Patricia Scarlett - Founder & Chief Academic Officer
Founder and Chief Academic Officer Patricia Scarlett draws upon her tremendous depth and breadth of insight and experience in television, film and digital media.
Scarlett’s early experience in the industry began at TVOntario where she worked primarily in international sales. As a highly successful Sales Executive at TVOntario, Scarlett was responsible for opening up the Latin American market. She initiated and closed TVOntario’s first educational broadcast and educational non-broadcast sales in Brazil. During that time she developed and nurtured a number of valuable relationships with producers and broadcasters which have culminated in a number of significant professional achievements, including her representation of Ataranjuat: The Fast Runner, winner of the Camera D’Or at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival.
Over the span of her career, Scarlett has comfortably worn many hats, including those of entrepreneur and consultant. In 2005, she founded Scarlett Media, a Toronto-based TV consulting company created to provide a variety of services for independent producers and broadcasters. Scarlett has worked with the following broadcasters and independent producers: TVOntario, TMN, Bravo, SyFy Channel, South African Broadcasting, Treehouse TV, Norflicks Productions, Daisy Productions, Spoken Song Productions, Loten Media and Two Sisters Productions. Scarlett was the executive producer of the second season of the successful children’s series Mighty Machines, and the feature-length hi-def documentary, RasTa: A Soul’s Journey.
Scarlett is bilingual (French & English) and also speaks and reads Spanish. She holds a B.A. in history and completed one year of post-graduate studies in History. Over the years, she has attended many professional development workshops and completed several international marketing courses at York University. She lives in Toronto with her husband and teenage son, Alexander.
Diane De La Haye - Instructor & Board Member
Diane De La Haye has over twenty-five years experience in Operations Management spanning the Health, Media and Entertainment industries. She has served in leadership roles in many aspects of Business, including Customer Relations, Sales & Marketing, Finance, Human Resources, Content production, Mentoring and Corporate Strategy.
For the last decade, Diane has contributed her talents exclusively to Film Festival Operations with a strong track record of driving innovation and growth. Over the years she has worked consistently with Caribbean Tales (Toronto), Gatffest and Portie Film Festival (Jamaica) and provided consultancy services for Step by Step Productions (Barbados).
Diane holds an Executive Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the Mona School of Business/University of the West Indies as well as a Diploma in “Writing for Film and TV” from the Vancouver Film School. She has held positions in Script Development and Web Series Productions, Juried scripts on several panels, continues to Executive Produce various projects and freelance as a Script Doctor for a range of clients.
When time allows, Diane occasionally dabbles in Blogging to share her Short Stories, Poetry and musings on Film. Two of her Sketch Comedies have been staged in Vancouver and Chicago, and her MOW/Rom-coms are currently being reviewed by reputable networks.
Diane lives in Toronto and is the proud mother of Anya, another Creative of Color making waves in Music and Film.
Mark Prasuhn - Chief Operating Officer
Mark Prasuhn has over twenty-five years experience in managerial roles in the media sector. As a senior broadcaster executive, C.O.O. of an independent production/program sales company, and head of a government financing agency/film commission, he has provided leadership in many aspects of the business, including content production and licensing, on air presentation, advertising and program sales, technical operations, finance, human resources, marketing, regulatory affairs, contracting and legal affairs, stakeholder relations, new business development and corporate strategy/business planning.
Mark is an experienced negotiator and business manager with a vast knowledge of the Canadian and international media sectors. He has a strong track record of leadership, fostering diversity, training and mentoring, customer relations, and driving profits, innovation and growth. Over the course of a decade as COO at Zoomer Media (TV division)/S-Vox/Vision TV, he drove a 150% increase in sales revenues and oversaw the successful launch of two digital national networks: ONE: the Body, Mind & Spirit channel in 2001 and Grace TV in 2005. He also served as SVP, Programming, and in the period 2007-2010 doubled Vision TV ratings and tripled the network's prime time ratings.
As COO at Mind's Eye Pictures, one of Western Canada's largest production and program sales companies, he oversaw legal/business affairs and corporate development during a period of dramatic growth. He also spent five years as General Manager of government funding agency SaskFilm, where he oversaw a six-fold increase in production activity and the introduction of new programs including a production tax credit and Canada's first provincial digital media fund. Mark also spent eight years in management at public broadcaster TVOntario, where he served as Manager, Business Affairs overseeing program acquisition, co-production, scheduling of internal technical facilities, licensing and rights management for the network.
Mark holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Business at the University of Toronto, and is also a graduate of the Film and Television production program at York University. He also serves on various advisory committees and is a member of numerous industry organizations. Mark has served as a guest lecturer at numerous schools and training institutes and spokesperson for the industry on many occasions.
As a parent of a special needs child, he has a particular interest in encouraging the participation of persons with disabilities in the media sector. Mark lives with his wife and three children on an acreage north of Toronto.
Robin Welch - Instructor & Board Member
A 30-year veteran of the television industry, Robin Welch has worn many hats over the years. After a successful career in the UK as a sportscaster, Robin Welch moved to South Africa to establish Bophuthaswana Television (Bop TV). During his tenure Robin trained the modest staff in TV programming, acquisition and broadcast management. Ending his successful tenure with BOP TV, Robin was hired by the fledgling Pay-TV service M-Net to acquire and produce sports programs. His exceptional negotiation skills resulted in acquisition of world class soccer and basketball games being aired on M-Net.
