Young Talent on the Rise - Working with Children in Film/TV

TIFF Kids - Industry Programming

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Speakers will explore the best practices in working with children in filmmaking, offering insights from a producing, directing and talent management perspective.
With the recent success of Rebelle, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Famous Five and Satellite Boy, as well as the Canadian film I Declare War and shows like Degrassi Next Generation, producers and directors are working with talented children to tell challenging stories more and more in film and television. What are the dilemmas presented in working with children to tell stories that deal with mature subject matter? How can we produce stories that empower, transform and enlighten, while also maintaining the integrity of the children involved on set? Speakers will explore the best practices in working with children in filmmaking, offering insights from a producing, directing and talent management perspective.

Guest Biographies

    • Norbert Abrams
    • Norbert Abrams is a partner at Noble Caplan Abrams, a multi-disciplinary talent management company located in Toronto that represents some of Canada's leading talent. Schooled in arts, fine arts, commerce and business, Abrams entered the talent management field after over two decades of experience in strategic planning in the advertising and marketing industry. He manages numerous young actors in such high-profile series and feature films as Degrassi, Life With Boys, Skins, How to be Indie, Heartland, Copper, and Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
    • Melinda Shankar
    • Melinda Shankar joined the cast of Degrassi: The Next Generation in its eighth season as Sav's little sister Alli, and has since made her leading role debut as Indie Mehta for the YTV series How to Be Indie-which earned her a Gemini Award nomination for "Best Performance in a Children's or Youth Program," followed by a win in the same category in 2013 at the Canadian Screen Awards. A multitalented artist with a background in the martial arts, dance and modeling, Shankar's acting credits include the Disney remake of the Nickelodeon classic Harriet the Spy as well as the independent film The Festival of Lights, for which she received Best Actress award at the Ibiza Film Festival in Spain. Shankar has been involved in the making of three documentaries, co-produced by Free The Children (FTH) and MuchMusic, and has travelled with FTH to Ecuador, Haiti and Ghana.
    • Maryam Milani
    • Maryam Milani was born in Tabriz, Iran. She has produced, written, and directed fifteen feature documentaries, and written screenplays for feature films. Her directorial debut, The Rooster Trademark Paper, won the The Liv Ullmann Peace Prize at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival.
    • Robert Wilson
    • Robert Wilson is an established music video and film director. His feature films include Warriors of Terra (06), Dead Mary (07), Repatriate (11) and I Declare War (12).

    • Mohit Rajhans
    • Mohit Rajhans currenty works as CityTV's in-house film critic, as well as their Segment Producer for Breakfast Television. An accomplished event and television host, Rajhans hosted the national telecast of the International Indian Film Academy Awards' Green Carpet; the EnRoute Film Awards for Air Canada; Miss India Canada 2012; and has also served as a judge on the CBC show Short Film Face Off. He is the co-founder of Filmi, Toronto's South Asian Film Festival, which is now in its 14th year. An avid blogger, Rajhan's musings and unique perspectives on Hollywood and Bollywood North can be found on and on Twitter @mohitsmovies. Always willing to support a great cause, he continues to host screenings around the city, and has donated his hosting duties to high-profile organizations such as the Oceana Ball Foundation, The Trillium Centre, The Royal Ontario Museum and the charitable auction Drawn To Develop.