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TV & Film News – Deepa Mehta to be recognized with Equity in Entertainment Award

Deepa Mehta

The Hollywood Reporter Women in Entertainment Canada has announced that film writer and director Deepa Mehta will receive the Equity in Entertainment Award at this year’s inaugural Canadian event on May 30 in Toronto. The award recognizes Canadian creators and leaders in the entertainment industry who are working to reflect and amplify the voices and stories of underrepresented communities. Being awarded for the first time in Canada, its namesake was created in 2016 by The Hollywood Reporter as part of its Women in Entertainment gala in Los Angeles, with past honourees including Kerry Washington, Issa Rae, and Amy Pascal.

The Canada Media Fund (CMF) is investing $357M in Canadian television and digital media during its new fiscal year. Among other changes, the CMF is expanding the existing Canadian broadcaster market test in linear content programs and allowing Canadian-owned and controlled distribution companies to contribute financing to help unlock CMF funds. To provide broadcasters with more flexibility, the CMF is combining the Development and Performance Envelopes into a single Broadcaster Envelope system. Indigenous producers will now have expanded flexibility in some eligible genres, with Indigenous producers in the North to benefit from expanded market tests and flexibility on current rules related to Canadian key personnel. CMF staff will host webcasts in both English and French on April 11 to provide more information about the changes.

The Black Screen Office (BSO) and Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) have announced the launch of a new Black Producer Accelerator Program focused on increasing representation and supporting the career growth of Black producers in Canada. The program, made possible with financial support from Entertainment Partners, will see six producers participate in 20-week paid mentorship placements, where they will be paired with established producers at CMPA member companies. Black candidates who have a demonstrated interest in working in production and a goal of building a career as a media producer in Canada, are invited to apply, in concert with an experienced CMPA producer with whom the candidate would work alongside throughout the duration of the accelerator program. The application deadline is May 3.

Channing Dungey

The Banff World Media Festival (BANFF) has announced that Warner Bros. Television Group Chairman and CEO Channing Dungey is joining the festival’s Summit Series lineup as a keynote speaker. The 45th edition of the festival, taking place June 9–12, will once again include a curated lineup of keynotes featuring global players shaping the future of the media industry. As previously announced, Rob Wade, CEO, FOX Entertainment is also confirmed as a Summit Series speaker.

CBC News and Inuit TV, the Government of Nunavut’s educational broadcaster, have announced a new partnership to support their shared commitment to preserving and promoting Inuit languages. As of this week, CBC News: Igalaaq is airing on Inuit TV, increasing access and reach of the public broadcaster’s Inuktitut-language supper-hour news broadcast. CBC North’s supper-hour daily Inuktitut news program broadcasts live each weekday at 6 p.m. ET from Iqaluit, Nunavut, available on CBC Gem,, YouTube @CBCNorth and CBC TV. Viewers will now be able to watch a rebroadcast on Inuit TV the following day at 1 p.m. ET and repeat at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday. 

WildBrain Television had the Canadian premiere of international co-production Louise Lives Large on Family Channel this week, with new episodes rolling out every Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET starting April 17. The series also premiered on Ireland’s RTE on April 3 and will debut on Belgium’s KETNET this fall. The dramatic comedy series for young people follows the inspiring journey of newly cancer-free teen Louise Edgar as she embarks on a mission to make up for lost time, completing items on her “Live Large List.” Shot on location in Ireland, the official Ireland-Belgium-Canada treaty coproduction is produced by Julianne Forde and Mairtín de Barra (Tailored Films, Ireland), Maarten Schmidt and Xavier Rombaut (Storyhouse, Polar Bear, Belgium) and Virginia Thompson and Robert de Lint (Vérité Films, Canada).

National Canadian Film Day (CanFilmDay) returns April 17 shining a spotlight on “Films That A.I. Could Never Make.” Presented by Reel Canada, this year’s celebration of Canadian film will include more than 1,000 screenings in every province and territory and more than 39 countries, in addition to offerings from broadcasters and streaming services spanning CBC and CBC Gem, Hollywood Suite, OUTtv, GameTV, WildBrain, APTN, Super Channel, Corus Entertainment, Super Ecran, Crave, CHCH, Blue Ant Media, Netflix, NFB, TVO, AppleTV+, Shudder, Starz, Mubi, TFO, Hoopla, YouTube, The Roku Channel, Kanopy and others. Programming highlights include several sneak peeks ahead of their official release dates, film festival partner screenings, and community events. Read more here.

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