CLOSED: Storyhive x BSO: 30 Canadian Black Creators Selected To Share $600,000 In Development Grants

The first-ever black creators edition to fund next generation of western canadian content creators.

VANCOUVER, February 1, 2022 – The Black Screen Office (BSO) is proud to announce 30 Black creators from British Columbia and Alberta who have been selected to each receive $20,000 in production funding, mentorship and training through the STORYHIVE Black Creators Edition. In partnership with TELUS STORYHIVE, the Black Creators Edition will amplify local stories and voices from Western Canada through funding and support for creators. This Edition was specifically created to address the underrepresentation of Black voices in Canadian screen and television, in addition to helping jumpstart the careers of those with zero experience and emerging creators in the television and film industry.

“The longstanding systemic inequities in Canada’s screen industries have disadvantaged Black creators. There is a long, rich history of Black engagement in Canadian life—as celebrated every Black History Month—yet Black voices and perspectives are conspicuously absent on Canadian screens,” says Joan Jenkinson, Executive Director of the Black Screen Office. “Canadians of all ethnicities want to see their stories authentically portrayed in our entertainment. The TELUS STORYHIVE Black Creators Edition will not only support emerging Black talent and help build a pipeline for more stories from these communities, it will also put Black-led works in front of audiences that are craving them.”

A selection committee composed of members from the Black community considered a number of factors in choosing the first Black Creators Edition grantees, including the impact of the fund on the creator and the importance of the story to the creator’s community of residence. Each recipient will receive the funds to create a short documentary, web pilot series or digital short. TELUS STORYHIVE’s Black Creators Edition will also support filmmaking mentorship and training, as well as critical distribution of the creators’ projects on TELUS Optik TV and select TELUS platforms.

“We are excited to honour, spotlight and amplify the voices, stories and lived experiences of Black creators and their communities,” says Cameron Zinger, Director of TELUS Local Content. “Black History Month presents an opportunity for us to acknowledge and celebrate Black artists. We are proud to partner with the Black Screen Office to contribute to empowering the next generation of Black creators.”

Initially intended to provide 20 grants to Black video content creators, TELUS STORYHIVE recognized the high quality and number of submissions it received and increased its Black Creators Edition funds and recipient count to 30 grants.

The grant recipients are:

Adebayo Chris Katiiti

Alex Eskandarkhah

Amadou Diallo

Amira Anderson

Chukwumuobi Obasi

Dae Shields

Daniel Code

David Opoku-otoo,

Emilia Eyo

Faris Taha

Ilhan Abdullahi

Ivan Touko

Jae Sterling

Janessa St. Pierre

Joel Brewster

Julio Montero

Kamika Bianca Guerra-Walker

Leslie Bangamba

Love Nwigwe

Marlon Wilson

Misha Maseka

Oseremen Irete

Parris JuRay

Rochelle-Ann Thomas

Rose Patterson

Sammy Golom

Sandro Augusto Santos Silva Steeven Sampassa

Tafadzwa Matamba

Vanessa Fajemisin

“Being selected for TELUS STORYHIVE’s Black Creators Edition is both a blessing and an honour. Getting a grant is one thing but also getting mentorship to help develop your craft is a bonus,” says Marlon Wilson, grant recipient and creator of The Untouchable Crew. “I feel this edition will help shape the future of Black creators in British Columbia and Alberta. Traditionally we have had to rely on other communities to tell and share our stories for us. Opportunities like this will teach us how to tell and share our stories which in turn helps us control our image as a community.”

Through collaborative initiatives like the Black Creators Edition, BSO is working to connect Black creators and screen industry professionals with resources, development programs, and relationships that will cultivate strong pipelines of talent within the industry.