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.
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 Earp, Murdoch 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.
From a media release:
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix proudly announced at the CFC Annual BBQ Fundraiser today the start of their new five-year partnership in support of Canadian talent. Using a model of three distinct program accelerators, the initiative will amplify these voices and stories so that they resonate globally, showcasing Canadian talent within and beyond its borders.
The Netflix-CFC Global Project partnership will foster and accelerate a broad scope of diverse Canadian creators and their film/TV projects, and will advance Canadian talent and opportunities in the international marketplace through one of three accelerators:
- The Calling Card Accelerator: Expands opportunities for new creators to showcase their talent through a produced calling card and realize the potential of their feature film or TV series project through a produced proof of concept.
- The Project Development Accelerator: Bolsters the international reach of dramatic feature films or TV series from mid-level diverse creators, by offering them enhanced and tailored access to development support and inspired global perspectives.
- The Marketplace Accelerator: Strengthens the festival/market preparedness of diverse creators with exciting projects and/or produced content looking to attract and secure international attention and investment.
Each accelerator will adopt a bespoke approach based on the select creator’s needs and project.
Through their multi-year partnership, CFC and Netflix will deliver this suite of complementary, essential opportunities for these vibrant talent pools to flourish, shining a spotlight on their stories in an evolving global marketplace.
In recognition of Netflix’s generous commitment to our creative community, Netflix will become the Presenting Sponsor of CFC’s Annual Gala & Auction, CFC’s Annual BBQ Fundraiser, CFC’s Annual Garden Party and CFC’s Annual Reception in L.A. In addition, a restored cottage on the CFC campus will become the newly named Netflix House, enabling all the different groups of talent to mingle, connect and collaborate in a shared central hub of creative activity.
From Emily Gagne of the CFC:
Link: The future of Canadian TV: On homegrown series Travelers, developed through CFC’s primetime TV program
Travelers, debuting on Canada’s Showcase on October 17, is what showrunner Brad Wright (Stargate series) calls a “10 out of 10 Canadian show.” This sci-fi series follows a set of individuals from the future sent back to the present to “save humanity from a terrible future.” It features an all-Canadian main cast, led by Eric McCormack, formerly of Will & Grace and Perception, and crew (the sole series writer/director who was not Canadian was pilot director Nick Hurran). It’s as all-Canadian as they come, and it began its development during the Canadian Film Centre (CFC)’s 2014 Prime Time TV Program. Continue reading.
From Victoria Ahearn of The Canadian Press:
Mysteries and dualities infiltrate new series Travelers
“We never quite know the details of our mission, we just have our piece, your little mission and it’s a piece of a greater thing. But the fun thing is that we also get to, we have to, live the lives of the people whose bodies we basically infiltrate. So we are like spies but we’re also fish out of water, all of us.” Continue reading.
From a media release:
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Bell Media are pleased to welcome ABC Signature Studios as the new associate sponsor of the highly touted Bell Media Prime Time TV program. ABC Signature spearheads development and production in premium and basic cable,emerging platforms and off-cycle, direct-to-series programming. Their presence as both a sponsor and U.S. studio partner will directly benefit the Program and its participants, ensuring vital support for the Canadian production industry.
The Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association with ABC Signature delivers a real world story room experience, an intense professional and project development process for six to eight TV writers a year. Participants spend three months working on an original series intended for the marketplace under the mentorship of an experienced creator/showrunner delivering a rigorous story room experience while building strong collaborative team skills and creative partnerships. During the remaining two months, participants develop their own original series concept through a series of workshops and story sessions while also being exposed to key industry players through business and marketplace meetings.
The 2016/17 Program is set to begin in September 2016.