Hi from the Founders of HighballTV
HighballTV was built to celebrate film festival cinema, offering an opportunity for audiences to discover, and connect with, exceptional storytelling from around the world. We are a dedicated team of filmmakers, programmers and cinephiles, all committed to bringing you content you may not find on other streaming sites or channels. Thank you for helping us support independent filmmakers and for joining us here, outside the mainstream.
Matt Campagna (He/Him), Co-Founder
Matt’s been a filmmaker for longer than he hasn’t. He’s made some studio movies, and made some indie ones, but he likes those indie ones best. When he’s not making movies, he loves watching them in a packed festival theatre, a rowdy multiplex, or all by himself. And if it’s a western, he loves it the most.
Melissa D'Agostino (She/Her), Co-Founder
Melissa has been obsessed with moving pictures ever since she was a little girl watching Judy Garland look wistfully to the sky and sing about rainbows and bluebirds. A maker of both film and theatre, Melissa loves to collaborate with artists to craft stories that inspire, entertain and challenge audiences. Her projects have travelled the world; she’s grateful that sometimes she even got to go with them!
Niall Macpherson (He/Him), Head of Programming and Acquisitions
Niall’s worked for international film organizations and festivals since the days of VHS. He remains pleasantly surprised, and appreciative, that he's been able to earn money watching, writing and thinking about films and the film industry for such a long time.
Rachel Barclay (She/Her), Content Curator
Rachel describes herself as a Thinking Introvert, always finding comfort in introspection, and getting lost in fantasy worlds. Movies have always been a catalyst for those fantasies, and a window into understanding the world and people around her. Although she could never pick a favourite film, those that showcase her favourite things always warm her heart most; cityscapes, food, and friendship.
Ilana Haley (She/Her), Manager of Operations
Ilana, our Manager of Operations, hails from the land of palm trees and early bird dinners. She has a background in casting, talent management, and studied film at Ryerson University. Send any horror recommendations you have to her at [email protected].
Andre Rehal (He/Him), Technical Director
Andre Rehal is a Toronto-based freelance writer/director working in the mediums of music video, film and web series. He is currently developing a slate of long-format narrative projects and likes to re-imagining the endings of everything he watches on tv.
Natalie Semotiuk (She/Her), Social Media Manager
Natalie Semotiuk is a Toronto-based creative professional and founder of Courageous Heart Productions. She has worked in the film & theatre world for over 15 years. She received her bachelor's Degree in Twentieth-Century History from the University of Southern California, a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from York University, and she received a certificate from the New York Film Academy's Acting Conservatory as well as the University of Toronto's School of Continuing Education in Digital Marketing and Strategy Management. She has worked in casting, producing, and most notably she was the Producer of the Toronto International Film Festival's Rising Stars programme for the 2017, 2018, and 2019 festivals.
HighballTVs headquarters are located on the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat nations. This territory is covered by the Dish With One Spoon covenant, a treaty of collective responsibility for the protection and sharing of land and resources.
It is important to us that we reflect on the impact of colonialism and how we, as settlers on stolen Indigenous land, have benefited from a history of broken treaties by the Canadian government. As we do this, we also strive to be better allies with the displaced Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island.
We acknowledge that film as a medium has historically been utilized as a tool to negatively depict Indigenous people and communities. We recognize that these erroneous on-screen portrayals and storylines contribute to the prejudices, discrimination and injustices that continue to this day.
We honour the longstanding work of organizers, creatives, and communities that amplify the voices of the marginalized, bring truth to power, combat injustices, work towards freedoms and offer hope.
We thank the many Indigenous filmmakers who have provided us with the opportunity to present their work on HighballTV.
STATEMENT OF COMMITMENT
HighballTV stands in solidarity with Black, Indigenous, People of Colour and other equity seeking groups including but not limited to women and the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. As an organization we support ongoing activism against racism and systemic oppression.
We acknowledge that film as a medium has played a role in contributing to prejudices, discrimination and injustices against systemically marginalized groups as well the disregard for lived experiences. At HighballTV we recognize that it is our cultural responsibility as film curators to commit to creating a platform that allows for these marginalized groups including but not limited to Black, Indigenous, Asian, Women, and 2SLGBTQIA+ voices to both thrive and be accessible to audiences.