Tag Archives: Banff World Media Festival

New Metric Media strikes exclusive multi-year first-look deal with creative talent Sasha Leigh Henry

From a media release:

Award-winning producer New Metric Media has signed a multi-year first-look deal with rising creative talent Sasha Leigh Henry to produce new original projects across multiple mediums including television, film and theatre.

“We’re delighted to expand on our collaboration with Sasha, an exceptionally talented and visionary creator,” commented Mark Montefiore, Founder and CEO, New Metric Media.  “Supporting unique and gifted voices like Sasha’s is at the core of our mission, and we’re excited to partner with her in bringing more compelling stories to life.”

New Metric Media previously partnered with Sasha who created the Crave Original series Bria Mack Gets a Life, which recently won Best Comedy Series at the Canadian Screen Awards. The series received five Canadian Screen Award nominations, including Best Writing. In addition, the series garnered critical acclaim, with NOW stating it as “a comedy phenomenon where Black girl magic meets the harsh reality of everyday life” and Shifter praising it as “funny, well-written and pretty much perfect.”

“Working with New Metric to bring Bria Mack to life was an incredibly bonding experience,” added Sasha Leigh Henry.  “As creative collaborators, I think we are a good match, and share a similar appetite for experimenting and shaking things up with the kind of comedic stories we want to tell and the way we put them out into the world. I’m elated to be continuing our partnership. If Bria Mack Gets A Life was just the beginning, I can only imagine what comes next.”

Recognized by The Hollywood Reporter as a rising Canadian talent to watch, Sasha Leigh Henry is a writer, director and producer. She was also highlighted as Playback and Variety’s 10 to Watch for 2022. Sasha’s film Sinking Ship, penned by her creative partner Tania Thompson, debuted at TIFF 2020 and was the winner of the 2021 Vimeo Staff Pick Award at Aspen Shortsfest. Her film Bitches Love Brunch screened at festivals internationally before being acquired by CBC Gem. As a producer, Sasha has helped bring numerous films to screen including Randall Okita’s Canadian Screen Award winner The Lockpicker, Kelly Fyffe-Marshall’s award-winning short film Black Bodies and Fyffe-Marshall’s debut feature When Morning Comes, which premiered at TIFF 2022. Bria Mack Gets A Life is Sasha’s most recent debut as series creator and showrunner. A frequent panelist and speaker, Sasha is also an alumni of POV 3rd Street, Black Women Film!, 2020’s TIFF Filmmaker Lab, a TIFF Netflix Talent Accelerator Fellow, and is Chair of the Board of the Reelworld Film Festival.

New Metric Media is a comedy-focused entertainment studio that aggregates and amplifies premiere global comedy brands through a vertically integrated, franchise-building eco-system across Content Creation, Talent Development & IP, Distribution, Live Entertainment and Merchandise and Licensing. With a growing global demand for comedy on and off screen, New Metric Media is committed to partnering with top tier talent across all mediums to build comedy brands to a scale that rivals major entertainment franchises.  Most recently, the company partnered with Crave on an exclusive overall content deal with award-winning creator Jared Keeso for all new series and to expand the world of popular hit series, Letterkenny.

About New Metric Media

Based in Toronto, New Metric Media is an award-winning independent entertainment studio specializing in building comedy brands across tv production, live entertainment, distribution, merchandising and licensing. Recipient of Playback’s 2022 Production Company of the Year award and the Banff World Media Festival’s 2018 Innovative Producer Award, the company’s slate of programming includes the hit Crave/Hulu original comedy Letterkenny, the Crave/Hulu Letterkenny spinoff series Shoresy, the CTV/CW/Roku half-hour comedy series Children Ruin Everything, as well as the new half-hour Crave comedy series Bria Mack Gets A Life.

New Metric Media is recognized as a leader in 360 degree brand marketing and its success with Letterkenny off-screen extensions, including beer, collectible merchandise and Letterkenny LIVE!, a sold-out North American theatre tour featuring the stars of the series.

