July Alumni Updates: Emmy Nominations + Films at TIFF ‘20

Posted: Aug 6, 2020

July marked the return to production for some hit Canadian TV series, including Hudson & Rex, from alumni company Shaftesbury, and it also saw beloved Canadian TV series Schitt’s Creek (which a number of alumni worked on) get a total of 15 Emmy nominations, including Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy. Read on for more alumni updates (as hot as the weather!) – like the World Premiere of BEANS, the 25th film developed through CFC Features, at TIFF ’20 – as well as suggestions of alumni content to watch.


A family - a daughter, mother, father and son - sit side-by-side in the back of a pick up truck

Schitt’s Creek (Annie Murphy far left)

Emmy Awards

  • CBC Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy has been nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as Alexis Rose on Schitt’s Creek

LEO Awards

Congratulations to Liz Cairns and Greg Ng on their LEO Awards:

  • Best Production Design – Short Drama
    • Liz CairnsThe Seahorse Trainer
  • Best Picture Editing – Documentary Series
    • Greg NgPunk, “Episode One”

Christopher Dedrick Award

  • Slaight Family Music Lab alum/composer Dillon Baldassero was awarded the Christopher Dedrick Award for Live Musicians in Media Soundtracks, from the Screen Composers Guild of Canada (SCGC) and the Ontario Arts Foundation; funds from this award will be used towards the use of live musicians in Dillon’s compositions for the upcoming feature film Girl, starring Bella Thorne and Mickey Rourke, set to be released later this year


Two young girls hold hands while looking distressed in a forest surrounded by large trees


Toronto International Film Festival


Two men stand side-by-side in front of a blue trailer

Things I Do for Money

  • Catch and Release, from co-director Laurie Colbert and producers Rechna Varma and Jennifer Mesich, is now available on iTunes; the film is adapted from Jane Martin’s 1993 Pulitzer Prize-Nominated play Keely and Du and explores abortion rights, trauma and religious extremism through a sharp feminist lens
  • Things I Do for Money, the crime thriller from co-writer/director Warren P. Sonoda, which follows a young Japanese Canadian cellist who finds a big bag of money and all the woes that go along with it, is out on digital and demand on August 11
  • A Perfect Plan, which follows four notorious thieves as they wake up in a fortified warehouse and are forced by a cunning master thief to plan and commit an extraordinary diamond heist and stars Actors Conservatory alum Gia Sandhu, is now available on VOD and digital
  • Season 2 of Ghost BFF, from current Fifth Wave residents Katie Bird Nolan (producer) and Lindsay Tapscott of Babe Nation Films, is now available to watch on KindaTV
  • Season 3 of Star Trek: Discovery, starring Actors Conservatory alum Patrick Kwok-Choon and Emily Coutts, returns on October 15 on CBS All Access
  • Lots of alumni content, like The Book of Negroes, Diggstown, Da Kink in My Hair, Home Again, Nurse.Fighter.Boy and more, is available to watch as part of the Black Stories Collection CBC Gem



Production resumes on Hudson & Rex

  • Alumnae Kathleen Hepburn, Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Stella Meghie have been invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
  • Stella Meghie is set to direct the upcoming Whitney Houston biopic, I Wanna Dance With Somebody, slated for release in November 2022
  • Hudson & Rex, from Alumni company Shaftesbury and Pope Productions’ went into production in St John’s, NL the week of July 13, becoming the first major Canadian scripted series to go into production since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Danishka Esterhazy, signed with Paradigm and joined the new Syfy series The Surrealtor as producer-director, which is set to begin shooting in Newfoundland in the fall
  • Alumni company New Metric Media (president and executive producer Mark Montefiore), along with its partner The Feldman Agency have formed Tourbo, a live touring entertainment business
  • Congratulations to alum Warren P. Sonoda on his sold-out screening of Things I Do for Money at the Starlite Drive In Theatre in Hamilton on July 22
  • CBC has renewed original dramas Burden of Truth(Season 4) and Diggstown (Season 3); Burden of Truth will start production in Winnipeg later this summer, with Diggstown set to return to Halifax to shoot in early 2021; both series feature a number of alumni in key roles in front of and behind the lens


Catch up on these hit alumni films, now available to watch on digital and/or demand:
  • HAMMER: from Christian Sparkes (writer/director), Joel Thomas Hynes (story by), Chris Agoston and Will Woods (producers), Alona Metzer (associate producer), Jeff Morrow (composer), and Jorge Weisz (editor)
  • THE REST OF US: directed byfrom Aisling Chin-Yee, produced by Emma Fleury and William Woods, executive produced by Damon D’Oliveira, with Mark Van de Ven as story editor and Brendan Brady as production manager/actor
  • STEALING SCHOOL: produced by Mark Sirju, executive produced by William Woods, edited by Graham Tucker, featuring Sugith Varughese (actor), with music by Virginia Kilbertus
  • EASY LAND: written and directed by Sanja Zivkovic, produced by Julie Strifler, executive produced by Matt Code, edited by Chris Mutton, with music by Casey MQ.
  • CASTLE IN THE GROUND: produced by Luke Black and William Woods, associate produced by Jennifer Mesich, edited by Jorge Weisz
  • RED ROVER: scored by current Slaight Music Resident Anthony Wallace
  • GIANT LITTLE ONES: written/directed by Keith Behrman, executive produced by Daniel Bekerman and co-produced by Lauren Grant is available to watch on Crave
  • BLOOD QUANTUM: from writer/director Jeff Barnaby, produced by John Christou, starring Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs
  • TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING: from director Amy Jo Johnson, producer Jessica Adams, writer Joanne Sarazen, editor Bryan Atkinson and composer Casey MQ
  • SHE NEVER DIED: directed by Audrey Cummings
  • CANADIAN STRAIN: from writer/director Geordie Sabbagh
  • THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN: from alumnae co-writers and co-directors Kathleen Hepburn and ElleMáijá Tailfeathers and produced by Lori Lozinski
  • JAMES VS HIS FUTURE SELF:co-written/directed by Jeremy LaLonde and produced by Jordan Walker


Discover or rediscover the following alumni series:
  • QUEENS: directed by Pat Mills and edited by Maureen Grant (CBC Gem)
  • SNOWPIERCER: from showrunner Graeme Manson, featuring Actors Conservatory alumnus Matt Murray (Netflix)
  • #blackAF: features editing by Editors’ Lab alumna Christine Armstrong (Netflix)
  • THE ORDER: created by Dennis Heaton, with writing from alumni Shelley Eriksen, Rachel Langer, Jason Filiatrault, and starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs (Netflix)
  • AVOCADO TOAST: story edited by Annie Briggs, with music by Neil Haverty and Chris Reineck (OUTtvGo)
  • FUTURE HISTORY: from director and executive producer Jennifer Podemski and director Maya Inukshuk (APTN and CBC Gem)
  • CANADA’S DRAG RACE: Betty Orr as an executive producer and alum Jade Hassouné and Allie X as guest judges (Crave)
  • MOHAWK GIRLS: from co-creators Cynthia Knight (co-creator/executive producer/head writer/showrunner) and Tracey Deer (co-creator/executive producer/director) (CBC Gem)

Alumni! Do you have news to share? Want to update your alumni profile? Get in touch anytime at alumni@cfccreates.com.

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