Skip to main content

A Bit About Us

An independent production company experienced in both feature film and television production, Buffalo Gal Pictures was founded in 1994 under the direction of President and Producer Phyllis Laing. In the three decades since, the company has generated a diverse slate of projects by forging collaborative relationships with creative talent and building successful co-production partnerships domestically and internationally. 

In the first three years following its inception, Buffalo Gal Pictures produced over 200 hours of television for WTN, while at the same time developing a slate of drama projects, often based on strong female stories. The company was driven to create world-class projects, and in 1998 took home the highly prestigious Banff Rockie Award as well as the top Canadian film award for its documentary on a favourite Manitoba author, Gabrielle Roy. By 1999, the company was producing an average of 3 movies a year, and by 2002 Buffalo Gal was contributing approximately $15 million in highly skilled technical and creative jobs in the television and film sector. In 2004, Buffalo Gal Pictures had not one, but two feature films in the highly coveted Sundance Film Festival. A further growth strategy was created in 2004, which led Buffalo Gal to international partnerships with Iceland, Germany, the UK, South Africa, and Australia. As a result, the company has become a sought-after partner for both national and international projects. 

In the subsequent years and with the aid of experienced local crews, diverse location options and the attractive Manitoba film and television production tax credit, the company has established itself as a significant content developer for film (Through Black Spruce, The Stone Angel) and television (HBO Canada’s Less Than Kind, Sunnyside, The Pinkertons), and service partner (Heaven is For Real, Haunting in Connecticut, Siberia, JT LeRoy and the recent Sean Penn-directed Flag Day). In 2010, Buffalo Gal partnered with Tina Keeper to create Kistikan Pictures with the intention of collaborating on the development and production of Indigenous films and television; and in 2016 launched Insidious Pictures, with a focus on developing and producing genre films with local and international talent. 2016 also saw Buffalo Gal Pictures receiving a record 24 Canadian Screen Award nominations for its work on projects such as the television sketch comedy Sunnyside and the feature film Hyena Road.

Altogether, Buffalo Gal Pictures and its subsidiaries are responsible for over half the feature film and television production in Manitoba, and produced over $50 million CAD in production in 2019. 

Buffalo Gal Pictures

PHYLLIS LAING

PRESIDENT / EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

With a keen sense of business acumen, creative vision, and a desire to make Winnipeg the epicentre of the Canadian film and television industry, President Phyllis Laing established Buffalo Gal Pictures in 1994 and has continued to expertly guide it to its present success. 

The list of credits to her name is as impressive as it is extensive. Joining forces with a variety of producing partners, Phyllis has ensured that Buffalo Gal Pictures has been at the forefront of quality Canadian production for over three decades, executive producing feature films such as MY WINNIPEG (2012), SIBERIA (2011), and FLAG DAY (2021). Phyllis’s vision of inclusivity in film and television extends to Buffalo Gal’s sister company Kistikan Pictures, having produced the feature film THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE (2019) and the CTV Comedy series ACTING GOOD (2022).

Phyllis' business ingenuity has been honoured by the Women Business Owners of Manitoba. She received the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1994, 2002, and 2013 and the for Impact on Local Economy, International Trade, and Overall Excellence. Committed to the continued development and expansion of the film and television industries, Phyllis was recognized by her Canadian peers in 2012 when she was presented with the Doug Dales Canadian Industry Award.

Read More + Read Less -

Isaac Clements

Executive Vice President

Isaac Clements has worked exclusively within the Canadian film and television community for nearly two decades. Beginning his career in the Acquisitions and Theatrical Marketing department of the boutique distributor ThinkFilm, he began his career working alongside some of Canada’s most respected pioneers on films such as the Oscar nominated BEING JULIA, the gritty urban drama SUGAR, THE ASSASSINATION OF RICHARD NIXON starring Sean Penn, and the critically lauded documentary FESTIVAL EXPRESS.

In the years that followed, he worked in a number of different facets both in Canada and for companies abroad, including Stirling Film and Television (Ireland), Telefilm Canada, and the Canada Media Fund. During his tenure at Telefilm, he worked alongside a multitude of in house professionals as well as countless filmmakers on such funds as Writer’s First, the Theatrical Marketing Fund, the Alternative Distribution Fund, and the Regional Development Portfolio that included over 100 feature film projects.

Subsequent to his Telefilm Canada tenure, he held the position of Business Analyst for the Canada Media Fund and within the Canadian and US production financing departments of eOne (Entertainment One) where his portfolio included the Stephen King series HAVEN, MTV's remake of the controversial UK series SKINS, AMC’s HELL ON WHEELS, and CALL ME FITZ.  

He then went on to serve as Chief Operating Officer for Berkshire Axis Media and Distribution Inc. where he managed the production equity arm, as well as oversaw the release of acclaimed features from renowned filmmakers including Michael Winterbottom (EVERYDAY) and Ben Drew (ILL MANORS), and the critically lauded Adrien Grenier-produced documentary HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS.

Currently serving as the Executive Vice President at Buffalo Gal Pictures, he focuses on the late stage packaging and financing of BGP’s slate of films and television, both IP and Service. Since joining BGP Inc. he has served as the Senior Production Executive on shows such as SUNNYSIDE (FX Canada) and THE PINKERTONS (Netflix), and films including BOREALIS, CONSIDERING LOVE AND OTHER MAGIC, and the animated feature film OZZY. His producing credits for BGP include the WW1 psychological thriller TRENCH 11, SEANCE from the team behind YOU'RE NEXT and THE GUEST, and the forthcoming UNSPOKEN. 

Read More + Read Less -

Liz Jarvis

Senior Vice President

Liz Jarvis has worked in the film industry for over 30 years. She joined Buffalo Gal Pictures in 1995 and has contributed to the company as a producer, business affairs executive, post-production supervisor, and assistant director. 

Most recently, Liz served as Production Executive for Sean Penn’s feature FLAG DAY, which premiered in Competition, Festival de Cannes 2021. She was Supervising Producer for the Guy Maddin and Evan Johnson feature THE FORBIDDEN ROOM (Sundance and the Berlinale, 2015) and co-produced the Mexico/Canada/US film YOU’RE KILLING ME, SUSANA and Canadian interprovincial co-productions BOREALIS, MAD SHIP, THE YEAR DOLLY PARTON WAS MY MOM, and HIGH LIFE.

A co-producer on the US-Canada-Kuwait co-production AMREEKA (Sundance and Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, where it won the FIPRESCI Critics Prize), she also collaborated with writer-director Kari Skogland on THE STONE ANGEL, starring Ellen Burstyn.

Liz also teaches Producing for Film at the University of Winnipeg.

Read More + Read Less -

Jen Beasley

Vice President, Development

Jen Beasley brings a wealth of experience in a multitude of fields to her present-day endeavours. A Writers Guild of Canada-nominated writer with comedy and drama television as well as web-based screenwriting credits to her name, Jen has been active in the film communities in both Toronto and Winnipeg for over two decades. Following a seven-year stint as an assistant cameraperson with various film and television productions (during which she learned the lay of the land when it comes to effective script structure) and before that as both an elementary and high school teacher (during which she learned the effectiveness of time-outs), Jen segued into the television story department, beginning with the Showcase comedy BILLABLE HOURS.

Upon graduating from the Canadian Film Centre’s Prime Time Television Program in 2009, Jen was hired as story coordinator on the award-winning LESS THAN KIND, studying comedy from no less than The Kids in the Hall’s Mark McKinney. Her co-written script for the finale of the second season was nominated for a 2011 Writers Guild of Canada Comedy Writing Award. From there, she went on to work as a story editor for Season Four of the acclaimed series. Subsequent work included screenwriting credits on such series as Showcase’s CRA$H & BURN and CBC’s MEN WITH BROOMS, as well as story editing on a number of Toronto-based projects in development.

In addition to her position in various television story departments, Jen was also employed as Creative Development/Project Manager for Paquin Entertainment Group in Winnipeg, during which time she penned their associated company Koba Entertainment’s live theatrical touring production of Mike The Knight, based upon the popular Treehouse children’s series.

As a Production Executive at Buffalo Gal Pictures, Jen was integral to both the development and production divisions and is adept at shepherding a project from the initial stages through financing to delivery.  Her supervising producer/production executive credits include A VERY SORDID WEDDING (2017), LOOK AWAY (2018), SIBERIA (2018), and JT LEROY (2018.)

In the fall of 2017, Jen was named Buffalo Gal Pictures' Head of Development, and in 2021 was named Vice President, Development, currently overseeing the company's diverse feature and television slate. In addition, since 2019 she has served on a number of On Screen Manitoba board committees and was recently named Co-Chair of its Board of Directors.

Read More + Read Less -

Bob Neufeld

Senior Production Executive

Bob embarked on his journey in the Canadian Film and Television industry in 1997. Joining Gemini winning John Aaron Productions, Bob gained valuable experience working in all facets of filmmaking. During his time at John Aaron he worked on a trio of films with Academy Award winning (GODS & MONSTERS) production company Regent Entertainment.

In 2001 Bob joined Lester Beach Entertainment. As VP of Finance, he produced films starring Chevy Chase, David Hasselhoff and Gerald McRaney. On the television side Lester’s slate of projects with CMT led to multiple AMPIA awards.

