Amanda Konkin - ACE 1 Producer
Currently: Manager, Global Studio Pipeline, Mainframe Studios
Amanda Konkin has produced multiple short films, series and animated projects including The Butterfly Affect (best short animation, La Femme Film Festival (2020)), Ada (Short- 2019), Intimate Fears (short- 2019) and The Switch (TV series- 2016). In addition to her independent projects that have received funding from sources such as Women in Animation, Telus Storyhive, Bell Media, Crazy 8s and OUTtv, Amanda works full time in 3D animated television at Mainframe Studios as the manager of their Global Studio Pipeline (Vancouver/Ottawa/Indonesia) and co-chairs the studios Culture Club with a particular focus on developing Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives. Her most recent short film iDorothy is doing the festival circuit and her short film hAPPiness produced with Download Joy Productions is currently available on Crave TV in Canada, and internationally on Dust.
Stephanie Blakey - ACE 1 Director
Currently: Storyboard Supervisor
Stephanie is an animation director and storyboard supervisor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's worked on such shows as Cupcake & Dino: General Services, and The Last Kids on Earth.
Stephanie was selected as director for the inaugural Five in Focus program created by Women in Animation Vancouver and Women in View, working with a team of four other women to develop and produce a short animated film called “The Butterfly Affect” which premiered locally at the Spark Animation Festival in Vancouver, October 2019.
Stephanie graduated from the National Film and Television School in 2014 with a Master’s degree in Directing Animation. She has been a jury member for film submissions to the Spark Animation Festival 2019 and was also a jury member for the Northwest Animation Festival in 2017 and 2018 and she is currently developing several personal projects.
Jen Davreux - ACE 1 Writer
Currently: Writer, Klei Entertainment
Jen is a writer and artist from Vancouver who, after working in animation for 6 years as a storyboard artist, kicked off her writing career with Five in Focus’ (now ACE Career Accelerator) first short film, The Butterfly Affect. Since then, she has been working at Klei Entertainment as the writer on Don’t Starve Together, doing her level best to make players laugh and cry with heartfelt cinematics and finely crafted puns.
Maisha A. Moore - ACE 1 Art Director
Maisha is an Annie Award nominated Art Director from Vancouver Canada. Maisha has been in the animation industry for the last 15 years, working in both 2D and 3D media. She has worked on
globally recognized media such as The Addams Family, Young Love and Barbie. Maisha was the Art Director of the inaugural Five in Focus program, and now mentors for the ACE Career Accelerator.
Kaitlin Sutherland - ACE 1 Animation Director
Kaitlin couldn’t get enough of shows and movies growing up — their unique stories, vast worlds, the different characters — and the tipping point came with the release of Lilo & Stitch in 2002. That was the moment when Kaitlin realized people get PAID to make the content she loved... and she was determined to do that too! Today, with a degree from Sheridan College and years of experience in boards, animation and directing under her belt, Kaitlin is an Assistant Director at Wildbrain Studios. In her spare time, she also contributes to collaborative animated projects, and pursues her own personal projects as well.
Kaitlin has always been focused on trying to tell a different story, diverging from typical stereotypes in her character designs, and reaching quality above and beyond so that she can make someone else’s childhood and imagination as rich and vibrant as her own."
Tini Wider - ACE 2 Producer
After graduation from film school in Vienna, Austria Tini worked as a Location and Production Manager on various projects. Starting off with short films, then gaining more experience with TV Movies and Commercials, she then moved to Canada where she discovered the world of animation. She worked primarily as a Line Producer on CG and 2D TV shows and a 2D Harmony feature film.
Producing the short film PIVOT and now owning her own company Wider Entertainment Inc. was a huge milestone in her career.
Currently, she is working as an Associate Producer on an animated CG feature film at Industrial Light and Magic.
Ana Gusson - ACE 2 Director
Born and raised in Brazil, Ana Gusson is a Director and 2D Animator. She came to Canada to attend the Classical Animation Program at Vancouver Film School, where she directed two short films - ‘Serio’ and ‘Mushrooming’. Since then, she has worked as an animator in productions like ‘My Little Pony: The Movie’, Netflix’s ‘Archibald’s
Next Big Thing’ and Dreamworks’ ‘Trollstopia’. Ana is currently working as a Director at Kickstart Entertainment.
