September Alumni Updates: Festivals, Awards + More!

Posted: Oct 5, 2020

Wow. Wow. Wow-ee! September brought good news of an Emmy Award for Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy for her role as Alexis Rose on the beloved homegrown series Schitt’s Creek. Alumni projects are also participating in a number of festivals (coast-to-coast and beyond) this fall, and there are new alumni series to dive in to just in time for sweater season. Read on for the latest industry updates and new content from CFC alumni.


Emmy Awards
  • The world witnessed a historic Schitt’s (Creek) Sweep at the 2020 Emmy’s – this homegrown series (that featured a ton of alumni involvement over its six-season run) took home a total of nine Emmys, including Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy for our very own Actors Conservatory alumna Annie Murphy (!!!), as well as Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for CFC Board Member Eugene Levy
TIFF Awards
  • BEANS, from director/co-writer Tracey Deer, co-written and executive produced by Meredith Vuchnich, and the 25th feature developed and financed for production with the support of CFC Features, was met with critical acclaim at TIFF 2020, and was the second runner up for the People’s Choice Award
  • One Night in Miami, starring Actors Conservatory alumnus Eli Goree, was the first runner up for the TIFF 2020 People’s Choice Award
VIFF Awards
2020 DGC Awards
  • CFC alumni received 19 nominations for 2020 DGC Awards across the TV and film categories, including two nominations for the DGC Discovery Award; see the full list of alumni nominations here
CCE Awards
  • Congratulations to Pauline Decroix, who won a CCE Award for Best Editing in a Short Film for her work on Ma Dame au Camélia
Reelworld Film Festival Awards
  • The Reelworld Film Festival has named Clement Virgo the recipient of its2020 Award of Excellence; the rare achievement “recognizes remarkable individuals whose lifetime of work, passion and determination has significantly contributed to increasing diversity in Canada’s film, television, and media industry.”
  • Alumni Anand Ramayya, Karen Chapman and Thyrone Tommy are three of the six individuals who received 2020 Trailblazer Awards, which recognize outstanding achievements by racially diverse professionals in the Canadian entertainment industry
Socan Foundation Awards for Emerging Screen Composers
  • Slaight Music alumni Spencer Creaghan, Iva Delic and Dillon Baldassero are the 1st prize winners of this award for their scores and themes across animated, fiction and non-fiction


No Ordinary Man

Alumni projects are screening (or have screened!) at a number of festivals both in Canada and abroad this fall, beginning with the below festivals:

Venice Film Festivals
  • Saint-Narcisse, which Paul Scherzer as a producer, saw its world premiere on September 9 at the Venice Film Festival
Fantastic Fest
  • CFC short film FISH WHISKERS, from alumnae Roney and Julie Strifler, had its world premiere at this year’s virtual version of Fantastic Fest
Calgary International Film Festival

September 23 to October 4, 2020

  • Akilla’s Escape, from director/co-writer Charles Officer, co-writer Wendy Motion Brathwaite, starring Shomari Downer, with casting by Nicole Hilliard Forde
  • Bright Hill Road, from director Robert Cuffley
  • Come True, from producer Steve Hoban and executive producer Vincenzo Natali
  • Falling, produced by Daniel Bekerman
  • Girl, produced by Thomas Michael, edited by Gloria Tong, with music by Dillon Baldassero
  • Happy Place, produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith
  • Hazy Little Thing, from co-writer/producer/executive producer Erin Carter, starring Carter, Emily Coutts, Jade Hassouné and Supinder Wraich
  • Jasmine Road, music by Suad Bushnaq
  • John Ware Reclaimed, from executive producer David Christensen
  • Marlene, from producer Michael Peterson
  • The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, produced by Trish Dolman, narrated by Charles Officer
  • No Ordinary Man, from co-director/writer Aisling Chin-Yee
  • Percy, produced by Daniel Bekerman
  • Possessor, edited by Matthew Hannam
  • Stateless, from executive producers Anita Lee and Sudz Sutherland, producers Jennifer Holness and Lea Marin, with music by Ben Fox
  • There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace, music by Laura Barrett
  • Violation, featuring actors Anna Maguire and Jesse LaVercombe
Vancouver International Film Festival

September 24 to October 7, 2020

  • Akilla’s Escape
  • BEANS, developed and financed for production through CFC Features, from alumnae Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich
  • Falling
  • Flowers of the Field, featuring actor Jesse LaVercombe, edited by Rick Bartram
  • Happy Place
  • Inconvenient Indian, edited by Katie Chipperfield
  • John Ware Reclaimed
  • No Ordinary Man
  • Saint-Narcisse, produced by Paul Scherzer
  • The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel
  • êmîcêtôcêt-Many Bloodlines, with music by Anthony Wallace
Inside Out Film Festival

October 1 to 11, 2020

  • I Am Syd Stone, written and produced by Gharrett Patrick Paon, produced and edited by Shaun Rykiss
  • Jump, Darling, featuring Rose Napoli
  • No Ordinary Man *winner of Best Canadian Feature prize 2020*
  • Bing! Bang! Bi!, featuring music by Aimee Bessada
  • Jesse Jams,produced by Alyson Richards
  • There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace
  • CFC short film FLOOD, written/directed by Joseph Amenta, produced by Daniel Sedore and edited by Orlee Buium, with music by Stephen Krecklo, will open for the feature No Hard Feelings
St. John’s International Women’s Film Festival

