March 1, 2019




Applications are now closed. 

Program Description

The program is implemented over three phases.

Phase one

10 writers will be selected to participate in the first phase of the program.

This phase offers afternoon seminars over three months (April, May, June 2019) where the following topics will be covered

  • the three-act structure, story and character, plot development, cultural authenticity
  • the use of screenwriting software
  • legal considerations for writers and filmmakers
  • development and project funding including specific application processes

The seminars will also provide time to write and to read aloud selections from works-in-progress by program participants.

Sessions will be held at 1115-207 West Hastings St., Vancouver. 

Instruction will be provided by Doreen Manuel, Peggy Thompson, Petie Chalfioux as well as other special guests. (See below for instructor bios).

Phase Two

Five writers and their scripts in progress will be selected for Phase Two which offers a one on one story editing session with a professional Indigenous story editor. 

Phase Three

Five writers and their scripts will be selected to participate in workshops where professional actors and a director or story editor will workshop the script.

Program Timeline

The program will take place over approximately 14 months.  Phase one will occur primarily through April, May and June followed by a period time where writers are expected to work on their screenplays.  Phase two will take place from October through February and will include time for writers to process story editor feedback.  The group may meet during these months to read aloud each other’s work and provide mutual support to each other. March and April will see the organization of the workshops to take place in May.

Writers whose scripts are not ready for phase two and three of this edition will be invited to submit their scripts for consideration in third Vancouver edition. 

Writers from the first edition will be invited to submit their scripts for consideration for phase two and three of this second edition.

To apply:

1. Register by clicking on the Register Now button above.

2. Prepare one page 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. 

3. Send this pdf document to

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

The deadline to apply is March 1st.  Applicants will be notified by March 15th.

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

Tricksters and Writers Team

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.