The Pacific Screenwriting Program was established with the goal of building a vibrant screenwriter community in British Columbia. The Program provides support and career-advancement opportunities to BC-based film and television writers at all levels, while generating a deep and sustainable pool of local film and TV screenwriting talent for BC-based series and films. We believe that building this community is an essential first step to:
Creating locally owned and controlled IP that can be exported to global markets
Increasing the province’s ability to train and to retain talented screenwriters
Ensuring that BC’s diverse voices are represented on screens at home and around the world
The Pacific Screenwriting Program Society is a registered non-profit society. The program aims for at least 50% of successful applicants to be female writers.
Principal and Executive Producer
Brian Hamilton is a self-described cheerleader for the BC production industry and has been involved for over 20 years as a volunteer and board member for numerous organizations in the BC creative industry, including the BC Branch of the CMPA, the Vancouver Film Festival, Crazy8’s and DOC. As a partner of Omnifilm Entertainment, he has executive produced more than 60 television projects in both scripted and non-scripted genres, representing over 350 hours of broadcast programming since he joined Omnifilm in 1994. Brian is responsible for Omnifilm’s primetime scripted, kids and family development and production. Brian is currently Executive Producer on Bletchley Circle: San Francisco for ITV, Britbox, Citytv and Netflix, as well as Fast Layne for Disney Channel, Jade Fever Season 5 for Discovery Channel and Wild Bear Rescue Season 3 for Animal Planet. Recent programs which Brian executive produced include: Mech-X4 for Disney XD; Primeval: New World for Space, ProSeiben and UKTV; CBC’s Arctic Air; Defying Gravity, for CTV, BBC, ProSeiben, and ABC, Pure Design for HGTV Canada, Word Travels for OLN, Robson Arms for CTV and Make Some Noise for CBC, which won the Gemini for Best Youth Non-Fiction series, as well as the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the prestigious Japan Prize for Youth Programming. Brian oversees Omnifilm Post, a busy facility which handles end-to-end post production for Omnifilm projects. Brian holds a First Class Honours Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Systems Design Engineering from the University of Waterloo and received his television training from the Banff Centre for the Arts.
Chief Operating Officer, CMPA
Liz Shorten has been working to build capacity in the film, television and digital media sectors for over 25 years. In her role at the CMPA, Liz leads staff and oversees organizational operations across the association’s offices in Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver, and works to implement the CMPA’s corporate strategic plan. Liz previously held senior positions at the Ontario Film Development Corporation (Ontario Creates), British Columbia Film (Creative BC), and CBC Television.
Nationally, Liz sits on the Board of Directors of Reel Canada and the Story Money Impact Society. In BC, she is a Secretary/Treasurer of the Pacific Screenwriting Program. Liz was a founding Board member of the Crazy8’s Film Society and a Co-founder of Women in View. She was recently named “Woman of the Year” by Women in Film and Television Vancouver and “Industry Champion” by the Whistler Film Festival in recognition of her leadership role in the film and television industry.
Writers Guild of Canada
Maureen Parker is the national Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC), an organization representing over 2,200 professional English-language screenwriters. WGC members write the Canadian entertainment enjoyed on TV and movie screens, as well as radio and digital platforms.
As the Guild’s chief negotiator, Ms. Parker leads the WGC’s industrial relations and collective bargaining initiatives, and is instrumental in shaping the working environment for Canadian screenwriters both at home and internationally. She represents screenwriter interests on such issues as government regulation and policy in Ottawa, broadcast regulation, funding for Canadian content, copyright, and works closely with Writers Guilds around the world. Ms. Parker is also the Executive Director of the Canadian Screenwriters Collection Society (CSCS), and the publisher of Canadian Screenwriter magazine.
After working for several years in a Vancouver chartered accounting firm, Robert first joined Creative BC when it was BC Film + Media. Now Creative BC’s Vice President, Robert markets British Columbia internationally as a destination of choice for projects and companies seeking a world class creative industries centre in which to do business. In his role, he leads the administration of Creative BC’s tax credit and granting programs, balancing attraction of international business with support for BC’s domestic content creators. Robert has become the expert on motion picture tax credits, originally helping to launch the BC film and television tax credit program in 1998. He went on to play an integral role in the evolution of British Columbia’s motion picture industry tax policy.
