Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Marblemedia’s Blown Away returns for Season 2

From a media release:

Returning for its highly-anticipated second season, marblemedia’s groundbreaking competition series, Blown Away is set to premiere January 22, 2021!

With a twist in season 2, the standout series has gone global!

Ten glass artists from around the world gather in North America’s largest hot shop to push themselves to creative extremes in the quest to be named Best In Glass. In each episode, the glassblowers must impress a panel of art experts or risk being eliminated. At stake is a life changing prize that will send their careers to new heights.

Back as host for the long-awaited second season is YouTube science influencer Nickpedia and former NBC’s America’s Got Talent contestant, Nick Uhas. Glass master, Katherine Gray also returns for season 2 as the show’s resident glass evaluator. 

The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, NY, is an esteemed partner of the series, offering the Blown Away winner a grand prize of an artist’s residency at their museum following the competition. The museum is also hosting an exhibit featuring 10 works created on the show, one by each contestant. The exhibit, Blown Away: Season 2, opens on January 22.


Hollywood Suite’s A Year in Film returns for Season 2

Last year, Hollywood Suite debuted its excellent documentary series A Year in Film. The program, divided up into the features that were made during a certain year in history, explores how movies reflect the events, mood, politics, and culture of their time.

Now the curtain has been pulled back on Season 2, digging deep into the films that hit screens in 1975, 1986, 1994 and 2000.

A Year in Film: 1994, debuting Sunday, December 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern on Hollywood Suite 90s Movies—the Hollywood Suite channels are available in a free preview all month—explores the stories behind some real heavy-hitters in the genre.

Set amid cultural touchstones like Nelson Mandela’s presidential election, the 1994 version of Woodstock, the debut of Friends, the OJ Simpson car chase, the attack on Olympic skater Nancy Kerrigan and the death of Kurt Cobain were the debut of blockbuster and indie films that resonated with the public. The Lion King, The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, Natural Born Killers, Clerks, Reality Bites, Speed, True Lies and a trio of Jim Carrey flicks—Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, The Mask and Dumb and Dumber—captured eyeballs.

In Canada, Canadian filmmakers gained notoriety with hits like Double Happiness and Exotica.

As with Season 1 of A Year in Film, film critics and experts like Cameron Maitland, Alicia Fletcher, Radheyan Simonpillai and Adam Nayman explain society and cinema from the time.

A Year in Film: 1994 airs Sunday, December 20, at 9 p.m. Eastern on Hollywood Suite 90s Movies. A Year in Film: 2000 debuts Sunday, December 27, at 9 p.m. ET on Hollywood Suite 2000s Movies (HS00).

Image courtesy of Hollywood Suite.


Big Cedar Films wraps production on Season 2 of CBC Gem original series Farm Crime

From a media release:

Big Cedar Films has wrapped filming on the second season of its hit CBC Gem original documentary series, Farm Crime.

Production began in February but was shut down until August due to COVID-19, when the company resumed filming with a local crew in Nanaimo, British Columbia. Five of the six episodes in the season were filmed during the pandemic, which also included shoots in Nova Scotia, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta.

Created by Big Cedar Films’ principal Geoff Morrison, and produced by Morrison and Christina Carvalho, Farm Crime launched in August 2018 and set a then record as the most-streamed CBC Gem original unscripted series over its first seven days, and over its first 12 weeks. Farm Crime earned Canadian Screen Award and Banff Rockie Award nominations, and won a raft of web series prizes, including Best Canadian Series and Best Documentary Series at 2019 ToWebFest.

The true crime-style doc series looks at unconventional offences in the world of farming and agriculture. Season one included stories of cattle rustling, the theft of millions of bees, and a 100K load of stolen blueberries. The stories for season two, which received Bell Fund and CMF Web Series funding, have yet to be announced. Season 2 of Farm Crime is targeted to premiere on CBC Gem Spring 2021.

Big Cedar Films also announced today that the Farm Crime format has been optioned by Warner Bros. Unscripted Television to develop a US version of the show. This is the second format option for the CBC Gem original, following a deal with Warner Bros. International TV Production New Zealand earlier in 2020.

This summer, Big Cedar Films teamed up with Lost Time Media to release the acclaimed CBC POV doc, Above the Law, examining police violence and accountability in Calgary. A feature version of the film, No Visible Trauma premiered at the Vancouver International Film Festival and is touring Canadian festivals.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

CBC docuseries Anyone’s Game to premiere January 15

From a media release:

CBC, BestCrosses Studios and Game Seven Media announced today that the new original docuseries ANYONE’S GAME (6×30, formerly ORANGEVILLE PREP) will premiere Friday, January 15 at 8:30 p.m. (9 NT) on CBC TV and the free CBC Gem streaming service. All six episodes will be available to stream on CBC Gem beginning January 15, while the series will broadcast weekly on CBC TV. The series follows the high school players on the 2019-20 Orangeville Prep team for the Athlete Institute in Orangeville, Ontario, as they pursue the excitement and experience the challenges of securing an NCAA Division 1 scholarship, seeking a career in basketball, and one day possibly making it in the NBA.

