The Pacific Screenwriting Program celebrates five years & Jennica Harper announced as Scripted Series Lab Showrunner in Residence

From a media release:

The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) announced today that award-winning writer and showrunner Jennica Harper (JANN, SkyMed, The Order) has been selected as the Showrunner in Residence for the 2023 Scripted Series Lab. The BC-based PSP is also celebrating an important milestone, as the program heads into its fifth successful year fostering and creating opportunities for the next generation of screenwriters in Canada. 

Since 2018, the PSP with the support of its partners Netflix, The Canadian Media Producers Association, the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Creative BC, has attracted top writing talent from the province and, through its varied programs, has created opportunities for emerging writers to contribute to the country’s thriving film and television industry. Vancouver, often referred to as ‘Hollywood North’, is known for its service production and although the industry is booming, the vast majority of what is produced here is written elsewhere. Thanks in part to the PSP, there is now a place for BC’s world class storytellers to grow and thrive in an industry that is so important to the province. 

“Over the past five years, the PSP has built a vibrant screenwriting community in BC and across the country,” says Stéphane Cardin, Public Policy Director for Netflix in Canada. “It’s been rewarding to see the success of so many past participants and we’re looking forward to seeing how far this next group of screenwriters will go in their careers.”

The Scripted Series Lab, PSP’s flagship program offering, guides six up-and-coming BC-based screenwriters in a writer’s room as they develop an original series. Steered by Harper, this year’s cohort includes Tanvi Bhatia, Kaylyn Johnson, Toby Marks, Kay Shioma Metchie, Kurt Mungal and Andrey Summers. Participants will receive valuable mentoring on their original pilot, workshops and information sessions with additional industry experts to help them evolve their skills and build careers in this dynamic and ever-changing entertainment industry. Many past participants are working in rooms for series on Netflix, CBC, Apple TV+, Amazon and more. 

“We are honoured to have Jennica Harper as this year’s showrunner for the Scripted Series Lab,” says PSP Chair Brian Hamilton. “Jennica is a hugely respected leader in BC’s screenwriting community and mentorship is something that comes naturally to her. We can hardly wait to see what she develops with this year’s exciting cohort of new voices!”

Harper is showrunner and co-creator of the award-winning comedy series JANN (CTV/Hulu) starring Jann Arden, which has run for three seasons and recently launched a holiday special. Jennica has written in a wide range of genres, from dark crime dramas to kid’s multicam comedies, and credits the Canadian industry for not asking her to “pick a lane.” She was a writer and co-executive producer on the upcoming light procedural The Spencer Sisters (eOne/CTV), medical adventure drama SkyMed (Paramount+/CBC), horror-comedy cult favourite The Order (Netflix), and critically acclaimed thriller Cardinal (Hulu/CTV), among others. Jennica has won two WGC Awards for best script, one for kid’s comedy Some Assembly Required, the other for the pilot script of JANN

“I’m thrilled to be collaborating with these brilliant writers,” says Harper. “There’s nothing more exciting than a room full of creative minds with varied points of view and interests coming together to break stories. I can’t wait to get started.”

The Pacific Screenwriting Program is a collaboration between Netflix, CMPA, the Writer’s Guild of Canada and Creative BC.