SSL Alumni

Our growing roster of alumni contributing to BC’s vibrant screenwriting community.

Adam Hussein

 

Adam Hussein

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

A former lawyer who found his passion in screenwriting, Adam has written two television movies, been in several television writers rooms and developed multiple TV series projects with companies including BBC Studios. He was a participant in the 2019 Praxis/Whistler Film Festival Screenwriters Lab and Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2020 Scripted Series Lab. He also participated in the BIPOC Film and Television Showrunner Bootcamp, the inaugural Netflix Canada Creator Program, as well as the Mid-Level Writers Room from Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada and Break the Room. Adam’s recent credits include writing on the Apple series Circuit Breakers and on CBC’s Heartland. He is represented by the Jennifer Hollyer Agency.

Alyssa Aussant

 

Alyssa Aussant

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

Alyssa Aussant is a writer and producer, who brings her unique social media background to all of her work. As a writer, in 2022 she was selected for the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s Scripted Series Lab in partnership with Netflix. Previously in 2018 as part of the Banff World Media Festival, Alyssa and her pilot script Influenced was selected for the Banff & Netflix Diversity of Voices Initiative. In 2022 Alyssa co-created Caution Great Content with her partner, Kevin Aussant. Notably, they’re the duo behind @365DaysofClick on Instagram and TikTok. In a little under two years they’ve amassed over 250 million views on their comedy sketches. Alyssa’s writing taps into the zeitgeist and power of social media to craft genuine stories with commercially-viable concepts.

Andrey Summers

 

Andrey Summers

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

Andrey Summers is a writer, podcaster and producer of independent film and theatre.

Andrey is the creator and writer of darkly comedic webseries Henchpeople and the producer of the dramatic feature We Three, currently in post-production. He is a staff writer for award-winning satirical Canadian thing The Beaverton, and writes, produces and co-hosts the podcast Satan’s Lawyer with little-known Canadian comedian Ivan Decker.

Andrey holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where he has taught Creative Writing as an Adjunct Professor, and lives in Vancouver with his wife and rapidly growing son. His play A Snowflake on the Tongue of Oberon won the 2015 Sydney Arts Guide award for Best Fringe Comedy, and he did not find out until a year later.

Corey Liu

 

Corey Liu

Categories: 2019, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

Hello! I’m a writer based in Vancouver and Toronto. I’ve written for shows like Mysticons, The Next Step, and Dino Dana, as well as a few other shows in development. I also like to take those online quizzes that tell you which Golden Girls character you are. I am Sophia.

Emma Peterson

 

Emma Peterson

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

I have always been in love with stories, a passion which led me to pursue a career as a filmmaker. For the past ten years, I have worked on a number of different productions in Vancouver, both on set and in the production office. At the same time I worked on my own projects, including an award-winning web.

Huelah Lander

 

Huelah Lander

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

I love writing about myself and I’m never sarcastic.

Bullet point hype machine says:

  • Recipient of Harold Greenberg shorts to features grant
  • Gold Prize winner at Page and Grand Prize winner at Table read my Screenplay
  • Winner of a Diversity of Voices fellowship to Banff
  • Recipient of a PSP sponsored trip to the Toronto Screenwriting Conference
  • Writers’ Assistant on Season 2 of The Order

I consider bullet point lists to be one run on sentence. I am a chronic sufferer of imposter syndrome.

Photo by Jessie Robertson.

Jackson Chow

 

Jackson Chow

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

With a diploma in film from Capilano University, I am an emerging writer/filmmaker with experience in all facets of the filmmaking process. Getting my start in the visual effects industry, I have worked on several big-budget Hollywood films from Ad Astra to The New Mutants that have helped me hone my technical skills and abilities. Throughout all this, my passion for crafting compelling and engaging stories never faded as it eventually led me out of visual effects in order to pursue screenwriting. Growing up on character-driven dramedies and determined to have my stories told, my work focuses on identity while exploring nuanced and complex characters in hopes of understanding myself better as a second-generation Asian-Canadian. I have placed in multiple screenwriting competitions with my most recent being a finalist in the 2021 Page Awards, and have produced and directed unique, theme-focused short films that showcase my voice well as I continue to grow and learn.

