June Alumni Updates + Content to Watch and Celebrate

Posted: Jun 30, 2020

June saw the celebration of Pride Month, National Indigenous History Month, and an unprecedented growth of the Black Lives Matter movement globally, as well as an amplification of Black stories, voices, content and creators in the screen-based industry.

Additionally, this month CFC alumni were named recipients of the CBC Creative Relief Fund, the TELEFILM Canada New Voices Award, Canadian Film Fest awards, and more alumni content became available to watch on digital and demand. Read on for the latest alumni updates.



Canadian Film Fest 2020

CFC alumni and alumni films took home many of the top prizes at the 14th edition of the Canadian Film Fest:

  • William F White Reel Canadian Indie Award: Queen of the Morning Calm, directed by Gloria Ui Young Kim
  • DGC Ontario’s Best Director: Gloria Ui Young Kim for Queen of the Morning Calm
  • Best Short: Liminal, written and directed by Dan Abramovici, starring Emily Piggford and Vladimir Alexis,produced by Ali Mashayekhi, edited by Mike Reisacher, with music by Spencer Creaghan and Chris Reineck
  • Best New Voice: Isa Benn for ShoeGazer

Hot Docs Awards 2020

  • There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace, with music by Laura Barrett, was one of five films to receive the Hot Docs Rogers Audience Award for Canadian Feature at Hot Docs 2020

Daytime Emmy Awards

  • Courtney Goldman was nominated for a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Single Camera Editing for her work on Odd Squad


A cartoon image of drag queens to promote a TV series


  • The Rest of Us,from Aisling Chin-Yee (director), Emma Fleury and William Woods (producers), Damon D’Oliveira (executive producer), Mark Van de Ven (story editor) and Brendan Brady (production manager/actor), is available on demand and digital in Canada
  • Queens, a new comedy-mystery series that follows a cast of Toronto drag queens, directed by Pat Mills and edited by Maureen Grant is now available to stream on CBC Gem
  • Hammer, the story of a father who faces a personal crisis when he discovers his estranged son fleeing a botched drug deal, the second feature from writer/director Christian Sparkes, is now available on demand; it features additional alumni involvement from Joel Thomas Hynes (story by), Chris Agoston and Will Woods (producers), Alona Metzer (associate producer), Jorge Weisz (editor), with music by Jeffrey Morrow
  • Stealing School, a dark comedy about an Asian-Canadian student accused of plagiarism and forced to prove her innocence before an academic tribunal one week before graduation, is available on digital and demand; produced by Mark Sirju, executive produced by William Woods, edited by Graham Tucker, featuring Sugith Varughese (actor), with music by Virginia Kilbertus
  • American Woman, which offers a fictionalized reimagining of the Patty Hearst affair, directed by Semi Chellas, with music by Slaight Music Residency Composer Chair Lesley Barber, along with Aimee Bessada and Spencer Creaghan as assistants, is now out on demand
  • Unarmed Verses, Speakers for the Dead, Black Mother Black Daughter, Ninth Floor and Older Stronger Wiser are some of the alumni films included in the NFB’s ‘Black Communities in Canada’ playlist, free collection of films by award-winning Black filmmakers, creators, and allies of the Black community; watch here
  • Season 1 of the critically acclaimed, award-winning series Mohawk Girls, from co-creators and CFC alum Cynthia Knight (co-creator/executive producer/head writer/showrunner) and Tracey Deer (co-creator/executive producer/director) joined CBC’s Tuesday night comedy lineup on June 16; following its run, Season 2 will launch Tuesday, August 4 on CBC and CBC Gem, and Seasons 3-5 will be available this fall on the free CBC Gem streaming service; season 1 is available now on CBC Gem
  • Watch Season 2 of Future History, a documentary series about harnessing Indigenous knowledge and Indigenizing the future, on APTN and CBC Gem; key creatives include Jennifer Podemski (director and executive producer) and Maya Inukshuk (director)
  • Canada’s Drag Race, which sees alum Betty Orr as an executive producer and alum Jade Hassouné and Allie X as guest judges, premieres on July 2 on Crave
  • The Body Remembers When the World Broke Open, written and directed by Kathleen Hepburn and Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers and produced by Lori Lozinski, is now available to watch for free on CBC Gem
  • The Order, created by Dennis Heaton, with writing from alumni Shelley Eriksen, Rachel Langer, Jason Filiatrault, and starring Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, returned on June 18
  • Greetings from Isolation: several alumni – including Anne-Marie FlemingSadaf Foroughi, Anna Maguire, Araya Mengesha, Emily Piggford, Ingrid Veninger, Haya Waseem, Simon Gadke, and Jeffrey St. Jules – have contributed to this capsule collection of short Canadian isolation movies; watch them here
  • New episodes of The Bold Type, starring Actors Conservatory alumnus Dan Jeannotte, returned on ABC Spark on June 11


