Cracking Conversion: Maximizing Your Strategy to Build an Audience

Tuesday, February 19 - Friday, February 22

Get the Recording for our Multi-day Digital Engagement Webinar Series

On Tuesday February 19th – Friday February 22nd, the DOC Institute hosted thought leaders from Shopify, E-One, TIFF, and more, who shared insights and practical tips on how to:

  • Build an online community buzzing with digital engagement
  • Build a campaign strategy to maximize your film’s publicity
  • Define your audience and tailor your content strategy to reach that audience
  • Become a public ambassador for your film or cause

It’s no secret that the last ten years have revealed dynamic digital networks that have disrupted traditional strategies for distributing and marketing independent films. As online platforms continue to present incredible opportunities for reaching niche and global audiences, breaking through the noise to convert online traffic into an engaged audience continues to elude doc producers due to slim budgets and lean staffing. If you missed the live webinar, you can still get all the insights on how to build your audience! We’ve made the recordings, presentations, and session materials available below.


Sal has recently joined Shopify as a Managing Editor. Prior to this, he was the Managing Content Producer for the Toronto International Film Festival for three years, where he was responsible for shaping TIFF’s digital content and social strategies and overseeing TIFF’s brand extension into the digital space. He sits on the boards for the Arts & Business Exchange, Artscene Toronto, and is a former member of the fundraising committee of the board for the Regent Park Film Festival, the advisory board of The Hand Eye Society and the board of directors for the Toronto French School. Sal is a Queen’s University alumni where he studied commerce with a minor in film studies. Prior to joining TIFF in 2013, he worked in the financial services sector in sales and trading, risk and project management for 5 years, and ran a freelance digital consulting group for not-for-profits and artists.


The undeniable effectiveness of social media advertising and the rising popularity of influencer marketing created a unique career path for Aletta. She recently left her role at the Globe and Mail, where she led social media and influencer strategy, extending the reach of the agency’s branded content programs through hyper-targeted social ad campaigns and partnerships with Canadian influencers. Now located in Berlin, Germany Aletta has been tasked with developing the global social media strategy for travel company, AirHelp. Previously, Aletta worked at a Toronto-based social media agency, Matchstick, and Yelp in San Francisco. She has developed social strategy on both national and international scale for clients, such as New Balance, Club Med, Audi and Marriott Hotels International.

Aletta has been invited to speak on Influencer Marketing and Social Media Strategy at The University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, Ryerson University, C2 Montreal and Toronto Social Media Week.

Amy Saunders is the CEO and Founder of boutique PR and Innovative Communications Strategy firm, AlphaPR. AlphaPR is known for it’s cutting-edge clients, bold strategies, and commitment to values. With almost a decade in the communications industry, Amy Saunders works with clients in both documentary and narrative film, as well as music and books. AlphaPR’s past clients include Hot Docs Best International Documentary Award Winner of 2018, ‘We Could Be Heroes’ by filmmaker Hind Bensari, and Hamburg Best Film Bronze winner in 2018, ‘Firecrackers’ by filmmaker Jasmin Mozaffari.

A current candidate for OCAD University’s Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation, Amy Saunders brings sustainable foresight and trend-forecasting to AlphaPR’s campaigns and strategy in their holistic and innovative approaches. She is also the first person to ever walk two “ghosts” down a red carpet at TIFF.

In her free time, she is a Reiki healer, poet, and fiction writer.

Amy Wood is the co-founder of Drunk Feminist Films and the Creative Lead for Wattpad. 

As a communicator and creative collaborator, Amy has spent the past decade crafting beautiful experiences for the web and IRL spaces. 


Kazik Radwanski studied film at Ryerson University co-founded the production company MDFF in 2008. His short films screened at the Berlinale Shorts Competition for three consecutive years. In 2012 Radwanski directed his first feature film Tower which had its world premiere at the 65th Locarno International Film Festival. The film went on to screen at many festivals including The Toronto International Film Festival, The Viennale, and New Directors/ New Films presented by MoMA. His second feature How Heavy This Hammer had its international premiere at The 66th Berlin International Film Festival and was for Best Canadian film of the Year by the Toronto Film Critics Association. Most recently his short film Scaffold was invited to have its world premiere in the Fuori Concorso section of the 70thLocarno International Film Festival and went on to screen at BFI London, NYFF and TIFF.

Natalie Petozzi is the Director of Publicity & Promotions at Entertainment One Films Canada. Natalie specializes in publicity, events and partnerships, with a focus on how communities, technology, media and culture influence one another. Her 10+ years of experience includes in-house roles at eOne, Alliance Films and CBC, which along with her agency and freelance gigs span dozens of film festivals, countless press junkets, the Toronto Flower Market and a brief interlude in reality TV. She’ll tell you her favourite film is IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE, but more often than not can be found re-watching STEPBROTHERS.

Steph Guthrie is a filmmaker and educator who uses media and the arts to spark discussion and hope about issues relating to gender, culture and justice. Steph served as Impact Producer for Attiya Khan’s groundbreaking documentary feature A Better Man, a co-production of the National Film Board and Intervention Productions that Hot Docs called the “most-buzzed film” of their 2017 festival. Her work on A Better Man‘s key messages and media strategy resulted in feature coverage in the New Yorker, Maclean’s and BuzzFeed. She also co-directed the film’s interactive companion It Was Me, which won the inaugural Golden Sheaf Award for Digital Media at the 2018 Yorkton Film Festival. She is currently writing her first narrative feature film, a psychological thriller based on her experiences as a complainant in an online harassment case.

Presenting Supporters: