Toronto, September 3, 2014 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome Brad Wright as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2014 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. Wright will be leading the story room as well as the nine talented writers who have been selected to participate in this year’s program. The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program is a full-time five-month program that delivers a team-based approach to series writing while nurturing individual voices and developing new series concepts.
“We are delighted to have an Executive Producer with Brad’s experience guide the program this year,” said Trish Williams, Director, Development Drama, Bell Media. “His impressive track record and lengthy career speak volumes about the months ahead for the new writers in the program. What a fun and challenging ride!”
Wright is an award-winning Canadian writer and producer who is best known as a co-creator of the television series Stargate Sg-1, Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, along with two other movies in the long-running franchise. Wright was born in Toronto and graduated from the York University Theatre program in 1984. Before the inception of the Stargate franchise, he served as co-executive producer and writer of The Outer Limits for several seasons. He was also co-producer and executive story editor for Neon Rider and has written for television series including The Black Stallion, The Odyssey and Highlander, among many others. Prior to his television career, Wright worked for several years touring with a Toronto theatre company as an actor and playwright.
“I can't recall reading as many solid scripts, one after the other,” said Brad Wright, Executive Producer in Residence. “There is some serious talent in this group. I can't wait to work with them.”
“This program has an impressive track record of attracting both talented writers and top tier mentors,” said Kathryn Emslie, Chief Programs Officer, CFC. “We are proud of our Prime Time alumni and of their significant contributions to the broadcast marketplace, not to mention the success of Orphan Black, a project developed through the CFC Bell Media Prime Time TV Program by alumnus Graeme Manson.”
The 2014 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program residents are:
- Tara Armstrong (BC): Tara Armstrong is a Vancouver-based screenwriter who began working in film and television as a production coordinator and producers’ assistant. While working in these roles, Armstrong also attended UBC's Creative Writing Program where she graduated with a BFA in 2013. Her television scripts have placed in the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards and Final Drafts’ Big Break Screenwriting Contest. Armstrong is represented by Underground Management in Los Angeles.
- Mika Collins (ON): Mika Collins is a Canadian writer and performer originally from South Africa. Her writing credits include the multiple award-winning short film The Pamplemousse (Best of the Fest, Palm Springs International Shortsfest; First Prize Best Comedy Short, Rhode Island International Film Festival), and the one-person play, Capturing Freedom, which she wrote and performed. Collins also studied and performed improv at The Second City, was a resident of the Banff Playwrights Colony and is an American Gem Literary Award and LA Expo Screenplay finalist. She is currently adapting her first play into a feature film, Scatterlings of Africa.
- Seth Cooperman (ON): Seth Cooperman is a New York native who is proud to call Canada home since 2010. While in New York, he studied and performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade, created the improv/sketch group, Life Size People, and performed in Off-Broadway plays and musicals. His writing credits include The Magnificent Hour, in which he also performed, which won an Audience Choice Award at The New York International Fringe Festival, and Googlefish, a short film that he wrote, directed and starred in, which took first place in the New York City Razorfish Short Film Competition.
- Rebecca Hales (BC): Rebecca Hales is a Vancouver-based screenwriter who recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing at UBC. She is the author of a novel for juvenile readers, Liam and the Light Queen, and has spent the last several years working as a story editor for screen, fiction and graphic forms. Hales has been a judge for screenwriting competitions for organizations such as Champion Screenwriting and Women in Film and Television Vancouver, and ran a mentorship program for creative writing in local high schools in Vancouver.
- Gillian Muller (ON): Gillian Muller worked as an assistant director on various productions such as The Time Traveler’s Wife, The Border and Reviving Ophelia before returning to school to complete the Vancouver Film School Writing Film and TV program, where she received the prestigious Best Work-shopper award. Since that time, Muller developed, wrote and co-directed the pilot episode of the web series Redemption and her feature script, Hitchhiking in Saldanha, was shortlisted in the Praxis Screenplay Competition in 2013 and the ScreenCraft Fellowship Competition in 2014.
- Ashley Park (ON): Ashley Park was the head writer for the web series A.F.K. or Away From Keyboard and has worked as a story editor for short films and feature films. She has been published in short story anthologies and has also written an ebook, New Damascus, published with Smashwords. Park is a graduate of Ryerson University’s Film Production program and an alumna of the Bell Media Diversity Screenwriter’s program. She was the recipient of the 2014 Telefilm New Voices Award and placed in the semi-finals at the 2013 Screamfest LA horror competition and the 2013 Final Draft Big Break Contest.
- Pat Smith (ON): Pat Smith co-created, co-wrote and co-starred in the comedy series, Guidance, a 15-episode web series that became a half-hour sitcom on Bite TV in its second season. Guidance received a nomination for Best Writing in a TV Series at the 2014 Canadian Comedy Awards (CCA). Smith has been previously nominated three times for CCAs, twice for Best Web Video and once for Best Web Series. He is a recent cast member of The Second City’s National Touring Company and former Just For Laughsperformer. In 2011, Smith optioned his first feature film script, The Accent (in development), and in 2013 he attended the Banff World Media Festival as a Bell Media National Fellow.
- Amanda Smith-Kolic (ON): Amanda Smith-Kolic has written animation for some of the industry's leading broadcasters, including Treehouse, CBC Kids and PBS. She worked with Canadian icon Martin Short as writer and associate producer on the Emmy-nominated preschool series The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That! Most recently, she was a producer at 9 Story Entertainment, working on Amazon Studio’s flagship preschool series Creative Galaxy. Smith-Kolic is currently developing a one-hour psychological drama entitled Stockholm.
- Jason Whiting (ON): Jason Whiting grew up in rural Ontario and later in the Turks and Caicos Islands. He became a technical writer, theatre critic, and arts journalist, writing pieces for The Globe and Mail and Wired. A background in entertainment and technology led to a job as a creative producer where he worked closely with such brands as MAXIM Magazine, the San Francisco 49ers and FOX’s Family Guy. Whiting has also written and performed comedic shows including "Whiteman’s Whiskey", a hit at Montreal’s Zoofest, as well as specials that have aired on CBC Radio. In 2006 he had the honour of acting alongside John Cleese during Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival. Whiting now focuses on writing for television.
The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program delivers a real world story room experience, develops strong series writers and creates original series content for the marketplace. The program allows residents to develop their craft and voice while balancing the demands of the TV business. To learn more about the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, please visit: http://cfccreates.com/programs/15-bell-media-prime-time-tv-program.
CFC accelerates the careers of the brightest talent in film, television, screen acting, music, and digital media. A charitable organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities, and fostering industry collaborations and creative partnerships. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices to the world. For more details, visit www.cfccreates.com.
About the Bell Media TV Skills and Film Development Initiative
The $12.3 million Bell Media TV Skills and Film Development Initiative is a suite of national mentoring and promotional programs, which ensure a comprehensive range of training for writers, producers, directors, and showrunners in the Canadian television and film industry at different stages of their careers. Currently, five of these multi-year initiatives are exclusively funded by Bell Media. The program supports the Banff World Media Festival, the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (Writers Guild of Canada) for emerging and mid-career writers from diverse backgrounds who intern in a writing room of a Bell Media TV series; the Bell Media Primetime TV Program (Canadian Film Centre), which provides series development for TV writers; the Bell Media Producer Accelerator Lab, which provides immersive and experiential broadcast and production experience for mid-level producers; the Bell Media Showrunner Bootcamp (Canadian Film Centre), which develops showrunner knowledge and management for TV writers; the NSI Totally Television Program (National Screen Institute), a training course for writer, producers, and showrunners to hone concepts with the goal of landing a development deal with a broadcaster; and the Telefilm Talent Fund (Telefilm), which helps fund and promote films from emerging and established filmmakers.
About Bell Media
With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 35 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran; and is managing shareholder of premium pay-per-view service Viewers Choice Canada. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out-of-Home, one of Canada's most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 9,500 advertising faces in Québec, Ontario and British Columbia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites, delivers TV Everywhere with its innovative GO video streaming services, including CTV GO, TMN GO and Bravo GO, and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit www.bellmedia.ca.
For media inquiries, please contact:
Communications Specialist, CFC
416.445.1446 x 463
Director, Communications, Bell Media