Vancouver, November 2022 – The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) is pleased to announce their new program: The Pitch Accelerator Program, presented in partnership with Break the Room (BTR). The program, created by Break the Room’s Sameer Gardezi (Modern Family, East of La Brea, Hot Mess Holiday) is an 8-week training program for seven selected British Columbia-based, mid-career television writers of diverse backgrounds. The program provides advanced insight into the creative process, pitching and sales skills while adding momentum to participants’ individual projects and IP. The Pacific Screenwriting Program is a collaboration between Netflix, CMPA-BC, the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and Creative BC.
The Pitch Accelerator program is being supported by the Canada Media Fund’s (CMF) Sector Development program and is sponsored by Collective Bunch Society. Collective Bunch Society is the non-profit society for above and below the line crews and creatives working in screen-based industries who identify as Indigenous, Black, People of Colour and LBTQ2S+ in British Columbia.
Since its inception in 2018, the PSP has been dedicated to the goal of building a vibrant and diverse screenwriting community in British Columbia, one which reflects the population of British Columbia as a whole. It provides training for emerging writers through its annual Scripted Story Lab, and its Story Department Internship program, while also offering professional development opportunities for screenwriters further along in their careers. With The Pitch Accelerator Program, PSP & BTR put the spotlight on pipeline building within the creative ecosystem of British Columbia, based on the belief that the talent exists but that there isn’t a sufficient upstream mechanism to galvanize it. For this reason, the focus of the program is centred on mid-career writers and providing support to bridge them to the next stage of their career.
“We took inspiration from the 2021 report issued by the WGC Diversity Committee which highlights gaps in terms of representation in TV writers’ rooms in relation to our local population. We are excited to partner with BTR to work toward addressing that imbalance” explained Brian Hamilton, PSP Co-founder and Chair.
BTR specifically works with underrepresented voices and writers who are often overlooked from the process of content creation. BTR’s work internationally has involved collaboration with companies such as Netflix Canada, Brazil, India, Arabia, Audible UK, Telus, and WarnerMedia, to name a few. In 2019, BTR incubated a writers’ room in Vancouver with BIPOC writers in partnership with Storyhive. In the US, BTR has created partnerships with Paul Feig’s company Feigco/Powderkeg, Nickelodeon, and Dwyane Johnson’s Seven Bucks to name a few.
“Break the Room is excited for the opportunity to partner with PSP to continue to build with underrepresented Canadian writers. For us, part of the intentional work comes from truly building with writing talent to help support them not just in the beginning of their career but also as they rise within the industry” says Gardezi.
For more information on the PSP, please visit the Pacific Screenwriting Program website.