October 14 to 18, 2020

  • 4 North A,written and co-directed by Jordan Canning
  • Little Orphans, starring Andy McQueen, executive produced by Sherry White
  • There’s No Place Like This Place, Anyplace
  • Happy Place, produced by Jennifer Kawaja and Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith
  • Queen of the Morning Calm,from writer/director/producer Gloria Kim, starring Zahra Bentham and Jesse LaVercombe, with music by Stephen Krecklo and editing by Orlee Buium, will screen as the RBC Closing Night Gala film
  • êmîcêtôcêt-Many Bloodlines
Seriesland Bilbao International Digital Festival

October 21 to 26, 2020

  • Ghost BFF, from Fifth Wave alumni company Babe Nation Films
  • Avocado Toast, story edited by Annie Briggs, with music by Neil Haverty and Chris Reineck
Raindance Film Festival

October 28 to November 7, 2020

  • Alumni film 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, will have its European premiere at Raindance


A man and a woman embrace and kiss each other in a forest, surrounded by trees and twinkling lights.Trickster

  • Watch this video for a peek at the world-class talent coming out of the CFC, and the global resonance of the stories they’re (you’re!) telling
  • Queen of the Morning Calm had its theatrical release on September 25
  • The Sounds, directed by Peter Stebbings, starring Emily Piggford, and executive produced by Esther Ishikawa, premieres on October 5, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET on CBC
  • Trickster, which features loads of alumni talent – Tony Elliot (co-creator, writer, executive producer), Zoe Hopkins (writer), Joel Thomas Hynes (actor), Matt Code (producer), Jennifer Kawaja (executive producer), Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith (co-producer), Todor Kobakov (composer) and Kye Meechan (editor) – premieres on October 7 at 9 p.m. ET on CBC
  • Have you tuned in to Power Book II: Ghost yet? Catch up now to see Actors Conservatory alum Lovell Adams-Gray as Dru; new episodes air Sundays on STARZ
  • Check out the trailer for The Morning After, a digital series by Tricia Hagoriles that centres chronicles the experiences of the staff and patrons of a longstanding Queer Toronto bar as they navigate their relationships, politics, and survival while fighting to preserve the space that connects them all from impending gentrification; produced by Lindsay Blair Goeldner, executive produced by Shant Joshi, edited by Simone Smith, featuring music by TiKA and Casey MQ


  • The Announcement Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, music by Slaight alumna Erica Procunier
  • Wondering what song is featured in our new promo video that we included above? It’s an original called “Believe” from Slaight Music alumna Lisa Conway (L CON); listen to it (again and again) here


Two sisters hold hands in a forest with distressed looks on their facesBEANS

  • Tracey Deer and Meredith Vuchnich are included in Variety’s list of 10 Screenwriters to Watch for 2020 for their work on BEANS
  • In September, Jennifer Podemski launched The Shine Network, a free, subscriber-based media platform designed to empower and celebrate Indigenous women content creators in film and television
  • Ian Steaman will be part of the Grand Jury for the 2020 Polaris Music Prize; the winner will be revealed on October 19 on CBC Gem
  • Alumna Lynn Coady’s latest novel, Watching You Without Me, is one of 14 books that made the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist; Coady previously won the Giller Prize in 2013 for her short story collection Hellgoing
  • Lisa Jackson has been named a grantee for the development stream of the 2020 Sundance Institute | Sandbox Fund with her project Wilfred Buck, a hybrid feature centering on a Cree elder who’s been called the Indiana Jones of Indigenous star knowledge.
  • Trickster, which features tons of alumni involvement (co-creator/executive producer Tony Elliott, executive producer Jennifer Kawaja, producer Matt Code, co-producer Andrew Nicholas McCann Smith, composer Todor Kobakov, editors Kye Meechan and Katie Chipperfield and actor Joel Thomas Hynes), has been acquired by Sky in the U.K. for the Syfy Channel, NITV and SBS On Demand in Australia, Globoplay in Brazil, and KinoPoisk (Yandex) in Russia
  • Production on Season 3 of Coroner got underway in Toronto in mid-September, S3 counts alumni Gloria Ui Young Kim and Charles Officer among its directors, Marsha Greene, Chris Roberts and Motion among the writers, Andy McQueen as part of the cast, and is expected to debut on CBC and CBC Gem in winter 2021
  • The NSI partnered with Annelise Larson to present a new online marketing course; the eight-part series aims to help creators find and engage an audience for their projects


Catch up on these hit alumni films, now available to watch on digital and/or demand:
  • SPINSTER: written by Jennifer Deyell, produced by Marc Tetreault and William Woods, associate produced by Luke Black, edited by Simone Smith
  • TITO:from director/writer/star Grace Glowicki, associate produced by Nicole Hilliard-Ford, executive produced by Aeschylus Poulos, with music by Casey MQ
  • CATCH AND RELEASE: from co-director Laurie Colbert and producers Rechna Varma and Jennifer Mesich
  • THINGS I DO FOR MONEY: from co-writer/director Warren P. Sonoda
  • A PERFECT PLAN: starring Actors Conservatory alum Gia Sandhu
  • 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


Discover or rediscover the following alumni series:
  • GHOST BFF: from Katie Bird Nolan (producer)
  • 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)
  • 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

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