Indigenous Screenwriters Lab Announced

Jan 10, 2024 | Past News

January 10, 2023 – Paramount+ in Canada, the Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) and the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) today announced a new partnership to support Indigenous writers in the advancement of their careers. The new Indigenous Screenwriters Lab will support six mid-level Indigenous writers from across Canada with a genre focus of futurism and science fiction.

Run by the Pacific Screenwriting Program, the Indigenous Screenwriters Lab is designed to develop the skills and relationships needed to be hired in the writing room of a genre TV series. In the course of the program, participants will develop their story from pitch to finished pilot. More details about the Lab will be available in the coming weeks.

“This program is a direct result of months of dialog with our stakeholders,” said Doug Smith, SVP Streaming & Content Licensing Paramount Global, Canada. “We are thrilled to work with our new partners at the Indigenous Screen Office and the Pacific Screenwriting Program on the Indigenous Screenwriters Lab. Writing is the backbone of any piece of content, so this initiative is of special importance to us. With Paramount’s Global experience and success in genre programming, including STAR TREK, it positions us to help these participants with first-hand experience and tangible guidance to writers in this space.”

“The Pacific Screenwriting Program is proud to have boosted the careers of numerous Indigenous screenwriters to date, and we are keen to ramp up our commitment to these voices with a dedicated initiative,” said Camilla Tibbs, PSP’s Executive Director. “This partnership with Paramount+ and the ISO creates a unique opportunity for Indigenous writers to explore genre storytelling.”

“Indigenous writers remain woefully underrepresented in writers’ rooms across the industry. This is an important step in addressing a major imbalance in our system and creating exciting opportunities for writers to expand their craft and their networks,” said Kerry Swanson, CEO, Indigenous Screen Office.

More information about this program will become available later in January and be posted on the PSP website. Follow our social media and sign up to our email list to stay informed; links below.

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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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