Media Business Essentials

Jump-start your career in media and get the business skills you need to join Ontario’s billion-dollar screen-based media industry (film, TV and interactive/digital).

  • Certificate program (Humber College, School of Media Studies and Information Technology)
  • Instructors with relevant industry experience
  • Business-focused curriculum
  • Real-world case studies
  • Network building

Our Media Business Essentials (MBE) program is a career-enhancing learning experience for emerging media professionals who want to deepen their knowledge of the business of film, television, and interactive media production.

Modules focus on financing and business affairs, production management, production accounting, tax credits, and marketing and distribution. Courses are taught by industry professionals who are currently active and working in the sector.

This program is recommended for recent graduates and/or emerging professionals looking for applied learning. While open to all career stages, this program would be most beneficial to those in our Early Career and Emerging cohorts. It is also recommended for professionals looking to upgrade or sharpen existing skills, or change industry streams. The MBE program is open to self-identifying women and men, WIFT-T members and non-members.

Participants who complete all four modules* will receive a certificate from Humber College, School of Media Studies & Information Technology.

*You must attend 10 of the 12 sessions offered to be eligible for the certificate.

Media Business Essentials returns January 2019!

All sessions run on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, unless otherwise stated.

Registration for the full certificate program opens November 22, 2018.

Deadline (Full certificate program): 11:59 pm, EST, January 2, 2019

Bursary application period: November 22, 2018 to December 6, 2018. Application period closes at 11:59 pm, EST.

Note: Bursaries are available for the full certificate program only.


Registration for individual modules will open on January 3, 2019.

Closing registration dates for each module:

  • Module 1: Production Management, January 8, 2019 at 5:00 pm, EDT
  • Module 2: Production Accounting & Tax Credits, February 5, 2019 at 5:00 pm, EDT
  • Module 3: Business Affairs & Financing, April 2, 2019 at 5:00 pm, EDT
  • Module 4: Marketing & Distribution, April 30, 2019 at 5:00 pm, EDT

All modules run on Saturdays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus. A lunch is not provided. Participants can either bring a lunch and snacks or purchase refreshments nearby. Coffee and tea will be provided in the morning.

You can opt to take either the full certificate program or an individual module. Only those who complete all modules are eligible for the certificate of completion from Humber College.

2019 FEES

Full Program Cost (12 sessions total):

$1,300 + HST (WIFT-T Members)

$1,735 + HST (Non-members)

Per Module Cost (3 sessions per module):

$375 + HST (WIFT-T Members)

$500 + HST (Non-Members)


Two (2) bursaries will be made available to cover the fee for two registrants. These bursaries are made possible through the Foundation for Women in Film & Television – Toronto.

Bursaries are only available for those interested in the full certificate program.

  • You must be a self-identifying female professional from an underrepresented group*.

These bursaries are open to WIFT-T members and non-members. Bursaries cannot be used for any other purpose.

*For the purposes of this application, "underrepresented group" is defined as visible minority**, Indigenous, or a person with a disability. Applicants should self-identify in their Letter of Intent and should clearly indicate their wish to be considered for a bursary.

**Visible minority is defined as Black, African, Caribbean, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and/or Latin American.

How to apply

Sign up here, then send the following documents (PDF) to Christina Anderson in the order listed below, using this template MBE2019-Doc#-Full name-Title of file.pdf (e.g. MBE2019-1-Alex Talent-Bio.pdf):

  1. Professional bio (max. 150 words)
  2. Resume/CV, including education and professional work experience (max. 2 pages)
  3. Letter of intent, clearly explaining your desire to participate in this certificate program and demonstrating your eligibility for a bursary (based on the criteria above)

Deadline to submit bursary application is Thursday, December 6, 2018 at 11:59 pm, EDT.

Each module runs for three Saturdays, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, unless otherwise noted. Please note: Dates, times, and instructors are subject to change.

All sessions will be held at Humber College, Lakeshore Campus (2 Colonel Samuel Smith Park Drive, Building and room TBA). Note: You must attend 10 of 12 sessions to be eligible for the certificate.

Production Management

Instructor: Jessica Jennings (Instructor, Humber College - Production Management)

  • January 12
  • January 19
  • January 26
Production Management enables participants to manage the creation and implementation of screen-based projects. This module examines critical methods for moving from script to screen and offers strategies that maximize resources and time frames. Management methods, time lines and project life cycles are examined with a focus on the relationship between the producer, production manager, and first assistant director.

Jessica Jennings Bio: Jessica Jennings is on a mission to capture hearts, inspire minds and changethe world around her – one story at a time. Having worked the last 14+ years in the scripted, factual, new media, documentary and branded content space, Jessica has become a savvy, versatile Producer and Production Manager.  

