CBC launches new “CBC Films” brand

CBC Films
L to R: Sally Catto (General Manager, Programming, CBC), Mehernaz Lentin (Senior Director, CBC Films), Heather Conway (Executive Vice-President, English Services, CBC)

CBC is rolling out new brand CBC Films, which will encompass its funding, pre-buys and acquisitions, and become the rebrand for the CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund.

Mehernaz Lentin, senior director, CBC Films, says the brand will reflect quality filmmaking, first and foremost, starting with the story.

“It also starts with the point of view and I think it’s reframing those perspectives. It’s really looking at the collective force of the team, the representation, and we’re looking at the landscape of Canadian culture and cinema…not only Indigenous filmmakers, but women, and other diverse voices. For me, personally, the goal is to continue to build on Canadian audiences,” said Lentin. 

While no new funding is attached to the announcement, CBC says it will be requiring more films for its streaming platforms with more details to emerge soon.

CBC Films has confirmed the next four features selected for funding in support of diverse Canadian filmmakers. All four films also received financial support from Telefilm Canada.

THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN, written and directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn

Written and directed by Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kathleen Hepburn (Never Steady, Never Still), and inspired by a transformative moment in Tailfeathers’ life, THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN weaves an intricately complex, while at the same time very simple, story of a chance encounter between two Indigenous women with drastically different lived experience, navigating the aftermath of domestic abuse. Starring Violet Nelson and Tailfeathers, the film is a co-production between Vancouver’s Experimental Forest Films and Violator Films, and Norway’s Tannhauser Gate and Oslo Pictures, and is distributed by LevelFILM. The film wrapped production in Vancouver in April 2018 and was produced by Tyler Hagan (Never Steady, Never Still), Lori Lozinski (Once There Was A Winter), and Alan R. Milligan (Valley of Shadows). In addition to support from CBC and Telefilm Canada, the film received funding from the Norwegian Film Institute, Telus, International Sami Film Institute, Harold Greenberg Fund, and CreativeBC.

CLIFTON HILL, co-written by James Schultz and Albert Shin, directed by Shin

Written and directed by Albert Shin, CLIFTON HILL is a psychological thriller set in off-season Niagara Falls about a self-destructive pathological liar who inherits a crumbling motel and becomes entangled in the memory of a kidnapping she claims to have witnessed as a young girl. Casting is underway, with principal photography scheduled to start in November 2018. The film is produced by Niv Fichman, Fraser Ash, and Kevin Krikst, co-written by James Schultz, and distributed by Elevation Pictures. In addition to support from CBC, Elevation Pictures and Telefilm Canada, the film is funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

FUNNY BOY, written by Shyam Selvadurai and directed by Deepa Mehta

Written by Shyam Selvadurai, based on his award-winning novel, and directed by Deepa Mehta, FUNNY BOY refers to Arjie, the second son of a privileged family in Sri Lanka. Bewildered by his incipient sexual awakening, and horrified by the bloody Tamil-Sinhalese conflicts that threaten to tear apart his homeland, Arjie painfully grows toward manhood and an understanding of his own seemingly different identity. Produced by David Hamilton and Hussain Amarshi, and distributed by Mongrel Media, the film begins production in February 2019. In addition to support from CBC and Telefilm Canada, the film is funded by the Ontario Media Development Corporation.

RUSTIC ORACLE, written and directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau

Written and directed by Sonia Bonspille Boileau, RUSTIC ORACLE follows eight-year-old Ivy as she embarks on a desperate road trip with her mother in the hope of finding her older sister, Heather, who has mysteriously gone missing from their Mohawk community. Starring Carmen Moore (Blackstone) and newcomer Lake Delisle, and produced by Jason Brennan, the film recently wrapped principal photography in Toronto. In addition to support from CBC and Telefilm Canada, the film is funded by Société de développement des entreprises culturelles and the Harold Greenberg Fund.

Twelve films screening at TIFF 2018 received support from CBC:

CBC FILMS Funding:

FALLS AROUND HER (CBC Films Feature, World Premiere – Contemporary World Cinema), written and directed by Darlene Naponse
MOUTHPIECE (CBC Films Feature, World Premiere – opening night selection of Special Presentations), directed by Patricia Rozema and written by Amy Nostbakken, Rozema and Norah Sadava

Pre-Buys & Acquisitions:

7A (Acquisition, World Premiere – Short Cuts), directed by Zachary Russell
CLARA (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Discovery), written and directed by Akash Sherman, distributed by D Films
THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHN F. DONOVAN (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Special Presentations), written by Xavier Dolan and Jacob Tierney, directed by Dolan, distributed by eOne
EMPTYING THE TANK (CBC Short Docs, World Premiere – Short Cuts), directed by Caroline Monnet
FAUVE (Acquisition, Toronto Premiere – Short Cuts), directed by Jérémy Comte
GIANT LITTLE ONES (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Special Presentations), written and directed by Keith Behrman, distributed by Mongrel Media
THE GRIZZLIES (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Special Presentations), written by Moira Walley-Beckett and Graham Yost, directed by Miranda de Pencier, distributed by Mongrel Media
PROSECUTING EVIL: THE EXTRAORDINARY WORLD OF BEN FERENCZ (documentary Channel, World Premiere – TIFF Docs), directed by Barry Avrich
SPLINTERS (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Contemporary World Cinema), written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald, distributed by Emotion Pictures Inc.
THROUGH BLACK SPRUCE (Feature Film Pre-buy, World Premiere – Special Presentations), written by Barbara Samuels and directed by Don McKellar, distributed by D Films


Subscribe Now – Free!

Broadcast Dialogue has been required reading in the Canadian broadcast media for 25 years. When you subscribe, you join a community of connected professionals from media and broadcast related sectors from across the country.

The Weekly Briefing from Broadcast Dialogue is delivered exclusively to subscribers by email every Thursday. It’s your link to critical industry news, timely people moves, and excellent career advancement opportunities.

Let’s get started right now.