TORONTO – Corus and the Banff World Media Festival are pleased to announce the recipients of this year’s Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program. Attracting writers from across Canada, the 2020 cohort will receive a premium pass to BANFF 2020 Virtual Edition with access to panels, keynotes, master classes and networking opportunities from May to September, virtual mentorship opportunities with key development executives, placement in the story department of a Canadian primetime series and complimentary registration and travel to BANFF 2021.
“We had a purposeful approach this year to select underrepresented writers from a wide range of backgrounds with unique and diverse stories to tell,” said Lisa Godfrey, Vice President, Original Programming, Corus Entertainment. “The caliber of submissions we receive every year makes the selection decision very challenging and this year was no exception – our five Corus Writer’s Apprentice Program recipients truly reflect fresh perspectives as emerging storytellers for our industry.”
The 2020 recipients are:
Michael is a graduate of the 2016 Canadian Film Centre’s Writer’s Lab and recipient of Telefilm Canada’s New Voices Award. His resume includes the feature film Learning to Ride, as well as writing episodes on multiple series including The Next Step which is currently airing on CBC Gem. “The stories I tell are rooted in my experiences as a gay male. I feel that queer stories are evolving, and need to be explored just as much as they ever have.”
Lynn is an LGBTQ actor and writer from Dublin. Her writing and acting debut in The Arrival told the difficulty Irish queer couples were experiencing in trying to build families and be recognized as equal, and went on to show globally at over nine film festivals. “As someone that has spent their life speaking louder to have their voice heard my passion is to give a platform to the stories and voices that are often unheard.” Now building on an extensive acting and writing career, Lynn self-wrote and developed a thirty-minute comedic pilot loosely based on her own experience moving from Ireland to Canada, which she plans to pitch at BANFF.
Originally a record executive in New York working with many legendary hip-hop acts, Ian helped co-found the Brooklyn Hip-Hop Festival (now in its sixteenth year) and eventually returned to Canada as an Associate Producer at CBC Music. One of six residents of the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Writing Program at the Canadian Film Centre, Ian says of his work for the screen, “When I turned from programmer to artist myself, as a screenwriter, I was inspired by the cultural and social impact of the artists I had worked with. Sharing stories and voices from outside of the mainstream has been a personal passion and professional mission of mine over my entire career.”
Rebecca is a screenwriter whose writing lives in the drama genre while letting her comedy background pepper in some levity. She served as script coordinator in the development room for an upcoming CBC Gem series, wrote and produced the short film Yogurt in 2018, and was a reader for the ReelHeART International Film & Screenplay Festival 2015-2019. She is the recipient of the Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award 2018, a Reelword e20 participant in 2018, and a WIFT-T Digital Series Incubator 2018 participant. Her lifelong obsession with television has led her to tell stories with characters that reflect her own diversity.
Gordie is an award-winning screenwriter and comedian recently chosen to be part of NSI’s Totally TV Program. He’s served as a writing consultant for a series currently in pre-development and has extensive experience writing for short-form media, including the webseries Frick, I Love Nature, produced by Telus Storyhive. “Growing up in a mixed family I feel like I never truly had anyone represent me on TV, and even now I feel like I don’t see a ton of people representing Filipinos. I think I could bring a fresh perspective and some much-needed representation to the world of television.”
BANFF 2020 Virtual Edition takes place May to September 2020. The next BANFF World Media Festival will take place in June 2021 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.
About Corus Entertainment Inc.
Corus Entertainment Inc. (TSX: CJR.B) is a leading media and content company that develops and delivers high quality brands and content across platforms for audiences around the world. Engaging audiences since 1999, the company’s portfolio of multimedia offerings encompass 34 specialty television services, 39 radio stations, 15 conventional television stations, a suite of digital assets, animation software, technology and media services. Corus is an established creator of globally distributed content through Nelvana animation studio, Corus Studios, and children’s book publishing house Kids Can Press. The company also owns innovative full service social digital agency so.da, and lifestyle entertainment company Kin Community Canada. Corus’ roster of premium brands includes Global Television, W Network, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, HISTORY®, Showcase, Adult Swim, National Geographic, Disney Channel Canada, YTV, Global News, Globalnews.ca, Q107, Country 105, and CFOX. Visit Corus at www.corusent.com.
About the Banff World Media Festival
The Banff World Media Festival and the Rockie Awards host one of the world’s most important gatherings of entertainment industry executives and creators, dedicated to content development, production, broadcast and distribution within the screen industries. BANFF provides a platform for the evolving global media industry to develop its creative and business objectives. It serves as a leading destination for co-production and co-venture partners and is an unparalleled marketplace for over 1500 international decision-makers to connect with new partners, learn from industry leaders and execute new business deals. The next BANFF World Media Festival will take place in June 2021 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada