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TV & Film News – DGC BC reaches tentative agreement with CMPA, AMPTP

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The Directors Guild of Canada, BC District Council (DGC BC) has reached a tentative agreement with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) and the Canadian Media Producers Association-BC (CMPA-BC). Announced Wednesday afternoon, DGC BC says it’s still finalizing the language of the Memorandum of Agreement. It comes following the labour organization’s first-ever strike vote in April, in which members voted 92.2% in favour of a strike mandate. The DGC BC Collective Agreement covers thousands of film and television workers, including the categories of Director, 2nd Unit Director, Production & Unit Manager, and those employed in various Assistant Director and Locations Departments.

The Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) and the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) have announced that an 18-month extension to the CMPA/WGC Independent Production Agreement (IPA) has been ratified by both parties. The current IPA will now expire Dec. 31, 2023. The IPA establishes the terms, conditions and rates for writers, story editors, and story consultants. As part of the newly ratified agreement, the minimum Script Fees in effect from July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022, will increase by three per cent. The budget thresholds under the Low-Budget Television Production Incentive will also increase by the same amount.

The Association des agences de communication créative (A2C) will join the Association of Canadian Advertisers (ACA) and the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the union representing professional performers who make commercials, in the renewal of the National Commercial Agreement 2022-23 (NCA). The agreement ensures Quebec advertising agencies will continue to have access to ACTRA performers and establishes the terms and conditions for on- and off-camera performers engaged in English commercial production. The renewal agreement, which came into effect on June 1, provides a two per cent increase to rates and fees.

The Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) has announced the permanent renaming of the DGC Discovery Award for emerging filmmakers as the Jean-Marc Vallée DGC Discovery Award. The guild will also create two new Special Awards this year to be introduced at the first-ever West Coast DGC Awards Gala on Nov. 5, celebrating the DGC’s 60th anniversary. The DGC Impact Award will recognize a DGC Member for outstanding service and leadership to the production community at large. Selected by the DGC’s National Executive Board, the award will be presented with a citation for the specific issue or cause where the member has made an extraordinary contribution (such as inclusion, sustainability, team building, etc.). The DGC Visionaries Award will recognize extraordinary excellence in a member’s body of work to date, constituting a mid-career overall achievement award. Recipients will be similarly selected by the DGC National Executive Board.

CTV has announced the key new series set to air on the network and its suite of specialty channels as part of the 2022/23 season. CTV’s schedule includes East New York, from the executive producers of NYPD Blue, starring Amanda Warren and Jimmy Smits. Also coming to CTV is The Rookie spinoff, The Rookie: Feds; and Alaska, following a disgraced reporter looking for redemption at an Anchorage newspaper, starring Oscar-winner Hilary Swank. Mid-season additions include True Lies, an adaptation of James Cameron’s spy blockbuster with Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga; and Night Court, a follow-up to the 1980s sitcom starring The Big Bang Theory’s Melissa Rauch and John Larroquette, reprising his role as Dan Fielding. Also joining the CTV schedule is Celebrity Jeopardy!, a spinoff of the iconic game show featuring famous faces competing for a chosen charity. 

Citytv’s 2022/23 original programming slate includes new addition Wong & Winchester, a female-driven buddy detective procedural, in partnership with Pixcom. Production starts this summer in Montreal with the series premiering mid-season. Lionsgate will distribute the program outside of Canada. Citytv doubles-down on its investment in global franchises Got Talent and Bachelor, with the return of Canada’s Got Talent, along with Bachelor in Paradise Canada. Citytv’s #1 original scripted hit series Hudson & Rex returns this fall with a 20-episode order for its fifth season. Other series joining Citytv’s prime-time schedule are the Quantum Leap reboot, starring Raymond Lee (Top Gun: Maverick, Kevin Can F**k Himself), and new comedy Lopez vs. Lopez from father-daughter duo George and Mayan Lopez, as well as true crime magazine, Dateline.

Corus Entertainment has announced its lineup of premium original content for 2022/23 with 45 total greenlights and renewals, including more than 600 episodes and 24 titles from Corus Studios. As the exclusive home of marquee Peacock Original programming in English Canada, drama titles joining W Network, Showcase and STACKTV, include Pitch Perfect (wt), starring Adam Devine; A Friend of the Family with Anna Paquin, Jake Lacy, and Colin Hanks; The Undeclared War with Hannah Khalique-Brown and Simon Pegg; and The Best Man: The Final Chapters, which reunites the film’s original cast including Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long and Harold Perrineau nearly 25 years after it premiered in theatres. Other new additions include Vampire Academy, based on the syoung adult paranormal romance novels. Saturday Night Live alum Pete Davidson also stars in Bupkis, a fictionalized version of his real life with Edie Falco playing his mom.

