WFF sets seven writers for Screenwriters Lab

This year's script development program includes Gemma Holdway, Brendan Brady and previous Power Pitch winner Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh, to name a few.

Screen Shot 2020-05-19 at 11.07.14 AMThe Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has selected seven Canadian creatives for its 2020 Screenwriters Lab – tapping talent such as Gemma Holdway and Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh for the seven-month script development program.

Presented by Netflix in association with Telefilm Canada and sponsored by Creative BC, the initiative is designed to foster the development of narrative feature film projects from diverse voices from across Canada, offering participants the chance to further their work with industry leaders and through market-oriented sessions.

Previous NSI Totally Television participant Holdway will take part in the program with Reminiscent (BC), while Bozorgzadeh will focus on developing Brother, Man (BC). Notably, Bozorgzadeh’s Brother, Man won last year’s WFF Power Pitch, walking away the workshop and pitch competition’s $41,000 prize package.

Others set for the lab include: Brendan Brady with Miracle Mother (ON); Jessica Landry with My Only Sunshine (MB); Victor Nicolle with It’s All Too Beautiful (BC); and duo Scott Jones and Richard Martin with My Fabulous New Orgasm (ON).

Similar to WFF’s Producers Lab – which announced its 2020 participants last week – the Screenwriters Lab is split into two phases and starts online this June.

Co-facilitated by former Simon Fraser University associate professor and Praxis Centre for Screenwriters director Patricia Gruben and script consultant/story editor Ruth Atkinson, the lab’s first phase sees the cohort take part in five days of creative and business instruction, followed by a mentorship component. Phase two, meanwhile, consists of a business immersion experience leading up to Whistler’s film festival and content summit in December. Participants who complete phase one will be invited to take part in phase two.

In addition to Gruben and Atkinson, the program’s faculty include: screenwriter, novelist and playwright Dennis Foon (Indian Horse) and screenwriter/story editor Patrick Whistler (Dreamland).

Pictured L to R: Hedyeh Bozorgzadeh, Brendan Brady, Gemma Holdway, Scott Jones, Richard Martin, Jessica Landry and Victor Nicolle.