HALIFAX MEETS HOLLYWOOD - CREATING A TV SERIES
Are you the next Ava DuVernay or Floyd Kane? If you are a creator with lots of ideas for tv shows, learning what happens behind the scenes of successful shows is essential to your success. Halifax meets Hollywood - How to Create a TV Series will talk about the work of showrunners and directors in creating a must-watch tv show. This panel, divided in two parts, puts together local filmmaker Juanita Peters and Tara Taylor, with two minds behind the new Disney Plus show Washington Black: showrunner Selwyn Sindu Hinds and the director Wanuri Kahiu.
PART 1: THE WORK OF THE SHOWRUNNER
Moderator: Juanita Peters (Actress, Journalist, News Anchor, Playwright, Film and Theatre Director)
Juanita Peters is an actress, journalist, news anchor and playwright, film and theatre director. She is most known as reporter and anchor of CBC News at Six in New Brunswick in the 80’s and 90’s and also as host of four seasons of CBC’s Doc Side, documentary series.
Panellist: Selwyn Sindu Hinds (Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner, Washington Black)
Selwyn Seyfu Hinds is a prolific, award-winning creator and storyteller of all kinds - author, editor, music scribe, comics creator, producer, and screenwriter, to name a few. Selwyn is executive producer, showrunner and creator of Hulu’s Washington Black, an adaptation of Esi Edugyan’s esteemed novel that the network snapped up following Selwyn’s red-hot pitch—with Sterling K. Brown attached — and a three-way bidding war. Washington Black will be going into production in early 2022. Selwyn also recently served as a writer/producer on Jordan Peele’s reboot of The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, penning the critically hailed police brutality episode “Replay,” starring Sanaa Lathan, which made Selwyn a finalist in the Drama Teleplay category for the 2020 Humanitas Prize. Selwyn’s other recent television highlights include serving as Consulting Producer on HBO Max’s DC universe anthology Strange Adventures and developing at HBO with George R.R. Martin.
On the feature side, Selwyn’s recent slate includes Legendary Entertainment’s adaptation of the Ronald Wimberly graphic novel, Prince of Cats, a wild mash-up of Shakespeare, hip-hop, and samurai warrior culture; 1000 Miles, an adaptation of enslaved couple William and Ellen Craft’s true-life tale of extraordinary escape, Running A Thousand Miles For Freedom, which Selwyn developed for Big Beach Films and has Hanelle Culpepper set to direct; and he’s also adapting the classic David Eddings fantasy series The Belgariad (over 20 million books sold) for City Hill Arts and Game of Thrones producer Vince Geradis.
In 2021, Selwyn launched his own production company, Mad Massive Entertainment. Katie Zucker, who has produced three of Selwyn’s scripts (Prince of Cats, 1000 Miles, and Age of Miracles), serves as his Head of Development. Mad Massive Entertainment produces both film and television projects, with an overall at UCP in television. Selwyn’s storytelling life before screenwriting includes co-creating the Vertigo comic-book series, Dominique Laveau: Voodoo Child; serving as Consulting Producer of Original Programming and Executive Producer of News and Docs at BET Networks; penning two critically hailed non-fiction books, his memoir Gunshots in My Cook-Up: Bits and Bites of a Hip-Hop Caribbean Life, and To a Young Jazz Musician: Letters from the Road, written with Wynton Marsalis; and serving as Editor-in-Chief of The Source magazine during its late-90s heyday. Selwyn’s also written for a wide array of major publications, including The New York Times, The Village Voice, Vanity Fair, USA Today, Spin, and Vibe Magazine, and his essays have been collected in numerous anthologies.
Longtime DJ, poet, unrepentant shopaholic, and sci-fi nerd, Selwyn got cracking on all those journeys as a kid back at Guyana’s Queens College, one of the most storied schools in the Caribbean, before later attending Princeton University, where he received degrees in English and African-American Studies. But his most significant accomplishment is being the father of a teenage girl. Selwyn is represented by CAA and The Gotham Group, and though he lives in LA, he remains a die-hard Brooklynite.
PART 2: THE WORK OF THE DIRECTOR
Moderator: Tara Taylor (Filmmaker, Playwright, Actress, Co-Founder of The Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival)
East Preston, NS; Light House GO Mgr; Festival Director - Emerging Lens Cultural Film Festival; CBC Cultural Columnist; Women in Film & Television – Atlantic board member; 2021 Winner - ANSMA Industry Development Award; playwright, filmmaker, multimedia artist, actress.
Panellist: Wanuri Kahiu (Director, Washington Black)
Wanuri is part of a new generation of African storytellers, receiving international acclaim. To date, she has written and directed six films. Rafiki is her second feature film. She is also the co-founder of AFROBUBBLEGUM, a media company supporting, creating and commissioning fun, fierce and frivolous African art. Wanuri was named a TED Fellow in 2017 and World Economic Forum’s Cultural Leader in 2018.