Robert’s production company Mezo Entertainment recently completed production on Unspeakable, a limited series for CBC and AMC Studios based on the Canadian Tainted Blood Tragedy. Robert served as Executive Producer as well as writing and directing multiple episodes. Prior to that, he served as showrunner on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency For BBCAmerica, Netflix and AMC Studios. Previously he was best known for having been showrunner of the record-breaking Stargate television franchise for MGM. He co-created Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe, executive produced, wrote, and directed numerous episodes of all three series and the two DTV movies. All told, the world-wide hit spanned fourteen years and over three hundred and sixty hours.
Robert has been nominated and won several awards for both writing and directing, including two Hugo nominations and a Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) award for best dramatic screenplay. In 2009, he was presented with
Susin Nielsen got her start feeding cast and crew on the popular Canadian television series, Degrassi Junior High. They hated her food, but they saw a spark in her writing. Nielsen went on to pen sixteen episodes of the hit TV show. Since then, Nielsen has written for many Canadian TV series, including Arctic Air, Heartland, Cedar Cove, Madison, Ready or Not, Franny’s Feet and Braceface. She also co-created and executive produced the critically-acclaimed half-hour comedy-drama, Robson Arms. She’s won an Academy of Canadian TV Gemini Award and two Canadian Screenwriter Awards for her work.
Nielsen is also the multiple-award winning author of six young adult novels (including her latest, Tremendous Things). Her books have won the Governor General’s Literary Award, the UKLA award and over a dozen young readers’ choice awards. A number of her titles have been nominated for the prestigious Carnegie Medal. In 2019, she was awarded the Writers’ Trust Vicki Metcalf Award for a body of work. Her books have been translated into many languages.
Most recently Susin wrapped season 2 of Family Law, an hour-long comedy-drama for Global TV. She is creator and showrunner and loves her job.
With over 20 years of experience developing and producing exceptional content, Erin drives Lark’s strategy and operations, in addition to overseeing the company’s slate of scripted and unscripted content. Most recently, Erin executive produced Knowledge Network’s upcoming series Paramedics: Life On The Line, a prequel to the award-winning docu-series Emergency Room: Life + Death at VGH (Knowledge, Discovery Fit). Erin has also produced CTV’s successful crime drama Motive (CTV, USA, ABC), and the hit formats The Real Housewives of Toronto and The Real Housewives of Vancouver (Slice). Lark’s programs succeed domestically and internationally, having been sold in over 180 territories. Other projects include Crash Gallery (CBC), High Moon (Syfy), Mom’s A Medium (CMT), and Gastown Gamble (OWN Canada).
Before joining Lark, Erin was Director of Development with Infinity Features, and was the Executive in Charge of Production for Terry Gilliam’s Academy Award nominated film The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus. Prior to that she was Director of Development at Paperny Entertainment where she oversaw a slate of scripted and unscripted series, and was involved in the highly successful original series Eat Street (Food Network Canada).
A graduate of the Canadian Film Centre, Erin currently serves on the CMPA National Board of Directors and the CMPA BC Branch Council.
Media & Entertainment Leader | Production Executive | DEI Strategist
Kim Hsu Guise is an independent consultant currently working with Telefilm Canada on a national research project on training initiatives for underrepresented creatives in the audio-visual industries. Kim has 20 years of experience in the film and television industry as a lawyer, business affairs advisor and production executive. She has a full spectrum of experience including negotiating production-related deal terms, assessing project pitches for financing, setting strategic direction, and building and leading a diverse team of industry experts.
Kim was the Director of Local Content at TELUS and the Executive in Charge of Production for TELUSmOriginal Programming and STORYHIVE, overseeing a multi-million dollar portfolio supporting BC and Alberta filmmakers and cultural organizations. She played a key role in setting TELUS’ local content strategy and enabling TELUS to become an innovator and leader in local programming and the creative industries.
