NSI Features First - Faculty

Presented by the National Screen Institute in association with Telefilm Canada

Melissa Kajpust, Program Advisor


As head of creative for Super Channel, Melissa oversees the development and pre-licensing of Canadian feature films and feature documentaries.

She also manages development and production on original Canadian series and recently served as production executive on the one-hour horror series Slasher (Shaftesbury), and the half-hour comedy What Would Sal Do? (New Metric Media).

Melissa has extensive relationships with producers, distributors and funding agencies across Canada. She is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre.

Her earlier experience includes working as director of programming for the National Screen Institute where she was accountable for the delivery of all training programs. At NSI, Melissa played a key role in launching, and then administering, the Movie Central Script to Screen program. 

Melissa is an award-winning screenwriter, children’s author and playwright. In 2013 she was honoured to receive a YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award.

An avid oenophile, Melissa is proud to have completed level one of her sommelier diploma.

Shelly Quade, Program Manager (on leave)


As manager of programs and development, Shelly runs the NSI Totally Television and NSI Features First courses.

Shelly comes to NSI from Frantic Films where she was assistant to the CEO & executive producer. More recently, she had a hand in TV development from show creation to research with a special love for casting.

She has extensive knowledge of the film and television industry on a national level, great connections and is enormously passionate about Canadian productions.

When she was cast as an extra in the Canadian classic Meatballs, she knew film and TV was the industry she wanted to work in. She went on to study broadcasting and worked as a reader and book reviewer and brings those skills and enthusiasm to her current position.

Joy Loewen, Program Manager (interim)

Joy Loewen

Joy is a passionate supporter of the production, promotion and exhibition of Canadian art and artists.

Having previously worked as a broadcast and festival programmer at WTN (Women’s Television Network), CBC and the Gimli Film Festival; program manager at NSI and On Screen Manitoba and, most recently, as executive director at Freeze Frame Media Arts Centre for Young People, Joy’s specialty lies in showcasing and promoting a diverse range of media projects and the artists who create them.

Joy is also an active volunteer with leadership roles in several Winnipeg non-profit organizations.

Having previously served as president of the Balmoral Hall Parent Association and co-chair of the Yes, She Can! Dinner honouring The Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, she is currently board chair at Balmoral Hall School.

Her passion and commitment to supporting artists and emerging talent extends into her volunteer work as a member of the Rainbow Stage board of directors and their awards and scholarships committee as well as the Winnipeg Foundation’s strategic initiatives committee.

Associate faculty


Tom Alexander, Mongrel Media
Omar Chalabi, Elevation Pictures
Andrew Hunt, Raven Banner Entertainment
Michael Kennedy, Cineplex
Christina Kubacki, Entertainment One
David Miller, Agency 71
Michael Paszt, Raven Banner Entertainment
Brad Pelman, The Fremantle Corporation


Melissa Kajpust, Super Channel
Kathleen Meek, Bell Media

Story editor mentors

Melissa Kajpust
Linda Seger

Executive producer mentors & producer resources

David Barlow
Jonathan Bronfman
Isaac Clements
Damon D’Oliveira
Paula Devonshire
Murray Foster
Lauren Grant
Moira Holmes
Leah Jaunzems
David Miller
Darren Portelli
Jenn Shin
Jeffrey St. Jules
Glen Wood


Kathy Weinkauf

Financial and funding agencies

Alan Bacchus, Harold Greenberg Fund
Marcia Douglas, formerly with Bell Fund
Chris Dunn, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC)
John Galway, Harold Greenberg Fund
Moira Holmes, Film Finances
Diane Konecny, Front Row Insurance
Tanya Lahiri, RBC
Dan Lyon, Telefilm Canada
Gabi Mandowsky, Aver Media Finance (BMO)
Frank Manzo, National Bank
Melanie Muncaster, Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation
Jenna Seguin, Aver Media Finance (BMO)

Casting agent

Stephanie Gorin, Stephanie Gorin Casting

Other industry resources

Gigi Morin, Duncan-Morin
Anne Marie Murphy, Eastern Script


Glenn Cockburn, Meridian Artists