The Pacific Screenwriting Program was established with the goal of building a vibrant screenwriter community in British Columbia. The Program provides support and career-advancement opportunities to BC-based film and television writers at all levels, while generating a deep and sustainable pool of local film and TV screenwriting talent for BC-based series and films. We believe that building this community is an essential first step to:
Creating locally owned and controlled IP that can be exported to global markets
Increasing the province’s ability to train and to retain talented screenwriters
Ensuring that BC’s diverse voices are represented on screens at home and around the world
The Pacific Screenwriting Program Society is a registered non-profit society. The program aims for at least 50% of successful applicants to be female writers.
Brian Hamilton is a self-described cheerleader for the BC production industry and has been involved for over 25 years as a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations in the BC creative industry, including the BC Branch of the CMPA, the Vancouver Film Festival, Crazy8’s and DOC. As a partner of Omnifilm Entertainment, he has executive produced more than 70 television projects in both scripted and non-scripted genres, representing over 350 hours of broadcast programming since he joined Omnifilm in 1994. Brian is responsible for Omnifilm’s original content, including primetime scripted, kids and family programming, documentaries and factual series, in addition to overseeing Omnifilm’s Physical Production and Post Production teams. Recent programs which Brian executive produced include: Bletchley Circle: San Francisco for ITV, Britbox, Citytv and Netflix; Bush Wreck Rescue for Discovery Channel; Gabby Duran & the Unsittables as well as Fast Layne for Disney Channel; Jade Fever for Discovery Channel; Wild Bear Rescue for Animal Planet; Mech-X4 for Disney XD; Primeval: New World for Space, ProSeiben and UKTV; CBC’sArctic Air; Defying Gravity, for CTV, BBC, ProSeiben, and ABC, Robson Arms for CTV and Make Some Noise for CBC, which was awarded the Gemini for Best Youth Non-Fiction series, the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the prestigious Japan Prize for Youth Programming. Brian holds a First Class Honours Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo and received his television training from the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Liz Shorten has been working to build capacity in the film, television and digital media sectors for the past 25 years. In her role as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the CMPA, Liz leads staff and oversees organizational operations across the association’s offices in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, and works to implement the CMPA’s corporate strategic plan. Liz previously held senior positions at the Ontario Film Development Corporation (Ontario Creates), British Columbia Film (Creative BC), and CBC Television.
Active in many organizations, Liz is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of REEL CANADA and Secretary/Treasurer of the Pacific Screenwriting Program. Liz was a founding Board member of the Crazy8’s Film Society, Co-founder of Women in View and Founding Chair of Story Money Impact. She was recently named one of BC’s top 500 Business Leaders by Business in Vancouver, “Woman of the Year” by Women in Film and Television Vancouver and “Industry Champion” by the Whistler Film Festival in recognition of her leadership role in the film and television industry.
After working for several years in a Vancouver chartered accounting firm, Robert first joined Creative BC when it was BC Film + Media. Now Creative BC’s Vice President, Robert markets British Columbia internationally as a destination of choice for projects and companies seeking a world class creative industries centre in which to do business. In his role, he leads the administration of Creative BC’s tax credit and granting programs, balancing attraction of international business with support for BC’s domestic content creators. Robert has become the expert on motion picture tax credits, originally helping to launch the BC film and television tax credit program in 1998. He went on to play an integral role in the evolution of British Columbia’s motion picture industry tax policy.
Victoria Shen is the Executive Director at the Writers Guild of Canada. She is an accomplished labour and human-rights lawyer, and a respected advocate for change in the entertainment industry. She was formerly the Special Advisor at the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA) and the Director of National Industrial Relations and Counsel at the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA). Shen has contributed to a range of industry organizations on health and safety, harassment, diversity, and COVID recovery. She has served as Faculty Instructor for the Osgoode Certificate in Entertainment Law, a board member of the Reelworld Film Institute and Reel Asian International Film Festival, and Special Advisor to Intimacy Coordinators Canada. Shen is the first person of colour to lead the WGC.
Robert C Cooper
Multi-award winning writer, director and executive producer Robert Cooper has been involved in the creation of over 400 episodes of television. His latest series Unspeakable, for CBC and Sundance TV, chronicled the Canadian tainted blood tragedy and was produced through his production company, Mezo Entertainment. Prior to that, he served as showrunner on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBCAmerica, Netflix and AMC Studios. He is also known for showrunning the record-breaking 17 season Stargate television franchise for MGM. He co-created Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe and served as executive producer, writer, and director of multiple episodes of all three series and two DTV movies.
Robert has numerous nominations and has won several awards including 2 Best Series awards and a Canadian Writer’s Guild award for best dramatic screenplay. In 2009, he was presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award for contribution to the British Columbia television industry.
