Tag Archives: Banff World Media Festival

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 NÜTRL 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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Banff World Media Festival reveals 2021 Rockie Award gala recipients

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to unveil this year’s exciting lineup of the Rockie Award Gala recipients including Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live, Kenan), Danielle Brooks (Mahalia, Orange is the New Black), Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Kim’s Convenience), Sinking Ship Entertainment and the team from ARRAY (Selma, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open) represented by Ava DuVernay, Tilane Jones, Regina Miller, Tammy Garnes & Dee Tuck.

Hosting the Festival’s flagship awards program is Jasmeet Raina, one of Canada’s most popular comedic talents and YouTube personality. The Rockie Awards ceremony, including both the International Program Competition winners and the Rockies Gala honours will stream live on YouTube at 3pm ET on Tuesday, June 15th

Rockies Gala Awards to be bestowed include:

SIR PETER USTINOV AWARD: Kenan Thompson (Saturday Night Live, Kenan)

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

Kenan Thompson is currently in his 18th season on Saturday Night Live as the show’s longest-running cast member. He also stars in and executive produces the new NBC comedy Kenan.

Thompson has made numerous contributions to SNL with his slew of hilarious impressions that include Rev. Al Sharpton, Charles Barkley, Steve Harvey and David Ortiz, and by playing memorable characters such as DJ Dynasty Handbag, the scathingly fierce co-host of Deep House Dish, Weekend Update correspondent Jean K. Jean, Black Jeopardy host Darnell Hayes and Diondre Cole, the disruptive singing talk show host on the wildly popular sketch What Up With That. In 2018, he received the Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for the SNL song Come Back, Barack and was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 2018 and 2020.  Thompson also received an Emmy nomination in 2017 for co-writing Last Christmas from the popular Jingle Barack sketch. 

A native of Atlanta, Thompson made his television debut as a member of Nickelodeon’s all-kid sketch comedy series All That. Thompson now serves as an executive producer on Nickelodeon’s 2019 All That reboot. He and Kel Mitchell debuted on the spinoff Kenan and Kel in 1996.

His past projects include Hubie Halloween, Snakes on a Plane, Wieners and The Magic of Belle Isle. Other feature film credits include Fat Albert, D2: The Mighty Ducks, Good Burger, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Brother Nature, Heavyweights, My Boss’s Daughter, Barbershop 2, Going in Style and They Came Together.

Thompson showcased his voice talents The Grinch, Trolls World Tour, Wonder Park, The Smurfs, The Smurfs 2 and Space Chimps, and Rock Dog, the television series Sit Down, Shut Up and The Awesomes. Upcoming projects include Paramount’s Clifford the Big Red Dog and the Disney+ Home Alone reboot.

A+E INCLUSION AWARD:  Danielle Brooks (Mahalia, Orange is the New Black)

The A+E 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: LeVar Burton, Jonathan Murray and Elizabeth Vargas.

Danielle Brooks is best known for her role as “Tasha ‘Taystee’ Jefferson” in the Netflix Emmy-nominated series, Orange Is The New Black. The Hollywood Reporter included Brooks’ season 7 performance in their list of ‘The Best TV Performances of 2019.’ For her performance, Brooks was nominated for a NAACP Image Award for “Best Actress in a Comedy Series” as well as a Satellite Award for “Best Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Miniseries or Motion Picture made for Television.” Danielle was also the recipient of the Young Hollywood Award for “Breakthrough Actress” and nominated for a NAACP Image Award for “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series”. Brooks received the Screen Actors Guild Award for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series” three years in a row.

Brooks made her Broadway debut in the Tony-winning revival of The Color Purple. For her performance, she was nominated for a Tony Award, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and received a Grammy Award and Theatre World Award for “Significant Broadway Debut.” 

Brooks most recently starred as ‘Mahalia Jackson’ in Robin Roberts Presents: The Mahalia Jackson Story on Lifetime. The biopic, directed by Kenny Leon, traced Jackson’s life and career as she became arguably the best-known gospel singer in the mid-20th century and a civil rights activist who sang at the 1963 March on Washington. Brooks is currently filming HBO Max’s Suicide Squad spin-off Series Peacemaker in which she will play ‘Leota Adebayo.

Brooks appeared in Netflix’s docuseries titled A Little Bit Pregnant The docuseries aired on Netflix’s YouTube and social media pages and followed Brooks’ pregnancy journey as she asked and answered all the questions on soon-to-be parents’ minds.

Recent work includes a leading role in Chris Morris’ Clemency opposite Alfre Woodard, Wendell Pierce and Aldis Hodge, a leading role in the independent feature All The Little Things We Kill, a leading role in the independent feature, Sadie opposite Melanie Lynsky, a series lead role in the upcoming TBS primetime animated series Close Enough, a recurring role on Aziz Ansari’s Emmy-winning, Netflix comedy series, Master of None and guest leading roles on HBO’s High Maintenance and Girls. Brooks also voiced two characters for Sony’s Angry Birds, and previously starred in Oren Moverman’s Time Out Of Mind and the independent feature, I Dream Too Much, which premiered at SXSW. 

Brooks released her four-track EP entitled Four in 2019. She co-wrote the four songs, which include “Seasons,” which was featured in the series finale of Orange Is The New Black.

In 2019, Brooks was one of the faces of Lane Bryant’s “I’m No Angel” Campaign alongside Ashley Graham and released a clothing line with Universal Standard. Danielle was the face of Christian Siriano’s debut Spring capsule collection for Lane Bryant and was the face of Lane Bryant’s Fall Campaign that same year.

Brooks is on the Artistic Board of Urban Arts Partnership, which advances the intellectual, social and artistic development of underserved public-school students through arts-integrated education programs to close the achievement gap.

