WIFT-T is pleased to announce the five projects and 12 participants selected for the 2015 Development Incubator program, a national initiative, designed to kick start market-driven feature films and support the next generation of Canadian feature film professionals. The selected participants are: Jason Bryden (writer), Lauren Corber (producer), Emma Fleury (writer), Courtney Graham (producer), Lauren Grant (producer), Andrea Janes (writer), Sally Karam (producer), Katie Nolan (producer), Chris Ross (writer), Misha Skoric (producer), Simone Stock (writer), and Melanie Windle (producer).
This intensive four-day incubator examines multiple aspects of feature film development—from writing, financing, marketing, to distribution—through a series of small group sessions and one-on-one consultations with creative and business experts, including a dedicated story editor. This year’s instructors include producer/executive producer Christina Piovesan, executive producer Marina Cordoni, and story editor Jamie Gaetz.
Team: Georgia Pie (Drama/Historical)
Emma Fleury- Writer Emma is a producer, actress and writer. Since graduating from Queen’s University, Emma has hit the ground running on the entertainment scene. She has worked in development, distribution and production. Emma is beginning the process of launching her own production company, BABE NATION, with her business partners Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott. BABE NATION has produced three shorts, since January 2015. Their unique female-centric stories have caught the attention of some of the most coveted story editors and producer-mentors throughout the city.
Katie Nolan – Producer Katie Nolan is a Toronto-based producer, writer, and actor. Her work has been featured by TIFF, CBC, Just For Laughs, W Magazine (Condé Nast), and cléo journal. Katie is the creator behind the web series Hot Mom (FunnyOrDie) and is currently developing a new series with Vanessa Matsui (Seed, Lost Girl) titled Ghost BFF, pitch winner at the Innoversity Creative Summit 2014. Katie works as casting assistant to casting director Nicole Hilliard-Forde and is one-third of the new production company and creative collective, BABE NATION. Katie most recently co-produced the first ever music video for upcoming Toronto band, For Emsé, which premiered with Clash Magazine, UK.
Team: Glamour (Drama/Fantasy)
Andrea Janes – Writer Andrea is from Brampton, Ontario. An avid reader and writer of ghost stories and gothic fiction from a young age, she failed to outgrow either fiction or the gothic and, after a stint at as a Cinema Studies major at the University of Toronto, returned to writing screenplays and short stories tinged with elements of the ghostly, macabre, and supernatural. Her first short story collection was Boroughs of the Dead (2011). She adapted her own original screenplay, Glamour, into a Young Adult novel, published by World Weaver Press in 2014. Currently she is at work on her first adult-length novel, about a haunted condo in Rockaway Beach. Sally Karam – Producer Gemini nominated Sally Karam is a producer, story editor, writer and documentary director. Sally’s first feature was the award-winning What We Have, directed by Maxime Desmons. The film was selected for many festivals including Inside Out International Film Festival 2015. In 2013, Sally delivered the breakthrough CGI series Alien Mysteries for Discovery Channel Canada. Sally has also produced three seasons of Discovery Network’s Gemini award-winning crime series, Forensic Factor and written several scripts for History Channel including Outlaw Bikers. Most recently, Sally and director Michael Allcock completed Kubo’s Crickets, a short documentary for BravoFactual.
Team: Polaris (Drama/Sci-Fi)
Simone Stock – Writer Writer/director Simone, and partner Misha Skoric, created the groundbreaking viral video Whassup Grandma as well as the hockey documentary On Frozen Pond. Soon after she began work in television directing the highest rated episodes of YTV’s successful Ghost Trackers series. Simone collaborated with Roger Spottiswoode, directing 2nd Unit on Genie award-winning Shake Hands with the Devil, as well as The Children of Huan Shi and Midnight Sun. She also directed several shorts including award-winning Motown Morning and Iris. Simone is currently developing the feature film Little Big Fish with Skoric, which won the Whistler Film Festival’s China-Canada Gateway Screenplay competition in 2013. Misha Skoric – Producer Misha began his career in the film business as a personal assistant to notable actors such as Al Pacino, Stephen Dorff and Radha Mitchell. His love and knowledge of foreign cinema provided the opportunity to work for Asia superstar Chow Yun Fat on a number of international productions including Anna and The King, Oscar winner Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. After running Mr. Chow’s management company in China, Misha moved to Los Angeles where he established the North American office. While in L.A., Summit Entertainment brought Misha in as an Associate Producer on the Bruce Willis blockbuster Red. Misha is currently developing a number of feature films in Toronto with his own company Sugar Lake Entertainment.
