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Winner of 2023 TIFF-CBC Films Screenwriter Award announced


Today TIFF announced Yasmine Mathurin as the recipient of the 2023 TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award for her screenplay Sorry Pardon Madame. As part of the award, Mathurin will receive a $15,000 grant and professional support from a script consultant, as well as access to the 2023 Toronto International Film Festival and TIFF Industry Conference. Additionally, Mathurin will be celebrated at the TIFF–CBC Films: Celebrating Screenwriters Cocktail event, this evening at 6pm EST at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

For its riveting, vivid, and deeply moving portrayal of a coming-of-age story that seamlessly and authentically weaves in the new immigrant experience, the search for belonging, the balancing of duty and responsibility within the family, and the role that language plays in shaping our lived experience, the jury awards this year’s TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter award to Yasmine Mathurin.

“I’m deeply overwhelmed with gratitude to be the recipient of this prize. It means a lot to be supported by the members of the jury, TIFF and CBC Films,” said Mathurin. “The story that I am exploring in Sorry Pardon Madame is a deeply personal one that touches on the coming-of-age and being a hyphenated Haitian-Canadian. So for me to receive this recognition, amongst the fierce competition of other amazing projects that were submitted, is deeply affirming to my process and my journey as a screenwriter. Thank you a million times over.”

“TIFF Industry is thrilled to continue working with CBC Films on creating an invaluable and important opportunity for creators at an early stage of their project,” said Jane Kim, TIFF Industry Programming Producer. “Recognizing the challenges and difficulties writers often face, the Award offers creative support, community, a pathway to the industry with mentorship from CBC Films and TIFF Industry, and continued support as a member of the TIFF Industry alumni network.”

Mathurin is a Haitian-Canadian award-winning writer, director, and producer. Her first feature documentary film One of Ours won the Hot Docs Special Jury Prize – Canadian Feature Documentary in 2021, and was nominated for three Canadian Screen Awards in 2022 for Best Writing, Documentary; Best Direction, Documentary Program; and Best Feature Length Documentary. Mathurin previously worked as an associate producer with CBC Podcasts. Her previous podcasting work has received a Webby People’s Voice Award and a Canadian Digital Publishing Award. She most recently participated in the 2022 TIFF Writers’ Studio and the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network Micro Talent Summit, and she is writing her first fiction feature film with the support of the CHANEL Women Writers’ Network grant. She recently completed post-production on a short documentary series entitled Witness with Scarborough Pictures, for which she directed three out of six episodes. The series will premiere March 30, 2023.

Now in its sixth consecutive year, the TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award was created to support Canada’s diverse screenwriting talent and to fund the development of high-quality productions that reflect, represent, and reframe diverse perspectives through character-driven stories at the core of the Canadian experience. The Award is open to experienced screenwriters who are from equity-deserving communities, women and/or persons with a disability.

“As part of CBC Films’ priority of talent development, we’re pleased to continue our collaboration on the TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award, which provides support to emerging writers to further develop their project and progress in their career,” said Gosia Kamela, Head of CBC Films. “We’re thrilled to present this prize to Yasmine for her evocative screenplay, which introduces a fresh new voice in Canadian storytelling.”

This year’s winner was chosen by a jury of screen-industry professionals: Gosia Kamela, Head of CBC Films; Emma Bishop, Programming Administrator, Scripted Gem Originals & CBC Films; Paula Devonshire, writer and producer; Larisa Gutmanis, Films Program Curator, screenwriter, and TMU lecturer; Boris Rodriguez, filmmaker and winner of the 2022 TIFF–CBC Films Screenwriter Award; Jane Kim, TIFF Industry Programming Producer; and Anita Tavakol, TIFF Talent Development Manager.

All screenplay applications were read and rated anonymously. Projects were considered based on the quality of the script; the originality of the idea, story structure, dialogue, and characters; and likely audience appeal and achievability.

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