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News from WGC Members

Writing team Dianna Bodnar and Andrew Pope have been awarded a development grant from Ontario Creates' Interactive Digital Media Fund: Futures Program for their comedy-drama webseries Down To Earth — a coming-of-age fantasy about feeling insubstantial in a chaotic world, a clash of quests, and a massively inconvenient hero. They also have a true crime series in development with Lark Productions.

With the support of WGC, Yung Chang presented the first act of his feature film Eggplant at a special live-reading event as part of the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival where he was the Spotlight Artist. Vivian Lin was the moderator for the post-reading discussion. Chang is in the process of completing the final draft of the script, a journey that began in 2015 at the Sundance Screenwriters and Directors Labs and continued its slow-burn process to the 2018 TIFF Writers Studio. He’s looking forward to making this film come to life in the next couple years.

David Cormican and Dwayne Hill have been commissioned to adapt the WWII-era memoir Escape From Plauen into a six-part miniseries. The commission follows the writing duo’s successful launch of the family drama Northern Rescue for CBC and Netflix (where they served as co-creators, writers and EPs). Cormican is also executive producing the upcoming adaptation of Mark Sakamoto’s novel, Forgiveness, being developed for the CBC, in addition to the in-progress adaptation of the New York Times bestseller vampire book franchise, House of Night.

Shelley Eriksen and Dennis Heaton are in a room developing a project they co-created along with Steve Cochrane, Gorrman Lee and LA Smith, and that’s literally all they can say right now. 

Cat Girczyc is very pleased to be one of the 2020 winners of the WIF From Our Dark Side contest. The win allows her to develop her winning pitch into a pilot and TV series plan, complete with graphic designer and story editor mentors.

A short film based on Garner Haines’s science fiction TV pilot The Time Is Right, starring Ellen Dubin and Sebastian Spence, directed by Diane Carol Harder and produced by Rebeka Herron and Heidi Tan, is now in post production. 

Jennica Harper just finished post on her second season as showrunner of JANN (CTV/Crave). She’s developing Atomic, a grounded sci-fi drama with Piazza Entertainment/eOne/Bell, as well as the TV adaptation of the bestselling book The Marrow Thieves, alongside author Cherie Dimaline (Thunderbird/CBC).

Peter Hume is proud to announce the release of Spides. The Berlin-based genre series will air in 4O territories on SYFY. The series follows a police investigation into an underground club drug that changes users’ behaviour and is revealed to be the vector for an alien consciousness. Hume wrote all episodes based on the original German scripts. 

Peter Meech’s new book Billy (the Kid): A Novel, was published in February. 

British/Canadian writer Nicholas Kinsey has just completed his fourth novel Remembrance Man based on an original script for a feature-length drama. It follows three other historical novels based on television drama series: Shipwrecked Lives (2018), An Absolute Secret (2017), and Playing Rudolf Hess (2016). Remembrance Man is a thriller and a whodunit with a touch of horror. It tells a story of fear and despair during the 1832 Cholera epidemic in Upper Canada.

Bruce Pirrie is looking forward to the April 2020 broadcast debut of a six-episode series MAXXX, which he co-wrote, consulted on, and story-edited for Channel 4 in the U.K. It stars  O.T. Fagbenle (upcoming  Marvel feature film, Black Widow) as a former boyband member trying to make a solo comeback battling his own bad reputation. The series was produced by Ali Caron and Luti Fagbenle for Portobello Productions (U.K.). 

Barbara Radecki’s second novel Messenger 93 drops on April 19.

Daniela Saioni won Best Screenplay and Best Fresh Voice at the 2019 Female Eye Film Festival for her screenplay Jiyan, based on a concept by filmmaker Mazdak Taebi and made possible under the WGC Low Budget Feature Film Agreement.  This was the first time in the 17-year history of the festival that one screenplay took home two awards. 

Robert J. Sawyer’s 24th novel, The Oppenheimer Alternative, will be published June 2 by Red Deer Press.

NarcoLeap, a sci-fi webseries written and executive produced by David Schmidt, has received 22 awards and nominations from 15 organizations/festivals, including the Canadian Screen Awards and the WGC Screenwriting Awards. David also story edited the Robert Downey Jr.-produced-and-hosted series, The Age of A.I., which attracted more than 40 million views on YouTube in the first two months of release.

In the last year, Canadian screenwriter Kraig Wenman landed on Netflix’s Top 10 Most Popular Movies in the U.S. for 2019 for his film Secret Obsession and had three original features premiere on the Hallmark Channel.

Bettyjane Wylie’s new book Endings: A Book for Almost Everyone is now available on Amazon in North America. It’s a memoir, a history of her career and travelogue, full of literary references and anecdotes.  It is not about death or dying. It’s titled Endings because Wylie’s first book, 40 projects ago, was called Beginnings. 

Nathalie Younglai is the proud recipient of the 2020 Humanitarian Award from the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, in recognition for her contributions to increasing diversity in the Canadian media industry via BIPOC TV & Film.