Tag Archives: Industry News

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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Link: Petition looks to bring Story Coordinator under Writers Guild of Canada

From Bridget Liszewski of The TV Junkies:

Link: Petition looks to bring Story Coordinator under Writers Guild of Canada
“On a Canadian show, the story coordinator is the ‘entry-level’ job through which many TV writers break into a writers’ room. Currently, the position is not protected by the Writers Guild and as writers, that’s where we want to be.” Continue reading. 

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Link: Writers Guild of Canada confronts criticism over inclusion: “There’s No Hidden Agenda”

From Etan Vlessing of The Hollywood Reporter:

Link: Writers Guild of Canada confronts criticism over inclusion: “There’s No Hidden Agenda”
After the Writers Guild of Canada took to social media to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement, the Canadian screenwriters union has had to defend its policies on diversity and inclusion. Continue reading. 

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CBC announces new and returning series in 2020-21 programming slate

From a media release:

[Editor’s Note: Fridge Wars, Diggstown and Burden of Truth are on hold at the moment given COVID-19 production delays. The Detectives has not been renewed.]

At CBC’s 2020 virtual upfront presentation today, Canada’s public broadcaster revealed its 2020-21 slate of original programming, led by a strong fall schedule featuring 1,300 new hours for television spanning 22 new and returning series across all genres.

FALL 2020

ENSLAVED (6×60 Documentary, Associated Producers/A CBC Gem and documentary channel co-production with Epix in the United States) is a blue-chip documentary series led by Samuel Jackson and directed by Canadian filmmaker Simcha Jacobovici (The Naked Archaeologist) that charts the history of slavery through underwater archaeology. The series coincides with the 400-year anniversary of the first African brought to the New World as a slave, and will retrace the harrowing sea voyage that brought millions to a life of slavery. ENSLAVED is produced by Felix Golubev and Ric Bienstock and executive produced by Samuel L. Jackson, LaTanya Jackson, Eli Selden, Rob Lee, Simcha Jacobovici and Yaron Niski. International distribution by Fremantle.

ORANGEVILLE PREP (6×30 Factual, Orangeville Hoops Inc.) is a character-driven factual series that offers an inside look at the competitive, high-pressure world of basketball’s most successful preparatory program. Tucked away on farmland in Orangeville, Ontario lies the sport’s best kept secret – The Athlete Institute (AI). This high school basketball program has produced more Division 1 College and NBA players in the last five years than any other program in the world.

The Sounds

THE SOUNDS (8×60 Drama, Canada/New Zealand co-production, Shaftesbury and South Pacific Pictures) is a striking take on the relationship-driven thriller. Welcome to Pelorus Sounds, New Zealand – the sleepy settlement where nothing, including the visiting Cabbotts, is quite what it seems. Grieving wives, cheating husbands, epic embezzlement and historic crime all collide to weave a complicated web stretching through the Sounds’ hidden valleys and deep waters. Created by New Zealand-based author Sarah-Kate Lynch and directed by Peter Stebbings (Frankie Drake Mysteries, The Disappearance), the series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Mary Kills People, Under the Dome) as Maggie Cabbott and Matt Whelan (Narcos, The Luminaries) as Tom Cabbott.

TRICKSTER (6×60 Drama, Streel Films and Sienna Films) is based on the best-selling novel Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson, with CBC confirming today that it has been renewed for a second season. Starring newcomer Joel Oulette, this unique series is created by award-winning filmmaker Michelle Latimer (RISE, Nuuca) and Tony Elliott (Orphan Black), and directed by Latimer. Oulette plays Jared, an Indigenous teen struggling to keep his dysfunctional family above water, holding down an after-school job and selling ecstasy to support his partying mom, Maggie (Crystle Lightning), who self-medicates an undiagnosed mental illness, and his unemployable dad, Phil (Craig Lauzon) and his new girlfriend. But when Jared starts seeing strange things — talking ravens, doppelgängers, skin monsters— his already chaotic life is turned upside down. Additional cast includes Kalani Queypo (Jamestown), Anna Lambe (The Grizzlies), Joel Thomas Hynes (Little Dog), Gail Maurice (Cardinal) and Georgina Lightning (Blackstone).

SERIES RETURNING THIS FALL

  • BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW (Season 5, Frantic Films) – Finale Season
  • BATTLE OF THE BLADES (Season 6, Insight Productions) Following its remergence on the ice last year that reached over 1.5 million Canadians each episode, the factual hit will return this fall.**
  • DRAGONS’ DEN (Season 15, CBC)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2, Zone 3/Fremantle) Following its inaugural season that reached 2.6 million viewers each week with a nightly average audience of over half a million including 30 percent in the key 25-54 demo, the hit series hosted by Gerry Dee is confirmed to return four nights per week this fall with 104 new episodes as a nationwide virtual search for new Canadian families now begins.***
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24, Pilot Light Productions)
  • JUST FOR LAUGHS: GALAS (Just For Laughs TV)
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48, CBC News)
  • THE NATIONAL (CBC News, ongoing)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60) The landmark 60th season of THE NATURE OF THINGS will kick off with STATE OF THE PLANET, a unique documentary featuring a one-on-one conversation between David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough that takes the pulse of our planet and asks whether humans can change their ways in time.
  • PURE (Season 2, Two East Productions/Cineflix)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6, CBC Sports)
  • STILL STANDING (Season 6, Frantic Films)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28, Wildbrain)
  • YOU CAN’T ASK THAT (Season 2, Pixcom)
Trickster

