TV & Film News – Amazon Prime Video app now available on Ignite TV

Rogers has announced that the Amazon Prime Video app is now available on Ignite TV. Amazon Prime joins Netflix and YouTube on the platform, which allows users to use advance voice recognition technology to move between live TV, On-demand and OTT offerings without having to switch between apps. To access Amazon Prime Video on an Ignite TV set-top box, customers need an active Prime membership.

The Directors Guild of America (DGA) says for the first time ever female and minority TV directors directed half of all episodic TV shows. That’s up from last year’s previous high of 42.5% and up from 21% five years ago. The percentage of episodes directed by women grew to 31%, while episodes by directors of color rose to a new high of 27%. The report took into account over 4,300 episodes produced during the 2018-19 television season.

The National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) has announced a new three-year partnership with the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) supporting its Indigenous Training Programs. The partnership will support the delivery of the NSI New Northern Voices, NSI IndigiDocs and CBC New Indigenous Voices programs and include boot camp sessions delivered by DGC members. The DGC is also sponsoring a new $500 Award for best director in the NSI Online Short Film Festival. The year-round festival offers quarterly cash prizes.

Matthew Rankin

Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century has won the top honour at the Los Cabos Film Festival – the Competencia Los Cabos Award. Rankin’s offbeat biopic about Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King also claimed Best Canadian First Feature at TIFF, where it had its premiere. Rankin, who hails from Winnipeg but calls Quebec home, is well-known on the festival circuit for his experimental shorts.

Netflix has ordered a spinoff of HISTORY’s Vikings from original creator Michael Hirst. Vikings: Valhalla will be set 100 years after the original series, dramatizing the adventures of famous Vikings like Leif Erikson, Freydis and Norman King William the Conqueror. Jeb Stuart (Die Hard, The Fugitive) will serve as showrunner. The original Irish-Canadian co-production is about to debut its sixth and final season on Dec. 4. It first premiered on HISTORY in 2013.

Evany Rosen and Kayla Lorette

Crave Original Series New Eden drops on the streaming service New Year’s Day. The true crime mockumentary, shot in Ontario this summer, takes viewers back to the 1970s, 80s, and 90s and the origins of a drug-addled, alien-goddess worshipping, all-female cult. The eight-part series stars Kayla Lorette (Kim’s Convenience, Space Riders) and Evany Rosen (PICNICFACE, Baroness Von Sketch Show), who also served as showrunners.

Discovery and Ski-Doo have teamed up to launch one-hour special Escape Mountain, billed as combining the challenge of an escape room with a rugged and extreme environment. Currently available as a three-part digital series on and Discovery GO, Escape Mountain makes its television debut on Discovery, Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. ET. Featuring five professional snowmobile riders, skiers, and snowboarders dropped in the frozen wilderness with no gear or sense of direction, pro snowmobilers Ashley Chaffin, Tony Jenkins and Rob Alford appear, alongside pro snowboarder Craig McMorris and pro skier Sean Pettit.

Neil Patrick Harris

CTV will air WE DAY 2019, Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. ET/PT. Hosted by Neil Patrick Harris, the one-hour special will recognize positive impacts made by youth, educators, and families, both locally and globally. Performers and presenters include Chance the Rapper, Selena Gomez, Joe Jonas, Lilly Singh, Eddie Vedder, and WE co-founders Craig and Mark Kielburger. 

U SPORTS is teaming with CBC as its Vanier Cup English-language broadcast partner for the first time since 1979. CBC will broadcast the game live from Quebec City Nov. 23, starting at 1 p.m. ET. Livestreaming will also be available via CBC Gem,, and the CBC Sports app. CBC’s coverage will feature play-by-play from Mark Lee, with game analysis from CFL news breaker Justin Dunk and sideline reporting from CBC Sports’ Andi Petrillo. Additionally, host Scott Russell will be joined in-studio by Canadian Olympic Games bobsledder and former university football star, Jesse Lumsden, and CFL receiver, Mike Morreale. TVA Sports continues as the official French-language broadcast partner of the Vanier Cup for the fifth consecutive year.

The Bell Fund has announced the successful projects selected from its September round of applications for the Short-Form Non-Fiction Program and the final results of the TV program. Including this round of funding, the Bell Fund has contributed approximately $8.3 million in grants for the TV Program in 2019. Find the full list of successful projects here.

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