The finalists have been announced for the 2019 edition of CBC Comedy Originals Pitch Program, our open-forum pitch program for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. This year’s finalists are:
Marni Van Dyk and Natalie Urquhart, Naked NancyRichard
Young and Vas Saranga, Kandu Attitude
Nthenya Ndunda, Domesticate Me
Andrea Smith Peek and Victoria Westcott, Far Out
Rick Anthony and Jason Truong, Rock Bottom
About the teams and their Projects:
Naked Nancy, Marni Van Dyk (Writer/Director) and Natalie Urquhart (Producer)
Synopsis: When her recently internet-famous cat escapes through an open window, a reclusive pet-portraitist is forced to confront her biggest fear–the world outside her apartment.
Bios: Marni Van Dyk’s first short film I Am Not A Weird Person (dir. Molly McGlynn) was programmed by Jill Soloway, and described by Lena Dunham as “a haunting little short.” She served as Head Writer on WE Day 2017 (CBS), hosted by Selena Gomez, WE Day 2018 (ABC), hosted by John Stamos, and WE Day 2019 (ABC) hosted by Neil Patrick Harris. She has served as a producer on Match Game (Comedy), The Beaverton (CTV), and Still Standing (CBC). She is an alumna of the Canadian Film Centre’s Writer’s.
Natalie Urquhart is a Film and Television Producer with Wildling Pictures in Toronto. She worked as an Associate Producer for the NBCUNIVERSAL series SUITS, and has produced four short films, two of which were recipients of the BravoFact awardand one a recipient of the National Screen Institute’s Drama Prize. Natalie has worked as a Development Executive for the past two years at both Marble Media and Amaze Film and Television,she is thrilled to now be a part of the Wildling Team seeking bold innovative content.
Kandu Attitude, Richard Young (Co-Creator) and Vas Saranga (Co-Creator)
Synopsis: When the family accounting practice goes bankrupt, American-born ARUN KANDU begrudgingly recruits his dysfunctional Indian immigrant parents to help him run his new artist talent agency, despite clashing over their opposing eastern and western values.
Bios: Richard Young is a South Asian-Canadian screenwriter/actor, WGC member, and an alumnus of both the Writers’ Guild of Canada Bell Media Diverse Screenwriting Program and the Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) Kid’s TV Writing Bootcamp. He has written for the multicultural television cartoon “16 Hudson” (TVO), co-created/wrote the Chinese-Canadian digital series “Sudden Master” (OMNI/Rogers) and created the digital sketch series “Off2Kali” which screened at ReelWorld. Richard’s acting credits include “Jett” (Cinemax), “Taken” (NBC), “Kim’s Convenience” (Netflix-CBC), “Endlings” (Hulu-CBC), “Incorporated” (SyFy) and “The Strain” (FX). Additionally, Richard serves as the ACTRA Toronto Treasurer.
Vas Saranga is a South Asian-Canadian screenwriter/actor that was recently named one of “Canada’s Rising Stars” by The Hollywood Reporter. As an actor, his breakout starring role was as Reese in the live-action television series “Mudpit” (Teletoon). He has also appeared on “The Handmaid’s Tale” (Hulu), “Orphan Black” (BBC America), “Salvation” (CBS), “The Girlfriend Experience” (Starz), and the feature comedy “Little Italy” opposite Emma Roberts and Hayden Christensen. Vas is also the lead creative behind the YouTube sketch comedy sensation “3ShadeProductions”, where he co-wrote and directed over 30 digital shorts. The channel has over 40,000 subscribers and 10 million total views.
Domesticate Me, Nthenya Ndunda (Creator) and Siobhan Baird (Producer, Developer)
Synopsis: A self-proclaimed “feminist Queen” gets fired from her job for being “too woke” …her words not theirs. As the days of unemployment turn to months, she is faced with the uncomfortable realization that she might not be a feminist or even woke.
