TV & Film News – ACTRA members ratify ACA contract

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ACTRA (Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists) members have overwhelmingly voted in favour of a one-year renewal of their contract with the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA). A two per cent increase to all fees and rates will take effect June 1, with the renewal expiring May 31, 2023. Marie Kelly, ACTRA National Executive Director and Lead Negotiator, says the one-year renewal will provide stability in the commercial industry, while it works with the ACA to simplify and modernize the agreement. The contract, known as the National Commercial Agreement (NCA), establishes the terms and conditions for on- and off-camera performers engaged in English-language commercial production. In the meantime, ACTRA has filed a complaint with the Ontario Labour Relations Board alleging the Institute of Canadian Agencies (ICA) and several of its ad agencies bargained in bad faith during recent contract negotiations by insisting ACTRA reduce the scope of its bargaining rights. 

MEDIAPRO Canada has renewed its agreement with FOX Sports 2 (FS2) and FOX Soccer Plus for the 2022-23 broadcast rights for a wide-ranging package of Canadian soccer content, including live coverage of all Canadian Premier League (CPL) matches. The agreement represents the third consecutive year that FOX Sports will bring Canadian soccer to audiences across the U.S. and Caribbean. The renewed agreement also includes rights to the 2022 Canadian Championship, the professional club championship organized by Canada Soccer, as well as a series of home friendly matches to be played by Canada Soccer’s Men’s and Women’s National Teams. 

Global has greenlit legal drama Family Law for a new 10-episode third season. Produced by SEVEN24 Films and Lark Productions, and created by Canadian author Susin Nielsen, Season 3 is set to begin filming in Vancouver on May 24. The principal cast, including Jewel Staite, Victor Garber, Zach Smadu, Genelle Williams and Lauren Holly, will all return for the new season. The renewal comes ahead of the show’s Season 2 premiere, which will be announced at a later date. Recently acquired by The CW in the U.S., Global says Family Law was the most-watched new Canadian series this past fall.

Corus’ Historia will air À la conquête de l’Empress of Ireland (Conquering the Empress of Ireland) on May 28. Written and directed by maritime historian Samuel Côté, the documentary recounts the unlikely encounter that led to the discovery of one of the best preserved early 20th century shipwrecks in 1964. Located off the municipality of Sainte-Luce, in Bas-Saint-Laurent, the sinking of the Empress of Ireland on May 28, 1914 was overshadowed by the outbreak of WWI.

TVO Original series Crossroads: Beyond Boom & Bust explores stories of six small towns across Ontario confronting the question: Can Ontario’s small towns survive big industrial, social and cultural changes? The weekly series premieres June 13 on TVO, TVO Today, YouTube and smart TV services, and features the Ontario towns of Smiths Falls, Stratford, Napanee, Cobalt, North Buxton and Vankleek Hill. Episodes take an in-depth look at the history, setbacks and promising successes for these communities, which have all been experiencing seismic shifts.

Boat Rocker’s Proper Television has started its search for Canadian cake-makers for its new original competition series, CrossCountryCakeOff. Selected bakers will have the opportunity to show off their creations to professional judges in cities across Canada. The new series shines the spotlight on undiscovered talent who connect with their community through cake artistry, telling a story about who they are through cake. Filming will take place in July, August and September.

Liquid Media Group has announced a partnership with Insight TV to distribute action-adventure sports content from Slipstream, Liquid’s curated SVOD service and part of the company’s Projektor online content marketplace. Insight TV reaches 400+ million households in 53 countries with linear channel distribution via major pay and CTV platforms and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) reach via Roku, Android TV, and Amazon Fire TV.

The 2022 Indspire Awards, recognizing Indigenous achievement, have been announced and are set to be broadcast during National Indigenous History Month on APTN, CBC and CBC Gem, CBC Radio One and the CBC Listen app on Sunday, June 19. Bringing together Indigenous professionals and youth in a variety of fields, among this year’s winners are First Nations Chef David Wolfman, a Professor of Culinary Arts at George Brown College and host and producer of Cooking With the Wolfman on APTN, who was recognized in the Arts category.

Screen Nova Scotia has announced the nominees for the 8th annual Screen Nova Scotia Awards Gala, which will take place Saturday, June 18 at Casino Nova Scotia. The first full capacity, in-person awards gala since 2019, among this year’s nominees are Diggstown, (Waterstar Entertainment, Circle Blue Entertainment), Moonshine (Six Eleven Media), Spirit Talker (Rebel Road Films, Tell Tale Productions), and This Hour Has 22 Minutes (22M Hour Productions), up for Best Television Series. Best Feature Film nominees include 8:37 Rebirth (Rebirth Films Inc.), Dawn, Her Dad & the Tractor (Picture Plant Inc.), Night Blooms (Shut Up & Colour Pictures), and Wildhood (Rebel Road Films).

Factory Film Studio and Trebas Institute Ontario have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to explore new collaborations, including mentorship, networking and guest speaking opportunities. A film studio in residence initiative is being explored that would see Trebas students or alumni integrated into project development, production, post-production, or marketing employment with FFS. Co-developing customized training programs, micro-credentials and/or summer camps for domestic and international learners are also being considered.

Cineplex says box office revenue is trending toward pre-pandemic levels. Releasing its Q1 2022 results, the movie theatre chain says it welcomed 6.7 million guests to its theatres in the quarter, with operating restrictions now lifted across its entire circuit. Q1 box office revenues totalled $80.0 million, a $76.1 million increase from 2021. Cineplex reported first quarter media revenues of $15.5 million, an increase of $6.5 million or 71.3% year-over-year, with cinema media revenues of $8.2 million recorded, up $6.3 million or 334.3% over the prior year, due to increases in cinema advertising as a result of reopened theatres and new film releases.