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Calling the Shots - Lunch Panel

  • Rocket Bakery (Rocket Room, Third Floor) 272 Water Street St. John's, NL, A1C 1B7 Canada (map)

It’s been said that we are currently seeing a new Golden Age of Television. Join us as some of TV’s best showrunners shed light on what it takes to make prestige television in the current landscape. 

Featuring Sherry White (Little Dog), Marsha Greene (Mary Kills People), Stephanie Morgenstern (X Company) Amanda Joy (Second Jen) and moderator Ruth Lawrence (Little Orphans).


Sherry White

Sherry White recently directed an episode of Global’s upcoming drama series Nurses after showrunning and directing the eagerly-awaited Season II of Little Dog for CBC, starring Joel Thomas Hynes. Previously, she was an executive producer on Tassie Cameron’s ABC drama series Ten Days in the Valley. She was a writer and executive producer on Season II and III of Netflix/Discovery’s period drama Frontier, as well as co-executive producer on Shondaland’s series The Catch. Before that, Sherry was a co-executive producer for the ABC/Global series Rookie Blue, a show she had been a writer on for six seasons. She has also written and produced for Orphan Black, as well as CTV’s hit series Saving Hope.

Her work in feature film includes writing the award-winning Maudie, starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins. Other film writing credits include Relative Happiness, Down to the Dirt, and The Breadmaker. She also wrote and directed the Genie Award-nominated feature film Crackie, starring Mary Walsh, which screened at over 30 festivals worldwide, including TIFF, Karlovy Vary, and Torino Film Festival, where it took home the jury prize. It was also named one of the top 10 films in Canada for 2009 and screened at the MOMA in New York City in March 2010. Sherry has also directed several award-winning short films that played at various festivals around the world.


Marsha Greene

Marsha Greene has written for Global’s hit series Private Eyes, ABC’s Ten Days In The Valley, and was the showrunner of the critically-acclaimed drama Mary Kills People, for which she’s earned two Canadian Screen Award nominations. Marsha is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre Prime Time Television program, holds an Honours BA in Creative Writing from York University, and has a graduate certificate from Humber College’s TV Writing and Producing program, where she was awarded the Brian Linehan Award for Outstanding Artistic Promise.


Stephanie Morgenstern

Stephanie Morgenstern’s award-winning career spans many disciplines: beginning as an actor (Maelström, Denis Villeneuve; The Sweet Hereafter, Atom Egoyan), she branched into filmmaking, screenwriting, directing and showrunning. She and her partner Mark Ellis were co-creators, writers, and executive producers on Flashpoint (CBS/CTV), jointly winning the WGC’s ‘Showrunner of the Year Award’ in 2013. Flashpoint won Best Dramatic Series (Gemini 2009, CSA 2013), and earned the Academy Board of Directors Tribute for Outstanding and Enduring Contribution to Canadian Television in 2013. Mark and Stephanie were also co-creators, writers, executive producers and showrunners on WWII espionage drama X Company (CBC/Sony Television), shooting in Budapest over three seasons. It was nominated for a Best Drama CSA in its premiere year, the pair won the WGC Award for Best Writing in a TV Drama, and Stephanie directed its two-part series finale. Since that time, she has been directing episodic drama (Killjoys, Burden of Truth, Nurses, Hudson & Rex) and developing her next series with Mark.


Amanda Joy

Amanda Joy is a writer, actor, NexTV L.A. champion, and recent finalist in Reel Asian Film Festival’s So You Think You Can Pitch. After perfecting her coffee–chugging skills as a contributing writer for multiple series on Teletoon, and Nick Jr., Amanda Co-Created, wrote and starred in own sitcom, Second Jen (CityTV), season two of which is nominated for the 2019 Canadian Screen Award for Best Comedy and Amanda herself is nominated for a 2019 WGC Screenwriting Award for Best TV Comedy. She is currently a Story Editor on Forecast Calls for Murder, a new one hour series in development with Shaftesbury & Rogers, a Script Coordinator on Credit, a new comedy in development with Sphere Media and CBC, and is a Creative Consultant and writer on What Got Did, a new webseries in development with Loco Motion Picture. Prior to that, she was a writer on the new live action tween series Holly Hobbie (Hulu). A member of The Beaverton website writing staff, a veteran performer in Ryerson’s improv team, and the proud owner of a real rubber chicken, Amanda loves all things silly. In spite of this, she’s a published academic author, Ryerson Dean’s Prize Winner, Merit Scholar, and dual Ontario Arts Certificate holder for music, and filmmaking.

With a background in ideology and media, she maintains an ongoing series of essays on millennial cultural philosophy at her blog: A Song of Rice and Fire

Ruth Lawrence (David Howells photo).jpg

Ruth Lawrence


Ruth Lawrence’s film credits include being a writer-director on the 2018 anthology feature, Hopeless Romantic (Northeast Productions). In 2020, she will release her first narrative feature, Little Orphans (Imagine That Productions.) She directed the feature documentary, Circus by Komatik (Firecrown Productions, 2019) and is currently co-creating a doc on the SJIWFF for CBC. She directed The Ennis Sisters music video Shine Your Light to mark the 100th Anniversary of the CMHA, released in October 2018. She co-created and directed the 5-episode webseries, Buy the Boards by Luke Lawrence and Matt Wright.

Her fourth short as writer/director, Talus & Scree was a national semi-finalist in CBC’s Short Film Face Off, reached #1 in the Short of the Month for February 2015, and was an official selection for the 2014 WIFT International Showcase. Her shorts have screened across Canada and the US. She has produced a dozen shorts with Blue Pinion Films including Te Quiero (Tamara Segura), Common Law (Karen Monie), Some Saturdays (Steve Cochrane), multi-award winners Snowstorm Roulette (Matt Wright) and Waiting Outside (Joshua Jamieson), two RBC MJ Award-winning shorts- Before the War (Tamara Segura) and The Tour (Jenina MacGillivray), and Quelle Affaire (an iPhone short she also wrote and directed.) Ruth co-produced on the feature Hunting Pignut, winner of two best feature awards, with Pope Productions.

Ruth won the 2011 Joan Orenstein Best Actress Award for Joel Thomas Hynes’ Clipper Gold at the Atlantic Film Festival and the 2011 RBC Michelle Jackson Award for Emerging Filmmaker for Two Square Feet, starring Jeanne Beker. She was named the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council’s 2011 Artist of the Year, was honoured with the Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2013, the 2016 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award for Arts & Culture, and the 2019 WAVE Award from WIFT-AT.

Earlier Event: October 18
Meet the Producers
Later Event: October 18
Face 2 Face Pitch Session