TV & Film News – Telefilm unveils Production Program changes

Telefilm Canada has unveiled changes to the Production Program made as part of Telefilm’s program optimization process and the result of several months of Canada-wide consultations with the industry. Among the more significant changes, projects in diverse languages are now eligible and having an eligible distributor is only required for projects with an overall budget of $3.5M or more, regardless of language. As well, the “two strikes” rule will be discontinued for the 2022-23 fiscal year to take into account the pandemic impact on the industry. Funding participation is increased for projects with budgets between $1.5M and $2.5M. Additionally, the cap on “greenlight” funding has increased. Guidelines, as well as eligibility and assessment criteria, are available on the program page.

Network Entertainment is teaming up with the Hockey Hall of Fame and TSN to produce new 10-part series, Legends of Hockey: Greatness Calling 2000-20. Carrying on the tradition of Network’s original award-winning landmark series Legends of Hockey, launched in 1996, the upcoming series will showcase the stories of Hockey Hall of Fame inductees from 2000 to 2020, including Mark Messier, Ray Bourque, Brett Hull, Patrick Roy, Joe Sakic, Hayley Wickenheiser, Dominik Hašek, Pavel Bure, and Nicklas Lidström. Legends of Hockey: Greatness Calling 2000-20 has commenced production and will be interviewing over 60 Honoured Members with cameras travelling the globe. The series will be presented in one-hour episodes to air exclusively on TSN in the fall of 2022.

UNINTERRUPTED Canada, in partnership with Crossover Films and Bell Media, have started production on full-length original doc, The Grizzlie Truth. The film explores the demise of the Vancouver Grizzlies NBA franchise through the eyes of director and superfan Kathleen S. Jayme. The film, 25 years after the team left, explores the untold story behind the franchise’s downfall and the impact it had on the community. Production and principal photography are currently underway with a theatrical debut with Photon Films set for fall 2022 and broadcast debut with Bell Media in winter 2022 on TSN and Crave platforms. 

Crave has ordered a third season of Canada’s Drag Race, produced by Blue Ant Studios in association with Crave and World of Wonder. Canadian drag artists looking to show off their distinct brand of Charisma, Uniqueness, Nerve, and Talent, can now submit applications. Applicants must be 19 years of age by Nov. 8, 2021 to apply, and a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Additional details about the new season will be announced at a later date.

Lindsay Ell & Priyanka

Corus Entertainment and the Canadian Country Music Association (CCMA) have announced that two-time CCMA Award winner Lindsay Ell and Canada’s Drag Race, Season 1 winner Priyanka will co-host the 2021 CCMA Awards, presented by TD. For the first time, this year’s awards will livestream exclusively on the Global TV App and on Prime Video on Monday, Nov. 29 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT. Country music fans can also listen to the awards show live across Corus-owned radio stations Country 105 (Calgary), CISN (Edmonton) and Country 104 (London). Set to appear are Ell, Dallas Smith, Tenille Arts, Tim Hicks, MacKenzie Porter, Dustin Lynch, Don Amero, Robyn Ottolini, Tenille Townes, Jess Moskaluke, The Reklaws featuring Sacha, Tyler Joe Miller, JoJo Mason and High Valley.

CBC family dramedy series Moonshine (8×60) has revealed casting and production details for Season 2. Created by Sheri Elwood and produced by Six Eleven Media and Entertainment One, the series follows the Finley-Cullens, a dysfunctional clan of half-siblings battling for control of their family business – a ramshackle summer campground called The Moonshine. Production on the eight-episode second season recently wrapped in Nova Scotia and is set to premiere on CBC in fall 2022, with the first season now available to stream on CBC Gem. The new season will see Allan Hawco (Republic of Doyle, Frontier, Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan) join the cast. Guest stars rounding out the cast in Season 2 include Jonathan Silverman (Weekend at Bernie’s), Shelley Thompson (Trailer Park Boys), Jonathan Torrens (Mr. D), Leigh Ann Rose (The Young and the Restless), Ernie Grunwald (Call Me Fitz), Joe Cobden (The Sinner), and Kirstin Howell (Diggstown).

Alanis Morrissette

ABC has an Alanis Morrissette-inspired sitcom in the works. Relatable is an autobiographical parody of Morrissette’s family life from The Goldbergs supervising producer Elizabeth Beckwith and Marlon co-creator Christopher Moynihan. Morrisette will executive produce and also provide original music for the series. 

