Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award

The Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award presented by the Toronto Screenwriting Conference is a mentorship and bursary program designed for emerging diverse screenwriters. This opportunity will give bursary recipients the opportunity to complete a piece of writing, expand their network, sharpen their professional skills, work with established screenwriting professionals and producers, polish their pitching skills – all with an aim at bringing new perspectives to Canada’s creative industries.

Six diverse screenwriters will be awarded. The award provides each winner with a complimentary registration to the ninth annual Toronto Screenwriting Conference (TSC) (June 23-24/2018), plus two exclusive evening events with Magee TV founder Al Magee and the mentoring team, a three-month mentorship (total of five one-hour meetings, conducted in-person or remotely through Skype, or phone) with established Canadian screenwriting professionals, and an opportunity to pitch their concepts for feedback to Canadian Broadcast and Distribution executives.

2018 Magee TV Diverse Screenwriter Award Winners & Mentors

Cara-Lynn Branch

Cara-Lynn Branch

Screenwriter

Cara-Lynn’s parents knew she could read when she grabbed the TV guide and was able to point out her favourite show, MARRIED WITH CHILDREN. Her love of television only grew from there, though her tastes have changed. A graduate of York University’s Film Production and Screenwriting program Cara-Lynn has spent the last few years bouncing around in front and behind the camera figuring out her voice. Like many members of the LGBT+ community she has struggled at times with portrayals in the media and has used this to inform her writing. She is honoured to be selected for this award and to get the opportunity to learn from Noelle Carbone.

Mentor: Noelle Carbone

Noelle Carbonne

Noelle Carbonne

Writer/Producer

Noelle Carbone is a screenwriter, producer and inadvertent activist who spent her formative writing years working on ABC/Global’s hit tv series, ROOKIE BLUE. She was also a writer and co-executive producer on SAVING HOPE, CARDINAL and WYNONNA EARP.

Carbone is one of the co-authors of the “Lexa Pledge” – a guideline for writers and creators who are committed to producing meaningful arcs for LGBTQ characters.

She is a graduate of the University of Western Ontario where she played varsity soccer and received a BA in Media, Information and Technoculture (whatever that is).


Ian Steaman

Ian Steaman

Screenwriter/Producer

Ian Steaman is a screenwriter and veteran music industry executive who, during a previous life in New York City, worked with many award-winning and chart-topping artists from De La Soul and Naughty by Nature to Kelis and T-Pain. He has written three feature length screenplays still in development. SHINE is his first foray into writing an episodic series. Currently, he is also an Associate Producer in talent outreach for CBC Music and founder of the acclaimed music blog, DIFFERENT KITCHEN.

Mentor: Eva Thomas

Eva Thomas

Eva Thomas

Writer/Actor/Filmmaker

Eva Thomas is an Indigenous actor, filmmaker and writer. Eva graduated from Arizona State University with degrees in Communication and Broadcasting. After university, she attended the Weber Douglass Dramatic Arts Academy in England and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. Eva earned a Masters of Arts degree in American Indian Studies from UCLA. Eva is also a graduate of the ABC-Disney Summer Film & Television Workshop at Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) in Santa Fe and the ABC-Disney Television Writers program at IAIA.

In 2012, Eva won the imagineNATIVE (iN) Film Festival DRAMA QUEEN Pitch Competition for the project This is Skye. In 2016, she was selected to participate in the inaugural iN/Harold Greenberg Fund (HGF) Indigenous Story Editing Mentorship program where she received training in story editing, script reading, story consulting and other areas of feature film development. Eva was an Indigenous Story editor for the Story Room for Indigenous Writers at the 2016 iN Film Festival. Currently, Eva is the Indigenous Story Editor for the 2018 iN/HGF Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive, working with Indigenous writers through a year-long development program.


Murry Peeters

Murry Peeters

Screenwriter/Actor

Murry Peeters is an actor and a screenwriter. Her screen credits include guest starring on NBC’s TAKEN as well as lending her voice to beloved characters in FAR CRY 5 and MY LITTLE PONY. Her past acting experience allows her writing to be populated by richly diverse and layered characters.

Mentor: Marsha Greene

Marsha Greene

Marsha Greene

Writer/Producer

Marsha Greene has written for Global’s hit series PRIVATE EYES, ABC’s TEN DAYS IN THE VALLEY, and the critically acclaimed drama MARY KILLS PEOPLE, for which she earned a Canadian Screen Award nomination. Marsha is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time Television program, holds an Honours BA in Creative Writing from York University, and has a graduate certificate from Humber College’s TV Writing and Producing program, where she was awarded the Brian Linehan Award for Outstanding Artistic Promise.


