Hundreds applied for the job and 14 made the shortlist.
After three intensive interviews, Gave Lindo emerged as who ReelWorld Film Festival founder, Tonya Lee Williams, feels is the ideal candidate to enhance and advance the annual event.
He is the new executive director after spending the last six years at CBC as business & rights manager and deputy director.
“Since last September, I put all my other projects on hold so I could focus 100 per cent on finding the right person for this position,” said Williams, who started the festival 15 years ago to showcase Canada’s diversity and provide a platform for visible minorities to display their artistic talent and in the process motivate audiences through film. “In my years of interviewing people for jobs with the festival, I have come up with a system of questions that test not only their obvious skills, but also their temperament.
“Gave stood out for me because he’s cool under pressure, he’s pragmatic and he knows how to pace himself and not get caught up in the panic of others. On top of that, he’s smart, well-educated and can think outside the box.”
Williams was also impressed with Lindo’s knowledge of the festival and his vision for advancing it.
“It was clear to me he had done his homework and research,” she said. “He’s passionate about this festival and he convinced me that he could execute his vision for the future of this festival. I also liked the fact that he has his own personal contacts in the entertainment industry and he doesn’t want to be an artist. Most times, I get filmmakers, actors and writers who want jobs like this, but really they want the job while they continue to fulfil their real passion for their art and eventually they get depressed with the job. I wanted someone whose passion would be to facilitate artists and someone whose joy was giving the artist a platform to shine.”
For his part, Lindo is honoured to be joining ReelWorld and he’s eager to implement his vision for the event.
“I think it’s an interesting time to be in the independent media business,” said Lindo, who has a Master’s in Business Administration and a law degree. “I have worked for a number of years in broadcasting and I think that with everything that’s going digital and with so many changes happening in the broadcasting field, the ability to engage with a live audience and to really have a close connection between the filmmaker and the audience is very special. I don’t think that is going anywhere, so I really believe that it’s an interesting time to be a part of an organization like ReelWorld which for the last 15 years has been able to grow an audience.”
Born in Alberta, Lindo spent time in Victoria before moving with his family to Mississauga, where he graduated from Lorne Park Secondary School and the University of Toronto and was among the 2013-14 class of 25 DiverseCity fellows identified as rising leaders poised to take action on issues critical to the health and prosperity of the city.
He practiced law at a Bay St. firm and was a CanWest Media consultant before joining CBC, where he was also the chair of the organization’s inclusion and diversity sub-committee (independent productions) and a member of the national steering committee.
“I enjoyed my time at the CBC,” said Lindo, a former Obsidian Theatre Company and ArtSmarts board director. “Part of my job was a lot of interaction with the independent film and television world. In the last number of years, I have met so many producers, writers and directors and I have gained a better understanding and appreciation of collaborating and working with other people and organizations to achieve optimal results. I was fortunate to lead a number of initiatives that relied heavily on bringing other individuals and organizations together to accomplish things.
“I think ReelWorld has a great opportunity to expand its partnerships. One of the things you will see in the future is that we will be working much closely with different organizations that share the same values and objectives and you will see some interesting collaborations between the film festival and organizations that don’t typically partner with film festivals. It will be an exciting time in the next few months.”