The Team

LANCE SAMUELS
President

Lance Samuels has been working in the industry since 2004, producing widely successful shows including HBO’s Generation Kill and Strike Back, as well as feature films like The Bang Bang Club, Inescapable and Lucky.

In 2010, Blue Ice Pictures purchased Lance’s company, Out of Africa Entertainment, naming Lance as President. Under his leadership, Blue Ice has produced internationally acclaimed projects, such as The Book of Negroes, a six-part mini-series for CBC based on the award-winning Lawrence Hill novel. Other projects include the films October Gale, The Night Before Halloween, Lake Placid: Legacy, and Leprechaun Returns. Most recently, Lance has produced the critically acclaimed mini-series Madiba, starring Laurence Fishburne as Nelson Mandela, the CTV/Netflix series The Indian Detective, with Russell Peters and William Shatner, Spinning Out for Netflix, and he is currently producing the SYFY series Vagrant Queen based on the comic book, starring Adriyan Rae and Tim Rozon.

Strike Back

Away from Her

DANIEL IRON
Vice President

Beginning his career as legal counsel at Telefilm, Daniel Iron proceeded to become a partner at Rhombus Media where he produced the television series Slings and Arrows, as well as several acclaimed feature films including The Red Violin and Last Night. In January 2004, Daniel left Rhombus to start his own production company, Foundry Films, which was behind Academy Award-nominated feature Away from Her, as well as Manufactured Landscapes, Cairo Time, and numerous television series.

As the Vice President of Blue Ice Pictures, he recently produced the feature film Goalie, a biopic based on the life of legendary goaltender Terry Sawchuk, starring Mark O’Brien. He stands as one of the premier producers in Canada, attracting top writers and directors from around the world.

NEIL TABATZNIK
Partner

Neil is a partner and co-founder of the Blue Ice Group, and a producer with a wealth of experience in the film and television industry. As a co-owner of the Blue Lake Media Fund, Neil has executive produced a number of successful feature films including The Bang Bang Club and Alexander Payne’s Nebraska. Coming from a legal background in South Africa, Neil went on to found Cobalt and Oryx Pharmaceuticals and served as chairman until its sale in 2009. He is now a co-owner of Toronto’s Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, serves on the board of Hot Docs and the CFC, and heads up the Blue Ice team.

The Bang Bang Club

The Book of Negroes

ARMAND LEO
EVP Production and Creative Affairs

Before joining Blue Ice Pictures as EVP of Production and Creative Affairs, Armand Leo was the Senior Vice President, Global Physical Production at Entertainment One from 2011 into 2018, where he was responsible for overseeing production across the studio’s film and television slates. While at eOne, Leo worked with most broadcasters and networks throughout Canada and The United States. Prior to joining eOne, Leo worked as an independent TV and feature film producer. Previously to that, he served as Executive in Charge of Production at Dufferin Gate Productions in Toronto, working on over 30 films for Showtime and Paramount over a two-year span.

Since joining Blue Ice, Leo headed up the production of the Netflix 10-part series Spinning Out, and is currently overseeing the 10-part Netflix series Ginny & Georgia.

SAMANTHA LEVINE
Producer

As a Producer at Blue Ice Pictures, Samantha works alongside Lance and Daniel to produce feature films, TV series, and TV movies for various networks and studios across Canada and the United States. Some of her credits include Killer High, the feature film Goalie, and the upcoming series Vagrant Queen. With a focus on developing Blue Ice's original content, Samantha is constantly looking to bring new voices and experiences to audiences at large.

RYAN PLACHCINSKI
Legal & Business Affairs

Ryan is a lawyer and notary who brings a wide array of intellectual property law experience to Blue Ice Pictures, having previously specialized in the prosecution and enforcement of copyright and trademarks in the media and technology sector. As Head of Legal & Business Affairs, Ryan is responsible for the legal and business matters pertaining to the development, production, and distribution of Blue Ice’s theatrical motion pictures, TV series, and TV movies. Ryan earned his Juris Doctor (J.D.) from the University of Ottawa and holds a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Political Science from Concordia University.

SHERRY CHAFE
Production Financing

Sherry began her career as a corporate accountant in international distribution before moving into production, eventually leading Production Financing at Blue Ice. She has provided production finance services for numerous features and television series – both animation and live action. Many of these productions were inter-provincial and official treaty co-productions.

KADY A. BROOKS-BAILEY
Corporate Accountant

Before joining Blue Ice Pictures, Kady worked as an accountant in the finance sector for over ten years. With a degree in Management and Accounting from The University of the West Indies, she started as an accounts clerk, moving into financial management, budgeting, and management analysis.

MEGAN COGGANS
Executive Assistant

Before her time with Blue Ice Pictures, Megan achieved her degree in Media Production with a concentration in Screen and Television at Ryerson University. She also worked to obtain a minor in Business Essentials while simultaneously working on productions outside of her academics. This work includes time committed to various projects; from a crew member to production offices positions. Her wide array of skills and experiences help her to effectively support the Blue Ice team.