March 23, 2022 10:05 am
Published by Jimena Romero
What’s your role at the NFB, and what are your responsibilities?
I’m a sales agent for the sales and distribution team. I follow sales opportunities with broadcasters and all-rights distributors around the world (except for Canada and most of Europe). I increasingly deal with regional digital platforms.
How long have you been at the NFB? Tell us about your career path.
I’ve been working at the NFB for almost 11 years. I started my career back in the ’90s, acquiring films for Blockbuster video stores in Venezuela. I spent several years working in marketing for a group of broadcasters under what was then the HBO Latin America Group. These channels were Sony, E! and AXN. When I’d just arrived in Canada, I was lucky enough to work for TLN, the only Latino channel available in Canada in the 2000s. It was there that I gained experience producing musical events. After a brief time at the software company Toon Boom Animation, I joined the NFB.
Did you choose the NFB, or did the NFB choose you?
In a way we chose each other. When I arrived in Canada, I put together a list of companies where I wanted to work. Of course, the NFB was on the list. I was impressed by the quality of its productions. After a few attempts applying for positions here, nothing happened. Then years later, out of the blue someone recommended me for the sales position. I applied for it, and here I am!
What makes the NFB unique in your view?
The NFB is very unique, and I hear it every time when I explain to people around the world how it works. They’re very impressed when I tell them how the Canadian government funds an agency with two mandates, to produce and distribute. When they try to find a local counterpart that does the same thing, they have a hard time.
Can you share a surprising fact about your job with us?
When I attend international film markets, sometimes I have to pitch films in four different languages: English, French, Spanish and Portuguese. It’s one meeting after the other, so at the end of the day, obviously when I begin to feel tired, I may mix them together a little bit!
What is it about your job that makes you most proud?
I feel that I’m doing cultural diplomacy; I don’t see it as only sales. When I travel, I represent the NFB and Canada, and that makes me proud.
What career did you aspire to when you were young?
Believe it or not, at one point I was torn between advertising and agronomy. But because I grew up in a city and I’m a very urban person, the choice became obvious.
Are you a bigger fan of animation, documentary or interactive experiences?
I’m a big fan of anything audiovisual, but I must admit that I love documentaries. I love learning about any subject.
– Photo by Valérie Sangin for the NFB
This post was written by Jimena Romero