TV series development for Indigenous filmmakers.

Program status:

Past program offered by the National Screen Institute


Responding to market-need, the National Screen Institute in association with APTN redesigned NSI Storytellers to develop above-the-line broadcast talent.

Indigenous writers eager to learn the craft of writing tele vision drama were also encouraged to apply. Working individually and as a group the selected candidates created six scripts for a half-hour daytime serial (Cashin’ In).

In phase one up to five writers were chosen based on experience, writing samples submitted and a willingness to commit to the program over a seven-month period.

Writers were able to work in their home communities but needed to be available to attend week-long intensive training sessions in Winnipeg at least three times during the seven months. Participants learned the basics of narrative writing and developing storylines and series arcs for the project.

The second phase provided training for directors and producers. A separate call for applications was issued for this phase.

The original NSI Storytellers history

NSI Storytellers began as an ambitious three-phase training program designed to help mid-level Canadian Indigenous film and television producers advance their projects as international co-productions through guidance and access to new markets.

Formerly known as the Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative (ACTI), the program was launched in 2003-04.

ACTI concluded with an inaugural trade mission to Australia and New Zealand where participants could advance their projects with Aborigine and Maori producers. In March 2005 Aborigine and Maori producers travelled to Winnipeg to meet with Canadian Indigenous producers. In November 2005 a third session of the program culminated with a 10-day intensive trade mission to New Zealand.