Robyn Campbell - ACE 2 Writer
Robyn Campbell is a Canadian award-winning screenwriter residing in Vancouver, British Columbia. As a queer, female, millennial, Robyn creates characters and stories that are inclusive, diverse and encourage women to be themselves, even when it’s difficult. The commercials she’s written have accumulated millions of views, and her award-winning short- animated film, Pivot, is an international success, screening at critically acclaimed festivals from Korea to Italy to Canada and the United States. She is currently employed as an episodic screenwriter on a TBA series produced by a globally recognized brand and is in development on her next short film, Bikini Season, which will be her directing debut.
Robyn has Bachelor's Degrees in Sociology and Biology from the University of Saskatchewan, which she completed before moving to Vancouver to attend Vancouver Film School. Following a few years writing commercials and freelance work on set, she developed a solid development skillset through three years of experience at Mainframe Studios, shepherding diverse and unique animated projects into creation, including reviewing, editing, and helping to write original IP.
Cindey Chiang - ACE 2 Art Director
Cindey Chiang is an Art Director and Visual Development Artist in Vancouver with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Character Animation from CalArts.
Cindey has contributed to a variety of projects- from animating on the Beatles Covers ad for Apple to working on both of The Angry Birds movies as a Visual Development Artist. She has also worked as a Senior Designer on Robert Kirkman’s “Invincible” animated series for Amazon, and as a Designer and Art Director (1 episode) on the upcoming Netflix/ LINE Friends series “Brown and Friends.” Most recently, Cindey was the Art Director of “Pivot,” an award-winning animated short film that is screening at festivals around the world.
Cindey is currently a Visual Development artist on the Garfield animated feature at Alcon Entertainment.
Apart from drawing, Cindey enjoys arts and crafts, drinking coffee, and eating ice cream. She also likes animals and all things cute!
Erica Miles - ACE 2 Animation Director
Erica Miles is an Animator and award-winning Animation Director living in Vancouver, British Columbia. She has worked on a number of exciting projects including the award-winning “Hilda”, “101 Dalmatian Street” and “Trollstopia” for clients like Netflix, Disney, and Dreamworks.
As a queer and late recognized neurodivergent person, Erica has spent the last few years learning about the unique ways that her brain works, and about how important diverse minds and perspectives are in media. It has fueled her drive to create and work on projects that put people from underrepresented backgrounds both on screen and behind the scenes to tell authentic stories.
Erica was chosen as the Animation Director for the second iteration of the WIA A.C.E. Program and helped lead a talented team to bring the short film ‘Pivot’ to life. She is currently a Lead Animator on a series for Sony and HBO Max at Atomic Cartoons.
Eva Pekárová - ACE 2 Composer
Eva is a Musician, Composer, and Multidisciplinary Artist based in Vancouver, Canada. Originally from the small town of Piešťany, Slovakia, she began her piano studies at the age of 4, and has a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design with a specialization in Film, Video, + Integrated Media. Her extensive research and professional engagement in film production has given her unique insights into film scoring as her career has developed.
She has scored projects in a variety of genres including two Crazy8s production films (The Faraway Place (2022), High End Dying (2023)), graduating projetcs, documentaries, and has collaborated with composers as a session musician with her ancient Slovak flutes. Currently, Eva is scoring two independent films and a documentary with celebrated Director and Professor Harry Killas. She is very proud of her role as Composer in the award-winning short film 'Pivot' made during the second iteration of the WIA Ace Vancouver program.
This year, Eva is a participant in a masters-intensive scoring program in Europe, and is looking forward to recording her works with a full orchestra.
Eva is currently finalizing her project “Fujara Studies”, her first solo album supported by the Canada Council for the Arts. “Fujara Studies’ explores the ancient flutes of Slovakia, most notably the Fujara in novel genres such as Jazz, Classical, and indie music where these instruments have not been used traditionally.
As with all of her projects, Eva is most intrigued by the exploration of genre reinterpretation through the unexpected, boldly pushing musical boundaries, and creating melodically compelling compositions.
Stephanie Hodgson - ACE 3 Producer
Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, Stephanie has over 15 years of professional experience in production, events, theatre and live entertainment. After graduating from theatre school, Stephanie worked as an actor, appearing in award-winning short films as well as a number of commercials, TV series and films. She has also successfully run her own theatre company, developing and producing new work.
Now based in Vancouver, Canada, Stephanie started working in production on commercials and live action. She has now transitioned to Animation and is currently the Voice Production Manager at Atomic on Spidey and His Amazing Friends. Through her experience in the ACE program and having started her own production company, Curious Son Productions, Stephanie hopes to continue making fun, collaborative and thought-provoking films for audiences around the world.
Sonia Furier - ACE 3 Director
Sonia began her professional training journey at the APW (animation portfolio workshop) which brought her into Sheridan’s animation program.
