Board of Advisors

SOFA is advised by experienced  leaders from diverse backgrounds, each recognized for success in their career endeavours. Our Advisory Board is dedicated to the Alliance’s goals to encourage training opportunities, to create jobs, to attract investment and to build a sustainable film and television production industry in Southwestern Ontario.

Craig Thompson

President - Ballinran Entertainment

Dorothy Downs

Founder - Forest City Film Festival

Andrew Wahlquist

Director, Total Quality Management - The Walt Disney Studios

Adam Qualter

member-at-large - IATSE Local 357

Nick Hector

Filmmaker / EDucator - University of Windsor School of Creative Arts

Devon Hogue

Business Information Officer City of Cambridge

Julian Wierzbicki

Producer / Director Golden Section Films

Rebecca Scott

General Manager - Stratford City Centre BIA

Simon Marsden

Director of Production Stratford Festival

David Moses

Singer / Songwriter The D.A.M. Studio Inc.

David Seymour

Director of Member Services Directors Guild of Canada Ontario District Council

Get to know us

Craig Thompson

President & executive producer
ballinran entertainment

Craig Thompson is the Founder of the Southwestern Ontario Film Alliance.  He is an accomplished writer, director, producer who leads a team of creative professionals at Stratford-based Ballinran Entertainment.  With more than 25 years in the film and television production industry, Craig brings his Canadian and international experience close to home to help develop the industry in Southwestern Ontario and to inspire the next generation of content creators.

His passion for sharing stories has taken him to the front lines
of conflict, given him a vantage point on the world’s most
incredible locations and allowed him to meet and interact with the most notable personalities of our time.

Dorothy Downs

Founder, Forest City Film Festival

With a background as a TV producer/director/host, and also trained in marketing and communications, Downs created and produced seven internationally aired and award-winning TV series before conceiving, founding and building the Forest City Film Festival. She has enthusiastically supported and been involved in the Film and TV industry in the area for the past 25 years in many different capacities both in front of the camera and in many roles behind the camera.  Her passionate interest in seeing the industry grow in SWO is reflected in the FCFF Industry Sessions that she works to build each year at FCFF.

Andrew Wahlquist

Director, Total Quality Management - The Walt Disney Studios

For the last 20 years, Andrew has built a career in Hollywood with a background that includes feature film development, post production and media distribution.  In his current role as Director of Total Quality Management for The Walt Disney Studios, he leads process improvement programs that maintain a high standard of performance for delivering Disney and 20th Century Fox content to global distributors, including launches around the world for Disney+ and Star streaming services. Prior to Disney, Andrew was the Chief Technologist at Local Hero, a post production company that specialized in digital intermediate color, on-set dailies, visual effects and mastering. He designed the technical workflows for feature films with clients such as Lions Gate, Gold Circle and Universal. As a creative himself, he enjoys writing and directing, as well as investing time to promote community arts and theatre. Andrew and his wife Lana, a theatre professor with family heritage in Southwest Ontario, own a home in Stratford, and are enjoying the beautiful town while working remote.

Adam Qualter

Member-at-large - IATSE Local 357

Adam Qualter serves as a member-at-large on the Executive Board of IATSE local 357 and has previously served as the Call Steward. Currently he is the Crew Chief at the Centre in the Square in Kitchener, Ontario and prior to that he was a member of the stage crew at the Stratford Festival and was the founding Producer of the University Players at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has taught courses in Stagecraft, Stage Lighting and Dramatic Literature at Wilfrid Laurier University and Fanshawe College. In the community he is a volunteer with the Kitchener Blues Festival, and active with the League of Historic American Theatres with a special interest in “mid-century modern” theatre architecture. Previously he served on the Board of Directors of the Waterloo Buskers Carnival and the Ontario Section of the Canadian Institute of Theatre Technology. Adam was a participant in the City of Kitchener’s original CulturePlan, a member of the steering committee for the proposed St. Jerome’s Centre for the Arts and served as a Community Representative on the Region of Waterloo Museum Feasibility Study. Adam is also currently enrolled in the Fund Development Program at Conestoga College studying Fundraising for the Not for Profit sector.

Jamaican-born, Toronto raised and educated, YANNA McINTOSH is a respected Canadian actress who began her career as a Toronto local. She has played to audiences in most of the city’s large and small, famous, and infamous theatrical venues, receiving critical acclaim and three Dora awards for her work. Over years, her playing field has expanded into 12 seasons at the Stratford Festival, and one at The Shaw Festival in 2018. Her most recent role was that of Hermione Grainger in the San Francisco production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, which, like so many theatrical productions, was sadly interrupted by the 2020 global Pandemic. Though primarily centred around the theatre, her work has also encompassed an impressive screen biography including regular roles in the series, This is Wonderland, The Weight and Riverdale, a Gemini-winning performance in the movie, Doomstown, and guest roles in numerous other series and films. Today, in the very recent world of self-taped auditions, Yanna has made a point of always “slating” her location as Stratford, the city in which she has lived and called home since 2008.

Nick Hector

Filmmaker / EDucator - University of Windsor School of Creative Arts

Nick Hector BFE CCE is a filmmaker and educator with more than thirty years of experience. He has worked at the industry’s highest level, editing, producing, or directing more than 150 films with such celebrated artists as Allan King OC, Alfonso Cuarón, Naomi Klein, and Sturla Gunnarsson. Nick’s work has been screened at most major international festivals including three of the “Big Five”: TIFF, Berlinale, and Sundance. His filmography includes two films on Criterion, three Top Ten Canadian films, five films at MoMA, 11 at TIFF, and 15 at HotDocs. These films have won 48 national and international awards. Nick has been nominated for 34 national awards and is the winner of thirteen; including Canadian Screen, HotDocs, Directors Guild of Canada, Canadian Cinema Editors, and Gemini Awards. Nick is an Assistant Professor at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts and is Windsor International Film Festival’s Director of Education.

Devon Hogue

Business Information Officer - City of Cambridge

Devon Hogue is an community builder, supporter and cheerleader from Cambridge.  She has been an enthusiastic municipal professional for almost 20 years – 14 of which were spent within the Clerks Division before moving into Economic Development.  Devon is currently employed as the Business Information Officer for the City of Cambridge, where she specializes in municipal film program development, coordination and promotion.  She has studied Economic Development at the University of Waterloo, Leadership Development with Conestoga College and Municipal Administration through the Association of Municipal Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO); dedicated to lifelong learning, Devon is currently studying digital marketing with McMaster University.

Julian Wierzbicki

Producer / Director

The art of television is the art of telling stories and Julian Wierzbicki has told a lot of them. He started his career at the legendary Toronto Film Co-op run by Ivan Reitman and David Cronenberg. A Masters degree and few decades later he’s still spinning fun and provocative tales.

Julian has accumulated over 500 credits as a producer, director, writer, and editor. His unique creative vision is fused from a solid academic background with a pragmatic story-telling foundation and has transcended across multiple platforms and digital arenas. No matter what the genre or discipline, budget or medium, Julian is always looking for new ways to tell compelling stories.

Rebecca Scott

General Manager - Stratford City Centre BIA

Rebecca Scott is a community leader in Stratford, Ontario where she works as General Manager of the Stratford City Centre BIA. During the COVID-19 pandemic she has served on the Stratford Economic Response and Recovery Task Force and played an instrumental role in assisting downtown businesses adapt to the cancellation of the Stratford Festival’s 2020 Season. She helped manage thousands of dollars in funding for projects such as Stratford Al Fresco, patio extensions and a number of entertainment and arts events. She also helps manage the Destination Animation Fund with RTO4.

Prior to assuming the role at the BIA, Rebecca worked in film and television as supervising producer for Ballinran Entertainment for six years where she was involved in such acclaimed films as Mostly Sunny, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Truth is in the Stars with William Shatner and Game Changers with Alex Trebek. Before moving to Stratford, she was executive director and manager for a not-for-profit child-care centre in Victoria B.C. Rebecca is also a certified Yoga Instructor.

Simon Marsden

Director of Production - Stratford Festival

Simon Marsden has 30 years experience as a production manager and technical director in theatre. He’s worked in Canada, the USA, Macau and England.

At both the Stratford Festival and Royal Shakespeare Company he helped plan the first projects that filmed live theatre for either distribution or live to screen. The theatre industry has seen the addition of video and or projection technology bring benefit to live theatrical productions more frequently in recent years. In 2020 the innovation of theatrical content created for digital distribution took on new importance as theatres found ways to stay connected to their audiences. He feels the worlds of theatre, television and film have always been aligned but never closer as our current times. All industries strive to capture the heart and minds of their audiences. As time moves on the people and skills that create and support only grow stronger connections.

The Stratford Festival production department compromises +300 technicians and artisans that could support the creation of  productions that are filmed in our region. This along with the resource of the Festival warehouse, where thousands of costumes, props and scenic elements are available for rent only further underlines the opportunities this region can offer to productions filmed here. The Stratford Festival is committed to supporting the growth of the film and television sectors in southwestern Ontario. 

David Moses

Singer/ Song writer - The D.A.M. Studio Inc.

David A. Moses is status Six Nations band member of Lenape (Delaware) heritage. Not born or raised on the Six Nations reserve, his early years were spent not far from Six Nations territory in the small community of Mount Hope and later in Hamilton. He has lived most of his life in southern Ontario attending University in Toronto and raising his two children in Oakville but recently moved to Watertown, Ontario.
David is a professional singer/songwriter, his EP “RSI-1” was released in late 2020. A solo project produced by renowned Chris Birkett.
Since 2018 David has been the host of ELMNT FM’s (106.5 Toronto and 95.7 Ottawa) flagship daily talk show “Moment of Truth” and brings many indigenous issues to his audience. The station is owned and operated by the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN).
David also served in several media related positions such as reporter for CTV-CKCO-TV in Kitchener and the Ottawa Correspondent for the APTN. Other media positions included working at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto assisting with Metro Morning, Ontario Morning and Here and Now. 
In 2007 David started “The D.A.M. Studio Inc.” an audio/video production company that focuses on working with mostly First Nation organizations on the Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation territories, of which he is the owner and President. In 2017 he launched a music publishing company “Timbre Wolf Communications Inc.”.
David started his broadcast career with the Six Nations radio station S.O.N.I.C.S. CKRZ 100.3 FM, first in advertising and then moving into news reporter/News Director and occasional DJ. David eventually became the station Executive Director and returned many years later as Managing Consultant.
He graduated from York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree in Theatre where he studied performance as well as Set, Lighting and Sound Design. 
David also released a song in 2003 called “The Monkey Dog” based on a true Six Nations’s story, it was an instant hit and he received write ups in both the Turtle Island News and the Tekawennake community news papers plus a full page of the entertainment section in the Brantford Expositor.
In addition to David’s professional achievements he also volunteers his time. Most recently he is a member of “Hockey Cares” an Oakville based organization that brings remote indigenous youth from Attawapiskat together with non-indigenous youth to play hockey together as a means of reconciliation.

David Seymour

Director of Member Services - Directors Guild of Canada - Ontario

David Seymour is the Director of Member Services for the Directors Guild of Canada Ontario District Council. Prior to his staff position at DGC Ontario David worked in the film and television industry for 20 years, predominantly as an Assistant Director.