TINA COOPER

...is a Toronto-based screenwriter with several feature film and television projects in development. As a filmmaker, Tina has directed and produced her own short film Face Off!, and was the Associate Producer and Music Supervisor and Co-Casting Director of the Feature Film Goldirocks. You can read more about Tina here or contact her at tina@cutoffshorts.ca.

Tina Cooper was chosen for the writers’ lab program at Norman Jewison’s Canadian Film Centre (2007) on the strength of her feature script Half Way Home. The intense program at the Film Centre served Tina well, focusing her screenwriting and development skills. Tina wrote multiple short film production exercises while writing a brand new feature comedy – Swimming in Aloha which evolved from a single sentence concept to a completed draft during the five month program.

Tina was selected for the CFC’s follow up Short Dramatic Film Program as the writer for two of the five films chosen for development: Pudge and Adam Avenger.

The films were produced in spring 2008 (on 35mm film).

Pudge has been officially selected to screen at numerous international film festivals including: Toronto International Film Festival, Chicago International Children’s Film Festival, Festival Des Films Du Monde – Montreal, Calgary International Film Festival, FICI –The Madrid International Festival for Children and Youth, The Heart of Gold Film Festival in Australia, Salento Finibus Terrae - International shorts festival in Salve, Narḍ, Torre Santa Susanna, Carovigno, Mesagne, San Vito dei Normanni (Apulia, Italy), The Nashville Film Festival, WorldFest Houston International Film Festival, World Wide Short Film Festival in Toronto, Taiwan International Childrens' Film Festival, Cinecita Film Festival in Santa Marta Colombia..

 Stay tuned for more festival announcements.

AWARDS: PUDGE - winner:

BEST SHORT FILM at the 2010 Cinecita Film Festival  - Santa Marta Colombia

The PLATINUM REMI AWARD at WORLDFEST in Houston, April 2009 .

Nominated for BEST OVERALL FILM in the Feature/Shorts category for the Taiwan International Children's Film Festival- April 2010

Laytrel McMullen - who plays Violet in Pudge won  Best Young Actress in a Short Film - for her performance. Awards Envelopes were opened  March 29, 2009 at the Globe Theater, Universal Studios, Universal City.

Pudge has been acquired for broadcast by CBC Television, CanWest,  Astral Media and The Sundance Channel.


Adam Avenger has been offically selected to screen at numerous international film festivals including: Sprockets – The childrens’ festival put on by the Toronto International Film Festival, World Wide Short Film Festival - Toronto, International Film Festival "Nueva Mirada" for Children and Youth in Argentina,  Chicago International Children's Film Festival, Whitehead INternational Film Festival in California, International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Buenos Aires and the Flyway Film Festival in Wisconsin

Stay tuned for more festival annnouncements.

AWARDS: ADAM AVENGER won THE GOLDEN SPROCKETS AWARD FOR BEST SHORT FILM at the 2009 Spockets Toronto International Film Festival, April 2009, and the “GOLDEN KITE” award for the Best Short Film for Children at the 8th International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Buenos Aires.

Adam Avenger has been aquired for broadcast by CBC Televsion, Can West and The Sundance Channel.


comic strip

Click here to see Tina in an "Overheard at TIFF"
comic by Sarah Lazarovic that appeared in the
Toronto Star (Friday, Sept. 5, 2008)

Tina has a television concept/pilot script in development:

Oct 2008 - Tina signed an option and purchase agreement with a producer team based in Vancouver/Los Angeles  and is currently in development on a teen comedy/drama television series based on Tina’s original short screenplay “My First Boyfriend.” The series working title is “Practice Makes Eleanor.”

Tina has multiple original feature scripts currently in development:

"Half Way Home" (winner of the WIFT/TELEFILM Film Incubator Development Award), "Swimming in Aloha""Grade Eight", and "First and Last".

Tina is also involved in multiple feature collaborations:

"The Amateurs" is a feature collaboration combining three thematically linked  stories - with writers Jose Teodoro, Larisa Gutmanis. This project is in treatment to first-draft stage. Tina’s story is called Akio and Bernard.

Tina has also been working on a collaborative feature project with Sherry Sinclaire entitled Smashing Through Windows (first draft) and has been hired to write a M.O.W, The Basket Lady, based on a story by DeeDee Edelstein (first draft).

