Tricksters and Writers: Feature Film Writing Program for Indigenous Women

For information on the online NORTHERN BC program, click here.

The deadline for applications has now passed, please take a look below for current program updates. 

Launched in August 2017, Tricksters and Writers was created to increase the professional participation of Indigenous women in contemporary screen-based media production so that local, national and international audiences have the opportunity to hear their stories.

Selected participants have the opportunity to delve into story development and screenwriting in a workshop setting, crafting their stories for the screen while also having the opportunity to network with fellow Indigenous creatives.

Workshops have taken place across 3 regions in the province including Thompson-Nicola, North Island, and the Lower Mainland. In the fall of 2020, we will launch the next series of workshops for Indigenous women based in the northern regions of the province including Haida Gwaii, Bella Coola, Prince George, Dawson Creek and surrounding areas.

Program Format:

Tricksters and Writers takes place over 7 sessions, offering participants the opportunity to write and workshop their stories while delving into topics such as Cultural Authenticity; Speaking Your Truth; Making and Breaking Plot; Writing Great Characters, and The World of the Film. Writers will also have the opportunity to learn about funding opportunities to bring their stories to life on the screen.

Tricksters and Writers is grateful for the support of Final Draft, a Cast & Crew company, which will provide participants with their own copy of Final Draft’s industry-standard screenwriting software.


On Dec 4 - 13, 2020, our BC-wide Tricksters and Writers feature film writing program for Indigenous women completed a series of online table read workshops with actors and directors, facilitated by David Geary, for participating writers from the second Vancouver program; the Vernon and Kamloops program; and the North Vancouver Island program. 

Writers/ scripts (pictured below, from left to right, top to bottom):

December 4 Shaelyn Johnston - Sadie's Move
December 5 Mariel Belanger - Transformations
December 7 Wendy Geddes - Undertow
December 8 Brenda Prince - Frock Off
December 12 Lindsay McIntyre - The Words We Can't Speak
December 13 Kelly Roulette - Spiritt

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Excerpts from scripts were read at the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival in 2019 and 2020.

Recent press:

Program Alumni:

Andrea Andrew, Jessie Anthony, Mariel Belanger, Jenifer Brousseau, Debbra Butler, Petie Chalifoux, Dorothy Christian, Angela Cooper, Courtenay Crane, Nikita Day, Terreane Derrick, Yvonne Dixon, Leah Flagg, Melisa Fraser, Wendy Geddes, Joy Haskell, Michelle Ikwumonu, Wanda John, Shaelyn Johnston, Sarah Kelley, Jules Koostachin, Wendy Landry, Lindsay McIntyre, Michele Mundy, Jennifer Narcisse, Priscilla Omulo, Brenda Prince, Elise Raye, CJ Rice, Kelly Roulette, Jody Royce, Sarah Stupar, Carmen Thompson, Dawn Tonks, Marcy Waughtal, Robyn Weaselbear, Esther Winder.

The Tricksters and Writers Team:
(Full Bios can be read here.)

Doreen Manuel (Program Development/Advisor/Instructor – All Programs): A respected Secwepemc/Ktunaxa First Nations filmmaker, as well as the Director of the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film & Animation. 

Peggy Thompson (Program Development/Advisor): A proven screenwriter and producer best known for the award-winning feature films, “The Lotus Eaters” and “Better than Chocolate”. 

Carolyn Combs (Program Director): The former Executive Director of WIFTV and a filmmaker, she holds a Masters of Education degree with a specialization in Curriculum Studies. 

Shaelyn Johnston (Program Coordinator/Instructor – Northern BC): An Anishinaabe & Irish-Canadian writer, she is currently working on her MFA through UBC’s Creative Writing Program.

Petie Chalifoux (Instructor – Thompson-Nicola & North Island): A Cree filmmaker from Northern Alberta.

Jessie Anthony (Outreach Coordinator – Thompson-Nicola, North Island, Vancouver): A Haudenosaunee woman from the Onondaga Nation and a member of Beaver Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Ontario. 

Story Editors: Jackson Crick, Thiemme Gagnon, David Geary, Penny Gumerson, Zoe Hopkins, Gary Robinson, Eva Thomas & Jordan Wheeler.

We are grateful for the ongoing support of:

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As well as for support from:


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Thompson River University