Tag Archives: CFC

Ins Choi to lead story room for first-ever comedy cohort of CFC’s Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome award-winning playwright, actor and Kim’s Convenience co-creator, writer and executive producer Ins Choi as Executive Producer in Residence of the first-ever comedy cohort of The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program.

The comedy cohort, which will run from October 2022 to the end of March 2023, has been designed for writers specifically looking to gain experience in comedy writing and engage in a collaborative comedy series story room. The comedy cohort is an offering for Black, Indigenous and/or racialized creators in Canada, to celebrate and amplify a diversity of underrepresented voices and stories so they can ultimately be seen and heard on screens in Canada and around the world. Throughout the first half of the program, the writer residents will work as a team with Choi to develop an original new series. The selection process for the six writers who will be invited to participate in this cohort is currently underway; their names will be announced in early August.

Ins Choi is best known for his debut play, Kim’s Convenience, which was a nominee for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play, won the Best New Play Award and the Patron’s Pick at the 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival, and toured across Canada with Soulpepper. Choi adapted Kim’s Convenience into a TV series of the same name with Thunderbird Entertainment, where he served as a writer, executive producer and co-creator. The fan-favourite series ran for five seasons on CBC, was picked up by Netflix, and won multiple awards, including the Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy Series in 2018.

Choi’s select theatre acting credits include Banana Boys, lady in the red dress (fu-GEN); Hamlet, The Odyssey (Stratford Festival); and Death of a Salesman, Alligator Pie (Soulpepper). He is currently developing many other creative projects, including his play, Bad Parent, which is being produced for fall 2022 by Vancouver Asian Canadian Theatre, Prairie Theatre Exchange, and Soulpepper.

The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program is recognized industry-wide for training emerging and mid-level TV writers and has played a vital role in the development of new and diverse television series. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Bruce Smith, Michael MacLennan, Brad Wright, Dennis Heaton and Shelley Eriksen. Learn more about the program here.

About the CFC
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a charitable cultural organization that drives the future of Canadian storytelling. Our intensive, hands-on programs in film, television, and entertainment technologies empower, shape and advance opportunities for Canadian creators and entrepreneurs working in screen-based industries. Learn more at cfccreates.com.

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CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and CFC announce new showrunner catalyst to support the advancement of diverse Canadian creators

From a media release:

CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) today announced at the Banff World Media Festival the creation of a new accelerator program, the CBC-BIPOC TV & FILM SHOWRUNNER CATALYST, which will support the career advancement of senior writers who identify as Indigenous, Black or People of Colour through hands-on and personally tailored on-set experience. The Catalyst offers a high-level professional coaching opportunity, designed through an anti-racist and equity-focused lens, and provides participants with additional tools and support systems necessary to reach a showrunner level in the Canadian film and television industry. CBC, BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC have made an initial commitment of three years to the program, with the opportunity to renew.

The first part of the Catalyst will consist of a series of substantive and hands-on masterclasses covering topics related to the role and responsibilities of a showrunner, including anti-oppressive leadership, people management, mental health, building relationships with network, studios, creative and crew, and all facets of bringing a show to life, from the writing room to prep, production, post and delivery.

Through the context of a senior writing and producing role on a CBC series, the second part of the Catalyst will see each participant building upon their foundational skills in showrunning by working with an experienced showrunner and participating in all key elements of production: from prep meetings to running the floor, managing set, taking a block of episodes through to post. Throughout the process, each participant will also be paired with an external showrunner, who will serve as a mentor. The program will be highly tailored for the needs of each writer and participating production, offering wellness and advocacy support through an anti-racism, anti-oppression lens. The inaugural year will run through the summer and fall of 2022.

The 2022 inaugural participants are as follows:

Andrew Burrows-Trotman

Andrew Burrows-Trotman (ABT) earned a Double Honours degree in English and History at the University of Toronto before attending the American Film Institute’s Screenwriting MFA programme. Upon graduation, ABT wrote a feature screenplay based on the Valley Manor Retirement Home scandal entitled, If We Left. It was shortlisted for the prestigious San Francisco Film Society’s Hearst Grant. ABT subsequently joined the writing staff of Frankie Drake Mysteries, writing episodes for the first three seasons of the popular CBC series. His other TV credits include Diggstown (CBC/BET+), Utopia Falls (Hulu/CBC Gem) and The Porter (CBC/BET+).

“Television production is more than a profession, it is how I share my soul with the world and let them know I was here. No matter how the rest of my career pans out, I have already lived the dream. Every day I wake up brimming with gratitude that I get to tell stories for a living. I am dedicated to a life of service and mentorship, dutifully holding whatever doors are opened for me so others can enter.” – Andrew Burrows-Trotman

MOTION

MOTION is a screenwriter, playwright, poet and emcee, fusing word, sound & drama for the screen and stage. She is co-writer of the award-winning feature Akilla’s Escape with director Charles Officer, which debuted at the 2020 Toronto International Film Festival, and garnered five Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Original Screenplay. An alumna of the Canadian Film Centre, she is also the writer of A Man’s Story, which won the Impact Award for Best Short Film at the ReelWorld Film Festival, going on to screen in London, Ghana, Belgium, and Zanzibar. In television, MOTION is a CSA-nominated writer and supervising producer on hit drama series Coroner (CBC/CW), The Porter (CBC/BET+) and Diggstown (CBC/FOX). She is also a writer and co-executive producer on the new digital series Revenge of the Black Best Friend (CBC Gem). Her most recent productions for stage and screen include the Dora-nominated Oraltorio: A Theatrical Mixtape with DJ L’Oqenz (Riser/Obsidian/Soulpepper), and Rebirth of the Afronauts in the award-winning anthology series 21 Black Futures (Obsidian/CBC Gem).

“I am passionate about the creative process of developing unique, often unseen and impactful stories, opening a stage for diverse talents in front of and behind the camera, to reach both new and diverse audiences nationally and worldwide. I also am passionate about initiating opportunities for BIPOC and new generations of writers, as well as other creatives and crew. By bringing new voices to the writers’ rooms, spearheading creative projects and creating series that resonate and reflect those that still need to be heard, I’m excited by the chance to work with others to amplify, collaborate, create, and change.” – MOTION

Ian Iqbal Rashid

Ian Iqbal Rashid is a creator, writer, director and producer known for the series Sort Of (CBC/HBO Max) and This Life (BBC) as well as the feature films Touch of Pink (Mongrel/Sony Picture Classics) and How She Move (Mongrel/Paramount). Born in Tanzania of Muslim Indian ancestry, Ian holds dual British/Canadian nationality. His awards include the Writers Guild Award of Great Britain for Series Writing and the Aga Khan Award for Excellence in the Arts. He is the author of three books of poetry, has curated exhibitions and film programmes, and was the founder and first director of Desh Pardesh, Canada’s seminal festival of South Asian diasporic culture.

“In recent years I have led development rooms and created series for Sienna, CBC, Lionsgate, Showtime, and Mark Gordon Productions. And while I have yet to run a produced show, I think my experience and expertise reveal that I have exactly the right skill set and sensibility for that role.” – Ian Iqbal Rashid

Catalyst participants are nominated by showrunners, producers, production companies or broadcasters, in consultation with BIPOC TV & Film and the CFC, based on their experience and readiness to further progress in their career. In order to qualify for participation, each potential candidate must be a Canadian Citizen or permanent resident of Canada (as recognized by CAVCO), and a Writers Guild of Canada member in good standing with a minimum of three episodes of “written by” credits on 30 or 60-minute prime time television or streaming platform productions in the last seven years, and at least one “co-producer” credit in the last three years, or equivalent experience. For more information on the qualification and nomination process, visit bipoctvandfilm.com/showrunner-catalyst.

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Link: CFC and Netflix announce the creators and TV series concepts selected for Project Development Accelerator

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix are proud to announce the creators and TV series projects selected for the inaugural TV series portion of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative, which runs from September to November 2020.

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is a three-month accelerator designed to offer advanced project development and workshopping support for the four selected TV series projects. Tailored to their specific creative and business needs, the Accelerator will see these creators and projects benefit from international creative and marketplace expertise and feedback from Netflix executives, as well as a range of additional industry professionals, to help them elevate and amplify their original series on an international level.

MEET THE PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR TV SERIES PROJECTS:

 Alter Boys
Creator/Writer: Jonathan Lawrence; Producer: Ryan Wilson Cooper
Format/Genre: Half-hour drama

Alter Boys follows a group of young men who are thrust into furtive practices of conversion therapy in an isolated camp veiled by the woods. The new camp director’s aggressive program leaves the men struggling to navigate one summer’s haunting interplay of hope and ruin.