AMI-tv has unveiled its slate of new original and documentary programming. Returning programs include new seasons of sports documentary series Level Playing Field and Beyond the Field, travel series Postcards From, Dish with Mary, special Town Hall episodes of Double Tap TV and Employable Me: Where Are They Now? New series include We Are One, meeting Canadian families that include members of the disability community, and Mind Your Own Business, where mentors offer business owners who are members of the disability community advice on taking their company to the next level.

Cameron Pictures, CBC, and Universal International Studios have announced the start of production on Season 3 of CBC Original comedy-drama Pretty Hard Cases, in and around Toronto. The 10-episode season is set to air on CBC in winter 2023. The coming season finds a miserably demoted Samantha Wazowski (Meredith MacNeill) and a deeply undercover Kelly Duff (Adrienne C. Moore) reuniting to win their way back into the OCE after eight long months apart. Wendy Crewson (Departure, Good Sam) joins the cast, with Karen Robinson, Al Mukadam, Daren A. Herbert, Trevor Hayes, and Amanda Brugel, Tricia Black, and Miguel Rivas reprising their roles. Following its broadcast and streaming debut of the first two seasons on CBC and CBC Gem, Pretty Hard Cases also premiered on Amazon Freevee (formerly known as IMDb TV).

Roast Battle Canada is returning for a second season on CTV Comedy Channel. The original series will air Mondays at 10:30 p.m. ET, beginning June 13. The eight, half-hour episode battle of wits sees two pairs of Canadian comics face off, hurling ruthless jokes at each other in hopes of coming out unscathed and crowned victorious. Season 2 sees the return of Ennis Esmer and judges Russell Peters, Sabrina Jalees, and, K. Trevor Wilson. CTV says Season 1 was among the Top 3 series on CTV Comedy this broadcast year to date in the A18-49 and A25-54 demos. 

TSN has announced its CFL ON TSN broadcast schedule, featuring exclusive live coverage of every regular season game, all four playoff matchups, and the 109th GREY CUP, live from Mosaic Stadium in Regina on Sunday, Nov. 20. The 2022 season kicks off June 9 with the Montreal Alouettes taking on the Calgary Stampeders, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on TSN,, and the TSN app. The CFL ON TSN panel will be led by host Kate Beirness, alongside CFL Hall of Famers Matt Dunigan and Milt Stegall, and TSN Edge analyst Davis Sanchez. Play-by-play announcers include Rod Smith, Dustin Nielson, Marshall Ferguson, and Farhan Lalji, who are joined by game analysts Glen Suitor, Duane Forde, and Dunigan. Matthew Scianitti keeps fans up-to-date on the latest news in the East Division, while Lalji and Sara Orlesky keep tabs on all news out of the West Additional sideline reporting will be provided by Ryan Rishaug, John Lu, and Claire Hanna.

Sir David Attenborough

Sir David Attenborough, 96, travels the globe in the latest BBC Earth series, The Green Planet, exploring Earth’s biodiversity and the secret life of plants. Using pioneering new filmmaking technology, The Green Planet takes viewers on an immersive journey from the deepest jungles to the harshest deserts. Premiering July 6 on BBC Earth in Canada, BBC Earth is also available on Amazon Prime Video with The Green Planet airing simultaneously with the linear channel. Filmed in 27 countries over four years, the five-part documentary includes stops in Canada to capture Maple trees waking from hibernation and Lodgepole pines being attacked by mountain pine beetles.

Molly McGlynn

Molly McGlynn’s semi-autobiographical second feature film, Bloody Hell, has started principal photography in Sudbury. The coming of age “traumedy” follows McGlynn’s Mary Goes Round and episodic directing work including Grace and Frankie, Bless This Mess and The Wonder Years. Bloody Hell stars Maddie Ziegler (West Side Story, The Fallout) and Emily Hampshire (Schitt’s Creek), with D’Pharaoh Woon-A-Tai (Reservation Dogs, Beans), Ki Griffin (Hollyoaks) and Djouliet Amara (Hello Goodbye And Everything In Between). The film is being produced by Nice Picture Inc., a production company recently founded by Jennifer Weiss, one of the co-founders of The Film Farm. The film is being produced in association with Crave and Super Écran.

