One of Canada’s pre-eminent cult filmmakers, Bruce McDonald infamously claimed that he’d buy “a big chunk of hash” with the money he won at the Toronto International Film Festival for his debut feature Roadkill. Anyone who’s seen one of his films knows he wasn’t joking. Roadkill was followed by the other two films in his unofficial “Road Trilogy,” Highway 61 and Hard Core Logo. McDonald also directed the films Dance Me Outside, Picture Claire, Claire’s Hat, The Love Crime Of Gillian Guess, The Tracey Fragments, Pontypool, This Movie Is Broken, Trigger, Hard Core Logo II and the feature documentary Music From The Big House. His most recent film The Husband premiered at TIFF 2013 as a special presentation, was included in Festival Director Cameron Bailey’s prestigious ‘Mission List’, and won the 2013 Borsos Prize for Best Canadian Feature at the Whistler Film Festival.
Since founding Whizbang Films in 1999, Frank Siracusa has produced over one hundred hours of feature films, television movies, and television series for North America’s major networks and studios. He has amassed an impressive list of feature film credits that include Men With Brooms and Passchendale, which was selected as the Official Opening Night Film of the Toronto International Film Festival and went on to win the Golden Reel Award and the Genie Award for Best Picture.
Siracusa’s recent feature film projects include the eclectic Hobo With A Shotgun directed by Jason Eisner, Breakaway, starring Rob Lowe and Russell Peters, and the dark comedy Cottage Country, starring Malin Akerman and Tyler Labine.
Siracusa has also produced numerous television movies including the “Good Witch” series starring Catherine Bell, which is Hallmark’s highest-rated and longest-running movie series; “Murder Most Likely”, which was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Dramatic Program; “Summer’s End”, for which Siracusa received a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Special; and The Horses Of Mcbride, which was the highest rated Canadian television movie of 2012.
In the realm of television series, Siracusa has Executive Produced a 13 x 1 hour dramatic television series for Showcase Television/Canwest called “Cra$h & Burn”, the Canadian Screen Award nominated series “The Yard”, and is currently an Executive Producer of the CBS hit series’ “Reign” and “Beauty and the Beast”, as well as the upcoming mini-series “The Dovekeepers”.
As the President of Whizbang Films, Frank aggressively pursues relationships with networks and has built strong connections with broadcasters and distributors throughout the industry.
Paul Lenart produced several award-winning short films since graduating from the University of Toronto with a degree in Film Studies and English Literature. He started in the industry as a Producer’s Assistant and was involved in such projects as New Line Cinema’s The Long Kiss Goodnight, the Warner Bros. TV series “Nikita” and Mel Gibson’s directing debut The Man Without A Face, among many others. Overall he worked on more than forty movies from Hollywood blockbusters to Movies-of-the-Week, from network series to independent features.
In 2002 Paul was invited to be a resident at the prestigious Canadian Film Centre’s Producers’ Lab. While there, he produced several short films and work-shopped his feature projects. Following his residency Paul produced In Shadow for CFC / Universal Studios. After its Sundance premiere the film toured the international festival circuit and sold in several countries. His next film, Mothers, Fathers, And Other Strangers had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, followed by many more fests, broadcast sales and a DVD distribution deal.
Since then Paul produced the hour-long 9/11 drama The Transit Lounge as well as the animated Oneheadword Protection. The latter, a Hungary-Canada co-production, played to excellent reviews at the Slamdance Film Festival among many others before opening theatrically in New York City. The Interior Monologue Of Gill The Goldfish a half live-action/half animation comedy aired on the Bravo!, City!TV and CBC networks while also generating numerous international sales.
Paul taught Creative Producing workshops in Hungary and Romania, mentoring dozens of short films that played the international festival circuit. He also helped program the Slamdance Film Festival’s online film completion for two seasons.
Under his production company, Storyteller Pictures, Paul is developing suspenseful, crazy, dark and twisted tales that click with popular culture. Time permitting; he continues to write poetry, fiction, and articles for publication.
In 2005, Pascal Trottier attended the Director’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre, where he wrote and developed several screenplays including THE COLONY, a sci-fi thriller starring Laurence Fishburne, Bill Paxton and Kevin Zegers with producers Paul Barkin (Amreeka), Pierre Even and Marie-Claude Poulin (Oscar-nominated WAR WITCH), and director Jeff Renfroe (Civic Duty). Pascal recently wrote for the horror TV series “Darknet”, produced by Steve Hoban and Vincenzo Natali of Copperheart Entertainment (Cube, Splice and Ginger Snaps) Pascal recently wrote and directed the short film Honor Code, with financial support from Astral Media and The Movie Network. Other short films, including The Girl Who Cried Pearls, have played in festivals around the world. In 2009, he attended the Kyoto Filmmakers Lab at Shochiku studios in Japan and was selected to attend the prestigious TIFF Talent Lab in 2010. Pascal is currently developing various projects for film and television.
Norayr Kasper, a Canadian-Armenian artist, grew up in Venice, Italy, graduating from the Collegio M-Raphael and studying at the IUAV School of Architecture. Moving from Venice to Montreal, Kasper attended Concordia University’s film production and cinema studies program where he graduated and won the Trudel Award for Best Film at the year-end screenings. Kasper’s first feature film, by the renowned artist and film director Atom Egoyan, Calendar, opened at the Berlin Film Festival 1993 and won the C.I.C.A.E. prize for Best Film in the Forum of New Cinema. Kasper collaborated for a second time with Egoyan on Saraband, Inspired By Bach, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival.
Director of Photography on over thirty productions of Canadian and American films (Paramount, Lifetime, USA Network, CTV, CBC) Kasper’s credits include Let’s Talk About It with director Deepa Mehta, the television series “Cracked” TV movies The Last Debate and Last Exit, and the television mini-series “St. Urbain’s Horseman”, “Trudeau”, and “Race to Mars”. Feature film credits include, Walk All Over Me, Two Thousand And None, The Life Before This, Time Of The Wolf, Zenne Dancer And The Resurrection Of Tony Gittone.
Blend the classically infused history of Eastern Europe with the experimental edge of Canadian indie rock and you have before you Todor Kobakov: composer, producer and missionary of genius gadgetry. Todor has 12 feature film scores to his credit, including The Samaritan (2012) – a dark thriller featuring Samuel L. Jackson for which Todor’s work was praised by Variety magazine (“Hollywood composers, take note”). Kobakov also scored Cold Blooded, a crime thriller that won the Audience Award at the 2012 Fantasia Film Festival. The Husband, directed by Bruce McDonald received critical acclaim at festivals worldwide and his series “Bitten” has taken the SyFy and Space channels by storm with record ratings. The series starring Laura Vandervoort is currently in its second season.A key player in Toronto’s indie music scene, Todor has created transcendent string arrangements for the likes of Metric, Stars, Emily Haines, k-os, Dan Mangan, Lily Frost, Small Sins, Whitehorse and others. He worked on Sarah Bareilles album, “The Blessed Unrest”, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2014 – ‘Album of the Year’, running against fellow artists, Daft Punk, Macklemore & Lewis, Kendrick Lamar, & Taylor Swift.Todor’s solo piano album debut, Pop Music, was released in 2010 to glowing critical acclaim (“A piano stylist in the gorgeous, whimsical form of Erik Satie” – Globe and Mail). A modern take on classical form, Pop Music features collaborations with Emily Haines of Metric and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio. Todor’s musical influences include Debussy, Amon Tobin and “The Muppet Show.”
Ian LeFeuvre is a Toronto based composer, songwriter, singer, producer and player of the many instruments that live in his studio. He is currently signed to Vancouver/LA based Nettwerk records/publishing. Somewhat of a veteran of the Canadian indie music scene, Ian has continued to develop his ever widening musical skill set, in more recent years emerging as a rising television/film composer with a unique voice of his own. Organic, emotive, powerful and sometimes quirky, Ian’s music most often comes from real hands coaxing real sounds out of real instruments, as opposed to leaning on yet another sample library. Current projects include the recently completed feature film Hellions (Whizbang Films & Storyteller Pictures)(co-composed with Todor Kobakov) directed by Bruce McDonald, which will debut at Sundance in 2015. Ian is also scoring three new television series in production: “The Stanley Dynamic” (YTV/Amaze/Nelvana/Corus), “Freaktown” (Teletoon/Portfolio/Corus), and “Supernoobs” (DHX/Teletoon/Cartoon Network), the latest offering by Johnny Test creator Scott Fellows.
Duff Smith moved to Toronto in 2005 after completing a degree in religious studies at Concordia University in Montreal. Since coming to Toronto he has had the good fortune of working with many new filmmakers on interesting projects, including Daniel Cockburn’s You Are Here. He has also been lucky enough to work with some of Canada’s iconic director’s, such as Patricia Rozema, on Don McKellar’s television series, “Michael, Tuesdays and Thursdays”.
Duff has enjoyed working with Bruce McDonald on several projects. Most recently, editing, The Husband, which won the Borsos award at the Whistler Film Festival for Best Canadian Feature. Other film credits include, The Riverbank and Hard Core Logo 2. His work has screened at film festivals around the world including Locarno, TIFF and Rotterdam.
Andrew is a Gemini Award-nominated Production Designer with over fifteen years experience in film, television and theatre design.
His recent television credits include “Panic Button” for Bell Media, “Perfect Storms” for History Channel and “Forecast: Disaster” for National Geographic. Other television projects include the award-winning Discovery Channel series “Breakout” and “Aftermath,” the CSA Award-winning “Last Great War Heroes” for History and BBC, the popular “Junk Raiders II” for Discovery and the original “Paranormal Witness” for SyFy and Space.
Andrew’s film experience covers a broad range of genres from drama to horror to comedy. Selected credits include TIME BOMB with Jake Busey, Silent But Deadly with Jason Mewes, .45 with Milla Jovovich, Pontypool with Stephen McHattie, and The Husband with Maxwell McCabe-Lokos. Through his career Andrew has had the privilege of working with some of the best contemporary filmmakers working today including Atom Egoyan, Bruce McDonald and Hubert Davis.
Sarah Gregg Millman’s costume design and styling practice are informed by her background in visual art and film criticism. She aims to strike a balance between timeless simplicity and risk-taking free spiritedness – resulting in a body of work that is modern-thinking, unique, and lasting.
As a fashion stylist and consultant, Millman assists clients with their everyday image, fashion editorials, and public appearances for television programs, film premieres, and awards shows. A collaborator at heart, Millman has designed ten feature films -including Monkey Warfare, Still Mine, Molly Maxwell, and The Husband – worked with Oscar-nominated actors, styled national ad campaigns, commercials, and music videos.
Millman attended both the Cooper Union in New York City and NSCAD University in Nova Scotia, where she graduated with an honours degree in Fine Art. She has exhibited throughout Canada, the US, and Europe, won numerous grants, and has been reviewed in publications such as the New York Times, artforum, and Art Papers magazine.