TV & Film News – Edmonton Screen Media Fund open for applications

The Edmonton Screen Media Fund is now open for funding applications. Launched last week by the Edmonton Screen Industries Office, the $4-million fund will be used to invest in or loan money to Edmonton entrepreneurs and companies involved in the development and production of screen media, including film, television, mobile apps and video gaming. Investment may also be made into qualified guest productions that shoot and post-produce in Edmonton. Productions are eligible for as much as 15% of their total budget, up to a maximum of $250,000.

QYOU Media Inc. has entered into a long term distribution agreement for its flagship networks The Q India and Q Polska with Ethnic Channels Group. Powered by creators and influencers, Toronto-headquartered QYOU curates, packages and markets content from leading digital video creators for multiscreen & multi-platform distribution, targeted at millennials and Gen Z.

Global has announced that its new original medical drama Nurses will join its Winter 2020 schedule Jan. 6 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. From Entertainment One (eOne) and ICF Films, the coming-of-age series follows five young nurses working on the frontlines of a busy downtown Toronto hospital. Airing Monday nights for 10 weeks, Global will do a pre-release premiere online on GlobalTV.com on New Year’s Day. The Nurses cast includes Tiera Skovbye (Riverdale), Natasha Calis (The Possession), Jordan Johnson-Hinds (Blindspot), Sandy Sidhu (Home Before Dark) and Donald MacLean Jr. (Workin’ Moms). In conjunction with the series debut, Global is launching Thank A Nurse – a recognition campaign for Canadians to thank the everyday nurses who have had a positive impact on their lives. 

Nelvana has announced two Canadian fashion collaborations to mark Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary. Nelvana’s partnerships with Vancouver’s Smash + Tess and Toronto’s Peace Collective will see the production and distribution of unique Sesame Street apparel and accessories for both adults and kids, in-stores and online. Sesame Street’s 50th Anniversary Celebration, a star-studded primetime special hosted by Joseph Gordon Levitt, will air Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. ET/PT on Global. The 50th season of Sesame Street premieres the following morning on Treehouse. 

Marci Ien, Melissa Grelo, Kelsey McEwen

CTV will broadcast The Original Santa Claus Parade on Nov. 17 at 4:30 p.m. ET/PT. Produced by Bell Media Studios, the longest-running children’s parade in the world features 34 floats and 20 marching bands. This year’s broadcast also marks a decade of CTV’s ongoing partnership with the event. Returning to anchor the 90-minute special are The Social’s Melissa Grelo and Marci Ien. Meteorologist and host Kelsey McEwen also returns as the parade’s roving reporter. An encore presentation airs Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. ET on CTV. News on-demand and exclusive video content will also be featured on CTV.ca/Santa.

DHX Media (doing business as WildBrain) has released its Fiscal 2020 first quarter results for the three-month period ended Sept. 30, 2019. The company reported revenue of $112.3 million, up 8% over the same quarter last year, driven by higher revenues earned from both non-WildBrain Spark distribution and WildBrain Spark ad-based video-on-demand (“AVOD”) business. Distribution revenue (excluding WildBrain Spark) rose 78% to $15.6 million vs. $8.8 million a year ago, driven by a large library deal with CBS All Access. WildBrain Spark revenue grew 37% to $22.1 million in Q1 2020 vs $16.2 million in Q1 2019, as DHX continued to benefit from a growing online audience on its AVOD network. Views were up 66% to over 12.1 billion in Q1 2020. That equated to 56.3 billion of minutes of videos watched on WildBrain Spark, up 43% from the same prior-year quarter.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) has announced that 27 projects will receive a total of over $6.5M in funding through two of its selective programs. A total of $3.1M will fund nine projects through the second round of funding of the Francophone Minority Program and a further $3.4M will be invested in the production of 18 projects through the Diverse Languages Program. Click here to view a list of projects funded through the Francophone Minority Program. For information on the latest Diverse Languages projects receiving production support, click here.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) have announced an investment of over CAD$136,000 to support the co-development of audiovisual content under the Canada-Ireland Codevelopment Incentive for Audio-Visual Projects. Three Canadian production companies will work with three Irish companies in the development of the following projects: #IBelieveHer – a co-production of Plausible Communications and Pembridge Film Prod. Ltd. – focused on the so-called ‘Rugby Rape Trial’; Craic House – a co-production of Cedar Island Films and O’Sullivan Prod. Ltd. – a six-part half-hour comedy series; and Where the wild geese go – from Stitch Media Ontario and El Zorrero Films – a multi-platform project targeted to Irish and Canadian school children. Since 2016-17, CMF and BAI have invested over CAD$589,000 in the codevelopment of 14 audiovisual projects.

Robert Cooper

The Pacific Screenwriting Program (PSP) has announced that writer/producer/director Robert Cooper will be the showrunner leading its 2020 Scripted Series Lab. Cooper will be mentor to six up-and-coming BC-based screenwriters selected to participate in next year’s program, starting in Jan. 2020. With Cooper leading the story room, they will work together to develop his original series in the PSP training program, now in its second year. PSP is a collaboration between Netflix, Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), Writer’s Guild of Canada (WGC) and Creative BC. Cooper most recently created, wrote and directed episodes of CBC’s Unspeakable on Canada’s tainted blood scandal, which won a Leo Award for Best Dramatic Series. Previously, he served as showrunner on Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency for BBC America, Netflix and AMC Studios, and is best known for having been showrunner of the Stargate television franchise for MGM


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