Inside Hollywood North: Vancouver’s Homegrown Film Community
Salon Pommard Sutton Place Hotel
Saturday, March 10
Doors 2:30PM | Show 3:00PM

International producers might shoot in Vancouver for the climate or the great exchange rate, but they keep coming back because Vancouver’s film community delivers consistently exceptional work on par with the best from around the world. With a vibrant and thriving scene, Vancouver has earned its “Hollywood North” moniker for the sheer amount of film and TV work generated from this area. Hear about the BC hometown advantage with four film stakeholders whose work with domestic and international production has made Vancouver a force to be reckoned with on the world filmmaking scene.

Panel Participants Include:

  • Mina Shum (Writer, Director – Meditation Park, Double Happiness)
  • Matthew Kowalchuk (Writer, Director – Lawrence & Holloman, Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story)
  • Jason James (Producer, Director, Writer – Entanglement, The Burning Feeling, Mountain Men)

MINA SHUM has written and directed five award-winning feature films that have successfully touched international and domestic audiences. Her films have premiered in Sundance, Toronto and Berlin. The New York Times calls her work “wry and winning”. As well as her feature films, Shum’s work includes art installations, essays, lectures and short films. Film titles include Double Happiness, Drive, She Said, Long Life Happiness and Prosperity, Ninth Floor and her latest opening in theatres March 9th, 2018, Meditation Park. Shum has also directed episodic television in all lengths for a variety of networks including CTV, CBC, Nickleodeon, Oxygen, W and MTV/Logo.


MATTHEW KOWALCHUK has been recognized as one of Canada’s emerging comedy filmmakers, with a body of work that has been seen around the globe, including the acclaimed: Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story, Penguins (Are so sensitive to my needs), and the multi-award winning dark comedy Lawrence & Holloman.

Matthew is a recipient of the Canadian Comedy Award for Best Feature Film (Lawrence & Holloman), for which he was also nominated as Director and co-Screenwriter. Other award honours include: BC Emerging Director (VIFF), Rising Star Director (EIFF), Best Director of a Comedy (VTXIFF), and several ‘Best of Fest’ awards. In addition to screening all over North America, he is honoured as well to have seen his films play to audience in such diverse cities as Shanghai, Perth, St. Petersburg, London, Berlin, and Cannes.

Matthew has long been a student of comedy, having first trained as an improvisor with Edmonton’s storied Rapid Fire Theatre.  Since moving back to his home town of Vancouver, his whole career-in-film thing has been pretty much one big, happy accident. And he wouldn’t have it any other way. (Photo Credit: Wendy D)

JASON JAMES is an award winning producer/writer/director based in Vancouver and Los Angeles. He recently directed/produced the indie drama/comedy ENTANGLEMENT starring Thomas Middleditch (Silicon Valley), Jess Weixler (Teeth), and Diana Bang (The Interview). The film will be released in North America on February 9th, 2018.

He also directed/produced the indie feature THAT BURNING FEELING (starring John Cho, Tyler Labine, and Paulo Costanzo). The film played numerous festivals, won Best Feature at VIFF, and was released in both the USA and Canada by eOne Films and Search Engine Films in 2014.

Other projects include producing: THE STEPS by director Andrew Currie (starring Jason Ritter, Emmanuelle Chriqui, James Brolin, and Christine Lahti), MOUNTAIN MEN by director Cam Labine (starring Chace Crawford and Tyler Labine), and the Carl Bessai directed features REPEATERS, COLE, FATHERS & SONS, and UNNATURAL & ACCIDENTAL. He also co-created and produced the CBC comedy series THIS SPACE FOR RENT.

Jason has previously been invited to attend the Film Independent Producer’s Lab, Telefilm/CFC/Just For Laughs Comedy Features Lab (three times), Toronto Film Festival Talent Lab, the Rotterdam Talent Lab, a CTV Fellowship at the Banff Television Festival, the National Screen Institute’s Totally Television Program, and The Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s National Director Apprenticeship program.