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TSC 2017 Session Announcement: I Am: A Discussion on the Female Gaze

From a media release:

Join the TSC for a conversation with Courtney Jane Walker, Jennifer Holness, Tracey Deer, and Katrina Saville (moderator), as we discuss the female narrative, or what’s more commonly being referred to now as “The Female Gaze” – women challenging the enduring dominance of masculine world-views. Together, with our audience we’d like to further this important exchange of ideas surrounding “The Female Gaze” and the presence of women directing, writing, and viewing their own stories – making the statement: I am here. I am present. I matter.


Tracy Deer
Creator / Director / Writer / Executive Producer


Jennifer Holness


Courtney Jane Walker


Katrina Saville (Moderator)

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs April 22-23, 2017. Get the latest information—including events and how to register—on the official website.


Toronto Screenwriting Conference announces this year’s winners of Telefilm Canada’s New Voices Award

From a media release:

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference (TSC) is pleased to announce this year’s recipients of the Telefilm Canada New Voices Award. The emerging screenwriters were selected from over 120 Canada-wide applicants. Those receiving the honours this year are Reem Morsi, Thomas Pepper, Adam Perry, Brandon Ash-Mohammed, JJ Neepin, and Kenny Wong.

About the winners:

REEM MORSI – Reem Morsi had a career of professional scuba diving, human rights till becoming a writer/director. Morsi’s film credits include THEIR FEAST (Cannes Short Film Corner, TIFF, BBC, Cine Sud), NOSTALGIA (WIFT 2015), among others. Morsi is a CFC Directors Lab alumna 2015. Morsi received a scriptwriting grant for her feature film BOOTLEG, March 2016. Her short film BOOTLEG won best Canadian short in London and is also competing at other festivals. Morsi won first place for SHOW & TELL at the WIFT/BravoFact pitch competition 2016. Morsi’s short scripts were finalists for Robert Bosch Film Fund (Berlin Film Festival) in 2013, 2014 and 2016. Morsi participated at the 2012 Berlinale Talent Campus, 2016 TIFF Talent Lab and Women in the Director’s Chair. Morsi’s short films scripts LIPSTICK, CHECK POINT & MANGO were named finalists for Robert Bosch Film Fund in 2013, 2014 and 2015 (affiliate with the Berlin Film Festival).

THOMAS PEPPER – Thomas Pepper is a Toronto-based filmmaker and screenwriter. Since graduating from Trinity College Dublin in 2008, Thomas has worked with some of the Canada’s most recognizable talents: his credits include Sarah Polley’s TAKE THIS WALTZ, Steve Hoban and Vincenzo Natali’s DARKNET, Clement Virgo’s THE BOOK OF NEGROES, and Maxime Desmons’ WHAT WE HAVE. His second short film, MILK AND HONEY, has screened as part of several festivals, including the NSI Online Short Film Festival. It won “Best Film” at the 2014 Grand River Film Festival. More recently, his latest short film TUESDAY 10:08AM (co-written and directed with Jane Tattersall) screened as part of the Canadian Film Festival and Fort Myers Film Festival. After two seasons on CTV’s hit medical drama SAVING HOPE, Thomas is currently developing several projects for both film and television.

ADAM PERRY – Adam Perry is an award-winning screenwriter and director from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. His current project, A Small Fortune, recently completed the National Screen Institutes Feature’s First program, is currently in development with the Harold Greenberg Fund’s Shorts to Features program and was a semi-finalist in the 2016 Shore Scripts Features category.

BRANDON ASH-MOHAMMED – Brandon Ash-Mohammed. Three names. Three skills. Triple threat? Yes! Comedian. Writer. Future Real Housewife of Atlanta. He’s a Tim Sims Award nominated comedian, an Esther Maers Peerce Award winning writer, and the reigning Jann Arden karaoke champion of the world. Not convinced? A dazzling playwright with a penchant for the sass and the pen of a whirlwind mermaid writer. His darling masterpiece “The Decision” was featured in the Humber 10 Minute Play Festival. Sirius XM has also recorded his stand up in an attempt to capture and contain the radiant, pure bliss that is, Brandon-Ash Mohammed. He is a purple glitter stallion galloping through fields of funny, whimsy, and raw sexual attractiveness; and he, cannot be tamed. He is a graduate of Humber College’s Comedy: Writing & Performance Program where he was voted Prom Pharoah. In early 2017, he was selected to join the acclaimed sketch troupe Fusion. They’re a comedy collective made up of the best and brightest people of colour from the Bad Dog Theatre and Second City Training Centre. They’ll be making their first appearance at Toronto Sketchfest this year. In addition to that, Brandon is currently being filmed for a TVO documentary about racialized comedians in Canada. Most recently, Brandon did punch up for British writer/actor OT Fagbenle (HBO’s LOOKING, BBC One’s THE INTERCEPTOR) on a project he’s currently developing in the UK. Ready your tiaras, there’s a new girl in town!

