TV + Film NewsTwo Canadians took home Oscars at Sunday night’s Academy Awards

Two Canadians took home Oscars at Sunday night’s Academy Awards


Sylvain Bellemare

Two Canadians took home Oscars at Sunday night’s Academy Awards. Montreal’s Sylvain Bellemare gave a shout out to his hometown as he accepted the Oscar for Best Sound Editing for his work on Arrival. Alan Barillaro of Chippawa, ON also took home an Oscar for his animated short Piper, which screened in theatres last year ahead of Pixar’s Finding Dory. According to Numeris, the awards show drew 5.5 million viewers to CTV, up one per cent over last year. The show delivered a 53 per cent share, with one in two English-speaking Canadians tuning into the four-hour broadcast. Viewership peaked with 6.7 million viewers at 8:48 p.m. ET as Mahershala Ali (Moonlight) accepted his Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. Oscars Opening Ceremony: Live From The Red Carpet drew 2.9 million viewers, up eight per cent over last year.

Warner Bros. Television’s Arrow is a huge hit for British Columbia’s economy, according to a report from Canada’s MNP LLP. The report says over the last five seasons, the production created 7,087 jobs and was responsible for $360.8 million in direct production expenditure in the province. In Season 4 alone, the production spent $44.3 million on crew and labour, and $27.9 million on goods and services. A look behind the scenes at Arrow also reveals approximately 825 businesses from 31 communities across B.C. benefited from the series’ production.

HBO Canada is offering free sampling of complete seasons and new episodes On Demand and at until March 31. Would-be subscribers can binge on over 40 hours of content including the complete first seasons of HBO series Game of Thrones, Veep, Girls, Silicon Valley, and Ballers. Episodes from HBO’s current lineup including Big Little Lies, Crashing, Westworld, The Night Of, The Young Pope, and Quarry are also available to preview.

CTV has greenlit two more seasons of Cardinal. The order marks the first time CTV has ordered two consecutive seasons of a drama. Produced by Sienna Films and Entertainment One in association with CTV, and commissioned for French-language Canadian broadcast by Super Écran, Cardinal has averaged 1.2 million viewers since its January premiere. Both series stars, Billy Campbell and Karine Vanasse, will return for Seasons 2 and 3. Season 1 has been licensed to BBC in the UK, C More in Scandinavia and Calle 13 in Spain by eOne, and has more negotiations underway.

HBO Canada says the dawn of the Donald Trump era is netting record audiences for its talk shows. Final data from Numeris indicates after four weeks, the average audience for Season 15 of Real Time with Bill Maher is 404,000 viewers, a 73 per cent increase over Season 14 and the highest audiences ever for the series. Meanwhile, the Season 4 premiere of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver on Feb. 12 was the series’ most-watched episode ever on HBO Canada, with an average audience of 403,000 viewers, double the average audience of the Season 3 premiere.

Antoine de Maximy

Groupe Média TFO has struck a partnership with Ontario-based tech startup Vubble. The agreement will see online French-language educational videos delivered to IDÉLLO, Groupe Média TFO’s educational, digital platform. The Vubble service offers a variety of high-quality short web videos from Canada and around the world from current affairs, math and science to travel and cooking. Series include Hygiène mentale – Éducation aux médias dealing with media literacy; Axolothors-série #1: Une journée chez les astronautes taking an insider look at how astronauts are trained; and J’irais dormir chez vous – Iran, a unique travel adventure series with Antoine de Maximy.

The Quebecor Fund has announced the names of the production companies and distributors whose projects will receive funding in the 13th round of the Event and Film Production Assistance Program (EFPAP). The selected producers and distributors will share a total of $946,000 in funding. Four successful projects will be produced and distributed by Canadian companies GO Films L.P.R.S. Inc., Production Caramel Films Inc., CarpeDiem Film & TV Inc., Les Productions Orange Films Inc., Les Films Séville Inc., Les Films Christal s.e.c., Les Éditions CarpeDiem Film & TV Inc. and Orange Médias Inc.

Mina Shum

CBC’s Breaking Barriers Film Fund, aimed at helping level the playing field for underrepresented creators like women, Indigenous people, visible minorities and persons with disabilities, has announced its inaugural recipients. Meditation Park, written by Mina Shum, Angelique’s Isle, written by Michelle Derosier, and Octavio Is Dead! written by Sook-Yin Lee are the inaugural projects to receive financing through the fund. The CBC’s commitment will see the public broadcaster invest at least $7.5 million into the fund over the next three years. All three films are also supported by Telefilm Canada.

Dale Johnson

Dale Johnson brought his film Pawn Sacrifice to his hometown of Camrose, AB last month to open the 8th annual Nordlys Film and Arts Festival. The film financier and creative producer arrived direct from the gala premiere of his latest film The Lost City of Z in Berlin. Directed by Academy Award winner Ed Zwick and starring Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard, Pawn Sacrifice tells the story of American chess prodigy Bobby Fisher and his tumultuous role within superpower rivalries at the height of the Cold War.

Stingray Digital Group Inc. has completed the first phase in the rebrand of iConcerts, a television channel and on demand service dedicated solely to live music. Currently distributed in 85 countries as Stingray iConcerts, the company says the rebranding effort ensures a consistent identity across Stingray’s portfolio of multi-platform music products and services available to content providers. The second phase of the rebrand will include a new, responsive website.

David Spade

Much is launching a nationwide freeview on more than 30 TV service providers between March 7 and April 4. Among the new additions to the Much schedule this month are British comedy Brotherhood, prank show Fameless with host David Spade, and the debut of Conan O’Brien’s special Conan Without Borders: Made In Mexico.

More than 40 live television channels are coming to YouTube, but Canadians will have to wait for the service. Dubbed YouTube TV, the $35 a month streaming service will be available in major U.S. markets accessible via YouTube’s mobile app or website. It also includes a cloud DVR feature with unlimited storage. A subscription offers access to ABC, CBS, FOX, NBC, ESPN, The CW, Disney, MSNBC and Fox News. The service is similar to Sony’s PlayStation Vue service, Dish Network’s Sling TV, and AT&T’s DirecTV Now, which are also only available in the U.S.

Hustler TV Canada launches March 21. Montreal-based adult entertainment company VanessaMedia is partnering with owner LFP Broadcasting on the offering which will include both a 24-hour porn channel and video-on-demand service.

John Tory

Toronto Mayor John Tory is promising to streamline regulations to better position the city to compete for film, television and digital productions. The city says that production contributed more than $2.01 billion to Toronto’s economy in 2016, topping a previous high of $1.5 billion in 2015. Combined with investment from broadcasters and interactive digital media, that figure climbs to $3.26 billion. The bulk of that was from 115 foreign and domestic TV productions which brought in $908 million in 2016. Investment by broadcasters was down year-over-year about $69 million to $211 million, while interactive digital media rose to $1.05 billion, from $1 billion in 2016. Commercial production was up 10 per cent to $380 million.


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