Brooks grew up in South Carolina and is a graduate of The Julliard School. She currently resides in NYC.

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION: Simu Liu (Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, 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 Honorees include:  Just For Laughs, Eric McCormack, Kim Cattrall and Sheila Hockin.

Simu Liu is a Canadian-Chinese talent who is Marvel’s next leading man in Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings opposite Tony Leung and Awkwafina. He most recently wrapped a leading role opposite Mark Wahlberg in Simon Cellan Jones/Lionsgate’s Arthur the King. He can be seen in Lissette Feliciano’s SXSW directorial debut, Women Is Losers.

He’s most well-known for his starring role as ‘Jung’ in the CBC/Netflix hit, Kim’s Convenience. Other credits include Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens, Fresh Off the Boat, The Expanse, Designated Survivor, Taken, Blood & Water, and Orphan Black. He is an outspoken activist, passionate on Asian representation, identity and culture.

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD: Sinking Ship Entertainment (Dino Dana, Odd Squad, Endlings)

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

Sinking Ship Entertainment is a multi-award-winning production, distribution, and interactive company specializing in family and kids’ live-action and CGI-blended content. Since its founding in 2004 by J.J. Johnson, Blair Powers and Matt Bishop, Sinking Ship has produced more than 17 series and 500 hours of content, distributed to more than 200 countries around the world. With a global reputation for quality, groundbreaking original series and companion interactive experiences, Sinking Ship has won 21 Daytime Emmy® Awards, including Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series for Dino Dan: Trek’s Adventures (Nickelodeon), Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing for Odd Squad (PBS KIDS), Outstanding Children’s or Family Viewing for Ghostwriter (Apple TV+) and Outstanding Education or Informational Series for Giver (ION). International awards include a 2019 BAFTA for Odd Squad and multiple Canadian Screen Awards, Youth Media Alliance Awards, Parents Choice Awards, the Shaw Rocket Prize, and the Prix Jeunesse International. In 2020, Sinking Ship was also named as the number one Kids’ Entertainment Production Company on Kidscreen’s Hot50 list. Among the series currently in production are the third season of the worldwide success, Odd Squad, as well as the upcoming new series, Jane, inspired by and co-produced alongside renowned primatologist Jane Goodall. Currently in pre-production is the series Builder Brothers Dream Factory, in partnership with Scott Brothers Entertainment. In addition to its critically-acclaimed productions, Sinking Ship operates a cutting-edge VFX and Interactive Studio, creating multi-platform digital experiences and interactive content for audiences around the globe. For more information, visit the Sinking Ship website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER IMPACT AWARD:  The team from ARRAY (Selma, The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, Lingua Franca) includingAva DuVernay, Tilane Jones, Regina Miller, Tammy Garnes & Dee Tuck

This award is bestowed annually to an individual or group who has made a significant and impactful contribution to screen-based entertainment. Past honorees include: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, David Shore, accepting on behalf of ​The Good Doctor; Anthony Anderson, accepting on behalf of ​black-ish; and Justin Simien accepting on behalf of Dear White People.

The narrative change non-profit organization ARRAY Alliance has launched ARRAY Crew, a personnel database for Hollywood’s below-the-line crew members with a special focus on the amplification of women, people of color and other underrepresented film and television professionals. Created by filmmaker Ava DuVernay and led by an all-women executive team, ARRAY Crew currently boasts nearly 6,000 crew members and more than 300 productions utilizing the database. Production partners have access to search and view profiles for diverse below-the-line talent, enabling hiring managers and line producers to find thousands of candidates across 500+ job titles in over 45 departments on a per project basis. ARRAY Crew is supported by every major studio and streaming service, including founding partner WarnerMedia, Amazon Studios, Apple TV+, FOX, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Netflix, Paramount Studios, Sony Pictures Entertainment, ViacomCBS and Walt Disney Studios. ARRAY Crew currently features U.S. based profiles with plans to expand to select international markets in late 2021.

“This year’s Rockies Gala honourees exemplify not just incredible work, but also contributions to the entertainment industry and to society,” said Jenn Kuzmyk, Executive Director of the Banff World Media Festival. “Each recipient has demonstrated excellence, innovation, creativity and empathy, making choices about the projects they work on and the impact that they can have on the world. We are honoured to recognize such outstanding talent.”    

Additional awards to be presented at the ceremony include:

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR: The Program of the Year award is presented to an outstanding, critically acclaimed, ground-breaking, and/or highly rated program from within the last calendar year. Past recipients include: This is Us, Handmaid’s Tale, Making a Murderer and Surviving R. Kelly.

THE GRAND JURY PRIZE: The Grand Jury Prize is awarded to the highest scoring project in the Rockies Program Competition by the festival’s specially appointed Grand Jury of industry executives. Past recipients include:  Big Little Lies, Planet Earth II and Sharp Objects.

In addition, the Festival is arranging virtual Rockie Awards Roundtables with select nominees from programs such as: Alone, Love on the Spectrum, Filthy Rich and Homeless, The Last Ice, Noughts + Crosses, I May Destroy You, About Sex, El Presidente and more. More details will be available in the coming weeks on the full agenda HERE.

Taking place online from June 14 – July 16, the Banff World Media Festival attracts the world’s top creators, producers, showrunners, talent, networks, studios, streamers, press, and media companies. The 2021 virtual edition of the Festival is poised to build on the success of last year’s virtual event, with an all-new purpose-built online platform that will facilitate thousands of real-time meetings, chat, personalized video suites, a project lounge, multiple events, keynotes, master classes and panels as well as a thriving online delegate lounge. It is the world’s most effective online market for development, co-productions, and business development, connecting the global media industry to ignite new projects and support new ventures.

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