Keep an eye on Sabrina Sherif, Madison Thomas, Misha Solomon, Nyla Innuksuk and Maddy Falle

Sabrina Sherif (Photo by Tulica Singh)

Writer Sabrina Sherif’s specialty in YA series has given her an edge in Canada’s competitive TV industry, landing her projects like an adaptation of Wattpad story The Numbered.

Over the years, young adult stories have helped Sabrina Sherif do two things: learn English and establish her identity as a storyteller.

For the Canadian-Algerian writer (who grew up in Spain and Montreal), shows like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Canadian staple Degrassi: The Next Generation, instilled a love for the genre, in addition to making her feel represented. READ MORE

Madison Thomas (Photo by Tyler Porznak)

With a feature film under her belt and a strong producing partner in Eagle Vision, the Manitoba filmmaker isn’t slowing down any time soon.

When Eagle Vision approached writer/director Madison Thomas about developing the feature Finality of Dusk, she knew she’d need to bring in a writing partner.

It wasn’t about any lack of confidence, nor was it a request from the prodco. It’s that her concept for the post-apocalyptic film included largely non-verbal interactions between characters. Knowing it would better serve the film, Thomas invited deaf filmmaker Katarina Ziervogel to co-write the script. Ziervogel brought her perspective to the dialogue scenes, while Thomas focused on the overarching narrative. READ MORE

Misha Solomon (Photo by Jean-Pierre Denault)

The talented development exec helped bring Citytv’s The Murders from script to screen and is now leading factual prodco WAM Media’s push into scripted.

Misha Solomon has a secret to share.

“I’m almost afraid to say it out loud, but the first time I stepped onto a film set – I was the co-executive producer of [Citytv original] The Murders,” says the 28-year-old.

Prior to that, Solomon had only worked behind the scenes at Montreal’s Muse Entertainment, joining the company fresh out of his bachelor of arts in evolutionary biology and linguistics at Columbia University in July 2014. Starting out as a marketing intern, he demonstrated a passion for all things TV as well as a willingness to take on any role (even manning the front desk). READ MORE

Nyla Innuksuk (Photo by Ksenia Stassiouk)

Slash/Back director, co-writer and producer Nyla Innuksuk has devoted her busy slate to projects that stay true to her roots.

It’s the calm before the storm for writer, director and producer Nyla Innuksuk. Speaking to Playback from a landline in Pangnirtung, Nunavut, Innuksuk is just a few weeks away from beginning production on her first feature, Slash/Back.

Described as an ’80s horror throwback, Slash/Back tells the story of four Inuit teenagers who find themselves fighting against alien invaders. A fan of horror since she was old enough to watch it, the concept for the film came to her eight years ago. The film’s producers include Scythia Films’ Daniel Bekerman, who says Innuksuk’s vision helped sell the film to producers and buyers. U.S. sales outfit Sierra/Affinity, a subsidiary of Entertainment One, has already picked up international rights. READ MORE

Maddy Falle (Photo by Hayley Wong)

The 2019 cohort begins with Gearshift Films development manager Falle, whose sharp instincts have made her an invaluable asset as the prodco expands into TV.

With the Canadian industry in flux, eyes are fixed more than ever on the next generation of filmmakers, producers and executives set to shape the future of domestic film and TV.

Each year Playback asks the Canadian film and TV industry to nominate the rising stars destined to make their mark in their respective fields. The five who rose to the top in 2019 include a scripted development prodigy; a visionary director with a flare for VR; a firecracker multi-hyphenate based in Manitoba; a producer who always thinks five steps ahead; and a YA specialist. READ MORE