Team: Tennis ’82 (Comedy)
Jason Bryden – Writer Jason is an actor and a writer with over 20 years in comedy. He has performed improv and stand-up across North America and has appeared in over 40 films and television shows. He has written for Touchstone Theatre, CBC-TV and Radio, CTV, The Comedy Network, HGTV and commercials, as well as six feature-length comedies and several web series, which he also directed. Last year Jason wrote and starred in Victories, a feature film slated for release later this year. September will see the release of his sketch comedy venture I Love it Here with Jeff Low and Emma Hunter. Jason lives with his wife and two small children in beautiful west Toronto. Courtney Graham- ProducerNamed in a 2014 issue of Playback Magazine as a Future Leader in Media, Courtney was chosen by WIFT-T to participate in their Media Leadership Program run in conjunction with the Schulich School of Business. A Toronto resident, Courtney began her career as the first woman to win the Canwest/Global/NFB Internship Award, which lead to a successful career as a camera assistant for many acclaimed feature films and television programs. Since deciding to become a producer/writer, Courtney has produced several shorts and her first feature Stag picked up a 2014 Canadian Comedy Award and won multiple awards at the L.A. Comedy Film Festival. Courtney continues her development of feature film, television and digital media with renowned talents here and across the globe.
Melanie Windle – Producer Melanie is originally from Calgary, and relocated to Toronto in 1998 to do her MFA at York University. In 2009 she graduated from the Canadian Film Centre’s Producers’ Lab. Melanie works regularly with Shaftesbury/Smokebomb. In 2013, Melanie received the TIFF Irving Avrich Award for emerging filmmakers for her first feature Dirty Singles. One of her favorite projects is the City Life Film Project; an outreach film initiative helmed by Temple Street Productions. Melanie has several film and TV projects in development with GLAMAZON PICTURES, a Toronto-based, boutique, production company, owned and operated by Melanie Windle and Courtney Graham.
Team: The Art of Being Busy (Romantic/Comedy)
Chris Ross – Writer A Toronto-based artist and filmmaker, Chris attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCADU), and worked as a painter after graduating, exhibiting her work across Canada. Her paintings often referenced movies in some way, and a few years ago, she switched direction and began making films. Since that time, Chris has written and directed five short films. She recently wrote two webisodes for CTV’s Saving Hope web series, and directed the final installment of the series. She is currently developing her first feature film, The Art of Being Busy with Clique Pictures and LoCo Motion Pictures. Lauren Corber – Producer Lauren is a producer, entertainment lawyer and the founder of production company LoCo Motion Pictures Inc. She is currently developing several feature films including Free Throw and Sex with the Perfect Stranger, a one-hour drama series New Wave and comedy web series My 90-Year-Old Roommate. Lauren brings with her valuable experience gained as in-house counsel at Breakthrough Entertainment. Actively involved with the CMPA, she has been a member of the team conducting collective bargaining negotiations with the Writers Guild of Canada since 2011 and was a member of the Copyright Committee until 2013. She is an alumnus of the Producers’ Lab at the CFC, the NSI’s Totally Television Program and the Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab.
Lauren Grant – Producer The principal of Clique Pictures, Lauren established her company to focus on developing fiction and documentary productions with a focus on working with female creative talent both in front and behind the camera. Most recently, Clique Pictures produced Wet Bum, which premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival and has screened at festivals around the world. Previous productions include the feature Picture Day and the futuristic short film Frost. In 2011, Lauren won a Genie award for the residential school musical Savage. Lauren holds a Bachelor of Arts from UBC with a double major in Film Production and History and attended the Canadian Film Centre’s Producers’ Lab. She is a member of the Canadian Media Production Association.