Tag Archives: Toronto Screenwriting Conference

Toronto Screenwriting Conference announces Paul Haggis to join as speaker

From a media release:

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference (TSC) announced today that veteran award-winning screenwriter, producer and director, Paul Haggis, will join the roster of speakers for this year’s event taking place on April 22 – 23 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Haggis, an Ontario native, has had a prolific career writing, directing and producing an array of award-winning television and film productions. In 2006, he became the first screenwriter to pen two Oscar-winning feature films back-to-back for Million Dollar Baby (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Crash, a film that he wrote and directed and one that also earned several nominations and awards from other prestigious associations including IFP Spirit Awards, The Screen Actors Guild and BAFTA. Throughout his illustrious career, he has collaborated with some of Hollywood’s leading actors including Oscar Isaac, Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Susan Sarandon and Russell Crowe just to name a few. Television credits include Thirtysomething, The Tracey Ullman Show and Due South among others.

Other speakers lined up for the conference so far include Marti Noxon (UnREAL, Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce, Buffy The Vampire Slayer, and the highly-anticipated upcoming Sharp Objects, directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and starring Amy Adams), Chris Cantwell (Halt & Catch Fire), Chris Rogers (Halt & Catch Fire), Adam Reed (Archer), Rick Olshansky (Co-Head, AMC Studios), Alison Friedman (Director of Development, Color Force), Mark Ceryak (VP of Film and Televison Production, Gran Via Productions), Alex Foster (President of Production, The Middleton Media Group), Katrina Saville(Private Eyes), Courtney Jane Walker (Degrassi), Tracey Deer (Mowhawk Girls), Jennifer Holness (Shoot the Messenger), Kevin White (Kim’s Convenience), Ins Choi(Kim’s Convenience) and Corey Mandell (award-winning playwright and screenwriter).

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


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.


TV Eh B Cs podcast 46 – Glenn Cockburn: Behind the Screens at the TSC

TSC_GlennAlong with the rest of the Meridian Artists team, Glenn currently represents a select roster of some of Canada’s most talented writers, directors and producers.

Glenn’s career started in 1996 when he began working as script reader for New Line Cinema and Innovative Artists Agency. From 1997 through 1999, Glenn worked as a Creative Executive at Templeton Production’s first look deal with New Line Cinema. In 1999, Glenn returned to Toronto and joined The Characters Talent Agency where he ran the Packaging Department.

Glenn also acted as Executive Producer on the feature film, YOUNG PEOPLE FUCKING, which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2007 and became one of the most successful and highest grossing Canadian comedies of all time.

Glenn’s other professional activities include teaching the course, The Business of Film and Television, at Sheridan College as well as being a board member for the Humber Comedy program.

Glenn has a B.F.A. Honours in Film and Television Production, from York University and a M.B.A. from the Ivey School of Business.Glenn is also the founder of the Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 at the Metro Toronto Conference Centre. To register, find a schedule explore hotel and food options and more, visit the website.

Listen or download below, or subscribe via iTunes or any other podcast catcher with the TV, eh? podcast feed.




Writing an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference

A full-day experience in a television writers room taught me one thing: there is no such thing as a bad idea. My fascination with what occurs behind closed doors on a TV series was realized when I was given the opportunity to attend the Writers Guild of Canada’s Writers Room Intensive for this year’s Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

In a sunbathed room on the seventh floor at Entertainment One’s Toronto office last Friday, I watched as Wynonna Earp showrunner and executive producer Emily Andras welcomed participants Laura Ashley Seaton, Tim Kilby, Priscilla M. White, Keri Ferencz, Matt Doyle and Blain Watters, who worked together—fuelled by coffee, water and food—to break a spec script of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Aiming to keep quiet during the entire session (I was there to observe, after all), I found it really hard not to chime in with my own ideas, especially when initial nervousness in the room was replaced by excitement and laughs. I’m not the biggest Buffy the Vampire Slayer fan, but I quickly found myself caring whether or not the episode began with the fortysomething slayer burning cupcakes and taking out the trash. Would Buffy have a daughter, Andras asked? Yes, everyone agreed. Would her daughter, Alexa (a nod to Xander) be a slayer too? Would Alexa’s father be seen in the story? Every question was discussed and positives and negatives weighed, before moving on.


After several hours of back and forth and notes on the white board, the teaser and Acts 1 and 2 had been written down. Then, suddenly, a storyline suggestion caused all of that work to be erased. They were starting over again. Like I said before, I quickly learned there are no bad ideas. I also realized that it’s important to have ideas and vocalize them. Your notion may not be used, but at the very least it will inspire discussion that leads to something. I’ve often asked writers who came up with an idea in the room and been told they can’t remember. I chalked the answer up to wanting to be humble, but they’re right. With so many thoughts being shared and scribbled on the board, there was no way to keep track of who had said what. Not that it matters; the goal of the room isn’t to spotlight one person and celebrate them, it’s to tell an engaging, interesting and entertaining story.

It’s something that, by the end of the session, I finally had a grasp on and an appreciation for. Want to find out how the Buffy spec script turned out? Register for the conference and attend the WGC Writing Room Intensive session on Saturday, April 30, at 11:15 a.m.


The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs Saturday, April 30 and Sunday, May 1 at the Metro Toronto Conference Centre. To register, find a schedule explore hotel and food options and more, visit the website.