Hop To It Productions has wrapped production on slasher comedy series, Sloppy Jones. The first six episodes will be available on OUTtv in Canada, the U.S., UK, Australia, and South Africa this summer. Executive produced by Colin Mochrie, Amanda Walsh, Victoria Fusca and Dale Hildebrand and supported by OUTtv and Ontario Creates, Sloppy Jones is created and written by Sophie Nation, Jamie Hart and Jonathan Neil Alexander. Frustrated by a lack of queer roles and representation on screen, they were inspired by their own experiences as queer servers struggling with rent, relationships, and occasional bad bosses. 

Black Market Releasing (BMR) has acquired With Wonder by award-winning filmmaker Sharon Lewis. BMR will screen the soul-searching feature documentary with event-based screenings in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg, in addition to CBC Gem. The film asks the question, can you be a Christian and queer? It features queer activists from around the world with their stories all connected by their faith.

Corus Entertainment and Paramount Global have announced that Pluto TV, the FAST (free ad-supported streaming television) service, will launch in Canada this fall. Launching with more than 100 channels and over 20,000 hours of content, it will offer free programming including drama, comedy, lifestyle, kids, movies, and around-the-clock news. Corus will lead ad sales in Canada, while Pluto TV will offer a curated slate of Corus Original series. Pluto TV boasts nearly 68 million monthly active users across more than 30 countries. Viewers will be able watch Pluto TV via, the Pluto TV app for Amazon Fire TV, Roku, Apple TV, Android TV, Chromecast, Samsung and LG devices, and via mobile apps on the App Store and Google Play.

toober, the Toronto-based live television app designed to connect viewers to specialty television, launched 13 new channels in May. Among them are Afriwood Blockbuster, an English language channel offering African blockbuster movies; Azteca Cinema (Mexico), offering a catalogue of films from the golden age of Mexican cinema; Dancehall Channel (Jamaica); Kiddiwinks (South Africa), an English-language channel offering premium kids’ content; M&E TV (Trinidad), an English-language music and entertainment channel showcasing life in the Caribbean; Sports Connect (South Africa), an English-language sports news channel from AfricaXP; and UCL (Paraguay, Un Canal Latinamericano) delivering international and Latin American content. toober is available in Canada on Rogers, Shaw, Videotron, Apple TV, and Google TV Playstore and will launch globally on additional platforms later this year.  

FuboTV and LG Electronics have announced the launch of the FuboTV app on LG Smart TVs in Canada. Available on LG webOS television models from 2018 to present, FuboTV’s app is available at several price points (C$20 for a monthly subscription). Through the FuboTV app, Canadian subscribers can access premium sports and entertainment content including OneSoccer and beIN Sports, as well as the CBC and Paramount Network. The platform currently holds the exclusive streaming rights to Serie A, Coppa Italia and PFL Challenger Series in the market, and will be the exclusive provider of the Premier League in Canada beginning in August. Subscribers are also able to access FuboTV Canada’s Video on Demand library.

The National Screen Institute and The Shine Network Institute have partnered to build online learning course PACT (Pledge – Activate – Cultivate – Thrive), designed to provide non-Indigenous people in the film and television sector with cultural humility and competency training to prepare them to work with Indigenous productions and content. Spearheaded by industry veteran Jennifer Podemski, founder and CEO of The Shine Network, PACT is created by a collective of Indigenous women to address barriers to success for Indigenous producers, content creators and screen sector professionals. Program consultants include Tasha Spillett, Tanya Brunel, Gladys Rowe, Selena Mills and NVision Insight Group. Funded by the Department for Women and Gender Equality (WAGE), the certified course will be offered for free.

The Vancouver Asian Film Festival (VAFF), Racial Equity Screen Office (RESO) and Elimin8Hate have jointly released their Diversity On Screen Audit Report of Canadian Broadcasters, which specifically reviews Asian representation on CBC, Citytv, CTV, Global TV, and B.C. provincial broadcaster, Knowledge Network. The audit revealed a range of Asian  representation in main cast roles – at the top end 8.8% (Global TV) and at the lower end just 3.9% (Knowledge Network). In terms of Canadian versus non-Canadian content, the audit found that more than 50% of all content broadcast during the audit period came from outside of Canada. CBC was the only broadcaster to have over 50% for both scripted and unscripted programs (87% and 83.3% respectively) originate from Canada, however Canadian BIPOC actors were not significantly represented.

Future of Film Showcase (FOFS) returns for its ninth year, June 17-25. The hybrid festival will showcase 14 short films in-person at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto from the next generation of Canadian filmmakers, 40 and younger. After nine years of exclusively screening short films, FOFS will introduce an opening night feature film this year, Quickening, directed by Haya Waseem. FOFS’ short film programming will also be available to stream on CBC Gem, beginning June 20. 

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