Film & TV News – Canadian Screen Week capped with Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala

Canadian Screen Week was capped Sunday night with the Canadian Screen Awards Broadcast Gala at Toronto’s Sony Centre for Performing Arts. The night’s big winners were Cardinal: Blackfly Season (CTV), Letterkenny (Crave), Anne with an E (CBC/Netflix), and Schitt’s Creek (CBC). Cardinal’s Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse took home the Best Lead Actor and Actress nods in the Drama Program or Limited Series category, while Letterkenny’s Jared Keeso claimed Best Lead Actor, Comedy. Keeso and Jacob Tierney also won the award for Best Writing, Comedy. Catherine O’Hara earned the Best Lead Actress, Comedy honour for Schitt’s Creek, which was also named Best Comedy Series. Anne with an E won Best Drama Series with Amybeth McNulty taking home the Best Lead Actress, Drama Series honour. Kim Coates won Best Lead Actor, Drama for Bad Blood. Quebec film Une colonie also picked up two awards – Best Motion Picture and Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for 14-year-old Émilie Bierre. Find the full list of winners here.

The Canadian Screen Awards honouring Creative Fiction Storytelling were handed out in Toronto on Mar. 27. The night’s big winners included Anne with an E, which picked up five awards, including Best Supporting Actor and Actress nods for R.H. Thomson (Matthew Cuthbert) and Geraldine James (Marilla Cuthbert). CTV’s northern crime drama Cardinal also won five awards including Best Limited Series for Cardinal: Blackfly Season. Baroness Von Sketch Show picked up four awards and was named Best Sketch Comedy Show & Ensemble Performance. TVO’s Odd Squad also claimed four awards including Best Children’s or Youth Fiction Program or Series. Crave’s Letterkenny and TVO’s Paw Patrol each won three awards. Find the complete list of winners here.

Victor Loewy

Lionsgate Canada has struck a distribution partnership with Victor Loewy, former CEO of Alliance Films. First reported by Deadline, the strategic arrangement will see Loewy, Cineplex, and independent distributor Mongrel handle Canadian theatrical distribution of films produced or acquired by Lionsgate. The first film expected to be released under the partnership will be Rian Johnson murder mystery Knives Out, starring Daniel Craig. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed.

TVA Group has closed its acquisition of Montreal-based television producer and distributor Incendo group for $19.5 million. France Lauzière, president and CEO of TVA Group and Chief Content Officer of Quebecor Content, says the acquisition will help step up the company’s international development and expand its footprint in English-language markets.

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) says while 2018 was a record year for overall film and television production volume in Canada, reaching a high of $8.9 billion ($12.8 billion in GDP) and generating 179,000 jobs, its latest report contains some concerning trends where Canadian content production is concerned. Profile 2018, published by the CMPA in collaboration with the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM) and Nordicity, looks at screen-based production between Apr. 1, 2017 and Mar. 31, 2018. The total volume of film and television production in Canada increased by 5.9 per cent to an all-time high of $8.92 billion, driven by another sharp increase in the volume of Foreign Location Shooting (FLS). It rose by $993 million to an all-time high of $4.77 billion in 2017/18, after increasing by $1.12 billion in 2016/17. The volume of Canadian theatrical feature film production also rose by $17 million, or 13.9 per cent, in 2017/18. Those increases were partially offset, however, by a $309 million decrease in the volume of Canadian television production and a $201 million decrease in the volume of broadcaster in-house production. Read the full story here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced new Program Guidelines for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. The CMF also announced it’s committing $353M to invest in Canada’s television and digital media. Among the changes, following a directive from the Department of Canadian Heritage, the CMF will expand its current funding triggers so that online platforms that are owned, operated and controlled by CRTC-licensed broadcasters and BDUs will be considered eligible and allowed to trigger projects in the Convergent Stream. An Over-the-Top (OTT) Factor will be introduced, which will reward content licensed by and premiered on these online services. The CMF will increase the In-house and Broadcaster Affiliated caps to 25 per cent across all genres. It will also eliminate the decrease in licence-fee top-up for returning series. Changes to the Experimental Stream include introduction of a Conceptualization Program on a pilot basis, designed for applicants to create and test a proof of concept, verify design ideas or demonstrate functionality under the Commercial Projects Program (C2P) or Innovation Program. A more detailed summary of changes can be accessed here. The CMF will host webcasts Tuesday, Apr, 9 to provide an overview and answer questions. Find details on how to join the webcasts here.

Francois Choquette

Francois Choquette, the Member of Parliament for Drummond, Quebec and the NDP’s Official Languages Critic, is seeking a judicial review in Federal Court, unhappy that the Commissioner of Official Languages dismissed his motion alleging the government’s Netflix content deal violates the rights of Francophones. Choquette wants to force Netflix to air a percentage of French content, arguing that the digital giant should be airing 22 per cent French content in Canada, the equivalent percentage of Francophones in Canada. The NDP member’s complaint dates back to 2017, when the federal government first announced Netflix’s $500 million, five-year investment in Canadian production. Choquette is also initiating legal proceedings against Canadian Heritage for failing to honour its commitments under the Official Languages Act.

Blue Jays: Pinoy Edition has returned to OMNI Television for a second season. As the exclusive home for the Toronto Blue Jays in Filipino, all 27 regular season Sunday home and away games will air on OMNI and ICI Television Quebec. Sportscasters Andrea Aquino and Senen Salacup join the on-air broadcast team, alongside returning commentators Mike Cruz and Charles de Torres. Aquino is also co-host of Filipino current affairs and news show TV Migrante. Salacup, who serves as analyst, has more than 40 years of baseball expertise, playing at the junior league, varsity and amateur levels in the Philippines.

CBC, Rogers, Bell Media and Postmedia are teaming up to host Alberta Election 2019: The Leaders Debate on Thursday, Apr. 4 from 5:30-7 p.m. MT. The debate will air live across television and digital platforms on CBC Calgary, CBC Edmonton, CBC News Network, CityNews Calgary, CityNews Edmonton, CTV Calgary, CTV Edmonton, CTV News Channel, Omni TV, and online at and On radio, the debate will be broadcast on 660 News Calgary and province-wide on CBC Radio. CTV Calgary anchor Tara Nelson will moderate the 90-minute debate from the CTV Edmonton studio. Panelists include CTV Edmonton anchor Erin Isfeld, CBC Alberta provincial affairs reporter Kim Trynacity, Postmedia Legislature reporter Emma Graney, and CityNews reporter Courtney Theriault.

CTV Throwback, one of the free streaming portals offered on the superhub, has added all five seasons of popular, sci-fi series Orphan Black. Since the launch of CTV Throwback and CTV Movies in December, more than 1,000 hours of programming and more than 1,400 titles have been added to their libraries for viewers to stream for free without a subscription.

On the latest episode of Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, Brad Danks, the CEO of Canadian specialty channel and OTT platform OUTtv. The LGBTQ network expanded its global footprint in 2018, finding success with its original content in New Zealand, Australia and South Africa, and was subsequently named Playback’s Channel of the Year. Danks talks about the challenges of being an independent Canadian operator in the current regulatory landscape and why he thinks the future of Canadian broadcasting lies in the production of original content.

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