Thursday June 13, 1pm-3pm

Halifax Central Library, BMO Community Room (2nd Floor)

About the Programmer Initiative

Every year, HIFF brings programmers from prestigious Canadian and international festivals to Halifax to take part in the festival, watch local shorts and host one-on-one meetings with regional filmmakers. The Programmer Initiative is a unique opportunity for Atlantic Canadian filmmakers to connect face-to-face with programmers from around the world and make meaningful connections within the international film festival circuit.

This year we welcome:

Émilie Poirier, Short Film Programmer + Coordinator  •  Festival du nouveau cinéma

Anita Tavakol, Short Cuts Programming Associate  •  Toronto International Film Festival

Miranda Mungai, Documentary Programmer + Industry Events Producer  • London Short Film Festival

Brighid Wheeler, Senior Programmer + Director of Operations  • Indie Memphis Film Festival

Lori McCurdy, Regional Feature Film Executive from the Atlantic Region of Telefilm Canada, is also available for meetings.

The Programmer Meetings are free for participating HIFF 2019 filmmakers. Additional access may be available - please enquire at hiff@afcoop.ca.



Émilie Poirier - Short Film Programmer + Coordinator
Festival du nouveau cinéma

Emilie Poirier’s current practice revolves around art history/cultural studies, film festival curating and how the two intersect and interact. She is a curator of the short film programming at the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema (FNC) for the national competition. She is currently writing her master thesis in Art History at Université de Montréal, where her academic research examines collaborations between pop culture, contemporary art and the blurred boundaries between different types of cultural production. Poirier holds a BA in political science (international relations) from UQAM (2010) and a certificate in art history from Université de Montreal (2014).



Anita Tavakol - Short Cuts Programming Associate
Toronto International Film Festival

Anita Tavakol studied Political Science at York University. Upon graduating, she joined Youth in Motion, a nonprofit educational organization, as Program Coordinator for the Women in Politics and Government Career Learning Days in Toronto and Halifax, before pursuing her lifelong passion for film by taking an active role in the local film festival community. She has worked at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and the Canadian Film Centre's Worldwide Short Film Festival, and was a member of the Programming Committee at the Revue Cinema, assisting in the selection process for the Revue's Short Shorts festival. She has studied sketch, film and television writing at Second City Toronto and Chicago, and served in a variety of roles at the Toronto International Film Festival, including Jury Coordinator for the first Short Film Jury and Pre-Screener for TIFF Kids and the Short Cuts programme, before assuming her current role as the Short Cuts Programming Associate.


Miranda Mungai - Documentary Programmer + Industry Events Producer
London Short Film Festival

Miranda is a documentary programmer and industry events producer for the London Short Film Festival. She is also working as Festival Assistant for the 2019 Open City Documentary Festival. Her programming focuses on showcasing films that push the boundaries of the documentary form and move beyond a history of ethnography and educational film. She prioritizes creating encouraging spaces for women, non-binary people and women of colour in the London film industry. She has recently chaired a panel on the ethics of representation in documentary and is currently co-programming a screening and roundtable discussion for LSFF 2020 exploring how female video diaries have changed as new media impacts auto ethnographic practice .


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 Brighid Wheeler - Senior Programmer + Director of Operations
Indie Memphis Film Festival

Brighid Wheeler has been (willingly) held captive in the film festival world for most of her adult life. Having run the gamut from volunteer to THE ‘Queen B’ (nickname earned as Festival Coordinator), she currently serves as the Senior Programmer and Director of Operations for the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Outside of the festival, you’ll most likely find her mentoring, guiding and encouraging the filmmakers in Memphis. She often attributes this as her main source of inspiration and what continues to drive her work at Indie Memphis. Brighid has served on countless juries at festivals across the country, and considers each jury experience an honor as it allows her the opportunity to support our current and next generation of storytellers.

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Lori McCurdy - Atlantic Feature Film Executive
Telefilm Canada

Lori is on Telefilm’s Project Financing team which is responsible for decisions on feature films at the national and regional levels.  Her mandate is to develop and support feature film talent (producers, writers and directors) in the Atlantic region, primarily through investment in an annual portfolio of projects with budgets less than $2.5 million but she is also here as the primary contact for all Atlantic feature film clients and to help them navigate Telefilm and its programs.  Lori has held a number of positions at Telefilm since her hiring in 1997, including Analyst, Business Affairs Lead Analyst, Television Business Unit Director, National Officer, Industry Development and Director, Performance and Quality Management.


The HIFF Programmer Initiative is generously supported by the Province of Nova Scotia