Once working in the animation industry, Sonia has worked in various positions in storyboards on projects such as Numb Chucks, Camp LakeBottom, Rusty Rivets, Kody Kapow, AlienTV, Angry Birds Summer Madness, Corner Gas, Doomsday Brothers and other development projects. Currently, Sonia is working at House of Cool in the position of Story Revisions Supervisor on an unannounced project.
Sunita Balsara - ACE 3 Writer
Sunita is a writer, designer, and professional worrier based in Toronto. Sunita started working in animation a decade ago as a background and prop designer on Bubble Guppies at Nelvana Studios. Since then, Sunita’s been a character and prop designer for such series as Corn & Peg and Thomas & Friends. She has been published twice in indie comic anthologies and has successfully pitched two short films. One of which is in development at Nelvana titled ‘Canapé!’,. The second short film is “Ostinato” which is the subject of WIA Vancouver’s ACE 3 Program. When she isn’t drawing or daydreaming, she can be found struggling to not kill her houseplants.
Isabel Ribeiro - ACE 3 Editor
Isabel Ribeiro works at Cinesite as an Assistant Editor, aspiring to be a feature editor in the future. After studying Production and Post Production for TV and movies in Montreal, she has worked in the animation industry for about three and a half years. She was selected as an Editor, for Round 3 of WIA Vancouver’s ACE Program, and is editing their short film, Ostinato. Reading about this amazing career and watching a lot of animation, films and TV series are some of her hobbies besides walking her beautiful golden retriever Zoe.
May-Yun Ong - ACE 3 Assistant Art Director
May is an artist based in Vancouver with currently 6 years in the animation industry and counting. Arriving in Vancouver to go to the Vancouver Film School's Classical Animation Program back in 2015, she has stayed ever since. Since then she has worked on various shows such as Carmen Sandiego, The Bob's Burger Movie and the Snoopy Apple Specials just to name a few. Her expertise mainly lies in compositing but with this program is learning to branch out of her comfort zone into the world of design and art directing. When not busy learning about colour and composition, she can often be found exploring a new cafe or in a bookstore collecting more books to add to her never ending TBR list.
Anna Bohac - ACE 3 Storyboard Supervisor
Anna is a storyboard and comic artist working out of Vancouver. Originally from the UK, they studied Animation & VFX at university, graduating with a BA(Hons). Post graduation, their pursuit of visual story-telling led them to co-founding the queer comics group "Rat Pack Collective" with friends, which releases a themed anthology annually. They moved to Canada in 2019 to pursue a career in storyboarding for TV animation, and has since worked on shows including, 101 Dalmatian Street, Carmen Sandiego, and Spidey and His Amazing Friends. Their role as storyboard supervisor on the program has allowed them to gain deeper understanding of the animation pipeline and key skills for leading a team.
Anna is currently still working in storyboards, but still enjoys creating comics in their spare time.
Molly Lacoursière - ACE 3 Animation Director
Holder of a B.A.C in Animation Arts and Science (2D/3D animation) and a D.E.C in Visual Arts, Molly has been in the animation industry since 2016. She specializes in character animation and rigging in 2D using Toon Boom Harmony. Her passion for character animation started by watching ''Looney Tunes'', developing further by analysing the work of her favorite artist, 'Chuck Jones'. Molly started her career traveling across Canada to experiment with a variety of pipelines in different animation studios as well as learn new techniques. She has worked on projects like ''Last Kids on Earth'', ''Trailer Park Boys'', ''Gurious George the Movie” and more recently on ''Pinecone and Pony'' as a team leader . During her journey, Molly discovered a passion for the world of production and enrolled in WIA’s ACE program as an Animation Director.
Amanda Cawley - ACE 3 Composer
Amanda Cawley is a British-Canadian composer for film, television and video games. In 2022, Amanda was honoured to win a Leo Award for Best Musical Score in Documentary Series for Visionary Gardeners, and receive a Canadian Screen Award and a Canadian Screen Music Award nomination for Best Original Music, Non-Fiction for Ageless Gardens Season 3 . She has also been nominated for 5 Leo Awards for Best Musical Score in Documentary Series in years 2018, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023. Amanda has a classical education in music from the University of Victoria, BC, Canada, and a contemporary education in composition from Selkirk College, BC. Recently completed works include animated TV series Fireman Sam Season 14; documentary TV series Ageless Gardens Season 4; and animated series Isabel & Nicki’s Super Duper Twin Adventures. Amanda brings a diverse flavour to projects that demand a distinguishing edge and has a particular aptitude for finding moments to interlace a true sense of enchantment.