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News from WGC Members

Lester Alfonso has been shortlisted for Outstanding Mid-Career Artist in the 2019 Peterborough Arts Awards. He is currently working on a documentary film Circus Boy, after premiering his feature-length creative nonfiction film Birthmark at the 2018 ReFrame Film Festival.

Larry Bambrick is down in Los Angeles working on a brand-new series for Hallmark. When Hope Calls will air this fall. 

Michael Betcherman is delighted to announce that his latest novel, The Justice Project, will be published this September by Orca Book Publishers. 

Ian Carpenter just finished showrunning season 3 of Aaron Martin’s Slasher, which premiered May 23 on Netflix. The writers Martin, Lucie Page, Duana Taha, Jp Larocque and Matt MacLennan killed it. Well, they attacked, taunted, chased down and finally killed it. And sometimes chopped it up.

Michael Collins and Fiona Winning’s Vancouver-based prodco Calypso35 has optioned Rupture — a one-hour TV drama by writer Adrian Cunningham. 

Jon Cooksey is developing a series and VR/AR experiences for Titan1 Studios, and finishing up a high-tech project with Sphere Media Plus, AMD and Epic Games. In addition to looking super-cool and being a great story, it also demos a new way of making TV — he’s looking forward to digging more into that!

Nicole Demerse has been honoured to work with the amazing team on the new Sonar/Hulu sci-fi drama series, Utopia Falls, as a writer and consulting producer. 

The WGC’s youngest member and actor, Jadiel Dowlin, has been named the recipient of the inaugural BFF Rising Star Award by Geena Davis’s Bentonville Film Festival. It’s awarded to performers who have demonstrated exceptional talent and are destined for bright futures in the TV and film industries.  

Paramount has snapped up Josh Epstein and Kyle Rideout’s feature film pitch for Astrid’s Death List, with di Bonaventura Pictures producing. The duo wrote the comedy Adventures in Public School, which Rideout directed, and Netflix bought in 2017.

Steve Galluccio’s fourth feature Little Italy, co-written with Vinay Virmani was released in August 2018 and became the top-grossing English-language Canadian film of 2019, raking in $1.5 million at the box office. The film was distributed by Lionsgate in the U.S. and was sold worldwide. This August Mambo Italiano: The Musical, the broadway-bound project based on Galluccio’s highly successful film and play will be produced at the Westchester Broadway Theatre in Westchester, New York.

Jennifer Kassabian has wrapped on Season 2 of Carter and is happy to be joining the Frankie Drake team as a writer/co-producer. 

Following the successful worldwide launch of Edward Kay’s first non-fiction book, Stinky Science, Kids Can Press has commissioned him to write two more comedy-inflected science titles, which he promises will be even more revolting than the first one.

Donald Martin’s TV movie The Christmas Town, starring Candace Cameron Bure, was shot in B.C. in May and will premiere on Hallmark in December. His feature film The Gift shoots this summer in L.A., directed by Anna Chi.

Tom Mason just signed on to write his 22nd Captain Awesome book for Simon & Schuster, and is developing an adult animated series for Netflix.

David Merry and his writing partner, Larry Horowitz, optioned their second screenplay to Wald Pictures in L.A. — a gritty suspense thriller called The Cage. David is also writing and directing a new comedy/golf/travel show called Off the Hozzle that will debut this fall on two Bell Media outlets in Canada and Amazon globally.

Andrew Nicholls and Darrell Vickers are creating and executive producing an animation project for Nickelodeon. It has just been greenlit to go to pilot, with additional scripts ordered. Previously, Andrew and Darrell had written on Back at the Barnyard, Fairly Oddparents and Jimmy Neutron for the network, in addition to story editing two seasons of Pelswick

Will Pascoe is currently running season 3 of Amazon’s series Absentia, and developing a television series for director James Wan.

Thomas Pound is thrilled to be returning to The CW’s The Flash for his third year.

Alex Pugsley has just signed a three-book deal with the literary publisher Biblioasis. The first novel, collecting award-winning work from The Journey Prize Anthology and Best Canadian Stories, will be published in February 2020. His feature, Dirty Singles, is streaming now on CBC Gem. He is represented by Jennifer Hollyer.

Larry Raskin is proud and grateful that ReBoot: The Guardian Code, the YTV/Netflix series on which he was executive producer/showrunner, received two Canadian Screen Award nominations, two daytime Emmy Award nominations, and a YMA Award of Excellence nomination. As well, Larry is delighted that his dance documentary Behind The Wall had its world premiere at the Festival International du Film sur l’Art in Montreal. 

David Schmidt is story editing for both The Age of A.I. for Network Entertainment/Team Downey/YouTube Premium, and Paramedics: Emergency Response for Fahrenheit Films/Rogers Citytv. The sci-fi web series he writes and executive produces, NarcoLeap, has received second-season funding from the CMF.

Amanda Smith is having a hoof-tastic time writing on the Nelvana series Corn and Peg. In addition, she is developing a new family drama series, and putting the final (probably not final) polish on her grounded sci-fi pilot, Incipient.

The feature film, Volition, which Ryan W. Smith co-wrote and produced with his brother, Tony Dean Smith, won Best Feature at the Philip K. Dick Film Festival. Ryan is currently adapting an undisclosed political feature film for Anonymous Content.

Orca Book Publishers has purchased the publication rights to Michael F. Stewart’s young adult novel Heart Sister, about one teen’s quest to put his sister back together again — in spirit — by creating a virtual reality movie of the people she helped with her transplanted organs. It’s slated for a fall 2020 release.

Beachwood Canyon Productions is back at it, and this time they’re bringing the heartache with a new gymnastics dramedy for Family Channel and CBBC. The writing crew includes Frank Van Keeken, Emma Campbell, Lyndon Casey, Conor Casey, Ian Malone, Nelu Handa, Kara Harun, Cheryl Meyer, Reem Morsi and Stephen Cooke.