In 2008, the Film Production Program, in collaboration with the Film Production Alumni Association and the Faculty of Arts, launched a Tri-mentorship Program that matched final year BFA students with UBC Alumni who are now top industry professionals. The purpose of the Tri-Mentorship program is to encourage relationships between Industry Mentors and senior students, who in turn, offer their own mentorship to junior students interested in pursuing a degree in Film Production. Through this tri-level structure it is the program’s goal to develop a sustainable mentoring culture that encourages stronger partnerships between students, alumni/industry professionals and the community.
Starting in September Film Production Student Mentees are each assigned an Industry Alumni Mentor. Over the course of the year the students meet with their mentors at least four different times, allowing for open discussion of industry-based questions paying particular attention to specific challenges and experiences that the mentors may have faced during their own introduction to the film industry. Through these relationships students gain invaluable insights into their chosen industries, as well as networking strategies crucial in negotiating their future careers in film production.
The Tri-Mentorship program operates under the umbrella of UBC Career services, who manages overall funding, develops curriculum, provides consultation, training and resources, builds community connections, develops and implements overall marketing strategies, researches and shares best practices, evaluates program success, and institutes necessary program changes. For more information about the Tri-Mentorship program in the Faculty of Arts, visit: http://students.arts.ubc.ca/involvement/arts-tri-mentoring-program/
Past Industry Mentors
Producer Mentor, Arvi Liimatainen
Arvi has been producing for over two decades. His credits include the series Hiccups, Intelligence, Da Vinci’s Inquest and the feature films Marine Life, Bye Bye Blues, Cowboys Don’t Cry, Medicine River and The Life.
Producer Mentor, Andew Boutilier
Andrew has produced several feature films including Pink Ludoos, Severed, Normal and Stay. He also has credits as a Line Producer and Supervising Producer for Canadian and international broadcasters and production companies including Syfy and DHX/StudioB.
Director of Photography Mentor, James Liston
James has shot a number of feature films including The Cabin Movie, Severed, and Julianna and the Medicine Fish, starring Rob Schneider. He has also shot many commercials, music videos and short films.
Director Mentor, Richard Martin
Richard has directed six internationally distributed feature films and TV movies, as well as over 40 hours of US and Canadian TV series. He has also directed awardwinning short documentaries and experimental films.
Director of Photography, Mentor Gregory Middleton
Greg has received a wide range of awards and nominations for his work on feature films and TV series. His feature films include Gunless, Passchendale, Slither and Kissed. His TV credits include Smallville and Fringe, and the TV movie The Snow Queen.
Director and Writer Mentor, Mina Shum
Mina’s feature films include the internationally acclaimed Double Happiness, Drive, She Said, and Long Life, Happiness, and Prosperity. Her TV credits include Bliss, DaVinci’s Inquest and Exes and Ohs.
Producer Mentor, Jayme Pfahl
Jayme has produced TV movies as well as drama and documentary series for a wide range of networks including ABC/Lifetime and the Discovery Channel. His credits also include the feature films Marine Life and Naked Frailtie.
Director and Writer Mentor, Mark Sawers
Mark’s films include the short Shoes Off!, which won the Best Short Film prize at the Cannes Film Festival’s International Critics Week, his 4th nomination in this category. His work on TV series includes the comedies Alienated and Kids in the Hall.
Director Mentor, Brenton Spencer
Brenton’s directing work includes episodes of a wide range of TV series including The Crow, Outer Limits andStargate Atlantis as well as the teen feature Blown Away. He also has extensive credits as a director of photography.
Director of Photography Mentor, Glen Winter
Glen has worked for the past six seasons as Director of Photography on the TV series Smallville. He directed two episodes of Smallville and has won two Canadian Cinematography Awards. In 2010 he was nominated for an ASC award.
Director and Writer Mentor, Anne Wheeler
Anne has directed feature films, television movies and series. Her features include Better than Chocolate and Bye Bye Blues. Her TV credits include Crash and Burn, Search and This is Wonderland. She has six honorary doctorates and the Order of Canada.
Director Mentor, James Genn
Writer and director James Genn grew up in Vancouver in a family of artists, writers and musicians, and he began working in film and television as a teenager. His work includes the short films Direct Lines (1995), Second Date (1999), and the Genie Award nominated short film The Dog Walker (2003), produced at the Canadian Film Centre in Toronto, where he completed a director’s residency in 2003.
He has directed twenty or so episodes of primetime comedy and drama television series, including two network pilots, comedy series episodes for the N Network in the US, and several seasons of CTV’s Robson Arms. He also works in other mediums, such as commercials, music videos and documentary series.
His work as a director is recognized for its elegant crafting and technical precision, and he has a unique and imaginative eye finding humanity in tragic and comedic storytelling. Prior to working exclusively as a director and writer, James was a prominent independent filmmaker and had a successful career as a sound designer, creating the soundtracks for many feature films and series. He currently lives in Vancouver, Canada.
