August 13 & 14, 2022 at 10:00AM – 3:30PM 

Location: 245 McDermot Ave (4th floor)

Registration Fee: $120

SOLD OUT – To register online click here and select ‘Screenwriting with Collin Friesen’ from the list of courses.

Once you have registered for the course and received a confirmation from FTM, please submit your materials to: and please put in the subject line: Screenwriting materials by July 22 at 3 PM.

All materials will be submitted to the instructor and will not be publicly posted or distributed (and will be confidential).

Course Outline: 

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, and that goes double for screenplays.  A screenwriters opening pages need to set the right tone immediately, grabbing the reader by the throat, or the heart, or the funny bone, and not letting go. 

During this advanced level course, the instructor will explain how Manitoba screenwriters can improve and further develop their projects by refining what is known in the business as “the first five.”

Using a combination of theory, video clips, and discussions; the instructor will provide tangible advice on how the writers can effectively re-tool their projects for maximum impact.

The participants will submit their first ten pages of their scripts and then on day two, they will be given the opportunity to use the concepts and re-submit their first five pages for a table read in a supportive environment.

About the instructor

Collin Friesen was born in small town Saskatchewan and grew up in Winnipeg, Canada. The son of a high school teacher and a church secretary, Collin attended Red River College before getting his BA from the University of Manitoba. He worked as a reporter/anchor for various local TV stations, and after a two year stint at the CBC in Alberta, cashed in his life savings to move to Hollywood. After graduating from the American Film Institute, he sold his first script, The Big White, which was turned into a feature starring Robin Williams and Holly Hunter. In addition to multiple feature projects (The Con Artist, Sorry For Your Loss, SARS Plague City) Collin has also worked on the Fox series The Lone Gunmen, CBC’s Schitt’s Creek and developed projects with Universal, Fox Searchlight, HBO and IFC. 


2018 Sorry for Your Loss (writer/director) 
2016 Tested (Short) (writer/director) 
2015 Schitt’s Creek (TV Series) (story editor) 
2012 Feather Weights (Video short) (writer/director) 
2010 The Con Artist (written by) 
2005 The Big White (written by) 
2005 Plague City: SARS in Toronto (TV Movie) (written by) 
2003 Farm Sluts (Short) (writer/director) 
2001 The Lone Gunmen (TV Series) (writer/director)

FTM is a non-for-profit charity and member of the Province of Manitoba’s sector council program (through the Department of Economic Development and Jobs). FTM conducts workforce development and training to build a highly skilled and adaptable film industry to support the activities of Manitoba production companies. FTM collaborates with members of the film and television industry to identify the training needs within the community.