2024 Indigenous Screenwriters Lab Cohort Announced

Jun 5, 2024 | Homepage, Latest News

The Pacific Screenwriting Program is excited to announce the cohort for its inaugural Indigenous Screenwriters Lab. Selected from a national application process, this year’s cohort includes A.W. Hopkins (N’Quatqua First Nation), Shaelyn Johnston (Ojibwe – Saugeen First Nation), Sarah Kelley (Algonquins of Pikwakanagan), Skye R. Regan (Ojibwe First Nation), Trevor Solway (Siksika Nation), and Jordan Waunch (Métis, MNBC Region #2).

Focussed on the realm of episodic science-fiction, futurism, and speculative fiction, the new Indigenous Screenwriters Lab provides an immersive experience that develops the skills and relationships needed to be hired in the writing room of a genre TV series. Phase one of the program is an in-person story room to be held at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, under the mentorship of seasoned screenwriter and story editor Jordan Wheeler (George Gordon First Nation), who also participated in the cohort selection process.

“It’s going to be fun to geek out in a writers room with a lot of talented, Indigenous scribes as we develop ideas draped in the science fiction genre,” said Wheeler. “I think Indigenous writers are well positioned to venture into science fiction and futurism. To paraphrase Jesse Wente, we’re already living in a dystopian future because our world was already destroyed.”

The ISL is generously supported by Paramount+ in Canada, the Indigenous Screen Office, and the School of Creative Writing at UBC. The PSP is also grateful to the Indigenous Screen Office and the Indigenous industry professionals who participated in the cohort selection process.

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The Pacific Screenwriting Program thanks the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations for their continued stewardship of the unceded and occupied land on which our work takes place. We are committed to collaborating with and supporting Indigenous storytellers.

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