A B O U T
Aberrant Pictures creates original, cutting edge content for TV, film and transmedia by mixing traditional storytelling with untraditional content. Formed by Hannah Cheesman and Mackenzie Donaldson in 2013, together these two are committed to producing stories that not only look great but have soul. Aberrant thinks of itself as a dynamic blend of commercial and art-house with a strong comedic sensibility. They currently have a robust slate that includes developing a handful of TV shows, three features, and a slew of ‘budget’ digital programs.
Taking over screens... no matter the size.
Mackenzie Donaldson is a Canadian producer and writer based in Toronto Canada. After growing up in the industry, she got her foot in the door like many producers do, by working at a talent agency - Oscar Abrams Zimel & Associates. Her experience in casting landed her a dream job, working as the Executive Assistant to the Co-Showrunners of - the critically acclaimed, Peabody and CSA award winning, Golden Globe nominated show – Orphan Black. The show has been a crazy, four-season ride and Mackenzie is now an Associate Producer. She is currently in development on season four and managing the ever-growing merchandise development for the brand. In between seasons, Mackenzie is the new co-host of the first official Orphan Black podcast, the “Clone Cast” brought to you by The Nerdist and continues to help create and manage all things digital for Orphan Black.
Besides her work on Orphan Black, she most recently Co-Executive Produced the critically acclaimed IPF/OMDC-funded web series Whatever, Linda, a Bernie Madoff inspired Ponzi Scheme Dramedy. Whatever, Linda has most recently been nominated for three Canadian Screen Award and has been a festival favourite around the globe, bringing home a number of awards. She also Produced the short film Cheese which had its international debut at the Cannes Film Festival’s 2014 Coup de Coeur and since then has appeared at 11 other festivals, winning the NSI Bite Comedy Award this summer and will be distributed in Japan and Canada. Mackenzie produced her first BravoFact short film this year, Boxing, which will be hitting the festival circuit this coming fall with it’s World Premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
As Co-President of Aberrant Pictures, Mackenzie strives to create, collaborate and cultivate the best projects she can: varying from digital series to high concept features, and everything in between. Currently Aberrant Pictures is developing a slate of television and digital series, along with a handful of feature films, and has teamed up with Smokebomb Entertainment, the Mark Gordon Company and Clique Pictures to develop various projects. You can follow Hannah and Mackenzie’s journey through their monthly column and on-going blog, for the Globe and Mail.
Hannah Cheesman is a CSA-nominated actor, writer and filmmaker. Named an Irving Avrich 2014 TIFF Emerging Canadian Filmmaker, Hannah got her start as an actor, after graduating from The National Theatre School of Canada. Since then, she got into — and narrowly avoided — law school, and instead committed herself to creating film, television and digital projects. Hannah is the co-creator, writer, and star of Whatever, Linda — a multi award-winning, CSA-nominated, IPF/OMDC-funded digital dramedy inspired by the notorious Madoff Ponzi scheme, executive produced by Emmy Award-winning Secret Location. Hannah is also the director and writer of the award-winning short Cheese, which screened worldwide — including at Cannes’ Coup De Coeur, Palm Springs, and Whistler — and recently won the National Screen Institute’s Bite Comedy Award, as well as being picked up for distribution in Japan (Pacific Voice) and Canada (CBC). Hannah recently wrapped up on season 3 of Orphan Black as the show’s script coordinator. Under the Aberrant Pictures umbrella, Hannah penned the company’s first feature — The Definites — which stars Aaron Poole, Brittany Allen, Mike Seater and Hannah Cheesman, and will finish filming in late 2015. Aberrant was also recently awarded a BravoFact grant to produce the short film Boxing (dir. Grayson Moore + Aidan Shipley), which will premiere at TIFF 2015. Currently, Aberrant is developing a digital property with Smokebomb Entertainment: DID, a nail salon mob story; they have teamed up with Clique Picture’s Lauren Grant to adapt Susan Swan’s novel, The Western Light; and are currently in development with The Mark Gordon Company. Together Hannah and Mackenzie have a Globe and Mail monthly feature series that examines being a woman filmmaker at the cross section of new and traditional media. In Hannah’s ample spare time, she can be found acting as a series regular in Nickelodeon/YTV show Max & Shred, dancing on the dance floor, and hangin’ tough. Randomly, Hannah holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American studies from the University of Toronto.