Derek Sewell is a founder and Executive Producer at HUG. His passion for constantly adjusting to the needs of the branded content industry in Canada has lead to the growth of Holiday Films, Nimble Content, Recess Post and The Cavalry.
Establishing this full service content production group has opened the door to new partnerships across a variety of business sectors leading to the growth of all the divisions.
The ability of this group to respond faster and deliver better value without creative compromise has proven to be timely and desirable to today’s marketers.
Prior to the establishment of Holiday Films, Derek had leadership positions in a variety of other leading production companies in Canada. He also spent a period of time producing feature films and served as production supervisor at The Canadian Film Centre mentoring the residents on their graduate productions.
Derek served on the board of the Commercial Production Association of Toronto for 14 years. Along with the other board members he was instrumental in establishing many of the production standards that are followed today in Ontario and much of the rest of Canada.
Co-founder of The Holiday United Group (HUG), Holiday Films and Nimble Content, Josefina has been instrumental in helping create some of Canada’s top creative advertising.
She is an award-winning executive producer with a proven track record and over 18 years of experience leading to a deep understanding of creative and commerce. Notable awards include Cannes Grand Prix, Titanium, One Show, ADCC and Marketing Awards. Cannes accolades includes work for Dove Evolution, Ikea and VIM/Unilever. These commercials were recently nominated into TIFF’s Top Cinematic Work.
Recently, Josefina helped create Holiday for Good, focusing the company’s business model as a force for good to work alongside clients, agency partners and filmmakers to help create meaningful and purpose driven messaging.
Josefina is a strong supporter of Free the Work, advocating for female directing talent in Canada. She currently serves on the board for the The Association of Commercial Production (ACCP formerly CPAT).
Andy is a team builder and a team leader with over 20 years of experience as an executive producer, producer and business developer. Most recently he was a Managing Director and Head of Development at Free Society. Together with his business partner, they built Free Society from scratch into an internationally recognized tabletop production house.
Always looking for ways to respond to market changes and stay ahead of the curve, Andy was an early advocate of digital cinema and conducted education seminars on the value of HD capture while Executive Producer at Sugino Studio.
Andy has managed projects for many top global brands including Telus, Unilever, Tim Hortons, Diageo, General Mills and Starbucks. He executive produced and produced Mini “Dominatrix” for Taxi Canada and director Shin Sugino, which won the first ever Cyber Gold at Cannes.
In addition to serving as Executive Producer at HUG, Andy promotes business development for the Group and the four component companies.
What inspires Andrew the most about film production is the teamwork. Each individual on set is vital to the success of a production, and the same goes for every producer, client, and agency partner behind the scenes.
Andrew got his first taste of film production working on set. He quickly loved the film industry and decided that production was the right place — and pace — for his career.
In 2010, Andrew joined Holiday Films and was given the opportunity to work with and be mentored by Holiday’s co-founders Derek and Josefina, two of Canada’s most respected Executive Producers in commercial film production.
As he grew within the company, Andrew became an Executive Producer when the team launched Nimble Content and was soon joined by his business partner Michael. The pair quickly became Nimble’s dynamic EP duo, providing unique film production solutions for online content.
When he’s not cranking out a budget or reviewing a treatment with a director, you can find Andrew cruising on his motorcycle on summer mornings, or making a batch of pine-scented candles accompanied by an ice cold beer.
Michael started making web videos in 2001 for a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation platform called Zed – a website that hosted user generated content a half-decade before YouTube. His work there earned him a loyal following and the CBC began paying him for his work. From there he made branded content for companies like Major League Baseball, MTV Canada, Cineplex Odeon, Tide, Winners, and iTravel2000. He’s produced four feature films, including a documentary he also directed which garnered considerable media attention, called U2 Brothr. Michael joined his business partner, Andrew Lynch at Nimble Content in January 2015. Together they draw upon their combined multitude of skills on all sides of the camera to create powerful video content for local and international clients.
Courtney has always had an interest in film and storytelling. After earning degrees in communications at the University of Toronto and Sheridan College, volunteering on crew at Rogers TV and being contracted for 2 months back in 2013 on the YTV series “The Next Star: Supergroup”, she realized that her interest behind the camera was a path she wanted to continue to follow. She jumped to the advertising world in 2013, earning a 3 month internship at Holiday Films and then freelancing as a 2nd AD. Derek and Josefina brought her back to the company seven months later hiring her as an executive assistant. Courtney quickly worked her way up through the production ranks to her current position as Head of Production. For almost 7 years she has managed the strategic and day-to-day areas of production, including bidding, schedules, managing suppliers, and client management. Courtney works in partnership with the executive producers, directors, and our international partners on service work, to ensure everything required to execute the creative vision is covered on every project.