The Leo Awards, celebrating excellence in B.C. film and television, have announced the 2023 nominees. This year’s feature film nominees are led by Bones of Crows, which earned 13 nominations, including Best Motion Picture and Best Director for Marie Clements. When Time Got Louder received 10 nominations, followed by Float and Sheltering Season, which each earned seven nods apiece. Firefly Lane, Family Law and Riverdale lead Dramatic Series nominees, while Phantom Pups and Apple TV+ series Circuit Breakers lead the Youth or Children’s Program or Series nominees.
The Guild of Music Supervisors Canada (GMSC) and Canadian Music Week (CMW) have unveiled the nominees for the 2023 Canadian Sync Awards, celebrating the craft of music supervision in filmed media in Canada with the presentation of 15 awards, with 8 categories voted on by the public. Cody Partridge of Pear Tree Music Supervision leads with six nominations, followed by Natasha Duprey with five nominations. By production, Crave comedy Shoresy, and feature films Fancy Dance and Bloody Hell received two nods apiece. The Canadian Sync Awards will take place Thursday, June 8 at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto and include performances by Preston Pablo, Milk & Bone, and Adria Kain. Voting is now open until June 2.
Frantic Films CEO Jamie Brown is one of 12 recipients to receive the Order of Manitoba, the province’s highest honor. Brown has served as the CEO and executive producer of the Winnipeg-based production company since 2000. According to the citation, he is being recognized for “winning awards in Canada and abroad for his innovation, creativity and business leadership, he is a tireless community volunteer and an advocate of Manitoba’s creative sector.”
Seneca Polytechnic and the National Film Board (NFB) are strengthening their existing relationship with the signing of a formal framework, committing both organizations to ongoing collaboration and engagement. Through the pact, Seneca students will have opportunities to work on new NFB projects and learn from speaker sessions, workshops and presentations. Seneca will provide technical and creative consultation services and promote NFB films within its animation programs and spaces. While the agreement itself is new, the NFB and Seneca have a history of collaboration on film animation projects with Seneca students and grads having worked on NFB productions including 2004’s Ryan, winner of the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, and 2013’s Subconscious Password, which won Best Short Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.
Supercollider, part of UK-based Zinc Media, is collaborating with Idris Elba’s GreenDoor Pictures and Sabrina Elba’s Pink Towel to make PAID IN FULL: The Battle for Payback (working title) for CBC and BBC. The new series, produced in association with Catalyst, examines the systematic exploitation of Black artists by the music industry. The series (3×60) is funded and co-produced by a partnership between Abacus Media Rights (AMR) and Media Musketeers Studios, with AMR distributing internationally. It will feature bestselling author and filmmaker MK Asante Jr. and Lawrence Lartey, Director of Innovation, Industry and Enterprise at Ravensbourne University London, who has produced and consulted on documentaries for BBC 4, BBC Radio 1, and Channel 4, including How Hip Hop Changed the World with Idris Elba and MK Asante.
Gary and His Demons, the adult-animated comedy series produced by Look Mom! Productions, will premiere on Amazon Freevee in the U.S on July 7. Seasons 1 & 2 of the series will launch simultaneously. Blue Ant International licensed the rights for the cult-classic, expanding the global distribution group’s relationship with Amazon, following the launch of the series on Prime Video in Canada, Australia and New Zealand in February. The series serves up a story about a 45-year-old demon slayer named Gary who is ready to retire. Just when he thinks he has chased his final demon, Gary discovers his boss can’t find his replacement and he’ll be forced to keep fighting demons for eternity.
OUTtv has commissioned two new original series, alongside acquiring a new weekly competition series and renewing six of its series for additional seasons. New original series for the service include heartfelt dramedy We Three Queens, and documentary I Work From Home for its OUTspoken slate of unscripted content. OUTtv has additionally acquired weekly competition series The Gold Rush, combining reality TV and docuseries elements. Renewed are Drag Heals for Season 4, Pride for Season 5, and Behind the Drag Queen of the Year Pageant Competition Award Contest Competition, Dr. Jackie, Sugar Highs and Dating Unlocked, all for a second season.
Blue Ant Media has announced the launch of its free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels, Homeful and Love Pets on VIZIO WatchFree+ for millions of U.S. users. Homeful features real estate, renovation and transformation series and is home to TV reno expert Mike Holmes’ catalog of series and specials, while Love Pets features heartfelt stories about the animals in our lives. The channels join wildlife and nature brand, Love Nature, which Blue Ant says is currently among VIZIO’s top performing FAST channels, as well as Haunt TV and Drag Race Universe on VIZIO WatchFree+.
AMI-tv has unveiled new and returning original series and documentary programming set to air over the summer months. New AMI-tv series Blind Trust: A Guide Dog’s Journey tells the story of the CNIB Guide Dog program. Returning programs include new seasons of By Hook or By Cook, Postcards From, Blind Adventures with Ron Walsh, Our Community and Adaptable Animals, along with all-new documentary Everyone Belongs in Nature.
Crave’s new, four-part original docuseries, Billionaire Murders, an intimate look at the unsolved murders of Barry and Honey Sherman, premieres June 16. The series narrative is driven by investigative journalist Kevin Donovan, who also hosts Toronto Star podcast The Billionaire Murders: The hunt for the killers of Honey and Barry Sherman. Billionaire Murders delves into the mystery of the killings, including outrageous conspiracy theories about who killed the Shermans. Sources featured include Former Ontario Deputy Chief Coroner Dr. Jim Cairns, former Novopharm executive Aubrey Dan, and former FBI profiler Brad Garrett.
The 2023 Memorial Cup presented by KIA kicks off on TSN, beginning May 26. Play-by-play commentator Victor Findlay delivers the call for all games in Kamloops, alongside analyst Kevin Sawyer, with TSN 1050 Radio (CHUM-FM) and BarDown host Julia Tocheri reporting live rinkside. Laura Diakun leads TSN’s panel coverage on-site in Kamloops, alongside Craig Button and Cheryl Pounder as analysts. TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger joins the broadcast team during the final four days of the tournament. Luca Celebre, Jesse Pollock, and Tocheri are also on-site in Kamloops to deliver updates for BarDown throughout the championship, with content available on Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. TSN’s complete broadcast schedule is available here, with French-language coverage available on RDS.
The Sundar Prize Film Festival has announced its inaugural competition for filmmakers who use their art to create meaningful social impact. With over $10,000 in cash prizes, it will award the Top 5 films in select categories, including Best Feature Film, Best Documentary, Best Short Film, Best Animation, and Best Student Film. The winners will be announced June 15-16, 2024, at the Centre Stage at Surrey City Hall in Surrey, BC. Founded by Alex Sangha, an award-winning social worker and documentary film producer, and Vinay Giridhar, a director, editor, and visual artist, the Sundar Prize Film Festival is an initiative of Sher Vancouver, a registered charity supporting LGBTQ+ South Asians. Films with any theme are welcome, but the festival encourages filmmakers who showcase social justice issues, human rights, immigrants and refugees, Indigenous peoples, people of color, LGBTQ+ communities, vulnerable and marginalized peoples, environment and climate change, and educational films. The festival is now accepting submissions.
E.D. Films, the Montreal multi-disciplinary animation studio, has received a repayable federal investment of $160,000 to enable the business to improve its ability to market itself internationally by hiring marketing resources, conducting targeted promotional campaigns, participating in large-scale trade shows, and acquiring digital equipment. Founded in 2013 by Emily Paige and Archita Ghosh, along with Daniel Gies, the studio specializes in custom animated illustrations for cinematic and immersive films, virtual reality/extended reality experiences, video games, and physical installations across the cultural, scientific, and themed entertainment industries.
Numeris says as of the June 2023 data release, its VAM (Video Audience Measurement) solution will encompass Facebook Watch and Instagram Reels. While still only available in Ontario and Quebec Franco, the audience measurement agency says VAM’s coverage of the total video landscape now amounts to 90% of video streaming platforms available in Canada. Throughout 2022, VAM added PlutoTV, CBS News, Discovery Plus, ET Online, TikTok, FuboTV, Paramount Plus and Samsung TV Plus to its available data sets.