Universal Screenwriter-in-Residence 2010-2011
INI398H1Y — Special Topics in Cinema Studies: Screenwriting

Cinema Studies Institute announces two screenwriters for 2010-11.


In 2010-11, some significant changes are being made in the Universal Screenwriter-in-Residence program. For the first time, the program will be offered as a credit course on an H1Y basis – that is, classes will be held in the fall and students will have until April to complete their writing projects, with final grades in the spring.

Another significant change is that this year the course will be taught by two writer/directors working together: Semi Chellas and Patricia Rozema.

Semi Chellas

Semi Chellas

Semi Chellas is well-known as a writer of both feature films and television, and as a director of short independent films. Chellas has adapted Carol Shields's Pulitzer-Prize-winning The Stone Diaries for Rhombus Media; Michelle Richmond’s New York Times Best-Seller, The Year Of Fog for Andrew Lauren Productions;  and Susan Choi's Pulitzer-short-listed American Woman for producer Ted Hope. She wrote the script for Picture Claire, directed by Bruce McDonald (TIFF, 2001) as well as The Life Before This, directed by Jerry Ciccoritti and produced by Ilana Frank (TIFF, 1999). Chellas was the Creator, Executive Producer and Head Writer of prime-time Canadian network drama The Eleventh Hour, two-time Canadian Academy of Cinema and Television winner for Best Series, and winner for Best Writing (with Tassie Cameron) in 2005. Last year's adaptation Of Murder And Memory (CTV/Lifetime) was nominated for Best Television Movie at the Geminis; her teleplay for Dead Aviators (CBC/Showtime; U.S. title: Restless Spirits) has won over ten awards including the Gold Prize at New York Television Awards, the Golden Eagle from CINE (national television critics) and a daytime Emmy nomination. Three of her short films have premiered at The Toronto International Film Festival: Green Door (written by Barbara Gowdy); Trouser Accidents (included in the Best Canadian Short Films Showcase) and Three Stories From the End of Everything (nominated for a Genie for best live-action short). Two of them were selected for Canada's Top Ten (Cinematheque Ontario). Her latest short, One Tomato, won the Gold Kahuna at the Hawaii Film Festival last year. She is currently working on current best-seller A Reliable Wife for Sony Pictures, and co-adapting The Flying Troutmans with its author, Miriam Toewes.

Patricia Rozema

Patricia Rozema
photo credit: ana_lee_smith@flickr.com

Patricia Rozema is one of Canada’s most accomplished and internationally recognized filmmakers. Her first feature, I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing, won  the Prix de la jeunesse at the Cannes Film Festival (1987). Rozema also directed Six Gestures (part of the Yo-Yo Ma Inspired by Bach series produced by Rhombus Media), which  was awarded a Prime Time Emmy. Rozema’s adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel,  Mansfield Park (1999, U.K.), opened the Montreal World Film Festival  (1999), the Chicago Film Festival, the San Francisco Mill Valley Film Festival  and was a special presentation at the Toronto International Film Festival.  Happy Days (Ireland, 2000), is a film version of Samuel Beckett’s play, part of The Beckett Film Project  which includes work by directors David Mamet, Neil Jordan, Anthony Minghella and Atom Egoyan. Her film credits also include White Room (1990), When Night is Falling (1995), and Kit Kittredge: An American Girl (2008), starring Abigail Breslin, Stanley Tucci, Julia Ormond, Chris O’Donnell, Joan Cusack and Jane Krakowski. The film earned Rozema a Director’s Guild of Canada Award nomination for Best Director. Her television credits include the pilot and two episodes of dramatic series Tell Me You Love Me (HBO, 2008) and, most recently, an episode of In Treatment (HBO, 2010), starring Gabriel Byrne and Debra Winger. Rozema and co-writer Michael Suscy received an Emmy nomination  and a Writers Guild of America Award nomination  for Grey Gardens (HBO, 2009), starring Jessica Lange and Drew Barrymore. Rozema has also written, directed, edited and produced a number of short films, including Passion: A Letter in 16mm (1985), Urban Menace (1986); Desperanto (1991, part of Montreal Vu Par), This Might Be Good (TIFF, 2000) and Suspect (2005).



Ballot for the course by August 15, 2010


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