SELECTED PROJECT SYNOPSIS'

SWIMMING IN ALOHA (feature film script) Lorna Babcock has been happy with her life as sister, aunt and Hawaiian dance instructor until, whack! – mid-life hormones hit her like a pineapple in her big dated head of hair. She needs a man and needs him now. When Donald, a gorgeous cop arrives at her studio to pick up his crabby mother, Mrs. Munsy, Lorna thinks that he’s the one. She tries to get arrested, which proves harder than she thought and decides Mrs. Munsy is the ticket to the son. Lorna’s coming of “middle age” adventure takes some unexpected turns, but finally leads her to fulfillment where she learns to let her hair down and see the love that’s always been there, in Aloha Alberta, if she just knew how to look.

Click here to watch "Jonah", a three minute showpiece scene
from Swimming in Aloha filmed at the CFC - Dec 2007.

HALF WAY HOME (formally titled Comforts of Home) winner of 2004 Wift/Telefilm Feture Development Incubator award) Ten year old Ben craves security but his life offers anything but. Just one year after his father’s suicide, his mom Eloise moves to Europe. She leaves Ben with his eccentric grandmother, Norma, and the three old, loveable but mentally unstable men who live at the unofficial halfway house she runs. Five years later, Ben has found the security he needs. He is well adjusted with good friends, good grades, and a girlfriend too. But when Norma suddenly dies and Eloise returns home, Ben's life is turned upside down once more. Ben is forced to choose between the mother whom he needs and the family he’s grown to love.

GRADE EIGHT (feature film script) It’s 1983. It’s the first day of school, and Louise Armstrong has decided that this year, she’s gonna be “cool” no matter what, even if it means stripping her beloved Led Zeppelin patch from her faded jean jacket. When the most popular girl in school suddenly calls her by name and Tom, the new guy, smiles her way, Louise feels it’s all going according to plan, but soon Louise must choose between “being cool” and her grades, her mom and even her best friend Trudy. Louise is about to find out that grade eight packs a punch harder than she ever imagined.

THE AMATEURS (TINA COOPER/JOSE TEODORO/LARISA GUTMANIS)

Amateur \Am`a*teur"\, noun.
Etymology: French from Latin, amator, a lover, from amare, to love… a person who does things more or less unskillfully….
                           
When an unappreciated Japanese housewife's treasured orchid is damaged by her inconsiderate philandering husband, she seeks the help of a porn-addicted plant guru who may just bring her most cherished possession, and her spirit, back to life.
When an ostensibly bohemian couple invite an old pal to join them in a threesome, the promise of a fleeting good time threatens to undo a romance, a friendship, and the most ridiculous opera in the history of mankind.
When a university freshman fails to make the grade, he solicits his married professor for a better mark but winds up with an existential education in sex and responsibility.
These stories spin out over four days through a tangled web of mischief, lust and loneliness, a comic-erotic testament to how desire thwarts our best-laid plans, inevitably reducing each of us to amateurs.

PUDGE (short film) When Violet, a 12-year-old chubby black girl moves into foster care in Regent Park, she has to start all over; new school, new rules, and a new roommate too. The kids at school hassle her about her ratty coat and Violet’s fists fly, landing her in trouble. She vows to get a new one in time for her birthday and so she ventures to a wealthy neighbourhood in search of a job. There she meets Edith, a rich, eccentric elderly white lady who never leaves her mansion. Edith hires Violet under the pretense of preparing for a party as her beloved maid has passed away. Gradually they form a most unlikely friendship, but when the teasing at school ramps up, Violet demands her money and their chore day turns ugly, ripping their fragile friendship apart. This time Edith is forced to venture from her safe but lonely world. Violet gets her birthday gift. It fits her just right.

ADAM AVENGER (short film) Adam is one 10 year old boy with a super-active imagination. He lives in a comic book universe where he is ‘Adam Avenger’; he sees the flashlights taped to his wrists as laser weapons and his yellow cape flows behind him as his outstretched arms allow him to fly. Lately, Adam has immersed himself even deeper into his super-hero world in order to cope with his parents’ recent separation. He unfairly blames his father for everything that’s wrong and sees Dad as a villain standing between him and the mother he worships and adores. When Mom tells Adam that he’s better off with his father, Adam schemes to expose Dad as absent and uncaring as a way to prove her wrong. He pretends to be in peril and in need of rescue from his mother but his plans soon go awry when real danger comes. Adam learns that real life is not how he imagined, and he finally sees his mom and dad for who they really are.

