The Universal Studios Canada
Screenwriter-in-Residence Program

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Students enrolled in the Cinema Studies program at Innis College have the opportunity to learn screenwriting skills from an expert Canadian screenwriter. Thanks to a generous gift in 2002 from Universal Studios Canada, the Universal Screenwriter-in-Residence program was established at Innis College for the benefit of students enrolled in the Cinema Studies Institute (CSI).

The Universal Screenwriter-in-Residence program supports an in-Residence position held by different Canadian screenwriters. The Screenwriter-in-Residence teaches a credit course to students interested in developing their writing skills for film. With a maximum enrolment of 15 students, the course offers an intimate environment fostering the creativity of tomorrow’s filmmakers.

The Universal Screenwriter-in-Residence program enhances experience in students' learning in two important ways: through one-on-one mentorship with a highly respected professional screenwriter, and through the experience of writing for film. This program offers a superb addition to the offerings of the Cinema Studies Institute.

- Professor Kay Armatage


Ingrid Veninger (2014, 2016)

Ingrid Veninger

Ingrid Veninger

Born in Bratislava and raised in Canada, Ingrid Veninger formed pUNK Films in 2003 with a ‘nothing is impossible’ manifesto. Awarded the 2011 Jay Scott Prize, presented by the Toronto Film Critics Association, Ingrid executive produced five feature films with the cash award ($5000), and launched the 1KWAVE in Toronto. Known as 'Canada’s DIY queen of indie film', Ingrid has produced six feature films in the past six years, which have premiered at TIFF and festivals worldwide: Only (2008), NURSE.FIGHTER.BOY (2008), Modra (2010), i am a good person/i am a bad person (2011), The End of Time (2012) and The Animal Project (2013). Currently, Ingrid recently initiated the pUNK Films FEMMES LAB to foster feature films written and directed by Canadian women, sponsored by Academy Award winner, Melissa Leo.


Semi Chellas & Patricia Rozema (2010)

Chellas & Rozema

Semi Chellas & Patricia Rozema

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.

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.

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Srinivas Krishna

Srinivas Krishna

Srinivas Krishna (2009)

Srinivas Krishna is well-known as the writer/director of the feature films Masala (1991), Lulu (1996), and A Tryst with Destiny (in pre-production), along with numerous short dramatic films, television series episodes and mini-series. He is currently in post-production on his first feature documentary, Ganesh, Boy Wonderand is adapting Robert Sawyer's novel, the sci-fi thriller The Terminal Experiment, to the screen. Visit to learn more about his award-winning work.


Norman Snider (2007, 2012)

Norman Snider

Norman Snider

Norman Snider’s scripts include Call Me (2004), Rated X (2000), Valentine’s Day (1998) and Body Parts (1991). He is best known for his collaborations with director David Cronenberg,  Dead Ringers (1988) and Crimes of the Future (1970). Also an author, critic and journalist, Snider’s new book is The Roaring Eighties and Other Good Times (2007). He also co-wrote Smokescreen: One Man Against the Underworld. It’s Never Over and Changing the Guard.


Don McKellar (2004)

Don McKellar

Don McKellar

Don McKellar, the Tony and Genie Award-winning Canadian actor, writer, filmmaker, and U of T grad, served
as the program's inaugural Screenwriter-in-Residence. His screenwriting credits include Blindness (2008), The Red Violin (1998), Last Night (1998),Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould (1993) and Highway 61 (1991).