2020 CBC Pitch Competition Finalists Announced

Women in FIlm and Television - Atlantic (WIFT-AT) is pleased to announce the five finalists in the 2020 CBC Pitch Competition: Kayla Flinn (Call My Mom), Samantha Horak (Thread Count), Tracey Lavigne (Travelog), Brenda Malley (Chuppah), and Jayde Tynes (The Most Unprotected).

The CBC Pitch Competition will take place on Saturday, March 7 at the 10th annual Women Making Waves Conference. Our pitch competition is always a highlight of the event as WIFT-AT members are given the opportunity to pitch their short film scripts, and one lucky winner will receive a prize package that includes the resources to help produce their winning script!

The 2020 Pitch Competition Prize Package will include more than $15,000 in prizes including $5,000 cash and approximately $10,000 of in-kind services from William F. White, Hideout Studios, and 902 Post.

Be part of the audience for the Pitch Competition at the Hotel Halifax on Saturday, March 7 at 4:45. Individual tickets can be purchased at the door.

Get to Know the 2020 Pitch Competition Finalists

Kayla Flinn

Kayla Flinn is a Halifax local renaissance woman who is often involved in a variety of projects as an artist, filmmaker, and TV Host. She has an undergraduate arts degree from St Mary’s University, an environmental studies master’s degree from York University and an additional graduate diploma in sustainable/environmental education.

Kayla’s introduction to the film industry was unique and unplanned when she started rescuing wildlife for season 6 of the TV doc series Hope For Wildlife. Since then she has worked both behind and in front of the camera wearing a variety of hats such as TV host/personality, stuntwoman, assistant director and director. In spring/summer of 2019 Kayla directed season ten of Hope For Wildlife, the same production that introduced her to the film industry six years ago.

When Kayla is not working in the film industry, she is putting on solo exhibitions of her artwork. Once a year Kayla also visits the Dutch Antilles where she directs/hosts promotional content for scuba diving companies and works for a wildlife organization as a researcher for Bonaire’s wild donkey population.

In 2019 Kayla started working in scripted content and wrote/directed shorts close to her heart, one addressed domestic violence and premiered at FIN, and another was awarded the best marketing video in Canada by the Economic Developers Association of Canada.

Kayla is currently in post on her short documentary The O Word that she pitched at the WIFT-AT 2019 Women Making Waves Conference that exposes stereotypes surrounding women and age and is in pre-production on a documentary about a special effects artist suffering from PTSD.

Kayla does not suffer fools lightly and above all hopes that her work will inspire the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves to the ordinary.

Samantha (Sam) Horak

Sam Horak is an emerging writer and producer with a background in theatre. She graduated from Dalhousie University with an honours in theatre and has been producing and writing plays since her cousins could walk.

Past highlights include The Coast’s ‘Best of’ bronze winner, Sissydude, a dandy rock musical (2013) (co-producer, director and dramaturge), Halifax Fringe, award winning, Sit on my Face (2015) (co-creator, producer and director)

For the past few years Horak has been busy writing two full length scripts. Her first, Kitchen, a show about artists working in the restaurant industry, was workshopped last year through PARC with direction by Laura Vingoe-Cram. Her second, Rock n Roll Saved my Life is currently part of the EFT Playwright’s Unit and features her love of feminist punk rock and the Riot Grrrl movement.

After working as a TAD on Koumbie’s Horizontal Concavity (2017) through the AFCOOP Film5 trainee program, Horak began expanding her medium of expression as a writer. Horak gained experience this past year working as a production coordinator and post coordinator at Clerisy Entertainment by day and developing scripts by night. One of which is “Thread Count”, which she is thrilled to be pitching at the 2020 WIFT, CBC Pitch Competition at the Women Making Waves Conference.

Born both a film enthusiest and theatre nerd, Horak hopes to continue exploring the producing and writing side of storytelling while maintaining her strong interest in feminist narratives.

Tracey Lavigne

Tracey Lavigne is a writer, director, and producer who is passionate about telling stories with a deep emotional connection, especially female-identified and queer stories.

