Women in Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV) is pleased to announce that Coyote, Raven Spider, Wendigo: Tricksters and Writers has entered phase two. This new program, launched in August 2017, is designed to increase the number of Indigenous women working in screen-based media. Phase one offered a variety of master classes as well as informal script reading sessions to 13 writers. Phase two has now matched six screen-writers with story editors for consultations. Story editors include David Geary, Eva Thomas, Penny Gummerson, and Tihemme Gagnon.
Writer Courtenay Crane is working with David Geary on a feature animation, Nibi. David is from the Taranaki iwi/Māori tribe of New Zealand and since 2013 has taught in the IIDF Indigenous Filmmaking program at Capilano University. He writes plays, screenplays, fiction, and haikus on Twitter.
Marcy Waughtal is working on her feature, Burden of Blood, with Eva Thomas, who has also been matched with Jenifer Brousseau for her feature Beneath the Surface. Eva has an MA from the University of Los Angeles. Currently, she is the Indigenous Story Editor for the 2018 iN/HGF Indigenous Screenwriting Intensive, working with Indigenous writers through a year-long development program. She is also a mentor for the 2018 Toronto Screenwriting Conference Al Magee Diverse Writers Award working with a writer on a television pilot.
Joy Haskell, who just participated in the Diversity of Voices Initiative at the Banff World Media Festival, is working with Penny Gummerson on her feature Cracked. Penny is a Métis journalist, playwright and screenwriter. She currently works as a story editor on the all women writing team for the CTV series Cardinal. Other credits include Moccasin Flats, Arctic Air, Heartland, and Strange Empire.
Sarah Stupar has been matched with Tihemme Gagnon for her feature Uitwisseling. Tihemme is a screenwriter and factual entertainment story editor. Her credits include Grand Theft Terra Firma: Stories of (Re)Conciliation, 1491, and most recently her 2018 Leo award winning documentary series Chaos & Courage.
Finally, Jessie Anthony and her project, Brother, I Cry, has been matched with Zoe Hopkins. Zoe is a Canadian Heiltsuk/Mohawk writer and film director who started her career in acting in 2009 and later pursued filmmaking. Zoe’s credits include One Eyed Dogs Are Free, Mohawk Midnight Runners, Skyworld, and Kayak to Klemtu.
Phase Two of the project will run until the fall when between three and five scripts will be selected to participate in actor table reads.
The program was developed by WIFTV with Doreen Manuel and Peggy Thompson. Doreen is a Secwepemc/Ktunuxa First Nations filmmaker as well as the Coordinator/Instructor of the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University. Peggy is a proven screenwriter (The Lotus Eaters, Better than Chocolate) and Professor Emerita of UBC’s Creative Writing Program.
Coyote, Raven Spider, Wendigo: Tricksters and Writers has been possible through the generous donation of Matrix Production Services as well as support from TELUS, CMPA-BC, Vancity Credit Union and the BC Arts Council.