Jessica began her career in scripted working as a Producer's Assistant to a number of award-winning Executive Producer’s, including: the late Bill Marshall (founder of TIFF), Frank Siracusa ofWhizbang Films and with Bill Mustos & Anne Marie La Traverse on the 1stseason of "Flashpoint".  During her 10+ years in scripted, sheworked on a variety of television series, pilots, feature films and MOWs formany Canadian and US networks including: CTV, CBS Paramount, HBO Canada, Amazon,TVO, PBS, Showcase, Hallmark, TMN, Global and CBC.

As a Production Manager and Line Producer, she worked on a number of feature films and television series, most notably “Odd Squad” – an Emmy award-winning kids series for TVO/PBS, “Bookaboo”, a kids series for CBC/Amazon and feature films “Backcountry” for IFC and “Dirty Singles” for ShaftesburyFilms. She also Production Managed a trans-media series broadcast on theToronto Transit Commission, directed by John Greyson.  

For the last few years, Jessica has been working in the impact filmmaking space on a number of high profile environmental or social-impact documentaries. She worked on "Sharkwater: Extinction" by the late director and activist Rob Stewart, as well as his prior film “Revolution”.  She is thrilled to be working with director Liz Marshall on her feature documentary "Meat theFuture" for the CBC’s Documentary Channel as the Production Manager. Other past projects through Antica Productions/eOne include: CBC’s “Secret Path”, theGord Downie legacy project about residential schools, and an interactivedocumentary series about the centennial anniversary of Passchendaele called“Spurred On”.

As a Producer/Director for the only Certified B CorpProduction Company in Canada, Hemmings House Pictures, she produced a 1-hourdocumentary for the CBC called "12 Dogs Drive", and is producing/directing a mental-wellness kids pilot called “Its OK to be Awesome” with development funding from the Telus Fund. She has also produced and directed English & French tourism videos for the Fundy Trail, and a commercial for the Government of New Brunswick.

Jessica is the recipient of the 2009CBC Business of Broadcasting Mentorship Award. She currently teaches the 3rd year Production Management course at Humber College.

Business Affairs & Financing

Instructor: Brigitte Sachse (Founder/Producer, Bee Video)

  • February 9
  • February 23
  • March 2
The Business Affairs & Financing module covers the funding and financing available for media projects, and the business affairs related to production from development to delivery. Learn the common contractual obligations, government regulations, how provincial tax credits work, and the steps of delivery to broadcasters and distributors.

Brigitte Saches Bio: Brigitte has almost 20 years experience in the TV and Film production industry.

Prior to founding Bee Video, a digital media production and consulting company, whose clients include the Toronto Star, Sotheby’s, The Beer Store and Samsung, Brigitte was the Director of Business Affairs and Digital Strategy at RTR Media, where she oversaw all aspects of Business Affairs for TV projects such as Income Property and Lost and Sold as well as production on the company’s digital series, including the successful YouTube channel The Domestic Geek, which now has over 1 million subscribers. She is an experienced media business analyst, having worked at various funding agencies including the CMFand NFB as well as Aver Media (now BMO), a boutique film and TV financing company. This experience has allowed her to develop very detailed production processes at Bee Video that guarantee client satisfaction and value for production dollars.

Brigitte’s volunteer work revolves around poverty alleviation and at-risk youth. She is on the Board of Frontlines- a center for at-risk youth in northwest Toronto. She also volunteers every month at the Weston Area EmergencyServices food bank. She is a regular supporter of Fred Victor Center and is one of Haven Toronto’sFortunate 500. She is also a proud hockey mom to three boys.

Production Accounting & Tax Credits

Instructor: Linda Stregger (CPA, CMA, Senior Director of Finance & Business Development, Spin Master Ltd.; Joanne Jackson, Producer, Production Accountant, Production Manager)

  • April 6
  • April 13
  • April 27
The Production Accounting & Tax Credits module will explore the role of the Production Accountant and the staff of a typical film production accounting department. There will be a review of the methods and procedures that are used within the department and the results that must be obtained through the use of the forms, policies and programming tools. The participants will be introduced to business structures, budgets, cash flows, controlling costs through cost reports, the workflow of the accounting department, applying for and estimating the refundable tax credits, eligibility requirements and application processing for funding agencies such as the Canada Media Fund.

Linda Stregger Bio: Linda Stregger is a Toronto-based Media Production Consultant. She specializes within the media and communication industries assisting domestic and international clients with their pursuit of funding and producing in the Canadian market.