Prior to TELUS, Kim was an investment analyst in the western office of Telefilm Canada, where she was a member of a multidisciplinary team that delivered legal and business affairs expertise in all aspects of the development and production financing of screen-based projects. Before Telefilm, Kim was a financial services lawyer at a national business law firm with a practice that combined secured lending and entertainment law.
Kim is passionate about enabling people from diverse backgrounds and experiences to tell stories that are meaningful to them and their communities. Kim has deep experience designing programs and strategies to empower underrepresented creators and set them up for success. She is always a key maker – never a gatekeeper.
Todd Ireland is an Indigenous (Métis) screenwriter who writes for television series and feature films and sits on the Writers Guild of Canada Diversity and Inclusion Committee.
He is currently the executive vice president of Enderby Entertainment Canada where he helps oversee development and production. He recently completed writing the family animated feature film Sunny. Todd was a writer and Story Editor for 2 seasons on Netflix/YTV’s ReBoot:The Guardian Code, produced by Mainframe Entertainment. He was also a writer on the Saturn Award winning tv series, Continuum for Netflix/Showcase. Todd is a graduate of the 2019 Pacific Screenwriting Program Scripted Series Lab. Before Todd made the transition from working in the Locations Department to screenwriting, he worked on films such as X2, Watchmen, and Tron: Legacy.
Todd was nominated for a 2019 Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Award in the Tweens and Teen category for his penultimate episode of ReBoot: The Guardian Code. Todd studied at the University of Regina and is a graduate of the Pacific Screenwriter Program and the Writers Guild of Canada Diverse Screenwriter Program. He now lives in Vancouver with his wife and daughter.
Rick Jacobs is a Producer at Skybound Entertainment (The Walking Dead, Outcast). Rick specializes in “genre” development and the convergence of media between feature films, television, video games, and print publication.
Most recently, he was an Executive Producer of Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency, a co-production between BBC America and Netflix, and Wynonna Earp, which airs on Space in Canada and SyFy in the United States. He is also an Executive Producer on Locke and Key which is set to go into production for Netflix. Previously, he was a Consulting Producer of Scare PewDiePie for YouTube Red, and Producer on feature films Mr. Right and Spare Parts.
Formerly at the literary management company, Circle of Confusion, Rick has represented major comic book publishers including IDW Publishing & Top Cow, as well as award winning digital non-fiction publications The Atavist & Epic Magazine.
Alison brings a wealth of experience in delivering national programs, and leading large marketing, communications and content delivery initiatives with organizations such as Microsoft, Telefilm Canada, ELLE Canada and TELUS to the PSP. She started her career in TV working with Court TV, HBO and BET in the US, and has worked as a Unit Publicist and Production Manager in Canadian independent film. She holds an undergraduate degree in Communications from York University, a master’s degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City, completed the Women in Film and Television Media Leadership Program at the Schulich School of Business, and is pursuing an Executive MBA at SFU. She also serves on the boards of Women in Film and Television – Vancouver, Eastside Culture Crawl and the International Association for Public Participation.
Michael is a recent graduate from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. His passion for film led him to an internship at a film finance company in London, UK called Sons of Rigor, where he spent time on and off set learning about the production, financing, and marketing of films. He also gained experience providing script coverage, reviewing pitch decks and evaluating the quality and commercial viability of different projects. Most recently, Michael worked on set as a Producer’s Assistant on Episode 6 of Hallmark’s Morning Show Mysteries. He is a self-described movie buff who is keen on working his way up within the world of scripted film and television.
Originally from Vancouver, Katie is now based in Los Angeles. She began her career working for Rain Management Group before making the leap to television, where she worked on NBC’s This Is Us and Netflix’s Insatiable. Katie’s pilot script, Be Here Now, was chosen for Film Independent’s Episodic Lab. She has worked for Portland Film Festival and Mammoth Lakes Film Festival and, as a pre-screener, Katie has watched countless submissions searching for exciting, new voices. She spent two years as a board member for the Junior Hollywood Radio and Television Society where she found her passion for organizing industry events.
The Pacific Screenwriting Program thanks the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations for their continued stewardship of the unceded and occupied land on which our work takes place. We are committed to collaborating with and supporting Indigenous storytellers.
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