FilmBC: British Columbia Executive Panel Event
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24th: 2:45 - 4:30 PM

Presented by VFT/Subrosa Media Inc.

Veritas Film & Television

DaVinci International Film Festival in association with the Canadian Consulate of Los Angeles, welcomes a panel of entertainment industry professionals to discuss independent filmmaking in Hollywood North (British Columbia).  Join us to learn more, connect with executives, and get a foothold in Canadian film production.

  • Why shoot in Canada
  • Film or video production tax credits (CPTC)
  • Production, co-production, and equipment resources
  • Location, location, location


Canada remains a top international filming location, with Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal as the main production hubs rivalling the likes of New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Generous provincial filming incentives are a key element of Canada’s overall success, as are the country’s studio facilities and ability to double for US locations.

Vancouver offers easy access to California and has hosted high-profile movies like Deadpool, the hugely successful Fifty Shades of Grey and Fear the Walking Dead just to name a few. Other Canadian productions include Hairspray, Good Will Hunting, Interstellar, Brokeback Mountain, Shazam!, Catch Me If You Can, IT, The Shape of Water, Juno, Titanic, The Incredible Hulk, Chicago, and many others.  British Columbia is also becoming a visual effects hub. Sony Pictures Imageworks now has its HQ in Vancouver.  Vancouver-based BRON Studios has 32 Academy Award® nominations and 6 wins; 17 SAG Award nods and 5 wins, with huge titles including JOKER.

Toronto has world-class facilities including a branch of Pinewood Studios. The eastern province got a boost with Adam Sandler’s big-budget adventure Pixels and Guillermo del Toro’s Crimson Peak; Montreal has hosted two X-Men sequels.  JOIN US to learn more about Canadian film production!

Production Manager: Jovan Vujatovic

Special Guest and Opening Speaker: Matthew Oppenheimer, Trade Commissioner / International Business Development (Canadian Consulate)


Gemma Martini - DIFF


Gemma Martini founded Martini Film Studios in 2016 and has since expanded the business to include other film friendly locations, including a fully built out New York and Small Town backlot. Gemma is passionate about bringing people together to initiate change and has worked with other industry leaders to introduce, educate and ready future crews in the trade to pave the pathway for a prepared,diverse entertainment workforce in British Columbia. As the Chair of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association (MPPIA), Gemma enjoys working closely with others in the sector to grow the industry’s positive impact on BC’s economy. She is a member of Reel Green™ and her own clean energy initiatives recently earned her the honor of being a BC Hydro Clean Energy Champion.



Antonio Cupo is a performer, executive producer & producer from Burnaby, British Columbia. He has been working in the film and television industry for over 20 years, starting out as an actor and building an impressive resume of more than 80 credits on productions filmed in Canada and abroad.

Over the past 7 years, Antonio forged a new path as an Executive Producer under his company, Province Pictures Inc, developing a slate of movies and taking them from inception to final delivery. In addition to producing movies it owns, Province Pictures is also responsible for financing, tax credits and sales for other companies and producers that seek to collaborate on high-quality projects shooting in Canada.

Alex FilmBC - DIFF


Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Aleks Paunovic knew from an early age that he was destined to tell stories; whether it was with his fists as an amateur boxing champion, with his instrument as a musician, or in the truest form of storytelling: acting.

A skilled athlete with razor sharp focus– not to mention a descendant of three champion boxers– it’s no surprise that he acquired his first taste of success in the boxing ring. That drive and determination coupled with his love of living on the edge led to a successful career as a stunt actor. Though Paunovic was gifted in his physical abilities he was also a man of the arts, and exercised his love for music as a member of a rock band—where he was “discovered” while performing on stage. It was there where he was asked to audition for the HBO movie “Heads,” and as fate would have it he landed his first acting role and set forth to take Hollywood by storm.