Jessie Anthony

 

Jessie Anthony

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

I am a proud Haudenosaunee woman from the Onondaga Nation Beaver Clan from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory in Ontario, I have been living in Vancouver for the past seven years and in that time I have completed my Bachelor of Motion Picture Arts Degree from Capilano University, Worked as a first assistant director on various indigenous features and series and most recently completed my first feature film title Brother, I Cry which was funded by Telefilm Canada through Telefilms Talent to watch program.

Jordan Hall

 

Jordan Hall

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

Jordan Hall is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter whose work focuses on climate change, the exploration of genre, and feminist representation. Her first full-length play, Kayak, won Samuel French’s Canadian Playwrights Competition, and has been produced to critical acclaim across North America. Subsequent plays include How to Survive an Apocalypse (Flying Start 2016, Samuel French 2018), A Brief History of Human Extinction (with Mind of a Snail Puppet Theatre), and The Cupertino Effect—forthcoming, with support from the BCAC. As a screenwriter, Jordan co-created Carmilla: The Series (Winner: CSA, Digital Fiction) for SmokeBomb Entertainment, and was Carmilla’s lead writer for three seasons and the subsequent movie. She has been a finalist at the LA Comedy Fest, a winner of the Crazy8s Short Film Production Competition, and a 2019 recipient of a Corus Writer’s Apprentice Fellowship at Banff. She teaches screenwriting at Capilano University.

Kat Sieniuc

 

Kat Sieniuc

Categories: 2019, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

Kat Sieniuc is an award-winning screenwriter who creates well-defined, complex characters. Kat began her career as a journalist covering local politics, crime and the courts in New York City and Toronto. Her legal dramedy pilot GUTS ‘N’ GLORY won the Gold Prize in the Page International Screenwriting Awards and the Grand Prize in the WeScreenplay Television Competition.

Katie Weekley

 

Katie Weekley

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

I have produced a number of films and always secretly wanted to write my own scripts but thought I didn’t have the talent. A few years ago I decided to make a concerted effort to write something I was happy with and finally found my writer’s voice. I have a number of projects in development. This month, I am recording one of my scripts as as a scripted podcast and will release it next year.

Kay Shioma Metchie

 

Kay Shioma Metchie

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

I’ve worked in the film industry for the past seven years, starting as a script supervisor and moving into a supervising producer. I’ve directed three shorts and one music video. My most recent short has so far played in The Big Apple Festival, Chilliwack International Film Festival (where it won best script), and Whistler Film Festivals. I studied Communication Studies and Theatre Performance at SFU.

Kaylyn Johnson

 

Kaylyn Johnson

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

Kaylyn is a recent graduate of the screenwriting program at Vancouver Film School. Since graduation, she has worked as a writer’s assistant, a story associate, and a script coordinator. Prior to attending film school, Kaylyn practised criminal law in Alberta. She writes about family, crime, gender, race, the environment, and the various ways that these topics intersect.

Kurt Mungal

 

Kurt Mungal

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

Kurt Mungal is a queer, Indo-Caribbean television and film writer based in Vancouver and Toronto. Driven by a desire to tell diverse stories, this former high-end event planner enrolled in the InFocus Film and Television Writing Program in 2022, and upon graduation, was given the top Award of Distinction for his graduating class.  In 2023, Kurt was chosen to be one of the residents at the prestigious Pacific Screenwriting Program, where he participated in the writer’s room for the Scripted Series Lab under Jennica Harper. Since then, Kurt has been invited to work in the writer’s room for CBC’s Run The Burbs as part of the PSP Story Department Internship and is in development on his series Unplanned with Buzz Film Group. In addition to screenwriting, Kurt was also a contributing writer for the 2017 Toronto Book Award nominated anthology, Any Other Way: How Toronto Got Queer. Kurt is most drawn to telling stories and creating characters that have yet to be explored by the mainstream, using his unique comedic sensibilities to find humour in the most unlikely places.

Manny Mahal

 

Manny Mahal

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Manny is a writer, director, and producer of South Asian descent. He has created over a dozen film projects through his production company, Sital Cinema Productions. These projects range from documentaries to narratives, shorts to features, and even avant-garde.

