Tag Archives: Canadian Film Centre

Link: CFC and Netflix announce the creators and TV series concepts selected for Project Development Accelerator

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix are proud to announce the creators and TV series projects selected for the inaugural TV series portion of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative, which runs from September to November 2020.

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is a three-month accelerator designed to offer advanced project development and workshopping support for the four selected TV series projects. Tailored to their specific creative and business needs, the Accelerator will see these creators and projects benefit from international creative and marketplace expertise and feedback from Netflix executives, as well as a range of additional industry professionals, to help them elevate and amplify their original series on an international level.

MEET THE PARTICIPANTS AND THEIR TV SERIES PROJECTS:

 Alter Boys
Creator/Writer: Jonathan Lawrence; Producer: Ryan Wilson Cooper
Format/Genre: Half-hour drama

Alter Boys follows a group of young men who are thrust into furtive practices of conversion therapy in an isolated camp veiled by the woods. The new camp director’s aggressive program leaves the men struggling to navigate one summer’s haunting interplay of hope and ruin.

Jonathan Lawrence is a Winnipeg-based Indigiqueer filmmaker and actor who has produced several award-winning short and feature films and has appeared on both stage and screen. Most recently, Jonathan is working to expand his latest short film into a limited drama series. Jonathan aims to create evocative work that draws on a distillation of human vulnerability and brokenness amid visceral landscapes and the beauty therein.

#RELATIONSHIPGOALS
Creators/Writers: Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland
Format/Genre: Half-hour comedy/drama

 #RELATIONSHIPGOALS follows Keisha Winters, a relationship blogger, podcast host and artsy divorced mom, who lives with her supremely capable daughter, Kelly, and her very Jamaican mother, Althea. Together, these women represent three generations of Black girl magic – all under the same roof, and all with strong opinions. About everything. Through the crazy stories that land in Keisha’s inbox, to the guests on her podcast and her own complicated personal life, #RelationshipGoals explores the funny side of friendship, family, life and love.

Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer, producer and director. She created the TV series Shoot the Messenger and the award-winning mini-series Guns for CBC. She has produced numerous docs, including Stateless (PBS), which won the Hot Docs 2020 Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary. Her dramatic feature, Home Again, was nominated for two CSAs and earned her a DGC nomination for Best Directing. Additionally, Jennifer produced Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, which won nine festival awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2003. Currently, she is directing the feature documentary Subjects of Desire and is developing the drama series Talk to Me with BellMedia.

Sudz Sutherland is an award-winning writer and director who has directed two award-winning features, Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (Best Canadian First Feature Film, TIFF 2003), as well as more than 75 hours of television on shows including BatwomanThe Flash, BlindspotDesignated SurvivorReignMurdoch Mysteries, and many others. Additionally, Sudz co-created the series She’s the Mayor (VisionTV), Shoot the Messenger (CBC) and Guns (CBC). He has won an International Emmy for his work on The Phantoms, three CSAs for Best Direction and one CSA for Best Writing. Sudz is currently developing a drama series entitled Talk to Me with Bell Media, as well as a feature, Everything is Everything.

The Ageless
Creator/Writer: Faisal Lutchmedial
Format/Genre: One-hour sci-fi action/drama

The Ageless is a serialized one hour sci-fi action drama that follows an elderly WWII vet, who, once transformed by an age reversal experiment back into his young Nazi fighting prime, sets out to dismantle a fascist cult of the eternally young.

Faisal Lutchmedial is a screenwriter who most recently wrote on Endlings (CBC / Hulu) and Ransom (CBS / Global). He was invited to develop his latest feature screenplay The Voices Inside at TIFF Writers Studio in 2019. Faisal’s director credits include the short Useless Things, which won the Writers Guild of Canada English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, and the labour rights feature documentary My Cultural Divide.

girl
Creator/Writer: Pat Mills
Format/Genre: One-hour comedy/drama

Taylor gets ‘mistaken’ for a girl on the first day of high school. Instead of correcting everyone, Taylor runs with it and learns first-hand what it’s like to be a teenage girl – but is the perception of their gender more accurate than what Taylor is prepared for?

Pat Mills is a Toronto-based writer/director. His first feature, Guidance, was hailed as a “Grade A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His sophomore feature, Don’t Talk to Irene, won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Austin Screenplay Competition, and two Canadian Comedy Awards (Best Feature; Best Writing in a Feature), among other festival awards. Pat was named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch and was University of Toronto’s Universal Studios Screenwriter-in-Residence in 2018/19. He is currently in post on the queer thriller The Retreat (Alyson Richards Productions/Clique Pictures), and recently directed Queens, a drag queen comedy series for CBC Gem.

 

The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is one component of the larger Netflix/CFC Global Project, which supports Canada’s traditionally underserved creatives, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+, Francophone creators (French as a first language), and creators living with disabilities.

The two additional accelerators, the Calling Card and Marketplace Accelerators, are yearlong accelerators, which, to date, have supported more than a dozen projects, ranging from shorts to features and TV series. For more information on specific projects and participants, please visit https://bit.ly/2SwOLkA.

