Tag Archives: Banff World Media Festival

The Banff World Media Festival names Lionsgates’ Kevin Beggs as board chair

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce that Kevin Beggs, the Television Group Chair of global content leader Lionsgate (NYSE: LGF.A, LGF.B), has been elected Chair of BANFF’s Board of Directors. He succeeds renowned executive Randy Lennox who served as Chair of the Board for three years.

“As a longtime Board member and participant in this prestigious and exciting festival, I’m deeply honoured to be named Chair of BANFF’s Board of Directors,” said Beggs. “BANFF brings together the best of the best of the international screen industry and content producers from all corners of the globe. I look forward to continuing to work with the incredible BANFF team in making BANFF the must-attend television event of the year.”

“One of the industry’s most respected executives, Kevin has been a long-time board member and a genuine champion of the festival in Hollywood and around the world. It’s an honour to welcome him as our new Chair. His creative vision and passion for the business is a perfect match to help us to continue delivering on the festival’s mandate to grow and serve the industry,” said BANFF’s Executive Director, Jenn Kuzmyk. “We thank Randy for his years of service leading the Board of Directors. His enthusiasm and innovative thinking have helped us reach new heights, including celebrating the festival’s milestone 40th anniversary and helping us to rise to the challenges caused by the pandemic.”

“I couldn’t think of a better addition and champion of BANFF than the extremely talented Kevin Beggs to take over as Chair of the Festival,” commented Lennox. “I’m thankful for having the opportunity to work with the incredible group of board members, Executive Director Jenn Kuzmyk and the team at Brunico led by Russell Goldstein. I can’t wait to see what the team will achieve under Kevin’s tenure in what I’m sure will be next level content innovation.”

A 23-year veteran of Lionsgate and a member of its corporate senior management team, Beggs has spearheaded the strategic expansion of the Company’s television production operations into one of the largest independent television businesses in the world. In 2018, Beggs was also named Lionsgate Chief Content Integration Officer responsible for overseeing the Company’s “Lionsgate 360” efforts, the cross-collaborative approach to developing new content from iconic Lionsgate intellectual properties across all of its businesses, including the 1619 Project initiative.

Since joining Lionsgate in 1998, Beggs has guided the Television Group’s growth into a leading supplier of premium content for streaming, cable and broadcast networks. Lionsgate’s roster of nearly 70 shows on dozens of different platforms includes: Home Economics (ABC); Ghosts (CBS); Mythic Quest and Acapulco (Apple TV+); Love Life (HBO Max); Selling Sunset (Netflix); the syndication success The Wendy Williams Show; and a number of STARZ shows including Power Book II: Ghost, Run the World, Heels, Blindspotting, and Power Book III: Raising Kanan. Upcoming series include Dangerous Liaisons for STARZ; Santa Inc., Julia and Minx for HBO Max; Welcome to Flatch for FOX; and The First Lady for Showtime; as well as the Roku holiday special Zoey’s Extraordinary Christmas.

Beggs also shepherded eight seasons of the multiple Emmy Award® winner Mad Men, one of the most acclaimed shows in television history, seven seasons of the ground-breaking Orange is the New Black, eight seasons of the hit comedy Weeds and six seasons of the popular Dead Zone.

He is the recipient of the Alliance for Children’s Rights’ 2019 “National Champion for Children Award,” Operation Smile’s John Connor Humanitarian Award, The Help Group’s Teddy Bear Humanitarian Award, Clayton Children Museum’s “Discovery Award,” and the Broadcasting & Cable 2014 Innovation Award. In October 2017, he was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. Beggs has served on the Board and Executive Committees of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the Los Angeles Paley Center for Media and the National Association of Television Program Executives (NATPE), serving as its Chairman for four years. Beggs is currently a Board member of the homeless youth center My Friend’s Place, Cayton Children’s Museum, Southern California Public Radio, and Green Dot Charter Schools.

Located in Banff, Alberta, Canada, BANFF is a premium marketplace and conference, an intimate space where unparalleled access, creative inspiration and expert insight combine to launch fresh content and new business strategies. Celebrating its upcoming 43rd year in 2022, the festival has grown into a must-attend annual event where media moguls, producers, creatives and industry stakeholders along with broadcasters and digital media companies tackle issues and trends, forge relationships and nurture partnerships in one of the world’s most stunning landscapes.

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CBC announces new programming diversity commitment

From a media release:

At the Banff World Media Festival this morning, CBC announced a new programming diversity commitment to better reflect Canadian audiences and advance equity, inclusion and representation in the Canadian production industry. 

