CAREER PATH: THE VITAL ROLE OF THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Working behind the scenes, Assistant Directors are the unsung heroes of every production. They serve as the logistical backbone, ensuring seamless coordination, precise scheduling, and a well-organized set. Our panelists will illuminate the critical contributions of 1st ADs to the art of filmmaking.
As the fight for diversity in front and behind the scenes continues, are we seeing enough Black and Racialized individuals filling these positions? What barriers do Black and Racialized artists face when pursuing this career path? How can the industry be more welcoming and inclusive?
For those aspiring to become 1st Assistant Directors, our panelists will provide guidance on how to navigate this rewarding but challenging career. Learn about the skills, experiences, and networking opportunities that can open doors to this vital role
Grace Shutti, Producer & Multimedia Journalist
Grace Shutti is an award-winning producer and multimedia journalist. She has produced short documentaries RIP SENI (The Guardian) and Twinkleberry (Netflix), and various video series. Before moving to Vancouver in late 2022, she spent six years working for The Guardian newspaper.
Gabriel Corrêa, Director & Producer
Gabriel Correa is a renowned Brazilian/Canadian Director & Producer known from his work in the international hit Series Riverdale.
Gabriel has produced 60 hours of streaming content, as well as directed 19 episodes of television and 2 award winning short films. He began his career working for 16 years as an Assistant Director on many renown projects such as, Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn Part 1 & 2, Godzilla, Monster Trucks, Supernatural, The X-Files: I Want To Believe and Haters Back Off amongst others.
During his career Gabriel had the opportunity to work with several Oscar and Emmy Winners & Nominees such as, Al Pacino, Bryan Cranston, Kristen Stewart, Ken Watanabe, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Mandy Patinkin, Mercedes Ruehl, Ashley Judd, Michael Sheen, Gillian Anderson & David Duchovny.
Gabriel is a proud member of the Directors Guild of Canada, Producers Guild of America and The TV Academy (Emmys).
Jason Furukawa, Director & 1st Assistant Director
Jason began his artistic ventures in Stage and Musical Theatre as a professional singer while going to school for Film and TV. His first TV job was as an in-house editor for a post-production house in Calgary under contract with the IOC in 1989.
After gaining his DGC membership Jason moved to Vancouver where he sought to begin his career as a Production Assistant. He climbed the industry ladder from PA to TAD to 3rd, 2nd and then 1st AD. 1st ADing on some of the biggest shows in Vancouver including The X-Files, Smallville, AMC’s The Terror aka Infamy and most recently, Apple TV’s Pachinko.
Jason was given the opportunity in 2001 to direct the Canadian TV series “Cold Squad” for CTV. This launched him down the Directing path. Canadian credits continued with the drama “Godiva’s” (CITY TV), the kid’s sitcom “Mr. Young” (YTV/Disney), comedy series “Robson Arms” (CTV)) and multiple seasons of the American series “R.L. Stein’s The Haunting Hour” (HUB) for which Jason was proudly nominated for a DAYTIME EMMY for Outstanding Directing of a Children’s Series from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the United States.
With his good fortune of working on every possible form of Film and TV over 30 years as a filmmaker and holding the position as a 1st AD on mainstream Film and TV, this has offered him the opportunity to work side by side executing the production decisions of some of the top Director’s in Hollywood. He has been a part of both high and low budget production since the start of his career.
Vincenté K. Baker, Storyteller & 1st Assistant Director
Vincenté K. Baker is an emerging filmmaker and storyteller based in Vancouver BC. He has extensive experience as an Assistant Director in Network Television & feature films. In 2013, Baker officially became a member of the Director’s Guild of Canada. In 2023 he would produce and direct two short films, one in New Westminster BC, and another in Gaborone Botswana, respectively.