Round of Applause to our 2023 Pitchers!
Our Pitch-A-Thon! Roadshow took place on Saturday, September 9, 2023, at the Toronto International Film Festival!
A talented group of content creators live pitched their new series ideas to top television, new media, and digital executives–and a packed house!
SeriesFest had a fantastic time watching our pitchers in action, and we got to meet countless new Toronto creatives. Cheers to all of YOU.
CONGRATULATIONS to BRISHKAY AHMED for being selected as our winner! Check out her profile below, and send her a “Congrats!” at @brishkay.
Our expert panel:
Director of Talent Development at Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
Founder of Collective Pictures
Founder/President of LoCo Motion Pictures
Get to know the pitchers
2023 TORONTO PITCH-A-THON! WINNER
As an Afghan-Canadian filmmaker, Brishkay Ahmed began her career writing and directing episodic dramas for Tolo TV and RTA in Afghanistan. She used the opportunity to insert story elements to entertain and educate Afghan women about their legal rights. Her feature film In The Rumbling Belly of Motherland, was awarded Outstanding Feature Film at the 2021 Reelworld film festival. Her short Fatima In Kabul was nominated for the 2021 Canadian Screen Awards and won three 2022 Leo Awards. Ahmed is a 2022 alumna of the CFC Writers’ Lab. She received the Best Fresh Voice Award at the 2023 Female Eye Festival. Brishkay Ahmed is a WGC, PGC, and the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television member.
Phoebe Nir is a San Francisco-based theater artist and filmmaker. Her feature film directorial debut, ECO VILLAGE starring Sidney Flanigan, will be premiering internationally in 2024. Phoebe is obsessed with the Shakespeare Authorship Question, and makes educational TikTok and YouTube videos about the case for Edward de Vere as @Phoebe_Devere.
Michael Hwang is a Korean-Canadian emerging writer and director. Instead of pursuing an engineering path, Michael delved into creative endeavors and visual storytelling. A Losing Game—a sci-fi drama short that he wrote, directed and produced—screened at Toronto Shorts International Film Festival in 2022. Michael’s feature screenplay, A Funeral, was selected for 2023 Reelworld E20 Program. His action/thriller short screenplay, Ransoms, was the quarterfinalist for Scriptapalooza and second-rounder for ScreenCraft Film Fund Fall 2022. As a videographer, Michael also produces media contents including corporate videos, music videos and fashion films. Michael actively engages with the local communities, organizing panel discussion of wide ranging topics and a food-themed art exhibition, Food for Art.
Sina Sultani is an award-winning writer, director, and producer with selections from the Oscar-qualifying LA Shorts Fest and CSA-qualifying Reykjavik International Film Festival. In 2022 he participated in the Whistler Producers Lab and recently took part in Paul Feig and Sameer Gardezi’s “Break the Room” initiative. His studio-level experience includes Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 and Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse with Industrial Light & Magic and Sony Pictures Imageworks.
Hisham Kelati is a Toronto-based stand-up comic and comedy writer, known for his vivid and engaging storytelling.
He’s written on CBC’s hit sketch show TallBoyz and CBC’s Run the Burbs and can be heard regularly on CBC The Debaters. He’s also been a finalist at the Just for Laughs/CBC Stand-up & Pitch Competition (2022) and Banff World Media Festival’s Diversity of Voices Program.
As a stand-up, he’s performed at Just for Laughs Montreal (New Faces Canada 2019 and the Hannah Gadsby Gala in 2022), headlined at Just for Laughs Toronto, and featured at Sled Island, Toronto Sketchfest and CBC’s Accent on Toronto.
Hisham has also opened for comedians like SNL’s Chris Redd, WTF Podcast host Marc Maron, and Letterkenny‘s K. Trevor Wilson, and can be seen on CTV’s The Stand-up Show with Jon Dore and CBC’s The New Wave of Stand-up.
He was nominated for Best Taped Performance at the 2019 Canadian Comedy Awards, won a Canadian Podcast Award for Best Art Series for his podcast Bites & Bits in 2022 and his debut comedy album Tigre King was nominated for a Juno for Comedy Album of the Year 2022.
Zero Repeat Forever
Cheryl Meyer is a WGC film and television writer who’s written for TV series on Amazon Freevee, CBBC, CBC, Disney and more with several series in development receiving support from the Canadian Media Fund. Recently, she was selected by the 2023 Stowe Story Writers Room Lab where she trained under Derek Simonds, showrunner of The Sinner.
Her feature films have received selections from TIFF 2021, the Canadian Film Festival 2022 and have been acquired by Super Channel and Paramount+. She is currently adapting an award-winning short to feature length for Hulu.
Cheryl was selected for the Wscripted Cannes Screenplay List in 2022 and the Respectability Entertainment Lab in 2023. Her goal is to ensure representation in the stories that she shapes.
Zero Repeat Forever
Kara Harun is a two-time Canadian Screen Award nominee for her work as a writer, producer, and host for TVOKids, The Space. Kara has written for children’s shows such as Dino Dana (Sinking Ship/TVO), It’s My Party (Bristow Global Media/TVO), Pollinators (TVO), and Denis and Me II and Ill (Crave, Family). In the tween space, she wrote for My Perfect Landing, a tween dramedy that airs on Family Channel, Netflix, and CBBC and BYU tv. Kara was a co-producer on Beyond Black Beauty, a drama series for IMDB TV/ Amazon. Kara recently directed episodes Abroad I and II, a diverse sketch comedy show about the immigrant experience, which began airing on Omni in Spring of 2022. Kara’s feature directorial debut, a thriller titled Secrets of a University, a recently release Lifetime movie. Kara is also the show runner for Aunty B’s House, a preschool sitcom for CBC Kids about the foster care system in Canada, premiering fall 2023.