Angel Peterson is a Red Deer filmmaker who’s creating a pilot for a web series. She’s one of two local finalists in the Telus Optik Storyhive contest. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).

Two Red Deer filmmakers are finalists in web-series contest

Angel Peterson and Jason Steele are each creating pilot episodes with $20,000 prize

A single mother and her 12-year-old daughter are both dealing with different forms of social anxiety in a new web series proposed by Red Deer filmmaker Angel Peterson.

Peterson and Red Deer’s Jason Steele are finalists in a Telus Storyhive challenge. They are among 20 Alberta and 20 B.C. finalists who were chosen out of 326 applications to receive a $20,000 grant to complete a pilot episode for a proposed web series.

The aim of the Telus Storyhive contest is to produce a comedy or documentary pilot for a web series, reflecting on experiences and stories from the filmmaker’s own communities, said a member of the StoryHive team.

Peterson’s idea goes well beyond local and delves into personal territory.

Like the fictional woman she’s writing about and will portray in the proposed series, The Beginnings, Peterson is also a single mother who’s had to overcome a negative self-image to re-enter the dating world.

“Society, and especially Hollywood, tells us that you have to be this thin, young woman with no children for men to be interested in you,” said Peterson, who discovered that isn’t true.

Peterson’s character is pushed by her tween daughter into dating because the 12-year-old has fairy tale fantasies about what it takes to be happy. The mom is challenged with navigating new relationships to learn “that you don’t have to settle for anyone who doesn’t lift you up,” said Peterson.

She described the mother she’s writing about as “like me and but not me.”

Peterson is now thinking about blurring the line even further by casting her four real-life kids in the pilot — if they are willing.

The 20-minute episode will contain another plot line about the daughter, who’s entering adolescence without much experience in socializing, as her generation prefers online interaction.

“When they do get a chance to go out together, it’s just so special,” said Peterson, a local realtor who’s been acting with Central Alberta Theatre and Ignition Theatre for about 20 years.

This is Peterson’s second film direction project, following a documentary she made about local musician Curtis Labelle.

Red Deer actor, director and producer Steele will be using his $20,000 Telus Storyhive grant to create a pilot for his AM Shorts, a web series featuring short films inspired, written by, and starring people with disabilities in Red Deer.

He wants to showcase their talents and help them counter some negative assumptions about people with disabilities.

Final submissions must be submitted by May. The finalists selected for getting additional funding will be announced in August.

Telus Storyhive has been providing support and resources to help creators from across B.C. and Alberta bring their stories to global audiences since 2014.

The winning web serials will eventually run on the Telus Optik TV channel or Storyhive YouTube channel.

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