Nunavummiut writers build on comedy skills during film workshop

Young writers learn comedy-writing from This Hour Has 22 Minutes star Jennifer Whalen

Jennifer Whalen, a star of This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Baroness Von Sketch Show, teaches a group of young Nunavummiut how to write comedy in the film industry. The two-day workshop was part of developing the younger generation of filmmakers and writers in Nunavut, Nunavut Film Development Corp. chief executive officer Huw Eirug says. (Photo courtesy of Nunavut Film Development Corporation)

By David Lochead

There are opportunities for young Nunavummiut writers who want to have their comedy show ideas used on Inuktitut-language television like Uvagut TV and Inuit TV, says an organizer of a recent comedy-writing workshop in Iqaluit.

“They are hungry for content,” said Nunavut Film Development Corp. chief executive officer Huw Eirug, whose company organized the event.

Those Inuktitut networks, as well as national broadcasters, create opportunities to be involved in television, he said. Developing series for the internet is also an option for aspiring writers, he added.

That’s why the Nunavut Film Development Corp. offered a workshop in Iqaluit for eight Nunavummiut to learn how to write comedy for television.

Jennifer Whalen, a star of popular shows such as the Baroness Von Sketch Show and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, taught last weekend’s two- day workshop.

Eirug’s company organized the gathering to help eight young writers hone the skills needed to write comedy for film.

“It was great,” Eirug said. “Very inspirational.”

The purpose of the workshop was to help develop younger writers so they can take advantage of potential opportunities in the film industry, Eirug said.

“Who will hopefully be the next wave of creators,” he added.

On the first day, they worked on the structure for writing an episode of television and on character-building.

On the second day, the group did a mock writers’ room where they worked on an idea, discussed how to develop it into a 30-minute episode, and talked about ways to structure that idea for a series.

“It was quite intensive,” Eirug said.

One of the purposes of teaching comedy is that it is a reflection of both society and culture, he said.

Having someone who was experienced and approachable such as Whalen teach the workshop was also valuable, Eirug said. Her insights into the TV industry were helpful for a group looking for ways to start in television.

“It’s not only about supporting experienced writers, directors and producers. But also to nurture and give opportunities to the younger generation,” he said.

Eirug also pointed to the Inuktitut language comedy show Qanurli as an example of successful television that can be achieved.

For the next month, Nunavut Film Development Corp. will have sessions related to TV during the Nunavut Film Festival, which will run through the week of Feb. 20.


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(1) Comment:

  1. Posted by Oh? on

    CBC sending in their cringe comedians to indoctrinate


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