His latest feature as a screenwriter, Portraits From a Fire, won “Best Motion Picture” at the 2022 Leo Awards, and is now streaming on CRAVE. And his first documentary feature, For My Father, premiered on CBC Television and is now available on CBC GEM. Several of his films have played at international film festivals, most notably the Vancouver International Film Festival on a consecutive run from 2016 to 2019, and 2021. Manny is a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab. He recently wrote an episode for Our Big Punjabi Family, a half-hour comedy for OMNI Television/Rogers Media.

Mike Orlando

 

Mike Orlando

Categories: 2019, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

Hi! I’m a graduate from UBC’s Creative Writing MFA program and UVic’s Creative Writing BFA program. A year ago I placed in the Top 5 of the Austin Film Festival’s spec script competition, which led to AFF inviting me to read for their competition this year. My debut short film The Yoga Bridge screened at some prominent LGBTQ film festivals in the States, and I’m currently developing a show about the salacious world of professional wrestling.

Norman Yi Li

 

Norman Yi Li

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Norman Yi Li is an emerging writer-director based in Vancouver, BC. Born and raised in China, Norman has gained a keen understanding of the immigrant experience. Not only a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriting Program and Break The Room pitch incubator, Norman has also earned a Bachelor of Science from UBC, specializing in Cognitive Systems – Computational Intelligence and Design. Naturally, Norman is passionate about stories that examine the intricacies of the human psyche, and the social impacts of emerging technology. In the past, Norman’s short films have screened at the Whistler Film Festival and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Recently, he has worked as the writers’ assistant on Netflix’s action thriller series – The Night Agent. Norman is currently developing a slate of projects, including a sci-fi drama series titled Mind Splinter and a psychological horror radio play called Dark Retreat.

Petie Chalifoux

 

Petie Chalifoux

Categories: 2019, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

Storytelling has always been a part of my life but it was only once I began my journey in obtaining my Bachelors Degree in Film that screenwriting really stood out for me. I have written a few short films, a feature film that was funded by Telefilm Canada and a proof of concept funded by Telus Storyhive. I look forward to working with this group of writers to learn more and to gain more experience.

Photo by Michael Auger.

Qaseem Fazal

 

Qaseem Fazal

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Qaseem is a Muslim, gay, comedy writer. He was one of the ISA’s Top 25 screenwriters to watch in 2022. He recently finished working as a Jr. Story Editor on the second season of Family Law (Global TV/The CW) in Vancouver, B.C. Qaseem is also a graduate of the Netflix funded Pacific Screenwriting Program, The BIPOC TV & FILM: Showrunner Bootcamp, The Reel World E20 Program, The PSP/BTR present: The Pitch Accelerator Program and The Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada: Mid-Level Writers Room. His queer coming-of-age comedy series titled What’s Normal Anyway? is currently in development with Amaze Film + Television.

Renuka Singh

 

Renuka Singh

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

Renuka is a Vancouver-based screenwriter with roots in Kitimat, BC.

Following an almost ten-year career in the finance sector, she embarked on a significant career shift to screenwriting in 2020. Since then, she has written on Netflix’s I Woke Up a Vampire and served as Executive Story Editor for Season 2 of Reginald The Vampire. Currently, she is developing a half-hour original series with the support of CMF and Bell Media.

Renuka was recognized by Playback as one of Canada’s 10 to Watch. She was also one of the top 25 participants in the Netflix-Banff Diversity of Voices Pitch program, and her half-hour comedy pilot, “Brown Girl Town,” was the WGC’s Script of the Month.

Renuka holds a BBA in Business Management and a diploma in International Business. She is an alumna of the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s Scripted Series Lab, a fellow of the BIPOC TV & Film Showrunner Training Bootcamp, and a 2023 participant of the WBD Access x Canadian Academy Writers Program.