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Banff announces gala and Rockie Awards hosts and esteemed gala honourees

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) proudly unveils the distinguished recipients of the Rockies Gala Awards, recognizing some of the entertainment industry’s most influential business figures and most talented creatives. These prestigious awards will be bestowed on the evening of June 10th, as part of the 45th edition of the Festival taking place June 9 – 12, 2024 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Hosting the Festival’s flagship honours is Emmy Award winning Executive Producer, Correspondent, Director and Writer Allana Harkin. Allana has garnered ten Emmy nominations for her work over seven seasons on TBS’s Full Frontal with Samantha Bee where she was the show’s first on-air correspondent. As well as starring in numerous television shows Allana has written and directed for Amazon, Nick Jr., TBS, TNT CBC, CTV and Hulu. Most recently she directed and executive produced the series Nesting for Crave which has been nominated for a 2024 Banff World Media Festival Rockie Award and is the host of the upcoming podcast series “How Dare You with Allana Harkin”. She can be found @allanaharkin.

The first round of recipients of the Rockies Gala Awards are as follows:

INCLUSION AWARD: Robin Roberts (Good Morning America, Rock’n Robin Productions)

Presented by A+E Media Group, the Inclusion Award recognizes an individual whose efforts and vision in media champion and reflect the diversity of the world in which we live. Past Honorees include: Vivica A. Fox, Danielle Brooks, LeVar Burton, Jonathan Murray and Elizabeth Vargas.

CREATIVE VOICE AWARD: Renée Elise Goldsberry (Girls5eva, Hamilton original cast)

The creative voice award is bestowed on an executive or creative talent that has created outstanding work that breaks through, inspiring and connecting global audiences. Past honourees include Rose Matafeo and Jennifer Podemski.

SIR PETER USTINOV COMEDY AWARD: Tom Green (The Trades, Freddy Got Fingered, Charlie’s Angels)

The award recognizes a creative talent who has made an outstanding comedic contribution to the media industry. Past honourees include: Kenan Thompson, Sean Hayes, John Cleese, Tracey Ullman, Bob Newhart, Tantoo Cardinal, John Candy, Bill Hader, Ana Gasteyer and Craig T. Robinson.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD: Attraction

Presented by Lionsgate, the Innovative Producer Award recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in TV/digital media. Past honorees include: Eagle Vision, Sinking Ship Entertainment, Wattpad Studios, Scott Brothers Entertainment, New Metric Media, Wolf + Rabbit, Don Carmody and marblemedia.

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION: Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Kim’s Convenience)

Presented by the Canada Media Fund (CMF/FMC) and MadeNous, the award is given to a Canadian whose body of work exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Past honourees include:  Simu Liu, Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall, Sheila Hockin and Jean-Marc Vallée.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: Kevin Beggs, Chairman & Chief Creative Officer, Lionsgate Television Group and Chair of the Board of Directors, BANFF Television Festival Foundation

The Award of Excellence acknowledges exceptional achievement through a body of work over an extended period of time. Past honourees include: Sharon Horgan, Paul Feig, Jeremy Podeswa, Kenny Ortega, Eugene Levy, Carol Mendelsohn and David E. Kelley.

“We’re thrilled to announce the incredible hosts of our awards shows and our esteemed Rockie Award Gala recipients. Each of these accomplished individuals and companies have left an indelible mark and made profound contributions in shaping the landscape of the entertainment industry,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director. “We’re looking forward to celebrating their achievements and creativity in grand style at the festival.”

On the following evening, Tuesday June 11th, BANFF will feature the juried Rockie Awards International Program Competition, hosted by Jasmeet Raina (creator and star of the Crave Original series Late Bloomer). Timed at the kickoff to Emmy Award nomination voting, this global competition attracts participation from more than 45 countries and boasts an international jury of 150 senior entertainment industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Emerging Talent Prize, the Prix Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 11th.

Additional Rockies Award Gala recipients will be revealed at the ceremony.

