BREAKING BARRIERS AND BUILDING BRIDGES: ACCESSING THE VANCOUVER ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY
Vancouver is known for having a vibrant industry scene, with many shows and big blockbusters being shot in the area, besides many video game, animation and post-productions also happening in town. Vancouver's Entertainment industry is a tightly knit ecosystem that can be challenging to penetrate. How do Black and Racialized artists address the obstacles that have kept the doors closed to outsiders, and what opportunities await those who break through? Successful entry into the industry often hinges on who you know. How can we establish spaces and events where individuals from diverse backgrounds can network, share experiences, and access information about local happenings? What are the best strategies to burst the industry's bubble, fostering networking and information-sharing opportunities?
Liza Huget, Actor & UBCP/ACTRA Executive Board Member
Liza Huget has worked professionally as a performer for over 30 yrs. Most recently, she spent seven months at Stratford Festival playing Fanny in Alice Childress' "Wedding Band - A Love Story in Black and White" and understudying three roles in “Les Belles-Soeurs.” She is also an expressive arts therapist, life coach and mental health advocate.
Angela Moore, Actress
Angela Moore has been a professional actor for 30 years. Angela is currently serving her last term as an Executive Board Director at UBCP/ACTRA, Chair of the BIPOC Committee, National Councillor and co-chair of the Women’s Committee.
Arthur Protasio, Founder & CEO at Fableware
Arthur Protasio (he/him) is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated Latin American director, writer, and narrative designer with over 10 years of experience pitching and crafting multiplatform story-driven experiences that have won Best Game, VR, and Narrative awards. His work in the digital entertainment and interactive industries encompasses TV, Film, Comics, Games, and VR with high-profile IPs such as Asimov’s Foundation, Cobra Kai, Mickey Mouse, and Trolls alongside Disney, Netflix, Epic Games, Samsung, Sony Pictures, NBC Universal, Team 17, and Hasbro. His purpose and passion are creating contemporary fables - stories that engage and entertain while sharing meaningful thought-provoking messages.
Janessa St. Pierre, Filmmaker
Janessa St. Pierre is an award-winning Black, Queer filmmaker, deeply rooted in the unceded territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With a foundation in Film Studies from Concordia University and a diploma in Motion Picture Arts from Capilano University, her cinematic journey began in 2017 and has since flourished across various roles in the Vancouver film industry.
Janessa's multi-faceted experience ranges from Production Designer and Set Dresser to Production Assistant, Art Assistant, and Director's Assistant for Mimi Cave. She’s contributed to a variety of Shorts, Features, Music Videos, and Commercials, including critically acclaimed projects like "The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open" and "FRESH", as well as commercial ventures for brands like London Drugs and Burt's Bees.
Earning her first writing credit for a short film produced during her tenure at Capilano University, Janessa's "Think Again" went on to win Best Short at the IGen Youth Festival in Miami. This early success set the stage for her evolving role as a Director and a storyteller.
Janessa's most recent venture, "Hair or No Hair", is a testament to her growing prowess. This short film was screened at VIFF 2023 and was part of the Black Creators Edition Grant (2022) awarded by TELUS StoryHive and the Black Screen Office. It was a double winner at the Micheaux Film Festival and LA Shorts Festival, and was also nominated for the prestigious Panavision “Best Short” award at Micheaux.
As a testament to her continued growth and potential, Janessa was selected for the coveted VIFF catalyst mentorship program for 2023. With a distinctive voice and a passionate commitment to storytelling, Janessa St. Pierre continues to make her mark in the world of film.
Keyon Slowly, EP & Entrepreneur
Keyon Slowly, one of the original members of the Collective Bunch, a visionary entrepreneur, who has left an indelible mark in the film industry. His journey includes founding companies, Escuro Studios and DayCall Industries. Keyon's relentless drive and creative spirit have shaped the landscape of film and technology, making him a true trailblazer.