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Mary MacDonald Rival


Mary comes from a long line of professional writers, so her decision to enter this field was always supported and encouraged. A freelance writer and journalist for the past 20+ years, Mary’s gigs have ranged from covering the film and broadcasting beat in Playback Magazine to designing and writing courseware for multinational corporations.

However, it wasn’t until Mary sat down to finish her first screenplay in 2008 that she discovered how much joy she could get from writing. When the first draft of Portrait of a Suburb Bunny made her a semi-finalist in numerous festivals and a finalist in The Beverly Hills Film Festival and The Las Vegas Film Festival – she was hooked.

Since then, Mary has co-created and written the pilot for an English children’s TV show, Annabelle that won best pilot at the 2012 Moondance Film Festival in New York City. The series concept was picked up by the French network TFO and has recently aired its fourth season as Amelie et compagnie!.

In 2012, Mary produced the award-winning short, The Charon Incident starring NBC’s Biggest Loser trainer Jessie Pavelka. She has also spent the past several years producing with her local theatre company – and was nominated in 2010 and 2017 for Theatre Ontario’s Best Production THEA Award.

This combination of writing and producing for film, television and theatre must be in her DNA, because her great uncle, Wallace MacDonald, began his career as a Keystone Kop and later headed up the B-Unit at Columbia Pictures. His influence was a huge part of her childhood and taught Mary that an ambitious Canadian can make his or her mark in Hollywood.

Mary holds a BA in Political Studies from Queen’s University, a graduate certificate in Corporate Communications from Seneca College, a black belt in karate... and has survived raising a blended family of five children.

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