The PDM Project Mentors
Robin Cass is an award-winning producer who has worked with some of Canada’s finest talents. Select feature films include John Greyson’s iconic Lilies and Zero Patience – a Musical about AIDS, Thom Fitzerald’s TIFF Audience Award winner The Hanging Garden, Oscar-nominee Lone Scherfig’s Kindness of Strangers, Richie Mehta’s Amal and Deepa Mehta’s The Republic of Love adapted from the novel by Pulitzer-prize recipient Carol Shields. For television, his credits include CBC’s Kim’s Convenience. Actors with whom he has worked include Academy Award winners Susan Sarandon and Christopher Plummer as well as Bill Nighy and Timothy Olyphant.
A graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Robin is a former Board and Executive Committee member for the Canadian Media Producers’ Association, juror for TIFF’s Talent Lab and Advisory Committee Member for TIFF’s Industry Centre and co-founder of The Harold Greenberg Fund’s Story Option Fund. Current endeavours include the development of a series based on Waubgeshig Rice’s best-selling novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow and The Power of Kindness by Dr. Brian Goldman of CBC’s White Coat/Black Art fame.
Hari Krishnan is a Bessie (New York City) and Dora (Toronto) Award-nominated dance artist, scholar and teacher. He is the artistic director of the Toronto-based company inDANCE, in addition to being Chair and Professor of Dance in the Department of Dance at Wesleyan University. His choreography explores post-colonial complexities in South Asian dance and queer themes, as well as the intersection of traditional and global contemporary dance forms. His extensive body of work is based on critical perspectives on Bharatanatyam, fused with contemporary global dance styles and postmodern social critique. His scholarly interests include queer identities in dance performance, contemporary dance from global perspectives, colonialism, post-colonialism and Indian dance, Bharatanatyam in Tamil cinema and the history of courtesan dance traditions in South India. He is the author of the award-winning book Celluloid Classicism: Early Tamil Cinema and the Making of Modern Bharatanatyam (2019, Wesleyan University Press).
Shannon Litzenberger (she/her) is an award-winning dance artist, embodiment facilitator and experienced cultural leader working at the intersection of art, ideas and transformational change.
As a dancer and performance maker, her work explores our relationship to land, the politics of belonging, and the forgotten wisdom of the body. She has been an invited resident artist at Soulpepper Theatre, Toronto Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre, Atlantic Ballet Theatre, Banff Centre, and the Gros Morne Summer Music Festival. She collaborates frequently with the Dark by Five Inter-arts ensemble and the wind in the leaves collective.
As a skilled freelance strategist, programmer, leadership developer, policy thinker and embodiment facilitator, she works with leading organizations in the arts, academia, and the corporate sector. She is currently a faculty member at Banff Centre’s Cultural Leadership Program; a Program Associate with CPAMO; a guest facilitator at the Ivey Business School; a Trudeau Foundation Mentor; and a Chalmers Fellow, exploring the relationship between embodiment, leadership and social change.
RITA SHELTON DEVERELL
Dr. Rita Shelton Deverell is a theatre artist, television producer/director, scholar, a founder of Vision TV, was the first woman to lead a journalism program in a Canadian university, and concluded her term as News Director at APTN in 2005 where she mentored her Indigenous successor. Rita’s awards include two Geminis, the Black Women’s Civic Engagement Leadership Award, and the Order of Canada.
In 2018 Rita was named the Woman of the Year for her contributions to arts and activism by the Alliance of Cinema, Television, and Radio Artists (ACTRA). She currently is a Trustee of the Royal Ontario Museum, a member of the Board of Directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; a performer/writer member of Act 3, a collective of older women theatre professionals; an Adjunct Professor of Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University, and of Education at Lakehead University Orillia. Her book American Refugees: Turning to Canada for Freedom (University of Regina Press, 2019) is in bookstores now. Finally, Rita and the acting company in her new play Who You Callin Black Eh? were winners of the Teen Critics Jury Award at the 2019 Toronto Fringe Festival. In 2021 a “pivot” online version of the play was showcased at the Africentric Learning Conference in Halifax, and as part of the anti-Black racism focus of the National Congress of Social Sciences and Humanities.
Clayton Windatt is a curator, multi-arts performer and filmmaker living and working in Ontario. As the former Executive Director of the White Water Gallery, Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and current Executive Director of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference, Clayton has an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts. Clayton maintains contracts with various governments, colleges and non-government organizations as a writer, consultant and knowledge broker negotiating between peoples, places and communities. Clayton works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active artist.