TV & Film News – Dune, Nightmare Alley spur Canadian Oscar nominations

Denis Villeneuve’s Dune leads the Canadian-helmed productions earning Oscar nominations. Among the epic sci-fi feature’s 10 nods are nominations for Villeneuve for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Picture, in addition to a nod for Patrice Vermette for Best Production Design. Guillermo del Toro’s Nightmare Alley, which was shot in Buffalo and Toronto, also earned a number of Canadians nominations including Toronto costume designer Luis Sequeira, producer J. Miles Dale for Best Picture, and Tamara Deverell and Shane Vieau for Best Production Design. Montreal producer Roger Frappier is also nominated in conjunction with Power of the Dog which leads nominations overall with 12 going into the Academy Awards. National Film Board (NFB) co-production Affairs of the Art earned a nomination for Best Animated Short, while Nova Scotia filmmaker Ben Proudfoot snagged his second nod in a row in the Best Documentary Short category for The Queen of Basketball.

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television has announced the return of the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards show, which will broadcast on CBC and CBC Gem on Sunday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. (9:00 p.m. AT / 9:30 p.m. NT), and the continuation of virtual events for the remainder of Canadian Screen Week 2022, taking place from Monday, April 4 to Sunday, April 10. Featuring a selection of prominent categories and tributes to this year’s Special Award recipients, the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards will be an hour-long pre-taped studio production featuring the talents of sketch comedy troupe TallBoyz (Guled Abdi, Vance Banzo, Tim Blair, and Franco Nguyen). The nominees for the 2022 Canadian Screen Awards will be announced on Tuesday, Feb. 15. 

ACTRA Toronto has announced the nominees for its Members’ Choice Series Ensemble Award. The winning show will be announced at the 20th ACTRA Awards, broadcast on the ACTRA Toronto YouTube channel on Sunday, March 6, at 8 p.m. EST. As voted on by members of ACTRA Toronto, the finalists are: Baroness Von Sketch Show (Frantic Films); Kim’s Convenience (Thunderbird Entertainment); Pink is In! (Pink One Productions); Pretty Hard Cases (Cameron Pictures); and Sort Of (Sienna Films; Sphere Media).

Trish Stratus

McGillivray Group will now offer turnkey talent development and marketing, as well as new offerings in the digital and linear media production space. The new services support the company’s expanded presence beyond its initial focus, TV personality and Real Estate Investor Scott McGillivray, in producing customized programs, podcasts, digital content and tv commercials. McGillivray will now be representing WWE superstar Trish Stratus, recently named the WWE’s Greatest Female Superstar of all time, who is set to appear at the Canada’s Got Talent judge’s table this spring. McGillivray Group now also represents interior designer Debra Salmoni who has appeared on Scott’s Vacation House Rules.

The Monster Factory has announced it’s expanding its services internationally to 18 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America. The Montreal agency’s expansion includes the addition of more than 100 new voices, primarily metal vocalists, allowing the company to offer its unique expertise creating and designing voices for hundreds of monsters and creatures on AAA video game titles, films and TV series. The studio’s credits include Resident Evil 7, various entries to the Dead By Daylight and Far Cry series and most recently Eidos-Montréal’s Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy. The expansion brings increased capacity to cover several languages and provide customized solutions to fulfill the audio needs of video game and movie producers from sound creation, casting, voice acting, localization, voice direction, recording and sound design. Additionally, its updated website has added a Voice Market which allows audio directors and sound designers to listen to a wide variety of sound samples. 

The Black Screen Office (BSO) has released its much-anticipated report “Being Seen: Directives for Creating Authentic and Inclusive Content” which reveals how Canada’s screen industries are falling short in representing people from Black, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQIA+, and People with Disabilities communities. It also provides guidelines for industry leaders to meaningfully engage underrepresented groups. Among the report’s directives to Broadcasters/Digital Platforms/Streaming Services, Funders, and Distributors are to implement an anti-racist intersectional framework for content review, assessing every story to ensure there are no stereotypes or tokenism; ensuring there are no common tropes embodied in characters; and address content that looks like a “checkbox diversity” approach and dig deeper to ensure representation is authentic.