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Banff announces key speakers for its growing programming lineup

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is pleased to announce a distinguished lineup of industry leaders set to headline the 45th edition of the Festival taking place June 9 – 12, 2024 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

Key sessions at the Festival will feature:

In Conversation With Amy Reisenbach, CBS Entertainment
CBS Entertainment President, Amy Reisenbach, will join BANFF for a special ‘in conversation with’ session as she speaks about the network’s 2024/25 programming strategy, the art of building procedural franchises and CBS’ important role in the evolving TV ecosystem.  Reisenbach has served as President since 2022, where she now leads all primetime, daytime and late-night creative departments at the CBS Television Network, and supervises all comedy and drama development, alternative, specials and current programming, scheduling and casting.

International Media Leaders
Charting the Course Forward: Join our esteemed international media leaders as they delve into the currents reshaping the media landscape. From technological convergence to the imperative of diversity and inclusion, they’ll navigate the challenges and opportunities of an ever-evolving industry, sharing innovative strategies driving success in the face of disruption.

Speakers:

  • Bing Chen, CEO & Co-Founder, Gold House
  • Sandra Dewey, COO, Media Res
  • Lisa Kramer, President, International TV Licensing, Paramount Global Content Distribution
  • Asif Sadiq, Chief Global Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer, Warner Bros. Discovery
  • Cori Wellins, Partner, William Morris Endeavor

Disrupt or Be Disrupted: The Media Industry in the Age of Enshittification
Adam Cunningham, Chief Strategy Officer, Allied Global Marketing

Enshittification, the gradual decline into irrelevance faced by media platforms that fail to evolve with their audience, is the sword hanging over every media owner’s head. This era, characterized by rapid tech growth, domination and control, threatens to diminish your value, compelling an urgent shift from legacy approaches to innovative engagement. In this gritty guide, we challenge you to overhaul your strategy, placing the audience’s preferences at the core. It’s a clear call: disrupt your own models or be side-lined by those who will. For those daring to adapt, the future is bright; for the rest, irrelevance awaits.

“We’re thrilled to welcome these outstanding global entertainment thought leaders to the BANFF stage,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director (pictured above). “Now is not the time to be timid. The industry is at an inflection point. We’re programming a provocative lineup of speakers and this year’s Festival is poised to be a cornerstone event for media professionals navigating the complexities of our rapidly growing landscape.”

As previously announced, Channing Dungey, Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO and Rob Wade, CEO, FOX Entertainment are confirmed as Summit Series keynotes. The Festival will again include more than 1,200 facilitated networking opportunities, in addition to over 25,000 meetings connecting the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business growth.

This year, international financing and co-production will be a major focus.  BANFF will also debut new conference content focused on music on screen.   Technology, AI and entertainment content on social media and online platforms will also be a key focus.

Also returning to the BANFF stage in June is the Rockie Awards International Program Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious screen industry competitions, with participation from more than 45+ countries annually including an international jury of 150 industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Emerging Talent Prize, the Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 11th.

In addition, taking place on the evening of June 10th, the industry-favourite Rockies Gala will return to recognize the best content and most influential entertainment industry executives, talent and creators in the world.

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Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO Channing Dungey joins the Banff World Media Festival Summer Series as a keynote speaker

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO Channing Dungey is joining the Festival’s premium Summit Series lineup as a keynote speaker.  The 45th edition of the Festival will take place June 9 – 12, 2024 at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta, Canada.

“We’re delighted to welcome back Channing Dungey as a keynote speaker,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, BANFF Executive Director.  “Channing’s unparalleled expertise and insights are a key driver in shaping the future of the entertainment industry.  She is a visionary whose impact transcends screens.”

The BANFF Summit Series is a curated lineup of keynotes featuring global players who are shaping the future of the media industry. As previously announced, Rob Wade, CEO, FOX Entertainment is also confirmed as a Summit Series keynote. Past Summit Series keynote speakers include Jeffrey Katzenberg, Paula Kerger, Pearlena Igbokwe, Bela Bajaria, Ted Sarandos and Maverick Carter, to name a few.

The Festival will again include master classes going behind the scenes of some of the global industry’s most innovative projects and more than 1,200 facilitated networking opportunities, in addition to over 25,000 meetings connecting the global media industry to ignite new projects and support business growth.

