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OMNI goes kosher with new Jewish late night talk show

From a media release:

Canada’s newest late night talk show, CANADIAN JEWISH TV (CJTV) kicks off Thursday October 1st, 2020 at 11:30 PM on OMNI 1. Hosted by Canadian poet Ieden Wall, the show will feature interviews and performances from some of Canada’s most notable Jewish figures.

In keeping with Wall’s background, CJTV will also feature a spoken-word short-film series based on new poems from Wall’s upcoming book, The Wisdom of the Wall 2. His first book of poetry, Wisdom of the Wall has sold over 30,000 copies and continues to impress.

With the loss of established Jewish media like The Canadian Jewish News, CJTV is aiming to fill the void with a “traditional” style Jewish show that avoids getting hung up on extreme sides of the political spectrum.

The guest lineup for season 1 is a “who’s who” of the Canadian media and entertainment industry, including Robert Lantos, Paul Godfrey, Mark Breslin, Dan Shulman, Libby Znaimer, Heather Reisman, and an appearance from former Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
CJTV will make its season debut on Thursday Oct 1st @ 11:30 PM on OMNI 1 across Ontario.

About Host Ieden Wall
Ieden Wall is a poet, journalist, host and media producer, living in Toronto. Wall burst onto the scene in the 90’s with his reality/comedy series called The Dream Chaser. Mayor David Miller called his show a brilliant mix of humour and humanity. Since then, he has kept busy producing docs, medical marketing videos and commercials for his own production company. In 2016, Wall self-published a book of lyrical poems entitled The Wisdom of Wall. The book sold over 30K copies and caught the attention of several luminaries, including Robert Lantos and Valerie Pringle. In 2018, he started taking poems from his book and turning them into spoken-word short films. His first collection of spoken-word films aired in Australia and The UK. Wall is set to host and produce Canadian Jewish TV for Omni TV, making its debut on October 1, 2020.


The Women on Screen Out Loud podcast offers a unique conversation

I listen to a lot of podcasts, including several about the Canadian TV and film industry. Writers Talking TV, from the Writers Guild of Canada, is excellent, as is Sabrina Furminger’s YVR Screen Scene. If you haven’t already, listen to past episodes of the TV, Eh podcast by clicking on it in the top banner.

The latest podcast I’ve added to my subscribed list is Women on Screen Out Loud: The Podcast Essays. Hosted by Lara Jean Chorostecki (X Company) and Jennifer Pogue (Endlings), the podcast—now in its second season—sets itself apart from the podcast genre in a couple of ways.

First, it spotlights female voices from all sides of the camera. Secondly, each upload features a personal essay composed and read aloud by the interview subject, followed by a brief interview that delves deeper into their words and career journey. The result is can be a personal experience, a work of fiction or even a stream of consciousness.

We spoke to Lara Jean Chorostecki and Jen Pogue about the podcast, how it came about and what they hope to achieve with each episode.

Jen, can you give me the background on how the Women on Screen Out Loud podcast began? Is it part of a Women on Screen initiative?
Jen Pogue: Lara Jean and I were both associate producers for Women on Screen and have helped out with some of their programs that they’ve run and presentations they have each year. It was LJ’s idea to come up with this notion for a podcast, and she basically said, ‘Hey. You produce things and make things happen sometimes. I have this idea. I want to make it happen. Let’s have a coffee.’ And we had a coffee, and I was like, ‘Yeah, it sounds great. Let’s figure out how to make a podcast.’ So that’s kind of how it came to be.

LJ, was it something you’d been thinking about for a while? 
Lara Jean Chorostecki: As Jen mentioned, we were associate producers with Women on Screen with Lauren MacKinlay, Farah Merani and Ciara Murphy. I was doing the casting for their showcase with the web incubator that they do.

I’d been working with them for a while, and I was trying to figure out a way, in my limited spare time, that I could have another passion project to kind of get into. I was listening to a lot to NPR kind of podcasts, and this kind of a truncated format came to mind for me, where something that you could—back when you had to travel to work—that you could listen to on your way to work, or you’re doing half an hour on the treadmill, or going for your jog in the park. I really liked the long-form interview style, but I was really attracted to these short things that I would listen to while I was doing exercise or making breakfast or whatever it was.

Then I was thinking about how Women on Screen could get involved with this kind of very contained podcast idea. So, instead of an interview where you just talk to people forever, it’s got a focus. That’s the idea of the essay, which I’ve heard in a couple of other podcasts, where someone talks about what they do in their own words, and then you focus in on what they say. So that was the idea, that instead of this long interview, we would interview people in the Canadian landscape, in front and behind the camera, female-identifying, and talk about what they want to talk about. Instead of what I or Jen as the interviewer wants to talk about, it’s like, ‘OK, what have you written about? I’m so curious.’ So it’s a platform for people to tell their own stories, essentially.