She is repped by the Jennifer Hollyer Agency.
Website: renukasingh.ca

Ryan Atimoyoo

 

Ryan Atimoyoo

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

Ryan is a Cree, Native American and dual US citizen from the Little Pine Reserve as well as an international award winning writer/director within the Vancouver film-making community. He has studied at New York’s Circle in the Square Theater School and holds a Joint MFA in Screenwriting and Film Production from The University of British Columbia as well as graduating from Netflix’s Pacific Screenwriting Program in 2021.

He has gathered numerous international awards, grants and screenings ranging from Best Webseries/ Best VFX in The New Media Film Festival, Best Horror Screenplay in The Canada International Film Festival, A Golden Ace award from The Las Vegas Film Festival and has worked in the industry on various projects ranging from Batman vs Superman, Fast & The Furious 7, Fear The Walking Dead, The Magicians and more.

In 2021, Ryan completed his first sci-fi, vr short film titled Chord VR which screened at VIFF, and worked on S1 of Netflix’s Grendel as a Script Coordinator under Andrew Dabb. In 2022, he was a winner of Access Reelworld’s competition to join the writer’s room for City TV’s Hudson and Rex S5 series and was a finalist for the NBC Launch Program. In 2023, Ryan won a $20K grant to complete a script, and holds two buyer’s agreements on two his other scripts. He is also a semi-finalist for the FOX incubator program and has finished his first staffing gig as an Executive Story Editor on the Paramount + series Skymed S2.

Sarah Kelley

 

Sarah Kelley

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

I’m Anishinaabe from Algonquins of Pikwakanagan in Golden Lake, Ontario. I’m an emerging writer and a lover of writing urban fantasy, sci-fi and thriller.

Scott Button

 

Scott Button

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

Scott Button is an award-winning creator of television and theatre. He’s worked in the writer’s room of Family Law (CW/Global, Story Department Internship) and is developing his series Same, But Different with Mezo Entertainment. Plays include For Now (Green Thumb Theatre) and Night Passing (Arts Club Theatre Company – audio play), among others. As an actor, he’s toured to stages across the country and has worked on TV series, indie films and numerous commercials – including a Dairy Queen ad which made everyone he knew ask if he now gets free Blizzards (he doesn’t, and never did). Scott has a BFA from the University of British Columbia and is a proud PSP alum. Represented by Meridian Artists

Shauna Johannesen

 

Shauna Johannesen

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

Shauna grew up as the oldest of six kids in Edmonton. She became adept at entertaining herself through long winters, laughing with (and at) her siblings, and watching TV. Now she tells stories for a living.

Shauna is a writer, actor, and filmmaker whose stories navigate identity and belonging, with deep heart and dark humour. Her plays have been produced across Western Canada and in the US, including M is for Music, and Common Grace. Shauna’s current commission is a cheeky and heartwarming Christmas musical for Pacific Theatre called Mary: Mother of God.

As a filmmaker, Shauna made two award-winning films with the Crazy8s film festival: Bedbugs: A Musical Love Story and Trying. As an actor, Shauna can be seen in her own plays, as well as on programs such as The Babysitters Club (Netflix), When Calls the Heart (Hallmark) and Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever (Lifetime).

Steve Neufeld

 

Steve Neufeld

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

After writing two independent feature films and two award-winning plays, I earned my MFA in Creative Writing at UBC in 2013. From there I served as an Associate Editor on the hit factual series Jade Fever (Discovery Canada) and created a web series called Coded (Telus STORYHIVE), which was based on my experience as a high school teacher and won awards around the world, including nominations for Best Web/Digital Series at the Rockie and Leo Awards. I’ve also served as dramaturge on several stage productions, won the Praxis Story Editing Internship and worked as the interim Scripted Development Manager at Omnifilm Entertainment. Now that I’ve completed the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s Scripted Series Lab, optioned two television pilot scripts, completed my second stint in a writer’s room, and am in pre-production with a new feature film, I’m looking to publish the two novels I’ve been working on, delving into the form I’ve always loved. Originally from Red Deer, Alberta, I now live in North Vancouver with my partner and son.

