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Funding Basics for Indie Filmmakers

  • 2021-02-10
  • 2021-02-24
  • 3 sessions
  • 2021-02-10, 6:30 PM 9:30 PM (MST)
  • 2021-02-17, 6:30 PM 9:30 PM (MST)
  • 2021-02-24, 6:30 PM 9:30 PM (MST)
  • Online Via Zoom
  • 91


Registration is closed

3-part workshop, 3 hour sessions weekly for 3 weeks.

Instructed by: Ava Karvonen

You’ve got a great idea but how do you get access to the cash to help you tell your story?

This three-part course will introduce the participants to a range of public and private funding opportunities in Canada. Course will include guest presenters who will present their projects (including the evolution of the project, pitch material, showing a short clip, and sharing overall budget and finance strategy) followed by a Q and A. Case studies will include low budget feature film, web series, dramatic short, documentary, and animation. 

About Ava Karvonen: 

Ava Karvonen is multi-platform producer and the founder of Edmonton’s Reel Girls Media. She has produced and executive produced more than 200 hours of content for the global market including TV, web and mobile. Her work has seen more than 90 worldwide screenings and been internationally recognized with more than 45 awards.

Ava has mentored 33 TELUS Storyhive teams, executive produced the web series How to Learn Anything (now in production on Season 3), and is in development on a feature film project supported by the Harold Greenberg Fund with writer/director Anne Wheeler and producer Michelle Morris (Red Snow). She recently produced the critically acclaimed feature documentary, Finding Bobbi, that tells the story of an actor who returns to stage as a woman in the iconic role of Aunt Eller in an LGBTQ+ interpretation of Oklahoma! 20 years after last performing on stage as a man. Her credits include producing six series, twelve hour-long documentaries, more than 150 webisodes and podcasts, animation, games, and an online companion to an animated TV series where the audience uses digital assets from the series to create their own comics and stories. In addition to producing, Ava also writes and directs. She directed two seasons of Chaos and Courage for APTN; was one of the directors on the CBC series Keeping Canada Alive; wrote and directed The Lie Detective; directed and produced Homefront (a project that took her to Afghanistan); and directed Seeds of Change (taking her to China).

Ava believes in giving back to her community. Ava has been teaching credit and non-credit courses for NAIT, FAVA, MacEwan, and Raindance. She has also helped develop industry policy while serving for the past 20 plus years on the boards of the Edmonton Arts Council, AMPIA, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), and DOC AB. She is the chair of WIFTA (Women in Film and Television Alberta), Vice President Film for IATSE Local 210, and sits on the advisory committee of the Edmonton Screen Industries Office.


Feb 10

6:30 PM Stephen Robinson Zipline Productions – he will present two case studies - How to Learn Anything and Frick, I Love Nature.

Stephen Robinson is a Youtube Creator, Speaker and Video Producer from Edmonton AB. He began his career on YouTube, and over time leveraged his brand and experience creating content online to develop creative partnerships with Telus and CBC. In addition to creating over 100 videos for his Youtube channel, and growing his audience to over 60k subscribers, he has produced, written, and edited and hosted 3 seasons of his TELUS Storyhive series How to Learn Anything. He has also co-created and produced Frick, I Love Nature, a web series that won the top award of the Storyhive Webseries 2017, and is now in development with CBC Gem on a second season.

Speaker/Video Producer

Youtube Creator

8 PM Brenda Hennig, Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA)

Brenda Hennig has worked at the Alberta Foundation for the Arts (AFA) for just over six years and is currently the film video and literary consultant. She has worked in cultural industries for 15 years writing, directing, and producing documentaries for broadcast television and international co-productions. She has worked for a heritage non-profit organization and an academic press producing historical and author-based content for a variety of media platforms. She has over twenty years experience researching, applying for, and managing grant applications for funding.

She will provide a brief overview of the AFA

· Explanation of different types of project grants

· Writing tips

· Explanation of process after the application is submitted (eligibility review, adjudication, status update, final report)

Feb 17 – 7 PM Daniel Foreman (Writer/Director/Key Creative) and Sharlene Millang (Producer), Groove Soldier Productions – they will present two case studies - Legendary Myths: Raven Adventures (live action/animation series) and Abducted (feature film).

Daniel Foreman is a Métis filmmaker and been involved with film and music since before he can remember. His father’ s love of North American film combined with his Mother’s passion for French cinema has helped shape Daniel’s style and sensibilities. Beginning with music videos, he soon branched out to shooting on a film camera and editing on a Steenbeck.

After a run of successful live action digital shorts, he turned to animation and began exploring Indigenous mythology. This led to a Best Animation win at the American Indian Film Festival in 2018 which in turn led to being Fast Tracked in Telefilm’s Talent to Watch program. With this seed funding, the suspense thriller feature film Abducted was given life. The film is currently in post-production and will be released in early 2021 on the film festival circuit

Sharlene Millang (Producer, BA, BMgt): Before setting out to produce, Sharlene asked a mentor what she did as a producer … her answer: “Whatever no one else is doing!” Sharlene’s done everything from acquiring funding to casting and location scouting to marketing and distribution. Under the banner of three production companies (Groove Soldier Productions, Treaty 6 Productions and Horned Serpent Productions), her Alberta-made films have won awards and been screened around the world.

Abducted, in post-production, is her first feature. In addition to producing, Sharlene was part of the research team and had the privilege of hearing stories from Indigenous women and men, former gang members, law enforcement people who worked with Edmonton gangs, Indigenous elders and so many passionate artists and educators. She is looking forward to sharing this gripping story with the world.

Sharlene believes it’s important to help Alberta filmmakers grow in their craft and have their work celebrated. This is the reason that she, along with her film-making partner Daniel Foreman, established the Edmonton Short Film Festival (ESFF) in 2013. In addition to an annual gala event, ESFF offers free and low-cost workshops and partners with community events to showcase Alberta short films.

The Peace Region Independent Media Arts Association is a non-profit society founded in 2013 to support and develop film and digital media artists throughout the Peace Region.

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Mailing Address:
PO Box 21519
Grande Prairie, AB T8V 6W7

10014-102 Street
Grande Prairie, AB

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