Playback names its Best of the Year

Our Winter 2015-2016 issue features our eight Best of the Year profiles in addition to trends features and programming profiles.

Playback is pleased to announce its 2015 Best of the Year, featured in our hot-off-the-press Winter 2015-2016 issue.

Every year, Playback’s editorial team combs through our coverage, searching for the most innovative, interesting and successful companies and executives of the calendar year. And this year yielded a truly exciting and interesting list.

Out of the Canadian distribution industry’s vertical integration of the last several years has sprung a number of interesting companies, not least of which is Elevation Pictures, our Distributor of the Year. Locking key output deals and nabbing hot indies, this Toronto-based company has made a big mark in just two short years.

You can look at our Programmer of the Year, Sally Catto, somewhat similarly. In 2014, all anyone could talk about was the destruction wrought to the CBC by government cuts and hockey-rights losses. But 2015 saw some genuine wins for Canada’s public broadcaster, including the star-studded Schitt’s Creek and ambitious The Book of Negroes and Catto has been steering the ship throughout the development and production cycle that led to this year’s success.

And our Company of the Year, Temple Street Productions – well, who can argue with that? Locking greenlight after greenlight, starting new business divisions and attracting investment from Canada’s highest-profile investor – Temple Street’s 2015 was indisputably excellent.

And that’s just four of them. We also recognize the primetime juggernaut that is Murdoch Mysteries (finally, right?) and, separately although of course linked, Shaftesbury’s digital offshoot, Smokebomb Entertainment, which is forging new business models in branded entertainment. And let us not forget Rhombus Media, a sparkling example of excellence in Canadian production now entering a successful new era.

Finally, there’s our cover star, Much Digital Studios (pictured). What better way to bring a once-cutting-edge brand into the new-media-world than by embracing the same DIY ethos that started it in the first place? An inspired business decision by Bell Media.

In our issue you’ll also find profiles of Shaw Media programmer Lisa Godfrey, a candid conversation with leading execs Barb Williams and Heather Conway about the value of media industry conferences and a feature on the five major trends that will influence the entertainment industry in Canada in 2016.

Stay tuned to in the next few weeks as we roll out the digital versions of our magazine content.