JJ NEEPIN – JJ Neepin is an independent, first nations filmmaker living in Winnipeg, Canada. JJ has written, directed and produced several short films, funded by various organizations, along with her sister and partner Justina Neepin. She has a background in graphic art, singing, dancing and theatre. When she’s not writing or filming she can be found binge watching Netflix and scrolling through Tumblr. JJ is currently working on EagleVisions’s ‘TAKEN’ Season 2 as a Director for 2 episodes. HEADDRESS is her 3rd documentary short – it will have its world premiere at the 2017 Hot Docs Film Festival.  Funded via CBC ShortsDocs. BAYLINE is her 2nd documentary short funded via the MTS STORIES FROM HOME Broadcaster. Airing in early 2017. THE LEAGUE is her first documentary short, funded via the NSI Aboriginal Documentary Program. The film is currently playing several festivals and aired with broadcaster APTN in fall of 2016.

KENNY WONG – Kenny is a Montreal-based actor, writer, filmmaker and violinist with a Bachelor of Music Performance Degree on the violin from McGill University. In addition, he is entering his ninth year studying at Straeon Acting Studios. After being told by his acting coach on numerous occasions to “create your own work”, Kenny began his journey as a screenwriter and since 2013, has written and produced a handful of short films and web series. Most recently, he finished his second drama feature about an impaired violinist, inspired by his own experience of being diagnosed with Focal Hand Dystonia. Writing/Producing credits include: THE BATTLE JAR CHRONICLES (TV/Web Series); Musicals in EVERYDAY LIFE (Web Series); STARVING ARTIST (Short); THE ROOMMATE (Short); MERTON OF THE MOVIES: THE MUSICAL (Theatre); DIVING NORMAL (Theatre). TV/Film acting credits include: BRAD’s STATUS (Plan B); DEATHWISH (MGM/Paramount); ROADSIDE PICNIC (Sony); 19-2 (Bravo); THE ART OF MORE (Crackle); THE GLASS CASTLE (Lionsgate); LOST GENERATION (New Form Digital); A WORTHY  COMPANION (micro_scope).

Each winner receives a pass to the TSC and a meeting with representatives from Telefilm Canada. The seventh annual Toronto Screenwriting Conference takes place on April 22 & April 23 at The Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

To qualify for the Telefilm Canada New Voices Award, candidates must have written at least two short films of which one has been produced, and have written one feature length screenplay, TV pilot or series treatment. They must not have previously produced a feature or TV series/pilot, nor received Telefilm Canada Funding.

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs April 22-23, 2017. Get the latest information—including events and how to register—on the official website.


Link: Journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy dead at 91

From Haydn Watters of CBC News:

Link: Journalist and broadcaster Betty Kennedy dead at 91
Journalist and television personality Betty Kennedy, famed for her work on CBC’s long-running current affairs quiz show Front Page Challenge, has died at 91.

Kennedy, who was born and raised in Ottawa, died on Monday, according to a statement from her family. Continue reading.


Link: Veteran Canadian comedian Bob Robertson dead at 71

From CBC News:

Link: Veteran Canadian comedian Bob Robertson dead at 71
Veteran Canadian comedian Bob Robertson has died at 71.

His wife and business partner, Linda Cullen, confirmed to CBC News he passed away in Nanaimo, B.C., on Sunday.

Robertson and Cullen had been called the funniest married couple in Canada after spending decades in the entertainment business together. Continue reading.


Steve Patterson takes on late-night (sort of) with The Smartass-ociates

“People still want Canada to have a late-night Tonight Show type broadcast, but I’m not interested in doing that,” Steve Patterson says. “I would be more interested in doing a show where you actually learn something while you’re watching.” He’s got it with The Smartass-ociates,
Patterson’s newest project currently streaming on CBC’s website.

Patterson has been told for years that he should be doing a  late-night program but balked. That’s understandable. Mike Bullard tried to do it a couple of times with a certain amount of success, but Canadians never really supported a homegrown take on the U.S. late-night model. It wasn’t until The Colbert Report came along that Patterson saw something that would work here: a show where he could interview somebody with something to say other than the entertainment project they’re working on. Enter The Smartass-ociates, a co-production with Mountain Road Productions—who worked with Patterson on I Wrecked My House—where experts in different areas are paired with a comic to sit down to discuss various topics with Patterson as host and moderator.

Filmed last year in Ottawa, Season 1 guests pull from a wide range of interests. Episode 1, for instance, features the Honourable Lisa Raitt and comedian DeAnne Smith discussing the U.S. election and the difference between Canadian and American politics. Episode 6 boasts Olympic speed skater—and gold medal winner—Ivanie Blondin and comic Dave Hemstad discussing misogyny in sports coverage of female Olympic athletes. Rather than debating topics—something Patterson has nailed on The Debaters—these are frank conversations that educate as much as entertain. Blondin, in particular, stood out to me for her thoughtful first-hand account of misogyny, and her humour.

“She turned out to be one of our best guests and was one of our last bookings,” Patterson says with a laugh. “She was so honest about everything. I wouldn’t make it a habit of telling the rival of a guest to go f–k themselves, but it came about very organically.”

With Season 1 currently available online, Patterson’s ultimate goal is to have The Smartass-
 become a weekly television series on CBC where he discusses current topics, similar to John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight. Ideally, he wants to do it within this calendar year.

“I want to get into the meat of news topics with people and introduce Canada to as many of my funny Canadian friends as possible,” he says. “Let’s learn something and let’s laugh while we’re learning. Let’s prove what comedians have to offer when they literally come to the table on some of these topics.”

Watch Season 1 of The Smartass-ociates on CBC’s website.