Goodbye Made In Canada, my career begins now!

by Terra Phan – MIC’18 Intern

September 30th, 2018

As my 2018 Made In Canada Internship journey nears its finale, I flip through the photos in my camera, fondly replaying from the start, the memories as if TIFF was my personal film festival.  My first assignment took me to the TIFF Canadian Conference room at the Royal York Hotel.  From the glamour of the room to the fancy food stations behind the media scrum, to the TIFF red carpet itself, it was an exciting start to my internship, and after I finally got pass my nervousness and jumped into the scrum it became an invigorating learning experience for a novice press photographer and the beginning of my intense MIC’18 journey. 

In actuality, my yearning to find a summer internship was about self-improvement as a fellow creator in this difficult industry and to gain hands on experiences in the creative industry.  My MIC Internship initial orientation began with loads of encouragement from my mentors Orla Garriques and Marva Ollivierre, and even though the task I had been given for the press conference event seemed like such a simple thing to do, I needed that extra nudge from Cherise Solomon, my peer mentor, to ignore my nervousness and get into the media scrum ‘because I was the MIC photographer, and that’s where I am supposed to be‘. The TIFF press conference was the momentum that kick started my MIC Intern journey.

My journey got into overdrive with my next task, which was a deep dive into the line-up of Canadian Filmmakers lucky enough to have their films screened at TIFF’18. The task was to read all the synopsis of the films, create a Made In Canada Facebook posting that include the director’s name and picture for each film, then select the films I will like to see, The Grizzles was one of my selections. I have never been more impressed and the idea that only a very small number of Canadians sees Canadian films is depressing.

TIFF MEDIA MAKERS, MIC’18 FACEBOOK POST, TIFF-FREE STREET PARTY: STARGAZERS, SCREENINGS, FAMILY FUN

The MIC Program took me to several more events including the Ontario Creates Canadian Filmmakers’ reception, Canada Film Center (CFC) alumnus BBQ, a promotion event for CFC Alumnus Alfons Adetuyi newest film ‘Love Jacked’, then there was TIFF itself.  With or without a festival pass, “TIFF on the street” not only supplied the stargazing experience, but also free screenings as well, plus a weekend street party for the whole family.

NORMAN JEWISON & MEL LASTMAN, ALFONS ADETUYI & DAN LYON, CFC 30TH ANNIVERSARY

ONTARIO CREATE CARLU ONTARIO/CANADIAN FILMMAKERS RECEPTION

CARLU – ONTARIO CREATES CEO KAREN THORNE-STONE

The intensity of these events took me completely out of my comfort zone but gave me opportunities to start finding my place as a creator and person. One of those opportunities was being able to participate in a Liaison Independent Filmmakers Producing Documentaries workshop conducted by my mentor Marva Ollivierre. A key take-away was “authentic storytelling starts with you, always be yourself, you are your brand.”

My other mentor Orla Garriques stressed the importance of using the access provided by the MIC Internship to start building my professional network and relationships.  With my new confidence, I felt comfortable enough to put into practice their advice when I was introduced to Erica Shaw, a graphic-design talent procurement manager at Sheridan College.  As we spoke, she shared and offered support and her contact information and it marked the beginning of building a network for my future work.“This is where I start. Art/Design and Photography are my passion and this MIC Internship is where my career begins – my first step in the industry.”

 WITH MY MIC MENTORS ORLA GARRIQUES, TERRA PHAN, CHERISE SOLOMON, MARVA OLLIVIERRE


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