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TV & Film News – Chandler Levack makes TV directorial debut with Crave’s ‘My Dead Mom’

Megan Follows & Lauren Collins

Crave has announced new, six-part short-form comedy series, My Dead Mom. From LoCo Motion Pictures, creator Wendy Litner, and executive producer Lauren Corber, the Crave Original series is currently in production in Toronto, and stars Megan Follows (Anne of Green Gables, Reign) and Lauren Collins (Degrassi: The Next Generation, Slip). The series, exploring the complicated nature of grief through mothers and daughters, marks filmmaker Chandler Levack’s (I Like Movies) television directorial debut. Rounding out the cast are Rainbow Sun Francks (High Fidelity), David Reale (The Boys), Daniel Maslany (Murdoch Mysteries), Daniel Kash (Slasher), and guest star Matt Murray (In the Dark).

Crave has ordered a fifth season of Canada’s Drag Race, the #1 most-streamed Canadian reality show on the streaming service this year. Produced by Blue Ant Studios, in association with Crave and World of Wonder, Canadian drag artists can submit applications now. The series’ fourth season debuts on Crave on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 9 p.m. ET, and is also available on World of Wonder’s SVOD platform WOW Presents Plus in the U.S., and in more than 160 countries around the world, coming soon to BBC Three and iPlayer in the UK.

UFC has announced new long-term broadcast agreements with Sportsnet and TVA Sports for Canadian media rights to UFC’s live events, starting in 2024. Sportsnet will be Canada’s English-language home for UFC Fight Night cards and Pay-Per-View prelims across its channels and live streaming on Sportsnet+, while TVA Sports will serve French-Canadians nationwide. Both Sportsnet and TVA will also showcase additional marquee UFC live programming, including Dana White’s Contender Series, to fans across multiple platforms. UFC Fight Pass will continue to offer its customers in Canada eight exclusive UFC Fight Night events per year and all early preliminary fights from each UFC live event. UFC Pay-Per-View main cards will remain available through current cable, satellite and digital providers. Sportsnet and TVA Sports previously served as Canada’s broadcast partners from 2011-14.

Tyrone Edwards

Tyrone Edwards hosts CTV Original one-hour special The Take Back, Friday, Nov. 24. The Take Back shines a spotlight on 14-year-old Hartley Bernier, a dedicated fundraiser and ambassador for SickKids Hospital and budding voice actor (Rex on Paw Patrol), providing him with a celebrity-filled birthday bash at Canada’s Wonderland – marking the first time Hartley, who is immunocompromised, and his family enjoy a large social gathering with family and friends. Guest appearances include actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (Never Have I Ever), actor Robbie Amell (The Flash), and Forbes 30 Under 30 actor/writer Anthony Burch. Then, HoopQueens founder Keesa K. is given a second chance after a pivotal fundraising and launch event was lost due to the pandemic. Special guests include four-time WNBA champion and Olympic gold medallist Sheryl Swoopes, Canadian Women’s National Basketball alum and two-time Olympian Tamara Tatham, Commissioner and CEO of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL) Mike Morreale, WNBA All-star Cheyenne Parker, TSN anchor Kayla Grey, and JUNO-winning rapper TOBi.

Stingray has announced the addition of five new FAST Channels on Pluto TV now available to audiences in Canada. The lineup includes Stingray Naturescape, Qello Concerts by Stingray, Stingray Classica, Stingray DJAZZ, and Stingray CMusic, which reinvents music videos to offer a revolutionized version of classical music.

CBC has released the Preliminary Industry Report on Production Carbon Emissions, summarizing the carbon footprint submissions of 64 original English-language independent and in-house entertainment productions. Since January 2022, CBC has required Canadian independent and in-house entertainment producers to use an albert carbon calculator to deliver a carbon footprint on all original productions. The first Canadian media company to set this standard, its main findings indicate that the largest sources of carbon emissions from production are travel and transport (43%), filming spaces (23%), and material usage and disposal (22%). Radio-Canada intends to issue its own report in 2024.  

Netflix is renewing its support for Women in Animation Vancouver’s Animation Career EXCELerator (ACE), adding a new role to the program and providing additional support for marketing and promotion at festivals. The ACE program is designed to advance the careers of women in the animation industry by giving them a key credit in the creation of their very own short film, TV proof of concept or web series pilot, and providing mentorship and training along the way to ensure they are set-up for success. Running over the course of two years, it will now support nine creative roles. ACE 3 is made up of eight creatives from B.C., Quebec, and Ontario including writer Sunita Balsara, story supervisor Anna Bohac, composer Amanda Cawley, director Sonia Furier, producer Stephanie Hodgson, animation director Molly Lacoursière, editor Isabel Ribeiro and assistant art director May-Yun Ong

Whistler Film Festival (WFF) has announced the full lineup for its 23rd edition taking place in-person from Nov. 29 to Dec. 3, with online screenings available Dec. 4-17. Among this year’s festival highlights—which includes 35 features and 62 shorts from 14 countries, are the opening night Canadian Premiere of Netflix’s MAESTRO, written, produced, directed by and starring Bradley Cooper, alongside Carey Mulligan, chronicling the lifelong relationship between Leonard Bernstein and Felicia Montealegre Cohn Bernstein. May December, directed by Todd Haynes (whose film Carol won the WFF Audience Award for Best Feature Film in 2015), also makes its Canadian premiere at WFF23, starring Natalie Portman and Julianne Moore.

The Banff World Media Festival has opened its call for entries for the 2024 Rockie Awards International Program Competition. Recognizing global content, view this year’s categories here, including the new Best Use of Music in a Series category. The deadline for entries is Jan. 26.

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