Jonathan Lawrence is a Winnipeg-based Indigiqueer filmmaker and actor who has produced several award-winning short and feature films and has appeared on both stage and screen. Most recently, Jonathan is working to expand his latest short film into a limited drama series. Jonathan aims to create evocative work that draws on a distillation of human vulnerability and brokenness amid visceral landscapes and the beauty therein.

#RELATIONSHIPGOALS
Creators/Writers: Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland
Format/Genre: Half-hour comedy/drama

 #RELATIONSHIPGOALS follows Keisha Winters, a relationship blogger, podcast host and artsy divorced mom, who lives with her supremely capable daughter, Kelly, and her very Jamaican mother, Althea. Together, these women represent three generations of Black girl magic – all under the same roof, and all with strong opinions. About everything. Through the crazy stories that land in Keisha’s inbox, to the guests on her podcast and her own complicated personal life, #RelationshipGoals explores the funny side of friendship, family, life and love.

Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer, producer and director. She created the TV series Shoot the Messenger and the award-winning mini-series Guns for CBC. She has produced numerous docs, including Stateless (PBS), which won the Hot Docs 2020 Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary. Her dramatic feature, Home Again, was nominated for two CSAs and earned her a DGC nomination for Best Directing. Additionally, Jennifer produced Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, which won nine festival awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2003. Currently, she is directing the feature documentary Subjects of Desire and is developing the drama series Talk to Me with BellMedia.

Sudz Sutherland is an award-winning writer and director who has directed two award-winning features, Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (Best Canadian First Feature Film, TIFF 2003), as well as more than 75 hours of television on shows including Batwoman, The Flash, Blindspot, Designated Survivor, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries, and many others. Additionally, Sudz co-created the series She’s the Mayor (VisionTV), Shoot the Messenger (CBC) and Guns (CBC). He has won an International Emmy for his work on The Phantoms, three CSAs for Best Direction and one CSA for Best Writing. Sudz is currently developing a drama series entitled Talk to Me with Bell Media, as well as a feature, Everything is Everything.

The Ageless
Creator/Writer: Faisal Lutchmedial
Format/Genre: One-hour sci-fi action/drama

The Ageless is a serialized one hour sci-fi action drama that follows an elderly WWII vet, who, once transformed by an age reversal experiment back into his young Nazi fighting prime, sets out to dismantle a fascist cult of the eternally young.

Faisal Lutchmedial is a screenwriter who most recently wrote on Endlings (CBC / Hulu) and Ransom (CBS / Global). He was invited to develop his latest feature screenplay The Voices Inside at TIFF Writers Studio in 2019. Faisal’s director credits include the short Useless Things, which won the Writers Guild of Canada English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, and the labour rights feature documentary My Cultural Divide.

girl
Creator/Writer: Pat Mills
Format/Genre: One-hour comedy/drama

Taylor gets ‘mistaken’ for a girl on the first day of high school. Instead of correcting everyone, Taylor runs with it and learns first-hand what it’s like to be a teenage girl – but is the perception of their gender more accurate than what Taylor is prepared for?

Pat Mills is a Toronto-based writer/director. His first feature, Guidance, was hailed as a “Grade A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His sophomore feature, Don’t Talk to Irene, won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Austin Screenplay Competition, and two Canadian Comedy Awards (Best Feature; Best Writing in a Feature), among other festival awards. Pat was named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch and was University of Toronto’s Universal Studios Screenwriter-in-Residence in 2018/19. He is currently in post on the queer thriller The Retreat (Alyson Richards Productions/Clique Pictures), and recently directed Queens, a drag queen comedy series for CBC Gem.

 

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is one component of the larger Netflix/CFC Global Project, which supports Canada’s traditionally underserved creatives, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+, Francophone creators (French as a first language), and creators living with disabilities.

The two additional accelerators, the Calling Card and Marketplace Accelerators, are yearlong accelerators, which, to date, have supported more than a dozen projects, ranging from shorts to features and TV series. For more information on specific projects and participants, please visit https://bit.ly/2SwOLkA.

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Award-winning writer/producer Bruce Smith to lead story room for 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome one of Canada’s top drama showrunners Bruce Smith as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. From September to December 2019, Smith will lead the story room as well as the six television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Smith’s original series.