Currently, Mezo Entertainment has several projects in development including one that was optioned from a PSP graduate.
Karyn is an experienced entertainment executive, well versed in all sides of motion picture dealings across agents, talent, streamers, studios, and production companies. In her role, she currently oversees a business and legal affairs team at Netflix, the world’s leading global subscription streaming entertainment company. Karyn handles the business and legal affairs for a slate of projects from development of a property through exploitation. Karyn strives to introduce new thinking and paths for the division to consider. She serves as a thought leader for the Original Film business unit. This innovation continues to drive Netflix’s position at the forefront of the industry.
Prior to Netflix, Karyn provided business & legal affairs services for major domestic and international production, finance and distribution clients including, Vancouver-based Brightlight Pictures and Thunderbird Entertainment.
With over 20 years of experience developing and producing exceptional content, Erin drives Lark’s strategy and operations, in addition to overseeing the company’s slate of scripted and unscripted content. Most recently, Erin executive produced Knowledge Network’s upcoming series Paramedics: Life On The Line, a prequel to the award-winning docu-series Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH (Knowledge, Discovery Fit). Erin has also produced CTV’s successful crime drama Motive (CTV, USA, ABC), and the hit formats The Real Housewives of Toronto and The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Slice). Lark’s programs succeed domestically and internationally, having been sold in over 180 territories. Other projects include Crash Gallery (CBC), High Moon (Syfy), Mom’s A Medium (CMT), and Gastown Gamble (OWN Canada).
Before joining Lark, Erin was Director of Development with Infinity Features, and was the Executive in Charge of Production for Terry Gilliam’s Academy Award nominated film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Prior to that she was Director of Development at Paperny Entertainment where she oversaw a slate of scripted and unscripted series, and was involved in the highly successful original series Eat Street (Food Network Canada).
A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Erin currently serves on the CMPA National Board of Directors and the CMPA BC Branch Council.
Todd Ireland is an Indigenous (Métis) screenwriter with a passion for storytelling. In addition to his personal projects in development he serves as the Executive Vice President of Enderby Entertainment Canada. He has an active role on the Board of Directors for the Pacific Screenwriting Program and he is a proud member of the Writers Guild of Canada’s I.D.E.A. Committee.
Todd recently wrote on Circuit Breakers, a YA sci-fi anthology for Apple TV+. He also wrote several NFT comic books and a triple-A video game for Microsoft. In addition to his animated feature Sunny, which was optioned, he was a writer for Netflix’s ReBoot: The Guardian Code and the Saturn Award-winning Continuum.
Todd earned recognition with a 2019 WGC Screenwriting Award nomination. He is a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriting Program and the WGC Diverse Screenwriter Program. Todd lives with his wife and daughter in Vancouver.
Originally from Kitimat, B.C., Renuka is an optioned screenwriter with a background in Business. Playback listed her as one of Canada’s Top 10 Talent to Watch (2021), and her half-hour comedy, Brown Girl Town, was the Writers Guild of Canada’s Script of the Month (2022). She is an Executive Story Editor on Syfy’s Reginald the Vampire and Writer/Story Editor on Netflix’s I Woke Up a Vampire, a 16-part series created by Thomas W. Lynch.
She is a fellow of the BIPOC TV & Film Showrunner Bootcamp (2022), and one of the top 25 participants in the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices PITCH program (2021). She currently resides in Vancouver, B.C.
Susin Nielsen is the creator/showrunner on Family Law. She got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular Canadian television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series. She also co-created and executive produced the critically acclaimed half-hour comedy-drama, Robson Arms. Nielsen is also the multiple-award winning author of seven young adult novels. Her books have won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the UKLA award and over a dozen young readers’ choice awards. In 2019 she was awarded the Writers’ Trust Vicki Metcalf Award for a body of work. She lives in Vancouver with her family and two ill-behaved cats.
Driven by a passion to support the work of artistic creators, Camilla has spent 28-plus years in cultural management in Metro Vancouver and in the UK. Her career includes executive roles at the Vancouver Writers Fest and Touchstone Theatre, and marketing roles the Arts Club Theatre Company, the London Symphony Orchestra and more. Most recently, she was Executive Director of Gateway Theatre from 2015 to spring 2023 where she led the organisation through a transformational process, creating a radical new vision for its programming and initiatives. She has held numerous volunteer positions and is currently board chair at the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival.
Kate J Anderson
Kate has worked at the PSP in various capacities since its first year of operations. She is a TV writer herself, having adapted over 100 episodes of childrens anime for North American markets, including Beyblade Burst and Tobot, both currently streaming on Netflix.