Tag Archives: Banff World Media Festival

Workin’ Moms: Juno Rinaldi recalls going from shining shoes to a dream role

I’ve spoken to many Canadian actors who augment their incomes—and fill hours between gigs—by waiting tables in a restaurant. Why not? With flexible hours, it makes total sense. But shining shoes? That was a new one for me.

That’s what Juno Rinaldi was doing when she landed the role of Frankie Coyne on Workin’ Moms. The Vancouver native was trying to make connections in Toronto with casting agents—and having zero luck—and was working in the city’s underground mall system when she was hired by Catherine Reitman. With Season 4 of the CBC comedy heading into production for a winter return, we sat down with Rinaldi during the Banff World Media Festival, where she hosted the Rockie Awards International Program Competition.

Catherine Reitman has always had this vision for what the show would be. Did you ever think that you would be beginning Season 4?
Juno Rinaldi: No. Honestly, I feel like the last four years of being on the show has completely changed my life in a way. Before I started the show, I was shoe shining in the PATH, in downtown Toronto …

Wait, really?
JR: I was shoe-shining shoes in the PATH [at Penny  Loafers Shoe Shine Company] in downtown Toronto, and auditioning. Nobody knew me because I’d come from Vancouver. It was a different transition, so I was trying to make some connections. But none of the casting directors would see me because they didn’t know who I was. I had a body of work but nothing that was super splashy.

Then, getting this job, I had to send in a self-tape and then I got to get in the room with Catherine. Then actually booking the gig really changed everything for me. So then I went back to the PATH a year later and they had a big ad of Frankie and Jenny all just in Union Station. I was walking through those doors with my big mug on it, where I would go to shine shoes.

Three women stand, talking.I speak with to so many actors and actresses, writers, directors that are trying to break in L.A., that are from Toronto, and say, ‘I can’t get a break in L.A.,’ so it’s interesting to speak to somebody from Vancouver that was having a hard time breaking in Toronto. But I have learned over the years how different those thousands of kilometres can be for people when they’re auditioning.
JR: Absolutely, very, very, very different. I think, for me, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. So, in Vancouver I was so supported. They saw me go through theatre school, and they saw me grow up in the business. I had a very clear idea of who I was and what I could do. Then when I moved to Toronto and nobody knew who I was. So that was kind of a nice, sort of fresh start in a way, just change it up.

Being given this opportunity … I love Frankie. I love the writing. I love everything about it.

Did it strike you from the beginning this is something different?
JR: Yeah. From the first read, when I got the sides. I was like, ‘Oh, shit. This is funny. This is good.’ Yeah. You read a lot of stuff as an actor for all your auditions, that you’re like, ‘Yeah. I could make this work.’ Or you’re like, ‘Geez, this is going to be a tough one,’ or, ‘This is really great,’ or, ‘Oh, shit. I think this is amazing, but I don’t know if I’m the right fit.’ But reading those Frankie sides, I was like, ‘This is like a glove. This fits, for me, like what I wanted my whole thing.’

It’s interesting the way that Frankie has evolved over these seasons. The breakup with Giselle, now with Bianca on the scene. She’s been through so much in this short amount of time. As an actor, obviously, you love it when a storyline is shaken up. You get to play with different people in a different sandbox. 
JR: I’ve gotten to play with so many people. Olunike Adeliyi as Giselle, Aviva Mongillo as Juniper, who I love. We have a lot of great chemistry, her and I, and Tennille Read as Bianca. Frankie’s really gotten that option to try and figure out where she fits. It’s all of us, too, trying to find a community or family. When it looks a little different, like after the breakup with Giselle it looked different, so she’s really trying to figure out where she fits. Now she’s got this relationship with Bianca where it has the religious bent on it.

We were talking about this [recently], ‘Would you stay with somebody if you had such fundamentally different beliefs?’ So, that’s kind of the question, I think, for us moving forward. I don’t actually know the answers to what’s happening to Frankie. That would be an interesting thing. Is this something that the two of you can see eye to eye on?’

Season 4 of Workin’ Moms returns in winter 2020 on CBC.

Images courtesy of CBC.

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Kristin Kreuk and Jonathan and Drew Scott win 2019 Rockie Awards

Canadians Kristin Kreuk and  Drew and Jonathan Scott were among the winners celebrated during the Rockie Awards gala on Tuesday night at the Banff World Media Festival.

Hosted by Jann Arden—who kept the night light and upbeat with tales of bad relationships and once suffering from diarrhea onstage during a performance in Berlin—the festival honours outstanding talent and executives from the industry.