WINTER NEW SERIES

LADY DICKS (10×60 Drama, Cameron Pictures) is a fun and honest portrayal of two radically different female detectives in their early 40s. The buddy cop drama series follows Guns and Gangs detective, Samantha (Meredith MacNeill, Baroness von Sketch Show) and Drug Squad detective, Kelly (Adrienne C. Moore, Orange is the New Black), who by day are true action heroes in their own particular way: skilled, tough, determined, and ruthless. But by night, they’re both grappling with loneliness, dysfunctional families, screwed-up love lives, and a sense that their professional ambitions may not be totally in line with their personal needs. Their friendship could help to balance each other out, if only they didn’t drive one another utterly insane. LADY DICKS is co-created by Tassie Cameron (Mary Kills People, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue, The Robber Bride) and Sherry White (Little Dog, Frontier, Ten Days in the Valley, Rookie Blue).

ARCTIC VETS (10×30 Factual, eOne) takes viewers up close with the remarkable wildlife that inhabits Canada’s frozen north and the team of veterinarians that works tirelessly to keep them safe. With around 40 patients per week, no two days are the same for the team at Assiniboine Park Arctic Animal Hospital in Manitoba. From muskox to seals, wolverines to reindeer, treating Arctic animals is often dangerous, but always rewarding. Whether they’re performing life-saving surgery on a polar bear, or tending to a snowy owl with a broken wing, the mission of the vet team is the same – save the lives of sick and injured Arctic species.

SERIES SET TO RETURN THIS WINTER

  • CORONER (Season 3, Muse Entertainment, Back Alley Films and Cineflix Studios)
  • FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Season 2 continues, Zone 3, Fremantle)
  • THE FIFTH ESTATE (Season 46)
  • FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES (Season 4, Shaftesbury)
  • THE GREAT CANADIAN BAKING SHOW (Season 4, Proper Television)
  • HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST (Season 24 continues, Pilot Light Productions)
  • HEARTLAND (Season 14, Seven24 Films and Dynamo Films)
  • KIM’S CONVENIENCE (Season 5, Thunderbird Entertainment) – also renewed for Season 6
  • MARKETPLACE (Season 48 continues)
  • MURDOCH MYSTERIES (Season 14, Shaftesbury)
  • THE NATURE OF THINGS (Season 60 continues)
  • ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES (Season 6 continues)
  • TALLBOYZ (Season 2, Accent Entertainment)
  • THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES (Season 28 continues, Wildbrain)
  • WORKIN’ MOMS (Season 5, Wolf & Rabbit Entertainment)

KIDS PROGRAMMING

New original series for kids on CBC Kids and CBC Gem this upcoming year include:

  • REMY & BOO (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, in association with Radio-Canada, 52×11 – Fall 2020), an animated preschool series about a unique friendship between an adventurous little girl and a squishy pink robot called Boo.
  • DINO RANCH (Industrial Brothers/Boat Rocker, 52×11 – 2021), an action-packed animated preschool series that follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs still roam.
  • GARY’S MAGIC FORT (CBC Kids, 13×11 – Spring 2021), a welcoming enchanted pillow fort where CBC Kids’ host Gary the Unicorn plays with his friends.
Enslaved

CBC FALL SCHEDULE

CBC’s Fall 2020 broadcast and streaming schedule on CBC TV and CBC Gem is as follows:

(For Newfoundland and Labrador, please add one half-hour for all times)

MONDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – THE SOUNDS *New Drama Series*
9 PM – PURE *Season 2*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

TUESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – STILL STANDING *Season 6*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
8:30 PM – THIS HOUR HAS 22 MINUTES *Season 28*/ JUST FOR LAUGHS
9 PM – BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW *Season 5 – Finale Season*
9:30 PM – CATASTROPHE *Seasons 3 and 4*/ HA!IFAX COMEDY FEST
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

WEDNESDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – WAR OF THE WORLDS *Exclusive Canadian Premiere*
9 PM – TRICKSTER *New Drama Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

THURSDAYS
7:30 PM – FAMILY FEUD CANADA *Season 2*
8 PM – BATTLE OF THE BLADES *Season 6*
9 PM – DRAGONS’ DEN *Season 15*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

FRIDAYS
8 PM – MARKETPLACE *Season 48*
8:30 PM – YOU CAN’T ASK THAT *Season 2* / ORANGEVILLE PREP *New Factual Series*
9 PM – THE NATURE OF THINGS *Season 60*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

SATURDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*

SUNDAYS
Afternoon – ROAD TO THE OLYMPIC GAMES *Season 6*
8 PM – THE GREAT BRITISH BAKING SHOW *Season 10*
9 PM – ENSLAVED *New Documentary Series*
10 PM – THE NATIONAL

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