The Fabienne Colas Foundation (FCF), with the support of the Government of Canada’s Ecosystem Fund, have announced the launch of the Festwave Institute, a national institute to support underserved Black entrepreneurs in the film and television industry through business training and skill building in order to enable them to seize new opportunities in the film and television industry. Currently in Canada, just 13% of artists are racialized, compared to 21% of all workers – indicating barriers for Black people to access this career path. The Festwave Institute says it will work with the industry to complement existing training to help create a more inclusive and equitable film and television industry.

Telefilm Canada is launching its action plan on eco-responsibility, which aims to lead and support the industry through informed business practices and the establishment of science-based policies and targets. Covering three key areas: Organizational, Production and Promotion, among the action plan’s initiatives are establishing a science-based target and timeline to reduce Telefilm’s energy consumption and carbon emissions. Telefilm will also support the implementation of validated carbon-emission reporting protocols for its portfolio of funded productions, to help establish viable reduction targets, in addition to working with its Canadian festival partners to establish an emission reduction policy framework and reporting protocol for its promotional programs.

Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV) has announced the launch of a brand new program to help support producers from underrepresented communities. The WIFTV Emerging TV Producers Program is a six-month initiative aimed at assisting up to 10 women and gender-diverse creators with the goal of providing the tools, training and connections to break into the television industry. Funded by the Canada Media Fund (CMF), the program is free and open to BC-based producers or writers who want to gain producing skills, and who have a completed a pilot script (30 or 60 minutes). Applications open March 8 and close April 4.

CBC says with the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing underway, more than half of all Canadians (56%) have watched television coverage on CBC/Radio-Canada, with 21 million viewers tuning in on either an English or French TV network to date, and CBC ranking as the most-watched English network in Canada in prime time among audiences aged 25-54 for the first three full days of competition. CBC’s Feb. 4 encore broadcast of the Opening Ceremony was the most-watched program in Canada with an average audience of 943,000 viewers (2+), and peak viewership of 1.2 million viewers at 8:41 p.m. ET when Team Canada entered the stadium. Early morning live coverage of the Opening Ceremony drew an average audience of 788,000 (2+) across CBC TV, CBC News Network, TSN, TSN2, Sportsnet and Sportsnet One. Among the most-watched moments so far are the women’s snowboard slopestyle competition on Feb. 5 and pairs figure skating on Feb. 6, which both drew 1.5M viewers. 1.7 million viewers tuned in for Tess Ledeux’s final run during the Women’s Freestyle Big Air Final. CBC will continue to offer extensive live and encore coverage of Beijing 2022 through Feb. 20.

CTV, TSN, and RDS are gearing up for SUPER BOWL LVI, as the networks deliver comprehensive coverage of the big game on Sunday, Feb. 13 beginning at 6 p.m. ET / 3 p.m. PT. Live from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, SUPER BOWL LVI features the AFC champion Cincinnati Bengals taking on the NFC champion Los Angeles Rams. SUPER BOWL Sunday programming begins at 12 noon ET / 9 a.m. PT on CTV, CTV.ca, and the CTV app, with additional coverage beginning at 10 a.m. ET / 7 a.m. PT on TSN, TSN.ca, the TSN app (full broadcast schedule below). French-language coverage is available on RDS, RDS.ca, and the RDS app. The highly-anticipated Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show features West Coast hip-hop icons Dr. Dre, Snoop Dog, and Kendrick Lamar alongside Eminem and Mary J. Blige. TSN’s game day coverage is led by host Kara Wagland alongside football analysts Jabari Greer, Jesse Palmer, Davis Sanchez, and Luke Willson reporting live from Los Angeles. Following the game, TSN delivers a special edition of SPORTSCENTRE, recapping key moments from both on and off the field.

Asian Television Network (ATN) has acquired Canadian broadcast rights for European Cricket League (ECL) 2022. Founded in 2018, the annual tournament is played by the champion clubs of each of the European partner countries’ top league competitions. The inaugural season of ECL was played in 2019 and this is a second season with games postponed in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. Taking place from Feb. 7 to March 18 in Cartama, Spain, the six-week event will feature 144 games between 30 champion teams. All games will be aired live on CBN and ATN Cricket Plus, available nationally on various cable and satellite platforms across Canada.

