Updated: Sep 15, 2021
The final four participants have been chosen; Directors JJ Neepin, and Adrian Wallace; and Writers Mark Harnett, and Nauzanin Knight are preparing to head out to Newfoundland and Labrador to gain on-the-ground experience on the set of Hudson & Rex, now shooting its fourth season.
Level UP Program recipients from top left to bottom right: JJ Neepin, Adrian Wallace, Nauzanin Knight, Mark Harnett.
Out of hundreds of writers and directors from across Canada who identify as Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, these four will each partake in a 4-week long paid job shadowing opportunity between August and December, 2021. JJ Neepin is an Indigenous director based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and a member of Fox Lake Cree Nation. Neepin’s directorial debut was on the Sinking Ship web series Lockdown in 2020; prior to that she credits much of her learning to her role as Associate Producer for the Trickster series, where she received guidance from Sienna Films producers. As a member of the DGC, Neepin has gained invaluable knowledge through the Women in View Five in Focus: Indigenous program as well as their Directing for Episodic Workshop. Adrian Wallace is an award-winning director, screenwriter and actor from Toronto, Ontario, with multi-disciplinary training in film and television. Wallace has a ferocious appetite for storytelling and life-long learning. He won a Canadian Screen Award this year for “Best Direction in a Documentary Series,” where his film Black Sun was part of a collection of documentaries in the Being Black In Toronto Documentary series. Nauzanin Knight is a biracial Caribbean/Middle Eastern writer, director, and producer based in Edmonton, Alberta. Her written works include the short film My Lyric I Never Knew (CBC GEM) and the documentary Precarity (TELUS Optik on Demand). Knight is a published writer with the 2015 book State Terrorism in Iran. Mark Harnett is an Indigenous writer and comedian living in Lewisporte, Newfoundland and Labrador. Harnett’s "suggestive" style comedy is rooted in his personal experiences and opinions, culture, political views, relationships, and being a dad. Holding certificates in Writing and Performance from Humber College in 2001 and Script to Screen Writing from Centennial College in 2014, Harnett continues to pursue his writing career while completing workshops with organizations like TODOS for Play writing, and the PEI Screenwriter Bootcamp.
This program follows a successful Technical Training Bootcamp, created by Paul Pope from Pope Productions, that launched in June 2021 where 17 people were selected out of 67 applicants to participate in a 3-day intensive training program on the set of Hudson & Rex. The application was only accessible to Access Reelworld members. The training included working in various crew departments like grip, electrical, and camera. This opportunity allowed the participants to get the necessary credits and experience that will lead to more work and ultimately a diverse, equitable, and inclusive industry.
See the list of participants in the Level UP Technical Boot Camp and connect with them on Access Reelworld to see their skills and hire them for your projects:
Richard Bradford, Jessica Brown, Wei Xin Chin, Azal Dosanjh, Amanda Gear, Mark Harnett, Robert Hicks, Kennedy King, Amoy Hutchinson, Jay Brandon Lee, Lydia Makaga, Simbarashe Stephen Matoushaya, Mayowa Ogunyemi, Mayra Sanchez, AbdelRahman Shaalan