Wednesday, September 27, 2023

TV & Film News – WorksafeBC greenlights return to film and TV production

WorksafeBC says film and television production can resume in the province if BC Motion Picture Industry Coalition COVID-19 Safety Guidelines are met and employers have a customized safety plan in place. While there are still serious restrictions on international travel and a 14-day quarantine in place, WorksafeBC says those with a valid work permit will be allowed entry into Canada. The Province of Ontario moves into stage 2 of its reopening plan on June 12, which includes film and television production, however with Toronto and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area not yet approved to enter the second phase, it’s uncertain when full production will resume. California also plans to allow shoots to resume June 12, however they’ll be subject to scrutiny by county public health officers. Manitoba, which has just a handful of active cases, has been open for screen production since June 1. 

Global Montreal employees, represented by the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), who’ve been without an agreement since last August, have rejected a final offer from Corus Entertainment. The union says 91% voted against the collective agreement renewal offer, with almost 90% of members participating in the electronic vote. The more than 40 Global Montreal employees include journalists, video journalists, and technical and support staff. Corus’ offer, covering a period of four years, provided a lump sum payment in the first year, followed by annual increases of 1.5% in each of the following three years. The union says the increases would have been funded largely by the employees themselves by agreeing to reductions in the pay structure, with benefits and the employee pension plan part of the dispute. CUPE Local 4502 says it will be filing a request for conciliation.

BIPOC TV & Film, a grassroots collective of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour in Canada’s TV and film industry, has launched a petition calling for the story coordinator position to be upgraded under Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) status. The group says the position of the story coordinator, which is often held by BIPOC and women, has changed from an entry-level position to a highly nuanced job managing writer’s rooms with demanding hours that often call for 24/7 availability and a specific skill set, far above that of an entry level job. As of Wednesday, the petition had nearly 4,000 signatures.

Hot Docs has announced its 2020 Rogers Audience Award Winners, who will share in the $50,000 Rogers Audience Award. This year’s top five-rated Canadian feature documentaries, each receiving $10K, are: The Walrus and the Whistleblower; 9/11 Kids; The Forbidden Reel; First We Eat; and There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace. Read more here.

Anne-Marie Mediwake, Marci Ien, Tyrone Edwards & Lainey Lui

Bell Media has kicked off a slate of programming aimed at amplifying voices in the fight against racism. Tyrone Edwards, Marci Ien, Lainey Lui, and Anne-Marie Mediwake will co-host 90-minute special Change & Action: Racism In Canada this Saturday, June 13 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV and June 14 on Crave. It will feature a series of conversations with artists, public officials, business leaders, activists, and athletes, on how Canadians can take action against systemic racism.

Ending Racism: What Will it Take? will air Thursday, June 11 across Rogers’ TV and digital channels. Hosted by Cityline’s Tracy Moore and Sportsnet’s Donnovan Bennett, the one-hour, national prime-time special will feature discussion from guests like Olympian Donovan Bailey and Black Lives Matter Vancouver founder Cicely Belle Blain sharing their experiences and views on how Canadians can advocate for impactful change. The special will air at 7 p.m. local time on Citytv, OMNI Television, Rogers tv community stations, and Rogers Radio news websites, plus 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet. Rogers Sports & Media says this is the first of a series of ongoing initiatives that will continue to drive the conversation.

Farah Nasser

Global will air a primetime edition of Living in Colour, hosted by Farah Nasser on Friday, June 12 at 7 p.m. ET. Living in Colour: Being Black in Canada will discuss racism in Canada and the ways in which Canadians, institutions, businesses and government can actively support anti-racism. Living in Colour began airing within Global newscasts and on digital platforms in 2018 as an initiative spearheaded by Nasser and Global News producer Alley Wilson, who sought to give audiences the perspectives of marginalized communities. Over the past two years, the series has tackled issues like racism in hockey, Blackface and the relationship between police and racialized communities. 

CBC, CAVCO (Canadian Audio-Visual Certification Office) and CMPA (Canadian Media Producers Association) are launching a series of short virtual information sessions to introduce emerging independent producers and content creators from underrepresented groups in the industry (women, Indigenous peoples, visible minorities, LGBTQ2+ persons, and persons with a disability), to topics related to the business and financing of TV, film and original digital content. The half-hour sessions will happen every day at 2 p.m. ET over a three-week period. Upcoming topics include: How to negotiate a development deal, presented by Niki Singh, Manager, Scripted Programming, Business & Rights, CBC (June 15); Hiring talent from underrepresented groups in the industry, presented by Nick Davis, Director, Engagement & Inclusion, CBC & Tonya Williams, Founder, Executive & Artistic Director, Reelworld (June 24); and Producing in the time of COVID, presented by Michelle van Beusekom, Executive Director, Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC). Find the full schedule here.

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) is hosting a free Zoom session on how to successfully pitch during a pandemic. Speakers will include Marie McCann, Senior Director, Children’s Content, CBC; Athena Georgaklis, Head of Development, Nelvana; and Kevin Wright, Principal, The Optimal Pitch, as they explore pitching kids’ content in the age of physical distancing. The panel is set to take place Thursday, June 18 at 2 p.m. ET. RSVP here by June 17.

Super Channel has joined BANFF Spark as a founding industry partner of its Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media as the second cohort of 50 women get set to participate in the Banff World Media Festival entrepreneurial program, supported by the Government of Canada’s Women Entrepreneurship Strategy (WES). With a strong mandate to champion diversity, the program is designed to specifically empower women of colour, Indigenous women, women with disabilities, LGBTQ2+ women, and non-binary individuals. Across the first and second cohorts, 46% of participants self-identify as being from diverse communities. BANFF Spark programming is being delivered in a revised format, in concert with the recently launched BANFF Virtual Edition rolling out from now until September.

Discovery Velocity is on nationwide freeview, jumpstarted by coverage of the 88th edition of 24 Hours Of Le Mans Virtual Auto Race, beginning June 13. Available until July 8, new and returning series airing during the free preview include the series premieres of Driven (June 16), Roadkill (June 20), and Wheeler Dealers: Dream Car (June 22). The freeview is available through participating television service providers across the country, including Bell, Bell Aliant, Bell MTS, Cogeco, Eastlink, Rogers, Telus, Shaw, Shaw Direct, and SaskTel.

CBC will start airing Season 1 of award-winning series Mohawk Girls on Tuesday, June 16 as part of its Tuesday night comedy lineup. Following its run, Season 2 will launch Tuesday, Aug. 4 on CBC and CBC Gem, with Seasons 3-5 to be available this fall on CBC Gem. The critically-acclaimed, half-hour dramedy originally aired on APTN from 2014-17. Starring Jenny Pudavick, Brittany LeBorgne, Heather White, and Maika Harper, Mohawk Girls is a comedic look at the lives of four women trying to stay true to their roots while navigating work, love and what it means to be Mohawk in the 21st century. 

TSN is set to launch new weekly show, CFL2020, discussing the latest news from around the Canadian Football League. It will air Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET, beginning June 12, ahead of TSN’s weekly CFL ENCORE FRIDAYS. Hosted by Rod Smith, the new show features news and analysis from the CFL ON TSN panel of Henry Burris, Matt Dunigan, Milt Stegall, and Davis Sanchez; CFL Insiders Farhan Lalji and Dave Naylor; Glen Suitor and Duane Forde; as well as players, management, and personnel from around the league. Moving forward, the show will examine each of the nine teams’ off-seasons, and what their rosters will look like upon the league’s return.

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