TV/Film News – CFC and Netflix announce five-year funding partnership


The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix have announced the start of a new five-year funding partnership in support of Canadian talent. The Netflix-CFC Global Project will use a model of three distinct program accelerators aimed at fostering opportunities for Canadian creators and their film/TV projects in the international marketplace. As part of its commitment, Netflix will become the Presenting Sponsor of CFC’s Annual Gala & Auction, CFC’s Annual BBQ Fundraiser, CFC’s Annual Garden Party and CFC’s Annual Reception in L.A. In addition, a restored cottage on the CFC campus in Toronto will become the newly-named Netflix House, enabling different groups of talent to connect and collaborate in a shared central hub of creative activity. Read more here.

CBC is rolling out new brand CBC Films, which will encompass its funding, pre-buys and acquisitions, and become the rebrand for the CBC Breaking Barriers Film Fund. CBC Films currently has 12 films it supported screening at TIFF and has confirmed the next four features selected for funding. Read more here.

Cardinal and Alias Grace lead the nominations for The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) 2018 DGC Awards for Television Series, Movies for Television and Mini-SeriesCTV crime drama Cardinal earned four nominations including Directorial Achievement for Jeff Renfroe, Best Picture Editing and Best Sound Editing; while mini-series Alias Grace, which originally aired on CBC and is now available on Netflix, was nominated in three categories. DGC has also announced its Discovery Long-List, highlighting the top new Canadian filmmakers to watch. Find the full list of this year’s nominees here. Nominees for Feature Film, Documentary and Short Film will be announced after the DGC’s national awards juries meet on Sept. 15.

Simone Urd, Caitlin Grabham, and Jennifer Weiss

The Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) has announced the winners of its 2018 CMPA Indiescreen Awards. Simone Urdl and Jennifer Weiss (The Film Farm) were named joint winners of the CMPA’s Established Producer Award in recognition of their impressive collective body of work, including latest feature Falls Around Her premiering in the Contemporary World Cinema category at TIFF. Caitlin Grabham (Prowler Film) was the recipient of the newly-dedicated Kevin Tierney Emerging Producer Award for her inspiring early-career accomplishments, including her first feature Firecrackers, also screening at TIFF.

Comweb Corporation/William F. White Int’l and the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) have announced the creation of the Jay Switzer Comweb/William F. White Int’l Indigenous Creator Scholarship as a tribute to the late CHUM president & CEO, who passed away from brain cancer in January. Administered through the CFC, the $100,000 award will be distributed over the next 10 years. Further details will be announced at a later date.

RBC and the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television are partnering on the new Music Video Production Project (MVP Project). Established by RBCxMusic and the Prism Prize, the MVP Project is open to recording artists and/or directors who identify as “Emerging Artists“. Over two rounds of funding, support will be offered through music video production grants valued between $5,000 and $15,000. In addition to the grants, successful candidates will receive mentorship and networking opportunities. Submissions for the first round of the MVP Project will be open from Oct. 1 – Nov. 1. The second round will open in Jan. 2019.

CBC’s Street Legal revival (6×60) is officially in production. The reboot of the series sees Cynthia Dale reprise her role as Olivia Novak, with Cara Ricketts (The Book of Negroes) (Haven) and Yvonne Chapman (The Crossing) joining the series as the next generation of Toronto lawyers fighting the good fight. Original cast members Eric Peterson (“Leon Robinovitch”) and Anthony Sherwood (“Dillon Beck”) are also confirmed to return for special guest appearances. The series starts production this week for a winter 2019 premiere on CBC, the CBC TV streaming app and


Global is adding to its roster of original series with new primetime medical drama Nurses (working title), set to premiere on the network in 2019. From independent studio Entertainment One (eOne), the 10×60 series is executive produced by Ilana Frank (Rookie Blue) of ICF Films and Vanessa Piazza (Dark Matter) of Piazza Entertainment. Adam Pettle serves as writer, showrunner, and executive producer, with Tassie Cameron as executive producer. The series follows four young nurses working on the frontlines of St. Jude’s hospital dedicating their lives to helping others, while figuring out how to help themselves. The newly-greenlit series comes on the heels of Global renewals for original series Ransom, Mary Kills People, Private Eyes and Big Brother Canada.

Clodagh McKenna and Tommy Smythe

The Marilyn Denis Show kicked off its ninth season Monday, Sept. 10 on CTV. The show will go international this season as Denis travels to Ireland (Sept. 27) with chef Clodagh McKenna and design expert Tommy Smythe (Where To I Do?) in a special episode that chronicles the host’s summer travels.

