Women in the Arts Roundtable
The York University School of the Arts, Media Performance & Design (AMPD) Dean, Dr. Sarah Bay-Cheng, sits down with York alumni Amanda Cordner (Actor, HBO Max’s Sort Of), Laura Friedmann (Producer, Wrapped Productions inc.), Jennifer Holness (Founder, Hungry Eyes Media), Beth Janson (Chief Operating Officer, TIFF) and Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu (Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre) to talk about the future of work, equity and access in the arts, and the impact of technology on artists of tomorrow.
ABOUT THE FINAL MILE CLUB
The Final Mile Club (FMC) Podcast features conversations with prominent alumni and industry experts to prepare emerging artists, makers, performers, and designers for life after graduation.
ABOUT THE GUESTS
Born and raised in Schomberg, Ontario, Amanda Cordner is taking the country by storm playing 7ven, a hip, queer art gallery owner, on the HBO Max hit Canadian show, Sort Of.
Amanda has be hailed for her intelligence and electric intensity in stage shows like Featherweight and The Penelopiad. Body So Fluorescent – one of two shows Amanda created with David di Giovanni, along with Ring The Roses – won her the Jon Kaplan Spotlight Award at SummerWorks.
Producer | Director, Wrapped Productions Inc.
Colombian-born, Toronto-based creative producer and director Laura Friedmann explores gender equality, human rights, intergenerational trauma, diaspora and healing through TV and film. With over eight years of experience, Laura’s work has been featured on CBC, YesTV, and CGoodTV with her production company, Wrapped Productions Inc.
In both her art and industry activity, Friedmann is a longstanding gender equity advocate participating in numerous initiatives promoting the advancement of women and BIPOC creatives in the Canadian arts industry. Initiatives include in the Creative Sovereignty Lab, Creators of Colour Incubator & Big Pitch @TIFF, and The Native Film & Storytelling Institute.
President | Writer | Producer, Hungry Eyes Media
Canadian Screen Award winner Jennifer Holness brings powerful, thought-proving Black stories to the TV and silver screen through her production company, Hungry Eyes Media.
Holness’ films have earned global praise at international film festivals, including SXSW, Hot Docs and Tribeca. Jennifer’s television work is equally prolific, with Shoot the Messenger (CBC, WGN/USA) and Guns (CBC), earning her a Best Writing Canadian Screen Award for Guns, alongside four additional Canadian Screen Award wins and a Rose D’or international.
Holness is a dedicated advocate for diversity and mentorship outside the writers’ room. She is a founding member of the Black Screen Office and mentors diverse talent through organizations like The Reel World Film Festival, Black Women Film!, Through Their Eyes, The Toronto Black Film Festival, and The Montreal Black Film Festival.
Chief Operating Officer, Toronto International Film Festival
Beth Janson has created space for innovation and diversity in North America’s leading cultural sectors for over two decades. In 2003, Janson established the Tribeca Film Festival New Media Fund for transmedia works and then went on to become CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television.
Today, Beth is ushering in a new era as the Toronto International Film Festival’s Chief Operating Officer. Outside of the film industry, Janson helps women jumpstart economically impactful companies with Rent the Runway Foundation’s Project Entrepreneur program. Janson knows the importance of developing a robust network to create social change through art. She’s committed to supporting the next generation of cultural innovators to reach their full potential.
MUMBI TINDYEBWA OTU
Artistic Director, Obsidian Theatre
Obsidian Theatre Acclaimed theatre creator and director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu was raised in Kenya and Victoria, BC. Now, based in Toronto, she is innovating the Canadian Theatre Industry as Artistic Director for Obsidian Theatre.
Mumbi’s recent works The Brothers Size (Soulpepper), Trout Stanley (Factory Theatre), Here are the Fragments (The Theatre Centre/The ECT Collective), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Soulpepper) and Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape (Obsidian/Soulpepper) have earned her a Dora Award for her Outstanding Direction, Toronto Theatre Critics Awards, a Pauline McGibbon Award, a Mallory Gilbert Protege Award, a Harold Award, and two nominations for the John Hirsch Directing Award.