In brief: NBCUniversal’s Hayu launches in Canada

Plus: eOne adds a new VP of development and signs a first-look deal, VIFF creates an award in Rob Stewart's name, and more.

Hayu launches in Canada

NBCUniversal’s reality-focused SVOD, Hayu, has officially launched in Canada. The service offers 6,000 episodes from over 200 reality shows like Keeping Up with the Kardashians, The Real Housewives and Million Dollar Listing. First announced in May, the platform’s catalogue includes complete series of unscripted shows. Most episodes of TV series will be added on the same day they premiere in the U.S. According to a release about the newly launched SVOD, 750 new episodes will be added to the service each year. The service costs $5.99 a month in Canada.

eOne hires a new face, pacts with and sets Narnia remake

eOne has hired Amanda Bowman Gerisch as its VP, development – scripted, TV. Effective immediately, the former Paramount Network exec will report to Pancho Mansfield, president, global scripted programming, TV. In her new role Gerisch will focus on developing and packaging TV projects from the U.S., in addition to securing IP from global markets for the U.S. The incoming VP will also work closely with global teams under TV and film chief strategy officer Peter Micelli.

In other eOne-related news, the company’s new president and CCO Mark Gordon will serve as a producer on Netflix’s recently announced Narnia film and TV adaptations. All series and films produced through the deal will be Netflix productions, with Gordon serving as an executive producer for the series and as a producer for the features, alongside Douglas Gresham and Vincent Sieber. In addition, the company has penned a multi-year, first-look deal with Emmy- and Grammy-winning musician and producer Under the terms of the agreement, will serve as an executive producer on all projects and will develop and produce original programming with the global producer/distributor, which will control the worldwide rights to any feature film projects, as well as scripted and unscripted television content.

VIFF launches Rob Stewart Eco Award

The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) has created the Rob Stewart Eco Warrior Award as part of its Impact stream. The annual prize, which will be awarded starting in 2019, will recognize an individual whose work as an activist and storyteller has a social impact. In addition to the honour, the award will include a cash grant of $5,000. Stewart  died during a dive off the Florida Keys, recently had his final film, Sharkwater: Extinction world premiere at TIFF. The filmmaker’s Sharkwater (2007) and Revolution (2012) previously screened at VIFF. Sharkwater: Extinction will be distributed by D Films in theatres across Canada starting Oct. 19, 2018.

Justin Harding film selected for Hulu contest

U.S. streamer Hulu has selected Canadian filmmaker Justin Harding to take part in the inaugural edition of its horror-focused shorts festival Huluween. Along with seven other filmmakers, Toronto’s Harding was tasked with creating a short film within the span of two weeks. Harding’s short, Carved, follows a boy who picks a pumpkin that ends up being an unusual Jack-O-Lantern. The film with the most views and votes from judges will take home $10,000, in addition to being featured on Hulu’s social media. In May, Harding and his partner Rob Brunner – the team behind indie prodco Bokeh Collective – partnered with Buck Productions to shoot Brunner and Harding’s feature debut, Making Monsters. The winner of Huluween will be announced on Oct. 31, 2018.

With files from Realscreen