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Feature Film Writing Program for Indigenous Women

Presenting Partner:


Applications for the program are now closed

This twelve-week program offers Indigenous women the opportunity to develop feature length screenplays.

Program Description

First Six weeks: Workshop Master Classes
A group of 10 program participants will meet in Vancouver every Wednesday evening from 6pm – 9:30 for master classes with Doreen Manuel and Peggy Thompson. (See bios below)

  • 1. October 25th - Cultural Authenticity
  • 2. November 1st - Writing Process – Speaking Your Truth
  • 3. November 8th - Plot – Making and Breaking Plot
  • 4. November 15th - Writing Great Characters
  • 5. November 22nd - The World of the Film
  • 6. November 29th - Consult the Funders

Second Six weeks: Independent writing time for program participants including two group sessions with Doreen and Peggy to support the writing process. This may include reading from each other’s work.

  • 1. Wednesday December 13
  • 2. Wednesday January 10

Five projects from this program will be selected for further development including professional story editor consultations and directed actor table reads.

Doreen Manuel is a respected Secwepemc/Ktunaxa First Nations filmmaker, as well as the Coordinator/Instructor of the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University. She is the sixth child of Grand Chief Dr. George Manuel and Marceline Manuel. Doreen is a graduate of the Aboriginal Film and Television Diploma Program at Capilano University and is the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Bronze Medal Award for academic excellence for her studies in AFTP. She has an extensive background working in First Nations education and community development in both rural and urban centres. Doreen comes from a long line of oral historians and factual storytellers from her First Nations traditional background. She has experience directing for television and is currently the Canadian Correspondent for the Native Heartbeat a USA Native American news magazine program.  She owns and operates Running Wolf Productions.

Doreen is also a Telefilm Partner with the Micro Budget Aboriginal envelope. Her goal is to see more feature films produced in the First Nations community, which address the issues of First Nations people. She also has a strong interest in incubating an authentic First Nations, Metis, and Inuit voice in film storytelling as well as an authentic process of production that represents cultural values of respectful work ethic.

Peggy Thompson is a proven screenwriter and producer best known for the award winning feature films “The Lotus Eaters” and “Better than Chocolate”. She has also written and produced many short films. Her films have been broadcast on major networks and played festivals world wide. She is a two time former President of Women in Film and Television Vancouver and has served on the Advocacy Committee since its inception. She is a Professor Emerita of UBC’s Creative Writing Program, and has served on the Board of Directors of The Queer Film Festival. She is currently the Program Advisor for the From Our Dark Side Screenplay Genre Competition, which is a national competition for genre screenwriters run by Women in Film and Television Vancouver. She was one of three producers on the recent documentary film “Bearded Ladies: the Photography of Rosamond Norbury.”

To apply:

  • Prepare one pdf document that includes:
    • A five-page writing sample such as five pages from a screenplay or short story you have written or are writing. The sample must be fiction writing.
    • A resume and or filmography that includes your current contact information
    • If the writing sample is not from the screenplay you wish to develop during this program, a short description (1-3 pages) of the feature film you would like to write. 

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applicants must:
    • Identify as an indigenous woman
    • Have a feature film script idea that they would like to write
    • Be available to participate in the program according to the dates outlined above

If you have any questions please contact the WIFTV office by email at or call 604-685-1152.


This program has been made possible thanks to the generous support from:


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