Pendance

Story. Over. Everything

THE SELECTION

At Pendance, we select only the best. Our team of programmers are all film professionals, and if there’s one thing we get, it’s movies. Audiences rave that the selection standards we hold our films to are rarely seen outside of top 10 festivals. By keeping that quality standard consistently (and absurdly) high, we hope that a ‘Pendance Official Selection’ becomes a stamp of approval for any filmmaker looking to jumpstart their festival run.

Our team watches each submission at least twice. We select the best films. Period. No politics. No preferential treatment to local filmmakers or trending issues. If we feel the film resonates with an audience, we’ll program it. We respect our audiences. That’s why they show up. Speaking of which…

 

THE AUDIENCE

As filmmakers, we’ve travelled across the country for a film only to screen in front of twelve people. It happened at bigger and smaller festivals. When we started Pendance, our goal was to never let it happen to any Pendance filmmaker. In our very first year, Pendance screened on the busiest night of the year during a snow storm to a packed theatre of over 400 film lovers. We can’t even take all of the credit here. Great films aren’t a tough sell.

 

THE EXTRA MILE

We’re not just programmers and festival organizers. Our team also features professional designers and film editors with backgrounds in promotion and advertising. These skills allow us to help filmmakers reach wider audiences.

Last year, this meant designing custom trailers and posters for films which lacked these items, building press kits, and raising awareness about the films with local critics with the goal of raising the exposure each film would garner both before and after the screening. We strive to actively promote all of our official selections and filmmakers through our rapidly growing social media channels.

 

WORKSHOPS

New this year, Pendance will introduce four filmmaker workshops with the goal of adding a small teaching component to our festival. The workshops will be led by industry leaders. 2019’s workshops include; directing actors, scriptwriting for the big screen, securing distribution, and a masterclass in low-budget horror.

 

THE VENUE

The Regent is one of the oldest theatres in North America, and retains a special sort of charm which is seldom found in modern multiplexes. It’s an enormous and immaculately well-maintained venue with a 530-person seating capacity, a 40 foot screen, and one of the best sound systems in the city. So you can rest assured that the film you poured years of your life into is going to get the gold-standard exhibition it deserves.

Toronto is one of the most diverse, and rapidly growing cities in the world. Already home to the Toronto International Film Festival each fall, we hope Pendance gives the film industry a reason to make a second trip north of the border each year.

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Founder & Lead Programmer

Robert Misovic

Robert Misovic is a Canadian film director, writer, cinematographer and producer. He’s a published author and a co-founder of both Pensare Films and the Pendance Film Festival. Born in the former Yugoslavia, Misovic moved with his family from New York to Toronto in 1998.

He graduated from the University of Toronto in 2011 and began filmmaking in 2016 and has now produced 10 films under the company Pensare Films, including the feature film 'The Intersection'.

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Artistic Director

Toru Gabriela Miyake Gallardo

Zurich-born Toru Gabriela Miyake Gallardo moved from Tokyo, Japan to Toronto, Canada in 1998. An avid believer in holistic skincare, she founded Faces by Toru and partnered with holistic practitioners to further achieve her goals of uniting beauty care with self-care. She’s worked as a make up artist and aesthetician and has studied medical aesthetics at George Brown. Toru is a member of the Pensare Films Collective and has worked on four projects with the company to date; short films 'Stain', 'The Intersection', 'Penny', and the music video 'Transfixed'.

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Designer & Senior Programmer

Anastasia Buterina

Originally from Moscow, Anastasia is an uber-talented addition to the Pendance team. She brings experience through her design and organization work with the Reelworld Film Festival, as well as valuable insight in the curating process. Buterina is the founder of Shut Up & Yoga online magazine, and has worked on 5 films over the past 2 years. These films include; Better than Garbage, Penny, The Fort, Allurement, and most recently on 'The Intersection', a feature film in which she served as the second assistant director and producer.

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Founder & Gala Director

Andjelika Javorina

Andjelika graduated from the University of Toronto and NYU. She has performed with the Canadian Idols and scored 5 films; Tangerine Crossandra, Nights of Contrition, The Hallway, Stain and Allurement. She has performed for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, for the Chinese Consulate, and Serbian Consul General in Toronto.

She’s a member of SOCAN (Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada) and ORMTA (Ontario Registered Music Teachers Association). Javorina is a co-founder of both Pensare Films and the Pendance Film Festival.

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Operations & Programmer

Aharon Jinjihashvili

Aharon Jinjihashvili is an Israeli filmmaker and photographer. He studied film at Camera Obscure Film School and acting at the Ivana Chubbuck Acting School in Israel and decided to move to Canada in order to pursue his dream of directing films. Aharon also attended at the InFocus Film School in Vancouver.

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Programmer & Coordinator

Robert Cormier

Robert Cormier is an actor, writer, and producer from Toronto, Ontario. He's appeared in numerous films, TV shows, and advertisements. While still relatively new in the film industry, his rise to date has been almost unprecedented. It's a testament to his hard work, determination, and commitment to the craft of acting. He is the newest member of the Pendance team.

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Programmer

Tara Redmond Van Rees

Tara Redmond van Rees is a stage and screen actress. She has been in multiple stage productions but has recently transitioned over to film, where she has acted in ‘Web of Lies’, ‘The Intersection’, and ‘Stain’, which premiered at the Gasparilla International Film Festival. She is also an avid film critic, with over 600 films reviewed to date. 2019 marks Tara's first year with Pendance.

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Filmmaker Relations

Masha Litvinava

Masha Litvinava is a third year student at Schulich School of Business, and has a strong interest in the film industry and theatre. She's worked as a production assistant on the ACTRA short film 'Fearfully & Wonderfully Made' directed by Raolat Abiola, and has also been a production assistant on the feature film 'The Intersection'. This is Masha's first year working with Pendance.