Rebecca Grenier

Rebecca Grenier

Screenwriter/Actor

Rebecca is a Writer and Actor from Ottawa, Ontario. She moved to Toronto to pursue a career as a Stand-up Comic but quickly realized she had a deeper love for storytelling in the film and television mediums. She studied Sketch and Spec Writing at Second City and Screenwriting at George Brown College. She recently finished production on her first short film YOGURT and is in pre-production on her second short film titled WHEN YOU LEFT ME. Finally, 2017 was capped off with a bang when her half-hour comedy pilot GREEN RECUITMENT was optioned. She is honoured and humbled by this opportunity.

Mentor: Duana Taha

Duana Taha

Duana Taha

Writer/Story Editor

Duana Taha is a Canadian television writer whose credits include hit programs DEGRASSI: THE NEXT GENERATION, LOST GIRL, and LOST & FOUND STUDIOS. She is the creator and executive producer of the popular new YouTube series UPSTAIRS AMY, and the tween digital series EMERALD CODE.  

Duana is the author of the bestselling book The Name Therapist, which was nominated for a 2016 Evergreen award. She has been quoted on names in The New Yorker, The Globe And Mail, The Observer, and appeared on programs across the country discussing the culture of first names. In 2016 her TEDx talk about names was featured on TED.com.

Duana is a founding contributor on www.laineygossip.com, where she expounds on the intersections of television, feminism, “Hamilton” and more, and writes the popular name column ‘Duana Names’. Duana is also one of the hosts of the hit podcast Show Your Work, where she and Elaine Lui discuss the work behind the magic of Hollywood. Find her on Twitter – @duanaelise


Veronika Paz

Veronika Paz

Screenwriter

Veronika Paz is a writer for television and web, although she has an idea for a feature if anyone would like to talk about it.

A graduate of Ryerson University for Television Production, Veronika has held a multitude of roles on major film and TV projects in Canada and the U.S – recently ALIAS GRACE (CBC/Netflix) and docu-series TRUE NORTH (NFB/Red Bull). Having studied sketch writing at Upright Citizens Brigade in New York, she brings her sharp wit and collaborative spirit to a wide variety of projects – from documentaries, to directing music videos, to creating and producing short-form content.

Mentor: Alejandro Alcoba

Alejandro Alcoba

Alejandro Alcoba

Screenwriter

Alejandro Alcoba has been called many things, but for some reason “Handsome Alejandro” hasn’t stuck.  Alejandro is a CSA-winning writer, a supervising producer on DEGRASSI: NEXT CLASS, has written on THE NEXT STEP, and wrote THE CARMILLA MOVIE. He’s attended Ryerson’s RTA, NSI’s Totally TV, and WGC’s Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program.  He’s also on the Advisory Committee for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference, a mentor for the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Mentorship Award, and on the WGC’s Diversity Committee.  He drinks a lot of coffee... maybe too much?


Elene Mekete

Elene Mekete

Screenwriter

Elene Mekete is an emerging screenwriter based in Toronto. She attended Toronto Film School and graduated in Film & Television Production. In 2014 she became a recipient of the Telefilm New Voices Award for screenwriting. When she isn’t writing, Elene works as an assistant in television production offices. She has spent the past few years working for several network TV series, including HANNIBAL, HANDMAID’S TALE and BLACK MIRROR. Her creative interests range from narrative dramas, to quirky comedies and documentaries.

Mentor: Pat Mills

Pat Mills

Pat Mills

Writer/Director/Actor

Pat Mills’s first feature film, the dark comedy GUIDANCE, which he wrote, directed and starred in, had its world premiere at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Picked up by Strand Releasing in the US and Search Engine Films in Canada, GUIDANCE was hailed as a “Grade A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His performance as “David” was nominated for an Actra Award for Outstanding Male Performance.

An alumnus of NSI, CFC as well as TIFF’s Talent lab and TIFF Studio, Pat was named winner of TIFF’s Pitch This for his second feature DON’T TALK TO IRENE. The screenplay won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Austin Screenplay Competition. The film stars newcomer Michelle McLeod, Bruce Gray, Scott Thompson and Geena Davis. DON’T TALK TO IRENE had its world premiere at TIFF 2017. It won the Comedy Vanguard Feature Award and Audience Award at the 2017 Austin Film Festival, Audience Choice at the 2018 Kingston Canadian Film Festival and the Galet d’or (Grand Prize) at Festival du film Canadien en Dieppe. The film is now available in Canada and the US.

An alumnus of NSI, CFC, the WGC Diversity program, as well as TIFF’s Talent lab and TIFF Studio, Pat is represented by the Jennifer Hollyer Agency in Canada and Verve Talent and Literary Agency in the USA.

More at www.pat-mills.com Twitter: @patmills

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