CTV’s Transplant leads the nominations for the 2021 WGC Screenwriting Awards. Other series in contention include Schitt’s Creek, Cardinal, Diggstown, and New Eden. Among the feature film screenplays and their writers receiving nominations are Akilla’s Escape (Charles Officer & Motion), Beans (Tracey Deer & Meredith Vuchnich) and The Willoughbys (Kris Pearn & Mark Stanleigh). The awards will be handed out during a virtual ceremony on April 26 when the guild will also reveal the 2021 Showrunner of the Year. Find the full list of nominees here.
Andrea Menard has been named this year’s ACTRA National Woman of the Year. Since 2010, ACTRA has bestowed the award each year upon an ACTRA member who uses her passion to support ACTRA members and women within the broader audiovisual industry. Menard, who is originally from Manitoba, is a member of the Métis Nation and currently lives in Vancouver. The singer/songwriter and actress was one of the stars of Netflix series Blackstone from 2011-15 and has also had recurring roles on Hard Rock Medical (TVO/APTN); OutTV series The Switch; Wapos Bay: The Series (APTN); and Moccasin Flats (APTN/Showcase), among other projects. Menard is a five-time Gemini-nominee. Her work in the community includes speaking and performing on behalf of numerous organizations, including the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Professional Aboriginal Women’s Network. Read more here.
Anne at 13,000 FT, the Kazik Radwanski drama about a young woman with alienating eccentricities, has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s 2020 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. The $100,000 award is the richest annual film prize in Canada and was presented to Radwanski live on YouTube at the TFCA’s first-ever online public awards gala from Toronto’s Paradise Theatre. The runners-up, who received $5,000 prizes from Rogers, went to director Louise Archambault (And the Birds Rained Down) and jointly to White Lie co-directors Yonah Lewis and Calvin Thomas. The Clyde Gilmour Award went to Jason Ryle, an Indigenous producer and the outgoing Executive Director of the imagineNATIVE Film Festival. Kelly Fyffe-Marshall (Black Bodies) was announced as the winner of the Jay Scott Prize for an emerging artist. In its mission to recognize new voices in film criticism, the TFCA jointly gave Mark Hanson and Rose Ho the Cineplex Entertainment Emerging Critic Award.
Bell Media has released more details about the launch of its new Quebec-based Noovo Info news service. The Noovo network includes television stations in Montréal, Québec City, Saguenay, Sherbrooke and Trois-Rivières, as well as affiliates in Gatineau, Rivière-du-Loup and Val-d’Or. Starting March 29, Noovo Le Fil, the network’s cornerstone news programming will make its debut. As previously announced, national and local editions of Noovo Le Fil, will be anchored by Noémi Mercier, Lisa-Marie Blais, Michel Bherer and Meeker Guerrier, airing daily in various time slots. Led by General Manager Jean-Philippe Pineault, the Noovo team will provide news coverage across Bell Media platforms, encompassing television, radio and digital news. Read more here.
Kim’s Convenience will conclude in April after five seasons. Based on the award-winning play by Ins Choi about the Kim family and the ups and downs of running their downtown Toronto convenience store, the CBC Original comedy first premiered on the network in the fall of 2016 and has since been picked up by Netflix, among other platforms. During its run, it’s been honoured with nine Canadian Screen Awards. Produced by television veteran Ivan Fecan and co-created by Ins Choi and Kevin White on behalf of Thunderbird Entertainment – in association with the Soulpepper Theatre Company – Fecan, Choi, White and Alexandra Raffé served as executive producers. In a statement from the producers, provided by CBC, it was indicated that the departure of the series two co-creators was behind the decision to bring the sitcom to an end. The series finale is set for Tuesday, April 13 at 8 p.m. (8:30NT) on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Read more here.
The Toronto Raptors’ March 24 game will feature an all-female broadcast crew as part of a month-long celebration of the contribution women have made to sports. Women will hold every on-air role for the game vs. the Denver Nuggets on TSN. Play-by-play will be led by Meghan McPeak, alongside TSN analyst Kia Nurse, while TSN host and reporter Kayla Grey will handle sideline duties. TSN’s Kate Beirness and Amy Audibert, Raptors 905 analyst, will host the show and provide analysis.
TSN will return as the Toronto Arrows Rugby Football Club’s exclusive Canadian media partner for the 2021 Major League Rugby season. The partnership will see the network broadcast the club’s 16 regular season games in 2021, as well as potential post-season matches, to TSN and TSN Direct subscribers.
NBCUniversal International has announced that hayu – the all-reality, ad-free subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) service – is now available to Shaw TV customers in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and northern Ontario. Hayu, which comes with $5.99/mo. subscription fee, carries programming like Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen (exclusive to hayu in Canada), Keeping Up With the Kardashians, The Real Housewives of New Jersey and Below Deck.
Distribution360 says new broadcast partners for groundbreaking documentary series Titanic: Stories from the Deep (4×60) have been secured in both the U.S. and Germany. Reelz has acquired the series for the U.S., while in Germany, Spiegel History (Geschichte) will air the series this month. Produced by Infinity Filmed Entertainment Group and Partners in Motion, Titanic: Stories from the Deep uncovers new history from 12,500 ft. below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. With the use of cutting-edge technology, the unique collection of artifacts salvaged from the underwater resting site of the wreck tells new personal, passenger stories. Victor Garber (Argo, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), who featured as Thomas Andrews in James Cameron’s feature film, Titanic, hosts. The series was originally financed by UKTV’s Yesterday, Viasat History, Foxtel and Canada’s Hollywood Suite, with the participation of the Rogers Documentary Fund.
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) has announced that Shaftesbury and AMC Networks have joined CFC’s signature film program as Lead Supporters. The incubator for new voices has been renamed The Norman Jewison Film Program, supported by Shaftesbury and AMC Networks. The 2021 incarnation of the program began in January and has been adapted to meet current COVID-19 regulations.
Hollywood Suite will be the exclusive Canadian broadcaster of the 74th annual EE British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs) for the fifth consecutive year. Broadcast virtually from London’s Royal Albert Hall on April 11, the BAFTAs showcase the best in cinema from Britain, Hollywood, and around the world. Further details on the broadcast will be announced in the coming weeks.
Super Channel has acquired two new innovative family comedies slated for their Canadian premiere on Super Channel Heart & Home in April. The Parker Andersons (10×30 min) and Amelia Parker (10×30 min) follow the life of an interracial family, blended by marriage. The two interwoven scripted series highlight events in the life of the Parker-Anderson family from two different perspectives. Produced by marblemedia and Beechwood Canyon Productions, both series were shot in Toronto. The Parker Andersons will premiere Monday, April 19 at 8 p.m. ET, followed by Amelia Parker at 8:30 p.m. ET. Each half-hour episode will also be available on Super Channel On Demand, the day following its weekly linear broadcast.
The Ottawa Black Film Festival (OBFF), founded by the Fabienne Colas Foundation and supported by Canadian Heritage, has announced its inaugural online program, March 25-28. Featuring 30 films and various panels, the festival will open with Ignacio Márquez’s The Special and close with Mia Donovan’s Dope is Death. The OBFF Black Market – an industry series where industry professionals share real-world experience on today’s most critical filmmaking and social issues – will present a blend of cutting-edge thinking and discussion. Find more info on the festival website.