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First UK-Canadian co-production programme for immersive storytelling launches

From a media release:

A new immersive talent development and co-production fund for UK and Canadian artists, filmmakers and creators is set to launch with its first cohort in November 2020. It is the first exchange programme dedicated to immersive storytelling between the UK and Canada, and it will have a total co-production fund of CAD 510,000 (GBP 300,000) on offer. The programme, which is now open for applications until September 17, will establish international collaborations to pioneer new forms of immersive storytelling by bringing together a wealth of backgrounds and experiences from theatre, performing and visual arts, games, TV, film, and other forms of digital and interactive media.

The year-long programme is supported by a newly formed international collaboration between StoryFutures Academy (run by the National Film and Television School and Royal Holloway, University of London), Arts Council England, the Canada Media Fund, The Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab (CFC Media Lab) and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The UK-Canada Immersive Exchange, which begins in November, will support and champion an international cohort of artists, filmmakers and creators from Canada and the UK aiming to be future leaders of immersive storytelling. They will work with emerging technologies, including virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR). Mentors and experts from across the UK and Canadian creative landscape will support the programme, including those highly skilled in brokering international co-productions.

A total of 24 creatives will be selected to participate, comprising six ‘creative leads’ and six ‘creative producers’ from each country. Creative leads will be a mixture of artists, filmmakers, theatre directors and visionaries who can drive the creative direction of a project, while creative producers will bring the business skills and immersive production experience needed to make these projects a reality. The programme will then provide the cohort with creative development opportunities, business and sector-specific knowledge, understanding of a new international market, key industry contacts, and an opportunity to apply for a dedicated fund to support collaborative international co-productions. All participants will receive a fixed development grant of CAD 3,400 (GBP 2,000) to contribute towards their time spent on the initial talent development stage of the programme. In a later stage, the participants can pitch for co-production financing, with a total fund of CAD 510,000 (GBP 300,000) available between the countries. This will fund a mixture of projects between CAD 42,500 (GBP 25,000) and CAD 170,000 (GBP 100,000). The programme will conclude with final projects delivered by November 1, 2021.

Applicants are encouraged to apply now for the UK-Canadian Immersive Exchange at immersive-exchange.com. The deadline for applications is 12 p.m. EDT / 5 p.m. BST on Thursday, September 17, 2020. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the programme will run sessions remotely. Pending the lifting of travel and working restrictions in 2021, opportunities for in-person workshops and exchanges between Canada and the UK will be explored.

The programme was founded following an international immersive research and innovation symposium and cultural exchange organized by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Canada Media Fund’s CFC Media Lab (CMF).

The programme marks the first international co-production for StoryFutures Academy, a UKRI Audience of the Future-funded initiative. Arts Council England previously developed the accelerator programme CreativeXR, for the creation of immersive experiences, in partnership with Digital Catapult, which is currently in its third consecutive year with 20 new projects recently announced. CFC Media Lab is a leader in the development of transformational technologies, entertainment and businesses. Since its founding in 1997, CFC Media Lab has produced or collaborated on dozens of groundbreaking interactive digital media properties, and accelerated dozens of digital media and entertainment companies.

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Award-winning writer/producer Bruce Smith to lead story room for 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome one of Canada’s top drama showrunners Bruce Smith as the Executive Producer in Residence of the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program. From September to December 2019, Smith will lead the story room as well as the six television writers selected to participate in this year’s program as they work together to develop Smith’s original series.

Bruce Smith was most recently creator and showrunner of Street Legal on CBC. Previously, he was the showrunner of CTV’s award-winning drama 19-2 and of Cracked (CBC). Over its four-season run, 19-2 earned more than 30 Canadian Screen Awards nominations, including the win for Best Dramatic Series in 2016, when it was also nominated for an International Emmy in the same category. Additionally, Smith has worked as a writer/producer on numerous dramas, including Durham County (HBO CANADA), and has penned multiple award-winning MOWs and miniseries, including The Sleep Room (CBC), Prairie Giant: The Tommy Douglas Story (CBC), The Investigation (CTV), and John A: Birth of a Country (CBC), for which he won a 2013 Canadian Screen Award. Smith has received three WGC Screenwriting Awards, including the WGC Showrunner Award in 2015 and the McGrath Service Award in 2019.

The 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program participants are:

  • Henry Campbell (BC)
  • Imogen Grace (ON)
  • Amy Halloran (QC)
  • Rose Napoli (ON)
  • Lori-Ann Russell (ON)
  • Ian Steaman (ON)

This year’s program begins on September 23, 2019. The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, now in its 20th year, delivers a real-world story room experience and an intense professional and project development process for six TV writers a year. The program has attracted some of Canada’s most prolific and successful showrunners to lead the story room as Executive Producer in Residence, including Michael MacLennan, Karen Walton, Brad Wright, Dennis Heaton and Alexandra Zarowny. The program has played a vital role in developing numerous hit series through its story room, including Travelers and the Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black. Learn more about the program here.

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Introducing the 2018 CFC Bell Media Prime Time TV writers

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is delighted to announce the six new residents who will be joining the 2018 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature Studios, beginning Monday, September 24.

