The Whistler Film Festival and the Vancouver-based Praxis Centre for Screenwriters have announced the six Canadian screenwriters selected to
participate in the WFF Praxis Screenwriters Lab, a joint feature script development program to be held from December 1 to 5 during the Whistler Film
Festival + Summit. In addition, the parties have confirmed that the management of the program will move to Whistler.
Focused on advancing feature-length projects at the script stage into production by facilitating feedback and mentorship from industry experts across the
business spectrum, the WFF Praxis Screenwriters Lab is designed to analyze the writer’s intentions, rethink script-to-screen strategies, and chart a course
for eventual production. Participants will engage in business tailored group discussions, one-on-one industry meetings, a boot camp pitch session, and a
master class, as well as receive the opportunity to attend festival screenings and industry events. Advisors will include highly accomplished producers and
other industry executives with extensive market knowledge.
The six screenwriters and projects selected for WFF Praxis Screenwriter Lab 2015 include:
Andrew McEvoy (BC) with suspenseful family drama “The Sounding Line”
Jesse Heffring (QC) with thought-provoking sci-fi thriller “Everything is Supernova”
Joadie Jurgova (NS) with psychological drama “Trespassers Will Be Executed”
Katherine Wagner (BC) with character-driven sports thriller “Omertà”
Sara Beth Edwards (BC) with action/thriller “The Waitress”
Steven Owad (AB) with small town drama of race and violence “Love in the Age of Terror”
After 28 years as an exclusive program of the School of Contemporary Arts at SFU, the Praxis Centre for Screenwriters is moving into an expanded
partnership with the Whistler Film Festival. Praxis founder and longtime Director, SFU Professor Patricia Gruben, will continue as Director of the WFF
Praxis Screenwriters Lab, but management of the workshop will move to Whistler. The parties are taking a break from the annual competition in order to
shift the program to a June to December schedule in 2016. This year, instead of a new intake of scripts, six projects from previous workshops will be
invited to return for a four-day business immersion experience during the Whistler Film Festival + Summit.
Since 1986, Praxis’ Fall and Spring workshop series for feature film scripts have brought together independent screenwriters from across the country to
work with intensively with key film industry personnel in private and group sessions to develop both creative skills and marketing opportunities for their
projects. More than 200 feature film and MOW screenplays by Canadian writers have been selected for an intensive workshop process with an exclusive list of
international industry professionals, making Praxis a leader in the development of Canadian screenwriters. Praxis Fellows have come from all ten provinces
and the Yukon, and advisors have covered a range from Hollywood producers, writers, and directors such as Christine Vachon and Michael Miner to independent
Canadian screenwriters such as Atom Egoyan and Don McKellar. Over thirty-five Praxis scripts have been produced to date, including Mina Shum’s “Double Happiness,” Thom Fitzgerald’s “The Hanging Garden,” and Jacob Tierney’s “The Trotsky,” which opened the Whistler Film Festival in 2009.
“The WFF Praxis Screenwriters Lab aligns Praxis’ leadership in the development of Canadian screenwriters and flagship feature screenplay competition with
our robust slate of project development programs, Festival and industry Summit,” says Shauna Hardy Mishaw, Executive Director of the Whistler Film Festival
Society. “Our ultimate goal is to have completed projects get developed and premiere in Whistler.”
“With this new program, which is focused on business development for screenplays that we’ve already worked with creatively, we’ll connect with the great
opportunities the Festival provides – connecting with directors, producers, marketing executives as well as Variety 10 Screenwriters to Watch,” says Praxis
Director Patricia Gruben. “Plus, we’ll be able to see the latest Praxis-workshopped film, “Numb,” which is having its North American premiere at WFF.”
From December 2 to 6, 2015, the Whistler Film Festival + Summit (WFF) will celebrate its 15th anniversary with fresh films, special guests, unique industry
initiatives, epic events, and time to play in North America’s premiere mountain resort destination.