Everything about Orphan Black, eh?

Canadian Film Fest – Making it as an Actor: The Actresses Speak

From The 2015 Canadian Film Fest:

When: Thursday, March 26
Time: 2:30pm-4:00pm
Where: The Monarch Tavern
How Much: $10 per panel, $20 for all three

They’re bold, they’re fearless and they‘re making waves in a new era of filmmaking. This panel is dedicated to the women that live and breath film. Passionate storytellers and incredible actresses, this intensive panel discusses what it means to be proactive in your career and generate your own content as well as a candid talk on the daily grind of being an actress. The perceptions, hurdles, and straight-talk about how to not only survive, but thrive in today’s competitive industry.

Moderated by Karen Bruce (Director, Membership, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television)

–    Tara Spencer-Nairn (The Day Santa Didn’t Come, Corner Gas)
–    Sarah Allen (Remedy, 19-2, Beeba Boys)
–    Amanda Brugel (Sex After Kids, Orphan Black)
–    Kelly McCormack  (Barn Wedding, Play the Film)
–    Tommie-Amber Pirie  (Pretend We’re Kissing, The Birder)

Contact jen@canfilmfest.ca to reserve a spot.

After reserving a spot, you will be invoiced via email with a PayPal link where you can pay with credit card or, if you do online banking, your debit card. Space is limited.

For more details, check out the website.

Orphan Black lands multi-channel Season 3 return in Canada

From a media release:

Space launched a clone takeover today as it announced the much-anticipated return of its original series ORPHAN BLACK will get a multi-channel roadblock premiere. The Season 3 premiere of the award-winning, Space original series starring SAG and Golden Globe® nominee Tatiana Maslany is set to air simultaneously on Space, CTV, Bravo, and MTV on Saturday, April 18 at 9 p.m. ET.Immediately following the Season 3 premiere of ORPHAN BLACK, Space’s daily flagship entertainment show INNERSPACE unveils its all-new original insider series INNERSPACE: AFTER THE BLACK. Every Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET, INNERSPACE hosts Ajay Fry, Morgan Hoffman, and Teddy Wilson convene and dissect each thrilling, new episode. For viewers who have yet to be initiated into the #CloneClub, Space is marathoning Seasons 1 and 2 beginning Saturday, April 11 at 8 a.m. ETBoth seasons are also available now on CraveTVTM.

Season 3 of ORPHAN BLACK plunges the clone sisterhood into unexpected territory with the realization that they’re not alone, culminating from the shocking Season 2 finale which revealed a new line of militaristic male “Castor” clones, played by Ari Millen. After neutralizing the threat by The Dyad Institute – Sarah, Helena, Cosima, and Alison are finally united in their journey towards the truth of who, and what, they are. However, new discoveries that include Helena’s kidnapping, a book that could contain the answers to their existence, and a set of treacherous Castor clones with an unknown agenda, tests their bonds.

Cosima’s mystery illness and broken heart inflicted by Delphine’s (Evelyne Brochu) departure has left her feeling vulnerable. Meanwhile in the burbs, Alison faces new woes and new marital challenges with her lovable oaf of a husband Donnie (Kristian Bruun). And no sooner has Sarah caught her breath after a stealthy escape from The Dyad and ruthless clone Rachel than she is called upon to face the crazed, captive, Castor clone, Rudy. Until Sarah’s able to eliminate the threats against the sisterhood, she’ll never be able to have the life she wants with her sisters, daughter Kira (Skyler Wexler), Kira’s father Cal (Michiel Huisman), and foster family members brother Felix (Jordan Gavaris), and mother Mrs. S (Maria Doyle Kennedy).

In the Season 3 premiere of ORPHAN BLACK, (Saturday, April 18 at 9 p.m. ET) Sarah fights to locate a disappeared Helena, and must repel a lethal investigator from the mysterious shadow corporation Topside, who threatens the Leda sisters’ lives.Meanwhile, Cosima appears to be rebounding from her illness, while Alison and Donnie face newfound financial woes. When the menace of Castor rears its head once more, Sarah and her entire family must come together to survive.

He Said/She Said: How Canadian does Canadian TV have to be?

Join Greg and Diane on Mondays as we debate a TV-related issue that’s on our minds. This week: How Canadian does Canadian TV have to be?

He said:

It’s an argument I have been reading and discussing for years while I was at TV Guide Canada, and has evolved to be weekly (and often daily) for me at TV, Eh? Just how much should a Canadian TV show prove its Canadian-ness on the small screen?

The topic came up again following last Sunday’s Canadian Screen Awards and Orphan Black winning Best Drama. Among the online backslapping were several commenters that didn’t think Space’s drama was in fact Canadian because of the partnership with BBC America. Let’s put that one to rest right now: Orphan Black is Canadian and always will be.

The other discussion surrounded whether or not Toronto was adequately represented in the show, as if the Canadian flag had to be fluttering in the background or a Canada Post mailbox had to be on every corner. It’s a topic that came up during Flashpoint‘s run too. I recall the characters referring to Toronto streets and buildings where standoffs were occurring, and that was just fine with me.

Are we that self-conscious we need to have “this is Canadian!” trumpeted in every scene of a series that is a Canadian production or co-production? I don’t think so. I watch a lot of international dramas and it doesn’t happen there, nor do we see it south of the border. Television is all about the story and characters for me and the setting comes second. I’d never tune into a program solely because it was filmed in a Canadian city. I don’t watch Motive or Continuum because they are filmed in Vancouver. I didn’t watch Corner Gas because it represented the Prairies. I don’t check out Haven because it’s filmed in Halifax. And to argue that that should be part of the show’s selling point cheapens the product.