“We want to extend a giant thank you to all of the people who made this possible for us,” Jonathan Scott said. The pair were given the Innovative Producer Award, which recognizes the entrepreneurial excellence and achievements of an independent producer in TV/digital media. The Scott Brothers have amassed an empire of television programs through Property Brothers and spinoffs, as well as launching programs under their production banner like Menu Match-up, Reno, Set Go and Half Price Paradise. Past honorees of the Innovative Producer Award include New Metric Media, Wolf + Rabbit, Don Carmody and marblemedia.

“The reason that I am standing here today is in large part due to luck/privilege and other people who could see more of the playing field than I could,” Kreuk said. The star and executive producer of CBC’s Burden of Truth was given the Canadian Award of Distinction for a body of work that exemplifies outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry. Past honorees include Sheila Hockin, Just For Laughs, Eric McCormack and Kim Cattrall.

“I never really set out with a plan to do any of this, and along the way, I have made some good decisions and some terrible ones,” Kreuk said. “There are times that I just wanted to leave and times I’ve been devasted by the toxicity of this business. And without good, solid people around me, professionally and personally, I would not have made it this far.”

Here is a complete list of the winners:

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION:
Kristin Kreuk (Burden of Truth, EuroTrip, Smallville)

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD:
Scott Brothers Entertainment Inc.

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR:
Surviving R. Kelly

THE GRAND JURY PRIZE:
Sharp Objects

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE:
Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, Freaks and Geeks, Ghostbusters, The Heat)

SHOWRUNNER OF THE YEAR:
Jed Mercurio (Bodyguard, Line of Duty)

A+E INCLUSION AWARD:
Kitti Jones, survivor and author, Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP and Executive Producer, Lifetime, dream hampton, executive producer, Tamra Simmons, executive producer (Surviving R. Kelly)

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER IMPACT AWARD:
Justin Simien (Dear White People)

SIR PETER USTINOV COMEDY AWARD:
Bill Hader (Barry, Trainwreck, Saturday Night Live)

Image courtesy of Kristian Bogner.

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Banff 2018: Anne with an E’s Moira Walley-Beckett and New Metric Media among Rockie Gala Award winners

Anne with an E showrunner Moira Walley-Beckett, Letterkenny and Bad Blood production company New Metric Media, and veteran producer Sheila Hockin were among the Canadians feted during the Rockie Awards gala on Tuesday night at the Banff World Media Festival.

Hosted by Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth—who began the show by munching ketchup potato chips and Timbits and closed with a stirring rendition of “The Prayer”—the evening also saluted Canadians who’ve made good in Hollywood. Jeremy Podeswa captured the Award of Excellence for his body of work as a director of such programs as Game of Thrones, Queer as Folk, The Tudors and The Pacific. David Shore was on hand to accept The Hollywood Reporter Impact Award for his hit medical drama The Good Doctor.

“Support is at the heart of innovation,” Mark Montefiore, New Metric Media’s president and executive producer of Letterkenny, Bad Blood and What Would Sal Do?, said upon receiving the Innovative Producer Award. “One can dream big all day long, but without the support of countless people, those ideas would simply remain as big dreams and not realities.”

Hockin was given the Canadian Award of Distinction for producing such shows as Vikings, The Handmaid’s Tale, Penny Dreadful, The Borgias, The Tudors, Canada’s Next Top Model and Queer as Folk.

Walley-Beckett accepted the Showrunner of the Year Award for her work on Anne with an E, set to return for Season 2 on Netflix next month and CBC in September.

“[Showrunning] is like conducting a full orchestra to play a symphony that you composed,” she said on-stage. “At the end of every season, I celebrate that I’ve lived to tell the tale. I love my work. Sleep is overrated. So is sanity.”

Here is the complete list of winners:

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE
Jeremy Podeswa

INNOVATIVE PRODUCER AWARD
New Metric Media

THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER IMPACT AWARD
The Good Doctor

A&E INCLUSION AWARD
Elizabeth Vargas

CANADIAN AWARD OF DISTINCTION
Sheila Hockin

SHOWRUNNER OF THE YEAR
Moira Walley-Beckett

PROGRAM OF THE YEAR
This Is Us

SIR PETER USTINOV COMEDY AWARD
Sean Hayes

COMPANY OF DISTINCTION
NBCUniversal

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2018 Rockies Program Competition winners announced

From a media release:

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) is proud to announce the winners of the 2018 Rockie Awards Program Competition and the $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content.

