The International Film Festival of Ottawa in its first year, brought film and filmmakers together for a few days in March to celebrate and explore the art, craft, and social impact of cinema.

The art & science of filmmaking has exploded in popularity in recent years. Moviemaking is capable of producing engaging, emotional, and sweeping stories and can come in many forms such as a motion picture, a television series, or a documentary. And yet, the industry is still a business.

It is the primary responsibility of the producer to get a film through its life cycle, from a director's idea to final creation. For this reason, it is important that anybody looking into filmmaking understand these important aspects: budgeting, funding, tax credits, cash flow and legal considerations.

With the upcoming soundstage that the City of Ottawa is building bringing more jobs in film to our nation's capital, a panel on the business of filmmaking provided invaluable insight into the role of a producer.

Sean Duffy was joined by Nicole Rogers from Welch LLP. As moderator, she added invaluable insight into the business of filmmaking as we got to hear from the following panel:

Jessica Adams, Producer, JA Productions

Mark Edwards, Edwards Creative Law

Brendan McNeill, President, Above the Line Media Services

Jason Meloche, Account Manager, National Bank of Canada

Shasha Nakhai, Director and Producer, Compy Films

Pictured above: the panel provided a high-level snapshot of what a producer needs to know, as well as providing insider tips on the common mistakes made by filmmakers, as such making it easier for the audience to better understand some of the complexities that are often overlooked, such as bookkeeping & taxes for filmmakers, financing & tax credits for filmmakers, and legal.

For many, it can be difficult to understand how the business of filmmaking works. With so many different parties involved, sorting through the information about who does what can seem like murky waters and you may find yourself wondering who is in charge when things don’t go as planned. Need a team to help you shed light on some processes in filmmaking that may seem confusing to you? Or just have a few questions on where and how to get started? Get in touch today with Sean Duffy at to see where he and his team can help.

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