Leading Collection of Meetings Hotels & Resorts Shakes Up the Meetings Industry and Supports Independent Filmmakers

Marriott's Convention & Resort Network (“Marriott’s CRN”) is excited to announce its first-ever film Challenge, taking place March 15-17 at the DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection hotel in Vancouver. The innovative 48-hour Challenge enhances the Autograph Collection’s dedication to independent filmmakers and elevates Marriott’s CRN’s creativity in the meetings industry following the recent launch of Mastermind by Marriott and video resources consisting of “:60 Smarter” and “Made Here. A Marriott CRN Travel Show.”

The Challenge will consist of two parts: a team challenge and a reality show. The first phase, which is the team challenge, will involve four, five-person amateur film crews who will produce one short film each. Crews, made up of a designated Director, Director of Photography, Producer, Writer and Editor, will be asked to arrive empty-handed and will be tasked with manipulating a small budget to rent film gear, actors, and edit equipment to complete their films. They will each be given a designated area of the hotel to film their movie, which will be centered around a given theme.

Following the 48-hour timeframe given, three industry judges, one of which will be David Shepheard, Film Commissioner of Vancouver, will evaluate the films and award one winner at a closing award ceremony. The winner will be rewarded with production gear and distribution of their short on the DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection hotel’s independent film channel and Marriott’s CRN’s Meetings Buzz platform.

Marriott’s CRN will then release a two-part reality show-type film. The first part will showcase how planners can work with the DOUGLAS, Autograph Collection hotel team to plan and execute their meetings and events. It will demonstrate how the hotel can transform their spaces into creative, inspirational event productions while highlighting the service excellence of the staff that helps bring visions to life. Hotel executives, industry experts, the film Challenge host, and more will offer insight and advice for planners on ways to enhance their meetings and events, encouraging them to push boundaries creatively. The second part of this reality show will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the journey of the Challenge teams, and what it took for them to come up with and execute their shorts at the hotel.


About Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network

The Convention & Resort Network is a premier collection of 110 world-class, integrated JW Marriott®, Autograph Collection® Hotels, Renaissance® Hotels, Marriott Hotels® Gaylord Hotels®, Westin Hotels & Resorts®, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts® and The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts® dedicated to providing the ultimate meeting experience for attendees. With over 9.3 million square feet of meeting space and over 100,000 guest rooms, the Convention & Resort Network offers choices from New York to Los Angeles, Las Vegas to Cancun, and Montreal to Hawaii. Visit www.ConventionResortNetwork.com for more information.



David Shepheard, Film Commissioner for Vancouver

Responsible for driving growth and innovation in Vancouver’s physical film production industry, David Shepheard is Vancouver’s first dedicated Film Commissioner – a seasoned industry leader bringing 18 years of experience as a film commissioner to the table. As head of the Vancouver Film Commission, David leads on investment and programming initiatives related to physical Film & TV production and its associated concerns. Previously, David ran the Film Commission services for Film London, the Capital’s media development agency. Prior to joining Film London, David was CEO of Open House Films in the UK—a consultancy partnership specializing in developing strategies, Film Commissions and Media Development agencies at City, Regional and State levels across the globe. In 2009, the Government of Abu Dhabi recruited David to develop the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, after which David served as its first Director. David serves as a board member for the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI), the global membership organization with over 300 members around the world. This is the second time he has been elected to the Board by the membership.


Todd Gilchrist, Film Critic

Todd Gilchrist is a Los Angeles-based film critic and entertainment journalist with more than 20 years’ experience as an editor, reporter, interviewer, emcee, moderator, commentator and pop culture expert. He has worked for dozens of print and online outlets, including Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Moviefone, The Wall Street Journal’s Speakeasy blog, Forbes, Boxoffice Magazine, IFC, Movies.com, The Playlist, Cinematical, MTV Movies blog, and Nerdist. A sneaker aficionado, music lover and member of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, he currently lives in Silverlake, California with his amazing wife Julie, two cats Nemo and Beatrix, and several thousand books, vinyl records and Blu-rays.


Marnie Orr, A/BC Film Commissioner & Director of Production

As Acting British Columbia Film Commissioner, Marnie leads BC’s film commission team at Creative BC to deliver provincial film commission services, from locations marketing and physical production resource support, to industry and community relations services. She works to sustain and grow ongoing opportunity and collaboration for the network of industry and government stakeholders who together contribute to the motion picture industry's success in BC. With 20+ years of experience in location and production support in the film and television industry, Marnie has worked throughout British Columbia and brings a specialized knowledge of local communities and geographical areas as well as a strong understanding of the dynamics between communities and motion picture production.



Jeff Krapf, Host

Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network

A California native, Jeff splits his time between San Diego and Los Angeles and is considered one of the most versatile television and multimedia hosts in the business. Whether on camera or holding a microphone hosting International live events in front of more than 50,000 people, Jeff exudes energy, personality, charm and brings a sense quality and charisma that very few people can replicate. Jeff’s hosting abilities run the gamut from entertainment reporting on the red carpet to major sporting events to anchoring live streams at CES and data technology conferences as well as hosting his very own late night variety talk show. He currently anchors for The Good News TV show at NBC San Diego and has several projects in pre-production for 2019.  


Amy Ballard, Director Sales & Marketing

JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS Hotel, an Autograph Collection Hotel

A hospitality veteran with over two decades of experience in the United States and Canada, Amy oversees all sales and marketing initiatives for Parq Vancouver’s two destination resorts, JW Marriott Parq Vancouver and the DOUGLAS, an Autograph Collection Hotel. Amy’s experience spans luxury properties in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles. In her current role, Amy is essential in driving awareness and loyalty to the JW Marriott and the DOUGLAS, leading teams focused on creating awareness for meetings and conventions to special events, marketing, and social media. She serves President of the British Columbia chapter of Meeting Professionals International, and she has previously served as a meditation instructor in her adopted home of Vancouver, British Columbia.


Amy Popper, Senior Marketing Manager

Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network

With a unique background in hospitality and broadcast television, Amy leads Marriott’s Convention & Resort Network marketing strategy with a focus on experiential storytelling for this collection of over 110 properties. Amy has been the driving force in creating innovative content such as the original web series 60 Seconds Smarter and Meetings Made Here, A Marriott Travel Show which spotlights various properties and destinations specially for meeting planners. She recently introduced Mastermind by Marriott, a community offering peer to peer meeting planner mentorship designed to connect, empower and inspire each participant through meaningful relationships.


Jason Dallas, Creator/Producer/Director

3000 Mile Productions

Jason has worked in the Film and Television industry for over 10 years, with experience in all aspects of creating and developing narrative features and original series. In addition to working with network broadcast shows such as Hell’s Kitchen, The Amazing Race and Take the Money and Run, Jason has written, produced and directed several independent feature films. Most recently he produced and directed the Showtime feature film Cupid’s Proxy and just completed the feature documentary Always Amazing, that premiered at the Vancouver Just For Laughs Festival.