Effective immediately, CBC’s programming diversity commitment will require that at least 30 percent of all key creative roles on new CBC original scripted and unscripted series commissioned from independent producers will be held by those who self-identify as Indigenous, Black and/or People of Colour or persons with disabilities. Each type of series will have a tailored, genre-specific approach to what is considered a key creative role, with details to be posted on cbc.ca/ip. For example, for scripted drama, comedy and kids (live action) series, the 30 percent requirement will apply to all writer, director and principal performer roles. The new commitment will be included in all CBC contracts with independent producers, and will also require that producers of current CBC series set action plans detailing how they will work to increase equity and representation across existing productions. 

“We know we have work to do to better represent the voices and lived experiences of creative talent from Indigenous, Black and all racially diverse communities as well as those with disabilities, all underrepresented groups that are significantly underemployed in the Canadian industry,” said Sally Catto, General Manager, Entertainment, Factual & Sports, CBC. “This new commitment formalizes our ongoing efforts to increase equity and representation across all areas, and is an immediate first step in ensuring that our original series will be led by a more diverse range of creative talent who authentically reflect more communities and perspectives across the country. 

CBC’s new commitment builds on the foundational diversity commitment made by CBC/Radio-Canada at Banff in 2019, with the majority of original series on CBC’s 2021-22 programming slate meeting the first goal, and many already achieving and in some cases exceeding the new 30 percent target including Coroner, Diggstown, The Porter, Pretty Hard Cases, Run the Burbs and Sort Of. CBC will continue to discuss and evolve the new commitment in partnership with the Canadian creative and production industry.

Radio-Canada remains committed to ensuring that at least one of the key creative roles on all of its original French-language scripted and unscripted programming is held by someone from an equity-deserving group by 2025. Beyond that, it is increasing its investments in programs such as Synergies to help build greater capacity for diverse talent within the francophone market. 

CBC/Radio-Canada will also maintain the public broadcaster’s momentum in gender equity, having already surpassed gender parity goals across all commissioned programming. 

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2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition winners announced

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2021 Rockie Awards International Program Competition. Hosted by one of Canada’s most popular comedic talents and YouTube personality Jasmeet Raina, the virtual edition of the Rockie Awards was streamed live celebrating excellence in television and digital media content from around the world.

The Rockie Awards International Program Competition is one of the largest awards programs of its kind, juried by an esteemed panel of 150 international industry professionals and covering all major genres. The Rockie Awards Grand Jury chooses the coveted Grand Jury Prize, selected from the top-scoring programs across the entire field of nominees.

The competition featured 142 nominations from 37 countries including the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, Australia, and The Netherlands.

Countries taking home top Rockies honours include:
UK: 11 awards
USA: 10 awards
Canada: 5 awards
Australia & France: 4 awards each

International Program Competition winners include:

Drama Series: English Language
Killing Eve
Sid Gentle Films Limited, BBC America (UK)

Comedy Series: English Language
The Flight Attendant
Berlanti Productions, Yes, Norman Productions, Warner Bros. Television (USA)

Limited Series
I May Destroy You
Various Artists Ltd, FALKNA Ltd, HBO (UK)

Drama Series: Non-English Language
Caliphate (Kalifat)
Filmlance International AB, SVT, Film Capital Stockholm (SWEDEN)

Comedy Series: Non-English Language
El Presidente
Gaumont, Amazon Studios (ARGENTINA, CHILE, USA)

Live Action: Children
First Day
Epic Films, ABC Australia (AUSTRALIA)

Live Action: Youth
War Stories (Oorlog-Stories)
EO Broadcasting, Stepping Stones Productions (THE NETHERLANDS)

Competition Series & Game Shows
Alone
Leftfield Pictures for History (USA)

Docuseries
Filthy Rich & Homeless
Blackfella Films, SBS (AUSTRALIA)

Lifestyle
Love on the Spectrum
Northern Pictures, Netflix (AUSTRALIA)

Podcast: Fiction
Hindsight
Kelly&Kelly, Al Jazeera Podcasts, Audible (CANADA, QATAR, UK)

Podcast: Non-Fiction
Where Is George Gibney?
Second Captains for BBC Sounds (IRELAND, UK, USA)

History & Biography
Enslaved: The Lost History of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
Associated Producers Ltd., Cornelia Street Productions, UppiTV, Anonymous Content, EPIX (CANADA, UK)

Science & Technology
Cosmos: Possible Worlds
Possible Worlds, LLC in association with Fox for National Geographic (USA)

Sports Documentary
The Last Dance
Mandalay Sports Media Production, NBAEntertainment, ESPN Films, Netflix (USA)

TV Movie
Roald & Beatrix, the Tail of the Curious Mouse
Hartswood Films, Sky Studios (UK)

Program of the Year
Winner: It’s a Sin, Red Production Company For Channel 4 and HBO Max in association with All3Media International (UK)

Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content
Winner: Happily Married (C’est comme ça que je t’aime), Cineflix Media, Casablanca Productions, Ici Tou.tv (CANADA)
The $25,000 Rogers Prize is awarded to the highest-scoring Canadian program or property in the Rockies International Program Competition across two rounds of independent jury review.

