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WGC member news - Summer 2021

The feature film based on Kate Hewlett’s play, The Swearing Jar, (starring Adelaide Clemens, Patrick J. Adams, Douglas Smith and Kathleen Turner) wrapped at the end of May. Kate also served as co-EP/writer on CBC/BYU’s Overlord and the Underwoods, which is currently shooting in Kleinburg and Orangeville. In April, she won the WGC’s Sondra Kelly Award. “And I had a goddamn human baby named Georgina Mary Hewlett-Hawco,” she adds.

Byron Abalos and his wife Andrea Mapili’s play Through the Bamboo is being published by the Playwrights Canada Press this month. It’s focused on 12-year-old Philly, who is literally pulled into an action-packed adventure while mourning the loss of her lola when she opens an old book and finds herself tossed into the fantastical land of Uwi. This unique Filipinx-Canadian tale inspired by Philippine mythology shows the value of keeping memories alive and explores how families deal with loss.

Telefilm Canada awarded screenwriter/director Leslie-Ann Coles two script-development grants for the feature screenplays Soiled Dove and Love in Vein. The Canada Council for the Arts also has awarded Coles a production grant for her short film The Curtain, which she wrote and will direct in fall 2021.

Sonja Bennett is currently a supervising producer on Family Law season 2. She has a family drama called The Surrogacy in development with Boat Rocker Studios. Alicia Silverstone is attached to star and executive produce. She also has co-created a single-camera half-hour comedy, Daddies, with Kamal Al-Solaylee that is in development with eOne. 

A reading of Steve Galluccio’s latest play At The Beginning of Time was live-streamed by Centaur Theatre Company in Oct. 2020 and is slated for production either spring 2022 or fall, depending on Covid restrictions. Over the spring, Steve penned the English adaptation of the Québec sketch comedy Entre Deux Draps. which will air as Pillow Talk on Crave and CTV. The series will be shot in Montreal this summer. 

Larry Bambrick has adapted the Canadian novel Oculum into a TV series for Saloon Media. He’s also written his first movie, The Lion in Winnipeg, for Buffalo Gal Pictures and Copperheart Entertainment.  

Colleen Curran’s novel Out for Stars was on the longlist for the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and she’s now writing season 2 of her web series Colleen Curran’s Kitty Calling, starring Debra Hale and Lorna Wilson. 

Andrew Nicholls has a new book, Comedy Writer, on techniques and habits of mind for writing humour. Nicholls was also head writer of The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson.

Janine Albrecht has a kids book in the works called Lenny Peed on That! And her dog Lenny has been working very hard on it. The book is about a funny un-trained puppy who pees on everything and a little boy, Andi, who realizes he should wash his hands frequently as, “Lenny peed on that!”

Nathaniel Moher is currently pitching his kids animated show that’s been in development with Alibi Pivitol Kids. He also recently wrapped shooting the short film he wrote, Quarantine Fling, after being chosen as one of two projects through the DGCBC Greenlight fund.

Meredith Ralston’s new book, Slut-Shaming, Whorephobia, and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, “examines the common denominators between the #MeToo movement, the myths of rape culture, and the pleasure gap between men and women.” It’s published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Louise Moon avoided the outside world this year by spending time in Adventure Bay with the hard-working pups of the Paw Patrol.  As well as writing for the regular series, she also wrote the screenplay for the special Jet To the Rescue which was nominated for Best Screenwriting - Animated Program at the 2021 Leo Awards.

Anne-Marie Perrotta (still speaking about herself in the third person — that’s what isolation does to you) is currently story editing and writing for the animated preschool series Momolu & Friends (TVO/SRC/YLE/ITV). And her preschool series, By Bunny, co-created with children’s book author and composer Judith Henderson, was optioned by Sardine Productions.

WGC Lifetime Member Peter Rowe’s new book, Ablaze — Ten Years That Shook The World, will be published in September. Additionally, Rowe’s book, Music vs The Man, was published in October of 2020, and is available at all online booksellers.

Natasha Semone Vassell is co-producing a Scandinavian feature film with (Norway, Sweden) titled RUN. Both leading characters are of Afro-Canadian and First Nations origins and the project is proudly supported by Eurimages and the Indigenous Screen Office.

Web series Chateau Laurier’s second season co-written and co-produced by Emily Weedon and Kent Staines, went to camera in Hamilton on June 21. Season 1 was nominated for WGC and CSA awards, and garnered many international web fest awards.

