TIFF is delighted to announce the 2023 TIFF Writers’ Studio participants. Now in its 12th year, Writers’ Studio is a collaborative, five-day intensive lab offering Canadian and international screenwriters and writer-directors a space to consolidate skills, exchange ideas, and navigate challenges, while participating in workshops, artist talks, peer-to-peer mentorships, and one-on-one project development consultations guided by industry experts. Writers’ Studio will take place March 20–24, 2023, at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
With more than 200 submissions from around the world, TIFF is proud to announce that the following writers have been selected: Teyama Alkamli, Berkley Brady, Harry Cepka, Luis De Filippis, Idil Ibrahim, Aaron Lucas, Nesaru Tchaas, and Farida Zahran. Five participants from the 2023 class will also be awarded a grant generously supported by CHANEL to further the development of their feature-length script. The selected participants are Teyama Alkamli, Berkley Brady, Luis De Filippis, Idil Ibrahim, and Farida Zahran.
“Programmes like the Writers’ Studio help spark the next generation of storytellers, both in Canada and internationally,” said Anita Lee, Chief Programming Officer, TIFF. “At TIFF, we are committed to providing professional development and access to the industry, with leading experts to foster new talent. We see the big impact every year.”
This year’s lab will support the development of feature-film scripts through dedicated one-on-one discussions with international story consultants Andrew Ahn, Trey Ellis, Christina Lazaridi, and Kirsten “Kiwi” Smith. Additionally, the participants will engage in daily artist talks and workshops facilitated by renowned filmmakers and industry experts including Ashley Comeau, Brad Fraser, Marilyn McCallum, and Anthony Shim. From the Canadian Film Centre’s CBC Actors Conservatory, alumni including Getenesh Berhe, Vivien Endicott-Douglas, and Araya Mengesha will join for a full-day table read of the projects in development.
As a major supporter of Share Her Journey, the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network provides funding to advance the careers of women and non-binary participants and alumni of TIFF Writers’ Studio. The multi-year program, launched in 2021, includes additional access to script consultants and established screenwriters, peer-to-peer sessions with emerging filmmakers, and a talent summit that allows writers to showcase their work to producers and other industry insiders. CHANEL’s participation extends and enriches TIFF’s support for writers and writer-directors by facilitating the acceleration and development of their projects and by offering opportunities to connect with a diverse network of mentors and peers.
TIFF’s Talent Development programmes are produced by Jane Kim, Industry Programming Producer, and Anita Tavakol, Talent Development Manager, and supported in part by TIFF’s Share Her Journey initiative. Now a permanent initiative, Share Her Journey began in 2017 as a five-year campaign and commitment to address gender parity and to champion women in front of and behind the camera through TIFF’s Festival and year-round initiatives.
Now in its second year, the Renee Perlmutter Memorial Fellowship for Literary Adaptation will provide one writer focusing on adapting literary work for the screen with an additional grant toward developing their project. This year’s recipient is Berkley Brady, who is working on an adaptation of the novel The Summer of Bitter and Sweet by Jen Ferguson.
Notable TIFF Studio alumni include filmmakers Cory Bowles (Black Cop), Romeo Candido (Another Life), Tracey Deer (Beans), Martin Edralin (Islands), Lisa Jackson (Indictment: The Crimes of Shelly Chartier), Molly McGlynn (Mary Goes Round), Fawzia Mirza (Noor & Layla), Jasmin Mozaffari (Firecrackers), Sanja Živković (Easy Land), Silvina Schnicer (Carajita), and Taratoa Stappard (Taumanu). Following their involvement in TIFF Studio, many of these filmmakers have gone on to present their films at the Toronto International Film Festival, the Berlinale, and SXSW.
More here including Participant Bios.
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