A collage of nine different podcast images

Podyssey Podcast Playlist


A collage of five headshots

TELEFILM Canada New Voices Award recipients (Ian Steaman, top left)

  • Ian Steaman is one of five screenwriters selected for the TELEFILM Canada New Voices Award
  • MEASURE, a CFC short production written and directed by Karen Chapman, produced by Elizabeth Melanson, edited by Chris Melanchan, with music by Jason Couse, is one of nine films selected as finalists for the 2020 Short Film Face Off on CBC, which will launch on Saturday, August 1, 2020
  • A number of CFC alumni projects are among the recipients of the CBC Creative Relief Fund, including:
    • Nerotica – LoCo Motion Pictures (Lauren Corber)
    • SNKRHDS – Ian Steaman
    • Code of Silence – Julia Holdway
    • New Life – Mark Haroun
    • Polpetto – Felicia Brooker
    • Tested – Daniel Trotta
    • Canada for Real – produced by Fae Pictures Inc. (Shant Joshi, Lindsay Blair Goeldner)
    • Hello, You – Jennifer Beasley
    • Black Community Mixtapes – Oya Media Group (Fifth Wave)
    • Go Get Her – Jeff Detsky
    • The Hoof Lady (TEIAKOTSINARÉN:TONTE’) – Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs and D.W. Waterson
    • Untitled Ringette Project – Rebeka Herron
    • Creepy – Elizabeth Yake (producer/creator)
    • She Doesn’t Speak: What Happened to Maa’Tai’Poyi? – Elle-Máijá Tailfeathers
    • Black Wolf – Celeste Sansregret
  • Marsha Green has taken on the role of Chair of WGC’s Diversity Committee in addition to her role as Councillor Central Region
  • Several CFC alumni are among the participants of the Netflix-BANFF Diversity of Voices Initiative: Paula Devonshire, Gillian Muller and Supinder Wraich (Pitch Program); and Murry Peeters, Rechna Varma, and Priscilla White (Professional Development Program)
  • Catch actors alum Lovell Adams-Gray on the upcoming Power spinoff Power Book II: Ghost, and read more about the series here
  • Annelise Larson and Lauren Grant are among the participants of the second cohort of the BANFF Spark Accelerator for Women in the Business of Media
  • Allie X is among the 40 artists who made the 2020 Polaris Music Prize long list
  • The Retreat, about lesbian couple on a weekend retreat in a remote cabin who end up fighting for their lives when a group of militant serial killers hunt them, from alumni Alyson Richards (writer/producer), Lauren Grant (producer), Pat Mills (director), and starring Sarah Allen, was one of the projects presented at Frontières Genre Platform Cannes on June 25
  • A number of Canadian independent producers, including several CFC alumni, have joined The Producer Pledge, a petition to dismantle systemic racism in Canadian media and to rally production companies to reallocate 10 per cent of their emergency relief funding toward a fund to support filmmakers who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour
  • This list of 10 essential movies by Black filmmakers to stream online right now (NOW Magazine) includes films from CFC alumni Cory Bowles (Black Cop), Sudz Sutherland (Love, Sex and Eating the Bones), Charles Officer (Nurse. Fighter. Boy.), Stella Meghie (The Photograph), and Clement Virgo (The Planet of Junior), check it out and start watching here
  • 31 Black Canadian female playwrights you need to know (CBC Arts) includes CFC alum Lisa Codrington, Motion, Ngozi Paul and Djanet Sears; get to know these talented creatives here
  • Black Women Film! Canada launched their first annual THRIVE fundraising campaign to continue supporting the development of Black women filmmakers and content creators Canada-wide and fund new leadership programs, Black Girls Film camp, and the second phase of their industry directory; donate here

Two women in blue suits and one man in a green jacket look at someone who is out of the frame


ICYMI – Catch up on these hit alumni films and TV series now available to watch on digital and/or on demand:

  • Easy Land: Sanja Zivkovic (writer/director), Julie Strifler (producer), Matt Code (executive producer), Chris Mutton (editor), 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
  • The Weekend: written/directed by Stella Meghie
  • 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
  • James vs His Future Self: co-written/directed by Jeremy LaLonde and produced by Jordan Walker
  • Snowpiercer: from showrunner Graeme Manson, starring Actors Conservatory alumnus Matt Murray is available on Netflix
  • #blackAF: features editing by Christine Armstrong
  • Avocado Toast: story edited by Annie Briggs, with music by Neil Haverty and Chris Reineck

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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