Linda has more than 25 years’ experience in the television industry including working with Price Waterhouse Coopers in their media tax division; Domestic Broadcasters in live sports, animation productions and live action series; Cable channels during their start up years; and managing asuccessful production company. Linda was the co-owner of Up Front Entertainment Inc. where she combined her accounting training with a keen eye for story and imaginative production style to lead teams that delivered the highest quality programs. UpFront produced more than 27 documentaries and 20 series for domestic and international broadcasters.

Linda is also a Canadian Screen Award nominee, recipient of several international festival awards and the proud winner of a Gemini. She is a guest instructor at Humber College’s TV Arts & Media program in Torontoand serves as Treasurer for not-for-profit organizations: Horizons for Youth Shelter, the Visual Arts Mississauga at Riverwood and Women In Film &Television Foundation. Linda sits on the boards of WIFT-T and the Foundationfor WIFT-T, and mentors emerging professionals through WIFT Connect.


Marketing & Distribution

Instructors: Tom Alexander (Director, Theatrical Releasing, Mongrel Media); Judy Lung (Director, Communications & Marketing, Shaftesbury); Tal Riff (Director, Content & Brand Strategy, Shaftesbury)

  • May 4
  • May 11
  • May 25
This session is designed to empower new and emerging content creators with practical knowledge and insight to help them make proper business decisions regarding the marketing, sales and distribution of their media content through traditional and digital platforms as they relate to feature films, television and branded online content. Using case studies and in-class examples, the module will cover various forms of marketing materials to assess their strengths and weaknesses, as well as their relevance to the target audience. The course will also present practical and timely information regarding the business of distribution and sales. The module will include a review of a typical producer/distributor agreement, projections, sales reporting and expenses. The course will review current market trends for branded digital and traditional content with an emphasis on future growth opportunities.

Tom Alexander Bio: Tom Alexander is Director, Theatrical Releasing at Mongrel Media, where he oversees all theatrical marketing, sales and distribution. Before joining Mongrel in 2001, he worked in various capacities withAlliance Atlantis Communications, Famous Players, and the Toronto InternationalFilm Festival Group, among other organizations. Mongrel Media is an independent Canadian distributor, specializing inworld cinema. Recent releases include Manchester by the Sea, Elle, I Am Not YourNegro and Toni Erdmann.

Judy Lung Bio: As Director, Communications & Marketing for Shaftesbury, Judy Lung oversees publicity, social media, marketing and brand management strategies for the company’s expansive roster of award-winning television, film and digital projects including Murdoch MysteriesCarmilla, Frankie Drake, Slasher and The Moblees, and also handles corporate communications, events, advertising and sponsorships.

With over a decade of experience in the entertainment industry, Lung has extensive experience working with broadcasters, distributors, and festivals. Over the years, she has managed hundreds of PR campaigns for television and film and worked with a wide array of Canadian, U.S., and international talent. Prior to joining Shaftesbury, she held senior publicity roles at Global TV and Corus Entertainment. Previously, she was Communications Manager for the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television and Media Relations Manager for the Toronto International Film Festival.

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television and digital platforms. Shaftesbury's slate includes 12 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, UKTV, and ITV STUDIOS Global Entertainment; detective drama Frankie Drake for CBC; thriller series Slasher for NBCUniversal's Chiller and now available on Netflix; and Kids' CBC series TheMoblees. Shaftesbury's digital arm, Smokebomb Entertainment, produces original digital, convergent, and branded entertainment projects including the hit YouTube series Carmilla, funded by U by Kotex®; mystery series V Morgan Is Dead, brought to life by RBC; fashion comedy series MsLabelled, produced in partnership with Shaw Media and Tetley Tea; supernatural drama Inhuman Condition; and the Slasher VR app for iOS, Android, and Oculus Rift. In June 2014, Shaftesbury partnered with YouthCulture to launch shift2, a branded entertainment agency that drives profitable engagement with millennials using scripted series, turning brands into executive producers.

Tal Riff Bio: As a versatile marketer and content strategist, Tal is passionate about finding the sweet spot of creating entertaining and engaging content, enhanced by successful brand partnerships. Tal brings creative and client services experience from her roles in television production and broadcasting, as well as creative and experiential agencies. Clients include Kimberly Clark, RBC, Schick,Subway, Scotiabank, Kraft and GoDaddy.

"The WIFT-T Media Business Essentials program was a valuable learning experience and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to participate in it. As an emerging media professional, this program provided me with a strong foundation of knowledge towards the business aspects of media, as well as provided a platform to network with fellow creators. I’m eager to take this newfound information and use it to help continue building my career."
~Alicia De Four, 2017 Participant
Register for the full program by January 2, 2019.
Sign up here
Register for the full program by January 2, 2019.
Sign up here