Praxis Centre for Screenwriters supports the creative development of Canadian film, television and new media projects through workshops, courses, promotion and public events.

News & Events

Two More Praxis Scripts Head Into Production

2015 already sees two more Praxis-supported screenplays headed to production!

Andre Harden's screenplay "Numb" (a winner of the 2011 Screenwriting Competition as well as a participant in the 2012 Summer Reading Series) goes into production on Monday, February 16th. "Numb" is about a debt-ridden couple that stumbles upon a map leading to a lost stolen fortune in the snowy wilderness. The shoot runs through to March 7th in Enderby, BC and features Jamie Bamber (Battlestar Galactica, The Smoke, Monday Mornings) and Stefanie Von Pfetten (Cracked).

Additionally, Praxis is pleased to announce that Chris Trebilcock's feature "The Dark Stranger" comes to Canadian screens later this year after a successful shoot in Toronto last April. Trebilcock's story features Katie Findlay (The Carrie Diaries) in the lead role of a young artist who draws a graphic novel about a mysterious stranger, only to have him come to life and terrorize her in real life.

Blue Ice Takes On Praxis Internship

The long-running Harold Greenberg Praxis Story Editing Internship program is funding a placement for Toronto story editor and development intern Larisa Gutmanis at Blue Ice Pictures. Larisa will assist in the development, packaging and pre-production of Blue Ice’s upcoming six-hour miniseries Mandela, as well as the feature film Night Work and the Russell Peters comedy series Indian Detective and other projects in Blue Ice’s slate. “Our intent is to have her involved primarily in the packaging phase, so she will have exposure to both creative and business aspects of getting a project into production,” says Mary Anne Waterhouse, Head of Blue Ice Production Services.

Blue Ice is an independent Toronto-based film and television production company with offices in LA, London, Capetown and Johannesburg. Formed in 2011 by Lance Samuels, Steven Silver and Neil Tabatznik, the company has expanded with the acquisition of Foundry Films and the creation of its production offshoot Blue Ice Production Services.

Larisa Gutmanis is a 2007 graduate of the screenwriting program at the Canadian Film Centre. She currently works as a screenwriting instructor in Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto, a screenplay evaluator and story editor for the Harold Greenberg Fund, and associate producer of the OMDC’s International Financing Forum in association with TIFF. Her screenplay Inheritance has received funding from the European Union MEDIA fund.

The Story Editing Internship program at Praxis, sponsored by the Harold Greenberg Fund, supports two or three candidates from across Canada chosen annually to join the Praxis screenwriting workshop, mentored by respected international and Canadian film professionals. Five days of intensive training are followed by placement in agencies or production companies which have led to full-time employment. Previous interns have landed at Anagram, True West, Screen Siren, E1, and Park Ex, Telefilm Canada, the Harold Greenberg Fund, as well as several television series

The deadline for the Praxis 2015 Story Editor Internship is April 19th. Visit competitions for details.

Praxis at the Whistler Film Festival

On December 1, Praxis heads up to the Whistler Film Festival for the start of the 2014 WFF/Praxis Screenwriters Lab. In addition to the intensive 5-day workshop, we will be joined by acclaimed Indian film director Ketan Mehta and producer/director/actress Deepa Sahi, who will speaking as part of the India-Canada Film Forum at WFF and a couple other events hosted by Praxis, held in Vancouver. Sponsored by SFU and Creative BC.

Dec 4, 2014: India Canada Film Forum

3:45pm-5:00pm, WFF Industry Pass required to attend.

Held in Whistler, BC

Ketan Mehta and Deepa Sahi join Raymond Massey and Manu Chopra for the India Canada Film Forum at WFF, building on the new India-Canada co-production treaty signed July 1, 2014. A discussion around new opportunities for filmmakers in both countries to develop creative and financial partnerships, moderated by Patricia Gruben.

More information on the WFF Industry Summit website .

Dec 7, 2014: Master Class with Ketan Mehta

12pm-2pm, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W Hastings

Seating is limited – email to reserve a seat.

When acclaimed director Ketan Mehta visualized a stunning effect for the end of his 1993 film Maya Memsaab, he couldn’t find a studio in India that could do it – so his founded one of his own. The director of eleven feature films continues to use visual effects both dramatic and subtle to enhance his sumptuous storytelling.

Using clips from his own films including the two latest, Rang Rasiya and Manjhi the Mountain Man, Mehta will talk about the aesthetics of designing and executing impossible images for cinema.

Dec 7, 2014: Screening of RANG RASIYA

3pm, SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W Hastings

*Filmmakers in attendance

Praxis presents the North American premiere of RANG RASIYA, written and directed by Ketan Mehta, with a post-screening Q&A with the filmmakers.

“Raja Ravi Varma pioneered modern Indian art, giving faces – and sensuality – to the divine. Facing obscenity charges, what was his defence?” – The Times of India

$10/8 students, cash at the door.

About the filmmakers:

Ketan Mehta is one of India’s most celebrated film directors, called “the brightest talent of the new generation” by Satyajit Ray. His eleven feature films, including MIRCH MASAL (Spices), MAYA MEMSAAB (based on Madame Bovary) and THE RISING: THE BALLAD OF MANGAL PANDEY have won many national and international awards. In 2012 he was honoured by the French government as an Officier du Ordres des Arts et des Lettres. Known for his innovative style and intense, controversial subjects, he has created a distinct cinematic oeuvre which is simultaneousl Indian and global. He is also Chairman of Maya Digital Studios, one of India’s premiere digital effects and animation companies.