Bio: Nthenya Ndunda (pronounced “then-ya doon-da”) is a standup comedian, actress, writer and producer born in Kenya. Yup, nthenya from Kenya!To keepit simple, she spent the first half of her life in Vancouver, BC and at the age of 11, her family moved to Charleston, SC. And that’s when she realized she was black, y’all!An actress based out of Los Angeles you may have seen her on Shameless or Loosely, Exactly Nicole. Amateurs, a film she produced and acted in, was just screened at Dances With Film Festival at the Chinese Theatre in LA. She also produces comedy shows around LA with Binch Comedy and Let’s Have a Kiki.
Siobhan Baird is a writer/actress/producer from New Zealand who loves creating characters who challenge the status quo. She starred in all 6 seasons of the hit TV drama series Outrageous Fortune playing a gutsy blonde and has also featured on NZ TV in The Almighty Johnsons, Shortland Street, The Blue Rose and Dancing with the Stars. She has been nominated for 3 best supporting actress awards and 1 best actress award. In 2015, Siobhan won Best Unproduced Feature Film for her screenplay, Bara at the NZ Writers Guild Awards in 2015, . She’s since written another feature Gale, about a psychic dog whisperer who becomes embroiled in a crime caper. She just finished penning the sequel to Darryl for TV New Zealand with her husband Millen. In 2018 the pair produced an animated sperm web series Slow Pete, also for TV New Zealand. Siobhan has 2 works in progress with Millen: a rural NZ cop show, Naki Blues, and Darryl. a US Story.
Far Out, Andrea Smith Peek (Creator) and Victoria Westcott (Producer)
Synopsis: Five aliens have been tasked with going undercover and deciding if the human race deserves to be saved from a black hole about to devour the Earth. Or not. What these judge-y extra-terrestrial know-it-alls don’t understand, however, is that they are the stars of the highest rated reality show in the known universe, and the longer they stay in human form, the more human they become. They learn being human isn’t as easy as it looks.
Bios: Andrea Smith Peek is a comedy writer who has co-created a number of independent projects. Andrea has performed stand up at The Comedy Store (in LA), The Velveeta Room (in Austin), and Yuk-Yuks (in Vancouver and Toronto). She studied Writing for Film, Television and New Media at Vancouver Film School, and Film Production, and TV Comedy Writing at UCLA.
Victoria Westcott is a feature film producer with a focus on films for family, teen and children’s audiences. She produced Elliot: The Littlest Reindeer, which won the 2009 Praxis Screenwriting Award and the 2010 Angel Film Award for Best Family Screenplay and stars Josh Hutcherson, Samantha Bee, Martin Short and John Cleese and played in cinemas around the world for Christmas, 2018. Victoria is a former inner city school teacher turned head hunter turned producer.
Rock Bottom, Rick Anthony (Writer/Director) and Jason Truong (Producer)
Synopsis: Two straight-laced friends find their lives intertwined with bikers, gun-runners, and drug dealers when a mobster forces them to kill his rival as payment for accidentally killing his dog.
Bios: Rick Anthony is an award-winning novelist turned screenwriter and filmmaker. His first feature film, the micro-budget crime drama “Bread Thieves” won the Canada International Film Festival Rising Star award. Not long after, his sci-fi feature “Patient 62” was honoured with awards and nominations in numerous festivals. Rick has proven his ability to write in multiple genres, but comedy is where his heart is.
Stuntman and actor
Jason Truong has been in the film industry for nearly 20 years and has worked on such projects as “Patient 62”, “Wolf Cop”, “Super Grid”, “Stakelander 2” and most recently on Amazon Prime’s flagship series, “The Man in High Castle”. In 2015, Jason created his own production company, Character Flaw Productions, with partner Andrew Valdez. The two have produced a number of comedy/action shorts that have been nominated for multiple awards at a number of film festivals. In addition to the role of producer, Jason plays one of the lead actors in the web series version of Rock Bottom.
Don’t miss this awesome pitch event!
CBC Comedy Originals Pitch Program takes place, Thursday, July 25 2019 at 11:00 am in the Inspiration Room, Doubletree by Hilton Montreal. Admittance to the pitch is included with your ComedyPRO pass. Regular pricing is now in effect. Click here to purchase your pass today.