Academy Talks: In the Room | The Recipe for Success: Unscripted Content
From the kitchen, to the runway, to the garage, reality, competition, and lifestyle series continue to teach new crafts, adapt contemporary formats, and entertain global viewers. In this special Academy Talks: In the Room event, presented by Boat Rocker, unscripted development executives, producers, and directors uncover the current and future trends of the genre and celebrate recent Canadian and international successes. Join us as we dive into decision making from both sides of the aisle; uncovering the development process and answering the big questions of who is watching, what has proven to last the test of time, and where new formats are succeeding.
Aisha Fairclough is a Toronto based filmmaker and producer with over 15 years of experience developing and producing factual, lifestyle and documentary content for several networks including OWN, Slice, HGTV, Showtime, Global TV, Food Network Canada, TVO, CBC and Crave. Aisha sits on the board of Inside Out LGBTQ+ Film Festival serving as Strategic Planning Committee Chair and on the advisory council for X University (formerly Ryerson University) School of Fashion. In 2021, her short film Body Politics premiered at Hot Docs. It also screened at the Calgary International Film Festival and St John's Women’s Film Festival, among others.
Aisha’s cheeky quotes on fashion and "body positivity" have been featured in Toronto Star, Metro, Etalk, Refinery 29, Huffington Post, BBC, CTV News and Essence Magazine. Most recently, she was the Series Producer on the Crave original series 1 Queen 5 Queers, currently airing on Crave.
Annelies McConnachie-Howarth has series produced 100 episodes of unscripted television. She has over 12 years of experience in development and production on shows that have aired on HGTV Canada and US, YTV, Food Network Canada, OWN, Animal Planet, TVO and more. Currently Showrunner of Island of Bryan, Canada’s #1 Specialty Series.
Cathie James oversees Proper Television’s development and content creation, executive producing and show running a number of original and international formats including MasterChef Canada (CTV), The Great Canadian Baking Show (CBC, Netflix), Motel Makeover (Netflix), Junior Chef Showdown (Food Network Canada, Hulu) and Mary Makes It Easy (Bell Media, Food Network US). Prior to joining Proper, Cathie was part of the pioneering executive team at CBC Factual Entertainment that oversaw Dragon’s Den and Battle of the Blades. She has a Master’s degree in Journalism and began her career in news and current affairs.
Dora Fong is an award-winning production executive, showrunner, and director, with hundreds of hours of unscripted programming credits to her name.
With more than 20+ years in the industry, her production experience spans true crime (Cold Blood) to makeovers, real estate to renos, alongside some of Canada’s brightest talents including Drew and Jonathan Scott (Property Brothers) and Kortney Wilson (Making It Home).
Dora is a proud immigrant, fluent in Cantonese, English, and of course, the language of television. Her work as a broadcaster at Corus is centered around championing the work of her illustrious colleagues, and supporting new voices in the unscripted space.
Margot Daley is an award winning Toronto-based senior unscripted producer, director,story editor, and former Production executive with more than 25 years of industry experience in factual and lifestyle television.
Her recent credits include series producing Underground Railroad: The Secret History, for Discovery Canada, and as lead story editor for the CBC doc series, Enslaved.