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PANEL: Finding the Best Fit

  • Asper Centre for Theatre and Film 400 Colony Street Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2P3 Canada (map)

Are you interested in working in the film industry but don't know how to get started? In this panel, discover tips, tricks, and recommendations as to what sort of resources are available to local and national developing artists who are jumping into the workforce for the first time.


MAURO FERRITTO: Senior Programs and Communications Manager at Film Training Manitoba

Mauro graduated from The University of Winnipeg with a Bachelor of Arts in Film where screenwriting became a focus for him. While at the U of W, he won the Audience Favourite award for his short film at the University’s Film Festival, and continued on to shoot and direct a number of short films.

He worked at New Line Cinema, based in Los Angeles, in the Acquisitions department. Working for the Head of Acquisitions, Mauro attended film screenings and reviewed potential distribution of independent productions. In addition, while at New Line he provided coverage on screenplays looking for potential production.

Mauro worked in the Locations department on the feature film TEEN LUST and worked as a background actor on a handful of features in Winnipeg.

After writing several feature length screenplays, Mauro was signed by a New York City based Literary Agent for his screenplay based on the true story of the theft of the Mona Lisa.

Mauro then moved to Vancouver for a year where he worked crew and background, as he continued to write.

At FTM, Mauro has been promoted twice to the current position of Senior Programs and Communications Manager. In this position he manages social media, the FTM website, online courses. and is directly involved in the management of FTM’s programming.

Mauro has since written and directed an independent feature film titled ‘The Pre-Drink’.

BEN WILLIAMS: Director of the Production Centre at Winnipeg Film Group

Ben graduated with a BA (Magna Cum Laude) in Advertising Graphics from Central State University in Ohio. A national Alpha Kappa Mu honors scholar, his focus was graphic design with an emphasis on computer graphics. Ben is additionally the graduate of the Digital Filmmaking course at the New York Film Academy in Manhattan.

An expert in digital media, Ben has been directing, shooting video, and editing with Final Cut Pro and Adobe After Effects for over a decade, and has more recently started editing with Premiere. He is additionally proficient in Adobe CS6 and is a capable coder.

Since 1999, Ben has worked as an impassioned technology professional on a diverse range of multimedia projects, and has consistently been an early participant of beta testing for gadgets, software and social media environments. Ben can be counted among the first generation of pioneering independent digital media producers to emerge in the grass roots social media community.

BRENDON SAWARTZKY: Director of Programming at NSI

As director of programming at NSI, Brendon directs the development of all new programs and is accountable for the delivery of all NSI courses.

Prior to his current position at NSI, Brendon focused on producing, project management and education. He has produced a number of feature films, television movies and specials, a television series, a couple of documentaries, a few short films and music videos.

He previously worked for the National Screen Institute as a program manager and before that at the Winnipeg Film Group. A more recent role was as a producer for the National Film Board.

LOUISE O’BRIEN-MORAN: Director of Film Financing, Tax Credits & Film Commission Services at MFM

Louise O’Brien-Moran manages the film programs at Manitoba Film & Music, including production investments, development loans, the Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit, as well as the film commission services. In this capacity, she has overseen the investment in 30 feature films and more than 100 hours of primetime TV series, as well as a considerable number of factual and documentary programs. Louise also collaborates with the Association of Provincial Funding Agencies, Telefilm’s International Business Development Group, the National Tax Credit working group and markets Manitoba’s film and television industry internationally. With 20 years of experience in the industry, Louise has worked as a Unit Publicist, Location Manager and Assistant Director for feature films and television series before joining Manitoba Film & Music in 2002.