Indigenous Screen Summit 2024 call for submissions

For immediate release:
Applications open today!

TORONTO February 26, 2024 – The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) announces the return of the Indigenous Screen Summit Pitch Forum (ISS), and welcomes Rogers Communications as a new multi-year presenting partner. The company joins founding partners, the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) and the Canada Media Fund (CMF). Applications open today for the third edition of the ISS Pitch Forum which will take place on Sunday, June 9, 2024 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta kicking off the 45th edition of the Banff World Media Festival.
“ISO is delighted to announce its ongoing support to the ISS Pitch Forum. Our commitment is dedicated to providing valuable business opportunities for Indigenous storytellers. We strive to empower them in showcasing their stories on the global stage and develop meaningful connections within the industry.

We are thrilled to welcome Rogers Communications as the presentation partner of the ISS Pitch Forum.” Kerry Swanson, CEO of ISO. “The ISS Pitch Forum is an essential platform for showcasing Indigenous storytellers, ensuring they get the recognition that is long overdue and that their stories stand out within the broader Canadian media landscape. The Pitch Forum has flourished over the last two years thanks to our partnership with the ISO, and we are pleased to welcome Rogers as a presenting partner this year. Their involvement highlights the necessary and growing support for Indigenous projects at home and globally,” said Valerie Creighton, President & CEO of the Canada Media Fund.

“We are really excited to expand our partnership with the Banff World Media Festival by supporting the
Indigenous Screen Summit Pitch Forum,” said Robin Mirsky, Director, Rogers Group of Funds. “We are
committed to providing opportunities for Indigenous creators to bring their ideas to the national stage
by supporting the ISS in their mission to increase access to the industry and remove barriers to funding.”

“We are delighted to welcome Rogers as a new partner alongside our founding partners, the ISO and the CMF in providing a platform to support Indigenous storytellers. The ISS has already contributed to the development and distribution of Indigenous projects presented during the Pitch Forum.

We are delighted that with the help of our partners, we can continue to grow the ISS to offer Indigenous creators access to top industry professionals, the ability to forge industry partnerships, and to develop and garner strategic partnerships to further their projects. We also welcome back our ISS Advisory Board and ISS Producer Rachel CrowSpreadingWings to our event production team,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director of the Banff World Media Festival.

About the ISS Pitch Forum Fifteen (15), Indigenous producers/creators present their projects in a series of mainstage pitch sessions, to a panel of leading industry buyers, and to an audience of industry delegates. Running adjunct to the renowned Banff World Media Festival (BANFF), one of the world’s most important gatherings of entertainment industry executives, the ISS seeks to amplify the work of Indigenous creators and producers and their film/TV/web series projects across the Canadian global marketplace.

The half-day event includes pitches in the genres of Documentary/Unscripted, Scripted Drama, and
Scripted Comedy. Pitch applicants are adjudicated by an expert jury and drawn from the ‘Netflix-BANFF
Diversity of Voices Initiative’ (a program that brings up to 100 racialized producers to the festival each
year), and the ‘CBC-APTN Early Stage Scripted Development Program for Indigenous Creators in
association with the ISO’, as well as an open call for applications.

Interested candidates are invited to apply by March 7, 2024 at 3 PM. Please visit the ISS website for
eligibility and submission guidelines. The ISS Pitch Forum participants will receive a full pass to the Banff World Media Festival, a travel stipend, industry mentorships, and customized networking opportunities with top industry professionals.

ISS participants will have access to the full complement of structured and unstructured networking,
receptions, and curated sessions at the festival. All delegates of BANFF 2024 will have access to the
Indigenous Screen Summit and Pitch Forum. There will be no additional cost to attend.
About Rachel CrowSpreadingWings Rachel CrowSpreadingWings is part of the Blackfoot Confederacy and a member of Kainai First Nations.

She has been part of the BANFF experience since 2015 & 2016, as an intern. In 2023, she joined the
team as the Producer of the Indigenous Screen Summit. Most recently, she brought her acting skills to
the main stage as “Tammy” in a groundbreaking play called“Yisstsiiyi,” at the University of Lethbridge,
which was produced in partnership with Making Treaty 7. Her career in film and television spans 16
years. Her experience includes; reporting, producing and hosting the evening news for networks like CTV, CityNews, and ABC/Fox. Before hitting the mainstream networks, for nearly two years, Rachel produced “Prairie Phyre: First Nations News in Southern Alberta” for Shaw. Rachel also produced a radio program for “Thin Air Radio” in Spokane, Washington. Helping others reach for their dreams is her lifelong commitment.

About the Banff World Media Festival
Celebrating its 45th year, the Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) and the Rockie Awards comprise a key global conference and content marketplace, bringing together top creators, producers, talent, networks, studios, and media companies. It serves as a leading destination for co-production and co-venture partnerships, offering international media stakeholders a unique opportunity to connect, shape the industry’s future, and forge new business deals. The event features Summit Series keynotes,…3/
Master Classes, and Showrunner Superpanels showcasing creative and business leaders. The Rockie
Awards recognize outstanding content and industry figures worldwide. BANFF also spearheads initiatives
like Banff Spark Accelerator For Women in the Business of Media, and the Indigenous Screen Summit
and Pitch Forum, providing professional development and industry access opportunities for
under-represented professionals in the Canadian media industry.
BANFF respectfully acknowledges that the territory in which the festival takes place is located on the
traditional lands of the Treaty No. 7 Territory, comprised of the Stoney Nakoda Nations of Wesley,
Chiniki, and Bearspaw; three of the four Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy: the Piikani, Kainai, and
Siksika; and the Tsuu T’ina of the Dene people. Treaty No. 7 is also shared with the Métis Nation of
Alberta, Region III. BANFF’s office is on the Treaty Lands and Territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit
and the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, the Wendat and the Haudenosaunee. Toronto (also
known as Tkaronto) is home to First Nations, Métis and the Inuit peoples from across Turtle Island.
About the Indigenous Screen Office The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Métis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector.

About the Canada Media Fund
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) fosters, develops, finances, and promotes the production of Canadian
content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. The CMF guides Canadian content towards a competitive global environment by fostering industry innovation, rewarding success, enabling a diversity of voices, and promoting access to content through public and private sector partnerships. The CMF receives financial contributions from the Government of Canada and Canada’s cable, satellite, and IPTV distributors.
For media inquiries contact: Micol Marotti | Manager of Special Programs |Banff World Media Festival,
[email protected] |416.567.1698
Program inquiries: Rachel CrowSpreadingWings | Indigenous Screen Summit Producer |Banff World
Media Festival, [email protected] |204.792.1014