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Moderator Jason Ryle is the Executive Director at the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival, the world's largest Indigenous film festival. He oversees all aspects of the organization including programming, operations, finance, and the annual Festival. Jason sits on the Board of Directors for Vtape, an independent video distributor, and is a script reader for The Harold Greenberg Fund, which provides financial aid to Canadian filmmakers. As an award-winning writer, Jason Ryle has written for the Smithsonian Institution and numerous publications throughout North America.
Shane Belcourt is an award-winning filmmaker, writer, and musician based in Toronto. His feature film, Tkaronto, has played many international film festivals, sold to a national distributor (Kinosmith Films) which released the film across Canada during the fall of 2008. Tkaronto has also played on Air Canada and Super Channel. His three short films, The Squeeze Box, Pookums, and Keeping Quiet have been sold to national Canadian TV networks. Shane was the recipient of the 2007 IFC Mentorship Award and one of 22 filmmakers chosen for the 2007 TIFF Talent Lab. He co-wrote and directed Boxed In, a short film produced by the NFB that was included in the Canadian Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics. Shane was selected to Telefilm's Feature Aboriginal Storytellers Program to further develop his next dramatic feature film, A Better Place. In January 2010, Shane was selected to be the Filmmaker in Residence by the Winnipeg Film Group. Currently, Shane is developing a short multi-media film, Engine's Good, with the National Film Board; creating a TV series, Embracing Mason, with the support of NSI's Totally Television program; and completing the next low budget indie feature, Hard Feelings.