Tammy Tsang

 

Tammy Tsang

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

Tammy Tsang is an emerging writer and filmmaker born and raised in Vancouver, BC. She has written and produced a number of short films including: Driving to You (2013), Rocking on Air (2019), and Lauren in the Bathroom (2021) which recently screened at the Vancouver Asian Film Festival and won multiple awards in the Mighty Asian Moviemaking Marathon’s Ultra Short Category including Best Screenplay. When not moonlighting as an independent filmmaker, Tammy works on set as a 2nd Assistant Director in the Vancouver film industry. A recent recipient of the 2022 Rogers-BSO Film Development Fund, Tammy aspires to show what stories Canadians can offer.

In her spare time, Tammy volunteers as a leader for a Girl Guide unit and also runs annual 24-hr board game charity marathons to raise donations for BC Children’s Hospital. However, she never forgets to carve out space in her schedule for binge watching TV shows and reading comics.

Tanvi Bhatia

 

Tanvi Bhatia

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

My writing journey began when the play I wrote for a sixth grade social studies assignment got more laughs than anyone else’s. After writing prose for many years, I completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia in 2022 with a focus in screenwriting. My non-fiction and comics have been published in the Tyee, SAD Mag, Maisonneuve and elsewhere, and my play Cross-Cultural Exchange was performed as a staged reading during the 2020 Brave New Play Rites Festival. I’m the writer of two short films: Sleeping with Lions and Words Matter. Since 2020 I’ve worked as an editor, first at PRISM international and later at Geist magazine.

Toby Marks

 

Toby Marks

Categories: 2023, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

Toby Marks was born in Calgary, AB. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts with Distinction from Syracuse University in New York and trained at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London (England). She lived in Los Angeles for almost a decade, working and training as a writer and actor before moving to Vancouver.

Todd Ireland

 

Todd Ireland

Categories: 2019, Alumni, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

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.

 

SSL Showrunners

The PSP is grateful to the following Showrunners who have developed shows with Scripted Series Lab cohorts since 2019.

Jennica Harper

 

Jennica Harper

Categories: Showrunners
Scripted Series Lab: 2023

Jennica 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 a holiday special. Jennica loves and 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.

Robert C. Cooper

 

Robert C. Cooper

Categories: Showrunners
Scripted Series Lab: 2020

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.

 

Sarah Dodd

 

Sarah Dodd

Categories: Showrunners
Scripted Series Lab: 2019

Sarah Dodd is a BC-based TV writer and showrunner. She was an executive producer on seasons 2 and 4 of the critically acclaimed crime series Cardinal for CTV/Hulu/BBC4. Her Season 2 premiere episode won the Canadian Screen Award, the Writers Guild of Canada Award, and a Leo Award. She was Executive producer and showrunner on Zixx: Level Three (Cartoon Network/YTV) and head writer and producer on The Saddle Club (ABC/YTV). Sarah has written and produced hundreds of hours of television, both hour-long and half-hour, including Family Law (Global/CW), Ransom (Global/CBS/TF-1), Motive (CTV/ABC/USA), Arctic Air (CBC) and The Border (CBC/ION). Her short film, The Sparkle Lite Motel, co-written with director Cory Kinney, screened at over 30 festivals worldwide, including San Diego Comic-Con.

Photo by Kristine Cofsky.

Will Pascoe

 

Will Pascoe

Categories: Showrunners
Scripted Series Lab: 2021

Will Pascoe was Showrunner for the third season of Amazon’s hit series, Absentia. Previous to that, he wrote for Bell/SyFy Channel drama, Bitten; NBC drama series Chicago Med; BBC Worldwide/Starz historical drama series, Da Vinci’s Demons and Hulu’s Shut Eye starring Jeffrey Donovan and Isabella Rossellini. While working as writer and co-producer on Bell/BBC America’s Orphan Black, his episode “Variations Under Domestication” earned Pascoe a Canadian Writer’s Guild Award and nominations for an Edgar Allan Poe Award and a Hugo Award. A graduate of the Writer’s Guild of America’s prestigious Showrunner Training Program, Will has also developed television series for Fox, Playtone and Universal Studios.