The pilot for Anomaly, a new sci-fi narrative fiction podcast, premiered as part of the 2021 Tribeca Festival’s inaugural podcast slate. It follows 17-year-old Queens native Kory Hernandez who, after an earth-changing event causes civil war along the east coast, is sent to live with a host family in a small Illinois town battling the impact of climate change. WGC member Heather Taylor co-created Anomaly with Hillary Nussbaum as part of a partnership with the creative studio Cereal Made, and Red Hook Media Lab. 

L.A.-based members (and married couple) Daniel Vaillancourt and David A. Lee are back as sole writers for the second edition of Love in Action, a telethon benefitting the Los Angeles LGBT Center. This year, the show will air live from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. PST on August 14 on KTLA-5, concurrently streaming at KTLA.com and lalgbtcenter.org/watch. Five-time Emmy award winner Jane Lynch will co-host with KTLA anchor Cher Calvin. Celebrities confirmed to participate at press time include Barbra Streisand, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Sia and Adam Lambert.

Carolyn Bennett received a 2020 Toronto Arts Council literary grant to work on Going In A Different Direction, a collection of short stories. Bennett is also developing a screenplay based on her experience working in a seniors’ home during the 2020-2021 pandemic.

Boon Collins is happy to announce the upcoming release of Centurion, a family picture about a dancing Stallion shot in Napa Valley, California. He’s also currently working with Rob Schneider on Cabjacked, a comedy set to start shooting in Feb. 2022.

Karen Moore is thrilled to be returning to CBC’s Workin’ Moms as a co-executive producer and writer on the 6th season of the hit comedy. 

Suzette Couture and Pauline Couture have launched BlockFilm.io, a groundbreaking platform providing new opportunities for writers and producers to connect with investors. BlockFilm allows producers to issue their own digital security tokens. The co-CEOs aim to raise $175 million for productions from Canada and around the world by the end of 2022. BlockFilm is supported by the Canada Media Fund.

Madeleine Donohue is the writer and co-creator of Tiny & Tall, an animated-hybrid preschool series, which recently entered official development with Little Engine Moving Pictures and a yet-to-be-announced Canadian public broadcaster.

Lisa Hunter is now the principal writer for Compulsion Games (an Xbox first party studio) and is also working on personal projects for the post-pandemic era.

Wearing his art director hat, WGC member Jim Goodall recently won a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Art Direction For TV Series for his work on Endlings, which is produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment and broadcast on CBC and Hulu.

Donald Martin had two films launch in the U.S. on the same weekend in June. His feature comedy Queen Bees was among the top-10 releases, and his Lifetime movie Secrets of a Gold Digger Killer was a ratings hit.

The primary director of The Big Bang Theory is now attached to direct Sean O’Byrne’s new project Red Carpet Burns, on which serves as writer and EP. The limited series is slated to be shooting by the end of 2021.

Sandy Daley’s play Chronicles of a Black Woman: A Sketch Comedy is part of the 2021 Toronto Fringe lineup. The fully animated digital play will air during the Fringe Festival, July 21-31.

A movie adaptation of Lee Goldberg’s novel The Walk is being made by Constantin Films, based on his screenplay. He also has a new novel Gated launching on Oct. 26 and he’s the co-creator (with Robin Bernheim) of Hallmark movie series Mystery 101.

Claude Guilmain’s play AmericanDream.ca was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award this year. His film, Sur La Corde Raide/High Wire, produced by the NFB, won the 2020 GÉMAUX for Best Documentary Program or Series: History and Politics. He’s also working on a novel set in 1969/2019 Toronto.

Gorrman Lee has wrapped principal photography on The Imperfects (Netflix), where he penned two episodes and served as co-producer. Wrapping with him were showrunner and co-creator Dennis Heaton and writer LA Smith. Also in the writers’ room were co-creator Shelley Eriksen, and writers Steve Cochrane, Kor Adana and Kim Garland. Additionally, Gorrman’s first feature film, Golden Delicious, has entered post-production, targeting a fall 2022 premiere. 

Paolo Mancini and Thomas Michael’s screenplay, The Baker, lensed in the Cayman Islands this past April and is currently in post-production. The cast includes Ron Perlman in the lead, Elias Koteas and Harvey Keitel.

Pandemically trapped in his house, Tom Mason developed two series for Splash Entertainment, and created “Katie’s Coronavirus Diary” as both a PSA for Top Kids’ Entertainment and as a comic book story for the anthology The Covid Chronicles.

James Motluk is currently developing Magpie, a one-hour science fiction drama set in Sault Ste Marie. Framed against the little-known but true history of Canada’s internment operations during WW1, the series is produced by Guerrilla Films and has received development funding from the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund and the CMF Predevelopment Fund.