In brief: CMF/Screen Australia coin; Dead of Summer’s B.C. shoot

Screen Australia and the CMF distribute $700,000 across three digital coproductions, Dead of Summer starts production in Vancouver, plus more news from the week.


CMF, Screen Australia distribute $700K across three digital projects
The Canada Media Fund and Screen Australia have distributed $700,000 across three digital media coproductions through the Canada-Australia Interactive Digital Media Incentive fund. The Westbury Faery from Toronto’s Log Cabin Productions and Southbank, Australia-based Plot Media received $242,619 through the fund ($77,039 from CMF, $165,580 from Screen Australia), while Teenage Jesus – Metal Messiah from Vancouver’s The Goggle Media Group and Adelaide’s Closer Productions took $200,523 (CMF: $72,200, Screen Australia: $128,323). The project to take the largest share of the funding was Inanimate Alice; Perpetual Nomads from Canada’s Ian James Harper and Australian interactive company Mez Breeze Design, receiving $269,754 (CMF: $199,987, Screen Australia: $69,767).

Production underway on ABC Spark’s Dead of Summer
Production has begun in Vancouver on ABC Spark’s Dead of Summer. The show – set in a Midwestern U.S. summer camp in the late 1980s – is produced by ABC Signature Studios and writer/producer duo Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis (Once Upon a TimeLost). Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a TimeCriminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) and Steve Pearlman (Once Upon a Time) executive produce the show alongside Horowitz and Kitsis. Dead of Summer stars Elizabeth Mitchell (Lost), Elizabeth Lail (Once Upon a Time), Zelda Williams (Teen Wolf), Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty) and Alberto Frezza (Charlie’s Angels). Details about the length and number of the episodes, and when it will air, have not yet been announced, a Corus Entertainment spokesperson told Playback Daily.

Buck Productions hires Jason Rogers
Toronto’s Buck Productions has hired Jason Rogers to the position of support producer and social media strategist. Based in Buck’s Toronto office, Rogers will be responsible for supporting the company’s producers and content creators, as well as expanding Buck’s digital presence. “We’re eager to tap into his digital expertise as we move to expand our brand’s social media presence,” said company president and CEO Sean Buckley in a statement. The production firm’s most recent hire prior to Rogers was Lou Occhicone, who joined the company as a factual TV consultant in February.

Much Digital Studios adds eight new creators
Much Digital Studios has added eight Canadian creators to its roster, including comedian Zak Longo, musician Laurier Lachance and lifestyle expert ModernDayShivalry. The new additions take Much’s roster to 44. Other creators currently with Much Digital Studios include Jus ReignTasha LeelynThe Danocracy and 4Yall Entertainment. According to Much, its digital creators have received more than 147 million views on the MCN since it launched in 2015.

Toronto Human Rights Watch honours Egoyan
Atom Egoyan is to be honoured at the 13th annual Toronto Human Rights Watch Film Festival, which runs from March 30 to April 7. The Canadian filmmaker will be honoured for his cinematic work in the field of human rights, with a fundraising reception on the opening night of the festival. Among Egoyan’s films to tackle human rights transgressions are Ararat (2002) – about the Armenian genocide of 1915 – and Remember, which follows two Holocaust survivors looking for those responsible for the deaths of their family members. Following the reception there will be a screening of Adam Sjöberg’s documentary I Am Sun Mu. The festival is co-presented by TIFF and Human Rights Watch.