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CTV orders Canada in a Day, a new crowd-sourced event celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday

From a media release:

CTV today announced it has ordered the two-hour event broadcast CANADA IN A DAY, from Vancouver-based Screen Siren Pictures, to premiere in 2017 in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. Based on the highly successful Life in a Day series of films from Academy Award® and Golden Globe®-nominee Ridley Scott and Academy Award-winner Kevin Macdonald, CANADA IN A DAY will allow viewers to experience a day in the life of Canada. Comprised entirely of footage shot by Canadians across the nation on a single day later this year, the event special will make its broadcast television debut on CTV.

Canadians will be asked to participate in the nationwide event this fall that will see citizens from across the country shoot and submit video in any language that captures a moment in their life, on that day. From these stories, viewers will learn what it means to be Canadian via a video snapshot of who we are as a nation. The filming date, as well as details on how to submit footage, will be announced in the coming months. Leading up to the film day, CTV and Screen Siren Pictures will launch an extensive campaign that will engage celebrity and community ambassadors as well as organizations across Canada, to help bring as much awareness as possible to the project.

Celebrated filmmaker and director Trish Dolman (Eco-Pirate: The Story of Paul Watson; LUNA: SPIRIT OF THE WHALE) will curate the video submissions and then craft a two-hour event broadcast to capture Canadians as they really are during one moment in time.

CANADA IN A DAY is inspired by the original award-winning Ridley Scott film, Life in a Day. Shot in 2010 and released in 2011, Life in a Day was the remarkable story of one day on Earth. The project garnered more than 80,000 submissions around the world, and contained more than 4,500 hours of deeply personal, powerful moments shot by contributors from Australia to Zambia – from the heart of bustling major cities to some of the most remote places on Earth. Since then, several countries have launched their own In a Day films, including Britain and Japan.

CANADA IN A DAY is produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. in association with CTV, with the financial participation of the Canada Media Fund, Bell Fund, Creative BC, FIBC, and the Government of Canada. Executive producers are Scott Free Films and Christine Haebler with Trish Dolman and Michael Ghent producing for Screen Siren Pictures Inc. Switch United is the web producer and Innovate by Day is the Social Media producer.

Screen Nova Scotia announce award winners

From a media release:

Screen Nova Scotia hosted its second annual awards show on Saturday, May 7,  in front of a sold-out crowd at Casio Nova Scotia. Featuring the ACTRA Awards for Outstanding Performances, the Screen Nova Scotia Awards, the Digital Animators of Nova Scotia Award, and the Film Crew Excellence Award, the event was a celebration of the talent, determination, and passion that are trademarks of the screen-based community in Nova Scotia.

After opening the evening with a live performance, Studio Black! won the award for Best Television Series. The CBC miniseries from Lunenburg-based production company Picture Plant Limited tells African-Nova Scotian folk tales in a style the mixes theatre and studio television.

Local actor/director Cory Bowles hosted the night, and also joined the Studio Black! team on stage to accept their Screen Nova Scotia award, as one of the directors of the series.

North Mountain, a First Nations LGBT thriller, won the Screen Nova Scotia Award for Best Feature Film. It’s the first feature film from writer/director Bretten Hannam.

The theme of the evening was ‘family’ – a gathering of those who built the industry over the past 20 years – with multigenerational presenters taking to the stage to present awards throughout the evening.

Three-time nominee Jackie Torrens took home the ACTRA trophy for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her work on the feature film Across the Line. Mike Mcleod won his second ACTRA award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the role of the priest in the television series Forgive Me. Director Thom Fitzgerald accepted the award on McLeod’s behalf, as the actor moved to B.C. for work following the elimination of the tax credit last year.

Costumer Deanna Anthony, won the Film Crew Excellence Award, posthumously. An industry veteran, Deanna most recently worked on This Hour Has 22 Minutes and The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, before passing away from cancer at the age of 52.

The full list of award winners:

Best Television Series: Studio Black! (Picture Plant Ltd.)
Best Documentary Film: Fanarchy (Ruby Tree Films)
Best Short Film: Bound (Daniel Boos)
Best Feature Film: North Mountain (Mazeking Pictures & Kingsberg Studios)
Best Scene in an Animated Production: Bit By Bit / Animated by Jeff Roach (Huminah Animation)

Outstanding Female Actor in a Leading Role: Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Outstanding Male Actor in a Leading Role: Mike Mcleod, Forgive Me
Outstanding Female Actor in a Supporting Role: Jackie Torrens, Across The Line
Outstanding Male Actor in a Supporting Role: Simon Paul  Mutuyimana, Across The Line

Film Crew Excellence Award: Deanna Anthony, Costumer

(image courtesy of Michael Tompkins)

Canada AM’s Jeff Hutcheson announces retirement

It’s the end of the road for Jeff Hutcheson. The longtime sports reporter, weather guru and Canada AM co-host announced during Friday’s broadcast that he is retiring following one final remote tour across the country.

