TV & Film News – Tribal leads AMPIA’s Rosies nominations

The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) awards that were originally set for May 23 have been rescheduled to an online presentation on Oct. 8. The 2020 Rosies finalists were announced in a Facebook Live/YouTube announcement last week. Calgary-based Prairie Dog Film & Television’s production of Tribal has the most finalists, with 12. SEVEN24 Films’ Heartland, also Calgary-based, came in second with 10. The individual production with the largest number of finalists from Edmonton is Yardwork Productions’ Whiteface with seven nominations.

The 2020 TIFF Tribute Awards will be broadcast Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 8pm ET/PT on CTV during the 45th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Produced by Bell Media Studios, the first-ever one-hour broadcast will feature special messages from honourees and be streamed to a global audience by Variety. Among this year’s honourees are Sir Anthony Hopkins and Kate Winslet, who will receive TIFF Tribute Actor Awards; director Chloé Zhao will receive the TIFF Ebert Director Award; and Academy Award–nominated filmmaker Mira Nair, who’ll be honoured with the Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media.

Bell Media has announced that its newly-acquired French-language conventional TV network V will become Noovo as of Aug. 31, creating a unified brand in Quebec for both the conventional channel and popular digital platform. To celebrate the rebrand, it will host a Sept. 7 television event broadcast from Montreal’s Centre Bell where 30 artists, including Half Moon run, Les Louanges, and others, will perform in front of a live audience of 250 Quebecers.

Sim is planning to open its ninth B.C. studio in September. Already booked into next summer, the Golden Ears studio will add another 120,000 square feet of studio space, encompassing two sound stages, mill, paint, and lockup space, set decoration and wardrobe areas, as well as production office space. The new location brings Sim’s total studio capacity to over 550,000 square feet. 

Blue Ant Media has sold its gaming content group Omnia Media to Enthusiast Gaming Holdings. In a deal valued at $47 million CAD, the purchase price consists of 18.25 million common shares of Enthusiast Gaming, $11 million in cash and a vendor-take-back note with a face value of $5.75 million. Based in Los Angeles, Omnia is a leading global multi-channel YouTube network that distributes premium, original content. Omnia produces and programs over 30 weekly shows across AVOD (advertising-based video on demand) and OTT (over-the-top) channels and represents over 500 gaming influencers across YouTube and Twitch.

Telefilm Canada and the Talent Fund have announced the projects selected under this year’s $2.2 million Talent to Watch Program. Of the 16 first feature films and narrative web projects to be made, 13 are from emerging filmmakers who are culturally diverse, with one who self-identifies as gender diverse. Fifty per cent of the selected stories are directed by women. Telefilm has also upped the feature film project allocation to $150,000, up from $125,000. Check out the list of 2020-21 indie filmmakers selected, here.

Telefilm has shared details on the first steps toward data collection as part of its funding programs. Building on initial data collection implemented during the first phase of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund efforts, Telefilm will be collecting additional data on the corporate control of applicants and key creatives (director, writer, and producer). Each applicant company will be able to voluntarily self-identify as being majority-owned and controlled by individuals who self-identify as one or more of the following: Racialized persons, LGBTQ2+, persons with disabilities, Indigenous persons (First Nations, Inuit or Métis), Women, or members of an Official Language minority community. This is in addition to Telefilm’s pre-existing options to identify based on gender, as well as if a member identifies as Indigenous. 

 

CTV Original drama Transplant is set to make its U.S. premiere Tuesday, Sept. 1 on NBC. CTV will encore the series first season in simulcast Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT.  The 13-episode series is centred around Dr. Bashir “Bash” Hamed, a Syrian doctor with battle-tested skills in emergency medicine who fled his country with his younger sister, Amira. Together they struggle to build a new life in Canada as Bash strives to rebuild his career in medicine.

Food Network Canada’s fall schedule begins with a new season of Duff Takes the Cake with cake master Duff Goldman on Aug. 31, followed by new series Vegas Chef Prizefight hosted by chef Anne Burrell on Sept. 2 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. Highly-anticipated baking competition series Bakeaway Camp with Martha Stewart debuts Sept. 6, while cake boss, Buddy Valastro, returns on Sept. 14 with new series Big Time Bake. The fall slate also sees the return of two Corus Studios Original series, Wall of Chefs (Insight Productions) and Big Food Bucket List (Lone Eagle Entertainment). In the second season of travelogue series Big Food Bucket List, host John Catucci takes viewers on new food adventures beginning with back-to-back episodes Sept. 12.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has unveiled its AMI-tv fall schedule, highlighted by the debut of the previously-announced AMI original Level Playing Field, which debuts Sept. 7. Season nine of AMI This Week premieres Sept. 14, hosted by Victoria Nolan and featuring bureau reporters Grant Hardy (Vancouver), Beth Deer (Edmonton), Alex Smyth (Toronto), Shelby Travers (Ottawa) and Laura Bain (Halifax). Back for a third season is Reflect and Renew with Kevin Naidoo. Newly-acquired series with described video include Seasons 1 and 2 of Coroner; Season 1 of Anne with an E; and Season 1 of When Calls the Heart. More here.

