Eagle Vision, White Pine Pictures and Paquin Entertainment are celebrating an International Emmy Award nomination for Buffy Sainte-Marie: Carry It On. Directed by Madison Thomas, the documentary shines a spotlight on the remarkable life and career of Buffy Sainte-Marie, capturing her profound impact on music, Indigenous rights, and social justice. The lone Canadian nominee, the documentary is nominated in the Arts Programming category, in competition with films from Germany, Japan, and Mexico.
The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) celebrated the 50th Anniversary edition of its film and television awards in Edmonton on Sept. 30. Horror thriller Dark Nature won five awards, including Best Make-up, Best Original Score (Scripted), Best Overall Sound, and Best Director and Best Screenwriter nods for Berkley Brady (with Tim Cairo). Find the full list of winners here.
Bell Media is turning in its broadcast licence for ESPN Classic, in addition to French-language speciality channel VRAK, which ceased broadcasting on Oct. 1. ESPN Classic Canada will cease operations on Oct. 31.
Asian Television Network (ATN) has acquired the exclusive Canadian rights from Disney Star to launch its four channels, ATN Star Plus, ATN Star Gold, ATN Star Vijay and ATN Vijay Super. Star Plus is India’s leading Hindi general entertainment television channel, with a range of programming from family dramas, reality shows, and special events. Popularly known as “The Home of Blockbusters,” Star Gold is among India’s leading 24/7 Hindi movie channels, while Star Vijay is a leading Tamil language general entertainment channel. Vijay Super is a Tamil movie channel, part of the Star Vijay TV family, and features blockbuster Tamil movies as well as Tamil dubbed versions of popular Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Hindi and English movies.
Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) has launched AMI+, a new free streaming site where users can access AMI’s stable of audio, television and digital content created by and for the disability community. Additionally, visitors can utilize customizable accessibility settings for the blind and partially sighted community. The launch comes after months of rigorous testing and consultation with audience and members of Fable—a diverse community of accessibility professionals who identify as having a disability. At the very top of the site and on every page of AMI+, users can select Accessibility Preferences and choose from eight levels of contrast, line spacing and font. AMI+ is fully compatible with assistive technology, including screen readers and magnifiers, and Windows, Apple and Android platforms and devices.
CBC Kids and CBBC have co-commissioned Gangnam Project (10×30), a new tween dramedy series set in the world of K-pop. The series, which recently wrapped production in Toronto and South Korea, is scheduled to debut in spring 2024. Developed with CBC Kids and produced by Pillango Productions and Aircraft Pictures, series co-showrunners are Sarah Haasz (Circuit Breakers) and Romeo Candido (The Next Step). Federation Kids & Family is handling worldwide sales and will be presenting the series to buyers at the upcoming MIPJUNIOR & MIPCOM markets. A coming-of-age story, Gangnam Project is inspired by producer Haasz’s personal journey, telling the story of a spirited Canadian/Korean teen with dreams of becoming a K-pop star and connecting with her Korean heritage.
CBC, Insight Productions, and The Gurin Company have announced production details for the second season of original reality competition format, Canada’s Ultimate Challenge, with broadcaster Brandon Gonez on board to host. Shooting this fall, the series (7×60) turns the entire country into a giant obstacle course with challenges taking place from coast-to-coast. Kicking off in St. John’s, NL, it’s set to premiere on CBC Gem and CBC in 2024.
CTV Life Channel’s new original docu-reality series Listing Large is set to premiere Monday, Oct. 16 at 8 p.m. ET on CTV Life, CTV.ca, and the CTV app. The team from the Wiltshire Eccleston Group (WE) are featured on the 10-episode half-hour series, following the journey of real estate moguls and business partners Odeen Eccleston and Lamont Wiltshire as they juggle their growing real estate empire with the demands of parenthood, friendship, and their past romantic relationship.
APTN Investigates aims to uncover the truth behind the unexplained disappearance of two Mohawk fishermen on the Bay of Quinte eight years ago. In a special two-part series entitled Secrets of the Bay, Kenneth Jackson sets out to discover what really happened to Tyler Maracle and Matthew Fairman. Secrets of the Bay airs Friday, Oct. 6 and Friday, Oct. 13 on APTN, launching the new season of APTN Investigates.
Wolfwalker Productions has announced the second season of original series AMPLIFY, produced by Shane Belcourt and Jason Ryle, premiering on APTN beginning Friday, Oct. 13. The new season will expand into additional locations across Canada and features a roster of emerging and established Indigenous musicians, including Snotty Nose Rez Kids, Jason Camp & The Posers, Thea May, JB The First Lady, and Sadie Buck. The series also has a strong focus on Indigenous talent behind the camera and features 12 Indigenous directors, filmed with a 100% Indigenous production crew.
Thunderbird Entertainment Group has announced that Rocket Saves the Day, a brand-new animated original movie from its Kids & Family label Atomic Cartoons, will debut in the U.S. on PBS KIDS on Dec. 26. Based on the bestselling Rocket book series created by Tad Hills, the movie is a hero’s journey in which an enthusiastic young pup and his new best friend, Little Yellow Bird, embark on a quest to save their town through the power of reading. Developed and written by Emmy-winning kids TV screenwriter Rachel Lipman (Rugrats, Dinosaur Train, Hey Arnold!), Rocket Saves the Day was adapted for television by Peabody-winning producer Lynn Kestin Sessler.
Hollywood Suite has unveiled its 2023 Shocktober programming lineup for October, anchored by the Canadian premiere of the six-part horror-comedy series Wreck, with back-to-back episodes airing on Oct. 5 and new episodes airing every Thursday through Nov. 2. Additional Shocktober premieres include Jason Brennan’s thriller L’Inhumain (2021); The Shape of Things to Come (1979), based on the novel by H.G. Wells; Canadian cult classic Hello Mary Lou: Prom Night II (1986); Jordan Peele thriller Get Out (2017); horror comedy Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight (1995); and Rueben Martell’s Indigenous horror Don’t Say Its Name (2022).
Disney+ is planning to crack down on password sharing, starting Nov. 1. The streamer sent emails to Canadian subscribers last week, warning it will begin restricting password sharing for anyone not residing in the same household. The crackdown comes as Disney+ launches a new ad-supported tier in Canada and across Europe.