Our Team


Venay Felton

Venay Felton


Venay is the founder of R2R and has been the Artistic and Executive Director of the organization since its inception in 1998. A fervent advocate of children’s media, she has worked at the Media Center for Children in New York City, curated film programs for museums and community centres, and conducted hundreds of film appreciation workshops. She has served as a Juror of the International Festival of Film & Video for Children in Isfahan, Iran, and was invited to participate as a discussant on “Documentaries for Young Audiences” at the Flaherty Film Seminar in California. Venay focuses on engaging a network of educators, artists, film industry professionals, and community arts leaders toward broadening knowledge, sharpening perceptions, and stimulating the imaginations of youth about media arts.

Pronouns: she / her / hers

Delphine Riffaud


Delphine was born in France and graduated from Sorbonne Nouvelle University in International Project Management. She got involved in the film industry working in international film sales as festivals coordinator and sales executive. She then moved to London to work for an indie VoD platforms in marketing, acquisitions and operations, where she also developed an interest in short films.

Pronouns: she / her / hers

Helen Yagi


Helen has worked in Publicity and Marketing for several years with the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Leo Awards, and R2R. She’s also the go-to publicist for local production companies and Canadian filmmakers alike (including award winners Bruce Sweeney and Charles Wilkinson) and represents many established film organizations (Women in Film, The Cinematheque and Cineworks). Helen has also worked in documentary filmmaking as an Associate Producer (How to be a Model, which premiered at VIFF and was broadcast on CBC).

Lisa g Nielson


A community artist and filmmaker, Lisa g creates media that has historical reference, social relevance, and humour. Examples of her diverse work include: an award-winning stop motion animation Blue Tuesday, an award-winning live-action video titled Girl on Girl, and a trilogy of films about Riverview Mental Hospital, Asylum, Bedlam, and Consciousness. She leads workshops with youth who often face social, mental or physical barriers, seniors, children, and First Nation elders and youth. Under Lisa’s direction, Our World continues to gather momentum as it brings filmmaking tools to remote BC and Indigenous communities. Our World National (in Partnership with R2R) hosts similar filmmaking workshops across Canada, guiding youth to tell their own stories, celebrate Indigenous culture, language, and life through film.

Tammy Bannister

Tammy Bannister


Tammy’s curatorial practice pre-supposes a lens of intersectional justice in promoting media literacy and critical dialogue to a new generation. In addition to her work at R2R, Tammy is responsible for the MODES Program at the Vancouver International Film Festival, as well as coordinating, writing, and consulting for the International team. Tammy has been involved in program selection with both Vancouver’s Queer Film Festival and DOXA Documentary Film Festival (also serving on the Canadian Jury for the Colin Low Award in 2017) and was a long-time Associate Member of the Director’s Guild of Canada, where she also trained as an Assitant Director. Tammy has worked on several films, music videos, and television shows in many capacities.

Pronouns: she / her / hers

Jessica Bradford


With over 15 years of experience, Jessica grew up in Cambridge, England, and is an award-winning writer and director and is the former president of Cineworks in Vancouver. She is a graduate of the Candian Film Centre and an alumna of Women In the Director’s Chair (Banff Centre for the Arts). She holds a B.A. (Hons) in English Literature and American Studies from Hull University, UK, and a diploma in Film Production from Vancouver Film School. Jessica’s films have won numerous awards including a Gemini, several Leo Awards and a Kodak Image Award. Currently, she teaches Writing at VFS.

Amanda Kerr


A professional designer since 1996, Amanda bleeds creativity and adventure. For many years, she has wandered in the realm of front-end design and visual communications for web and print. Amanda loves design, not just for it’s own sake, but for what it can do for people. Complex patterns, imaginative concepts and simple solutions to visual challenges are some of the things that inspire her every day. Free of any particular style or perspective, nothing excites her more than a new design problem to solve, and, to her, any challenge can be conquered with deep creative thought. Take a look at her website.

Laurel Terlesky


Laurel Terlesky is an artist, designer and educator with a Master of Fine Arts. Since 2011 Laurel has taught Visual Effects in the New Media program at British Columbia Institute of Technology. As an independent contractor, Laurel has contributed to various motion graphics projects both for film, TV and live events, designed and programmed websites and designed print materials. Her clients include TBA Global, POV Works, Anaid Productions (where she worked on the series X-Weighted creating an animated flash series for their website) and various projects for both CBC Television and Radio-Canada, including CBC’s late night innovative cross-platform project, Zed — allowing her to jump between web, print and broadcast motion graphics.

