NSI Features First class of 2019 wrap training, share final thoughts

Presented by the National Screen Institute in association with Telefilm Canada

Lauren MacKinlay, James Fanizza, Kulbinder Saran Caldwell, Muna Deria, Andrew Dryden Mortimer, Gharrett Paon, Gemma Holdway, Nick Schelle

Clockwise from top left: Lauren MacKinlay, James Fanizza, Kulbinder Saran Caldwell, Muna Deria, Andrew Dryden Mortimer, Gharrett Paon, Gemma Holdway, Nick Schelle

Our NSI Features First students recently wrapped training. As their last homework assignment, each student wrote a final report, so we pulled out a few snippets to share with you.

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Muna Deria | Writer, Black Gold Muslimah

“Having a safe place to fail and learn is not always available within the industry but the NSI Features First development process provided an outlet to learn.”

Kulbinder Saran Caldwell | Producer, Black Gold Muslimah

“Participating in the NSI Features First program not only changed my career but also my life.”

James Fanizza | Writer, In Vein

“NSI Features First really brought my producer, Lauren, and I together as a team. By diving headfirst into this program, we were able to work together to overcome obstacles and celebrate wins – really understand what it means to be a writer-producer team.”

Lauren MacKinlay | Producer, In Vein

“I can’t honestly say we would be in the position to make our feature had we not gone through this program. Being given the time to ask questions, make mistakes and develop skills in a supportive environment not only allowed us to learn, but it gave us the confidence we needed to know we can do this.”

Gemma Holdway | Writer, Reminiscent

“I’m truly grateful that our project was selected for this program.”

Nick Schelle | Producer, Reminiscent

“I learned so much from the hands-on work and feedback we got making budget and financing plans, and I feel way more confident about putting those together and updating them for our project as it continues to evolve.”

Andrew Dryden Mortimer | Writer, The Undertow

“Here at the end of the program I am a more intentional, thoughtful and confident writer … No matter what happens next I have NSI to thank for it.”

Gharrett Patrick Paon | Producer, The Undertow

“This program has led to some incredible opportunities. I met some incredible filmmakers through these boot camp sessions who I now can look to for guidance and feedback.”

Al Magee | Program Advisor

“I feel lucky to serve the NSI Features First teams who come from across the country to support each other and to embrace the diversity of vision of each other’s films. Our community of industry professionals is exceedingly generous with their time, knowledge and care and I get to see firsthand the difference they make to each project. NSI – and the program’s sponsors – create an exceptional environment for professional development and have made it possible for these filmmakers to succeed.”

Shelly Quade | Program Manager

“I have a passion for seeing Canadian feature films get made and I’m so proud of what we accomplish through NSI Features First. It’s amazing to see this year’s participants learn and grow during their time in the course. I’m excited to see what their next moves will be.”

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NSI Features First is taking a short hiatus while we retool the curriculum, explore our funding model and new partnerships, and make important upgrades.

NSI’s mission has always been to deliver training that is current, relevant and of the highest standard. In that spirit NSI Features First will undergo a re-design before we issue the next call for applications to ensure we continue to meet the needs of an evolving industry.

NSI Features First is funded by Presenting Sponsor Telefilm Canada; Supporting Sponsors CBC Gem, Super Channel, Corus Entertainment and Breakthrough Entertainment; Provincial Sponsor Creative BC through the Daryl Duke and William Vince Scholarship Fund; and Industry Supporters William F. White and Deluxe. NSI Core Funders are Manitoba Sport, Culture & Heritage and the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council.

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