CFC and Netflix Announce the Creators and TV Series Concepts Selected for Project Development Accelerator
Posted: Sep 8, 2020
Posted: Sep 8, 2020
Toronto, September 8, 2020 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and Netflix are proud to announce the creators and TV series projects selected for the inaugural TV series portion of the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative, which runs from September to November 2020.
“Supporting the development of Canadian creators and providing a space where they can network, learn and grow has never been more important,” said Lisa Hamilton Daly, Director, Original Series at Netflix. “We congratulate the chosen participants and look forward to working with them in the coming months.”
The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is a three-month accelerator designed to offer advanced project development and workshopping support for the four selected TV series projects. Tailored to their specific creative and business needs, the Accelerator will see these creators and projects benefit from international creative and marketplace expertise and feedback from Netflix executives, as well as a range of additional industry professionals, to help them elevate and amplify their original series on an international level.
“We received so many strong submissions from creators across Canada, however the four selected projects really stood out for their original stories and global resonance,” said Kathryn Emslie, Chief Programs Officer, CFC. “These four series, while all very different from one another, have one thing in common – they are shining a bright light on characters, worlds and experiences that viewers need to see more of!”
Creator/Writer: Jonathan Lawrence; Producer: Ryan Wilson Cooper
Format/Genre: Half-hour drama
Alter Boys follows a group of young men who are thrust into furtive practices of conversion therapy in an isolated camp veiled by the woods. The new camp director’s aggressive program leaves the men struggling to navigate one summer’s haunting interplay of hope and ruin.
Jonathan Lawrence is a Winnipeg-based Indigiqueer filmmaker and actor who has produced several award-winning short and feature films and has appeared on both stage and screen. Most recently, Jonathan is working to expand his latest short film into a limited drama series. Jonathan aims to create evocative work that draws on a distillation of human vulnerability and brokenness amid visceral landscapes and the beauty therein.
Creators/Writers: Jennifer Holness and Sudz Sutherland
Format/Genre: Half-hour comedy/drama
Keisha Winters, a quirky downtown divorcee is raising 16-year-old Kelly, while living with her old school Jamaican mother, Althea. Together, they represent three generations of Black girl magic under the same roof, all with strong opinions. About everything. Keisha hosts a podcast about love and relationships. Crazy stories land in her in-box on the daily and emotional turmoil is her happy place. From podcast guests to Keisha’s “it’s complicated” personal life, #RELATIONSHIPGOALS explores the funny side of friendship, family, and love.
Jennifer Holness is an award-winning writer, producer and director. She created the TV series Shoot the Messenger and the award-winning mini-series Guns for CBC. She has produced numerous docs, including Stateless (PBS), which won the Hot Docs 2020 Special Jury Prize for Canadian Feature Documentary. Her dramatic feature, Home Again, was nominated for two CSAs and earned her a DGC nomination for Best Directing. Additionally, Jennifer produced Love, Sex and Eating the Bones, which won nine festival awards, including Best Canadian First Feature Film at TIFF 2003. Currently, she is directing the feature documentary Subjects of Desire and is developing the drama series Talk to Me with BellMedia.
Sudz Sutherland is an award-winning writer and director who has directed two award-winning features, Home Again and Love, Sex and Eating the Bones (Best Canadian First Feature Film, TIFF 2003), as well as more than 75 hours of television on shows including Batwoman, The Flash, Blindspot, Designated Survivor, Reign, Murdoch Mysteries, and many others. Additionally, Sudz co-created the series She’s the Mayor (VisionTV), Shoot the Messenger (CBC) and Guns (CBC). He has won an International Emmy for his work on The Phantoms, three CSAs for Best Direction and one CSA for Best Writing. Sudz is currently developing a drama series entitled Talk to Me with Bell Media, as well as a feature, Everything is Everything.
Creator/Writer: Faisal Lutchmedial
Format/Genre: One-hour sci-fi action/drama
The Ageless is a serialized one hour sci-fi action drama that follows an elderly WWII vet, who, once transformed by an age reversal experiment back into his young Nazi fighting prime, sets out to dismantle a fascist cult of the eternally young.
Faisal Lutchmedial is a screenwriter who most recently wrote on Endlings (CBC / Hulu) and Ransom (CBS / Global). He was invited to develop his latest feature screenplay The Voices Inside at TIFF Writers Studio in 2019. Faisal’s director credits include the short Useless Things, which won the Writers Guild of Canada English Script Prize at the Festival Nouveau Cinema Montreal, and the labour rights feature documentary My Cultural Divide.
Creator/Writer: Pat Mills
Format/Genre: One-hour comedy/drama
Taylor gets ‘mistaken’ for a girl on the first day of high school. Instead of correcting everyone, Taylor runs with it and learns first-hand what it’s like to be a teenage girl – but is the perception of their gender more accurate than what Taylor is prepared for?
Pat Mills is a Toronto-based writer/director. His first feature, Guidance, was hailed as a “Grade A” comedy by the Los Angeles Times and was a New York Times Critics’ Pick. His sophomore feature, Don’t Talk to Irene, won Best Comedy Screenplay at the Austin Screenplay Competition, and two Canadian Comedy Awards (Best Feature; Best Writing in a Feature), among other festival awards. Pat was named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s 25 Screenwriters to Watch and was University of Toronto’s Universal Studios Screenwriter-in-Residence in 2018/19. He is currently in post on the queer thriller The Retreat (Alyson Richards Productions/Clique Pictures), and recently directed Queens, a drag queen comedy series for CBC Gem.
The CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator is one component of the larger Netflix/CFC Global Project, which supports Canada’s traditionally underserved creatives, including Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC), women, LGBTQ2S+, Francophone creators (French as a first language), and creators living with disabilities.
The two additional accelerators, the Calling Card and Marketplace Accelerators, are yearlong accelerators, which, to date, have supported more than a dozen projects, ranging from shorts to features and TV series. For more information on specific projects and participants, please visit https://bit.ly/2SwOLkA.
About the CFC
The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) is a registered charity and a leading cultural organization for the development and advancement of Canadian creative and entrepreneurial talent in the screen-based industries. CFC’s programs and initiatives span film and television, screen acting, composing and songwriting for the screen, and digital and immersive media. These uniquely designed programs support and empower Canadian artists, creators and entrepreneurs, and generate world-class talent, content, products and companies for the global marketplace. For more information, visit cfccreates.com.
Netflix is the world’s leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without commercials or commitments.
Manager, Communications, CFC
Head of Communications, Canada, Netflix
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