TV + Film NewsTV & Film News - Videotron to shutter MAtv in Montreal

TV & Film News – Videotron to shutter MAtv in Montreal

Videotron has announced it will shutter its MAtv community channel in Montreal next summer. The Quebecor subsidiary says it’s closing the channel “against a backdrop of fierce media competition and major financial challenges for the entire television industry.” MAtv will continue to broadcast outside Montreal, maintaining its operations in the rest of Québec, including Bas-Saint-Laurent, Cap-de-la-Madeleine, Granby, Outaouais, Québec City, Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, Sherbrooke and Sorel-Tracy. Quebecor said the closure of MAtv Montréal will result in the elimination of the equivalent of five full-time positions, with three other jobs eliminated at its other stations. Until its closure in summer 2024, the Montreal channel will broadcast programming already produced over the last few months. Read more here.

The CRTC has approved a new must-carry TV license for French-language diversity and culture channel Natyf TV. The channel is now available on the basic subscriber service of all cable companies and other TV service providers in Quebec. Natyf TV says details of its 2023-24 programming will be unveiled at a launch scheduled for Sept. 18.

The 2023 Women in View On Screen Report (WIVOS23) reveals how much work there is yet to be done in terms of representation both behind and in front of the camera. Key findings include that Black women have the least representation across all key creative roles, led the fewest projects, and received the least funding overall and on average for those projects; Women and gender diverse people were employed 20-30% less often in documentary TV than in drama; Women and gender diverse TV writers received less work in 2020 and 2021 (42%) compared to 2019; and Women and gender diverse cinematographers in television continue to have the least share of work of all creative roles, which decreased in 2020 (6%) and 2021 (10%) versus 2019 (17%). The results mark an overall decrease in progress made pre-pandemic. In total, 5,919 credits were reviewed, 1,721 of which went to women and gender diverse creatives. Find the full report here.

The National Film Board (NFB) has committed to ensuring that by March 2025, over 30% of its productions and co-productions underway at that time will be directed by artists and filmmakers who self-identify as Black and People of Colour. NFB says that target represents the minimum expected outcome. Meanwhile, the NFB is kicking off fall with premieres of two new feature documentaries in September: The Colour of Ink, from Brian D. Johnson’s award-winning Sphinx Productions and NFB, will premiere online Sept. 5, followed by the online launch of Hayley Gray and Elad Tzadok’s feature doc from British Columbia, Unarchived, on Sept. 25.

3 Story Pictures has begun principal photography on Season 1 of documentary series, Red River Gold (13×30). Set to air on APTN at a later date, the series follows a group of Métis treasure seekers looking for a trove of gold coins worth $1M that disappeared in 1870 en route to fund a British military force marching across Canada to stop Louis Riel and the Métis during the Red River Resistance. Red River Gold is directed by Saxon de Cocq (Treaty Road Season 1, The Other Side), Berkley Brady (Dark Nature, The Secret History of: The Wild West), and Sam Karney (Going Native, Nation Untamed), written by de Cocq, and produced by Hannah Hermanson (Treaty Road Season 1, Staying Wild Season 1 & 2, Zarqa Season 2), Ell McEachern (Treaty Road Season 1, Staying Wild Season 1&2, Zarqa Season 2), de Cocq and Karney. Red River Gold is being filmed in Richer, Ste. Anne, La Coulee, Winnipeg, and along the old Dawson Trail in Manitoba. 

Paramount+ has announced that as of Sept. 1, it is now home to the South Park catalogue in Canada, including the Season 26 episodes released earlier this year. The library contains all 315 available episodes, movies, and specials, as well as previously-aired Paramount+ exclusives South Park: Post Covid, South Park: The Return of Covid and South Park: The Streaming Wars, Part 1 and 2. In addition, Pluto TV in Canada offers episodes from Seasons 1 to 21 of South Park, rotating live on the South Park channel.

Stingray has reached a new distribution agreement with consumer electronics company TCL and its new online streaming service, TCLtv+. The deal brings Stingray channels, including the debut of Ultimate Trivia, to TCLtv+ users in North America. Now available on Google and coming soon to Roku and FireTV smart operating systems, the TCLtv+ app includes more than 200 FAST (Free Ad-Supported Streaming Television) channels and 1500+ on-demand movies and TV series from major and independent studios. Users can now enjoy complimentary access to Stingray Music’s curated audio channels, spanning genres from Remember the 80s and Classic Rock to Hot Country, Hit List, Easy Listening, and TikTok Radio. Viewers will also have access to specialty channels, including: Stingray Naturescape, Qello Concerts by Stingray, Stingray Karaoke, Stingray Classica, Stingray Djazz, and Stingray CMusic, which reinvents music videos to offer a revolutionized version of classical music.

