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Board & Staff


  Lauren Howes
Executive Director

Lauren Howes has been working as the Executive Director of the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre since 2006. She is also currently the Chairperson on the Board of the Media Arts Network of Ontario (MANO) 2009-present, she sits on the advisory committee for Visual and Media Art at the Toronto Arts Council, and served as Treasurer on the Board (2008-2010) of the Independent Media Arts Alliance. Through her work in distribution she attends numerous film festivals and media art markets worldwide promoting and presenting Canadian media art globally, including: Dublin, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Hamburg, Paris, London, Berlin, Barcelona, Seoul, Bangalore and Buenos Aires.

  Aimée Mitchell
Distribution & Collections Manager
Educational Development & Outreach


Aimée has been active with the Centre since 2005 through initiatives focusing on the care and maintenance of the centre's celluloid collection. She has been a Project Coordinator for The Visible City Project + Archive, The Leona Drive Project, and The Expo ’67 Expanded Cinema Project, supporting the work of artists and important research in Canadian film history and art practice. She has sat on the Executive Committee for the Film Studies Association of Canada (2009-2011) and the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies (2010-2012). Aimée is the Co-Director of the Toronto Queer Film Festival. She is currently completing a PhD in Communication & Culture at York University, studying Canadian amateur cinema, the politics of the archive, cultural historiography, and film preservation. Oh, and she has two cats.

  Claire Egan
Membership + Acquisitions

Claire Egan holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) University. Her work has shown in galleries across Toronto as well as in New York City, Panama City and Amsterdam. In addition to her position as Membership  + Acquisitions Coordinator at the CFMDC, Claire has worked for numerous festivals and not-for-profit organizations including: Subtle Technologies, aluCine Latin Media Festival, XPACE Cultural Centre and the International AIDS Conference. Claire also co-founded and co-facilitated conSECUENCIAS, an experimental animation workshop for at-risk youth in Panama. Prior to the CMFDC, she programmed the experimental sidebar for Inside Out, Toronto’s LGBT Film & Video Festival. Claire is currently based in Berlin, Germany.

  Edward Fawcett Sharpe
Technical Coordinator

Edward Fawcett Sharpe is a Filmmaker, Freelance Videographer/Editor, and the Technical Coordinator at CFMDC. Just ask him about codec’s!


Mariam Zaidi
Distribution Coordinator

Mariam Zaidi holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Documentary Media from Ryerson University in Toronto. Her short films have shown at festivals across North America, India and the UAE. 





  Faraz Anoshahpour

Faraz Anoshahpour is an artist, filmmaker and programmer based in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a bachelor's degree in Architecture from the Architectural Association in London, UK and an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from OCAD University. His recent work has been shown at Rotterdam International Film Festival (IFFR), Projections (New York Film Festival), Wavelengths (Toronto International Film Festival), Media City Festival (Windsor/Detroit), Experimenta (Bangalore), Crossroads Festival (San Francisco), ZK/U Centre for Art & Urbanistics (Berlin) and 8-11(Toronto). He is the programming coordinator at Images Festival (Toronto).

Dan Browne

Dan Browne is a Toronto-based filmmaker, photographer and multimedia artist whose works explore patterns, nature and perception through dense and kinetic forms.



  Mary J. Daniel

Mary J. Daniel has a 20-year history of making hard-to-categorize works focusing on the artistry and poetry of everyday experiences, including a dozen short films and videos, a feature film, and a series of collaborative community-based documentaries. She has an MFA from York University, and held teaching positions at Purdue University, Simon Fraser University, and the University of British Columbia. Mary was based in Vancouver for over a decade, making experimental films, working as a researcher for political documentaries, and lending her lighting and editing skills to local media artists. She is the writer of a series on independent filmmaking in Western Canada, producer of an omnibus of six films by six women; and has production credits on everything from artist videos, through social documentaries, to dramatic features. Her works have screened at Cinematheques, universities, and galleries, travelled to international, experimental, and LGBTQ festivals, and featured in curated programs of Canadian works at the Kassel Documentary Festival and NYC's Anthology Film Archive. She recently co-directed a documentary about Dykes Planning Tykes—a course for queer women considering parenthood; and directed a half-hour documentary celebrating the 20-year history of the London Lesbian Film Festival.

  Inga Diev

Inga Diev serves as General Manager of Ouat Media, North America's largest international short film distribution company. Inga is responsible for the company’s business operations and oversees all the film sales and acquisitions handled by this Academy Award® winning distributor. Prior to joining Ouat Media, Inga spent over a decade working in film production and broadcast programming, most recently, at Sundance Channel Canada. Inga is a graduate of York University (BFA in Film Production) and University of Oxford (MSt in Film Aesthetics). Inga has been serving on the Board of Canadian Filmmakers’ Distribution Centre since 2013. She also continues to share her expertise of the film industry by participating in festival juries and guest panels around the world.