Simu Lui

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) and CBC have announced Simu Liu as the host of the 2022 JUNO Awards broadcast. The first in-person iteration of the show since 2019, this year’s event will be held at Budweiser Stage in Toronto, on Sunday, May 15 and broadcast and streamed live on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen, and globally across CBC Music’s Facebook,YouTube and Twitter pages.The 51st annual JUNO Awards will be produced by Insight Productions.

Amazon Prime has picked up The Kids in the Hall: Comedy Punks, a two-part documentary on the Canadian sketch comedy troupe, ahead of its word premiere at SXSW. The docuseries from Blue Ant Studios includes archival footage unearthed from KITH’s early years and interviews with Dave Foley, Scott Thompson, Kevin McDonald and Mark McKinney, among others. The pick-up follows Prime’s order for eight new episodes of the sketch-comedy series, which will debut later this year. The original Kids in the Hall series ran from 1988 to 1995. 

STACKTV, Corus Entertainment’s premium multi-channel streaming service, is now available on Rogers Ignite TV and Ignite SmartStream. Customers can now add STACKTV to their monthly TV packages. STACKTV is a portal to a library of scripted and unscripted series and news programs from 13 Canadian networks including Global, HGTV Canada, Food Network Canada, W Network, Showcase, Slice, Adult Swim, National Geographic, The HISTORY Channel, TELETOON, Treehouse, YTV, and the newly added Lifetime network.

Global’s reality roster continues to grow as the network adds new series Beyond the Edge to its recently announced midseason lineup. Premiering March 16, the new reality adventure series from the producers of Naked and Afraid, is hosted by sports announcer Mauro Ranallo and features nine celebrities braving the dangerous jungles of Panama to raise money for their chosen charities. They include country superstar Lauren Alaina, Super Bowl MVP Ray Lewis, country superstar Craig Morgan, NBA champion Metta World Peace, supermodel Paulina Porizkova, NFL legend Mike Singletary, actress Jodie Sweetin (Full House, Fuller House) and television personalities Colton Underwood (The Bachelor) and Eboni K. Williams (The Real Housewives of New York City).

CTV has ordered a second season of original comedy Children Ruin Everything for the 2022/23 broadcast season. Production is set to begin this Spring in Toronto and Hamilton with an increased episode order for Season 2 consisting of 16 half-hour episodes – double its eight-episode first season. Season 1 is joining Roku Originals programming slate in the U.S.  and continues to air Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CTV. The series ranks as the biggest debut for a Canadian comedy among A25-54, since 2019 (JANN). It’s also currently ranked as CTV’s #1 new comedy of the 2021-22 broadcast season.

redknot, a joint venture between Nelvana and Discovery, has greenlit a third season of its popular 3D-animated series Agent Binky: Pets Of The Universe (52 x 11 min), with episodes set to begin delivering this fall. The announcement comes ahead of the Season 2 premiere on Corus Entertainment’s Treehouse and STACKTV on April 11, and the return of new episodes on Discovery Kids in Latin America this February.

Handful of Films and Genepool productions have announced the broadcast premiere of their Canadian-Australian documentary co-production, CARBON -The Unauthorized Biography on The Nature of Things, Friday, March 4 at 9 p.m. on CBC TV and CBC Gem. Co-directed by Handful of Films’ Niobe Thompson (Equus, The Great Human Odyssey) and Genepool’s Daniella Ortega (Enigma Man: A Stone Age Mystery), CARBON – The Unauthorized Biography will have its World Premiere screening  Monday, Feb. 28, at the Ted Rogers Hot Docs Cinema in Toronto, followed by a virtual Q&A with American astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; Canadian Carbon Capture scientist, Dr. Phil de Luna and co-director, Niobe Thompson. The documentary allows the element to tell its own story, voice by Golden Globe-winning Australian actor Sarah Snook (Succession; Steve Jobs; Pieces of a Woman), explaining how Carbon sparked the earliest life and rode the journeys of evolution, keeping our planet’s atmosphere in delicate balance.   

AMI original series Double Tap TV, Four Senses and documentary White Cane Journeys are now available on CBC Gem. Two seasons of Double Tap TV, featuring broadcaster Steven Scott and producer and broadcaster Marc Aflalo helping viewers better understand how technology can assist in everyday life, and one season of accessibility cooking show Four Senses are currently available on the public broadcaster’s streaming service with more to follow. AMI programming available on CBC Gem is part of an ongoing partnership that includes airing CBC’s live coverage of the winter games in Beijing.