Telefilm Executive Director Christa Dickenson has responded to a petition submitted by an ad-hoc collective of filmmakers and producers this week, following the agency’s decision to disqualify all projects that contain a majority of dialogue that is not English, French, or Indigenous languages from accessing production funding in 2021. The letter supports reversing the decision and enacting change to allow Canadian film projects of all languages to be equally considered and evaluated by Telefilm. Dickenson says the issue is on the agenda for the next meeting of its Diversity & Inclusion Working Group that includes the creation of a Diverse Languages Subcommittee. She says Telefilm is committed to having a framework for films in diverse languages ready for Fall 2021 in order to welcome projects in all languages under the Production program.
Michelle Latimer has filed a statement of claim against the CBC and four of its journalists for defamation, following libel notices served on Jan. 27 and March 5. The former Trickster director and co-writer, who resigned in December following controversy over the legitimacy of her claims of Indigenous ancestry, accuses the public broadcaster and reporters Angela Sterritt, Gillian Deacon, Jorge Barrera and Ka’nhehsí:io Deer of being “malicious, high-handed and arrogant” in coverage of her identity story. As first reported by APTN, Latimer is now seeking $200,000 in damages to ensure the CBC and its journalists “are appropriately punished for their conduct and deterred from such conduct in the future,” according to a statement of claim filed in Ontario Superior Court.
ZoomerMedia has launched ZoomerTV and ONETV US on DistroTV in the U.S., the largest, independent, free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platform. The channels feature ZoomerMedia original series like Conversations With Conrad Black; The Concert Series; Beautiful Little Classics; Your All-Time Classic Hit Parade; Ask Dr. Zach; Divine Intervention with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach; Messages From Spirit with Colette Baron-Reid; Healing Yoga; Shaolin Tai Chi; and Anjelica’s 22-Minute Workout. ZoomerTV (Channel #273) is focused on health and wellness, money, technology, travel, sex and relationships, while ONETV US (Channel #248) is a 24-hour fitness channel featuring yoga, strength building, weight loss, dance and cardio classes as well as useful tips for healthy living.
CBC has announced its fall television and streaming schedule and 2021-22 programming slate for CBC TV and CBC Gem, featuring over 35 new and returning original series. New Original Series include comedy Sort Of (8×30, Sienna Films) from creators Bilal Baig (Acha Bacha) and Fab Filippo (Save Me), about a fluid millennial who straddles various identities from sexy bartender at an LGBTQ bookstore/bar, to the youngest child in a large Pakistani family, to de facto parent of a downtown hipster family; and Son Of A Critch (13×30, Project 10 Productions) is based on the best-selling memoir from Mark Critch (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), created by Critch and Tim McAuliffe (The Office (U.S.), Last Man on Earth) and produced by Andrew Barnsley (Schitt’s Creek). New Original Dramas include Moonshine (8×60; Six Eleven Media, eOne) from creator, showrunner and executive producer Sheri Elwood (Call Me Fitz), a one-hour dramedy built around the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of half-siblings battling for control of a ramshackle summer resort on the South Shore of Nova Scotia; and The Red (Eagle Vision, Halfire Entertainment), a fictional investigative series created and written by Canadian Métis director/writer/producer Marie Clements and inspired by real crimes, starring Sarah Podemski and Sarah Gadon.
Global has announced new season greenlights for original scripted series Family Law (Season 2) and Departure (Season 3). With production on Season 2 now underway in Vancouver, the renewal of new legal drama Family Law comes ahead of its premiere on Global later this year. Similarly, Season 2 of Departure will air later this year, with Season 3 set to begin production this fall. Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions, and created by Canadian author Susin Nielsen, Family Law is a one-hour legal drama starring Jewel Staite navigating her new life with her family, including her father, played by Victor Garber, half-brother (Zach Smadu), and half-sister (Genelle Williams). Season 2 will feature guest stars including Paul Sun-Hyung Lee (Kim’s Convenience) and Catherine Fitch (Murdoch Mysteries).
Super Channel has announced a slate of five new unscripted true crime docuseries from Breakthrough Entertainment will be coming to Super Channel Fuse, beginning this month. The deal includes I Lived with a Killer, Charmed to Death, Cruise Ship Killers (Season 2), Sex, Lies and Murder and Sunshine Slayings. The first of the series to premiere is I Lived With a Killer (20 x 60), coming to Super Channel Fuse June 25. All 20 episodes in the series will be available to binge watch on Super Channel On Demand, the day following the series premiere.
Flat Head Films has begun production on Bowen Island, BC on Laura Adkin’s feature film Re: Uniting, starring The Flash alums Jesse L. Martin and Michelle Harrison. The film follows six best friends from college, now in their 40s, who reconnect for their 25-year reunion weekend. Alongside Martin (Law & Order, RENT) and Harrison (Fifty Shades Freed, Love Happens), the film stars Bronwen Smith (Firefly Lane), Roger Cross (Coroner), Carmen Moore (Vikings, The Flash) and David Lewis (Child’s Play).
Corus and the Banff World Media Festival have announced the recipients of this year’s Corus Apprentice Program: Lifestyle Showrunner. The 2021 cohort will receive a premium pass to BANFF 2021 with access to panels, keynotes, masterclasses and networking opportunities from June to July, virtual mentorship opportunities, and complimentary registration and travel to BANFF 2022. In addition, each recipient will also benefit from a two-week showrunner internship on a Corus-supported lifestyle program.
Hollywood Suite’s Box Office Bonanza – a collection of #1 films – will air every night from June 1 to Aug. 31, featuring titles like West Side Story, Airplane!, Top Gun, and On Golden Pond. Franchise Fridays will also kick-start every weekend, beginning with the Spider-Man series on June 4. Read more here.
Hollywood Suite will be the exclusive broadcast home for Season 6 of UK crime drama Line of Duty, premiering this October. To get Canadians caught up on the series, Seasons 1–5 are available now on Hollywood Suite On Demand. Written and created by Jed Mercurio, the award-winning police procedural follows the investigations of AC-12, a controversial police Anti-Corruption unit. The series, named one of the 80 best BBC shows of all time by the Daily Telegraph, features a cast that includes Lennie James (The Walking Dead), Martin Compston (The Nest), Thandie Newton (Westworld), and Adrian Dunbar (Ashes to Ashes), among others.
The Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg (MBB) have announced the reopening of their incentive for the codevelopment and coproduction of digital media projects between Canadian producers and German producers based in Berlin-Brandenburg. Now in its fifth year, the Canada-Germany Digital Media Incentive budget is set at CAD $450,000, with each funding organization contributing half the funds. To qualify, projects must involve producers eligible under both organizations’ criteria and be created for digital platforms and can be either a game, a web series, multi-platform content, augmented reality or virtual reality experiences. Click here to access the guidelines. The deadline to apply is Aug. 31.