Weekly roundup: Awards, acquisitions and events

Herewith, a summary of the various industry news to land at Playback in the recent weeks.

Award winners:

Canadian filmmakers have been busy since TIFF, snatching up awards at film festivals all across Canada.

At the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Pierre Hébert’s Rivière au Tonnerre taking home the prize for best experimental/abstract animation and Kyle Mowat’s Ballpit winning best graduate animation, as well as honourable mentions in Canadian Film Institute best animation and the best Canadian student animation categories.

Beethoven's Wig

Alex Hawley and Denny Silverthorne of Smiley Guy Studios earned the best short animation made for children award for Beethoven’s Wig (selected by a jury of local children), while Theodore Ushev’s Nightingales in December won the Canadian Film Institute award for best Canadian animation and Noam Sussman’s Gum won the prize for best Canadian student animation.

Elsewhere, Niobe Thompson’s The Perfect Runner and Trevor Anderson’s The Man That Got Away split the inaugural Edmonton Film Prize of $10,000 at the Edmonton International Film Festival.

And at the Caribbean Tales Film Festival in Toronto, Melissa Gomez’s exploration of her family’s buried secrets and communication problems, Silent Music, nabbed the prize for best documentary.

Meanwhile, Rodney Smith took home the Innovation Award for his Toronto-based, time-bending web series Out of Time.

Rounding out the list are Mark Moore’s Take it to the Coast and Marc-André Laurin’s Seeking for a new Port, which won first and second prize, respectively, in the best Canadian short category at the Canadian Surf Film Festival.

Meanwhile, 16-year-old Jamie Smith earned an honourable mention for his short Scrappy Happy.

Sales and Acquisitions:

The Fremantle Corporation has joined forces with the Peter Rodgers Organization to take TV viewers back to the wild West.

The two companies are bringing newly remastered and digitized classic western series to global television, including The Cisco Kid, The Rifleman, and Zorro.

Fremantle also acquired the films Chino, starring action legend Charles Bronson, Ballad of a Gunfighter and Doc West.

Elsewhere, Phase 4 Films’ kid’s division, kaboom! Entertainment, acquired Canadian home and digital rights to season two of the animated series, Chuggington.

The series is produced by London-based Ludorum and airs on Treehouse in English Canada and Télé-Quebec in French Canada.

Breast Fest:

Running Nov. 2 to 4 the fifth annual Breast Fest Film Fest presents films, stand up comedy, and speaker series that aim to raise awareness about the disease and promote new ways of dealing with it.

Pink Ribbons Inc.

Screening at this year’s festival is the NFB’s feature documentary, Pink Ribbons Inc., directed by Léa Pool.

The doc shows how the pink ribbon campaign has become a “dream cause” for marketers at the expense of obscuring how devastating breast cancer truly is.

Other films include Agnès Varda’s Cléo de 5 à 7, Rachel Libert’s Semper Fi: Always Faithful, Noa Osheroff’s One From Afar, Cynthia Wade’s Monday at Racine and Gulcin Gilbert’s Pink Skies.

Kids in the Hall alumnus Scott Thompson will be on hand for the Tits N’ Sass comedy night.

All films will be screened at the Bloor Hot Docs theatre.

Minister Chan meets Murdoch

Shaftesbury’s Murdoch Mysteries continued last week to prove its popularity with Canada’s political elite.

The show, which in the past has featured a cameo by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, welcomed Ontario’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Michael Chan to the set (pictured).

There he met cast members and the show’s production team, and reportedly pitched a story idea to showrunner Peter Mitchell.

Season six of Murdoch is slated to premiere on CBC in January.