Bruce Smith was most recently creator and showrunner of Street Legal on CBC. Previously, he was the showrunner of CTV’s award-winning drama 19-2 and of Cracked (CBC). Over its four-season run, 19-2 earned more than 30 Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including the win for Best Dramatic Series in 2016, when it was also nominated for an International Emmy in the same category. Additionally, Smith has worked as a writer/producer on numerous dramas, including Durham County (HBO CANADA), and has penned multiple award-winning MOWs and miniseries, including The Sleep Room (CBC), Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story (CBC), The Investigation (CTV), and John A: Birth of a Country (CBC), for which he won a 2013 Canadian Screen Award. Smith has received three WGC Screenwriting Awards, including the WGC Showrunner Award in 2015 and the McGrath Service Award in 2019.

The 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants are:

  • Henry Campbell (BC)
  • Imogen Grace (ON)
  • Amy Halloran (QC)
  • Rose Napoli (ON)
  • Lori-Ann Russell (ON)
  • Ian Steaman (ON)

This year’s program begins on September 23, 2019. The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, now in its 20th year, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Karen Walton, Brad Wright, Dennis Heaton and Alexandra Zarowny. The program has played a vital role in developing numerous hit series through its story room, including Travelers and the Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black. Learn more about the program here.

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Introducing the 2018 CFC Bell Media Prime Time TV writers

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is delighted to announce the six new residents who will be joining the 2018 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios, beginning Monday, September 24.

The program has attracted some of Canada’s best showrunners to lead the story room as its Executive Producer in Residence, including Dennis Heaton, Avrum Jacobson, Michael MacLennan, Graeme Manson, Karen Walton and Brad Wright. It helped develop smash-hit Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black and most recently, the critically acclaimed series Travelers, which premieres its third season this fall.

This year’s residents are especially fortunate to work with in-demand CFC alumna and writer-producer, Alexandra Zarowny. Her work spans Degrassi: The Next Generation to Wynonna Earp, Murdoch Mysteries to Bellevue and Private Eyes. Zarowny is ready to come full circle: “It cannot be understated, the enormous impact that the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program had in my own creative awakening as a television writer and content creator. The tools and insight gleaned from my training at the CFC still firmly clasped in hand, along with 15 years of career experience, will now be passed on to a stunningly talented team of young writers who are, I’m sure, thrilled to begin this journey, but who also have no idea just how significantly their lives are about to take a sharp turn into unimaginable adventures. Buckle up, everyone! There be a new group of writers coming down the CFC pipeline. As much as this program will change their lives, there’s no doubt in my mind that these new voices emerging in the television landscape will change yours as well.”

This year’s six writers have credits in film, television, theatre, music videos, branded content digital projects, along with an exciting range of professional and life experience.

Meet the Bell Media Prime Time TV Residents:

  • Sophia Fabiilli is an award winning playwright, writer, actor and producer. Her play, The Philanderess, won the 2015 Second City Award for Best New Comedy and her co-created comedy-horror web series,Fatal Murder, is in development with Shaftesbury. Read full bio here.
  • Jessica Meya is a writer, community leader and co-founder of Working the Scene in Colour, a diversity initiative organizing live reads of original scenes written by writers of colour. Meya is a 2018 recipient of the Breakthrough Artist Award at The Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Read full bio here.
  • Michael Rinaldi is an actor and writer for theatre, television and film. His play, Toothpaste and Cigars (co-written with TJ Dawe), was adapted as Michael Dowse’s 2013 feature film, The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver. Read full bio here.
  • Mackenzie Sinclair, originally from Edmonton, is a 2017 Toronto Screenwriting Conference’s Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award recipient, where he developed his half-hour dramedy series, Snowflake, under the mentorship of writer/director Pat Mills. Read full bio here.
  • Veronika Paz is an actor, playwright, director and television writer. She studied sketch writing at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade, trained as a performer at Pro Actor’s Lab in Toronto and Barrow Group Theatre in New York, and is a 2018 recipient of the Toronto Screenwriting Conference’s Al Magee Diverse Screenwriters Award. Read full bio here.
  • Heather Taylor is a writer, director and co-founder of the creative studio, Cereal Made, in New York, with writing credits that include: the feature The Last Thakur; the sci-fi web series Raptured, currently in development as a TV series; and the award-winning short Stitched. Read full bio here.

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