Following M-Net, Robin relocated to Monaco to head up sales for Daro Films in 1990. Under his directorship, Daro’s sales grew from $4 million US to $10 million annually. From 1994 to 1997, Robin worked at Pro-net, the international sports purchasing side of M-Net South Africa, where he was responsible for purchasing more than $1 billion US of sports programming. Ever restless for new challenges, Robin left Pro-Net to establish his own TV Consulting company, Pharare and Associates, Intrusion, and his South African production company Thuthuka. Robin and his associates do sports production, acquisition, sponsorship, mobile rights and advise major clients on sports rights acquisitions.
Robin is currently works as an independent Distributor & Sales Agent in Johannesburg, South Africa and the United Kingdom.
Jeff Ulin - Instructor & Board Member
Jeff Ulin’s background includes being a media executive, attorney, lecturer, entrepreneur and author. Half of his 20+ years in the business were spent at Lucasfilm, where he headed worldwide distribution for all markets (theatrical, video, TV, online), managed franchise sales for Star Wars and Indiana Jones, and oversaw the release of the last Star Wars film made by George Lucas, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith.
He has also served as a senior studio executive, helping manage Paramount and Universal’s overseas video distribution venture; co-founded and ran as CEO animation studio Wild Brain, where he created Disney’s pre-school hit Higglytown Heroes; and navigated the convergence of digital media at Silicon Valley’s most renowned law firm (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati), where he served as Of Counsel.
Jeff sits on advisory boards of media start-ups and has used the book to teach the class Media & Entertainment: Economics, Policy, and Strategy at the University of California Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
Jeff is the author of The Business of Media Distribution- Monetizing Film, TV and Video Content in an Online World. The first edition (Elsevier/Focal Press, 2009) was endorsed by Variety magazine and hit #1 on Amazon in the field of Communications as well as Media; the second edition (Taylor & Francis/Focal, 2013) is endorsed by the American Film Market. Jeff is currently based in Amsterdam, working as General Counsel of Irdeto, a global leader in media delivery and security solutions and part of the Naspers group of companies.
Jeff is a graduate of Harvard University and The University of Chicago Law School, and a member of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Currently based in Amsterdam, working as General Counsel of Irdeto, a global leader in media delivery and security solutions and part of the Naspers group of companies.
Donisha Prendergast - Advisory Board Member
Donisha Prendergast was born in Jamaica, but she considers herself a citizen of the world. Her vibrant talent spans many disciplines – acting, film directing and producing, writing, alternative curriculum building, motivational speaking, social organizing and public advocacy amongst an evolution of other creative practices.
Her love affair with acting started on the Theatrical stage in 2001 with roles as a Jamaican Cinderella in Cindy-Relisha & the DJ Prince, a teenage seductress in Puppy Love and an emotionally distressed psychopath seeking revenge on a former lover in Woody's Last Stand. She soon entered the world of television, hosting Star Search at Traxx, a very popular local talent search show, appeared in a number of commercials, and modeled for fashion brands that led to billboards, centerfolds in magazines and much more.
In 2008, she got her first real taste of feature-length documentary filmmaking as lead subject in RasTa: A Soul’s Journey, a Canadian production which took her to 8 countries around the world to seek out the roots and evolution of RasTafari. This experience led to a decade of international travel and global activism including marching and defending the rights indigenous peoples, challenging governments, building schools in Africa, co-founding youth organizations, visiting with survivors of radiation spills, building alternative curriculums to sustain social movements and more.
Her first screenplay Savannah was shot and produced into a pilot for television. Savannah is a Jamaican Love story exposing the underbelly and turmoil of living in paradise where she also played the lead character. After a highly publicized encounter with police and racial discrimination in the USA in early 2018, she and two other creatives responded by producing and starring in Marathon and Black Bodies, a 2-part short film with one intention; to incite conversation about the kinds of injustices marginalized people face in the 21st century. That same year, on the invitation of the Chale Wote Street Arts Festival, Donisha was a part of a team that spent a month immersed in research and active observation in Ghana, West Africa, leading to the co-creation of an Afro-futurist short film which was partially shot in the slave castles on the coast of Ghana, entitled Awaking Sankofa.
Most recently, she produced Beat Nation, a documentary series exploring the history of Jamaican music as a struggle for liberation, and how it has emerged globally to be the one consistent voice beckoning for more positive, anti-colonial action in the world.
Her formal education includes Theatre Arts at Howard University, TV & Film Production at Miami International University and Ryerson University. Donisha continues to pursue all aspects of her artistic self.
Maurie Alioff - Advisory Board Member
Maurie Alioff is a Canadian Film, TV and Music Journalist, Screenwriting Instructor, Contributing Editor for Take One, Programmer for the Montreal World Film Festival and Just for Laughs Comedy Festival and has written for The New York Times, POV Magazine, Canadian Cinematographer, National Film Board, northernstars.ca and is affiliated with the Quebec media industry publication: CTVM.Info.
Maurie travels frequently to Jamaica, is familiar with the culture and ‘Yardie’ life and is working on his Patois but has a long way to go. He recently filmed a concert by Protoje, (a top reggae musician), and interviewed him along with international superstars Macka Diamond, Elephant Man, Caribbean Canadians Diva (Alicia Anderson) and Sielle, as well as Alpha Blondy and Cocoa Tea. Maurie is currently collaborating on Reaching for Zion, a documentary featuring Bob Marley’s granddaughter while also researching and developing two scripts: about magical-realist outlaw drawing on stories he hears on the island, and one that focuses on the contemporary music world.