Digital Literacy Panel: Representations in Pop Culture

Thursday, April 14 | 9:30 AM - 11:30 AM | VANCITY THEATRE

Every day we consume popular culture from TV, films, games and music. Media gives us the opportunity to immerse ourselves in fictional worlds, or experience the emotions of someone often different from ourselves. Pop Culture is supposed to represent the masses but what happens when your story isn’t told? What happens when you are invisible or stereotyped in the media? Does it matter who it is tha creates what we consume?  Join our presentation that discusses these very issues. The presentation will be followed by a Q and A with actors, media journalists, and more. 



Jenna Brown is an animator and illustrator who works in Vancouver. Jenna graduated from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, and teaches courses to teens and youth about animation, film, and game design. She is fascinated by new innovations in media, technology, and storytelling. In her free time Jenna likes to draw, and probably spends too much time reading Marvel comics.

Lisa g. Nielson is a local filmmaker, animator, and instructor. Her work has been screened all over the world. Lisa operates a non-profit organization called Our World, which brings filmmaking tools and workshops to remote parts of BC to give access to a range of voices that otherwise face barriers to telling stories through the medium of filmmaking. 




Via Skype

April Reign practiced law for over twenty years, honing her talent for public speaking and persuasive writing, but it wasn't until she left from her legal practice that she found her true passion. Now, as Managing Editor of April is able to capitalize on her strengths and pursue her calling, using her voice to spark dialogue and explore issues of race, politics and culture. The creator of the viral #OscarsSoWhite hashtag, April is an influential and sought-after social media presence, having built an organic following of over 20,000 people worldwide.


Via Skype

Joël Dos Reis Viegas- Graduated in 2D/3D animation at CFT Gobelins in Paris, Joël Dos Reis Viegas benefits from a strong 2D and 3D Animation background before becoming an accomplished Concept Artist and Art Director. Joël worked for several clients worldwide (Warner Games, Eidos Montreal, Ubisoft, EA, Disney, Bethesda, Cartoon Network, Activision, Applibot, Attitude Studio, Alphanim, Virgin, Universal Music...) Joël participated in various TV animation series, movies and videogames like Black Dynamite TV series (Cartoon Network), Godzilla (Legendary Picture), THIEF (Eidos/Square Enix), Batman Arkham Origins (Warner Games), James Cameron AVATAR game (Ubisoft), Pro Beach Soccer (PAM Development/ Wanadoo - PS2/xbox), Top Spin (Xbox), Naruto: Rise of a Ninja, Skyland... With over 16 years' experience in both videogame and animation industries, Joël is now an accomplished artist and Director (Urbance). 

Via Skype

Melaw Nakehk'o plays Powaqqa in the Oscar nominated film "The Revenant". Melaw Nakehk'o's professional acting debut in The Revenant is the natural progression of her distinguished career as an artist and community leader. Born in Canada's North, raised in the community of Liidlii Kue, Melaw comes from a long line of tribal leaders of the Dehcho Dene & Denesuline people. Melaw attended the prestigious Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where she earned a degree in two-dimensional arts. Melaw is also recognized for her exemplary work in revitalizing traditional Indigenous artistic practices, with contemporary applications of ancient techniques. Her work in reviving and teaching moosehide tanning techniques has initiated a resurgence of the practice and shaped a broader community building movement within Canada. She is a Founding Member of Dene Nahjo, and is a regular instructor at the Dechinta Centre for Research and Learning, a land-based university program.Melaw has three sons and lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada.

Via Skype

Ross Putman -is the producer of First Girl I Loved, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival and won the Audience Award for “Best of NEXT.”  He also produced The Young Kieslowski, which premiered at the LA Film Festival, also winning the Audience Award.  His upcoming producing credits include offbeat comedy Dinner in America with Red Hour Films, young Emily Dickinson biopic Wild Nights, and rom-com Plus One, with Ben Schwartz and Lauren Lapkus.  He created the Twitter account @femscriptintros, which highlights misogyny in the film industry through the way female characters are introduced in screenplays.

In Person

Jonanne Gage -  is a co-coordinator of the Vancouver chapter of WAM! (Women, Action & the Media) – an independent North American non-profit dedicated to building a robust, effective, inclusive movement for gender justice in media.  She spends her days working at YWCA Metro Vancouver developing, coordinating, and evaluating programs that promote media literacy, self-esteem, and gender equality among youth.  Meanwhile, by night, she writes historical fiction as a means of exploring alternate narratives surrounding women in history, and occasionally reads fan fiction as a not-guilty pleasure.


This program is avaialble by pre-registration only.