Paramount+ in Canada, the Pacific Screenwriting Program and the Indigenous Screen Office Partner to Create the Indigenous Screenwriters Lab - ISO-BEA

– The science-fiction/futurism-focussed program will support six Indigenous writers in developing their own one-hour pilot script for the genre –

TORONTO & VANCOUVER (January 10, 2024) – Paramount+ in Canada, the Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) and the Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) today announced a new partnership to support Indigenous writers in the advancement of their careers. The new Indigenous Screenwriters Lab will support six mid-level Indigenous writers from across Canada with a genre focus of futurism and science fiction.

Run by the Pacific Screenwriting Program, the Indigenous Screenwriters Lab is designed to develop the skills and relationships needed to be hired in the writing room of a genre TV series. In the course of the program, participants will develop their story from pitch to finished pilot. More details about the Lab will be available in the coming weeks.

“This program is a direct result of months of dialog with our stakeholders,” said Doug Smith, SVP Streaming & Content Licensing Paramount Global, Canada. “We are thrilled to work with our new partners at the Indigenous Screen Office and the Pacific Screenwriting Program on the Indigenous Screenwriters Lab. Writing is the backbone of any piece of content, so this initiative is of special importance to us. With Paramount’s Global experience and success in genre programming, including STAR TREK, it positions us to help these participants with first-hand experience and tangible guidance to writers in this space.”

“The Pacific Screenwriting Program is proud to have boosted the careers of numerous Indigenous screenwriters to date, and we are keen to ramp up our commitment to these voices with a dedicated initiative,” said Camilla Tibbs, PSP’s Executive Director. “This partnership with Paramount+ and the ISO creates a unique opportunity for Indigenous writers to explore genre storytelling.”

“Indigenous writers remain woefully underrepresented in writers’ rooms across the industry. This is an important step in addressing a major imbalance in our system and creating exciting opportunities for writers to expand their craft and their networks,” said Kerry Swanson, CEO, Indigenous Screen Office.

This initiative is the fourth partnership Paramount+ in Canada has announced that reinforces its long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. In September, the company announced a collaboration with the Black Screen Office for the Black Creators Festival Initiative and in October, a joint venture with BIPOC TV & Film, and the National Screen Institute Partner for the new ELEVATE program and most recently in November, an Indigenous Producers Budgeting Intensive with The Shine Network Institute (TSNI).

These programs are intricately connected to the mission of Paramount Global’s Content for Change initiative, which seeks to counteract narratives that enable bias, stereotypes, and hate using the power of our content, the creative supply chain that powers it, and the culture that underpins everything we do.

About Paramount+
Paramount+ is a global digital subscription video streaming service from Paramount that features a mountain of premium entertainment for audiences of all ages. Internationally, the streaming service features an expansive library of original series, hit shows and popular movies across every genre from world-renowned brands and production studios, including SHOWTIME®, BET, CBS, Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures and the Smithsonian Channel™, in addition to a robust offering of premier local content. The service is currently live in Australia, Austria, Canada, the Caribbean, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latin America, South Korea, Switzerland, the U.K. and the U.S.

About Pacific Screenwriting Program
Established in 2018, the Pacific Screenwriting Program supports a vibrant screenwriter community in British Columbia by providing a training ground for aspiring and active screenwriters, with an emphasis on diversity and gender parity. Its flagship Scripted Series Lab combines real-world story-room experience, mentorship, workshops and information sessions to equip writers with the skills, experience, and connections necessary to establish a sustainable career in the province’s dynamic screen industry.

About The Indigenous Screen Office
The Indigenous Screen Office (ISO) is an independent national advocacy and funding organization serving First Nations, Inuit and Mėtis creators of screen content in Canada. The ISO’s mandate is to foster and support narrative sovereignty and cultural revitalization by increasing Indigenous storytelling on screens and promoting Indigenous values and participation across the sector. ISO policies and activities are grounded in and informed by Indigenous knowledge(s), which means respecting Indigenous ways of knowing, seeing, doing, acting, and listening. We acknowledge, and strive to uphold the principles of respect, reciprocity, responsibility, and relevance in our working relationships.

For further information, please contact:

Paramount+ in Canada Media Contacts: 
Laura Heath Potter;
Marin Pollock;

The Indigenous Screen Office Contact:
Jean-François D. O’Bomsawin, Director of Marketing & Communications: