Eternal Spring (長春), a feature documentary about Chinese comic book artist Daxiong from director, writer and producer Jason Loftus, will represent Canada in the nomination process for Best International Feature Film at the 95th Academy Awards. Set for release in Canada on Sept. 23, the animated documentary highlights the work of the Chinese illustrator, who was forced to flee his homeland after taking part in a 2002 rebellion by Falun Gong practitioners to take over a state television station to protest human rights abuses. The first-person account of Daxiong’s escape to North America is detailed in 3D animated re-enactments, inspired by his work. Already screened at several international festivals, Eternal Spring won both the Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Feature at Hot Docs, in addition to the Hot Docs Audience Award. Read more here.
Netflix has greenlit two Canadian unscripted series – marblemedia’s Drink Masters and Insight Productions’ Cook At All Costs – which will debut on the streamer this fall. Drink Masters, set to premiere Oct. 28, sees 12 mixologists from across North America compete for the title of Ultimate Drink Master. Cook At All Costs is set for a Dec. 16 premiere. Hosted by Canadian chef and restaurateur Jordan Andino, the cooking competition features three home cooks who bid on ingredients to use in a cook-off.
Jay Baruchel is set to star in Blackberry, a feature film chronicling the rise and fall of Waterloo, ON-based Research in Motion (RIM) that will be introduced to buyers at TIFF. Adapted from the 2015 book, Losing the Signal: The Spectacular Rise and Fall of Blackberry, Baruchel stars alongside Glenn Howerton (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia) as company co-founders Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, respectively. Directed by Toronto’s Matt Johnson, who also plays RIM’s third co-founder, Doug Fregin, the cast is rounded out by Cary Elwes, Saul Rubinek and Michael Ironside. Filmed in and around Hamilton, as well as Waterloo and London, Blackberry has now wrapped production.
Farpoint Films has signed filmmaker Ryan Cooper’s Back to Space Productions to a multi-year first look producing deal. Winnipeg-based Farpoint will have a first look at all of Cooper’s new shows with the two companies already working together on projects including Alter Boys for CBC Gem, written and directed by Jonathan Lawrence and produced by Cooper. Cooper’s past projects include Freedom Road (NFB), When the Children Left (National Screen Institute – Canada), and Daybreak People (Bell MTS).
CBC original family dramedy Moonshine (8×60) will return for a third season in 2023, with production now underway in Nova Scotia. Created by Sheri Elwood (Lucifer, Call Me Fitz) and produced by Six Eleven Media and Entertainment One (eOne), the Canadian Screen Award-nominated series follows the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of adult half-siblings battling for control of the Moonshine, a ramshackle campground on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. The second season will premiere Oct. 2 on CBC and CBC Gem, with the entire first season now available to stream. Guest stars set to join Season 3 include Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s) and Kirsten Howell (Trailer Park Boys).
Food Network Canada’s Top Chef Canada returns for a milestone 10th season. Dubbed Top Chef Canada X, the new season makes its debut Sept. 26. Top Chef Canada welcomes acclaimed chef and fermenter David Zilber to the judging panel, joining returning cast: chef and cookbook author Eden Grinshpan as host, along with judges Mark McEwan, chef and owner of The McEwan Group; restaurateur Janet Zuccarini; food writer and personality Mijune Pak; and food journalist and critic Chris Nuttall-Smith.
UNINTERRUPTED Canada, the Canadian Football League (CFL), Bell Media and OK Tire have started production on new feature documentary, Rivalries: The QEW Series, chronicling the longstanding rivalry between the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats. The documentary will present the teams’ up-and-coming and veteran stars, while contextualizing the historical tension between the clubs. Set to air on TSN this fall, the doc will also feature the personal stories of Argos quarterback McLeod Bethel-Thompson and linebacker Henoc Muamba, and their respective Ti-Cats counterparts, Dane Evans and Simoni Lawrence.
TSN will deliver coverage of the 2022 IIHF Women’s World Championship, Aug. 25 – Sept 4, with live coverage of all games from Group A as well as the Medal Round, including the Quarter-finals, Semifinals, and Gold Medal Game. TSN’s coverage features play-by-play commentator Kenzie Lalonde, alongside analyst and six-time IIHF gold medallist Cheryl Pounder. From the TSN studio will be IIHF gold medallist Tessa Bonhomme, alongside analysts Jayna Hefford and Sami Jo Small. BarDown’s Julia Tocheri will contribute behind-the-scenes social content and report rinkside throughout the tournament.
CTV has confirmed fall premiere dates. Joining the schedule are new series including The Rookie spinoff, The Rookie: Feds (Tuesdays, beginning Sept. 27), starring Niecy Nash-Betts (RENO 911!); cop drama East New York (Sundays, beginning Oct. 2) with Amanda Warren (NCIS: New Orleans) and Jimmy Smits (Sons Of Anarchy); and Alaska Daily (Thursdays, beginning Oct. 6), starring Hilary Swank as a journalist seeking a fresh start in Alaska. Also coming to CTV this fall is Celebrity Jeopardy! (Sundays, beginning Sept. 25), hosted by Mayim Bialik.
CBC Gem original series launching in September include the world premiere of the Vancouver shot and set comedy FAKES (Sept. 1) which follows two teenage best friends who accidentally build one of the largest fake ID empires in North America; TIFF 2022 selection LIDO TV (Sept. 23), hosted by Colombian-Canadian musician and artist, Lido Pimienta; VIRGINS! (Sept. 27), a dramatic comedy created by Aden Abebe about four Toronto women of East African descent stumbling through adulthood as millennials; and the animated Dreams in Vantablack (Sept. 29), a poetic anthology of 12 short films featuring Black youth poets. In recognition of National Truth and Reconciliation Day on Friday, Sept. 30, CBC Gem will feature new documentaries including Bimibatoo-Win: Where I Ran (Sept. 27) and The Passionate Eye – The Pretendians (Sept. 30).
APTN has unveiled its fall lineup that includes new reality series Bears’ Lair (Sept. 11) that offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to 18 aspiring Indigenous entrepreneurs. The nine-episode competition show will see contestants pitch their best ideas to a panel of business moguls in hopes of winning a $100,000 grand prize. Also new is Ghost Hunters of the Grand River (Oct. 26), following a group of First Nations ghost hunters investigating paranormal occurrences. APTN will also air Celebrating 50 years: The Beachcombers (starting Oct. 3), broadcasting a selection of episodes from the iconic series across its channels.
APTN series, Moosemeat & Marmalade, returns for Season 6 this fall with 13 all-new episodes. The popular B.C.-produced food docuseries, which won a 2022 Leo Award for Best Cinematography Documentary Series, reunites co-hosts Art Napoleon and Dan Hayes for another season of inter-tribal food exploration and cultural discovery, focusing on their own backyard: Western Canada. Season 6 premieres on APTN in English and French on Sept. 6 with new episodes airing weekly. Since first premiering in 2015, Moosemeat & Marmalade has aired in multiple languages across the U.S., France, Russia, and New Zealand.
Brendan Fraser will receive the TIFF Tribute Award for Performance for his work in Darren Aronofsky’s The Whale, which will have its North American premiere at the festival. The TIFF Tribute Awards will return to an in-person gala fundraiser during the 47th edition of TIFF on Sunday, Sept. 11 at Fairmont Royal York Hotel. The Whale tells the story of a reclusive English teacher living with severe obesity who attempts to reconnect with his estranged teenage daughter for one last chance at redemption. The A24 film is based on the play by Samuel D. Hunter and also stars Sadie Sink, Hong Chau, Ty Simpkins, and Samantha Morton.
TIFF has revealed that Jason Reitman’s Live Read will return to the festival for an all-star event featuring a surprise cast on Sept. 9. This year, the Montreal-born filmmaker will present a surprise screenplay in honour of his father, Ivan Reitman. The live read is a unique event in which classic movie scripts are read by contemporary actors in one-take with Reitman narrating stage direction. This year’s cast and film title will be announced in the coming weeks. TIFF has previously welcomed Reitman and all-star casts for live table reads of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights, Alan Ball’s American Beauty, John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club, and William Goldman’s The Princess Bride.
OYA Black Arts Coalition (OBAC) and the Canadian Film Centre Media Lab, in partnership with Dark Slope, are calling on founders of Black-owned content creation companies to apply for the second cohort of Scale Up Immersive, an accelerator lab aimed at increasing the capacity of Black content creators and/or producers working in the immersive media space. Applications for the second cohort of Scale Up Immersive open Aug. 26, with the deadline to apply on Oct. 7. The accelerator is slated to start in mid-November, funded by the federal government through the Black Entrepreneurship Program (BEP) Ecosystem Fund, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). Throughout the five-month virtual/in-person hybrid accelerator lab, 10 founders of Black-owned media production companies will receive hands-on mentorship and networking opportunities, and intensive workshops, including access to Dark Slope’s state-of-the-art immersive media production facilities in Toronto.