Script Development Winner

Nicole Slaunwhite with BREEDER

Honorable Mention

Mike Fardy with LILY

Every great feature film begins with a well-written and dynamic screenplay. As original ideas and highly developed scripts are key elements to the success of the screen industry. Each year FIN Makers looks for the best and most talented writers from the Atlantic region to participate in its Script Development program.

Presented by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, Telefilm Canada and The Harold Greenberg Fund, this program offers a unique opportunity for Atlantic Canadian writers to develop their feature film ideas from outline into a treatment and finally into a first draft. The first draft scripts will then be presented to a jury and writers will pitch their projects to a room of film producers at the 2019 FIN Atlantic International Film Festival. It is during this Script Pitch Event that the writers will vie for a $10,000 development prize, made available through The Harold Greenberg Fund.

2019 Script Development Participants

Nicole Slaunwhite with BREEDER

Mike Fardy with LILY

Katerina Bakolias with JUNKYARD GIRLS

Amy Trefry & Brent Braaten with JERKY


The jury will select FOUR feature film outlines that will be developed into rough first drafts through three intensive weekend sessions under the guidance of MICHAEL MELSKI, one of Canada’s top story editors. The writers will also attend a pitch workshop with Michael to hone their pitching technique. All writers will also take part in the FIN Makers Telefilm Canada Script Pitch Event during the Atlantic International Film Festival, where the writers will pitch their feature film idea to a room of industry professionals with the aim of attaching a producer and/or director to the projects and to compete for the $10,000 development prize. Writers will be evaluated upon: the quality of the script; the demonstrated abilities of the writer within the entire curriculum of the program; and, the ability of the writer to articulate the attractiveness of the story in verbal form.


MICHAEL MELSKI’s screenwriting credits include the award-winning feature films GROWING OP, CHARLIE ZONE, MILE ZERO, TOUCH AND GO and PERFUME WAR. His recent supernatural thriller THE CHILD REMAINS has been a worldwide festival hit and winner of sixteen Best Feature prizes. In addition, Michael has been a story editor/consultant on THE DISAPPEARED, BLACKBIRD, SABAH, FAITH FRAUD AND MINIMUM WAGE, RELATIVE HAPPINESS and others. He has also written for several CSC-nominated television series including BLUE MURDER, SNAKES AND LADDERS, and STREET CENTS. A past writing resident at the Canadian Film Centre, Neptune Theatre, and the Shaw Festival, Michael has taught screenwriting at NSCAD, been a guest lecturer in Ryerson’s film department, and is the author of many published stage plays including HOCKEY MOM, HOCKEY DAD, and THE FLY FISHER’S COMPANION. Michael is also an acclaimed director in film and theatre, and is currently based in Halifax.


2018 - John Davie for THE LADY MADE OF LIGHT

2017 - Rebecca Babcock for ANEW

2016 - Mary Lewis for FEBRUARY

2015 - Bob Mann & Adam DeViller for HUSTLE & DAD

2014 - Darcy Spidle & Seth Smith for SINGER