  Janine Heath

Janine Heath (BFA Film, York) works with innovators, filmmakers, financial officers, chefs and engineers to produce award-winning content with the goal of connecting communities across the globe. Janine is highly skilled in all elements of screen based production, with proven leadership in the management of talent and finance in both of the media and technology sectors. Janine was the production manager of the acclaimed feature film Stories We Tell, directed by Oscar®-nominee Sarah Polley. In 2015, Janine produced the television documentary Transforming Gender, which premiered in Canada on CBC. Janine’s latest work evolves from her extensive career in the film and television industry, where she has collaborated with creative thinkers for the past two decades. Janine is presently immersed in the story of Solar Ship Inc., sharing its narrative and overseeing its financial operations. Visit to see Janine’s latest work and to learn more about the Solar Ship story. Janine is the co-founder of the Eatable Film Festival, Toronto’s first food film festival - Eatable is a film festival you can taste.

  Samuel La France

Samuel La France is an arts administrator, film programmer and writer based in Toronto. He holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and works as the Coordinator of Film Programmes at TIFF Cinematheque. He has organized screenings and retrospectives for TIFF, Collectif Jeune Cinéma and Museum London, and served as a member of Pleasure Dome's curatorial board from 2013-2015, where he contributed to a number of projects and programs. His writing on film has been published (or will soon be) in Cinema Scope, cléo, and MICE.

  Terra Jean Long

Terra Jean Long is an independent filmmaker and arts administrator. She creates tapestry like works that draw on natural history, iconology, and the spaces between the real and the imaginary. Currently, she is the Special Projects Coordinator at the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) where she contributes to a range of dynamic community and education initiatives. She holds a double major BFA in film production and women’s studies from Concordia University and an MFA in film production from York University. Her works have screened at festivals including the Edinburgh International Film Festival, International Documentary Festival Amsterdam, CPH: DOX, and the Images Festival in her hometown of Toronto.

  Frank Manzo

Formerly the Manager of Production Finance at Corus Entertainment/Nelvana in Toronto, Frank currently works as an Account Manager for the Film & TV Finance group at National Bank. From 2001 to 2007, he was a Tax Credits Business Officer with the Ontario Media Development Corporation. Frank produced, wrote and directed the short film FunNight in 2000. He has an LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School and a Film and Television Diploma from the Trebas Institute. Frank is also a trained dancer, teacher and choreographer. In 2009 he acted as Artistic Director for the Business for the Arts (bfta) Awards Arnold party and his dansical With Somebody Who Loves Me had a preview run at Toronto’s Fringe Festival 2012, before a two week run in August, 2012.

  Gina Vanni

Gina is currently the Vice President of Take 5 Productions, a Toronto based television production company whose credits include international series The Tudors, Camelot, the Borgias and the upcoming mini-series, World Without End. Prior to joining Take 5, Gina was the Vice President of Production Finance at Dufferin Gate Productions where she managed development and financing for the company’s considerable slate of productions. Previous to that Gina worked with the Ontario Media Development Corporation in several capacities including Team Lead in the Tax Credits and Financing Department as well as Director of Tax Credits, where she oversaw the administration of Ontario’s six cultural media tax credits. Gina has a background in Management Accounting, and has sat on the board of the CFMDC as Treasurer since 2007.

  Zainub Verjee

Zainub Verjee is an accomplished leader in the art, culture and heritage sector, with experience in leading and managing contemporary art centres, cultural agencies, cultural institutions and cultural departments. Three decades of work in the Media Arts and Culture Sector has led to appointments on boards, steering committees and invitations to speak on the national and international fora. In particular, Verjee began her work in Media Arts as the Film/Video Marketing Manager, Women in Focus, Vancouver in 1987. Subsequently in 1989, she co-founded and co-directed the critically acclaimed In Visible Colours- An International Women of Colour and Third world Women’s Film and Video Festival and symposium in Vancouver. Verjee has sat on numerous peer committees for independent Media Arts including the Canadian Independent Film and Video Fund National Assessments. Between 1999-2005, at Canada Council for the Arts, Verjee managed the Media Arts – Dissemination, Distribution and Cinematheque programs. In particular, she convened and chaired the National Independent distribution Organizations Meeting (2002). As a practicing media artist, her works have been shown at MoMA (NY) and Venice Biennale and are in various public and private collections. Currently, Verjee is the Executive Director at the Ontario Association of Art Galleries.