Bryan and Sarah Baeumler

D360 has sold a season of Bryan Inc. (13 x 60’) to HGTV US, who will begin broadcasting the series at the end of this month as Renovation Inc. Produced by Si Entertainment for HGTV Canada, it was the channel’s highest-rating series premiere in more than five years. Two seasons of Bryan Inc. (26 x 60’) have also been acquired by Imagine Media in Israel, along with all three seasons of House of Bryan (50 x 30’) and all six seasons of Leave it to Bryan (130 x 30’). D360 has also recently licensed multiple seasons of Leave it to Bryan to Medya Film in Turkey (39 x 30’) and AG Rubin Group in Russia (65 x 30’), with KIP International in Bosnia taking all six seasons (130 x 30’).

CBC has greenlit new original one-hour series Feudal (8×60), produced by Halifax-based Six Eleven Media and eOne, and created by Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz, Lucifer). Feudal tells the tale of the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of adult half-siblings battling for control of their family business, The Moonshine, a ramshackle summer resort on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. Production is now underway on location in Nova Scotia for broadcast on CBC in 2021.

Wolfwalker Productions and Wabung Anung Films are behind original series AMPLIFY, set to air on APTN beginning Sept. 11 in English, and in Ojibway, starting Sept. 10. The premise of the 13-episode anthology is to invite an Indigenous songwriter to find a piece of inspiration (whether it be a book, art piece, belief, etc.) and write a song about it. Each episode ends with a music video of the song. Artists featured include Cheryl L’Hirondelle, Lacey Hill, iskwē, Shawnee, Melody McKiver, Nick Sherman, Tara Williamson, Leonard Sumner, Jason Burnstick, Ansley Simpson, Jennifer Kreisberg, and Christa Couture.

The Jim Henson Company and Montreal’s Felix & Paul Studios are in development on The Storyteller: The Seven Ravens, a groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) experience. The extension of The Storyteller television series will see an augmented reality (AR), trackable storybook produced, narrated by award-winning author Neil Gaiman. The project has support from the Canada Media Fund, Magic Leap Independent Creators Program, Epic MegaGrants and SODEC Quebec. The experience will be demoed at the Siggraph virtual conference starting Aug. 17, with a live Q&A the week of Aug. 24 to discuss the project’s tracking module. 

MTM Junior’s latest report explores the TV viewing habits of kids under 18. It found that two-thirds of Anglophone children watch linear TV in a typical week. Among all age groups, teens report watching the most weekly TV content, but they spend even more time watching YouTube. 7-11 year olds report spending roughly equal amounts of time across TV, Netflix, and YouTube, while 2-6 year olds skew more towards traditional TV. MTM found 80% of Francophone children watch traditional TV. French-speaking teens spend slightly more time watching content on YouTube than on traditional television, while younger children spend more time watching traditional TV than Netflix and YouTube.

The 16th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival (MIBFF) will be held online, Sept. 24 to Oct. 4. It will also present The MIBFF in the Neighbourhoods, a neighbourhood-based initiative giving youth free access to Black films on Montreal Island, with screenings followed by cultural mediation. This year, Montreal-North will be in the spotlight. Details will follow when the lineup is unveiled Sept. 2.

Super Channel and the Edmonton International Film Festival (EIFF) are partnering to bring a virtual edition of the 2020 EIFF to film fans. Beginning Oct. 1 and running through Oct. 10, Super Channel Fuse will showcase a selection of films from this year’s festival. More than a dozen feature films will have a linear-only limited run, with the full online experience to feature pre-recorded Q&As, virtual filmmaker chats and a digital awards presentation. Further details are forthcoming.

Vortex Words + Pictures, A71 Releasing and Super Channel will premiere their new Super Channel Fuse Original horror feature, Anything For Jackson, Sept. 1 at the Fantasia International Film Festival, which is underway online and on demand. The film stars Sheila McCarthy (Die Hard 2, The Umbrella Academy), Julian Richings (Orphan Black, Supernatural), Konstantina Mantelos (A Christmas Crush), Josh Cruddas (Polar), and Yannick Bisson (Another Wolfcop, Murdoch Mysteries). 

The Marilyn Denis Show has struck a new brand partnership with IKEA to promote the retailer’s upcoming 2021 Catalogue. Running until Aug. 23, the campaign aims to give viewers inspiration to create an inexpensive, stylish, and functional spaces, while they spend more time at home than ever. The campaign features a 30-second co-branded commercial airing on CTV and CTV2, as well as CTV Life, CTV Comedy, CTV Drama, E!, Much, MTV , Discovery, Animal Planet, and Discovery Science. The partnership also features Pinterest theme board integrations based on IKEA’s “how to” categories.

Global News has announced the addition of three new regional news streams to its offering on the Global TV App. Streams for Winnipeg, Halifax and Montreal join B.C., Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, and National streams, expanding Global News’ roster to eight free streams within the app. Each stream delivers live breaking news, live simulcasts of each region’s respective television newscast, and a continually updating array of reporting highlighting the biggest news stories relevant to each stream’s respective region. The app is available via iOS, Android, Chromecast, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV and at watch.globaltv.com.

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