TV + Film NewsCanada Media Fund embarking on cross-country consultation

Canada Media Fund embarking on cross-country consultation

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) will embark on a cross-country consultation this fall to gather stakeholder feedback. Focus groups will take place in 18 cities where stakeholders will have an opportunity to consider how significant shifts in content consumption habits, rapidly-evolving market conditions, as well as policy and regulatory changes will impact the CMF’s funding programs, particularly in light of the government’s Creative Canada Policy Framework and the recently-launched review of the Telecommunications and Broadcasting Acts. The focus groups kick off in Moncton, NB on Sept. 10 and conclude in Whitehorse on Oct. 25. The CMF will also conduct a series of working groups to delve into specific, program-related topics.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB), the body responsible for film funding and media business development in the German states of Berlin and Brandenburg, have announced a two-year renewal of their incentive for codevelopment and coproduction of digital media projects between Canadian and German producers. The total amount of funding available has been increased to $450,000, with the maximum contribution for each project $300,000. Qualifying projects must be created for digital platforms and can be a game, web series, multiplatform content, augmented reality or virtual reality experience. A delegation of Berlin and Brandenburg producers and developers will visit Toronto and Montréal from Sept. 24-28. Click here to access the fund guidelines.

The CRTC has approved an application by WOW! Unlimited Networks to acquire Comedy Gold from Bell Media for $6.8 million. WOW! Networks has been granted a new broadcast license, rebranding the discretionary service to cater to children’s and youth programming.

Telefilm Canada is streamlining its Export Assistance and International Marketing – Participation in International Festivals and Events programs. Going forward only projects that have received production funding from Telefilm and whose overall budgets stand at $2.5M or less will be eligible for the Export Assistance Program. The maximum amount of funding per project has been increased to $90,000. Telefilm funding will match the minimum amount guaranteed by the foreign distributor.

DHX Media has closed the sale of a minority stake in Peanuts to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) Inc. (SMEJ). SMEJ has indirectly purchased 49 per cent of DHX Media’s 80 per cent interest in Peanuts for $235.6 million CDN in cash. DHX Media now owns 41 per cent of Peanuts, SMEJ owns 39 per cent, and the Charles M. Schulz family retain their 20 per cent interest. DHX Media and SMEJ have also completed their agreement to extend the duration of the current Licensing and Syndication Agency agreement with SMEJ’s consumer products division, Sony Creative Products Inc. in Japan, where it’s grown the Peanuts business by over 200 per cent as its agent since 2010.

Kristin Kreuk

ICF Films, Eagle Vision and Entertainment One (eOne) have announced that cameras are rolling in Winnipeg on Season 2 of CBC original drama series Burden of Truth (8×60). Following big city lawyer Joanna Chang (Kristin Kreuk), Burden of Truth will continue production until mid-September and premiere on CBC in winter 2019. Season 1 made its U.S. premiere on July 25 on The CW and is now streaming at and on the CBC TV app.

J.J. Abrams and Stephen King

Space, together with CraveTV, has acquired much-anticipated psychological-horror series Castle Rock from executive producer J.J. Abrams and based on characters and settings by Stephen King. The 10-episode, one-hour series launched July 25 with a three-episode premiere event. Subsequent episodes roll out on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET, beginning Aug. 1. Inspired by the Stephen King universe, Castle Rock is an original story that intertwines characters and themes from King’s best-loved works.

Peacock Alley Entertainment has signed a deal with Sky Vision, the production and distribution arm of Sky, for the distribution rights to Season 2 of A User’s Guide to Cheating Death. The 6 x 60-second series, hosted by Edmonton-based science geek Timothy Caulfield, debunks myths around healthcare fads by examining the scientific facts behind the trends. A User’s Guide to Cheating Death airs on Vision TV in Canada and has been sold in 67 countries, including SBS Australia, TV New Zealand, Telefonica in Spain, DR in Denmark, BBC Worldwide, UR Sweden, TVB Hong Kong, S+ Portugal, Ananey in Israel and AMC in Central Europe.

Sesame Workshop and Nelvana are set to debut original animated series Esme & Roy on Treehouse in Canada and HBO in the U.S. on Aug. 18. Sesame Workshop’s first new animated program in more than a decade promotes “learning through play” and mindfulness, aimed at children ages four to six.

Bell Media has introduced 30-second commercial SuperPods, designed and placed to align with the narrative of the programs in which they appear. Featuring one advertiser per break, the custom creative promises a more seamless and engaging experience between the commercial content and program. Bell Media’s first SuperPod launched in partnership with Chevrolet during the premiere of The Amazing Race Canada: Heroes Edition, promoting Chevrolet’s Twitter contest #TheChevroletRace.

Bryan Baeumler and Al Huberts

HGTV’s Bryan Baeumler has partnered with Ontario entrepreneur Al Huberts to launch board game Build-iT With Bryan Step By Step on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. The goal of the game is to be the first “builder” to complete construction of a house without going bankrupt. Through Aug. 4, backers have the chance to secure their copy of the game by clicking this link or searching Build-iT With Bryan Step By Step on Kickstarter.

Grant Hardy, Anthony McLachlan, Victoria Nolan, and Laura Bain

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) is rolling out a series of original documentaries set to air Friday evenings, beginning July 27. The series starts with Have Cane, Will Travel with Vancouver community reporter Grant Hardy exploring travel with wheelchair, guide dog and cane users. AMI Goes to Camp (Aug. 10) follows AMI-tv community presenters Anthony McLachlan, Victoria Nolan, Laura Bain, Grant Hardy, Shelby Travers and Alex Smyth as they spend a few days revisiting their childhoods at Lake Joe, the CNIB’s camp in Ontario’s Muskoka region. Find the full schedule here.

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