Editor Mentor, Allison Grace
Alison Grace grew up in Vancouver and studied film at the University of British Columbia. Upon leaving school, she immediately started working as an assistant dialogue editor on features, including Norman Jewison’s Agnes of God, and on the television series Philip Marlowe: P.I. (Paragon Pictures). Alison worked with Jewison again on Moonstruck as dialogue editor, and continued to hone her skills on television movies, features, television series and documentaries.
Alison served as both editor and dialogue editor on the independent feature film Double Happiness. Shot in Vancouver in 1994, the film earned her a Genie Award for Best Achievement in Picture Editing. In 1996, she won the Gemini Award for Best Achievement in Picture Editing for the CBC movie Little Criminals. Alison edited the Disney feature Air Bud in 1996 and has been working steadily since then on both long-form work and television series. In August of 1998, Alison was nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Picture Editing on the CBC made-for-television-movie White Lies.
In the past few years, Alison’s work has included editing Charlie Martin Smith’s feature film The Snow Walker, Mina Shum’s feature Long Life, Happiness and Prosperity, numerous television movies including the pilot, Intelligence and various one-hour series including Dead Like Me, Da Vinci’s Inquest, Outer Limits and Intelligence. Alison lives in Vancouver with her partner, Earl Fudger and several loving cats.
Writing Mentor, Ian Weir
Ian Weir is a playwright, screenwriter and novelist. His stage plays, which include The Idler, Bloody Business and St. George, have been produced across Canada, as well as in the U.S. and England. The Island of Bliss premiered in March 2008 at the Western Canada Theatre in Kamloops, and his new play Hope and Caritas will be premiered in October by Solo Collective in Vancouver. For television, he was writer and executive producer of the critically acclaimed CBC miniseries Dragon Boys. Previously he was creator, head writer and executive producer of the long-running teen drama series Edgemont. Along the way, he has written more than 100 episodes for nearly two dozen other series, ranging from Beachcombers to Cold Squad to One Life to Live. Other credits include nine radio plays (three for the BBC, and six for the CBC) and three young adult novels. He has won two Gemini Awards, four Leos, a Writers Guild of Canada Award and a Jessie.
Current commissions include two stage plays, a feature film screenplay, a TV movie and a novel. He lives in Langley, B.C., with his wife Jude and their daughter Amy.
Producer Mentor, Dean English
Dean English is a partner in Perfect Circle Productions, a Vancouver based production company that works in both live action and stop-motion animation feature films. English’s feature film credits include Kissed, Lilith On Top, Flower and Garnet, Looking For Leonard, Falling Angels and Gwar. Collectively these films have been programmed in the world’s most prominent international festivals — including Toronto, Berlin and Cannes — while winning awards and nominations from such bodies as the Genies and the Grammys.
Recently produced projects include Edison and Leo, Canada’s first stop-motion animated feature, and The Timekeeper, celebrated Quebec director Louis Bélanger’s first foray into English language cinema.
Producer Mentor, Mary Anne Waterhouse
Mary Anne Waterhouse joined Anagram Pictures after producing the feature film FIDO with Anagram partner Blake Corbet. Starring Carrie Anne Moss (The Matrix, Memento), Billy Connolly (Mrs. Brown, Lemony Snickett), Dylan Baker (Happiness, Spiderman 2), and Tim Blake Nelson (O’Brother Where Art Thou, Minority Report), FIDO is a quirky, highly stylized, comedy which Lionsgate Films is distributing in the US and Internationally, with TVA handling Canadian distribution.
Mary Anne brings with her a breadth of experience in both production and finance gleaned from almost twenty years working in the Vancouver film scene. Prior to FIDO, Mary Anne produced the recently released independent feature Desolation Sound, starring Jennifer Beals, Ed Begley Jr. and Lothaire Bluteau. In 2002, Mary Anne produced the CTV movie 100 Days in the Jungle, for which she earned a Gemini for Best TV Movie. 100 Days was shot on location in the jungles of Costa Rica and starred many of Canada’s finest actors, including Peter Outerbridge, Nicholas Campbell, Aiden Devine and Michael Riley. In addition to her work in independent production, Mary Anne has extensive production service credits, including the internationally financed indie feature Beautiful Joe, starring Sharon Stone and Billy Connolly, Stephen King’s 13 part Kingdom Hospital for ABC, as well as numerous American television movies including Mr St. Nick, starring Kelsey Grammer and Snow White, which starred Miranda Richardson.
Mary Anne’s film roots lie in production accounting, a career which she began shortly after graduating from UBC with an honors degree in Film & Theatre. As accountant, and subsequently production manager and line producer, Mary Anne has been involved in over forty film and television productions. Her extensive background in finance and accounting, combined with her many years of production experience, have provided her with a broad perspective on the making of films in Canada and a unique ability to combine commerce and creativity.