Following his tenure at Lester Beach Entertainment, Bob joined international documentary producer CLG Communications as Director of Finance and Business Affairs. During his time at CLG, Bob produced 14 documentaries including projects shot in India, Egypt, Ethiopia, Brazil, Germany, Jamaica, Columbia and Iran. He also produced a gospel series for Vison TV called GOSPEL TO GO.

Currently working At BGP as a senior production executive, he works closely with VP of Production Isaac Clements on providing budgeting, cashflow, tax credit administration, and business affairs support as well as overseeing BGP distribution reporting.

Read More + Read Less -

Kerri Bebak

Financial Controller

Kerri Bebak is a Chartered Professional Accountant with extensive experience in budgeting, forecasting, and financial analysis. After spending 24 years working for a leading yearbook manufacturer as a Financial Analyst and Accounting Manager, Kerri transitioned into the film industry, joining Buffalo Gal Pictures as their Corporate Accountant in December 2019. Kerri has since learned a great deal about both the production as well as the corporate sides of the business. She has worked post production accounting on feature films such as FLAG DAY and SÉANCE and, in 2021, was named Financial Controller.

Read More + Read Less -

Anastasia Lukoyanov

Development Associate

Anastasia Lukoyanov initially interned with Buffalo Gal Pictures during the summer of 2019, as part of her Ryerson University requirements. During her internship, she was able to gain real-world experience in the film and TV industry by assisting in various departments such as development and production. In the fall of 2019, she returned to Toronto to complete her degree at Ryerson in Creative Industries. During her last year of university, she interned with film distribution company levelFILM where she was able to gain an understanding of the logistics around film distribution in Canada. 

Upon graduating, Anastasia returned to her hometown of Winnipeg in 2020 and began working with Buffalo Gal Pictures. Currently, her work is focused around the development department. Anastasia is passionate about helping to create content that both entertains and educates people while putting a smile on their faces.

Read More + Read Less -

Jessee Havey

Production Associate

The newest addition to the Buffalo Gal Pictures team, Jessee made the leap from music to film by way of the Canadian Media Producers Association’s Production Mentorship program in 2021. 

Spanning over 20 years, her music career should not go without mention. After graduating high school, she co-founded GRAMMY and JUNO Award-winning folk band The Duhks, touring internationally and recording three albums. Her vocals and stage presence enchanted many and, despite taking a break from touring and performing with the band in 2007, she continued to lend her talents to Manitoba Theatre for Young People, working as the Theatre School Administrator in both the mainstream division and Aboriginal Arts Training and Mentorship Program. It was there that Havey inspired a new generation teaching musical theatre, assistant directing and stage managing student productions, as well as performing in main stage and touring productions.

She rejoined The Duhks in 2011, recording another album and touring for another five years until the band stopped touring in 2015. From there, she spent the next few years at the West End Cultural Centre as the Community Outreach Coordinator, planning and coordinating classes and workshops for the community and producing concerts and an annual street festival before leaving in 2019. Through her work at the WECC, Havey helped establish Girls Rock Winnipeg - an empowerment through music program for female, trans, two-spirit, and gender expansive youth and adults. In addition to her work with GRW, her current musical endeavours include folk duet Nation of Two, Jessee Havey and the Banana Band who play music for children, and some upcoming 20th anniversary shows with The Duhks.

Havey brings a number of transferable skills that lend themselves well to the BGP brand of inclusion and tolerance, working with the Producers on everything from evaluation of scripts to pre-production on a number of projects going to camera in the coming months. 

Read More + Read Less -

Insidious Pictures

Insidious Pictures is a Winnipeg-based company that aims to put the horror back in "horror movie" - to make movies that are entertaining, innovative and frightening. These are the scary movies people talk about, blog about, recommend to their friends, and watch over and over again just for the thrill of it. The company will be seeking out the most thrilling and original terror tales it can find, and putting them on screen with ferocious, uncompromising intelligence.

Read More + Read Less -

Kistikan Pictures

To collaborate in the development and production of Indigenous content for film and television, Tina Keeper partnered with Buffalo Gal pictures in 2010 to create Kistikan Pictures Inc

Tina Keeper is an award-winning actor, television host, former MP, and creative producer. She is best known for her work on the hit television series 'North of 60', and for serving as a Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Churchill.  

Producing credits include feature films Through Black Spruce, and Road of Iniquity, Sky Stories 360-3D VR, Going Home Star Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Cashing In: S3-4 TV Series/APTN, and The REDress REdress Project (writer, director) short documentary. 

Read More + Read Less -