Martha is a filmmaker and arts administrator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her administrative work has been recognized by the Canadian Progress Club through their Women of Excellence Award. Her practice as a filmmaker is in experimental, cinepoetry work and her films have screened at festivals and in gallery installations across Canada. Martha is currently the Executive Director of the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative, a non-profit resource centre for independent filmmakers.



Gianna has returned to Halifax after a jaunt in Ottawa working in artist relations for Kelp Management (Andy Shauf, Lido Pimienta, Michael Rault), and producing festivals MEGAPHONO Music Festival and Conference, the National Community Radio Conference, and Arboretum Music Festival. Locally Gianna has been the Station Coordinator at CKDU 88.1FM, and supported the teams behind OBEY Convention and Atlantic International Film Festival. Alongside performing music as Gianna Lauren, pastimes include: drinking coffee, reading, watching films, cooking, and looking at puppies on the internet. Raised in Edmonton and Ottawa, Gianna has been calling Halifax home since 2009.




The HIFF 2019 Programming Committee is an external committee comprised of local filmmakers and cinephiles. The committee meets regularly in the months leading up to the festival  to select the visiting filmmaker content for the festival. The committee watched dozens of features and short films in order to select content for this year’s HIFF that is diverse, bold and contributes to the advancement of the discourse of cinema.

The Programming Committee is comprised of Daniel Boos, Zack Miller, Tori Fleming, Dawn George, Rena Thomas (not pictured) and Heather Young.

Heather Young

Heather Young

Heather Young, Programming Coordinator
Heather Young is a filmmaker living in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After graduating from UNB and NSCAD University she made several short films including Green (2013), Howard and Jean (2014) and Fish (2016). Fish played at festivals all over the world including Palm Springs Shortfest, the Vancouver International Film Festival, Vienna Independent Shorts and TIFF Canada’s Top Ten Festival. Her new short Milk had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival (where she also participated in the TIFF Talent Lab), won Best Short Film in the QC/Canada section at Festival du Nouveau Cinema, and recently played TIFF Canada’s Top Ten, Aspen Shortsfest and the Maryland Film Festival. Heather has been a member of the programming team for the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival since 2016.

Dawn George

Dawn George

Dawn George is a filmmaker who also likes the outside. She is best known for creating films that offer intimate observations of plants, bugs, and moulds, accompanied by sophisticated soundtracks. Her current film obsession is listening to vegetables. Dawn’s work has screened at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Antimatter, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Supernova Digital Animation Festival, and WNDX.

Zack Miller

Zack Miller

Zack Miller is a software developer moonlighting as a film lover in Bedford, NS. He is also a programmer with Carbon Arc Cinema in Halifax, a frequent guest host for film series at Halifax Central Library, and his writing on cinema has been published in The Focus Pull Film Journal, Photogenie, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Shelf Heroes, and Cinema Scandinavia. Zack is interested in programming films that challenge audiences intellectually while broadening the standards of representation, in front of and behind the camera. He has a deep and abiding love of sight gags and his second language is subtitles.

Daniel Boos

Daniel Boos

Daniel Boos is an award-winning filmmaker from Halifax. His short films have screened at national and international festivals and competitions, including Montreal’s Festival du nouveau cinéma, the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the CBC Short Film Face Off, and Canada’s Not Short on Talent at Clermont-Ferrand. His latest short film Thug won Best Atlantic Short and Outstanding Performance by an Actor at the 37th Atlantic Film Festival. In 2017, Daniel was a recipient of the Irving Avrich Fund from the Toronto International Film Festival. He is currently completing his MFA in Film at York University.


Tori Fleming is a media artist, programmer and curator based in Halifax, NS. Working primarily with 16mm Celluloid, Tori's practice also includes painting, installation, and animation. Her works have exhibited in Nuit Blanche Toronto, Art in the Open PEI, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, the Bus Stop Theatre, the Khyber Centre for the Arts and more. She has been awarded multiple grants and awards including the Starfish Properties Award for Film, the Atlantic Filmmakers Cooperative Celluloid Grant, and an Arts Nova Scotia Creation Grant.

Fleming’s curatorial work focuses on media arts, often centering on the space between media art and filmmaking. Fleming is currently the Director of Programming at the Centre for Art Tapes, a Media Arts based artist-run centre in North End Halifax. Through her independent curatorial practice, Fleming has recently worked with the Anna Leonowens Gallery, Nocturne Art at Night Festival, and the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival. Fleming works to promote the status of the artist and Canadian cultural institutions through volunteer work as a director on the boards of various arts groups including Halifax Ink, a Nova Scotia based artists publication non-profit, and as the Atlantic Canadian Representative for the Artist-Run Centre Association of Canada.



HIFF assembles a jury of local filmmakers to watch over a hundred  short film submissions by filmmakers from Atlantic Canada. The jury is an external group which is separate from regular AFCOOP Staff and the HIFF Programming Committee.

Submissions to the Atlantic Auteurs program are open to filmmakers based in, or born in, Atlantic Canada.