Wrapping Up a Successful Year: Late 2018 Alumni Wins
By Margaret DeRosia ● December 19, 2018 08:30
Like this audience in 'Silent Movie', we're thrilled to see all these successes finish off a great year.
CFC alumni and residents are continually making waves in the Canadian and international screen-based entertainment industries – from awards to festivals, industry recognition to onstage interviews, and new series to podcasts and more.
Here’s the latest round of updates and success stories for CFC residents and alumni from October to now.
Film Festivals, Nominations and Awards
Our alumni were especially busy these past months at the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC) Awards and the recent announcement of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) Canada’s Top 10. Their work also could be seen onscreen at the Regent Park Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival and the Windsor Film Festival.
- CFC Features’ 22 CHASER was the opening night film at Toronto’s Polish Film Festival, scoring a pick in She Does the City’s top five films to check out at the festival.
- CFC Features resident Sadaf Foroughi’s Ava and Producers’ Lab alumnus Nicholas de Pencier’s ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch are up for the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Rogers $100,000 Best Canadian Film Award, to be announced at the upcoming January 8 gala.
- TIFF 2018 winner Fauve (pictured above, on banner), a short film produced by Producers’ Lab alumnus Evren Boisjoili, is on the shortlist for Best Live Short Action Film at this year’s Oscars! It’s the latest hit after garnering wins all fall, including best short at the Vancouver International Film Festival, top prize at Abilene's 24fps short film festival, mention on Vimeo’s blog as one of its 2018 picks, and a spot alongside Editors’ Lab alumnus Matthew Hannam and his directorial debut, the short Paseo, on Canada’s Top Ten. (See both shorts at TIFF on January 27.)
- Firecrackers, also selected for Canada’s Top Ten, won Best Film at the Stockholm Film Festival, and Good Deed scored U.S. distribution rights to the film. The film features original music by Slaight Music Residency alumnus Casey MQ, was edited by Editors’ lab alumna Simone Smith, and executive produced by Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange alumnus Matt Code and Producers’ Lab/CFC Features’ alumnus Paul Barkin.
- The Grizzlies continues its winning streak, taking home Best Director at the DGC Awards and the Audience Award for Best Film at the Calgary International Film Festival. Director Miranda de Pencier, a Producers’ Lab alumna, also traded insights with fellow alumna Ingrid Veninger at a November 21 DGC-sponsored panel held on November 21. The film was also nominated for a Humanitas Award, which will be announced on February 8.
- The Alliance of Women Film Journalists awarded director Rama Rau’s Honey Bee, which screened at the Whistler Film Festival, an EDA Award for Best Female-Directed Feature Film. Multiple CFC alumni contributed, including: CFC Features and Producers’ Lab alumnus Damon D’Oliveira (executive producer); Producers’ Lab alumna Sally Karam (producer); Writers’ Lab alumnae Bonnie Fairweather and Kathleen Hepburn (screenwriters); Editors’ Lab Michael Pierro (editor); and the film stars CBC Actors Conservatory alumnus Steven Love and one of the Program’s current residents, Michelle McLeod.
Individual Alumni Awards
L-R: Alumni Sarah Goodman, Stephanie Ouaknine, John Titley.
- IDEABOOST alumna Stephanie Ouaknine (producer) and Bell Media Prime Time TV alumna Sarah Goodman (writer) of The Golden Mean, along with Writers’ Lab alumnus John Titley (writer) of The Lucky Ones (with producer Ian Bawa) represent two of the four teams selected for the National Screen Institute’s 2019 NSI Totally Television training course. Beginning in February 2019, this course will allow participants to develop their television projects with the best showrunners and story editors in Canada.
- Producers’ Lab alumna Emma Fleury was in the news this fall, both for her October hire as Buck’s new development director, and for winning the Women in Film & Television – Toronto’s CBC Business of Broadcasting Mentorship Award.
- Directors’ Lab alumnus Alexandre Franchi heads to the “Breakout Features” section of Slamdance, with a script he penned with alumna Joëlle Bourjolly.
Karl Ferguson Jr.; courtesy of CAA.
- Tribeca All-Access alumna, director Stella Meghie (above right), ends the year on a high note, after being named Playback’s Film Director of the Year. She will also direct Issa Rae (above left) in Paul Feig’s upcoming feature, American Princess.
- Actor, director and Writers’ Lab alumna Shelley Thompson won the Women In the Director’s Chair’s 2018 National WIDC Feature Film Award, an in-kind prize of services and rentals valued at up to $150,000 (CAD $200,000), to develop her Canadian transgender-themed directorial debut, Dawn, Her Dad & The Tractor.
- The CFC Media Lab’s IDEABOOST Accelerator, which now has seven cohorts of companies making products, services and experiences in digital entertainment, was named one of North America’s best accelerators by Salesflare.
Industry News – Film
- Director Andrew Cividino’s Furies, his follow-up to hit Sleeping Giant,will be penned by Bell Media Prime Time TV Program alumnus Nicholas Billon. In October, the film netted $540K from the European film-funding body Eurimages.
- CFC Features and 2017 Canada’s Top Ten pick, ADVENTURES IN PUBLIC SCHOOL, is set to air on Crave and Crave on Demand, starting December 27.
- Sanja Zivkovic, Directors’ Lab alumna and director of TIFF 2016 short film selection CLEO, just wrapped production on her first feature, Easy Land, which was also edited by Editors’ alumnus Chris Mutton (On-set photo credit left).
- TIFF hit and Canada’s Top Ten 2018 selection Giant Little Ones, directed by Directors’ Lab alumnus Keith Behrman, not only scored a U.S. release through Vertical Entertainment, but also a Canadian opening date of March 22.