Deepa Sahi began her film career as an actress and turned to producing in 1992 with the feature film MAYA MEMSAAB, an Indo-French-British co-production, produced in association with Channel 4 UK and Video 13 France. She has now produced seven feature films and nine television series along with numerous ads and documentaries. She was CEO of the production company Maya Entertainment Ltd. from 2000-2003 and is currently a partner in Maya Digital Studios, where she oversees production of original animation content for Nickelodeon, Discovery and Disney as well as many Indian titles. Recently she wrote and directed a feature comedy, Tere, Mere, Phere, and has another feature in development with The Film Works in Toronto.

2014 WFF/Praxis Screenwriters Lab Winners

This year's eight finalists will join us December 1-5, 2014 in Whistler for an intense 5 day workshop presented by the Whistler Film Festival and Praxis. During the Workshop, each writer will be matched with an experienced screenwriting advisor for intensive one-on-one mentoring sessions.
The winners are...

1. Aerlan Barrett, "Elise"

A young mother who has put up with a lifetime of abuse has to learn to stand up to her partner.

Aerlan Barrett is a writer/director who recently completed the film program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. His short films have screened in the Montréal World Film Festival and the Festival du Nouveau Cinema in Montréal.

2. Elizabeth Dancoes, "Killing Bob"

Three women, their shrink, her daughter, her daughter's current squeeze, a transvestite private investigator and his girl Friday all know Bob. It's a shrunken, Toffleresque world out there and Bob winds up dead in it.

Elizabeth Dancoes is a poet, playwright, dramaturg, script editor and actor in Vancouver. Her plays have been widely produced in Canada and her poems and stories published in many periodicals.

3. Josh Epstein & Kyle Rideout, "Monoceros"

A teen suicide triggers a naive unicorn-obsessed girl with her own sense of justice to help a mosaic of interlocking characters find love, forgiveness, and atonement.

Josh Epstein is a writer/producer/actor with a feature film Eadweard, in post-production, based on Kevin Kerr's celebrated play Studies in Motion. Josh has been involved with a number of film and theatre projects for CBC, Bravo, and the Arts Club Theatre. He has another feature, Public-Schooled, in development with Movie Central.

Kyle Rideout is an actor who has appeared at Stratford as well as major roles in television and film. He is the director of Eadweard and has collaborated with Josh on Public-Schooled and several short films. Monoceros is adapted from Suzette Mayr's novel, which won the ReLit Award in 2012 and was long-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Monoceros was the NSI's Feature's First program in 2013.

4. Karl Hearne, "Touched"

An anxious landlord risks his life to discover the fate of a girl who has disappeared from his apartment building under strange circumstances.

Karl Hearne studied at McGill and the University of Nanjing, China. Based in Montreal, he has written and directed several award-wining shorts as well as TV shows for National Geographic, Life, and IFC TV. He is currently developing a feature.

5. Jake Howell, "Shoot the Moon"

Clubs, hearts, and spades: on the eve of a risky diamond heist, a pair of endearing criminals must trump fate by betraying their wrathful employer and steal the loot for themselves.

A graduate of the University of Toronto cinema studies program, Jake Howell writes for Los Angeles-based industry website where he regularly publishes criticism and international festival coverage as "The Torontonian". He has also been published in Screen International, The Toronto Star, University of Toronto Magazine, and a number of local film blogs. Outside of reviews, Jake is a director, screenwriter, and an award-winning playwright. Shoot the Moon is his first feature film script.

6. Eisha Marjara, "Calorie"

After many years, Monika returns to India with her troubled teen daughters Simi and Lila. As Simi gets into dangerous situations and Lila's anorexia worsens, the family struggles to hold together - but with devastating results.

Eisha Marjara is a Montreal-based photographer and filmmaker best known for her feature-length documentary Desperately Seeking Helen, which won awards at the Munich and Locarno film festivals. She has written and directed several short films, notably The Incredible Shrinking Woman and The Tourist, a German-Canadian co-production.

7. Daniel Rindress-Kay, "Frozen"

A brother and sister return home to Prince Edward Island to bury their father, only to uncover a conspiracy surrounding his death.

Daniel Rindress-Kay is a Montréal actor who has written, produced and directed several short films and a web series, Cubed. Frozen is under option with Max Walker and Christina Broccolini of Red Truck Productions.

8. Jordan Wilson, "Mack-Doe"

After making the basketball team, a fatherless class clown becomes torn between two emerging role models, and finds the crowd-pleasing antics he relishes may cost him the closest thing to a family he has.

Jordan Wilson earned a science degree at Huntington University and began his career in baseball as a scout for the Colorado Rockies and member of the coaching staff for the Toronto Blue Jays. He has studied screenwriting at the Seattle Film School and has had scripts placed in Final Draft and Script-a-palooza competitions.


A.J. Demers, "The Long Weekend"
Chris Loranger & Warren Kimmel, "Uncle Gus's Monkey"
Genevieve Scott, "Sprout Kin"
Joe Zanetti, "George the Great"
Virginia Abramovish & Daniel Davidzon, "Eat or Be Eaten"
Rachelle Chartrand, "Flow"

Praxis is a program of Simon Fraser University's School for Conemporary Arts.

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