Francophone Prize
Winner: Brazen (Culottées), Silex Films, France Télévisions (FRANCE)
The Francophone Prize is awarded to the jury’s highest-scoring French-language video submission.

Grand Jury Prize
Winner: I May Destroy You, Various Artists Ltd, FALKNA Ltd, HBO (UK)
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the “best in show” from all Rockies International Program Competition winning entries.

The full list of Rockie Awards International Program Competition Winners.

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The official beer of Letterkenny, Puppers Golden Lager is back

From a media release:

Puppers Golden Lager, inspired by the fictional beer in Crave’s award-winning original comedy series Letterkenny, will be available in Ontario by July 1st, announced today by Mark Montefiore, President, New Metric Media.

Made with pale and caramel malts and German Perle hops, Puppers is perfectly in balance between malt and hops and sweetness and bitterness. Slightly grainy and yeasty, this dark golden lager is perfectly balanced with a slightly drying, sulfur-toned finish

Available on streaming platforms Crave in Canada and Hulu in the U.S., Letterkenny revolves around the dustups “Wayne” (Jared Keeso) and his pals get into with their small-town rivals. For the hicks, skids and hockey players of Letterkenny, getting your ass kicked is a legitimate concern on a day-to-day basis.

Created by Keeso who is also executive producer, co-writer and star, Letterkenny is produced by New Metric Media, in partnership with WildBrain and Playfun Games in association with Bell Media, with the participation of Canadian Media Fund, OMDC Tax Credits and the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund. Jacob Tierney is executive producer, director, and co-writer and Mark Montefiore is executive producer for New Metric Media. For Bell Media, Chris Kelley is Production Executive; Sarah Fowlie is Head of Production, Original Programming; Carlyn Klebuc is General Manager, Original Programming; Tory Jennings is Director, Content, Crave; Justin Stockman is Vice President, Content Development & Programming, Bell Media. Karine Moses is Senior Vice President, Content Development & News, Bell Media.

Puppers will be available in select Sobeys, beer stores and the LCBO in Ontario. Please visit the LCBO website for availability.

Follow @officialpuppers on Facebook and Instagram for updates on where to buy the beer, fun Puppers related content, merchandise announcements, contests and more.

ABOUT NEW METRIC MEDIA
Based in Los Angeles and Toronto, New Metric Media is an award-winning production company focused on creating brand defining, memorable and authentic content for global audiences. The prodco is behind the hit Hulu/Crave original comedy Letterkenny, the Netflix/CityTV premium drama series Bad Blood, the half-hour comedy What Would Sal Do? and the upcoming all-new CTV comedy series Children Ruin Everything.

In 2018, New Metric Media was named winner of the Banff World Media Festival’s Innovative Producer Award. The Company is also recognized as a leader in brand marketing for its success with Letterkenny off-screen extensions including beer and collectible merchandise via its recent licensing deals with Funko, Ripple Junction and High Roller Games; as well as a Bad Blood-branded escape room activation with a national immersive entertainment franchise; and Letterkenny LIVE!, a North American theatre tour with the stars of the series.

ABOUT LABATT BREWERIES OF CANADA
Established by John Kinder Labatt in London, Ontario in 1847, Labatt Breweries is one of Canada’s founding businesses and its leading brewer. The company today has more than 3,500 employees, six breweries, four stand-alone craft brewers, a BC distillery and a portfolio of 60 quality beers, including Budweiser, Alexander Keith’s, Labatt Blue, Kokanee, Stella Artois and Corona. Brands also include ready-to-drink beverages such as Palm Bay and Mike’s Hard Lemonade and NÃœTRL VODKA SODA. As part of the Anheuser-Busch InBev family, Labatt is committed to Bringing People Together for a Better World, making a positive contribution through multiple programs that support its communities, promote responsible drinking and protect the environment.

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Banff unveils lineup of high-profile Master Classes and exclusive screenings

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce highly anticipated Master Classes featuring talent and creatives from hit series It’s a Sin, David Makes Man, Transplant, Moominvalley and Sort Of as well as exclusive screenings for Family Law and Blindspotting. The virtual Festival will take place June 14 – July 16, 2021, via an all-new bespoke online platform that will connect the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business development.

“This year’s Master Classes and Screenings represent some of the world’s most original, impactful and exciting series,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director of the Banff World Media Festival. “It is a privilege to host such accomplished talent and executives as they take us through the business and creative story behind the making of each project.”

It’s a Sin: A coming-of-age chronicle of four friends during the rise of the AIDS crisis from 1981 to 1991, the critically acclaimed mini-series drama It’s a Sin has been lauded by critics and audiences globally. Featuring an intimate conversation with the show’s Creator, Executive Producer and Showrunner Russell T. Davies, Director Peter Hoar and actor Nathaniel Curtis as they discuss the journey to bringing this change-making landmark show to the screen and its impact to date.
Featuring:
• Russell T. Davies, Creator
• Peter Hoar, Director
• Nathaniel Curtis, Actor

David Makes Man: The Peabody Award-winning series produced by Warner Bros. Television also received a Critics’ Choice Award nomination for Best Drama, a prestigious Gotham Award nomination, and has been named to several critics’ 2019 year-end best-of-television lists. David Makes Man premiered to overwhelming critical acclaim in August 2019. The New York Times called the show “deeply beautiful and distinctive” while The Washington Post called it “one of the most original and riveting TV shows this year.” During its first season run, the series ranked No. 2 in its time period across all cable with African-American women and reached over 4.1 million unique viewers on OWN. Season two fast-forwards and finds David in his 30s, a rising businessman facing an opportunity that will change him and his community forever; the mounting pressure forces David to choose between the instincts that helped him survive or finding a new way to truly live.
Featuring:
• Tarell Alvin McCraney, Creator
• Tina Perry, President, OWN
• Dee Harris-Lawrence, Executive Producer
• Kiel Adrian Scott, Director
• Kwame Patterson, Actor
• Akili McDowell, Actor

Transplant: An in-depth conversation with the creative team behind the hit CTV Original drama series Transplant. The first season of the critically-acclaimed series, which is the 2021 Canadian Screen Award-winner for Best Drama Series, follows a Syrian doctor who tries to build a new life for himself and his sister. A ratings hit on CTV, Transplant became the most-watched Canadian series, and on NBC in the U.S.
Featuring:
• Joseph Kay, Creator and Showrunner
• Tara Woodbury, VP of Development, Sphère Média
• Carlyn Klebuc, General Manager, Original Programming, Bell Media
• Hamza Haq, Actor
• Ahmed Meree, Cultural Consultant and Actor

Moominvalley: A deep dive journey into the magic behind the internationally celebrated and positivity-themed animated series Moominvalley, based on the stories of beloved Finnish-Swedish author Tove Jansson. Produced by Gutsy Animations from the series Creator Marika Makaroff, Executive Producer Marion Edwards, Director Jay Grace and Actor Jack Rowan (Noughts + Crosses, Peaky Blinders) who voices “Moomintroll”, as well as Jarmo Lampela, Head of Drama, at the Finnish public broadcaster YLE who was first to board the series which has been sold to more than 50 countries.
Featuring:
• Marika Makaroff, Creative Director Moominvalley / Chief Creative Officer Gutsy Animations
• Marion Edwards, Executive Producer
• Jay Grace, Director
• Jarmo Lampela, Head of Drama, YLE
• Jack Rowan, Actor

Sort Of: A conversation with the creative team behind CBC’s new dramatic comedy, Sort Of, premiering this fall. Creators and Showrunners Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha) and Fab Filippo (Save Me) and Sienna Films’ Jennifer Kawaja will take BANFF delegates behind the scenes of this big-hearted, coming-of-age story about Sabi Mehboob (Baig), a gender-fluid millennial in transition in every aspect of their life, from gender to love to sexuality to family to career.
Featuring:
• Bilal Baig, Executive Producer, Writer, Lead Performer, Co-Creator
• Fab Filippo, Executive Producer, Director, Co-Creator
• Jennifer Kawaja, Executive Producer

As previously announced, the creative team and cast from FX’s new half-hour series Reservation Dogs will also be featured in the Master Class lineup.

Exclusive screenings featured during the Festival will include the hot new comedy-drama series Blindspotting followed by a Q&A with the cast, as well as the highly-anticipated upcoming legal drama Family Law. Presented in partnership with Lionsgate Entertainment and STARZ, Blindspotting comes from co-creators and executive producers Rafael Casal and Daveed Diggs which follows Ashley (Jasmine Cephas Jones), who is enjoying a peaceful life in Oakland until her partner of 12 years and father of their son is suddenly incarcerated, leaving her to navigate a chaotic and comedic existential crisis as she is forced to move in with his family. Presented in partnership with Corus Entertainment, Family Law stars Jewel Staite (Firefly) and Victor Garber (DC’s Legends of Tomorrow) in this one-hour drama that follows lawyer and recovering alcoholic Abigail ‘Abby’ Bianchi struggling to put her career and family back together after hitting rock bottom.

In continuing with creative discussions on more hit series, BANFF’s Rockie Awards Roundtables will feature creators, executive producers and producers behind this year’s nominees including Alone, Love on the Spectrum, Filthy Rich and Homeless, The Last Ice, Noughts + Crosses, I May Destroy You, About Sex, El Presidente and more.

The full 2021 Banff World Media Festival agenda is available HERE.

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