About Heidi

Heidi has produced over nine globe traveling, award winning short dramatic films. She has worked in feature films, television series, and supervised 30 hours of documentary television. Most recently, she was awarded the WIFT-CBC Business of Broadcasting Mentorship award, as well as the CMPA Telefilm Producer Trainee award for associate producing a cross-platform feature documentary about North Korean defectors. Heidi earned a Bachelor of Commerce at Ryerson University, studied Film and Television Production at Humber College, and in 2008, she was invited to the Producer’s Lab at the Canadian Film Centre. She is currently developing a tragicomedy feature film, a children’s animation series, and a personal documentary about the communication barriers between first-generation immigrants and their second-generation children. If there is spare time, she devotes it to improving her Chinese so that she can better communicate with her Mother.

Bell Media National Fellowship 2012

Lucky, lucky, me! I have been selected with 14 other industry peers as recipients of the 2012 Bell Media National Fellowship. It looks like I am in some good company! Some very talented folks I’ve worked with before, and looking forward to meeting the rest. The fellowship gives us an opportunity to go to the Banff World Media Festival that runs from June 10 – 13, 2012 to pitch TV projects we have in development. I am bringing a couple of projects that I am very excited about! The Banff scheduled lineup of speakers and events also looks jam packed! I mean, look at those “after”-parties after the “regular” parties!

I am a Banff virgin, so if you’ve got any tips, send me a message! I’m also pretty darn excited about seeing those Banff mountains.

  The recipients of the 2012 Bell Media National Fellowship 



CMPA Prime Time in Ottawa 2012

I just came back from the 2012 CMPA Prime Time in Ottawa Conference, and the first thing that struck me was how cold it was!  I liked it. I found myself thinking a little less about global-warming while I was there. The conference itself was an amazing experience!

I was fortunate to attend the conference as part of the CMPA Telefilm Producer’s Trainee Program. There were 12 Producer Trainee Delegates from across Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces, and it was there that I met some talented and ambitious new friends! It’s a great program that helps you secure an emerging or mid-entry above-the-line position with a production company. As an emerging Producer with stories to tell, I wanted to hone my creative producer skills, and my mentorship company, Fathom Film Group, is helping me do just that. And if that’s not amazing enough, the CMPA also invites you to the CMPA Prime Time in Ottawa Conference – bonus!

It was a two day event (March 1 – 2, 2012), but us Producer Trainee Delegates were thrown into the fire a day early with a Pitching workshop with Jan Miller. The next couple of days were crazy. The days started at 8:00am (which meant you had to wake up even earlier!), attend Keynotes, and chose between 3 sessions going on at any given time, eat lunch while listening to speeches, going to the oxygen bar, dinners, networking, cocktails, networking, dinner #2, comedy acts, and it all ended (for me) at 2:00am. Repeat.

One of the coolest parts of the conference (and I didn’t realize this until the last day, I don’t know why) was that important announcements get made here! I was there, in the flesh, when Telefilm announced their two funds: Private Donation Fund (2 streams: emerging & established) and a pilot fund aimed at micro-budget feature films. I have never Tweeted as fast as my excited fingers have ever allowed.

If you are a Producer, and you are available, and you can afford it, go. If I ever get the opportunity to go to the CMPA Prime Time in Ottawa conference, I would go – it’s worthwhile. Key players in the industry attend and give realistic and hopeful thoughts on the industry, spotlights trending issues, and address elephants in the room.

Named of 2012 ReelWorld TRAILBLAZER (me!)

ReelWorld Film Festival has announced their 2012 TRAILBLAZERS:

Tushar Unadkat, Shernold Edwards, Lisa Jackson, Nathaniel Arcand, Rupinder Nagra, and me!

I am humbled to be listed with these impressive and talented artists and creators. Thank you ReelWorld Film Festival! The festival runs from April 11 – 15, 2012.

CBC-WIFT Business of Broadcasting Mentorship begins today!

CBC building, taken from the Ritz-Carlton at the 2011 WIFT Crystal Awards

My week-long CBC mentorship adventure begins today! Thanks to WIFT and CBC, I will be meeting with CBC staff as part of the WIFT-CBC Business of Broadcasting Mentorship Award. I’ve asked them to jam-pack my schedule, and they didn’t hold back. In one week, I will be meeting the departments of drama, comedy, kids, documentary, interactive, and attending tapings – and that’s only skimming the top.

I will be Tweeting my CBC adventures this week (Jan 23 – 27, 2012) at @heiditaoyang.