Film & TV News – WIFT-T announces 2019 Crystal Award honourees

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The 2019 WIFT-T Crystal Award honourees (l-r): maxine bailey, Tammy Frick, Kim Gibson, Esta Spalding, Mary Young Leckie, and Alison Duke.

Women in Film and Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) has announced this year’s Crystal Award honourees, recognizing those who’ve made significant contributions to Canada’s screen-based media industry. They include former TIFF VP Maxine Bailey, Cinefest Sudbury executive director Tammy Frick, Solo Productions producer Mary Young Leckie, Oya Media Group co-founder Alison Duke, writer/producer/showrunner Esta Spalding, and Ontario Creates program consultant Kim Gibson. The 32nd annual WIFT-T Crystal Awards Gala, hosted by CBC Radio 2 weekend host Shakura S’Aida, will take place on Dec. 3 in Toronto. 

The Writer’s Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards are now open for entries. Among the changes for 2020, a new Preschool category has been added, while the Best New Series category has been retired. Submit your scripts, from features to comedy miniseries, before Dec. 1. The call for entries for special categories, including the WGC Showrunner Award, the Sondra Kelly Award, the McGrath Service Award and the Alex Barris Mentorship Award, will be announced in the coming weeks. More details here.

CTV News’ 2019 federal election special drew an average audience of 1.6 million viewers from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET on CTV, CTV News Channel, and BNN Bloomberg, according to overnight data from Numeris provided by the network. CTV says within the 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET window, its federal election coverage achieved a 33% advantage over CBC’s main network (1.1 million) and more than three times the audience of Global (470,000). Audiences for Monday night’s special peaked at 2.9 million viewers at 10:11 p.m. ET, minutes after CTV News declared an election win for Justin Trudeau and the Liberal Party at 10:06 p.m. ET. CTV says the live special reached 10.6 million unique Canadian viewers, while Bell-owned CP24’s election programming reached 1.6 unique viewers from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m. ET, and peaked with 547,000 viewers at 10:32 p.m. ET.

Crave will premiere SHOWTIME Documentary Films’ Ready For War, which explores the phenomenon of deported U.S. military veterans, Nov. 22 at 9 p.m. ET. Directed by Andrew Renzi (Fishtail, They Fight), the doc was executive produced by Drake and David Ayer. The film debuted at TIFF and will have its U.S. premiere at AFI Fest in Los Angeles Nov. 19.

HISTORY’s Canadian-original documentary special Cheating Hitler: Surviving the Holocaust premieres Nov. 11 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, taking viewers into the emotional childhood experiences of Holocaust survivors Helen Yermus, Maxwell Smart, and Rose Lipsyzc. The two-hour investigative documentary uncovers answers that the survivors – who were just seven, nine, and 10-years-old when WWII began – have had all of their lives. Throughout the doc, the three survivors and family members travel to Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, exploring some of the hidden and rarely visited sites where the Holocaust occurred.


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