TV & Film News – IATSE holds PPE drive for hospitals

IATSE, the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, has been holding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) drives for hospitals with thousands of its members off work. Several chapters, including locals 873 in Toronto and local 891 in Burnaby, BC, have been collecting thousands of N95 masks, latex gloves, paint suits and gowns, and respirator filters, used by the film industry. Unused and preferably still packaged PPE items continue to be collected.

Telefilm is extending the deadline for Production programs with a budget under $2.5M and projects in the Indigenous Stream until Apr. 30. Telefilm is maintaining a rolling deadline for English projects with a budget over $2.5M and continuing to assess delays caused by COVID-19. Projects facing delays are urged to contact their National Feature Film Executive. The schedule for French Market projects with a budget over $2.5M remains unchanged.

Thunderbird Entertainment Group has transitioned 95% of its team, more than 1,000 people, to work from home, with the remaining team members to be set up this week. The Vancouver-based content production studio says it’s working closely with its partners to minimize workflow disruptions. Thunderbird programming includes Highway Thru Hell, Heavy Rescue: 401, $ave My Reno, Kim’s Convenience, 101 Dalmatian Street,  Lego Jurassic World: Legend of Isla of Nublar, Hello Ninja, and The Last Kids on Earth.

TSN digital sub-brand BarDown is airing on the main network as of Mar. 30. Featuring more than two dozen contributors, aka “BarDownskis”, the television offering of the show features extended content from their YouTube videos, video game reviews, and fan-favourite quizzes across eight, 30-minute episodes.

Jamie Oliver

Jamie Oliver’s new show, Jamie: Keep Cooking And Carry On, offers viewers meal prep guidance as many sheltering-in-place are tasked with coming up with meal ideas using staples. Airing weeknights at 5 p.m. ET, beginning Apr. 6 on CTV Drama Channel, the 10-part series was quickly conceptualized and produced in response to COVID-19. Each half-hour episode features Oliver sharing recipes that make the most of everyday kitchen staples. He also shows viewers how to make simple bread dough and pasta from scratch. Recipes from each episode will be made available on The Loop’s  recipe hub. Back-to-back episodes will air Fridays at 9 and 9:30 p.m. ET, beginning Apr. 10 on CTV Life Channel.

Discovery’s spring schedule includes the premiere of new documentary Back To The Titanic on Apr. 12 and the return of Deadliest Catch for a 16th season. Airing Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, starting Apr. 21, the new season will kick off with a two-hour premiere. Viewers can watch three recap specials airing Apr. 14, including a two-hour Season 15 recap.

FX Canada is now available to more Canadians on free preview until May 11. Participating carriers include Rogers, Access Communications, Cogeco, Eastlink, Sasktel, Shaw (starting Apr. 11), TELUS, and Videotron. The FX free preview comes ahead of hotly-anticipated, nine-part miniseries Mrs. America, starting Apr. 15 on FX and FX NOW. It tells the story of the movement to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), and the unexpected backlash. Cate Blanchett leads a cast portraying iconic women of the era, including Rose Byrne (Bridesmaids) as Gloria Steinem, Margo Martindale (American Crime Story) as Bella Abzug, Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) as Shirley Chisholm, Elizabeth Banks (The Hunger Games) as Jill Ruckelshaus, and Tracey Ullman (The Tracey Ullman Show) as Betty Friedan. Season 2 of What We Do in the Shadows also returns with a double-episode premiere Apr. 15

Super Channel’s Fuse, Heart & Home, Vault and GINX Esports TV Canada channels, in addition to Super Channel On Demand are in free preview with select cable providers across the country until Apr. 30. Programming highlights include Season 2 of American Gods, premiering Apr. 14 on Fuse; new episodes of When Calls The Heart, including the Season 7 finale Apr. 26 (Heart & Home); and a Dance Across The Ages Movie Marathon on Vault, Apr. 11, featuring Dirty Dancing, Fame, and Saturday Night Fever.

Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has named the eight recipients of the YMA Thérèse-Pinho Scholarship: Eric Baril (screenwriter/ director), Josiane Blanc (screenwriter, director), David Bourgeois (screenwriter), Sony Carpentier (director, screenwriter), Marie-Eve Larivière (screenwriter), Marie-Andrée Picard (screenwriter), Émilie Poirier (director) and Wanda Jemly (director/ producer). Due to the physical distancing measures and constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, training will be postponed to a date to be determined. The winning candidates for this third edition are from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Vancouver. The scholarship honours the memory of content producer Thérèse Pinho, who passed away in 2016 and worked in the field of children’s television for 25 years, at both TFO and Pixcom.

Open Screenplay, the collaborative screenwriting platform founded by Canadian entrepreneur Khaled Al Sabawi, has opened its annual screenwriting contest early to motivate writers struggling with isolation. The featured theme of the 2020 contest is “The World After COVID-19.” Learn more here.  

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