Timbaland

Guru Studio, the animation studio behind PAW Patrol, Netflix Original series True and the Rainbow Kingdom, has teamed up with Grammy-winning producer Timbaland and his Beatclub team to produce the theme song for new CBC Kids animated series, Big Blue. The series was created by Guru designer Gyimah Gariba, one of Animation Magazine’s 2020 Rising Stars of Animation. It will make its world premiere on CBC Kids, beginning Dec. 4. Aimed at kids 5-9, it follows sibling underwater adventurers who lead a quirky submarine crew with a magical ocean fairy stowaway. Additional international broadcasters on board include Nickelodeon in the UK, ABC Me in Australia, CTC Kids in Russia, and NRK in Norway.

Elwy Yost

TVO Original Magic Shadows, Elwy Yost: A Life in Movies tells the story of the host who shared his love of cinema with Ontarians for two decades on Saturday Night at the Movies. Premiering Nov. 27 and streaming online at TVO.org, YouTube and Roku, Magic Shadows brings together new and archival interviews with Canadian stars and personalities who pay tribute to Yost and the cinematic arts he championed from 1974 to 1999. Yost was inducted into the Order of Canada in 1999 and passed away in 2011.

Jules Arita Koostachin

AaSheNii Productions Inc. has begun filming new dramatic thriller Broken Angel / MaaShwaKan MaNiTo in and around the lower mainland of Vancouver, including locations in Maple Ridge and Langley. The film stars Sera-Lys McArthur (Outlander), Carlo Marks (Pretty Little Liars), Asivak Koostachin (Red Snow), David Lyle (Arrow), and Brooklyn Letexier-Hart (Night Raiders). Broken Angel follows an Indigenous woman and mother who escapes with her daughter from an abusive alcoholic partner to a women’s shelter on the reservation. Broken Angel will include both English and Cree dialogue. The film is written, directed and produced by Dr. Jules Arita Koostachin (AskiBOYZ), executive produced and co-produced by Patti Poskitt (Monkey Beach) and Anne Wheeler (Firefly Lane). 

Boat Rocker Media has reported its financial results for the three months ended Sept. 30, 2021. Revenue for Q3 2021 was $203.3 million versus $78.0 million in the third quarter of 2020, an increase of $125.3 million or 161%, driven by the Television and Representation segments. While revenue increased in all segments, production revenue in the Television segment rose by 128% due to a higher volume of content delivered in 2021 versus 2020, principally driven by two premium scripted series, American Rust and Invasion. Adjusted EBITDA for Q3 2021 was $11.5 million compared with $6.0 million for the same period of 2020, an increase of 91%.

WildBrain reported its Fiscal 2022 first-quarter results for the three-months ended Sept. 30, 2021 (Q1 2022). Revenue grew 18% to $112.6 million, compared with $95.5 million in the prior year, reflecting growth at Spark and strong Consumer Products performance. Content Production and Distribution revenue increased 3% to $37.6 million in Q1 2022 vs $36.3 million in Q1 2021, driven by higher production revenues from premium projects including Sonic Prime and multiple new series and family specials for Peanuts. Q1 2022 revenue at Spark increased 73% to $15.4 million vs $8.9 million in Q1 2021, as advertising rates continued to recover. AVOD revenues increased 128% in Q1 2022 vs Q1 2021 through value adds for IP partners in direct advertising sales, paid media, data insights and digital production. Advertising rates, on average, increased 120% in the same period.

Corus Entertainment’s YTV, along with Nelvana and Canadian clothing company Retrokid, are launching the YTV x Retrokid ‘Keep It Weird’ Collection, available starting Nov. 17 at 9 p.m. ET at retrokid.ca. The collection, made for millennial Canadians who grew up watching YTV, is comprised of hoodies and t-shirts featuring exclusive hand-drawn designs of throwback YTV network logos and favourite series Camp Cariboo, UH-OH, Video & Arcade Top 10 and You Can’t Do That On Television. In addition to the hoodies and t-shirts, a limited number of the classic Camp Cariboo Keener hats are available to purchase, with net proceeds donated directly to Kids in Camp – a registered charity established to financially assist families to send their kids to an Ontario Camps Association accredited camp.

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