A great television show is that regardless of where it is being filmed and that’s no different in this country.

If you really want to know if a program is Canadian or not, wait until the end credits roll: a homegrown series will thank all of the funding and grants that ensured it got on the air in the first place.

She said:

The rules for what qualifies as Canadian content are fairly arcane, but to me, if it’s written and directed by and starring Canadians, it’s Canadian. Period.

However, specificity of place is important to great storytelling. And our homegrown industry should — but often doesn’t — aspire to be great in all facets. The number of Canadian shows set in Genericville leads to much grumbling about our generic shows.

That place doesn’t need to be Canada. My wishlist for the next Canadian literature to be adapted is Rohinton Mistry’s A Fine Balance, which is entirely set in India. But it’s very decidedly India, and could only be India.

That place doesn’t even need to be our world. Stargate created its own universe, as does Orphan Black to an extent, despite its real-world grounding.

But the lengths some shows go to never revealing a setting — or only explicitly revealing it after the US broadcaster has pulled out — often add a blandness that should make our industry run screaming. With no detailed sense of setting — even foreign, even fictional — a show loses the ability to use the personality of place as part of the story.

And producers can’t have it both ways or I’m going to call them hypocrites. You can’t market a show as “showing Toronto as Toronto” when onscreen you avoid any mention of setting, avoid shooting licence plates and mail boxes, and only people who live in Toronto would recognize the scenery — if that. Either embrace the setting or don’t pat yourselves on the back for  it.

What riles some of us up is intention. Our Canadian shows are often shorn of any on-screen identity so that they’ll be more appealing to the US market. That inspires neither national pride nor faith in their own storytelling. Tell a great story — and details of setting contribute to great — and international markets will follow.

How many of us are binge-watching British and even Scandinavian shows on Netflix lately? Happy Valley and Broadchurch might not really exist, but they’re set in defined areas of England and now I feel I’ve been there.

The genesis of this website was me sitting in a Banff TV Festival session on how to create Canadian TV that foreign audiences would want to see, and me steaming that they should focus on creating Canadian TV that Canadians want to see. Start there and the rest will be easier.

One of our most popular shows, Murdoch Mysteries, is also popular in the UK and (on a lesser known channel) the US despite being decidedly set in long-ago Toronto. I’d argue “despite” should really say “because of” — it’s a show that embraces and uses its time and place to enhance storytelling.

If the makers of a show seem embarrassed to be too Canadian, it’s no wonder some Canadians are embarrassed of those shows. I can’t deny they’re still Canadian, but I can wish they wouldn’t deny it, either.

Link: Orphan Black creator John Fawcett promises answers

From Dalton Ross of Entertainment Weekly:

Orphan Black creator John Fawcett promises ‘we get a lot of answers this season’
Orphan Black has left us with plenty of question marks heading into season 3. And those question marks are often wrapped in mysteries. And those mysteries are often wrapped inside another layer of enigmas. So the point is, there is a lot we still don’t know. But Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) sat down with Orphan Black co-creator John Fawcett on set this week where he is directing the season finale, and he promises that when the show returns, we can start to expect to get some answers. Here’s what else he told us. Continue reading.

Call Me Fitz and Orphan Black take home top Canadian Screen Award TV titles

Cancelled comedy Call Me Fitz and cult hit Orphan Black were the big winners in the television categories at the 2015 Canadian Screen Awards on Sunday night.

“It’s an honour to make great Canadian TV for the world from our own backyard,” Orphan Black co-showrunner Graeme Manson said from Toronto’s Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts stage after claiming the trophy. Orphan Black lead Tatiana Maslany took home the title for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.

19-2‘s Jared Keeso took home the hardware for Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role.

Cancelled Movie Network/Movie Central sitcom Call Me Fitz took home two awards for Best Comedy Series; co-star Joanna Cassidy won for Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role.

Bomb Girls: Facing the Enemy had a bittersweet goodbye earlier in the night with a win for Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV movie; star Jodi Balfour captured Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Dramatic Program or Mini-Series.

Lost Girl was given the Fan’s Choice Award.

Here’s a list of the television winners (Bold text indicates the winner of each category.)

Best Dramatic Series
Orphan Black

Best Comedy Series
Call Me Fitz
Mr. D
Spun Out
Tiny Plastic Men

Best Reality/Competition Program or Series
The Amazing Race Canada
Big Brother Canada
MasterChef Canada
The Ultimate Fighter Nations – Canada vs. Australia
Unusually Thicke

Best International Drama
The Great Martian War

Best Variety of Sketch Comedy Program or Series
Rick Mercer Report
Funny as Hell
Seth Rogen: Hilarity for Charity
This Hour Has 22 Minutes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Gerry Dee, Mr. D
Adam Korson, Seed
Don McKellar, Sensitive Skin
Dave Foley, Spun Out
Mark Meer, Tiny Plastic Men

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Comedic Role
Joanna Cassidy, Call Me Fitz
Julia Voth, Package Deal
Carrie-Lynn Neales, Seed
Kacey Rohl, Working the Engels
Andrea Martin, Working the Engels

Best Performance by an Actor in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Adam Beach, Arctic Air
David Sutcliffe, Cracked
Jared Keeso, 19-2
Michael McLeod, Forgive Me
Dillon Casey, Remedy

Best Performance by an Actress in a Continuing Leading Dramatic Role
Meaghan Rath, Being Human
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Megan Follows, Reign
Jennie Raymond, Sex & Violence
Jackie Torrens, Sex & Violence

What did you think of the Canadian Screen Awards? Did your favourite take home a trophy? Comment below or via @tv_eh.