TV + Film NewsFilm & TV News In Brief - Canadians dominate short film Oscar...

Film & TV News In Brief – Canadians dominate short film Oscar noms

Domee Shi and Trevor Jimenez

Domee Shi and Trevor Jimenez are among the Canadians nominated for Oscars in the Animated Short Film category. Three of the five films nominated in the cateogry are from Canadians, including Pixar’s Bao, directed by Toronto-raised Shi –  the first woman to direct a short film for Pixar. Hamilton native Jimenez is nominated for his hand-animated Weekends, set in 1980s Toronto. Also nominated in the category is National Film Board-produced short Animal Behaviour from Vancouver-based husband and wife filmmaking team David Fine and Alison Snowden. They previously won an Oscar in 1994 for animated short Bob’s Birthday. In the Live Action Short Film category, two Montreal teams are nominated — director Marianne Farley and producer Marie-Hélène Panisset for Marguerite; and director Jeremy Comte and producer Maria Gracia Turgeon for Fauve. Other Canadians receiving nominations include Paul Massey for Sound Mixing on Bohemian Rhapsody, and set decorator Gordon Sim in the Production Design category for Mary Poppins Returns. The 91st Academy Awards ceremony will take place Sunday, Feb. 24, and air on CTV in Canada.

Jayne Eastwood

ACTRA Toronto has announced the nominees for the 17th Annual ACTRA Awards, set to take place at The Carlu on Feb. 23. Among them are the nominees for the Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award which include Anne with an E, Baroness Von Sketch Show, Kim’s Convenience, Schitt’s Creek and Workin’ Moms. ACTRA Toronto Stunt Awards will be presented to stunt performers and animal wranglers Rick and Sue Parker, while sketch troupe Women Fully Clothed will present fellow member Jayne Eastwood with the 2019 Award of Excellence.

Entertainment One (eOne) will receive the Canadian Screen Awards inaugural Industry Leadership Award during Canadian Screen Week, Mar 25-31. Other honourees include Travelers creator Brad Wright, who will receive the Margaret Collier Award for his body of work. Late Montreal producer Kevin Tierney, best known for bilingual hit Bon Cop, Bad Cop, will receive a posthumous Academy Board of Directors’ Tribute, along with visual researcher Elizabeth Klinck, Manitoba Film & Music head Carole Vivier, and late producer/director Roman Bittman.

Netflix reported total Q4 revenue of $4.187 billion with total paid subscribers increasing by 8.8 million to reach 139.26 million worldwide. Earnings per share of 30 cents beat analyst expectations of 24 cents. The company released some viewership numbers alongside its financials, revealing that Sandra Bullock-vehicle Bird Box has now been viewed by 80 million homes. New series You and Sex Education each reached 40 million viewers, while Spanish-language original Elite received 20 million views.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Wallimage, the development fund for audiovisual content in Wallonia (Belgium), has announced $599,000 in funding to support the coproduction of two virtual reality projects under the Canada–Wallonia Digital Media Incentive for Multiplatform Projects. For this fourth edition of the Canada–Wallonia matching fund, the two funding agencies joined with Pôle Media Grand Paris, which will act as the logistical partner in the production phase. Canadian prodco’s Item 7 Inc. and Les productions 55 inc. will work with two Walloon companies to develop surrealistic love story Marco Polo Go Round and -22.7°C, a sensory and musical immersive experience that takes place in the Arctic Circle.

Matthew Ball, Prentiss Fraser, Pablo Rodriguez, Derek Thompson, and Catherine Winder

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced the speakers lineup for its 24th edition of Prime Time in Ottawa. This year’s keynote speakers include Prentiss Fraser, EVP & MD, Content Distribution, Fox Networks Group; Derek Thompson, senior editor of The Atlantic and author of bestseller Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in an Age of Distraction; Matthew Ball, global SVOD investor and influencer and former head of strategy for Amazon Studios; and Catherine Winder, CEO of Wind Sun Sky Entertainment and Skybound North Entertainment. Canadian Heritage Min. Pablo Rodriguez will also appear in a keynote conversation with CMPA president and CEO Reynolds Mastin. This year’s conference takes place Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 at The Westin in Ottawa and registration is now open at

Engraved On A Nation returns to TSN, starting Feb. 6. The new six-part season of the original series, focusing on stories that have sculpted the Canadian sports landscape, starts with an in-depth look at Canadian sprinter Donovan Bailey in The Bailey Experience. Each episode of the 60-minute series is available for on-demand viewing via TSN, and the TSN app, with its Crave premiere TBA.

TSN and RDS have launched what Bell Media is billing as a Canadian first, offering 24-hour digital subscriptions to its TSN Direct and RDS Direct streaming services. The single day subscriptions are being strategically rolled out in time for NCAA March Madness. Launched in June 2018, TSN Direct features access to the network’s five feeds, on-demand content, and exclusive bonus streams. RDS Direct delivers French-language content from RDS, RDS2, and RDS INFO. Viewers can watch on a multitude of platforms including Apple TV, with TSN Direct also available on Samsung SmartTV and Xbox One. Bell says more platforms will be announced soon.

CTV, in partnership with Sony Pictures Television and WGN America, has announced the renewal of procedural detective comedy Carter for a second season. Starring Jerry O’Connell (Billions), Sydney Poitier Heartsong (Chicago P.D.) and Kristian Bruun (Orphan Black), this season sees Andy Berman (Psych, Rosewood) sign on as showrunner and executive producer. Series creator Garry Campbell (Kids in The Hall, MADtv) returns as an executive producer and writer. Carter revolves around Harley Carter (O’Connell), the star of a hit detective TV show, who decides he needs a break from Hollywood and returns to his northern hometown. The series was commissioned by Sony Pictures Television for AXN in Spain, Latin America, Brazil, Japan, Central Europe and Russia; and by CTV in Canada.

Khaled Sabawi

Open Screenplay – a free, online platform for screenwriters, that supports writers struggling to break into the entertainment business has been launched by Canadian entrepreneur Khaled Sabawi, the founder of green energy startup MENA Geothermal. Billed as a global community where members can write individually or collaborate with other writers around the world, the platform aims to increase diversity in Hollywood. The venture is backed by business and entertainment industry veterans like Sandy Climan, CEO of Entertainment Media Ventures; and Nancy Peterson, founder & CEO of Canadian home improvement marketplace HomeStars. Read the full story here.

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