The Banff World Television Festival and Canwest partner to support the Canadian television industry with the launch of two ground-breaking programs



    TV Creative Executive Tecca Crosby named Director of the Canwest Emerging
    Writers and the Canwest Showrunner Training programs

    TORONTO, March 18 /CNW/ - The Banff World Television Festival and Canwest
announced today two programs that aim to build a solid foundation for the
development and future success of innovative home-grown television series. The
Canwest Emerging Writers Program and the Canwest Showrunner Training Program -
developed to enhance, nurture and encourage writers and producers to grow the
television series business in Canada - will launch at the 29th Banff World
Television Festival, taking place at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in
Alberta, Canada, June 8 - 11, 2008.
    "We are very excited to announce this extraordinary initiative that will
have its launch at BANFF, a pre-eminent industry event," says Barb Williams,
Executive Vice President, Content, Canadian Broadcasting. "Canwest is
committed to growing the television series business in Canada, and this
partnership with the Banff World Television Festival will ensure that the
country's most talented writers and producers remain working in the Canadian
broadcasting industry."
    The Canwest Emerging Writers Program offers Canadian screenwriters the
unprecedented opportunity to gain significant insight into the demands of
writing for series television. Up to five writers will participate in a
professional development program that will help them hone their creative
skills and introduce them to a wide range of industry professionals working in
series television. The successful applicants will be invited to attend the
Banff World Television Festival where they will have access to all events
offered at BANFF as well as attending seminars, pitch sessions and master
classes designed especially for them. After the festival, they will meet with
story teams working on existing Canadian series productions to better
understand the workings and expectations of writing on Canadian series.
    The goal of the Canwest Showrunner Training Program is to better position
Canada's television writers to take on the responsibility of the showrunner.
Up to ten experienced series writers will be chosen to participate in a
program that will provide further insight into producing series television
from the best in the business, both here and from abroad. Successful
candidates will have their own shows to pitch at the Banff World Television
Festival. Additionally, they will have the opportunity to attend master
classes and be part of case study sessions with renowned showrunners. At the
end of the program, these writers will travel to Los Angeles for a week to
meet with a variety of story teams on existing US series.
    The winners will be selected by a Jury consisting of three jurors: Tecca
Crosby, Director of the programs, a representative from Canwest, and one
representative from the Banff Television Festival Foundation.
    Tecca Crosby began her career at Saturday Night magazine where she worked
as assistant to the editor, then head researcher and finally as an associate
editor. In 1986 she went to the newly formed Ontario Film Development
Corporation as the senior development officer, and in 1992 assumed the post of
Executive Coordinator, Production and Development with direct responsibility
for numerous feature film and television production investments, including
such titles as Exotica, Million Dollar Babies, and Dance Me Outside. From 1995
to 1998, Tecca worked as a freelance production consultant. During that time -
as story editor in residence at the Canadian Film Centre - she helped
establish the Professional Screenwriting Programme and also worked with Susan
Coyne and Rhombus Media to create and develop the acclaimed television series
Slings & Arrows. In 1998 Tecca went to work at CTV as director of dramatic
programming, where she supervised the development slate for original Canadian
drama and worked as a production executive on a variety of award-winning
movies, miniseries and dramatic series. Tecca is currently an independent
production executive.
    "We are thrilled that someone of Tecca's calibre will be at the helm of
these programs," says Jennifer Harkness, Executive Director, BANFF. "The
knowledge she brings will enrich the experience for participants, providing
incredible access to some of the top creative minds in television today."
    To download an application form, and for more information, go to:
www.banff2008.com. Deadline for applications is April 18, 2008.

    The Banff World Television Festival is a not-for-profit event produced by
Achilles Media Ltd., an international events management company serving the
television and digital media industries. Achilles Media Ltd. events include:
History Makers: International Summit of History & Current Affairs Producers,
nextMEDIA events, Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and NATPE Mobile++. For
more information, visit http://www.achillesmedia.com. The Banff World
Television Festival takes place June 8-11 amid the spectacular Canadian
Rockies at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Alberta, Canada. To register, please
visit www.banff2008.com

    Canwest Global Communications Corp. (www.canwest.com), (TSX: CGS and
CGS.A,) an international media company, is Canada's largest media company. In
addition to owning the Global Television Network, Canwest is Canada's largest
publisher of paid English language daily newspapers and owns, operates and/or
holds substantial interests in conventional television, out-of-home
advertising, specialty cable channels, web sites and radio stations and
networks in Canada, Australia, Turkey, Indonesia, Singapore, the United
Kingdom and the United States.




For further information:

For further information: Nuria Bronfman, Banff World Television
Festival, Nuria_Bronfman@rogers.com, (416) 434-7431; Lauren Wilson, Canwest,
LaWilson@canwest.com, (416) 967-2485

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BANFF WORLD TELEVISION FESTIVAL

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