This year, international financing and co-production will be a major focus with the launch of the “Better Together” content stream.  BANFF will also debut “Soundtrack,” a new conference stream focused on music on screen.   Technology, AI and entertainment content on social media and online platforms will also be a key content focus.

Also returning to the BANFF stage in June is the Rockie Awards International Program Competition, one of the world’s most prestigious screen industry competitions, with participation from more than 45+ countries annually including an international jury of 150 industry professionals. Category winners, including the Grand Jury Prize, the Rogers Prize for Canadian Content, the Emerging Talent Prize, the Francophone Prize, and other special prizes, will be announced during the Festival on June 11th.

In addition, taking place on the evening of June 10th, the industry-favourite Rockies Gala will return to recognize the best content and most influential entertainment industry executives, talent and creators in the world.

About Channing Dungey
Highly esteemed executive Channing Dungey serves as Chairman and CEO of Warner Bros. Television Group (WBTVG), one of the entertainment industry’s most-respected providers of original programming. She is the first Black executive and first woman to lead WBTVG. In this role, she has creative responsibility for all of the Studio’s unrivaled television production activities, including nearly 90 scripted, unscripted, and animated series for streaming platforms, cable, and the broadcast networks. Prior to joining the company, she was Vice President of Original Series at Netflix. Before that, she made history as the first Black executive to run a major television network when she was tapped to serve as president of ABC Entertainment. Dungey graduated from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. 

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Banff’s 2024 Rockie Awards International Program Competition nominees announced

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is pleased to announce the 2024 Rockie Awards International Program Competition Nominees, recognizing excellence in television and digital media from around the globe. The Rockie Awards ceremony will be held in-person as well as live-streamed during this year’s Festival on Tuesday, June 11th at 5:30pm MT (4:30pm PT/ 7:30pm ET).

The Rockie Awards Grand Jury chooses the coveted Grand Jury Prize, selected from the top-scoring programs across the entire field of nominees. This year’s esteemed Grand Jury includes:

Javiera Balmaceda
Head of Originals, Latin America, CA & AU at Amazon MGM Studios

Julie Chang (above)
EVP, Business Strategy & Co-Productions at Blue Ant Media

Prentiss Fraser
President, TV Distribution at Fifth Season

Nichole T. Roberts
Head of Unscripted at Hoorae

Michael Thorn
President, Scripted Programming at FOX Entertainment 

Morgan Wandell
Head of International Content Development at Apple TV+

“We’re delighted to unveil the nominees for this year’s Rockie Awards, a field that truly embodies excellence and innovation within our industry. This is the best of the best across international content. Deep appreciation goes to the esteemed members of the Grand Jury, whose discerning adjudication elevates the program immeasurably,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director. 

In addition to the Grand Jury Prize, the $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content, awarded to the top Canadian production and the Prix Francophone for the top French language production will also be awarded as well as other special awards. In total, 30 awards will be bestowed in the category streams of Documentary & Factual, Arts & Entertainment, Children & Youth, Scripted, and Podcast, in addition to the presentation of several Rockies Gala Awards to be announced soon.

Leading nominations by company are:

  • British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) – 22 nominations
  • 20th Television – 8 nominations
  • Sky – 5 nominations

Leading nominations by country are:

  • USA – 51 nominations
  • UK – 50 nominations
  • Canada – 40 nominations
  • France – 8 nominations
  • Germany – 7 nominations
  • Taiwan – 6 nominations

Additional countries represented in the nominations are:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • The Netherlands
  • Wales

FOR THE FULL LIST OF NOMINEES, PLEASE VISIT: https://docs.google.com/document/d/16zvZwg34SHW190DzBYx35AY5RGtxcRrvMGnLa_nK5VQ/edit?usp=sharing

About the Rockie Awards:

With a 45-year legacy, the Rockie Awards International Program Competition is open to genres and platforms including drama, non-fiction, digital, kids, youth and podcasts. Timed in the heart of awards voting season, the prestigious Banff World Media Festival competition recognizes excellence in global television and digital content. Entries from more than 45 countries compete each year, and winners are selected by an international industry jury of 150+ senior entertainment and media professionals.

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