- The Go-Getters went for it at successful screenings this month in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary. The film was directed and produced by Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange alumni Jeremy LaLonde and Jordan Walker.
- Directors’ Lab alumna Danishka Esterhazy’s feminist sci-fi thriller, Level 16 (above), held its Toronto premiere at the Royal Cinema on November 27. Check out Esterhazy’s insights on making this film, which Slaight Music Residency alumni duo Menalon (Lodewijk Vos and Joseph Murray) scored.
- In October, TIFF 2017 selection Never Steady, Never Still, directed by Kathleen Hepburn, debuted on Amazon Prime Video in the U.S.
- We’re especially proud of the alumnae-collaboration spearheaded by Writers’ Lab alumna Joanne Sarazen, Tammy’s Always Dying. We profiled both Sarazen and the film, and so did The Hollywood Reporter.
- Hot Docs 2018 selection United We Fan, produced by Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Lab alumnus Michael Sparaga, was picked up for distribution ahead of its October DOC NYC premiere, and hit VOD on December 4.
Industry News – TV
- Two of our writer alumnae, Shernold Edwards and Margaret Rose Lester, participated in The Hollywood Reporter’s recent roundtable, “No More ’We Can't Find Any Black Female Writers’: Here Are 62 Scribes in One Photo."
- Sarah Dodd, an alumna of the Bell Media Showrunner Bootcamp, will lead the Pacific Screenwriting Program’s Scripted Series Lab, running from January through April 2019.
- Producers’ Lab alumna Miranda de Pencier’s series Anne with an E has been renewed for a third season and is also among Netflix’s top 2018 binge-worthy shows for the second year in a row. de Pencier (seated far left) traded stories with alumnae from the Producers’ Lab, Amy Cameron (seated far right), and Writers’ Lab, Tassie Cameron (seated in middle), at this recent panel.
- Netflix globally released the series Bad Blood on December 7, for which Producers’ lab alumnus Mark Montefiore is executive producer.
- Dark Cargo, a TV drama from eOne, Counterfeit Pictures and SEVEN24 Films, received a pilot order from YouTube Premium. Canadian writing duo Adam and Max Reid (an alumnus of the Writers’ Lab) are writing, and it is executive-produced by Ben Stiller's Red Hour Productions banner.
- Directors’ Lab alumnus Brad Peyton had some great news this fall – Netflix issued a ten-episode series order for his apocalyptic zombie-themed graphic novel, Daybreak.
- Global has given a six-episode order to the hourlong drama series, Departure, created by Bell Media Prime Time TV alumnus Vincent Shiao, in which multiple CFC alumni are involved: Telefilm Canada Feature Comedy Exchange’s Malcom MacRury and CFC alumna/board member Christina Jennings will serve as executive producers, and Shiao shares co-executive producer credits with several others, including CFC Features alumna Tina Grewal. The Canada/U.K. co-production stars Christopher Plummer and British actor Archie Panjabi, in anticipation of a 2019 premiere.
- CFC Features alumna Jennifer Podemski’s new documentary series, Future History, premiered on November 13 on APTN.
- The Jim Henson Company, the puppet-based production house behind Fraggle Rock, signed onto Knights of Panterra, a Canadian live-action series based on the Dino Knights kids’ books by Jeff Norton. Bell Media Prime Time TV Program alumni Rachel Langer and Sam Ruano are both working on the show – set in a fantasy world where dinosaurs never went extinct. And don’t miss this interview with Langer on her work on The Bletchley Circle.
- Popular Canadian export series Schitt’s Creek, which stars CBC Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy, has been much in the news lately, garnering praise in end of the year best-eps lists and most recently, winning Playback’s “Show of the Year.” Murphy and the cast were also interviewed prior to its December holiday special (airing tonight, December 18, on CBC!).
- Former Bell Media Prime Time TV Program Executive Producer in Residence Brad Wright’s Travelers made the rounds in the lead-up to its Season Three premiere on Netflix on December 14 with some sweet reviews like these ones in The Toronto Star and Forbes.
Interviews, Podcasts and More
- Cineplex Film Program alumni Cory Bowles, Charles Officer and Sherren Lee joined Joyce Wong for an onstage conversation about how to break into the next level in your career, at a Reelworld Film Festival discussion sponsored by the DGC. Lee also spoke at the Reel Asian Film Festival at “Voicing Across Mediums, In Conversation with Sook-Yin Lee."
- CFC Editors’ Lab alumni Matthew Hannam, Chris Mutton and Stephen Philipson spoke on the final episode of this season of The Editors’ Cut podcast, sponsored by the Canadian Cinema Editors.
- Check out this great interview with Bell Media Prime Time TV Program alumna Michelle Lovretta, creator of Killjoys and Lost Girl, on keeping the story alive.
- Directors’ Lab alumna and Academy’s Apprenticeship for Women Directors recipient Reem Morsi (above) shared some of her thoughts and experiences on the program and her journey as a director, on the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television’s blog in “Making Headway: From Hindered Progress to The Handmaid’s Tale."
- We’re loving how many of our female alumnae are featured on this fantastic new podcast series, Women on Screen Out Loud, for which Slaight Music Residency alumna Erica Procunier composed the music. Don’t miss upcoming Writers’ Lab alumna Molly McGlynn (January 7) and Editors' Lab alumna Christine Armstrong (January 14), followed by Bell Media Prime Time TV Program alumna Jean Yoon (February 14). McGlynn also participated in a discussion of the contemporary Canadian film industry in the latest issue of Cleo: A journal of film and feminism.
To sign off, enjoy this music video “The Constant," from Slaight Music Residency alumnus Casey MQ (directed by Closet Monster actor Connor Jessup):