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Key Creative Team

Heather Hatch Producer and Haida Liaison Heather is Haida — she was born in Vancouver, raised in Edmonton and has lived in Skidegate. She has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta. While holding a government job, Heather also pursues filmmaking, having taken courses at her local film co-op. Her first documentary, Jaat Sdiihltl’lxa: Woman Who Returns, explores how she was adopted into her Haida clan. It premiered at the Edmonton International Film Festival and has screened at numerous festivals. She has worked as a writer and associate producer for Peace River Rising, an examination of how industry creates increased violence against Indigenous women. Heather was the recipient of the first Gill Cardinal Legacy Fund, through which she was mentored by the NFB. Currently, Heather is in pre-production for Della and Goliath, her first feature film, after being awarded the Telefilm Microgrant – Aboriginal Stream.– DesignThemes
Rebecca Campbell Producer and Owner of Catapult Pictures Rebecca Campbell is an Edmonton-based filmmaker. Her directorial debut, Kanada Girl screened at 16 international film festivals. She just finished her second season of her AMPIA award winning children’s stop motion series, Squeaks & Cheeks. She specializes in the production of children’s programming, stop-motion animation, ambient television and 360 video. She has worked as a Director and Producer on multiple award-winning web series, documentaries, and innovative digital projects. She has been instrumental in creating the hit show Kitten TV, which is now also airing internationally. She has worked with CBC, AMI-TV, Telus Optik, and is currently in development with a number of broadcasters.– DesignThemes
Frederick Kroetsch Producer and Technical Consultant Frederick has been a reporter, camera operator, host, director and producer for the past 18 years. He has produced/directed numerous web series and short documentaries with an emphasis on disability, First Nations, queer culture, and professional wrestling. He has worked with TELUS, CBC, AMI-TV, NFB, and APTN. He is most known for his hit show, KittenTV which is the most popular free VOD on TELUS. Though focused primarily on producing and directing, Frederick is also an accomplished director of photography. His films have screened at over 50 festivals internationally and he has won numerous awards, including Edmonton’s Top 40 under 40.– DesignThemes
Dennis Jackson Executive Producer Dennis Jackson began his career in elementary school watching 16mm prints of animation on aboriginal creation tales. Mr. Jackson remembers sitting at the back of the class with the projector as the teacher explained the process of animation with the individual frames. Since this introduction, he has excelled in writing stories about his Cree ancestry with the help of his mother and grandparents. Mr. Jackson went on to volunteer through the local Saskatoon cable channel and produced a 13-part series entitled, “Voices of Aboriginal Youth”, that was nominated for Best Community Programming at the 1993 Showcase Awards. In 1998 Mr. Jackson attained his Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Film and Video Production at the University of Regina.   Upon graduating, Mr. Jackson founded, Dark Thunder Productions (DTP). The company’s first project, “Journey Through Fear”, won the Telefilm Canada/TVNC Award, presented at the 1998 Banff Television Festival. Mr. Jackson then went onto write, produce and direct a one hour stop-motion animated special entitled, “Christmas at Wapos Bay”, which premiered as an Official Selection of the 2002 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The film went on to win the Best of Saskatchewan and Best Children’s Program at the 2002 Golden Sheaf Awards. Dennis is a graduate of NSI Totally Television (2002-03), the NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative (2004) and Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program (2009). Drawing from this success the company continued to produce stop-motion children’s animation with Wapos Bay – The Series. The animated series has since garnered thirteen Gemini nominations in its thirty-four-episode run. The pilot episode, “There’s No ‘I’ in Hockey”, won the 2006 Gemini Canada Award. The series also won the 2007 Gemini Award for Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series and the 2008 Gemini Award for Best Ensemble in a Children’s Program or Series, as well as the 2007 CAB Gold Ribbon Award for Best Aboriginal Program. Dennis has since received Gemini nominations for both his writing and directing of Wapos Bay. This children’s animated series has received four Gemini awards of excellence. He has proudly received the 2009 National Aboriginal Achievement Award for the Arts. Mr. Jackson has also proudly received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Regina in 2015. Dennis continues to write stories drawing inspiration from his Mushom (grandfather), who had hunted and trapped for his own twenty-two children in the north. Currently, Dennis has created an exciting new stop-motion children’s series inspired by his grand daughter, Cherish, aimed at getting indigenous girls inspired about astronomy entitled, Twin Witts.– DesignThemes
Neil Grahn Director Neil Grahn began his television career writing and starring in the comedy series Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie, and soon realized many of the key creative decisions were being made by the people behind the camera. He crossed the creative floor in 1995 and became a director/writer.   Neil wrote/directed and produced the Gemini Award Winning lifestyle series Taking It Off. He won an AMPIA award for Get A Laugh, a one-hour special on Street Theatre and was nominated for a Gemini in 2008 for a comedy/documentary series he wrote/directed and produced called Fish Out of Water. He has also directed The Family Restaurant, X-Weighted, Fish Out of Water and Canadian Pickers for television. He has been keeping in close touch with his comedy roots by head writing and performing in The Irrelevant Show for CBC Radio One the past six seasons. Neil received an Ampia in 2017 for best Director for the Documentary Secret Alberta: The former live of Amber Valley. Neil has honed his directing and producing skills in the world of documentary where he has become expert at mining humor out of real life. He has also stayed busy dramatically with short films and is currently directing on the sketch series Caution May Contain Nuts for APTN.– DesignThemes
Katherine Sandford Executive Story Editor Katherine’s work for children includes hundreds of hours of stories that have been broadcast around the world. Her more recent Executive Producer credits include The Adventures of Napkin Man (which won the Canadian Screen Award for best preschool series in 2015 and was nominated in 2017; won the Youth Media Alliance Award for best children’s series in 2015 and 2017; and was nominated for a 2017 Kidscreen Award!) as well as Executive Story Editor on You and Me (for which she was nominated for a 2015 Writers Guild of Canada Award). Over the years, Katherine has worked on some of the most recognized shows in children’s television including The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That, Max and Ruby, Franny’s Feet, Justin Time, Little Charmers, Ranger Rob, dirtgirlworld and of course the perennial Canadian preschool cult classic Toopy and Binoo as well as many, many others. In 2018 Katherine will be returning to New Zealand to consult on the Maori science animated show Darwin and Newts, and her preschool show about diversity Bella’s Boardwalk  has just been optioned by Amazon Studios. Katherine’s family is from Vancouver Island and she is honoured and humbled to play a small part in advocating for the culture of Haida Gwaii.  – DesignThemes
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