Ava Karvonen is cross-platform producer and the founder of Edmonton’s Reel Girls Media. She recently produced the feature length documentary, Finding Bobbi (After 50 years in the wrong body, Bobbi tells her story while preparing to step on stage for the first time as a woman) and directed/produced audio and video stories for the new Royal Alberta Museum. Her credits include creating and producing four series (The Lie Detective, Wild Files, The First Kiss And Other Rites of Passage, and Booked), ten one-hour documentaries (including Al Rashid: The Story of Canada’s First Mosque, the serious game “Murder or Suicide”, more than 100 webisodes and podcasts, audio & video for the new Royal Alberta Museum, and an online companion to an animated TV series where users can create their own comics and stories. In addition to producing, Ava also writes and directs. She directed seasons 1 & 2 of Chaos and Courage for APTN; was one of the directors on the CBC series Keeping Canada Alive; wrote and directed The Lie Detective; directed and produced Homefront (a story that followed five soldiers and their families during a deployment to Afghanistan); directed Seeds of Change for Panacea Entertainment (an hour long documentary that tells the story of a friendship between two scientists and how they worked together to help restore the health of China’s Yangtze River). Her work has been internationally recognized with more than 40 awards, including the CFTPA Award for Best Convergent New Media, a Japan Prize and the Ojai California Festival Theme Award: “Enriching the Human Spirit Through Film”. Ava believes in giving back to her community. Ava has been teaching credit and non-credit courses for NAIT, FAVA, MacEwan, Raindance; served on juries in Canada and abroad; and has served on the advisory committees of Salute to Excellence for the City of Edmonton, the Aids Network Black and White Affair, CMPA, NextMedia, and NAIT. She has also helped develop industry policy while serving for the past 20 plus years on the boards of the Edmonton Arts Council, AMPIA, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), and DOC AB. She is the chair of WIFTA (Women in Film and Telelvision Alberta)
and sits on the advisory committee of the Edmonton Screen Industries Office.
A production veteran with more than 13 years of experience in film and television, Elise has loaned her talents to all types of projects, from features to commercials, live shows to corporate videos. Her eclectic resume highlights technical and logistical roles with some of the strongest companies and productions in Alberta.
A filmmaker for 20 years. Studied filmmaking in George Brown College. Directed and produced 13 documentary films. Coaching Omani directors in Nazwa the capital of Islamic world celebration organized by the Omani Ministry of culture in 2015. Recognition for “Returnees” documentary film in the Documentary International Film Festival – Morocco, December 2014. Award from Morocco Ministry of culture for my work in media and filmmaking 2014. Rough Cut documentary won two awards: the best short film in the Artivist Film Festival Hollywood 2009, and the audience award in the New Orleans Middle East Film Festival, Nov.2009 Cast Lead documentary was nominee for the best documentary in local focus film festival, Canada Aug.2010 Nominee director for the Marty award presented by Mississauga Arts council, Oct.2010
Her films were screened in Canada, England, USA, Russia, China, Pakistan,Cuba,Iran, Afghanistan, and Arab countries.
Festival Programmer/Chair of the Festival Committee, Alberta International Women’s Film Festival. Curated three days of film programming. Saadeh is a journalist and writer too for 22 years.
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