Weekly roundup: Premieres and awards news

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Here is Playback‘s regular Friday roundup of short-yet-essential industry news items. Have a good weekend.

Theatrical news

The ReelWorld Film Festival, to be held Toronto Apr. 10 to 14, has released its full lineup, and it includes numerous world or Canadian premieres of Canadian-made films.

The Canadian feature-length titles are: AKP: Job 27 (directed by Michael Suan), Fondi ’91 (directed by Dev Khanna) and Windows of Hope (directed by Evelyn Cindy Magara). The Canadian short titles are: Eneme (directed by Chris Abell),  The Hipster and the Cat (directed by Anthony McLean) and The Orisha Suite (directed by Nicole Brooks).

Meanwhile, the news is out that Jason Buxton’s acclaimed debut feature Blackbird will open theatrically in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Montreal on May 10 and in Calgary, Sydney N.S. and Moncton on May 17.


Highrise, a multi-platform documentary project produced by the National Film Board, has received a 2013 Urban Leadership Award in the category of global city and innovation.The awards are given out recently by the Canadian Urban Institute to recognize significant contributions in the the quality of life in Canada’s cities and urban regions.

TV premieres

International co-production The Borgias‘ season three begins airing on Bravo Apr. 14. As well, Fight Xchange, a 10-part “inside” documentary about MMA fighting, premieres on Super Channel on May 3. It is produced by IMC, Nomad Films and Rebel Media Ventures International.

Finally, Alberta-based Brandy Yanchyk’s new documentary Oil Calling will air on Documentary later this year, Playback has been informed.

Production news

Francine Zuckerman’s Toronto based production company Z films has finished filming We are Here (aka I Miss You Jew) in Poland and as of the start of April is in post-production. It is set to air on Documentary and is supported by the Canada Media Fund.

Entertainment One has announced that cameras have begun to roll on The Broken Shore, a telemovie adaptation of a crime thriller novel by Australian author Peter Temple. The shoot is taking place in the Australian city of Melbourne and in the Port Campbell National Park region. It stars Don Hany (Offspring, East West 101, Tangle) and is produced with Essential Media and Entertainment for ABC1.

MIP news

Toronto’s Fremantle Corp. is bringing to MIPTV over 400 hours of a high-definition version of All My Children, the well-known U.S. network soap opera. This is in addition to its back catalogue of 260 hours in standard def, the company said in a statement this week.

Association news

The Quebec Council of the Directors Guild of Canada elected two new members to its executive board during its recently-held annual general meeting. The new board members are Phil Comeau and Jim Kontos.

Public engagement

Ellis Jacob, the CEO of Cineplex, is to give the keynote address at the inaugural National Congress on Culture. Focused on bringing together diverse experts, artists, cultural organizations as well as business and public sector leaders, the event is focused on moving Canada’s cultural industries forward. It takes place on May 23 and 24 in Toronto.