9th Annual Vancouver International Women in Film Festival

March 6- 9 2014

Screenwriter Mentorship Award Recipients Announced!

Award-winning writers-producers Daegan Fryklind, Sharon McGowan and Karen Walton engage in Women in Film & Television Vancouver 2014 Screenwriting Mentorship

 Vancouver, BC – Women In Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) is proud to announce the mentors and recipients of the 2014 Screenwriting Membership Award.

 This award provides three Canadian female screenwriters a mentorship with an experienced, senior screenwriter or producer, as well as a festival pass, participation in festival pitching sessions and a public reading of a segment of their screenplay in partnership with Cold Reading Series.

 This year’s recipients are: Rebecca Gibson with her screenplay Jane Garbage, Kathleen Hepburn with Never Steady, Never Still and Crystal Wood with Divided.

 Rebecca Gibson will team up with mentor Daegan Fryklind (Motive, Bitten)

Crystal Wood with Karen Walton (Orphan Black, The Listener)

Kathleen Hepburn with Sharon McGowan (Saint Monica, Better Than Chocolate).

"It's a pleasure to be supporting Canadian female writers with this exciting new mentorship initiative,” says Roslyn Muir, Mentorship Jury Chair. “More opportunities for female writers mean more female stories to inspire and entertain us."

 Screenwriter Mentorship jury members included writers Rebecca Hales and Michelle Dee, as well as writer-directors Tracy D. Smith, Desiree Lim, Joyce Thierry
Llewellyn and Kaitlin Fontana.

 One of these screenplays will be selected as Best Screenplay at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival’s closing night Award presentation.

Best Screenplay Award jury members include Amber Ripley (Director of Development, Foundation Features), Elizabeth Yake (President, True West Films) and James Brown (Producer - Down River, Sisters & Brothers). The decision has been made and the announcement will be made at the festival closing night awards celebration.

The Screenwriter Mentorship Jury wishes to give a Honourable Mention distinction to Briana Brown for the script Almost Again, as well as Virginia Brucker, for Finding Joy; and Sara Mitchell, for Alex Down Under.

The Cold Reading Series evening will take place on:

Monday March 3rd at 7 p.m.
Backstage Lounge, 1585 Johnston St #2, Granville Island, Vancouver

 The Festival’s closing night Legacy and Festival Award presentation on:

Sunday March 9th, 6 – 10 p.m. followed by a reception
Vancity Theatre, 1181 Seymour St, Vancouver

 Recipients’ biographies:

-Rebecca Gibson

“I am stunned and thrilled to be invited to participate in the WIFTV Screenwriter Mentorship,” says award-winning writer-director-producer Rebecca Gibson, a New York Film Academy grad, who started her career as an actor (We Were Children, American Girl: Saige Paints the Sky).

Gibson’s writing credits include the award-winning series Tipi Tales, the television special Rising Stars, and Danishka Esterhazy’s drama H&G.

Gibson is working on several feature films and the true crime series Taken, produced by Eagle Vision, which centers on the search for missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

She played the lead in the recently released web series WindCity, which she co-wrote.

Her directing credits include the documentary series Child First, and the documentary Daphne Korol: The Drama Queen of Winnipeg for MTS Stories from Home.

Gibson’s Winnipeg-based production company, Red Czarina Entertainment, with partners Danishka Esterhazy and Ashley Hirt, was recently awarded the Rogers Development Fund for three upcoming projects. Red Czarina’s mandate is to produce female-driven content of the highest artistic caliber.


-Kathleen Hepburn

Kathleen Hepburn holds an MFA in Creative Writing, and a BFA in Film Production from the Universities of Guelph and Simon Fraser respectively. Her short films, drawing from both essay and narrative cinema, capture fragmented memories, personal histories, and a deep connection to landscape. Her dramatic script Never Steady, Never Still is her first foray into the world of feature filmmaking.

In 2007, Hepburn co-founded Vancouver-based Glass Curtain Pictures with Gorrman Lee and Meghan Armstrong.


-Crystal Wood

Born and raised in Manitoba, now-Toronto resident Crystal Wood says writing about polar bears and frostbite, to her, is inevitable. In addition to writing stories about strong female characters, Crystal has a soft spot for writing children’s animation.

Her short film The Morning After (dir. Casey Walker) was screened at over 40 film festivals, winning several awards for best comedy.

Wood co-wrote the 180-episode web series Tights and Fights and contributed to the CanWest Global shows Falcon Beach and Inside the Box. In 2006, she was a recipient of the Banff World Media Festival CTV Fellowship.

Her one-act stage play Grief Circus was presented by Steady State Theatre and Storefront Theatre in Toronto, and her play Stay was presented at the 2010 InspiraTO Festival. Crystal was also awarded an Emerging Playwrights award from the Toronto Arts Council for her first full-length play, Release