Board of Directors – 2018 to 2019

Alison Wick

Ali joined the Board of Directors in 2016 after being on the R2R’s Senior Youth Jury for four years. She is currently an undergraduate student at SFU pursuing a degree in First Nations Studies and Publishing. Ali also works for the First Nations Studies department and the digital humanities project The People and the Text. 

Jessica Fairbairn

Jessica is a labour and employment lawyer originally from San Francisco, practicing at Harris & Co. in various sectors including the film industry.  She spends her free time hiking and camping with her husband, two small kids and dog.  She has been a member of the Board since 2016.

Maria Cecilia Saba

Maria Cecilia Saba is an independent media artist, programmer and researcher. Before coming to Vancouver, she worked as a documentary film instructor at the University of Lima and earned a diploma in Arts & Cultural Management from Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. She completed the MA program in Comparative Media Arts at Simon Fraser University, where she focused her research on Peruvian Andean horror films. She was the Festival and Outreach Coordinator for R2R for two years, worked at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, and collaborates with the Vancouver Latin American Film Festival.

Jodi Derkson

Jodi is a certified teacher, with over fifteen years of professional experience. Jodi holds a Masters of Education from UBC and is the BC Regional Director of Educational Programs for the non-profit FAST. Jodi’s also the founder of !mperative Education which offers a variety of workshops and presentations for schools and businesses on bullying, social/emotional intelligence, and mindfulness.

Nicole Koller

Nicole holds a BA from Western University, and began her career in the fashion industry working internationally as part of a design creative team. Her love of the West Coast brought her back to Vancouver where she continues to live. Her career path has evolved from video games to animation and eventually to tourism. Passionate about the arts, and an active member of the community, Nicole joined the board of the Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth in 2016 and is currently board president.

Robyn Ludwig

Robyn Ludwig has been a script and continuity supervisor in the film and television industry in Victoria and Vancouver since 2016. She also holds a Master of Film and Literature from the University of York, U.K. 


Program Advisors

Harry Killas

Harry is in his eleventh year at Emily Carr University, where he has taught courses in Film, Video + Integrated Media, and Media History. His award-winning dramatic films have been screened at several international festivals including Bilbao, Toronto, Palm Springs, Clermont-Ferrand, Oberhausen, Torino and Vancouver. His documentaries have been broadcast on the BBC, CBC, Bravo!, NHK, CTV, Knowledge Network, and SCN. He is a graduate of Stanford University and New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

Renate Zylla

Renate holds a Master of Pedagogy, with a concentration in media, from the University of Bielefeld. She has had professional experience in film and media since 1983 and since that time has held a has been a director, organizer, manager of film projects and events, festival agent and jury member in countries around the world. She has been the director of the Kinder Film Fest of the Berlin International Film Fest and of Kodomotachino Kinder Film Festival Tokyo. In 2010, she became a program advisor for international film festivals for children and young adults in Jakarta (Indonesia), Mexico City (Mexico), Montevideo (Uruguay), Seattle (USA), Winnipeg (Canada) and Kathmandu (Nepal). She is currently the official program advisor for Reel 2 Real International Film Festival for Youth in Vancouver and the Golden Elephant Film Festival in Hyderabad (India).

Workshop Mentors

Tasha Brotherton

Elisa Chee

Jeff Chiba Stearns

Arun Fryer

Ewan Green

Stephen Gladue

Flick Harrison

Thomas Giwusk Isaac-Came

Kellen Jackson

Scott Kiborn

Ariel Kirk-Gushowaty

Jody Kramer

Alex MacKenzie

Cindy Mochizuki

Lisa g. Nielsen

Sebnem Ozpeta

Jacquie Rolston

Patrick Shannon

Odessa Shuquaya

Moira “Mo” Simpson

Weronika Stepien

Ryder Thomas White

Kaho Yoshida


© Copyright 1998-2018 Reel 2 Real: A Celebration of Moving Images for Youth Society. All Rights Reserved.

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