Canadian actor/comedian, Andrew Phung (Kim’s Convenience), hosted the Rockie Awards Program Competition at the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. Top international media executives gathered to recognize and celebrate excellence in television and digital media content from around the world. One of the largest competitions of its kind, the Rockie Awards Program Competition presented awards in twenty-five (25) categories spanning Documentary & Factual, Arts & Entertainment, Children & Youth, Scripted, and Francophone Program of the Year.

Countries taking home top Rockies honours include:

– USA: 11 awards
– Canada: 6 awards
– UK: 5 awards
– France: 3 awards
– Japan & Singapore: each take 1 award

Program Competition winners include:

Television Miniseries
Big Little Lies
HBO / David E. Kelly Productions / Pacific Standard / Blossom Films
USA

Drama Series: English Language
Peaky Blinders
BBC / Caryn Manabach Productions / Tiger Aspect Productions / BBC Two
UK

Comedy Series: English Language
black-ish
Disney|ABC / ABC Studios
USA

Comedy Series: Non-English Language
Freefall/Lâcher prise
Encore Télévision – Distribution Inc
Canada

Drama Series: Non-English Language
Hokuto: The Conversion of a Killer
WOWOW Inc / Toei Movie Studios
Japan

Preschool Program
Sesame Street
Sesame Workshop / HBO
USA

Children & Youth Non-Fiction Series
Giver
Sinking Ship Entertainment
Canada

Reality Program
Undercover High
A&E / Lucky 8 TV / Learning Tree Productions
USA

Interactive Content
Bury me, my Love / Enterre-moi, mon Amour
ARTE France / The Pixel Hunt / Figs
France

Crime & Investigative Program
Storyville – Silk Road: Drugs, Death and the Dark Web
Raw TV / Vice / BBC Four
UK

History & Biography Program
Residente
Story House Entertainment
USA

Melodrama
The Good Doctor
Sony Pictures Television
USA

Sci-Fi, Fantasy & Action Series
Travelers
Peacock Alley Entertainment / Corus Entertainment
Canada

Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content
Winner: Travelers (Peacock Alley Entertainment)

The Rogers Prize is awarded to the highest-scoring Canadian program or property in the Rockies Program Competition across two rounds of independent jury review.

Rockies Program Competition Grand Jury Prize
The Grand Jury Prize recognizes the “best in show” from all Program Competition winning entries. The winner will be unveiled Tuesday, June 12 at the Rockie Awards Gala, hosted by Emmy- and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth.

The 2018 finalists are:

– Big Little Lies
– Dear Basketball
– Peaky Blinders
– Sesame Street
– The Child in Time

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Banff 2018: Catherine Reitman recalls “fantasizing about death” before creating Workin’ Moms

Workin’ Moms doesn’t shy away from showing the flaws of being a mother. Part of the show’s charm and popularity is because of Catherine Reitman’s decision to show the challenges of being a working mother in 2018. And while there are plenty of laughs to go with those relatable moments via Kate (Reitman), Anne (Dani Kind), Frankie (Juno Rinaldi) and Alicia (Kat Barrell), the creation of Workin’ Moms came at a dark time in her life.

“I gave birth a couple of years ago and went back to work too quickly,” Reitman, the series’ showrunner, director, writer and executive producer says. “I had some pretty lethal post-partum depression and was actually fantasizing about death and it kept making me laugh. It wasn’t this dark, scary thing. It was this release. It made me happy, it made me hopeful. If the world would go away and these responsibilities would go away, life would be so much easier.”

Reitman spoke alongside Kim’s Convenience boss Ins Choi at the Banff World Media Festival on Tuesday morning during the CBC’s Breakfast of Showrunner Champions event. The packed room laughed nervously as Reitman recalled how her own mommy group stared at her while she related those feelings and realized the content would make for a television show. She couldn’t be the only one feeling the way she did, she reasoned and her husband Philip Sternberg—he’s an executive producer, director and plays Kate’s husband Nathan on the show—urged her to write it.

Tired of auditioning for roles for women that didn’t look or sound like her, she penned the scripts and created a sizzle reel. Once Sally Catto, general manager of programming at CBC Television, saw the reel she greenlit the series.

“Thank god for Sally,” Reitman says. “I say that every day because I get to sit here in front of all of you and watch a clip and remain floored that I was fantasizing about death and now people are watching [Workin’ Moms] and hopefully connecting with it.

Workin’ Moms returns to CBC in winter 2019.

Image courtesy of CBC.

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