Banff festival reveals Rockie nominees

The Banff Television Festival Rockie award nominees were announced at one of many Banff consciousness-raising events held at mip-tv. There were 12 Canadian nominees:

Continuing series: Due South ‘The Vault’ from Alliance Communications/Screen Ventures vii in association with ctv;

Children: Devine Entertainment’s Composers Specials ‘Liszt’s Rhapsody,’ and Straight Up ‘Small Bang Theory’ from Alliance/Back Alley Film in association with cbc;

Information: Le Point ‘Le Tchechenie’ from Radio-Canada;

TV movies: cbc’s Little Criminals, and Lives of Girls and Women by Paragon Entertainment in association with cbc;

Miniseries: Hiroshima from Telescene Communications/Daiei Company in association with Cine Bazar;

Performance specials: Dido and Aeneas from Rhombus Media in association with CH4/Bravo!/rtp/ zdf/cbc/ncrv, and Joe from Radio-Canada/Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault;

Pop science: Forbidden Places ‘Crash Course’ from Television Renaissance;

Short drama: A Letter to Harvey Milk, Sleeping Giant Productions in association with Bravo!;

Social/political doc: The Sterilization of Leilani Muir by the nfb.

In other Banff news, a new board of governors was announced. The governors act in an advisory capacity, meeting three times a year beginning with mip-tv, while the more compact 15-member board of directors, chaired by Arthur Weinthal, meets more often.

Other changes at Banff include a 10% increase in international players attending this year’s festival, with plans to continue at this pace for the next two or three years, thanks to the NetStar Communications investment. This year the emphasis is on decision makers from the u.s., Germany, Australia and New Zealand, with more European journalists invited as well.

Twice as many seminars are on the conference lineup, but they’re shorter and stranded by interest.

Executive vp Pat Ferns also hints at a ‘different’ awards show, to be hosted by Paul Gross. And in spite of all the change, Ferns says the board has kept true to the main tenets of Banff: ‘We’re radical conservatives.’

Registration for the event, running June 10-14, is currently ‘ahead of where we’ve ever been,’ he adds.

The Ferns-led market simulations at mip managed to lure an sro crowd, despite the dual competition of Cannes and the market. And Banff on the Beach, an inaugural Cannes cocktail event, also turned out quite a crowd despite rain. Curiously (but completely above board), the name Banff board member/Discovery Channel president Trina McQueen pulled out of the hat to win a delegate pass to the fest – via a Vancouver to Banff rail trip for two – was that of Alberta-based Andy Thomson of Great North.

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WIFT-T Crystal Awards 2014

WIFT-T Crystal Awards 2014 - Host Hélène Joy, star of Murdoch Mysteries, onstage at the 2014 WIFT-T Crystal Awards. Credit: Kowthar Omar