She wrote and directed her first short film in 2017, and since then her films have won awards at festival screenings around Canada and the US. She is currently producing Ryan O’Toole’s feature film Further Than The Eye Can See, a 2019 Telefilm Talent to Watch project.

She is also a homesteader with a passion for growing organic food, building things in her workshop, and chasing her flock of free-range chickens.

Brenda Malley

Born in 1960, Brenda Malley grew up in Miramichi, New Brunswick and attended high school at James M. Hill. In 1978, following graduation, Brenda attended the University of New Brunswick and in 1982 earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with Honors in Psychology. She then attended the University of Ottawa and graduated with a Masters degree in Criminology.

Brenda worked for the N.B. Department of Justice and Public Safety for 33 years, retiring in 2017. For twenty years she worked as a Probation and Parole Officer. In 2005 she relocated to Fredericton, N.B. where she worked as a Senior Policy and Program Officer until her retirement.

Since 2016, Brenda has immersed herself in the world of writing and filmmaking, completing two features and four short screenplays to date. She is a member of the N.B. Film Co-op, WIFT- Atlantic and DOC Atlantic.

Through the N.B. Film Co-op, Brenda has taken numerous courses. She also participated in two of their programs, Actors Helping Actors, and Scripts and Screen. In addition, she attended a writing course taught by Sharon Buckingham in Parrsboro, N.S. (2019).

Brenda worked on several short films as a lead or supporting actor (Moving On, At the Back), background actor (Entropic, Queen of the Andes, March 2.4), 3rd AD (March 2.4) and Script Supervisor (Friend Zone). In 2018 she also worked as a Production Assistant on a national television show, The Amazing Race.

Between May - July 2019, Brenda produced and directed her short screenplay, After the War, made possible when she was awarded the Jane Leblanc Award in November 2018 through the N.B. Film Co-op. This film garnered five awards at the Silver Wave Film Festival in 2019, including best N.B. Short Film and Best Writer in a N.B. Short Film.

In January 2020, Brenda wrote, co-directed and co-produced Digi Dating, Anyone? It is the first episode in a series entitled Ok, Boomer! This episode is currently in post- production.

In 2019 Brenda’s short screenplay, Chuppah, was selected, achieved semi finalist or finalist status at the following film festivals: The Independent Talents International Film Festival, The Hague Global Cinema Festival (Netherlands), The Social World Film Festival (Italy), Los Angeles CineFest and Macoproject Film Festival in LA. Brenda hopes to film Chuppah in 2020.

Jayde Tynes

African Nova Scotian and Indigenous storyteller, Jayde Tynes, is currently in her second season as Producer’s assistant with CBC’s Diggstown. She is mentoring under showrunner/creator Floyd Kane and Seed/Trailer Park Boys Executive Producer Karen Wentzell. Her career in media began as the Diversity and Outreach Programming Coordinator with CKDU 88.1FM in Halifax. Upon completing her second bachelor’s degree in Journalism she joined CBC Nova Scotia as a reporter and associate producer. Her passion for traditional oral storytelling has spawned from her African and Indigenous roots. In 2017 she launched an independent podcast titled My Blackness, My Truth (On iTunes & Google Play) where she is both producer and host.

Her work has been featured on Common Dreams, Star Metro Halifax, Diagnol, The Coast, Popular Resistance, Information Morning NS and CBC Online.

Before making her splash in media, she has been organizing and participating in social justice activism in Nova Scotia for over nine years. In 2015 she founded the non-profit, The Bridging Bus. The program brought a group of African Nova Scotian change-makers to Washington, DC to learn from the Black Lives Matter organizers. In 2018 she was a member of a group the travelled to Accra, Ghana to participate in the African Youth and Governance conference. Her work in the community has not ended since diving deeper into media, she is currently producing a sound walk; “Walking Gottingen” that highlights stories from long-term residence in the community. The project is funded by the Inspirit Foundation, launching May 2020.

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