Numeris’ has announced it’s rolling out its cross-platform Video Audience Measurement (VAM) solution nationally, while also revealing to members it’s scrapping its TV Diary service. While Numeris had an online Radio Diary system already in place when the agency was forced to transition its staff to work from home at the outset of COVID-19 in March, that was not the case with the television service. With no remote TV diary in place and unable to process physical diary returns, Numeris made the call to cancel the Fall 2020 ratings release, saying in July that it would focus on Spring 2021. In this week’s communique to members, Numeris said the pandemic has put pressure on diary services globally “with respondents grappling to find the time to complete a diary over seven days with so many competing priorities, as they work from home and care for their families.” Numeris said its plan is to design a “hybrid” audience measurement solution for markets not measured by PPM using set-top box (STB) data, PPM and other demographic data that its aiming to have in place “later in 2021” following the build of a national STB solution. Read more here.
Nunavut Independent Television (NITV) launched Canada’s first all-Inuktut TV channel Uvagut TV “Our Independent Inuit Television” on Monday. Uvagut TV broadcasts children’s series, movies, documentaries, live shows and archival productions by Isuma, Kingulliit, Arnait Video, Artcirq, Taqqut, NITV and other independent Inuit producers; as well as Inuit Broadcasting Corporation (IBC), and Inuvialuit Communications Society (ICS). The channel is available to Shaw Direct customers as well as Arctic Co-ops Cable subscribers in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. Uvagut TV can also be streamed at uvagut.tv. Uvagut TV breaks ground as the first Canadian Indigenous–language channel and after APTN, only the second Indigenous television service among 762 broadcasting in Canada. It increases total Indigenous-language television programming available to Canadian audiences by 500%.
The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced plans for the upcoming 42nd edition of the event, set for June 14-16, that will be held via a new “bespoke” online platform. From June 14-18, BANFF will host Marketplace Week where participants will be able to meet, screen, pitch and socialize via scheduled meetings in “virtual Pavilions” or their own customized private video conferencing room. The Rockie Awards International Program Competition will announce its winners June 15, while BANFF’s signature Summit Series keynotes featuring high level industry panels, networking, and other events will also be scheduled during the week. The festival will continue online between June 21 and July 16, premiering a series of panel discussions, celebrity Master Classes, In Conversations, and additional programming and networking opportunities. Read more here.
Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has announced that its 40th edition will take place from Sept. 30 – Oct. 10. The landmark edition will feature both in-cinema and online screenings, with approximately 100 features and 100 shorts to be screened from around the world. The scope of VIFF’s brick-and-mortar events will be determined in the coming months as the organization continues to monitor the COVID-19 situation. Submissions for the 2021 Festival are now open via FilmFreeway for features, documentaries and short films, as well as narrative-lead virtual and immersive content. The early submission deadline is Apr. 23.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting entries for Canadian feature films for the Cannes Film Festival, “L’Officiel”, as well as the two parallel sections, La Semaine de la Critique and the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs. Due to COVID-19, selection screenings in Montreal will not take place, however films submitted via Telefilm will be exempt from the submission fee. The deadline to submit is Feb. 26. Learn more about eligibility here.
Amazon Prime Video and NHL Original Productions have announced multi-episode docuseries All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, a behind-the-scenes look at the Leafs’ 2020-21 NHL season. The Canadian Amazon Original series will be available on Prime Video in more than 240 countries and territories later this year. The series is being produced in association with NHL Original Productions and Cream Films. Executive Producers are Steve Mayer, Ross Greenburg and Steven Stern. All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs is the second announced Canadian Amazon Original series following The Kids in the Hall. Since 2015, Amazon Studios has filmed 22 original series and films in Canada, including The Man in the High Castle and Upload in Vancouver, The Boys and The Expanse in Toronto, Tales from the Loop in Winnipeg, as well as parts of Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan and The Voyeurs in Montreal.
