BANFF World Media Festival plans in-person return for June

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is making plans to return in-person for the 43rd edition of the event, June 12-15.

Among the speakers confirmed for this year’s BANFF Summit Series are Universal Studio Group (USG) Chairman Pearlena Igbokwe, the first woman of colour to hold the role, responsible for all aspects of creative affairs and production for NBCUniversal studios: Universal Television, Universal Content Productions (UCP), Universal Television Alternative Studios and Universal International Studios.

An exclusive In Conversation With session is also planned featuring global health and pandemic expert Dr. Ashish K. Jha and philanthropist and entrepreneur Frank Giustra discussing the impact of mis- and disinformation and the responsibility of the media and entertainment industry to combat it.

The Rockie Awards International Program Competition is also set to return with the Grand Jury Prize, Francophone Prize and other awards to be announced during the festival on June 13.

“BANFF is back, bigger and better than ever,” said BANFF Board Chair and Lionsgate Television Group Chair Kevin Beggs, in a release. “We couldn’t think of more fitting speakers to kick off the festivities than the head of Brown University’s School of Public Health, Dr. Ashish Jha, a visionary leader who has given useful and politics-free advice to millions during the pandemic; Frank Giustra, founder of Lionsgate which has grown from a start-up in 1999 to a leading content, distribution, and platform studio today, and who was recently named Co-Chair of the Crisis Group; and Pearlena Igbokwe, Chair of Universal Television Group, one of the most prolific television studios operating in Hollywood today.”

The international conference and marketplace has historically drawn delegates from 50+ countries, attracting top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press and media companies.

BANFF has also revealed this year’s cohort for its BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media, which empowers and trains Canadian women entrepreneurs to launch and grow their own businesses within the screen-based industries.

The 100 entrepreneurs selected to take part in the 2022 cohort are:

Brishkay Ahmed Laura Friedmann Tanya Kelen Tanis Parenteau
Sholeh Alemi Fabbri
Vesta Giles Leona Krahn Minae Stella Park
Maia Jae Bastidas Magali Gillon-Krizaj Catherine Lafferty Shreya Patel
Kerry Bellegarde Ruth Goodwin Lindsay Lee Amber-Leigh Polowich
Tamara Black Eva Grant Anita Li Darylina Powderface
Amy Bohigian Shona Grewar Samantha Little Skye Regan
Lynn Booth Sibel Guvenc Kai Little-White Kelly-Anne Riess
Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh Charmaine Hammond Rhonda Lucy Alexandra Roberts
Bal Brach Kara Harun Frieda Luk Coreena Robertson
Mariah Braun Lynn Harvey Lauren MacKinlay Kulbinder Saran Caldwell
Fennella Bruce Jennifer Haufler Shanyn Maguire Sage Shepherd
Mikayla Carson Janine Heath Gemma Martini Patricia Sims
Ana P. Castillo Laura Heath Potter Shana McCalla Sabrina Spence
Dana Claxton Carmen Henriquez Kate McCallum Tia Taurere Clearsky
Pauline Couture Hannah Hermanson Ell McEachern Sarah Taylor
Tamara Dawit Rebeka Herron Cher Merlo Eva Thomas
Priyanka Desai Wendy Hill-Tout Tara Mewis Loretta Sarah Todd
Kik Di Nino Kylie Hitchcock Laura Mingail Natasha Vassell
Rebecca DiPasquale Teresa M Ho Vanessa Mitchell Angelika Walaszczyk
Rosvita Dransfeld Emma Houghton Katharine Montagu Leah Walker
Rime El Jadidi Jennifer Irons Kahstoserakwath Paulette Moore Karen Walton
Tara Ellis Judith Iseke Michelle Morris Rua Wani
Maddy Falle Ania Jamila Jenny Ng-Turner Nicola Waugh
Corinne Ferguson Shazia Javed Ananya Ohri Katie Weekley
Carmen Forsberg Summandeep Kandola Sheronna Osbourne Brooke Woboditsch

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Connie Thiessen
Connie Thiessen
Connie has worked coast-to-coast as a reporter, editor, anchor and host at CKNW and News 1130 in Vancouver, News 95.7 and CBC in Halifax, and CFCW Edmonton, among other stations. With a passion for music, film and community service, she led News 95.7 to a 2013 Atlantic Journalism Award and regional RTDNA award for Best Radio Newscast. More recently, she was nominated for Music Journalist of the Year at Canadian Music Week 2019. To report a typo or error please email -

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