Orangeville Prep (OP) is the lead high school basketball team of the Athlete Institute, created in 2010 by Jesse Tipping. The coach is Tony McIntyre, one of the most highly respected figures in high school basketball. OP has now sent close to 40 graduates into coveted Division 1 NCAA programs, making it one of the most successful high school programs in the world. Seven of those graduates have made it into the NBA, the most recognized being Denver Nuggets’ sensation, Jamal Murray. Last year, four OP graduates made the NBA, which was tied with Oak Hill in Virginia (often considered the most legendary high school basketball program) for the most of any school. OP is the only Canadian team invited to the most coveted U.S. high school tournaments.

ANYONE’S GAME follows the highs and lows, and the inspirations and disappointments, of Orangeville Prep’s (OP) season journey. While the program is gaining in notoriety, the school often flies under the radar in the U.S., especially when the team plays in the invite-only The Grind Session – the only tournament of its kind which brings together the top high school basketball teams in North America. Close to 25% of the players in the NBA have played in The Grind Session and Orangeville Prep is the only Canadian team to ever be formally invited to play as a member of their circuit. OP also plays in the Ontario Scholastic Basketball Association (OSBA,) where they are expected to win every year and have a target on their back as a result.

The production team was given remarkable access to this past year’s players, seven of whom have now signed with NCAA Division 1 schools. The most touted OP graduate and possible 2021 NBA draft pick is Matthew-Alexander Moncrieffe, who signed to play alongside Cade Cunningham (the Naismith National High School Player of the Year and the top recruit in the U.S.) at highly ranked Oklahoma State. Another highly touted OP graduate featured in ANYONE’S GAME is Jeff Ngandu (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa), who signed with Seton Hall and is also expected to generate attention from the NBA.

At the centre of the team is Head Coach Tony McIntyre. Hugely admired on both sides of the border, Coach Tony truly loves all of his players and is focused primarily on their general well-being, not just basketball. Tony’s own family with his wife Suzette and their seven basketball-playing kids blends seamlessly with the OP players; Suzette is essentially “mom” to not just her own kids, but to Tony’s players as well, who are away from home and living in the dorm at The Athlete Institute. Tony and Suzette’s own son Tyler played at Syracuse University and was drafted in the NBA first round in 2014.

To connect with the youth and energy of ANYONE’S GAME, it was important for the production team to work with emerging musical talent on the series – music supervisor Everton Lewis, Jr. was determined to include musicians who are also in the early stages of their careers. Music from local artists like heavyweight Friyie, a musician who signed as an understudy to boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.’s recording label, and Patrik, who can be heard as the theme music for TikTok Canada and other advertisements, are just some of the new up-and-comers. LunchRoomPoetz, a hip hop crew of five deadly emcees, provide the series with an authentic emotional tone, while Young Smoke, Khem and Jason Packs provide the tone of Canadian streets and struggle.

These talented artists are elevated by the series composer and award-winning musician Tyler Armes (Post Malone’s Circles; Lil Baby’s My Turn). Armes brings a unique and fresh sound to ANYONE’S GAME that encompasses the symbiotic relationship shared by music and basketball.

The series is directed by Michael Hamilton (Nash – about two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash, Facing Schwarzenegger, I am MLK Jr.) and executive produced by Kyle McCutcheon of Game Seven Media and Jack Sussman of BestCrosses Studios, as well as Game Seven Media’s Chris Koras and BestCrosses Studios’ Terence Richards. Vince Buda is Producer, Lisa Kim is Story Editor, and Quinn McCutcheon is Associate Producer. For CBC, Sally Catto is General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports; Jennifer Dettman is Executive Director, Unscripted Content; and Michelle McCree is Executive in Charge of Production.

ANYONE’S GAME is a CBC original series produced by BestCrosses Studios and Game Seven Media, in association with Tricycle Media, with the assistance of Rogers Cable Network Fund and Canada Media Fund.

Saloon Media signs on to co-produce World’s Most Scenic River Journeys with Argonon’s BriteSpark East

From a media release:

Saloon Media, a Blue Ant Studios company, announces today that it is joining BriteSpark East, part of the Argonon Group, to produce a stunning new documentary series, World’s Most Scenic River Journeys (6 x 60’; HD), taking audiences on explorations of some of the world’s most important and beautiful rivers across Europe and North America. The series will be narrated by Golden Globe-winning actor Bill Nighy (Love ActuallyThe Best Exotic Marigold Hotel). As part of the partnership, Saloon Media will produce episodes featuring rivers in North America while BriteSpark East will cover the rivers in Europe, allowing completion of the series during travel restrictions due to COVID-19. The series is an original commission for Channel 5 in the UK and will also air on Blue Ant Media’s Smithsonian Channel Canada. Global distributor, Blue Ant International will oversee all international licensing outside of the UK and Canada.

World’s Most Scenic River Journeys embarks on a series of unique journeys across spectacular waterways into hidden worlds of landscapes, local characters and surprising stories. Each episode explores one river, travelling from source to finish. Some are iconic, others lesser known, but all the rivers feature spectacular scenery and reveal surprising details about the countries they run through. Audiences meet people who live and work along the riverbank and share inside stories about its history, culture, wildlife and folklore.

World’s Most Scenic River Journeys is executive produced by Tom Porter at BriteSpark, with Series Producer, Helen White. Steve Gamester is Executive Producer and Producer at Saloon Media. Overseeing the series for Channel 5 is Commissioning Editor, Daniel Pearl, and overseeing the series for Smithsonian Channel Canada is Sam Linton, Head of Original Content, Blue Ant Media.