Weekly roundup: nominations, premieres and festival news

Here’s Playback‘s regular Friday package of industry news briefs. On with the news.


Bates Motel, a drama series spun off the Psycho film franchise produced by Universal Television for A&E Network and serviced in British Columbia (pictured), has received a second series order. It is made by Carlton Cuse Productions and Kerry Ehrin Productions, both based in the U.S.

TV and online premieres

Never Ever Do This At Home

Never Ever Do This At Home, a 13-part factual series hosted by Teddy Wilson (INNERSPACE) and Norm Sousa (The Sketchersons), will premiere on Discovery Canada on May 6. It’s produced by Insight Productions, in association with Discovery Canada and Bell Media and is based on a format devised by Norwegian broadcaster NRK and distributed by DRG.

Play with AJ, hosted by MTV Canada personality, Aliya-Jasmine Sovani, will debut on TV May 2. A Bell Media In-House Productions, this new 30-minute weekly series delves into the crossover world of pop culture and sports, exploring everything from fashion and celebrity, to athlete notoriety and stardom. Among other on-screen duties, Sovani formerly hosted 1 Girl 5 Gays.

Meanwhile, season four of BNN’s App Central will premiere Apr. 24. Hosted by Amber MacArthur, this 26 by 30 minutes series is also a Bell Media proprietary production.

TVO will premiere two new episodes of its multi-platform eco-crusaders program Green Heroes on Apr. 22, Earth Day. The program is produced by CineFocus Canada in association with TVO. These episodes will profile chef Jamie Kennedy and music producer and musician Daniel Lanois.

Season two of the Canadian Screen Award-nominated, Independent Production Fund-back sci-fi comedy Space Janitors launched recently on the YouTube channel of actor Felicia Day (Supernatural, The Guild). It is produced by Davin Lengyel and Geoff Lapaire, who also is a co-writer along with scribe Andy Hull.

Award nominations

Bear 71

Numerous online and multi-platform screen-entertainment projects from Canadian companies received nominations for the 17th annual Webby Awards this week. Topping the list of Canuck nominations is the NFB, with six, including a nod for Bear 71. Also nominated are Calgary’s Robots and Pencils and Toronto’s Secret Location. The full nominations can be found here.

The International Film Festival for Environment, Health, and Culture in Jakarta, Indonesia, includes several Canadian nominations in its various prize categories. In the feature doc category the nominees include Karol Orzechowski’s Maximum Tolerated Dose, Joel Heath’s People of a Feather, and Sangita Iyer’s Connecting the Dots: Television news media and climate change. In the shorts category they include Brandy Yanchyk’s Natures’ Invitation, Rose (Rong) Luo’s Raining, and Patricia Sims’ Return to the Forest.

The awards will be handed out May 9 in Jakarta.

Festival news

Toronto’s ReelWorld Film Festival is expanding its footprint to include the City of Markham. The expansion will occur next year. The core Toronto event will be five days duration and the Markham event will be three days.

The 2013 edition of the festival started Wednesday and ends Sunday.