Indie Movie Making: Case Studies on How to make a Low Budget Indie Film

You have an idea, now it’s time to put it on screen. Join for a guided tour through indie movie making.

Where: Monarch Pub @ The Eaton Chelsea Hotel – 33 Gerrard St W, Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Z4

02:30pm – 03:15pm



Rob Stefaniuk: Writer / Director / Producer

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[citem title=”Bio” id=”citem_90″ parent=”collapse_20″]Rob Stefaniuk has worked in numerous television shows as an actor, appearing as both guest lead and series regular. His feature-film acting credits include the Saturday Night Live-inspired Superstar (1999). At the age of 23, Rob wrote his first screenplay, The Size of Watermelons, which was produced as an independent feature in 1996.

In 2003, he was story editor and line producer, and did additional editing, for the independent feature Public Domain. Shortly thereafter he made his directorial debut with the hilarious short film Waiting for the Man (official selection Sundance 2005). Rob Stefaniuk wrote, directed, starred in, and wrote some of the music for Phil the Alien, his feature directorial debut. Phil debuted at the Toronto International Film festival 2004 where it received the “Spirit of Film Honor”. Rob also won Best First Feature at the Cineast Sudbury Film Festival, and Best Independent Film at the Sarasota Film Festival. Rob was named the winner of the “Don Haig Encouragement Fund” for promising new filmmaker.

He directed an episode of Brad Peyton’s new stop motion animation show “What it’s Like Being Alone” for the CBC 2008.

His next movie Suck, was a vampire rock and roll comedy premiered at TIFF 2009. Suck was the winner of the Cadillac People’s choice award at Whistler Film Fest, the Audience award at Calgary Underground Film Festival, Outstanding Achievement in Filmmaking award at Newport Beech Film Festival, and won the Silver at Fantasia Film Fest. Stefaniuk directed, wrote the screenplay, composed seven of the eleven original songs and stars in the film along side Iggy Pop, Malcolm McDowell, Alice Cooper, Moby, Dave Foley, Alex Lifeson, and Henry Rollins.

Rob is currently developing shows and writing for television as well as developing his next feature Pixie.



Ingrid Veninger: Writer / Producer / Director – Punk Films

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Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger formed pUNK Films Inc. with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. In 2012, she was awarded the Jay Scott Prize from the Toronto Film Critics Association and executive produced 5 features for $5000, launching the 1KWAVE in Toronto. Since 2008, Ingrid has been garnering acclaim with producing six feature films: ONLY (TIFF 2008, Slamdance), NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY (TIFF 2008, 10 Genie Nominations, including Best Motion Picture), MODRA (TIFF 2010, Canada’s TOP TEN), i am a good person/i am a bad person (TIFF 2011, MoMA, Goa), THE END OF TIME (TIFF 2012, Masters), and THE ANIMAL PROJECT. Ingrid likes roller coasters, foam soap, and everything magenta.



Jason Butler: Film Maker – Substance Productions

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Jason Butler, along with his brother Brett, have been prolific micro-budget filmmakers for the better part of a decade. With five feature films and two webseries during that time they have created a brand of comedy and drama that refuses to be categorized.Their latest feature, Mourning Has Broken, was made for $1,000 was signed by Indiecan Entertainment for distribution after premiering at the Calgary International Film Festival.

Robert Pilichowski – Filmmaker

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Based in Toronto, Canada, Robert Pilichowski is a filmmaker with an animation and documentary background and an undying passion for all things visual. In the past he has worked with some of the top animation houses in Toronto including; Cuppa Coffee Animation, Spin Productions and The Studio Upstairs.
Robert’s work has been displayed on a number of screens from a variety of music videos and documentaries to major motion pictures (most notably, the eerie opening title sequence for David Cronenberg’s eXistenz.) He’s directed two episodes of the music documentary series Rawside for IFC Canada, along with three short music documentaries for the series City Sonic, which aired on Aux TV.
Most recently, All Out War has been Robert’s vision, passion and now, his first feature length documentary. The film recently premiered at this year’s NXNE music & film festival and has had it’s Canadian broadcast premiere on CBC’s The Documentary Channel.



Avi Federgreen: Producer / Distributor

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[citem title=”Bio” id=”citem_80″ parent=”collapse_10″]Avi Federgreen’s nearly twenty years of experience in the Canadian film industry features many highlights, from music videos to TV series to full-length feature films. Starting in the locations department, he moved quickly into production management, line producing, post supervision, and producing.

Federgreen’s current projects in release as Executive Producer include Empire of Dirt produced by Jennifer Podemski and directed by Peter Stebbings; the first ever Canadian fully financed 3D feature titled Dead Before Dawn produced by April Mullen and Tim Dorion of Wango Films and directed by April Mullen; the Vancouver based feature film Random Acts of Romance produced by Darren Reiter and Katrin Bowen and directed by Katrin Bowen and Moon Point produced by Sean Cisterna and Christian Potenza, directed by Sean Cisterna.

Federgreen’s past projects as producer include Still Mine directed by Michael McGowan and starring James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold, 2010 Toronto International Film Festival, Score: A Hockey Musical, written and directed by Michael McGowan captures the fervour of Canada’s two favourite pastimes in a story big on humour and heart; and George Ryga’s Hungry Hills, directed by Rob King, premiered at TIFF 2009.

As exec producer, Federgreen has also worked on the dramatic short film Hidden Driveway, produced by Sarah Zammit and Sarah Goodman, directed by Sarah Goodman and which premiered at TIFF 2011; and Little Larry produced and directed by Jill Carter. Also produced by Federgreen She Said Lenny (produced wth Mallary Davenport), and directed by Jim Donovan premiered at WSFF 2011; Tight Space, Scout, and The Chair, all written and directed by Cory Kinney, and the Canadian Film Centre short Pudge, directed by Annie Bradley. Pudge premiered at TIFF 2008 and screened at several other acclaimed festivals internationally. The Chair achieved a Bronze Award at the Worldfest Houston International Film Festival in 2001.

More successes for Federgreen as producer include the Shaftesbury TV series Good Dog, written and directed by Ken Finkelman; documentary As Slow as Possible, directed by Scott Smith, an official selection of HotDocs 2008.

Federgreen’s co-production credits are impressive and varied. They include I’m Yours produced with Jennifer Jonas and Mallary Davenport of New Real Films, directed by Leonard Farlinger, the feature film One Week, written and directed by Michael McGowan, was named Best Canadian Film in the 2008 Calgary and Edmonton film fests, and was an official gala screening at TIFF that year. The film surpassed the $1.2 million Canadian box office mark, was the #1 rental on iTunes, and finished in the top 10 in DVD sales in Canada during its first week of release. High Life, produced by Triptych Media and directed by Gary Yates, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and was featured at TIFF 2009. Leslie, My Name Is Evil, directed by Reginald Harkema, produced by New Real Films also screened at TIFF 2009, and lastly the nationally acclaimed TV mini-series It’s Me…Gerald, (Showcase).

In November 2011, Federgreen opened his own film distribution company INDIECAN ENTERTAINMENT. The company will service not just up-and-coming Canadian filmmakers, but also those indies making films in a lower budget bracket who have otherwise virtually no chance to shine in a market of big studios, distributors and exhibitors.


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