Barbara Willis Sweete
President/ Director/ Producer
A founding partner of Rhombus Media, Barbara Willis Sweete produced and directed more than 30 films with Rhombus since the company’s inception in 1979. In addition she has directed extensively outside of Rhombus, including many international productions.
Barbara’s films have been screened at major film festivals around the world and have received top awards in Toronto, Montreal, Banff, New York, Chicago, Columbus, Houston, Oakland, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Paris. Her films have earned dozens of Gemini Awards, three Genie nominations and one Genie win for PERFECT PIE, three International Emmys for CONCERTO!, PICTURES ON THE EDGE and YO-YO MA: INSPIRED BY BACH, as well as three Grammy nominations for DON GIOVANNI UNMASKED, PICTURES ON THE EDGE and THE PLANETS. THE YOUNG ROMANTIC: A PORTRAIT OF YUNDI LI, garnered four Geminis in 2009, including Best Director and Best Performing Arts Program.
Over the past 8 years, in addition to her film and television projects, Barbara has directed over 30 live HD Transmissions for the Metropolitan Opera of New York. These operas are broadcast live to 1200 cinemas in 42 countries around the world.
Born in British Columbia, Barbara has an ARCT (Piano Performance) from the Royal Conservatory of Music, a BA (Honours, Music) from the University of Western Ontario, and a Doctorate of Letters (honoris causa) from York University. She has recently been honoured, along with ten others, on the UWO Faculty of Music’s inaugural “Wall of Fame.”
Producer/ Business Affairs
Susanne Ritzau has a background in business and economics, with a Bachelor of Science in International Business and a Master of Science in Economics, and brings to the production team valuable skills and knowledge in the business of the Canadian film industry. After working for many years in the field of development and environmental economics in southern Africa, she moved to Canada to pursue an opportunity to work in the film industry; an area where all of her interests and skills have ultimately converged. Within the film industry she has experience in production and business affairs management, and has worked on a variety of projects including theatrical features, TV movies, series and documentaries, and at every stage of production from development through to distribution. Most recently she was Line Producer on YEAR OF THE SHEEP and I LOST MY TALK and Associate Producer on SONGS OF FREEDOM with MEASHA BRUEGGERGOSMAN.
Producer/ Digital Media
Ms Trinni Franke is an award winning Filmmaker and Social Media Producer based in Toronto. Her multi-award winning short films CUPID, JIGSAW GIRL and BREATHE have played in festivals around the world. On the digital side, she has been employed as a Digital Media Producer and Social Media specialist for Cineplex Front Row Centre, Union Pictures, Agency71 and Triptych Media. At Agency71, as the Integrated Media Director, Trinni oversaw the social media for the theatrical release of the award winning film BLACKBIRD, directed by Jason Buxton and was instrumental in the production of the digital components for Alan Zweig’s TIFF award-winning film WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY. Most recently she was a producer and associate producer forLine Producer on YEAR OF THE SHEEP and I LOST MY TALK.
Trinni brings to the team marketing and digital expertise, as well as a creative eye and a passion for storytelling. Currently Trinni is developing the feature film RUST, written by A.J. Demers, through the NSI Features First program.
Joan Jenkinson is a highly accomplished television executive who helps storytellers bring their ideas to life. She is an Executive Producer and Development Consultant who oversees the development and production of dramatic television series. She was the Vice-President, Independent Production at ZoomerMedia, TV Division where she commissioned, developed and executive produced hundreds of hours of award-winning creative content in all genres for VisionTV.
She is the Executive Producer of SONGS OF FREEDOM (Canadian Screen Awards, 2016): Best Direction in a Documentary Program, Best Picture Editing in a Documentary Program, Best Sound in a Non-Fiction Program; INSIDE THE MIND OF LEONARDO (3D International Creative Arts Awards, 2014): Best Documentary; THE JESUS DISCOVERY (New York Festival, 2013): Best Innovation, Gold World Medal, THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO THE BLUES (Gemini Awards, 2011): Best Actress, Drama; SOUL (Gemini Awards, 2009): Best Performance in Supporting Role, Dramatic Series; CARRY ME HOME: The Story and Music of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale (CSA, 2003): Canada Award; SHE’S THE MAYOR (2011): Toronto Star’s “Pick of the Week,” 13-weeks running. Joan was honoured with the Tony Stoltz Visionary Award in 2010.