AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) has announced it’s launching the Disability Screen Office (DSO) aimed at increasing representation on and off screen across the Canadian media landscape. Funded with support from the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and Telefilm, the DSO will work to eliminate accessibility barriers to the industry, and support and amplify creative voices from within the disability community. With funding from CMF, AMI is undertaking cross-country research that will culminate in the creation of a Best Practices Guide for Disability Engagement in the Canadian Film and Television Industry. Telefilm is providing startup funding to enable the DSO to recruit a board of directors and open an office within the year. Read more here.
W Network and Nikki Ray Media Agency have greenlit and begun production on a series of four romantic made-for-TV movies. The Love Club (4x120min), to be distributed by Corus Studios internationally, will star Brittany Bristow (Holiday Date), Lily Gao (Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City), Chantel Riley (Frankie Drake Mysteries), and Camille Stopps (Running with Violet). The first of the four movies is currently filming in the Hamilton area with back-to-back shooting to continue until July. Slated to premiere in Winter 2023 and onwards on W Network and Corus streaming service STACKTV, the greenlight is the first time the network has commissioned four made-for-TV movies at the same time.
Hot Docs has announced documentary filmmaker, producer, and activist Mila Aung-Thwin as this year’s recipient of the Don Haig Award. Aung-Thwin is the producer and editor of Midwives, the story of two midwives working in a makeshift clinic in Western Myanmar, which will have its Canadian premiere at this year’s festival. The Don Haig Award is presented to an outstanding Canadian independent producer with a feature-length film at the festival, with the recipient selected by a jury of independent filmmakers. Aung-Thwin has produced more than 30 feature docs including Emmy-winner Last Train Home (2009), a powerful look at migrant workers in China.
Forgotten Frontlines, a new Super Channel Original docuseries from GoButton Media, will premiere May 16 on Super Channel Fuse. All six episodes will also be available on Super Channel On Demand the same day. Forgotten Frontlines examines some of the lesser-known stories of WWII and gives viewers a better understanding of how those events impacted overall efforts. From conspiracies to covert ops, the series uses unearthed research, expert interviews, archives, and CGI to bring to life events that have slipped through the cracks of our collective memory. View the trailer here.
Steve Sxwithul’txw of Kwassen Productions has started production on Ocean Warriors ~ Mission Ready, a new docuseries for APTN and CHEK. It follows four First Nations on the B.C. coast that have joined together to form the independent Coastal Nations Coast Guard Auxiliary. The 13-episode half hour series will shoot throughout May in Ahousaht, Quatsino, Namgis, and Heiltsuk First Nations. Series Producer/Director is Martin de Valk, Associate Producer / Production Manager is Michele Mundy of the Namgis Nation, and Barbara Hager (Metis) is the Writer.
Inuit TV will launch May 2 on Shaw Direct (Channel 268), in addition to Arctic Co-op cable and the taku.tv app. Featuring a mix of programming in both English and Inuktitut, the channel is primarily funded by Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. The new channel has been working with Uvagut TV, which launched in Jan. 2021 and also features Inuit culture and language, to avoid programming overlap.
Flair Airlines and Super Channel are partnering to offer Flair Airlines’ passengers an extensive collection of Super Channel programming inflight, with over 200 hours of content available on select routes. Flair passengers will be treated to a broad range of Super Channel films and series including homegrown Canadian content, Hollywood hits like LaLa Land, and documentaries, including The State of Texas vs Melissa and Canadian Screen Award winner, Catching a Serial Killer: Bruce McArthur. Super Channel content will be accessible on Flair’s inflight app, powered by LiFE in the Air.
QYOU Media has announced that The Q India, the Toronto-headquartered company’s Hindi language youth-oriented channel, is launching flagship channel The Q, along with new channels Q Marathi, Q Kahaniyan and Q Comedistaan on 63 new Smart TV systems in partnership with CloudTV. CloudTV is among the largest suppliers in India of Android based Smart TV operating systems for television manufacturers (OEMs). The channels will be featured among other leading SVOD and entertainment brands and monetized on a revenue share basis via the Google Ad Network and other programmatic ad serving platforms. In its latest quarterly report, QYOU reported record-breaking revenue for the three months ended Dec. 31 of $5,585,641, representing a year-over-year increase of 477% and a quarter over quarter increase of 18%.