Karen McClelland

 

Karen McClelland

Categories: Showrunners
Scripted Series Lab: 2022

Karen McClellan is an award-winning writer who served as the Showrunner-In-Residence for the 2022 Pacific Screenwriting Program where she developed her one-hour limited mystery series through the Scripted Series Lab. Prior to that, Karen was an Executive Producer and Co-Showrunner of The Next Step, a global hit series playing in over 120 countries. During her tenure over three seasons, the fictional tween dramedy garnered multiple BAFTA and Canadian Screen Award nominations, including nominations for Karen’s writing and best series. Before joining The Next Step, Karen co-created and executive-produced the Victoria, BC-set mystery digital series Spiral for which she won a 2018 Writers Guild of Canada award. Her other credits cover an array of one-hour and half-hour shows, including CBC’s international hit drama Being Erica and critically acclaimed Cracked, as well as CTV’s beloved comedy Robson’s Arms. A graduate of the Shaw Media Showrunner Training Program, Karen has multiple projects in development for Canadian and American broadcasters and production companies. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from The American Film Institute and is based in Toronto where she lives with her family.

Pitch Accelerator Program

Presented in partnership with Break the Room (BTR). The program, created by Break the Room’s Sameer Gardezi (Modern Family, East of La Brea, Hot Mess Holiday) is an 8-week training program for seven selected British Columbia-based, mid-career television writers of diverse backgrounds. The program provides advanced insight into the creative process, pitching and sales skills while adding momentum to participants’ individual projects and IP.

Alysson Hall

 

Alysson Hall

Categories: Pitch Accelerator Program
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Alysson Hall graduated from the University of Victoria in 2012 with a BFA in Acting for Stage. She has been working in Theatre, Film and TV ever since, having produced and written The Autobiography of Jane Eyre, (A modernized adaption of the Victorian novel, Jane Eyre using the vlog found footage format), and All’s Fair Play with her writing and producing partner, Nessa Aref. In 2014, Alysson co-wrote and co-created Killing It, a comedy about three friends who are granted the Grim Reaper’s power for a week. Killing It made the Top 15 in CBC’s ComedyCoup. In 2019, Alysson and Nessa co-wrote The Mirror which was selected for the Crazy8s Festival of that year, and is currently available for streaming on Alter. Most recently Alysson co-directed the music video Servant of the Outer Dark for the death metal band Thirteen Goats. In her spare time, Alysson likes to eat carbs.

 

Ambika Vas

 

Ambika Vas

Categories: Pitch Accelerator Program
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Ambika Vas is a performer and writer based in Vancouver. She was born in Newfoundland, grew up moving between India and the US, and in total, has moved 16 times across eight countries. Clearly she has commitment issues!

Until five years ago she was living every immigrant parents’ dream: working in Private Equity in London (UK). The day after she received a big promotion, she celebrated by quitting her job to finally follow her own dreams.

Over the past few years, she has performed stand up comedy, improv and sketch in London, LA and Vancouver. She has also written countless sketches and four comedy pilot scripts. In 2020, her sketch comedy videos caught the attention of India comedian, Cyrus Broacha, and she was asked to join the #1 Indian Political Satire TV show, The Week that Wasn’t, as a Foreign Correspondent. She wrote and produced her own segments for 30 episodes that aired on CNN-India. All of which was done from her messy bedroom in Vancouver. She has acted in several TV shows including Alaska Daily and A Million Little Things. Additionally, she did a story internship for Family Law, has script coordinated in a few development rooms and is currently writing for Season 2 of ZARQA.

Ambika is a graduate of Upright Citizens Brigade (LA), the Peoples Improv Theater (NY) and the Comedy School (London). And her parents wanted us to mention that she also has a Bachelors and Masters degree in Accounting from the University of Iowa and an International MBA from the prestigious French school, INSEAD.

Manny Mahal

 

Manny Mahal

Categories: 2022, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2022
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Manny is a writer, director, and producer of South Asian descent. He has created over a dozen film projects through his production company, Sital Cinema Productions. These projects range from documentaries to narratives, shorts to features, and even avant-garde.

His latest feature as a screenwriter, Portraits From a Fire, won “Best Motion Picture” at the 2022 Leo Awards, and is now streaming on CRAVE. And his first documentary feature, For My Father, premiered on CBC Television and is now available on CBC GEM. Several of his films have played at international film festivals, most notably the Vancouver International Film Festival on a consecutive run from 2016 to 2019, and 2021. Manny is a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s 2022 Scripted Series Lab. He recently wrote an episode for Our Big Punjabi Family, a half-hour comedy for OMNI Television/Rogers Media.