FACE OFF!

Tina was the Writer /Director /Producer for the short film FACE OFF! (2005) Visit the official web site

2005 - Calgary International Film Festival, the Toronto Rehab Film Festival, and The Exclaim (Hockey/Music) Festival, where it was voted “People’s Favorite”.

2007 - Acquired by Ouat Media www.ouatmedia.com

2007-present - sold to Movieola and Mini Movie International Channel

GOLDIROCKS

Tina was the Associate Producer / Music Supervisor for feature film GOLDIROCKS (2002) www.goldirocks.com.

Screenings:

Tina produced the Goldirocks DVD, including special features such as director’s/actors’ commentaries and deleted scenes. Involved / in charge of every design and development aspect of the DVD process. Available on Netflix and select video stores across Canada.

Tina produced the Goldirocks Soundtrack CD featuring 22 bands. The CD is out on Rubber Road Records, distributed by Maple Nationwide in Canada, Cobraside Distribution in the USA, and Windsong Distribution in the UK.

TINA COOPER – BIO

Tina Cooper- Bio

Tina has always been a woman with her fingers in many pies. At the University of Toronto, she earned an Honours B.A. English Specialist degree with a Criminology Minor while freelancing at talent and casting agencies and writing for small press publications.  Tina gained local attention for her visual art: paintings, photographs and her ceramic line based on her fat black and white cat, while jumping head first into the Toronto music scene as a music promoter, booker, publicist and manager and playing in her own bands. Her current musical girlie super group is The Freckles.

 In 2002, Tina was the Associate Producer, Music Supervisor and Co-Casting Director of the feature film ”Goldirocks” which won best independent feature at the LA Femme Film Festival in L. A. (2003). Tina also produced the film’s chart topping Sound Track CD!

While studying screenwriting at George Brown College, Tina wrote her first dramatic script “Half Way Home” which won the WIFT/TELEFILM Feature Film Development Incubator award in 2004. The fire was lit, and Tina has submerged fingers and toes in the writing pie ever since, forming a writing group and writing the teen comedy/drama feature Grade Eight and a number of dramatic shorts.

 In 2005, Tina wrote, directed and produced her first short Face Off! The film traveled to festivals before being signed for distribution with Ouat Media. It has since been acquired by Movieola for viewing on TV, Mobile and the Net.

In 2007, Tina was chosen for the Canadian Film Centre’s writers’ lab where she developed a new “coming of middle age” comedy feature, Swimming In Aloha. In 2008, Tina wrote two award winning shorts for the CFC Short Dramatic Film program: Adam Avenger and Pudge. Both scripts deal with young voices, which is where Tina shines.

Pudge has screened internationally at over 20 festivals. It won BEST FILM at the 2010 Cinecita Film Festival in Santa Marta Colombia, the Platinum Remi Award at World Fest in Houston, and was nominated for Best Dramatic Short at the Taiwan International Children’s Film Festival - April, 2010. Adam Avenger also continues to flourish in the festival circuit, winning the Golden Sprockets Award for BEST SHORT FILM at the 2009 Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival, and the Golden Kite award for the BEST SHORT FILM FOR CHILDREN at the 8th International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Buenos Aires, 2009. Both films have been acquired by CBC, Can West, and The Sundance Channel. Pudge has also been acquired by Astral Media. 

 Adam Avenger’s win at Sprocket’s and Pudge’s screening at Tiff drew the attention of the Community Initiatives department of The Toronto International Film Festival, who have hired Tina on an on-going basis to run screenwriting workshops for patients at psychiatric wards in hospitals across the city. Tina and the patients create short film scripts together – something Tina finds very exciting and rewarding.

As a writer, Tina’s main focus currently is her collaborative feature effort The Amateurs with fellow CFC writers, her new dark comedy script First and Last, and her original teen comedy television series/pilot script Practice Makes Eleanor for which director Jason Preistley has written a letter of intent.