Last week we hosted a webinar for potential applicants of the NSI Totally Television training program. Program manager Joy Loewen and advisor Julie Di Cresce were joined by alumni Michelle Ouellet, Nicholas Carella, Stephanie Ouaknine and Sarah Goodman to share knowledge, tips and advice.
The idea behind the webinar was to provide a bit more insight about the program to help you put together a great application package ready for the September 27 deadline. And we recorded the webinar, so even if you couldn’t make the live broadcast, you can still watch it here (and embedded above).
NSI Totally Television offers customized training for Canadian producer/writer teams to develop story ideas into polished packages for the global marketplace. Now entering its 17th edition, the course continues to evolve its curriculum and deepen its faculty pool to best prepare students and their projects for next-level success.
This 12-month distance learning course consists of two phases, each with an in-person boot camp intensive in Toronto. Teams work with story editors to fine-tune their script and concept, and meet a thoughtfully curated slate of pitch and audience engagement consultants, execs from major broadcast networks, streaming services, and production and distribution companies to deepen their market intelligence to best identify where their project fits.
About the panelists
Michelle Ouellet is an award-winning director, editor, digital content creator and co-founder of Vancouver’s Sociable Films.
Michelle’s improvised feature film Afterparty (Whistler Film Festival 2013), received the William F. White Reel Indie Award at the Canadian Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Mongrel Media after a successful festival run. Catch Afterparty on The Movie Network.
She’s been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award and has won at the Leo Awards, Vancouver Web Fest, LA Web Fest and HollyWeb Festival.
Nicholas Carella is an award-winning actor, writer, producer and digital content creator who is relentless in his pursuit of exciting projects.
Nicholas was a double nominee at the 2009 Canadian Comedy Awards (best actor, best screenplay) for his feature film writing debut, Hooked on Speedman. In 2011, Nicholas co-founded Sociable Films and, in 2012, produced their flagship feature film Afterparty for which he was nominated for the Leo Award for best supporting actor in a feature film.
He’s also made his mark in digital media, serving as head writer and showrunner of the Canadian Screen Award nominated- and Leo Award-winning web series The True Heroines. He is also co-creator (with David Milchard) of Leo Award-nominated digital series, Paranormal Solutions Inc., funded by the Independent Production Fund and TELUS.
Stephanie Ouaknine is an award-winning producer specializing in niche-driven series, branded content and fan engagement. She has a proven track record of creating evocative series that garner passionate fans, receive critical acclaim and forge innovative new revenue models. She creates content that finds an audience.
Steph co-created and produced Carmilla, the award-winning multi-platform series that ran for 108 episodes. Financed by U by Kotex, the series topped 100 million views, earning Steph and the team a Cannes Lions nod, Rocky Award, multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Webby and Streamy nominations and, in 2018, took home MIPTV’s brand content of the year and best digital fiction awards.
Sarah Goodman was born in Toronto and has lived in New York, where she began making films.
She recently wrote for the new CTV drama The Detail after completing the Canadian Film Centre’s (CFC) TV writing program.
Her feature documentary Army of One won Hot Docs best Canadian feature documentary and a Gemini nomination for best director. Her next doc When We Were Boys received a Donald Brittain Gemini nomination for best social-political documentary and made Indiewire’s top 10 documentaries list. This led to her short Hidden Driveway and her award-winning, critically-acclaimed first narrative feature Porch Stories.
Julie Di Cresce has worked in broadcast programming and production for over 10 years. She is passionate about storytelling and has cultivated strong creative and market instincts, shepherding countless feature films, documentaries and series through development and into production.
She has worked as head of development at Two In Hand Media, the production arm of Vanguarde Artists Management. Prior to that she was VP of TV development at First Generation Films, and the director of Canadian programming at Super Channel where she was responsible for their original programming strategy, commissioning shows such as Slasher and What Would Sal Do? (developed through NSI Totally Television) as well as pre-licensing series and feature films including feature-length documentaries.
Joy Loewen is a media industry professional who passionately supports the development, production and exhibition of Canadian art and artists.
She previously worked as a broadcast and festival programmer at WTN (now known as W Network), CBC and the Gimli Film Festival and is an active volunteer with leadership roles on several industry and non-profit boards including Manitoba Film & Music, The Winnipeg Foundation and Manitoba’s Queen’s Council Advisory. She also currently serves as a civilian aide to The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba.
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NSI Totally Television is made possible by Presenting Sponsor Bell Media; Program Partner Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors Super Channel, Corus Entertainment and CBC Gem; and Provincial Sponsor Manitoba Film & Music. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.