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Previous Selected Filmmakers

Read about the previously selected filmmakers whose short documentary film proposals received the funding and resources of The Chang School Film Hub.

2018 Selected Filmmakers

Silvet Ali

Silvet Ali Silvet Ali is a Montreal-based journalist and filmmaker who recently graduated from The Chang School’s Summer Film School. She completed a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film Studies at Concordia University and joined the CBC Montreal team as a journalist and producer in both radio and TV in 2009. After nearly a decade of working at CBC, she decided to take a summer off to explore her love for film in Toronto at The Chang School.

Through the support of The Chang School Film Hub, Silvet will be directing and producing a short fiction film she wrote titled Rishta. The film follows a young Pakistani-Canadian woman as she succumbs to pressure from her parents to consider arranged marriage and meet with a potential suitor.

“I still pinch myself every day that my script got chosen for the Film Hub. It’s the first script I ever wrote and it’s such an honour to have the chance to bring it to life. It’s important for me as a first-generation Pakistani-Canadian woman that our stories get told. I’m excited that my first film will be one that’s extremely personal to me. It’s still so rare to see a story about people who look like me and have a similar experience as me, depicted on film. It’s a dream come true to get the support of the Film Hub at an institution like Ryerson University, but also to have it be a very personal story – one that I’m proud to share. My hope is that it resonates with people from all backgrounds and encourages others to tell their stories.”

Mauro Cecchi

Mauro CecchiMauro is a Toronto-based filmmaker and a recent graduate of The Chang School’s Certificate in Film Studies. He originates from the music industry as a Producer/Recording Artist and has recently transitioned into film to follow his passion for filmmaking. Since his transition, he has written, directed, and produced a handful of short fiction films and documentaries.

Mauro will be producing Rishta with Silvet Ali.

“I am grateful to have gained the opportunity to establish myself further as a filmmaker so early on in my career. It is absolutely a dream come true.”

Amy Phelan

Amy PhelanWhile studying theatre at Brock University, Amy learned an essential lesson: It’s possible to imagine a world, build a microcosm of it, then bring people into the experience. Literature was her first love, leading her to work as an intern under Daniel Richler at Book Television for City TV, where she fell in love with screenwriting. Later she wrote and co-produced CBC’s Outfront, a radio documentary about the soundscape of the street where she lived. She also interned with Infield Fly Productions. Amy is a graduate of The Chang School’s Summer Film School.

With the support of The Chang School Film Hub, Amy Phelan will be producing a short documentary film titled John Muir at Trout Hollow. The historical documentary will trace John Muir’s time in Canada through the lens of William Trout’s memoirs.

“The ELX Film Hub grant is a rare gift. The grant made my first independent film possible and taught me to produce by the seat of my pants!”

Anthony Guerriero

Anthony GuerrierAnthony Guerriero is a graduate of The Chang School’s Summer Film School. He is based in Toronto where he worked as Assistant Director on Twilight Ride (2017) and Production Manager on Crimson Sands (2017). Anthony will be directing John Muir at Trout Hollow.

2017 Selected Filmmakers

Merle Robillard

Merle RobillardMerle is a Cree filmmaker, born and raised in the Northwest Territories. He studied graphic design before gravitating to photojournalism which lead him to become a photographer and photo editor in Toronto. He decided to pursue his true passion, filmmaking, at The Chang School’s Summer Film School. Since then, he has opened a production company where he has produced, edited, and directed several documentaries and corporate videos.

With help from The Chang School Film Hub, Merle will be directing and producing a short documentary titled “Giiwe: This is Home”. “Giiwe: This is Home” will chronicle the journey of an indigenous man who was taken from his home in Pine Falls during the “Sixties Scoop” when an estimated 20,000 indigenous children were taken from their homes and culture and placed into white, middle-class families. The film will follow Brent as he journeys home to Canada for the first time and attempts to reconnect with his long lost siblings.

“It wasn’t until I adopted my own daughter through Native Child and Family Services that I became familiar with the issue of the Sixties Scoop and the sense of loss of identity and culture they experienced. I would love to bring further exposure to the issue. Receiving this grant, I feel honoured and a sense of affirmation that through hard work and surrounding myself with the right people, I can pursue filmmaking as a viable career option.”

Gabriel Waddington

Gabriel WaddingtonGabriel is a filmmaker and graduate student in the Masters of Documentary Media program at Ryerson University where he is completing a thesis documentary on Golden Age hip-hop artist Extra Prolific, formerly of rap group Hieroglyphics. Gabriel has directed and shot several short films and branded videos, one of which was screened at the 2016 Ryerson Faculty Conference. Gabriel is a graduate of The Chang School’s Certificate in Film Studies.

With help from The Chang School Film Hub, Gabriel will be directing and producing “On the Wall / Off the Wall”, a film that will examine the underworld of graffiti in Toronto and the ongoing war between graffiti artists and city employees who paint over and erase graffiti.

“Graffiti, surprisingly, is the most impactful and ubiquitous form of art in the city. You can’t walk more than two blocks in Toronto without the contentious art-form staring you in the face. A general indifference and disdain is often felt towards it. It has the remarkable ability to cause a stir of polarizing emotions— anger, incredulity, perplexity, admiration, astonishment—and perhaps for these reasons it could be considered a novel form of modern art that is too often glanced over as nothing more than vandalism. I am excited to create and share this documentary.”

Andrew Lau

Andrew LauAndrew is a Toronto-based filmmaker working as a freelance director of photography and camera assistant. His current professional work has been focused on corporate videos, commercials, music videos, and short documentaries. He has an impressive demo reel that displays many musicians he has filmed including rapper Drake. Andrew is a graduate of The Chang School’s Certificate in Film Studies.

Andrew will be acting as Director of Photography for both “On the Wall / Off the Wall” and “Giiwe: This is Home”.

“It is an honour to be recognized and I intend to use this opportunity to grow as a filmmaker.”

Industry Coaching

Charles (Chuck) M. Scott is President of Caber Media and the ELX coach who will work closely with the selected filmmakers as they bring their projects to life. He is an award-winning producer/director with over 270 documentary and factual television programs successfully completed. His production company has partnered with many producers around the world and shot in over 50 countries. His programs have aired on many major broadcasters such as BBC, Five, NHK, CBC, CTV, Global, Discovery Channel, National Geographic, PBS, Science Channel, Discovery Health. Chuck has also produced and/or directed hundreds of commercials, music videos, corporate videos, three feature films, children’s shows, and a daytime talk show. Chuck is a graduate of Staffordshire University in the UK where he obtained his Master of Art in Film Studies with merit. He also has a diploma from Sheridan College Media Arts Program and has done additional studies in film, economics, and business at York University and Sheridan College.