The HISTORY Channel Canadian original documentary, True Story, returns for Part Two (1×120) on Sept. 30. Produced by Winnipeg’s EagleVision, True Story will explore how to move forward from Canada’s colonial past and work towards reconciliation. Through narration from Kaniehtiio Horn (Rutherford Falls), reenactments, and interviews from Indigenous voices and experts, True Story Part Two will examine the intergenerational impact of historical events including the Indian Act and Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop, Indigenous political movements, and the role of Indigenous veterans in Canada’s military. 

OUTtv has commissioned a second season of competition series Sew Fierce, an OUTtv original produced by Sonic Nursery. The new season started production this month and is set to launch in Spring 2024. The eight-episode second season will see design mentor Jaime Lujan, aka Lucinda Miu, return to the show, joined by new co-host and London based drag legend, Crystal. Showcasing the craft of drag, Sew Fierce sees eight drag designers at the top of their field compete in weekly challenges to create new looks, in the hopes of winning a cash prize and a sewing suite from SINGER. The first season of the series launched internationally on the OUTtv platform earlier this year.

Corus Entertainment’s YTV, Treehouse, Cartoon Network, and Disney Channels have unveiled this fall’s animated and live-action premieres. Premiering Oct. 14 on Treehouse is Vida the Vet, produced by Spin Master Entertainment, following 10-year-old Vida, an animal doctor who nurtures the woodland creatures who live outside her home. Bossy Bear makes its debut Sept. 8. From husband-and-wife team David Horvath and Sun-Min Kim (UglyDolls), based on the popular book series by Horvath, the series follows Bossy Bear, an overly-enthusiastic extrovert, and Turtle, a thoughtful introvert – unlikely besties navigating adventures in their Koreatown-inspired city of Pleasantburg. Cartoon Network is also set to debut Adventure Time: Fionna & Cake on Sept. 15. Produced by Cartoon Network Studios and based on characters from the Adventure Time franchise, the new 10-episode series follows the alternate universe versions of Finn and Jake on a multiverse-hopping journey.

Showcase’s fall slate includes the Season 3 return of killer doll Chucky, horror-thriller film Sick, new crime series Culprits, and a second season of Killing It, starring Craig Robinson. Chucky slashes his way onto Showcase for a third season Oct. 4. On Oct. 20, Sick, from horror studio Blumhouse, Miramax and Scream franchise creator Kevin Williamson premieres, set during the height of the pandemic. Culprits will also land on Showcase this fall – an eight-episode series that sees a group of criminals stalked following a heist. With a launch date yet to be announced, it stars Nathan Stewart-Jarrett (Generation, Candyman), Gemma Arterton (The King’s Man, Summerland), Kirby (Cruella, The Good Place), Niamh Algar (Deceit, Raised by Wolves), Kamel El Basha (The Insult), Kevin Vidal (Strays, Working Moms), and Eddie Izzard (Victoria and Abdul, Six Minutes to Midnight), among others.

TSN, CTV and RDS are gearing up for multi-platform coverage of the 2023 NFL season across Bell Media platforms with the new season kicking off with pre-game coverage Thursday, Sept. 7 on TSN and CTV, followed by the season opener as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs take on the Detroit Lions. Thursday Night Football will air on TSN and CTV2, while NFL REDZONE will be available on TSN+ every Sunday afternoon. Sunday Night Football airs on TSN and CTV, while Monday Night Football will be exclusive to TSN. All playoff games will air on TSN and CTV.

Patricia Arquette

Patricia Arquette will receive the TIFF Share Her Journey Groundbreaker Award during the 48th edition of the Toronto International Film Festival. Arquette is the final honouree to be announced ahead of the 2023 TIFF Tribute Awards, taking place Sept. 10 at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. Arquette returns to the festival with her directorial debut Gonzo Girl, starring Willem Dafoe and Camila Morrone, based on Cheryl Della Pietra’s semi-autobiographical novel chronicling her time as Hunter S. Thompson’s personal assistant. The award recognizes a woman who is a leader in the film industry and has made a positive impact on women throughout their career. Academy Award–winning actor Michelle Yeoh was honoured at last year’s awards.

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and CBC have announced the 2023 cohort of the CBC Actors Conservatory, an immersive acting program designed to enhance the participants skills, network and experience to develop successful careers in the industry. This year’s cohort includes Ali A. Kazmi, Christine L Nguyen, Dorrett White, Gwenlyn Cumyn, Milcania Diaz-Rojas, Rebekah Miskin, Ryan Rosery and Sam Asante.    

Meredith Hama-Brown

Gersh has signed writer/director Meredith Hama-Brown, ahead of the world premiere of her debut feature film Seagrass at the Toronto International Film Festival. Seagrass, which premieres Sept. 8th as a part of TIFF’s Discovery Programme, stars Ally Maki (Shortcomings) as Judith, a Japanese Canadian woman who brings her family to a self-development retreat after the recent death of her mother. Hama-Brown is a Japanese Canadian filmmaker interested in themes of identity and lineage. In 2020, she was selected for the TIFF Filmmaker Lab and was awarded the Canada Goose Fellowship for Seagrass. She is in the early stages of writing her sophomore feature film. 

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