Miriam van Emst

 

Miriam van Emst

Categories: Pitch Accelerator Program
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Miriam van Emst is a multiverse filmmaker. She is currently working on a TV movie for Lifetime and is a Writer and Director on the upcoming Untitled Docuseries for CBC. Miriam joined PSP & Break The Room in their Pitch Accelerator program in 2022. Her other credits include Writer/EP on Where Are You From?, Associate Producer on The Greybourne (ABC/Disney+), Research Producer on OUR WAR (The History Channel), and Showrunner/Writer’s Assistant on Family Law S.2. Miriam originally hails from The UK and The Netherlands; Miriam’s work has spanned three continents. After starting her career in Reality TV in Australia, Miriam returned to London, producing and directing scripted content for platforms such as Amazon, Unilever, and Virgin. In addition, Miriam has created documentaries for NGOs such as UN Women, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and World Vision. She prides herself on helping organizations that make the planet a better place, and her mission is to bring stories from underrepresented groups to the big screen. Miriam is represented by Pacific Artists and loves traveling, cooking, and pretending her two cats actually like her.

 

Nessa Aref

 

Nessa Aref

Categories: Pitch Accelerator Program
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Nessa Aref is an Iranian-Canadian filmmaker based in Vancouver. After showrunning two original web series, Nessa co-produced her first feature film, Freaks (2018), which premiered at TIFF. She later directed and co-wrote The Mirror (2019) as part of Crazy8s 2019 festival, streaming on Alter. Her second short film Decomposing (2021) is currently touring the festival circuit. She has written and directed episodes of the Al-Jazeera podcast series, Hindsight (2020 – 2021, 2023), narrated by Charles Dance. Her work is streaming on Netflix, CBC and Spotify to name a few. Her second feature as a co-producer, With Love and a Major Organ (2023) premiered at SXSW. These days her work can be found streaming on Netflix, CBC, and Spotify to name a few.

Most recently she pitched and won the MPPIA Short Film Award. As a result, her next short film, My Roommate Ahriman will premiere at the 2023 Whistler Film Festival.

Her work focuses on identity, community, and coming of age. She is currently developing Bad Persians, a deeply personal comedy series about the Iranian diaspora.

 

Norman Yi Li

 

Norman Yi Li

Categories: 2021, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2021
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Norman Yi Li is an emerging writer-director based in Vancouver, BC. Born and raised in China, Norman has gained a keen understanding of the immigrant experience. Not only a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriting Program and Break The Room pitch incubator, Norman has also earned a Bachelor of Science from UBC, specializing in Cognitive Systems – Computational Intelligence and Design. Naturally, Norman is passionate about stories that examine the intricacies of the human psyche, and the social impacts of emerging technology. In the past, Norman’s short films have screened at the Whistler Film Festival and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. Recently, he has worked as the writers’ assistant on Netflix’s action thriller series – The Night Agent. Norman is currently developing a slate of projects, including a sci-fi drama series titled Mind Splinter and a psychological horror radio play called Dark Retreat.

Qaseem Fazal

 

Qaseem Fazal

Categories: 2020, Alumni, Pitch Accelerator Program, Scripted Series Lab
Scripted Series Lab: 2020
Pitch Accelerator Program: 2022

Qaseem is a Muslim, gay, comedy writer. He was one of the ISA’s Top 25 screenwriters to watch in 2022. He recently finished working as a Jr. Story Editor on the second season of Family Law (Global TV/The CW) in Vancouver, B.C. Qaseem is also a graduate of the Netflix funded Pacific Screenwriting Program, The BIPOC TV & FILM: Showrunner Bootcamp, The Reel World E20 Program, The PSP/BTR present: The Pitch Accelerator Program and The Warner Bros. Discovery Access Canada: Mid-Level Writers Room. His queer coming-of-age comedy series titled What’s Normal Anyway? is currently in development with Amaze Film + Television.

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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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