I was listening to Kanietiio Horn’s podcast, and thought, ‘This is unlike anything that I’ve heard before,’ and followed that up with Stephanie Morgenstern’s, which had a totally different tone.
JP: We do our best to approach people of all different vocations of the camera. We really want to represent all that. A lot of them aren’t necessarily given this opportunity to speak or write too often. It’s been great.

How important was it to get a mix of people from all different parts of the industry?
LJC: Really important to us. I know the next episode that’s coming up is Alicia Turner, who’s a stunt coordinator. When we started, I think stunt coordinator was one of the first ones that we put on there that we were like, ‘Really want that.’ Giving a platform to women in the industry who challenge…

JP: Challenge, motivate and inspire…

LJC: …On all sides of the camera. That’s not our mandate, that’s actually the Women on Screen mandate, so we just took it and ran with it. Of course, there’s going to be writers and directors, and actors, because quite frankly, they’re the ones who love to write anyway. But these jobs that we don’t really know much about, like editors… we kind of understand what they do, but we don’t. Stunt coordinators. We have Lindsay Somers on this year, who’s an intimacy coordinator, which is a brand new job she kind of is spearheading it and inventing it as she goes along.

It was really important for Women on Screen, and for what Jen and I were passionate about, that the people who listen are able to be inspired in a way that shows them you don’t just have to be in front of the camera, or you don’t just have to be a director, to fulfill your passion of making films and making TV.

Download Women on Screen Out Loud: The Podcast Essays from your favourite podcast catcher.

Images courtesy of Women on Screen Out Loud: The Podcast Essays.


Tyrone Edwards takes the reins as new co-anchor of CTV’s ETALK

From a media release:

As announced moments ago on CTV’s ETALK, pop culture expert Tyrone Edwards is the new co-anchor of ETALK. Welcomed by co-anchor Danielle Graham, who is currently on maternity leave, and Lainey Lui, who is filling in for Graham, Edwards marked the first night in his new role with an exclusive interview with Alicia Keys and coverage of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Edwards, who started his television career at Bell Media almost 10 years ago as the host of Much’s RAPCITY, has been reporting for ETALK since June of 2018.

ETALK, now in its 19th season, has returned to production at Bell Media Studios’ headquarters in Toronto, with one rotating host or reporter filming in-studio, while the rest of the team continues to report virtually.

Edwards began his television career as the host of RAPCITY, later becoming a host on Much and E! before becoming a reporter on CTV’s ETALK in June of 2018. His versatility and enthusiasm has landed him many other gigs, including co-host of the IHEARTRADIO MMVAs, MUCH COUNTDOWN, multiple IHEARTRADIO MMVA RED CARPET specials, and weighing in as a fashion expert on original Canadian series, CELEBRITY STYLE STORY.


Award winning producer/director Jennifer Podemski launches The Shine Network

From a media release:

Today The Shine Network, a federally incorporated social enterprise which commits to empower and celebrate Indigenous Canadian female content creators, goes live online at shinenetwork.ca. Founded by award-winning actor, director, writer and producer Jennifer Podemski (Empire of Dirt, Dance Me Outside, Cardinal, Degrassi: The Next Generation), The Shine Network is currently seeking donors and strategic partners to champion its mandate and to help build its professional development incubator.

Slated to officially launch with full programming in early 2021, the free subscriber-based platform will provide both an exhibition space for content and a talent incubator with virtual training for those pursuing a career in the Canadian film, television and media industry. The Shine Network’s digital cinema space will feature a diverse variety of content made by Indigenous women. Additionally, special presentations will include curated works by established Indigenous filmmakers, virtual artist discussion sessions and exclusive online screening events.

Being forced to pivot during a pandemic got me thinking about how I can best serve my community and make a positive and lasting impact on the Canadian media landscape,” says Jennifer Podemski, The Shine Network, Founder and CEO. “The Shine Network is my call to action to address the grossly disproportionate realities Indigenous women face when it comes to inclusion, access and funding.”

Statistics show that the current industry paradigm is not providing equal opportunity to Indigenous female creators and The Shine Network is devoted to shifting this reality with a commitment to fostering talent. The Shine Network’s Professional Development Incubator will provide Indigenous women access to an array of masterclasses and tutorials created to motivate and inspire. All classes will be virtual and custom designed to address the unique challenges Indigenous women face and provide insight and actionable steps to overcoming those obstacles. Subscribers who complete all classes and tutorials will be given access to one-on-one sessions with a select group of virtual mentors.


Link: CFC and Netflix announce the creators and TV series concepts selected for Project Development Accelerator

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix are proud to announce the creators and TV series projects selected for the inaugural TV series portion of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative, which runs from September to November 2020.