Jann Arden

CTV, in association with Project 10 Productions and Seven24 Films, has started production on the inaugural season of new original comedy series JANN. Starring Canadian singer, songwriter, broadcaster, and author Jann Arden as a fictionalized version of herself, the six-episode comedy series takes viewers on “Jann’s” quest for renewed fame in the wake of a waning career, while also dealing with the obligations and pressures of her real life. The cast includes Zoie Palmer (Sex After Kids, Dark Matter), Patrick Gilmore (Travelers; You, Me, Her), Deborah Grover (Anne With An “E”), Alexa Rose Steele (Degrassi: The Next Generation), Jason Blicker (F/X: The Series), Sharon Taylor (Bad Blood), and Elena Juatco (Open Heart), in addition to surprise celebrity cameos. JANN shoots in Calgary until Oct. 4, and is set to premiere as part of CTV’s 2018/19 schedule.

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has released its schedule for the 2018 fall season. AMI original productions are the centrepiece of the schedule with Season 2 of the award-winning Employable Me, the debut season of dating series There’s Something You Should Know and new episodes of Eyes for the Job, which moves to a new night and timeslot. AMI This Week also kicks off its seventh season, sharing events and interesting stories from coast to coast. New additions include Golden Globe and Primetime Emmy Award-winning series Breaking Bad and The Shield, available in described video for the first time. Other newly-acquired dramas include Rescue Me, private investigation drama Hack, and Tom Selleck drama Blue Bloods.

CraveTV has added 200 hours of children’s programming, including The Adventures of Paddington Bear, League of Super Evil and Peppa Pig. The move follows last year’s Bell Media and WOW! Unlimited Media strategic partnership with kids’ programming now available to stream in two collections: WOW! Preschool Playdate (targeted at kids aged 0-5) and WOW! World Kids (ages 6 and up). Additional titles including Teletubbies, Mona The Vampire, Doodlebops Roadshow and The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! are set to join the service later this year.

Nelvana has inked a multi-year home entertainment deal with Cinedigm for multiple titles from its children’s content library including classic series like Babar and Bakugan Battle Brawlers. The Los Angeles-based company has taken DVD and transactional digital rights for more than 3,000 episodes and will be kicking off the deal with Nelvana preschool series Ranger Rob. Additionally, Cinedigm will be releasing DVDs of The ZhuZhus, the Disney Channel series based on the $2-billion USD toy brand. Nelvana series 6Teen, and CGI interactive series Little Charmers are also included in the deal. Cinedigm has also renewed streaming rights for six Nelvana series, including Babar and Maggie and the Ferocious Beast, for its Dove and ConTV streaming networks.

Tyler Labine, Eric McCormack, Keanu Reeves, and Italia Ricci were among the Canadians who took part in Friday night’s Stand Up To Cancer telecast which raised $162.7 million CDN. For the third time, the telecast aired simultaneously on Canada’s four major English-language Canadian broadcasters: CBC, Citytv, CTV, and Global, as well as Canadian services AMI, A.Side, BBC Earth, CHCH, CHEK, Cottage Life, Fight Network, Game TV, HIFI, Hollywood Suite, Love Nature, Makeful, NTV, OUTtv, Smithsonian Channel Canada, T+E and YES TV. Read more here.

TSN and CTV Saskatchewan aired the Humboldt Broncos season opener, live and commercial-free, on Sept. 12 with game coverage also heard on TSN 1290 Winnipeg, TSN 1260 Edmonton, TSN 1200 Ottawa, TSN 1050 Toronto, TSN 690 Montreal, TSN 1150 Hamilton, and BNN Bloomberg 1410 Vancouver. Hosted by James Duthie, the broadcast featured Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie, with play-by-play from Chris Cuthbert and colour commentary from Ray Ferraro. Sportscentre reporter Ryan Rishaug reported rinkside, along with senior hockey reporter Frank Seravalli. The TSN Original features group has been spending time in the community of Humboldt for a documentary set to air on CTV and TSN later this year.

Jonathan and Justin Gajewski have optioned the rights for a biopic on Rocky Johnson, the African Nova Scotian professional wrestler and father of actor Dwayne Johnson. Ring King will tell Johnson’s life story from the 1950s to the late ’90s. The Gajewski brothers are assistant directors and producers with previous credits on Avengers: Infinity War, Total Recall (2012), Suicide Squad, and Room, among other films.

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