followed by an open networking round.

Resources | IP monetization

CMPA staff have carefully pulled together an extensive range of materials, focused on IP monetization. Use the filter by category button to search through resources from this module below. For resources from past modules, click here.

Defending our Rights Series: An Intellectual Property Strategy for Canada

The series, Defending our Rights, lays out the first principles for understanding the importance of intellectual property protections, and seeks to support the government’s goal, stated in the 2017 federal budget, of crafting a new intellectual property strategy for Canada.




Take Risks, Retain IP and Befriend Zombies

An article from CMPA’s Indiescreen that explores IP ownership with CEO of Wind Sun Sky Entertainment and Skybound North Entertainment, Catherine Winder.




Manage your intellectual property

Tools and resources to help businesses leverage intellectual property (IP).




Module: Banking for Producers

Banking for Producers, was a three-unit training module, developed to educate producers about how to effectively work with banks to fund production projects, and to build and grow production businesses. The programming will include webinars with subject matter experts, networking and relationship building opportunities with bankers, and a suite of supporting resources.

The Banking for Producers training module was developed with a significant emphasis on opening access and eliminating barriers for equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking individuals when working with the banking system

For new and emerging producers, the programming focused on demystifying the banking system and providing information about the various aspects of project financing.

For established producers, the programming shed light on how to build strategic partnerships with banks, and provide information about corporate financing for domestic and global business growth.

  • Unit 1: Banking Basics for Producers (October 14, 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT)
  • Unit 2: Financing Production Projects (November 24, 12:00 pm ET/9:00 am PT)
  • Unit 3: Corporate Financing and Strategic Growth (March 28, 12:00 pm ET / 9:00 am PT)

Presentation | Unit 1: Banking Basics for Producers

Recorded on October 14, 2022 

The Banking for Producers module launched with a webinar presentation that introduced banking basics for the production industry. The virtual session was presented by Nghia Nguyen, Vice-President of Business, Legal Affairs at WildBrain, and covered topics such as cashflow, interim financing, and the steps in a loan application process. The content of this webinar was intended for producers with little to no experience working with banks for production. To view a recording of this webinar, click below:


Presentation | Unit 2: Financing Production Projects

Recorded on  November 24, 2022


Unit 2 included representatives from the media divisions of Canadian banks and lending institutions, and focused on the details of interim and project-financing.

This session included significant emphasis on opening access and eliminating barriers faced by equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking producers when working with the banking system. This session was moderated by Michelle Wong (Head of Business Affairs, SEVEN24 Films) and Haydn Wazelle (Co-Founder & CEO, ZedDrive).

Topics covered during the webinar included:

  • Processes, timelines and required documentation for interim financing and project financing applications
  • Overview of banks’ internal risk review and approval processes
  • Summary of common pitfalls and challenges, and how to avoid them
  • Discussion around existing programs for equity-seeking and sovereignty-seeking producers; and opportunities to expand such initiatives

Participants were encouraged to participate in the discussion and had the opportunity to submit questions for the panel in advance (when registering), and to ask questions live during the session.

This discussion was aimed at early and mid-career producers, who have some experience working with financial institutions. Individuals without experience working with banks are encouraged to watch the previous Banking Basics for Producers session in advance.

Build Profile with Participating Institutions

As an opportunity to build profile with the participating financial institutions, producers will be able, when registering, to voluntarily share information about their company, production experience, and upcoming projects. This information will be shared with the participating representatives from RBC, National Bank, BMO and the Rogers Group of Funds.

To view a recording of this webinar, click below:

Presentation | Unit 3: Corporate Financing and Strategic Growth

Recorded on March 28, 2023


Unit 3 focused on corporate financing, international strategy and expansion, and working with banks to fund multiple projects at once for business growth. Topics covered during the webinar included:

  • Corporate financing, including when and how to use a corporate line of credit
  • Working with a financial institution for strategic council on growth planning, managing multiple streams of income and expenditures, interest rate hedging, etc.
  • Company valuation / merger and acquisition considerations
  • Working internationally, including banking in foreign jurisdictions, currency hedging, etc.

This session was moderated by Anne Loi (Executive Vice President, M&A and Chief Commercial Officer, WildBrain) and featured the following panelists:

  • Clare Cowling – Managing Director, Media Finance, Bank of Montreal
  • Donald MacGillivray – Senior Relationship Manager, Media & Entertainment, Commercial Financial, Royal Bank of Canada
  • Anne Schneerer – Associate Vice President, Creative Industries Group, National Bank of Canada
  • Angelo Zeni – Managing Director, Growth and Transition Capital, BDC

To view a recording of this webinar, click below:


Networking | “Banking for Producers” networking event

On Thursday April 20, 2023, we hosted a virtual networking event via Zoom connecting producers with Canada’s leading banks and lending institutions.

With the intent of facilitating new working relationships and building connections, this event targeted producers who were actively exploring partnerships with financial institutions.

Representatives from the Bank of Montreal, the National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, and the BDC were in attendance. The event was split into 25-minute breakout sessions where producers met with the institutions of their choice.