Herd of 1 Media’s new half-hour x 13-episode docudrama series Secret History: The Wild West has premiered on APTN in both Blackfoot and English. The series uses a blend of cinematic live action reenactments, speaker testimony, animation and archival photos to shine a light on historical First Nations, Inuit and Metis icons Canadian history has overlooked or forgotten. Among those featured this season are Red Crow, Poundmaker, Louis Riel and Jerry Potts. Julian Black Antelope (Tribal, Blackstone), the series creator, showrunner and writer, hosts in the role of “the Trickster” guiding the viewer through each half-hour episode. Filming locations for the series included Bow River Ranch in Calgary and Fort Whoop-Up in Lethbridge.
Obsidian Theatre and the CBC have unveiled the full line-up of directors and performers who have joined the first major project announced under Artistic Director Mumbi Tindyebwa Otu, 21 Black Futures. First announced this past fall, the project is an anthology of 21 filmed monodramas, commissioned from 21 multigenerational Black playwrights across the country, directed by 21 Black directors and performed by 21 Black actors. Premiering in Feb. 2021, 21 Black Futures will premiere exclusively on CBC Gem in three parts (3×70 minutes).
CBC Kids original preschool series Dino Ranch has debuted on CBC and CBC Gem. The animated series, produced by Industrial Brothers and Boat Rocker Studios in association with CBC Kids, Radio-Canada and Disney, follows the Cassidy family as they tackle life in a fantastical “pre-westoric” setting where dinosaurs roam.
TFO is launching youth series, La vie compliquée de Léa Olivier, on Jan. 21. The adaptation of Catherine Girard-Audet’s best-selling novels is produced by Slalom and Encore Télévision in collaboration with TFO. Aimed at young Canadians, ages 9-12, the series will air on FlipTFO, the Franco-Ontarian broadcaster’s pre-teen niche, Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. and replayed at the same time Saturdays and Sundays. Featuring a cast of young talent that includes Laurence Deschênes, Léanne Désilets, Thomas Delorme, Laurie Babin, Sam-Éloi Girard, Émie Thériault and Karl-Antoine Suprice, the first season of 12 half-hour episodes focuses on Franco-Ontarian and Canadian culture.
TVO Original The Forbidden Reel, co-winner of the Rogers Audience Award at Hot Docs 2020, is now available for streaming on tvo.org and the TVO YouTube Channel. The film, from Oscar-nominated and Canadian Screen Award–winning filmmaker Ariel Nasr (Good Morning Kandahar, The Boxing Girls of Kabul), Loaded Pictures, The National Film Board of Canada and TVO, tells the story of how Afghan filmmakers created a unique national cinema while under constant threat from Taliban extremists.
ENDOMIC, the latest short film from Trinidadian-Canadian director Camille Hollett-French and first-time director Ipek Ensari will premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival as part of its inaugural Unstoppable program for visible and non-visible disabilities, Feb. 12-25. Hollett-French partnered with Columbia University scientist-turned-director Ensari to make the film about endometriosis, a chronic condition with a high burden and no cure that affects 200 million people around the globe. ENDOMIC is a live-action-meets-animation, doc-meets-mock about modern medicine and society’s take on the disease, seen through the lens of the two women creators who deal with it daily. ENDOMIC was produced by Cascadoo Films, Hollett-French’s Vancouver-based production company, and This is a Science Film Productions, Ensari’s new science-themed NYC-based prodco.
Eyes for the Job, starring Chris Judge, returns to AMI-tv on Feb. 9. Along with co-host Erwan Fresq, Judge – who is partially-sighted – takes on do-it-yourself projects in the community with help from their travelling workshop in a converted camper van. The new 13-episode season includes kitchen, home office and community garden renovations around Nova Scotia. In keeping with AMI’s mandate of making accessible media for all Canadians, Season 4 of Eyes for the Job features Integrated Described Video (IDV) making it accessible to individuals who are blind or partially sighted.