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is a three-month accelerator designed to offer advanced project development and workshopping support for the four selected TV series projects. Tailored to their specific creative and business needs, the Accelerator will see these creators and projects benefit from international creative and marketplace expertise and feedback from Netflix executives, as well as a range of additional industry professionals, to help them elevate and amplify their original series on an international level.


 Alter Boys
Creator/Writer: Jonathan Lawrence; Producer: Ryan Wilson Cooper
Format/Genre: Half-hour drama

Alter Boys follows a group of young men who are thrust into furtive practices of conversion therapy in an isolated camp veiled by the woods. The new camp director’s aggressive program leaves the men struggling to navigate one summer’s haunting interplay of hope and ruin.

Jonathan Lawrence is a Winnipeg-based Indigiqueer filmmaker and actor who has produced several award-winning short and feature films and has appeared on both stage and screen. Most recently, Jonathan is working to expand his latest short film into a limited drama series. Jonathan aims to create evocative work that draws on a distillation of human vulnerability and brokenness amid visceral landscapes and the beauty therein.

Creators/Writers: Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland
Format/Genre: Half-hour comedy/drama

 #RELATIONSHIPGOALS follows Keisha Winters, a relationship blogger, podcast host and artsy divorced mom, who lives with her supremely capable daughter, Kelly, and her very Jamaican mother, Althea. Together, these women represent three generations of Black girl magic – all under the same roof, and all with strong opinions. About everything. Through the crazy stories that land in Keisha’s inbox, to the guests on her podcast and her own complicated personal life, #RelationshipGoals explores the funny side of friendship, family, life and love.

Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer, producer and director. She created the TV series Shoot the Messenger and the award-winning mini-series Guns for CBC. She has produced numerous docs, including Stateless (PBS), which won the Hot Docs 2020 Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary. Her dramatic feature, Home Again, was nominated for two CSAs and earned her a DGC nomination for Best Directing. Additionally, Jennifer produced Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, which won nine festival awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2003. Currently, she is directing the feature documentary Subjects of Desire and is developing the drama series Talk to Me with BellMedia.

Sudz Sutherland is an award-winning writer and director who has directed two award-winning features, Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (Best Canadian First Feature Film, TIFF 2003), as well as more than 75 hours of television on shows including BatwomanThe Flash, BlindspotDesignated SurvivorReignMurdoch Mysteries, and many others. Additionally, Sudz co-created the series She’s the Mayor (VisionTV), Shoot the Messenger (CBC) and Guns (CBC). He has won an International Emmy for his work on The Phantoms, three CSAs for Best Direction and one CSA for Best Writing. Sudz is currently developing a drama series entitled Talk to Me with Bell Media, as well as a feature, Everything is Everything.

The Ageless
Creator/Writer: Faisal Lutchmedial
Format/Genre: One-hour sci-fi action/drama

The Ageless is a serialized one hour sci-fi action drama that follows an elderly WWII vet, who, once transformed by an age reversal experiment back into his young Nazi fighting prime, sets out to dismantle a fascist cult of the eternally young.

Faisal Lutchmedial is a screenwriter who most recently wrote on Endlings (CBC / Hulu) and Ransom (CBS / Global). He was invited to develop his latest feature screenplay The Voices Inside at TIFF Writers Studio in 2019. Faisal’s director credits include the short Useless Things, which won the Writers Guild of Canada English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, and the labour rights feature documentary My Cultural Divide.

Creator/Writer: Pat Mills
Format/Genre: One-hour comedy/drama

Taylor gets ‘mistaken’ for a girl on the first day of high school. Instead of correcting everyone, Taylor runs with it and learns first-hand what it’s like to be a teenage girl – but is the perception of their gender more accurate than what Taylor is prepared for?

Pat Mills is a Toronto-based writer/director. His first feature, Guidance, was hailed as a “Grade A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His sophomore feature, Don’t Talk to Irene, won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Austin Screenplay Competition, and two Canadian Comedy Awards (Best Feature; Best Writing in a Feature), among other festival awards. Pat was named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch and was University of Toronto’s Universal Studios Screenwriter-in-Residence in 2018/19. He is currently in post on the queer thriller The Retreat (Alyson Richards Productions/Clique Pictures), and recently directed Queens, a drag queen comedy series for CBC Gem.


The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is one component of the larger Netflix/CFC Global Project, which supports Canada’s traditionally underserved creatives, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+, Francophone creators (French as a first language), and creators living with disabilities.

The two additional accelerators, the Calling Card and Marketplace Accelerators, are yearlong accelerators, which, to date, have supported more than a dozen projects, ranging from shorts to features and TV series. For more information on specific projects and participants, please visit https://bit.ly/2SwOLkA.