Feature Film Writing Program for Indigenous Women

Tricksters and Writers was launched in August of 2017. The purpose of the program is to increase the participation of Indigenous women in key creative positions within the film industry and screen-based media arts community.



The first Tricksters and Writers program was offered in Vancouver. It wrapped in October 2018 with the completion of phase three, the actor table read workshops that were held collaboration with Full Circle: First Nations Performance Society. Phase one offered a variety of master classes as well as informal script reading sessions to 13 writers. Phase two matched seven screen-writers with Indigenous story editors for consultations. Story editors include David Geary, Eva Thomas, Penny Gummerson, and Tihemme Gagnon.

The Vancouver program has been supported by: Matrix Production Services, CMPA-BC, TELUS STORYHIVE, Creative BC, the Vancity Credit Union, and the BC Arts Council. 

With support from the City of Vancouver, excerpts from five scripts were read by professional actors at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival. Details can be found here. 

Applications closed on March 1st for the second cohort of The Vancouver program. 

Vancouver Island North

WIFTV is currently offering a Tricksters and Writers program for women living in the region of North Vancouver Island. This program is presented by the Island North Film Commission and includes workshops, readings and story editing consultations. 


Thompson Nicola

Members of the Tricksters and Writers team recently visited Kamloops and Enderby to offer screenwriting seminars for Indigenous women living in these areas. We also consulted with the community and developed of a program to offer in this area. TELUS STORYHIVE has supported our Thompson Nicola initiatives and support was also received from the Thompson River University and the Thompson Nicola Film Commission. 

We are excited to announce that registration for a Vernon and Kamloops Tricksters and Writers program is now open.  Click here for details. 

Tricksters and Writers was developed by WIFTV with Doreen Manuel and Peggy Thompson.

Instructor/ Advisor
Doreen Manuel is a respected Secwepemc/Ktunaxa First Nations filmmaker, as well as the Director of the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film & Animation. 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 was the Canadian Correspondent for the Native Heartbeat a USA Native American news magazine program.  She spent 13 years as the Coordinator/Instructor of the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano University. She is a Matriarch with the IM4 virtual reality program and on the Board of Directors of Knowledge Network. She also owns and operates Running Wolf Productions.

Doreen is also a Telefilm Partner with the Micro-Budget Indigenous Category. 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.

Instructor/ Advisor
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 worldwide. 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.”

Petie Chalifoux is a Cree filmmaker from Northern Alberta.  She considers film a powerful and creative medium to shed light upon the realities of the social issues that surround the world we live in today from an Indigenous perspective. Petie graduated with her Bachelors of Motion Picture Arts in January 2017 and was the very first Indigenous Valedictorian for Capilano University's convocation in June 2017. One of her recent works, which will have its world premiere screening at the San Francisco American Indian Film Festival in early November 2018, is a dramatic film titled “Nîsowak” where Petie worked as a writer, producer and director. Petie’s first feature film, River of Silence, screened at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival in 2018.

Outreach Coordinator
Jessie Anthony is a Haudenosaunee woman from the Onondaga Nation and a member of Beaver Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario. Storytelling is how she connects to her traditional roots, and is the lens with which she her life. Through film, she speaks to the reality of Indigenous peoples on Turtle Island. By honouring the strengths, weaknesses, unity, and identity of her people, she aims to represent their stories with authenticity and to serve them through the creation of art. She is graduate of Vancouver Film School’s Acting for Television & Film Program as well as a graduate of Capilano University’s Indigenous Independent Filmmaking Program with a focus on directing, cinematography & scriptwriting. Jessie is in post-production on her first feature film, Brother, I Cry.

Carolyn Combs is the Executive Director of WIFTV. As well as a filmmaker, she holds Masters of Education with a Specialization in Curriculum Studies. She is responsible both for evolution and implementation of the program.




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