Weekly roundup: Awards, festivals and distribution news

This week's briefs include details of the VIP-heavy Cannes Film Festival screening of restored The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (VIPs pictured).
Duddy Kravitz Cannes VIP cropped

Even though it was a short work week Playback was inundated with potential story items, as always. Here are some of the highlights, in brief form.

Cannes VIP screening of Kravitz

The screening of the digitally-restored The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz during the Cannes Film Festival earlier this week was a sold-out, VIP-filled affair. The restoration of the iconic Canadian film was completed by Technicolor Creative Services Canada under the close supervision of Canadian director Ted Kotcheff. In attendance for the Cannes Classics screening was star Richard Dreyfuss, Telefilm Canada chairwoman Michel Roy, Government Film Commissioner and NFB chairman Tom Perlmutter, Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television CEO Helga Stephenson, CMPA president and CEO Michael Hennessey, Starlight TV representative Victor Loewy, veteran producer/distributor Rene Malo and Canadian director Sébastien Pilote (Le Démantèlement), among others.

Kotcheff, with the assistance of many organizations, decided to restore the film after he received the Director’s Guild of Canada lifetime achievement award in 2011, when the status of the film was a topic of much discussion.

Shown on the red carpet of the May 22 screening are from left to right: Svetlana and Richard Dreyfuss; Academy CEO Helga Stephenson and Ted and Laifun Kotcheff (Photo by George Pimentel).

Award nominations and wins

Canadian actor Tatiana Maslany has been nominated for a U.S. Critics’ Choice Award for her work on Orphan Black. The sci-fi drama, which recently picked up a season-two order, is produced locally by Toronto’s Temple Street for Space and BBC America. She is nominated in the fiercely competitive Best Actress in a Drama Series category; also nominated are Claire Danes (Homeland), Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel), Julianna Margulies (The Good Wife), Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and Keri Russell (The Americans).

Meanwhile, Canadian-made World War II drama Bomb Girls received the Outstanding Drama Series prize at The Gracie Awards this week. The 38th annual Gracies were handed out in Los Angeles. Bomb Girls, which ran for two seasons on Global TV domestically and is running on ReelzChannel in the U.S., is produced by Toronto’s Muse Entertainment and Back Alley Film Productions.

Distribution news

Toronto-based Kaleidoscope Entertainment has licensed over 20 Canadian independent movies to Bell Media. The pact, for films from across a range of genres, also covers TV property The New Addams Family, which will start its 65-episode run in the fall. The names of the 20 movie titles won’t be revealed until they are promoted by Bell, Kaleidoscope told Playback.

The Shortest Day Film Festival

Telefilm Canada is launching The Shortest Day Film Festival in Canada. An idea that first took root in France in 2011 that has spread to 12 countries, the free event exploits the winter solstice as a way to promote short films. The inaugural editions in cities across Canada will take place Dec. 21, 2013. It is being staged with the help of the Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and France’s Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée (CNC).

Female Eye Film Festival

Several Canadian-made films are to receive their world premieres at Toronto’s Female Eye Film Festival taking place June 19 to 23. The titles include: short doc Dance For Life by Aleksandra Lason and Tess Hamilton, the comedy The Weather Girl by Carleen Kyle, the doc Yahrzeit by Eva Ziemsen, dramedy Charlie Gauvin by Teresa Alfeld and the drama Reach by Tricia Collins. As well, both filmmaker Ruba Nadda and film distributor/industry supporter Judy Gladstone are to receive special honours.

Indiegogo campaign

The producers of the YouTube sci-fi comedy series Space Janitors have launched a Indiegogo campaign to help finance the making of a third season. More information on the campaign can be found at here. Space Janitors received a Canadian Screen Award nomination and was backed by the Independent Production Fund.

Social TV app

Montreal-based Tubetime, the maker of a novel social-TV app for mobile devices that can include branded social-media executions built right into the app, has now launched a Android version of its product. The iOS version was launched in March.