The program has attracted some of Canada’s best showrunners to lead the story room as its Executive Producer in Residence, including Dennis Heaton, Avrum Jacobson, Michael MacLennan, Graeme Manson, Karen Walton and Brad Wright. It helped develop smash-hit Emmy Award-winning series Orphan Black and most recently, the critically acclaimed series Travelers, which premieres its third season this fall.

This year’s residents are especially fortunate to work with in-demand CFC alumna and writer-producer, Alexandra Zarowny. Her work spans Degrassi: The Next Generation to Wynonna EarpMurdoch Mysteries to Bellevue and Private Eyes. Zarowny is ready to come full circle: “It cannot be understated, the enormous impact that the Bell Media Prime Time TV Program had in my own creative awakening as a television writer and content creator. The tools and insight gleaned from my training at the CFC still firmly clasped in hand, along with 15 years of career experience, will now be passed on to a stunningly talented team of young writers who are, I’m sure, thrilled to begin this journey, but who also have no idea just how significantly their lives are about to take a sharp turn into unimaginable adventures. Buckle up, everyone! There be a new group of writers coming down the CFC pipeline. As much as this program will change their lives, there’s no doubt in my mind that these new voices emerging in the television landscape will change yours as well.”

This year’s six writers have credits in film, television, theatre, music videos, branded content digital projects, along with an exciting range of professional and life experience.

Meet the Bell Media Prime Time TV Residents:

  • Sophia Fabiilli is an award winning playwright, writer, actor and producer. Her play, The Philanderess, won the 2015 Second City Award for Best New Comedy and her co-created comedy-horror web series,Fatal Murder, is in development with Shaftesbury. Read full bio here.
  • Jessica Meya is a writer, community leader and co-founder of Working the Scene in Colour, a diversity initiative organizing live reads of original scenes written by writers of colour. Meya is a 2018 recipient of the Breakthrough Artist Award at The Toronto Screenwriting Conference. Read full bio here.
  • Michael Rinaldi is an actor and writer for theatre, television and film. His play, Toothpaste and Cigars (co-written with TJ Dawe), was adapted as Michael Dowse’s 2013 feature film, The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver. Read full bio here.
  • Mackenzie Sinclair, originally from Edmonton, is a 2017 Toronto Screenwriting Conference’s Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award recipient, where he developed his half-hour dramedy series, Snowflake, under the mentorship of writer/director Pat Mills. Read full bio here.
  • Veronika Paz is an actor, playwright, director and television writer. She studied sketch writing at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade, trained as a performer at Pro Actor’s Lab in Toronto and Barrow Group Theatre in New York, and is a 2018 recipient of the Toronto Screenwriting Conference’s Al Magee Diverse Screenwriters Award. Read full bio here.
  • Heather Taylor is a writer, director and co-founder of the creative studio, Cereal Made, in New York, with writing credits that include: the feature The Last Thakur; the sci-fi web series Raptured, currently in development as a TV series; and the award-winning short Stitched. Read full bio here.

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Creators of Hit Epic Meal Time Make the Jump to CBC

From a media release:

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is pleased to announce that Elebrity, a series by Montreal-based production company NextTime Productions and creators behind thesmash hit YouTube series Epic Meal Time, has been picked up for a development deal with the CBC. This deal was made possible through the inaugural Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop, Canada’s first-ever enhanced pre-development lab for online creators who want to migrate their talents to television and other screens. NextTime Productions will co-develop the series with Toronto-based independent content production company Aircraft Pictures, the official production partner of the program.

Elebrity explores the notion of becoming a celebrity overnight. It follows Herschel Bock, an eternal slacker, as he attempts to navigate his newfound celebrity status in the digital influencer world or risk losing it all to return to his regular life.

Brothers Darren and Harley Morenstein co-founded NextTime Productions in 2011. Since then, the production company has created and produced several web series, three YouTube channels and two cookbooks, and has amassed more than 7 million subscribers. Their flagship show, Epic Meal Time, has grown to be the number one online cooking show in the world.

NextTime Productions was selected for a TVseries deal out of three YouTubers/YouTube teams who participated in the inaugural Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop, including singer/songwriter and comedian Mikey Bustos, and the award-winning web series Convos With My 2-Year-Old, from creator and star Matthew Clarke and fellow star David Milchard. Mikey Bustos and the team behind Convos With My 2-Year-Old are currently pursuing various opportunities to develop their respective TVseries concepts developed through the Workshop with Aircraft Pictures.

The Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop was a five-month part-time program created by CFC Media Lab, in collaboration with the CBC and Aircraft Pictures, which experimented with a novel approach to series creation. From June to November 2015, the Workshop offered the three aforementioned digital creative teams the opportunity to refine their writing, story structure and characterization skills, and gain valuable experience navigating the Canadian entertainment ecosystem under the mentorship of CBC creative executives, the CFC Media Lab and its mentors, and the experts at Aircraft Pictures. The three YouTube teams debuted their individual series concepts at a VIP screening and reception in late November 2015.

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