Canada AM followed up Hutcheson’s on-air reveal with the following Facebook post:

“This morning, Jeff shared the news that he is retiring next month. Of course, we’ve been heartbroken since he told us his decision last June… but his wife is thrilled. Since they met twelve years ago, Jeff and Heather have spent 2,600 nights apart, with his work in Toronto and her work and life in PEI. As we get ready to say farewell, Jeff is heading out on one last Canadian tour, visiting some of his favourite places and remembering some of his favourite moments. If you’re near Niagara-on-the-Lake next Wednesday, May 11th, please come out and join us. If you have any retirement messages or advice for Jeff, you can share it with us here, or email us at canadaam@ctv.ca”

“I am humbled and overwhelmed by all your well wishes…thank you very much,” Hutcheson posted on his Twitter page soon after. “Looking forward to my last six weeks..it’s been my pleasure.”

Hutcheson has been with Canada AM since 1998, and has created several trademark segments for the show, including remote broadcast tours that have taken him to points in Canada and around the world and “Things I Learned on the Internet Today.” He began his broadcast career in 1976 as a college student on Toronto’s CFRB 1010 radio before being hired by Kitchener, Ont.’s CKCO-TV after graduating. The next two decades were spent at CKCO-TV as a sports anchor, reporter, producer, writer and program host before making his final move to Canada AM.

Rezolution Pictures begins production for Season 2 of Indians + Aliens

From a media release:

Rezolution Pictures has begun production on the second season of the original APTN series Indians + Aliens; a 13-episode, half-hour documentary series revealing where ancient Indigenous legends and cutting edge science converge to explore the unknown, from UFO’s and Alien Abduction to Sasquatch, Little People, Lake Monsters and Thunderbirds. Principal shooting begins this week, the first week of May, 2016.

In Season Two, show creator and host Ernest Webb will travel across the continent through Canada and the United States, including North Dakota and New Mexico to unearth these encounter stories. New experts, both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, will shed light on the events offering traditional Indigenous explanations as well as theories rooted in newly emerging science. With the new collection of stories, the audience will be transported across Indigenous cultural and geographic landscapes while being exposed to the most remarkable accounts of sightings.

Experts and Knowledge Keepers from Indians + Aliens, Season One, including Chris Rutkowski and Matthew Mukash, are eager to return. Rutkowski, science-writer and head of the Canadian UFO Survey, has said that Season One was “the best show he’s ever worked on.” Mukash, former Grand Chief of the Cree and spiritual advisor for the series, commented that Season One “got it right.”

Indians + Aliens, Season Two promises to be as rich and varied as the communities from which they originate. Detailed accounts of hovering craft, mythical creatures of legend, alien abduction and military conspiracy will keep viewers riveted and push the boundaries of tangible belief. These stories come from credible and respected community members who will share Aboriginal concepts of spirituality and existence – a rich legacy of traditional myths and explanations that shed light on these bewildering events.

Season One of Indians + Aliens is one of the most popular shows on APTN.  It also won “Best UFO Short Film” at the 2013 EBE Film Festival. Building on this success and incredible fan feedback, and created by a team of award-winning documentarians, Indians + Aliens, Season Two will be led by Showrunner Greg Lawrence.

Bell Media acquires Gusto Brand to launch its first food and lifestyle channel

From a media release:

Bell Media announced today that it is acquiring the Gusto brand to launch a new food-centric cooking and lifestyle network later this year, its first-ever foray into this genre. Bolstering the company’s already successful suite of English and French-language specialty channels, the new network’s slate of exclusive programming will feature a delicious mix of creative cooking and food programming paired with exciting home design, fashion, travel, and lifestyle shows.

Gusto will also feature appetizing homegrown hit programming, all in 4K, as well as some of the highest-rated, first-run food and lifestyle series from around the globe.

The new Gusto network will join Bell Media’s leading specialty channel portfolio, which delivers more weekly reach, both full-day and primetime, than any other broadcaster for total viewers and all key demos. The lifestyle brand is the perfect complementary ingredient to Bell Media’s vibrant slate of specialty networks catering to women, including Bravo, E!, Animal Planet, and Investigation Discovery.

In addition to launching the new channel, Bell Media has also secured a production arrangement with industry veteran Chris Knight to supply exclusive programming for the network through Gusto Worldwide Media. This includes ONE WORLD KITCHEN currently airing in more than 30 countries. ONE WORLD KITCHEN shines a spotlight on five global cuisines that are arguably just as “Canadian” as tourtière and poutine. The production commitment will allow Bell Media to grow Gusto’s roster of hit series with new original Canadian programming, all in 4K.

Bell Media will license Gusto Worldwide Media’s existing creative cooking and food series, including marquee original Canadian series:

  • ONE WORLD KITCHEN: This series shines a spotlight on five global cuisines (Indian, Thai, Italian, South American, and Japanese) and features five passionate and Canadian cooks, each with a unique background and culinary expertise to share.
  • A IS FOR APPLE: This series explores the world of food and ingredients by challenging chefs to create recipes based on letters of the alphabet
  • CRATE TO PLATE: This creative and entertaining series meets the people whose lives are shaped by the food that others grow, sell, and eat
  • FISH THE DISH: A playful and delicious 30-minute series following Chef Spencer Watts as he cooks up some of his favourite seafood dishes

There will be no changes to the current Gusto TV channel until the transition is complete. Additional announcements about Gusto will be made in the coming weeks.