Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) has announced the participants for the upcoming national edition of Tricksters & Writers, a screenwriting program aimed at increasing the professional participation of Indigenous writers in contemporary screen-based media production. By doing so, it hopes to contribute to the number of Indigenous-led stories being created each year and viewed by local, national, and international audiences.
This year, thanks to funding from the Indigenous Screen Office and Telus STORYHIVE, Tricksters & Writers was able to expand for the first time to participants outside of BC. The program received applications spanning from BC to Nova Scotia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. “We received an overwhelming number of applications this year,” says Doreen Manuel, Director of the Bosa Centre for Film & Animation, and a co-creator and advisor of the program. “This makes it evident that more programming like Tricksters & Writers is crucial so that we can continue to develop Indigenous voices and opportunities within the industry.”
The national edition of Tricksters & Writers includes:
Jenn Ashton – BC
Rachel Beaulieu – Manitoba
Joely BigEagle-Kequahtooway – Saskatchewan
Desiree Brightnose – Manitoba
Arnolda Dufour-Bowes – Saskatchewan
Rachel Garrick – Ontario
Olivia Golosky – BC
Zonya Jacobs – Ontario
Keara Lightning – Alberta
Tracey Lindberg – BC
Samantha Loney – Ontario
Tiffany Morris – Nova Scotia
Melaina Sheldon – Yukon
Zena Schultz – BC
Heather Simeney-MacLeod – BC
Linda St. Pierre – BC
Tamara Voudrach – Northwest Territories
Kassia Ward – Alberta
“The range of stories these new Tricksters & Writers participants have pitched range from traditional to contemporary, spanning across multiple genres,” says Manuel, of the incoming cohort. “I can’t wait to see these stories come to life on the page.”
The participants will take part in a 12-week virtual program led by Manuel and Shaelyn Johnston, a writer and past participant of the Tricksters & Writers program. During their time together, writers will work to develop their own stories while delving into topics including Cultural Authenticity; Making and Breaking Plot; Writing Great Characters; and The World of the Film. Tricksters & Writers has also partnered with Final Draft, a Cast & Crew company, to provide each selected participant with their own copy of Final Draft’s industry-standard screenwriting software.
The first Tricksters & Writers program was offered in Vancouver in 2017. Due to its success and overwhelming demand, it was offered for a second time in Vancouver before expanding to the Kamloops/Vernon area and northern Vancouver Island. In 2020, due to the pandemic, Tricksters & Writers shifted to an online format for its Northern BC edition. To date, the program has created a community of approximately sixty Indigenous screenwriters. Tricksters & Writers is proudly supported by the Indigenous Screen Office, Telus STORYHIVE, the Canadian Media Producers Association – BC Producers Branch and Final Draft, a Cast & Crew company.