Spring 2019 Alumni Successes
By Margaret DeRosia ● June 06, 2019 09:25
Not only are plenty of green things growing and apple blossoms blooming at the Canadian Film Centre – our alumni have also been busy across Canada winning awards, developing projects and sharing insights coast to coast and internationally, as this hit parade reveals.
Congratulations to our alumni who won awards this spring, including:
- Producer-director Jordan Canning was selected as a recipient of the RBC Music Foundation’s Music Video Production Project for her video for Tim Baker’s “Dance.”
- The Canadian Screen Awards (CSAs) celebrated multiple members of the CFC alumni community at various ceremonies between March 25 and 31.
- Four alumni took home awards at Writers Guild of Canada (WGC) Screenwriting Awards, at the WGC’s 23rd annual gala on Monday, April 29, had four CFC winners, including Jeremy Boxen for CFC Features-produced 22 CHASER (below).
- Director and actor Shelley Thompson was awarded the ACTRA Maritimes Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Lead Female Role in the film, Splinters, at the Screen Nova Scotia 2019 Awards on May 3.
- Showrunner and writer Sherry White received the 2019 Nell Shipman Award form ACTRA on May 22.
- Writer-director Carly Stone won Outstanding Feature Film for The New Romantic at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards on May 25.
- Courtney Goldman, Greg Ng and Dev Singh won at the Canadian Cinema Editors (CCE) Awards, at their annual gala on May 31.
- Four alumni – Sonja Bennett, Erin Haskett, Greg Ng and the duo Menalon (Joseph Murray and Lodewijk Vos) – took home Leo Awards, at various ceremonies between May 25 and June 1.
- Lisa Jackson’s interactive VR project, Biidaaban: First Light, is up for a Rockie at the Banff World Media Festival on June 11 – fingers crossed! Watch the trailer for this powerful project:
- Following the world premiere of her debut feature American Woman at the Tribeca Film Festival, director-writer Semi Chellas was featured in Indiewire’s gallery of rising female star directors.
- Several CFC alumni participated in the Inside Out Film Festival in Toronto from May 24 through June 2, and were also selected for the Inside Out Finance Forum.
- From April 25 to May 5 in Toronto, we saw a number of alumni projects in Hot Docs International Canadian Documentary Film Festival, with these highlights coming out of the festival: Toronto distributor Blue Ice Docs picked up director Laurie Lynd’s Killing Patient Zero (see trailer above; it also played at Inside Out after its world premiere); director Ingrid Veninger discussed her film, The World or Nothing, here; director John Walker discussed his timely film Assholes: A Theory here (and so did the National Film Board); producer Ina Fichman’s Inside Lehman Brothers was acquired by Gravitas for U.S. rights; Hot Docs profiled director Megan Wennberg, who directed Drag Kids; and Peter Raymont was named this year’s Don Haig Award recipient.
Television & Web Series
Our alumni have been active on and behind the small(er) screens, ranging from wrapping up to gearing up on these projects:
- The Toronto Star profiled actor-writer-director Supinder Wraich and her new series, The 410, a new web drama series that also features director alumna Renuka Jeyapalan directing and Jade Hassouné acting; TV, Eh? also did a great interview with Wraich on the series here.
- Albedo, director Brad Peyton and writer Max Reid’s eight-part mystery drama, was greenlit for eOne and Walmart’s new VOD (subscription).
- Sherry White (with creative partner Kerri MacDonald) is attached to produce the television series adaptation of Ami McKay’s best-selling Canadian novel, The Birth House.
- Fresh off her successes with her award-winning web series How to Buy a Baby being renewed for its second season, producer Lauren Corber and her production company, LoCo Motion Pictures, is the talent behind a pair of firsts: the company’s first kids property, Detention Adventure (subscription), and CBC’s first original kids scripted series to debut on Gem. While you’re watching, listen to the music alumni Antonio Naranjo and Erica Procunier contributed.
- Season Three of Mary Kills People, a show that involves multiple alumni such as creator Tara Armstrong, executive producers Amy and Tassie Cameron, and showrunner-writer Marsha Greene, profiled in Playback (subscription). Also, catch this interview with several of the producers in The Televixen.
- Director Danishka Esterhazy is attached to direct a new live-action series, Vagrant Queen, based on the comic books by Magdalene Visaggio, for the SYFY channel.
Several alumni-produced and directed favourites on the fall 2018 film festival circuit – The Grizzlies (which was also CFC's National Canadian Film Day screening), Giant Little Ones, and more recently, Sorry for Your Loss – have been enjoying runs of engagement on Canadian screens this spring, and below are a mix of new or upcoming alumni-produced films that have come out or soon will.
- Mouthpiece (left), by producer alumni Brendan Brady and Jennifer Shin, opens at TIFF Bell Lightbox cinemas in Toronto on June 7 (image courtesy of TIFF).
- TIFF's Canada's Top Ten hit Firecrackers, which Simone Smith edited, and Matt Code and Paul Barkin executive produced, will be in theatres and on demand as of July 12. And its composer, Casey MQ, also scored a rave review in Now Magazine after his live show in Toronto during Canadian Music Week in Toronto.
- Production has wrapped on director Robert Cuffley’s new horror film, Bright Hill Road.
- Producer William Woods launched a $2.5M fund for mid-budget films (subscription).
- Writer-director Jeffrey St. Jules’ new thriller, Cinema of Sleep, started production and includes actor Getenesh Berhe in its cast.
- Director Rob Grant and Producer Michael Peterson’s horror film about teens on a boat, Harpoon, was picked up by Epic Pictures at the Cannes Film Festival and profiled by Nerdist.
- Two of our producer alumni, Scythia Films’ Daniel Bekerman and Clique Pictures’ Lauren Grant, have teamed up with Santa Carla Films and distributor LevelFILM to produce the upcoming thriller, Coming Soon, as Playback (subscription) reports.
Talks, Profiles, Workshops
- Is all this good news making you want to get cracking on new projects? If so, then sign up for Jeremy LaLonde’s two-day film intensive on July 20 and 21 in Toronto, Kickstart Your Project and Your Career.
- The WGC is hosting a talk with Mary Kills People showrunners Marsha Greene and Tassie Cameron on June 26 in Toronto; the event is free but requires advance registration.
- Heading to Banff World Media Festival in June? Don’t miss the Showrunner Super Panel on June 11, featuring a plethora of fantastic talent that includes Shernold Edwards, Sheri Elwood, Marsha Greene and Tassie Cameron.
- Check out this winsome profile of writer Julia Rowland in The Toronto Guardian.
- Brenda Terning shared insights on editing The Nature of Things series with the CCE Editors podcast.
- Charles Officer discussed his new documentary feature, Invisible Essence: The Little Prince in this podcast on Rabble.
- Congrats to Reza Dahya, who hosted a public table read of his new feature film, Boxcutter, on May 14 in Toronto – and with a cast entirely composed of CBC Actors Conservatory alumni!