Lauren Evans (President)
Lauren has a passion for Web Series and being able to create and share diverse, engaging stories has been a dream come true. As an award-winning Producer with Cherrydale Productions Ltd. Lauren has built a wide set of skills specialized for digital content creation. In true indie creator fashion, Lauren has guided her projects from development & grant applications, crowdfunding through production, distribution, and Social Media marketing. Her credits include the IPF-funded project “The March Family Letters”, the Bell Fund/Corus Entertainment production “All For One Season 1”, and she is currently in production with the CMF Web Series Pilot Program funded “All For One Season 2”. She looks forward to serving on the IWCC-CIWC board and helping give a voice to digital creators.
Mariah Owen (Vice President)
Mariah Owen is an award-winning producer, actress and filmmaker originally from Toronto who formed GTE Productions at just 21 years old. Since getting her start in the web and digital space, she has gone on to produce several web series, shorts, television and feature films. Her most recent project is the SXSW favourite film, "M.F.A." starring Francesca Eastwood. With experience behind-the-lens, on camera and in the writer's room, Owen brings many perspectives to filmmaking. She is currently in production for a new web series and in development for her first feature film as a writer. Furthermore, she'll be taking the lead on events this year and can't wait to meet all of our members and reach out to new ones too. She is very excited to be on the board of directors for IWCC-CIWC and knows that we can make this world a better, more progressive place for creators.
Sarah Shelson (Treasurer)
Sarah Shelson is an award-winning screenwriter, producer and audience engager. She has years of experience in the digital sphere and particular interest in transmedia properties that feature narratives and themes not found in mainstream media. Along with her partners at Cherrydale Productions, she has created and produced The March Family Letters webseries which was the successful recipient of funding from the Independent Production Fund and was featured in Macleans Magazine, as well as a webseries co-production with Corus Digital called All For One which was nominated for a Digi Award. All For One was one of ten recipients of the inaugural CMF web series pilot program and is currently in production for its second season. When not creating, she is kept busy managing the programming of Ryerson's Transmedia Zone. These events span from critical discussions on the challenges facing our current media landscape to games and independent creator nights.
Rodney V. Smith
Smith grew up in Barbados with an active interest in writing and art, combining the two at an early age to make his own comic books. After discovering Stephen King and Clive Barker his interest turned to horror fiction.His science-fiction series “Out of Time” has been nominated for awards from the IAWTV (International Academy of Web Television) and the T.O. Webfest 2017. Smith describes himself as a “web series evangelist” and was a founding member of the Toronto based IWCC (Independent Webseries Creators of Canada).
Kevin Wallis is a writer, executive producer and head of development at Don Ferguson Productions (DFP). Focusing on comedy content, Kevin oversees and develops DFP’s slate of original properties. Select credits include: Second Jen (City, OMNI), Newborn Moms (ABCd, CBC Comedy), My Kitchen Can Be Anything (CBC Comedy), Why Horror? (Super Channel, Showtime), and Comedy Bar Season 2 (Bite TV). In his spare time, Kevin is the head writer for the popular annual holiday special, Air Farce New Year’s Eve (CBC).
A true producer in every sense, he has worked in almost every role on set for two decades. He has credits in over ten countries with broadcasters such as: Bravo!, Much Music, APTN, CityTV, Global, History, Discovery, VisionTV, Movie Central, A Channel, Speed, Travel + Escape, AWE (USA) , Evasion (Quebec), AB Groupe (France), and Maori TV.
His knowledge across the entire range of production allows him to push the limits of where a budget can go. Mike brings production values hard to match for the price to every production. Combining high-end cinematic visuals with inspiring and entertaining stories making sure to deliver above and beyond expectations.
Award-winning producer, director, writer, storyteller, VR artist, digital innovator and multi-platform visual designer. James’ stop-motion film Foxed! was #1on iTunes and has over 15 million views online. Foxed! played in official selection at over 100 international film festivals including Montreal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Annecy, Stuttgart and Anima Mundi and was awarded ‘Best Animated Film’ at Yorkton, San Antonio, FirstGlance Philadelphia, Garden State and the Quebec City Children’s Film Festivals. His silhouette art film, Béatrice Coron’s Daily Battles – based on Coron’s papercut artwork - premiered at TED2013 and has played at over 20 film festivals and museums installations in the US and Europe including the Minnesota Museum of Book Arts. James’ other notable projects include the award-winning web series Chateau Laurier staring Fiona Reid, Bruce Grey, Kate Ross and Luke Humphrey; 3D work on Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams which was called “the reinvention of the cinema medium” by The Guardian and received the prestigious Lumiere Award from the International 3D Society; and Ontario 4D for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
Andrew Ferguson is an award-winning producer, director and self-proclaimed media junky. He got his start in the business as an assistant on the hit Canadian comedy series Kenny vs. Spenny (Showcase), followed by a full-time position at eOne in the production and development of prime time television programming, including but not limited to Rookie Blue, Call Me Fitz, and Hell on Wheels. He transitioned from his position at eOne to produce and direct the online content for MTV’s edgy and controversial teen drama Skins, and also found national acclaim with the award winning one-man theatre show, Cancer Can’t Dance Like This. Around that time, he joined forces with producing partner and longtime pal Matt King to launch LaRue Entertainment, a creator-driven boutique production and distribution company based in their hometown of Toronto. Andrew oversees the production and development of all LaRue projects, often fulfilling multiple key roles on set and behind the scenes. In 2017, he was nominated for Best Direction in a Digital Series at the Canadian Screen Awards (True Dating Stories), and alongside his producing team took home the award for Best Series Produced for Digital – Fiction (The Amazing Gayl Pile). Andrew is a proud member of the CMPA, IWCC, the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, and the Canadian Association of Film Distributors and Exporters (CAFDE).