Creative diversity triumphs at the 2019 Just For Laughs ComedyPRO pitch showcases

Montreal, QC (July 29, 2019) – From 40-somethings battling midlife to gamblers on an Indigenous reservation and a “feminist Queen” under construction: a diverse range of stories and characters took the prize at the 2019 Just For Laughs ComedyPRO pitch showcase, Stand Up & Pitch, at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal, Canada.

Stand Up & Pitch: The Comedy Content Search, is JFL ComedyPRO’s signature program presenting writers, creators, performers, and producers on the cutting edge of comedy as they pitch their short and long-form series ideas to a panel of industry experts in three open-forum sessions.

Winners were selected by a prestigious panel of judges that included creative and production executives from Adult Swim, Amazon Studios, Bell Media, CBC Comedy, Comedy Central, Fox, HBO, Hulu, Netflix, New Form, Revry, Inc, Quibi, Snap Inc, and WatchMojo Studios. The winners of each program are invited back to JFL ComedyPRO 2020.

The 2019 winners are:

Beyond the Box: Playing it Short” presented by Tubefilter. James Madge and Jana Peck for Madge & Peck, a blistering sketch comedy series about grown-up life.

CBC Comedy Pitch Program” presented by CBC Comedy. Nthenya Ndunda and Siobhan Baird for Domesticate Me, a TV comedy series about a woman whose unemployment makes her question domesticity and feminism.

From Set to Screen: TV, OTT, SVOD and More” presented by Project 10 Productions Inc. Darrell Dennis and Katya Gardner for Big Game, where a hustler returns to his Indigenous reservation to start a casino and becomes an unlikely messiah.

Meet the winners!

James Madge and Jana Peck

James Madge is an actor, improviser, and former journalist of 18 years. He has performed sketch, stand-up, appeared in over 80 television commercials, and an increasing number of television series, including The Beaverton. Jana Peck is an actor, improviser, and writer as well as an award-winning advertising copywriter. She’s appeared in commercials for clients like Ikea, Wal-Mart, Tassimo, McDonalds, Home Depot, Tim Hortons, and Fallsview Casino just to name a few. Not just a funny girl, Jana’s appeared on multiple dramas as well including Utopia Falls, Flashpoint, Saving Hope, Suits, Rookie Blue, Degrassi, The Listener and the rom-com film No Stranger Than Love with Alison Brie and Colin Hanks.

Nthenya Ndunda and Siobhan Baird

Nthenya Ndunda (pronounced “then-ya doon-da”) is a standup comedian, actress, writer and producer born in Kenya. Now 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. Siobhan Baird is a writer/actress/producer from New Zealand who loves creating characters that challenge the status quo. She starred in all 6 seasons of the hit TV drama series Outrageous Fortune

and has also featured on NZ TV in The Almighty Johnsons, Shortland Street, The Blue Rose, and Dancing with the Stars. In 2015, Siobhan won Best Unproduced Feature Film for her screenplay, Bara, at the NZ Writers Guild Awards.

Darrell Dennis and Katya Gardner

Darrell Dennis is a First Nations actor, writer, comedian and director. His feature film “Tales of an Urban Indian” was recently awarded production funding by Telefilm Canada. Darrell was the head comedy writer on the TV show, “Buffalo Tracks”. He also wrote the pilot “Moccasin Flats” which premiered at Sundance and was picked up by Showcase Television. Darrell is currently a writer on the TV mini-series “Little Bird”. He was recently the director, writer, and cast member of the comedy/variety series “The Guilt Free Zone”. Katya Gardner has been a film and television actor for over 20 years. She has played a wide range of roles with credits ranging from “The X-Files”, “The Outer Limits”, “The City” and “Odyssey 5”. Katya has also starred with Charisma Carpenter in “Cheaters Club” and Rob Lowe in “Stir of Echoes: The Homecoming”.

# # #

About Just For Laughs ComedyPRO

Just For Laughs ComedyPRO is a unique, annual global gathering of the biggest players in the comedy industry. The event takes place during the peak industry/media/performer dates of the Just For Laughs Festival. You simply cannot get any closer than this to the people who truly make comedy happen! Registrants for this one-of-a-kind, four-day industry experience gain exclusive access to some of the most sought-after events in all of comedy, including keynotes, panels, ‘In Conversation’ sessions, industry luncheons, cocktail parties, networking events and exclusive live performances from comedy’s buzziest podcast hosts.

About Just For Laughs

Founded in 1983, the Just For Laughs Group’s growth is concentrated on three major focal points: festivals (in Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver and Sydney); television production and stand-up specials (most notably Gags, seen in 135 countries and on 100 airlines); and live shows (Canadian tour dates for Jerry Seinfeld, Jeremy Hotz, Amy Schumer, Danny Bhoy, and Family Guy Live! to name a few). The Montreal Just For Laughs Festival celebrated its 37th edition in 2019, is the world’s largest and most prestigious comedy event, welcoming more than 2 million people each summer.