From a media release:
TheÂ Canadian Film CentreÂ (CFC) is delighted to announce the six new residents who will be joining theÂ 2018 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program, presented in association withÂ ABC Signature Studios,Â beginning Monday, September 24.
The program has attracted some of Canadaâ€™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 seriesÂ Orphan BlackÂ and most recently, the critically acclaimed seriesÂ Travelers, which premieres its third season this fall.
This yearâ€™s residents are especially fortunate to work with in-demand CFC alumna and writer-producer,Â Alexandra Zarowny. Her work spansÂ Degrassi: The Next GenerationÂ toÂ Wynonna Earp,Â Murdoch MysteriesÂ toÂ BellevueÂ andÂ 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, Iâ€™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, thereâ€™s no doubt in my mind that these new voices emerging in the television landscape will change yours as well.”
This yearâ€™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 FabiilliÂ is an award winning playwright, writer, actor and producer. Her play,Â 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 bioÂ here.
- Jessica MeyaÂ 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 bioÂ here.
- Michael RinaldiÂ is an actor and writer for theatre, television and film. His play,Â Toothpaste and CigarsÂ (co-written with TJ Dawe), was adapted as Michael Dowseâ€™s 2013 feature film,Â The F Word, starring Daniel Radcliffe, Zoe Kazan and Adam Driver. Read full bioÂ here.
- Mackenzie Sinclair, originally from Edmonton, is a 2017 Toronto Screenwriting Conferenceâ€™s Magee TV Diverse Screenwriters Award recipient, where he developed his half-hour dramedy series,Â Snowflake, under the mentorship of writer/director Pat Mills. Read full bioÂ here.
- Veronika PazÂ is an actor, playwright, director and television writer. She studied sketch writing at New Yorkâ€™s Upright Citizens Brigade, trained as a performer at Pro Actorâ€™s Lab in Toronto and Barrow Group Theatre in New York, and is a 2018 recipient of the Toronto Screenwriting Conferenceâ€™s Al Magee Diverse Screenwriters Award. Read full bioÂ here.
- Heather TaylorÂ is a writer, director and co-founder of the creative studio, Cereal Made, in New York, with writing credits that include: the featureÂ The Last Thakur; the sci-fi web seriesÂ Raptured, currently in development as a TV series; and the award-winning shortÂ Stitched. Read full bioÂ 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 creatorâ€™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 Netflixâ€™s generous commitment to our creative community, Netflix will become the Presenting Sponsor of CFCâ€™s Annual Gala & Auction, CFCâ€™s Annual BBQ Fundraiser, CFCâ€™s Annual Garden Party and CFCâ€™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 Canadaâ€™s Showcase on October 17, is what showrunner Brad Wright (Stargate series) calls a â€œ10 out of 10 Canadian show.â€ This sci-fi series follows a set of individuals from the future sent back to the present to â€œsave humanity from a terrible future.â€ 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). Itâ€™s as all-Canadian as they come, and it began its development during the Canadian Film Centre (CFC)â€™s 2014 Prime Time TV Program. Continue reading.
From Victoria Ahearn of The Canadian Press:
Mysteries and dualities infiltrate new series Travelers
â€œWe never quite know the details of our mission, we just have our piece, your little mission and itâ€™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 weâ€™re also fish out of water, all of us.â€ Continue reading.
From a media release:
TheÂ Canadian Film CentreÂ (CFC) andÂ Bell MediaÂ are pleased to welcomeÂ ABC Signature StudiosÂ as the newÂ associate sponsor of the highly toutedÂ 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,Â 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 marketplaceÂ under the mentorship ofÂ an experienced creator/showrunner delivering a rigorous story room experience while building strongÂ collaborative team skills andÂ creative partnerships.Â During the remaining two months, participantsÂ 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.
From a media release:
TheÂ Canadian Film CentreÂ (CFC) is pleased to announce thatÂ Elebrity, a series byÂ Montreal-based production companyÂ NextTime ProductionsÂ and creators behind thesmash hit YouTube seriesÂ Epic Meal Time, has been picked up for a development deal with the CBC. This deal was made possible through the inauguralÂ Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop, Canadaâ€™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-basedÂ independent content production companyÂ Aircraft Pictures, theÂ official production partner of the program.
ElebrityÂ 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,Â 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 inauguralÂ Jumping Screens Comedy Workshop, includingÂ singer/songwriter and comedian Mikey Bustos, and the award-winning web seriesÂ Convos With My 2-Year-Old, from creator and star Matthew Clarke and fellow star David Milchard.Â Mikey Bustos and the team behindÂ Convos With My 2-Year-OldÂ are currently pursuing various opportunities to develop their respective TVseries concepts developed through the Workshop withÂ 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.