TV & Film News – APTN to pursue criminal charges if female reporters face further aggression

Amber Bernard

APTN says the broadcaster will pursue criminal charges if there is further aggressive behaviour towards its female reporters. In two separate incidents last month, advisors to two different Indigenous organizations were physically aggressive toward reporters with each instance captured on video. On July 11, Dwayne Bird, communications director for Manitoba’s Peguis First Nation, grabbed APTN producer Beverly Andrews’ microphone at a press conference. In another incident on July 25, Dakota Kochie, a political advisor to Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde, pushed reporter Amber Bernard aside as she tried to ask questions at a public event. The network says Kochie previously grabbed Bernard’s arm and microphone during an AFN election event last year in Vancouver. Last week, the Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), Reporters Without Borders, Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Canadian Association of Journalists (CAJ) added their voices to those condemning the incidents, with CAJ calling the behaviour “shameful” and “disconcerting.” Read the full story here.

Christa Dickenson

Telefilm Canada has released an update of its gender parity initiatives for projects funded during the 2018/19 fiscal year, as it works toward a goal of achieving balance in key creative roles (director, producer, and/or screenwriter) across its production portfolio by 2020. The $2.5M+ features category saw an increase in funding across all key roles. Projects with a woman working as the lead producer received $23.8 million (42% of funding in the category), up 11% from 2017/18. In the same budget category, $12.9 million went to projects with a female director (up 5% to 23% of the funding), and $19.2 million to female-scripted titles (up 13% to 34% of funding). Executive director Christa Dickenson says Telefilm would like to give more female directors an opportunity to direct a bigger budget feature, but that a collaborative approach is necessary to get there with support from distribution partners, producers and broadcasters. Read more here.

Stingray has renewed its cable distribution agreement with Rogers. The new three-year deal offers viewers more options to choose services based on music preferences. As part of the agreement, Rogers cable and IPTV customers will have access to Stingray Music audio channels as well as the Stingray Music mobile app and web player for free. Stingray 4K channels will continue to be available including Stingray Festival 4K, and Stingray Now 4K. The deal also grants Rogers rights to distribute new Stingray products.

Helena Marie, Shawn Alex Thompson, Tom Hulshof and Morgan Wigle

DHX Television’s Family Channel, CBBC and Beachwood Canyon Productions (BCP) have started production in Toronto on the new tween live-action gymnastics series Springboard (formerly Up In the Air). Created by Frank van Keeken (The Next Step, Lost & Found Music Studios), the half-hour drama series is scheduled to debut on Family Channel (Canada) and CBBC (U.K.) in 2020. The 15-episode order stars Morgan Wigle, Tom Hulshof, Helena Marie and Shawn Alex Thompson. The series is being executive produced by van Keeken, Andrew Barnsley (Schitt’s Creek, JANN) and Ben Murray (JANN, Working the Engels). International distribution will be handled by DHX Media.

Bloomberg Canada is picking up Globalive Media series Beyond Innovation, a factual half-hour series that looks at how technology is changing the way we live and do business. Already airing in 70 countries, a new distribution deal with Bell Media, will see the series air on BNN Bloomberg, beginning Aug. 10. The debut season features guests like David Hanson, the pioneering engineer behind the lifelike humanoid robot “Sophia”; Jeremy Lin, the NBA point guard investing in a smartphone app promising to help young athletes train; and Dr. David Cheriton, the Canadian-born Stanford University professor who famously made one of the very first investments in Google.

Showcase and W Network have announced their fall schedules. Showcase premieres include hotly-anticipated DC Universe series Swamp Thing (Sept.2-3), Pennyworth (Sept. 4) and Batwoman (Oct. 6). Season 5 of Supergirl also makes its debut Oct. 6. The Vampire Diaries spinoff Legacies premieres Oct. 10. W Network adds Nancy Drew to its schedule, starting Oct. 9, in addition to the debut of Hallmark Channel’s Fall Harvest, beginning Sept. 21 featuring back-to-back movies every weekend. Hallmark Channel’s Countdown to Christmas will follow, starting Nov. 1. W Network will premiere the second season of high school football drama All American on Oct. 7 and Season 2 of the Charmed reboot, Oct. 11. 


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