The 47th Annual Annie Awards – “the Oscars of the Animation World” – were handed out in Los Angeles on Jan. 25. Among the Canadian productions recognized were Wildbrain’s Carmen Sandiego, which won for Best Character Design and Best Storyboarding. Uncle Thomas: Accounting for the Days (Ciclope Filmes, National Film Board of Canada, Les Armateurs) won for Best Short Subject, while Sheridan College student Michelle Chua took the Best Student Film category with The Fox & The Pigeon. Find the full list of winners and nominees here.
Star Trek: Picard had the highest Live + Same Day audience of any series or mini-series episode ever on Canadian entertainment specialty television, according to Numeris data provided by Bell Media. More than 1.1 million viewers tuned in for the return of the iconic Jean-Luc Picard, featuring Sir Patrick Stewart reprising the role he played for seven seasons on Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Jan. 23 premiere, broadcast on CTV Sci-Fi (formerly Space) becomes the most-watched specialty series debut of the year.
Bell Media’s first post-simsub ban Super Bowl presentation in three years will include advertising from Bell, BMW Canada, Budweiser, Genesis Auto Canada, Hyundai Auto Canada, Maple Leaf, Nissan Canada, and SkipTheDishes. Airing live on CTV and TSN on Sunday, Feb. 2 beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT, the TSN Super Bowl panel will be led by host James Duthie, alongside analysts Jabari Greer, Jesse Palmer and Seattle Seahawks tight end Luke Willson, in addition to TSN reporter Farhan Lalji. Following the game, a special edition of Sportscentre with Jay and Dan will air. Coverage will start at 10 a.m., with French-language covering on RDS, and live radio coverage on TSN 690 Montreal, TSN 1200 Ottawa, TSN 1050 Toronto, TSN 1150 Hamilton, TSN 1290 Winnipeg, TSN 1260 Edmonton, and TSN 1040 Vancouver.
Animal Planet airs Puppy Bowl XVI, Sunday, Feb. 2 at 3 p.m. ET. The game day television event sees puppies play inside a model stadium, accompanied by commentary, as they vy for the coveted “Lombarky” Trophy.
The 8th annual Toronto Black Film Festival (TBFF), running Feb. 12-17, will present Spike Lee – Cannes Film Festival’s first Black Jury President – with TBFF’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award during an intimate evening where festival goers can watch a restored version of his film Bamboozled and hear the Academy Award-winning director discuss his journey as a filmmaker as well as his views on today’s socio-economic environment. This year’s festival will present nine World Premieres, five International Premieres, one North-American premiere, 20 Canadian Premieres and 34 Ontario Premieres, and will include over 75 films from 20 countries.
The Canada Media Fund, Creative BC and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) are partnering to support early-stage development of children’s and youth, and scripted drama projects. Click here to access the guidelines. The program budget is set at $400,000. B.C.-based producers will be eligible for up to $30,000 in support for early stage development. Applications for financing must be submitted by Mar. 11.
Dan Levy’s next project – post Schitt’s Creek – is a role in Happiest Season, a romantic comedy currently shooting in Pittsburgh. Kristen Stewart stars with Mackenzie Davis, Mary Steenburgen, Victor Garber, Allison Brie and Aubrey Plaza also attached to the film. eOne will distribute in Canada and the UK.
CTV MADE-in-Canada series Transplant is set to air Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT, beginning Feb. 26. The CTV Original drama comes from Sphère Média Plus, the producers behind International Emmy-nominated drama 19-2, in association with NBCUniversal International Studios. NBCUniversal is also handling global distribution. Transplant stars Hamza Haq (The Indian Detective) as a Syrian doctor who makes the difficult decision to flee his country with his younger sister and his struggle to rebuild his career in emergency medicine. Shot in Montreal and set in Toronto, the series also stars Laurence Leboeuf (19-2) and John Hannah (MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D., Four Weddings and a Funeral).
Love Nature 4K has greenlit Wild Pacific Rescue, a new natural history series being produced in partnership with the Ocean Wise Conservation Association. The six-episode, one-hour first season, produced by White Pine Pictures, will premiere on Cottage Life in Canada in Spring of 2021 and roll out across Love Nature linear and streaming video platforms internationally. Blue Ant International will handle licensing opportunities worldwide, including the U.S. The series takes viewers along the rugged, mountain-ringed coastline of the Pacific Northwest, with veterinarian, Dr. Marty Haulena and his team as they rescue and rehabilitate orcas, sea lions, dolphins and sea turtles at the Vancouver Aquarium’s Marine Mammal Rescue (MMR) Centre.
Big Brother Canada kicks off Season 8 with a two-night premiere Wednesday, Mar. 4 and Thursday, Mar. 5. Arisa Cox is back hosting the series, which returns three nights a week (Wednesdays (7 p.m. ET/PT), Thursdays (8 p.m. ET/PT), and Sundays 8 p.m. ET/PT) in addition to live feeds from inside the house at BigBrotherCanada.ca. Last season, Big Brother Canada averaged 1.2 million viewers (Ind. 2+) per episode, making it the highest-rated season to date.
Island of Bryan (8×60) returns for a second season Feb. 23 as Bryan and Sarah Baeumler put the finishing touches on their Bahamian beachfront resort. Season 1 of the series broke HGTV Canada ratings records last Spring to become the network’s most-watched series of the past 10 years. The channel will air a Season 1 marathon in the lead up to the premiere.
The Africa Channel is now available on Rogers’ Ignite TV in Ontario, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland. The channel features English-language, Pan-African television series, specials, documentaries, feature films, and music, among other content. The Africa Channel is currently on free preview on Channel 886.
Youth Media Alliance (YMA) has announced that entries are now open for the 2020 edition of the French Language Awards of Excellence, honouring the best Canadian-made youth productions originally released in French in the last two years. The full list of awards can be found here. The deadline for submissions is Mar. 3.
RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced 11 grant recipients for the third round of the MVP Project – a joint initiative between RBCxMusic and the Prism Prize, providing support to emerging Canadian musicians and filmmakers for music video creation and production. Recipients include: Recording artist Bad Child (Kitchener), Director Clara Milo (Montreal), and Producers Lou Bélanger (Montreal) and Rafael Perez (Quebec); Recording artist Begonia (Winnipeg), Director Emma Higgins (Vancouver), and Producer Sebastien Galina (Vancouver); Recording artist Raahiem, Director Vishan Butt, and Producer Meika Wagner (Toronto); and Recording artist Rich Aucoin, Director Jason Levangie, and Producer Marc Tetreault (Halifax). Find the full list here. The next round of submissions opens May 15.
Telefilm Canada is currently accepting Canadian entries on behalf of the Cannes Film Festival for the selection screenings of feature films to be held in Montréal from Feb. 24 to Mar. 13. Each year, Telefilm invites members of the selection committees from Cannes to travel to Canada and screen Canadian feature films in a private theatre in Montreal. Entry fees are waived for Canadian feature-length films submitted to the selection screenings held in Montreal. Deadline to submit is Feb. 14.
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