Portraying a myriad of roles on both screens big and small, Paunovic has brought forth his unique skill set and chameleon like talent to transform himself into each character he plays. Whether it is a developmentally disabled man accused of murder in “Personal Effects” (opposite Kathy Bates, Ashton Kutcher, and Michelle Pfeiffer), or as an overzealous karate dad opposite Tom Hardy in “This Means War,” Paunovic truly takes each role to a new level further conditioning and developing his craft.

Paunovic has been quite busy developing his soon to be released canned water called LEGEND, from the Rocky Mountains of Canada. LEGEND not only to helps to get rid of single plastic use bottles, but also brings attention to mental health awareness. He has also had recent starring roles in shows like FIRE COUNTRY, HEELS, an attention getting role in MOST DANGEROUS GAME with Christoph Waltz, and Netflix’s FUBAR starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Paunovic garnered praise for his work behind the camera as an Executive Producer for “GenZeroes,” the first live-action, sci-fi NFT series.  He has also been recognized for his prominent roles as Breachman Boscovic in 4 seasons of TNT’s “Snowpiercer,” as well as Marvel’s “Hawkeye,” where he played Ivan, leader of the Tracksuit Mafia (streaming now on Disney+).  Additional credits include 5 seasons on Syfy’s “Van Helsing,” Jason Momoa’s SEE, “Motive,” “Supernatural,” “Continuum,” “iZombie,” “The 100,” “Once Upon a Time,” and “Smallville,” amongst many others.  Feature film credits include a starring role next to Anthony Hopkins in “Zero Contact”, “Crimson Point,” “Hard Powder,” opposite Liam Neeson, “Siberia,” opposite Keanu Reeves, “Numb,” “War for the Planet of the Apes,” and the indie features “Volition,” and “Freaks,” and “Chained.”

Steve FilmBC - DIFF


Stephen Harmaty is a GLAAD Media Award-nominated producer and executive producer with over two decades of professional experience in the British Columbia film and TV industry.

A big picture thinker, Stephen is President & CEO of his Vancouver-based production shingle, Patrick Street Pictures. The company develops its own IP-based projects and also service produces American productions. Patrick Street Pictures is involved in all aspects of media creation including acquiring rights & securing options, creative development, business affairs, finance, physical production, post production, distribution, interim financing, tax credit administration and audits. Stephen has worked on 40+ scripted drama and unscripted projects for partners such as Hallmark Media, AMC Studios, Sony Pictures Television, Annapurna Television, Lifetime, W Network/Corus Entertainment (Canada) and Beta Film (Germany).

Stephen is a Producer member of the Television Academy.

Bert FilmBC - DIFF


Bert Van Brande pioneered cg-animation in Brussels in the 80s, producing countless commercials, tv-titles and an early cg pre-school series, which set him on the path to becoming a specialist in character animation pipelines and cg-production technology. Bert was an integral part of the Maya animation software roll-out for Alias|Wavefront and worked with the Maya Software Development team in Santa-Barbara, California.

Bert joined Sony Pictures Imageworks in Culver City, California in 2003 and designed and supervised the development of the cg-animation pipeline for features such as The Polar Express, Monster House and subsequent Sony productions. In 2005 Bert switched back to more creative roles as CG-supervisor for Surf’s Up, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Alice in Wonderland.

Bert continued switching between technical and creatlve leadership roles for the Despicable Me Minion Mayhem Ride for Universal Studios, managed the Production Technology team for The Book of Life feature at Reel FX and became VFX-Supervisor for Sausage Party for Annapurna.

In 2017 Bert co-founded Stellar Creative Lab, a high-end cg-animation studio with offices in Vancouver and Toronto and specializing in prime-time animated content. Today 260 artists are working at Stellar on Marvel Zombies Series and Marvel What if? Series for Disney+ and a new Sausage Party Series for Amazon Prime. Season 3 of Kung Fu Panda – Dragon Knight, animated by Stellar Creative Lab for Dreamworks is currently streaming on Netflix.