TIFF news: CFC receives $350K grant from the Ontario gov’t

Plus, the team behind Worst Team Ever wins Pitch This, while Jeff Barnaby and Aisling Chin-Yee are among this year's Discovery Award nominees.

CFC-WindfieldsEstate-1The CFC picks up $350,000 from the Ontario government

The Ontario government has awarded the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) with a $350,000 grant towards its film and TV training activities. The funding announcement came out of the CFC’s annual September fundraiser on Sunday. In addition, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Lisa MacLeod is expected to host three roundtables with film and TV industry representatives “to explore collaboration opportunities to grow Ontario’s film, television and new media industries,” according to a press release. This announcement follows the news that 19-2, Cracked and Street Legal (2019) showrunner Bruce Smith will serve as the CFC’s executive producer in residence for the 2019 Bell Media Prime Time TV Program starting this September.

Worst Team Ever wins Telefilm Canada’s 2019 Pitch This! Competition

Kat Jayme, Michael Grand and James Brown have won this year’s Pitch This! prize, picking up $15,000 towards their project Worst Team Ever yesterday (Sept. 8). The basketball-focused doc project was pitched as a humorous and genuine exploration of the fall of the Vancouver Grizzlies. Pitching their idea to a live audience and jury during TIFF’s industry conference, the trio faced off against five other teams. Finalists for the event included Jorge Thielen Armand and Rodrigo Michelangeli with La Cercania; Geneviève Dulude-De Celles, Sarah Mannering and Fanny Drew’s Blue Flower (“Fleur bleue”); Lauren Grant, Lisa Rideout and Ashley Cooper’s documentary What Night Taught Her; Kristy Neville and Natalie Urquhart’s Paying For It; and Rodrigo Barriuso and Kyah Green’s Epochal

The DGC unveils 2019 DGC Discovery Award nominees

Blood Quantum‘s Jeff Barnaby and nîpawistamâsowin: We Will Stand Up‘s Tasha Hubbard are among the 12 directors selected for the Directors Guild of Canada’s 2019 DGC Discovery Award. Nominees up for this year’s award also include The Rest of Us‘ Aisling Chin-Yee; A Kandahar Away‘s Aisha Jamal; Raf‘s Harry Cepka; Murmur‘s Heather Young; Castle in the Ground‘s Joey Klein; The Twentieth Century‘s Matthew Rankin; Drag Kids‘ Megan Wennberg; Black Conflux‘s Nicole Dorsey; L.A. Tea Time‘s Sophie Bédard Marcotte; and There’s Something in the Water co-directors Ellen Page and Ian Daniel. The jury for the prize was chaired by Robin Hays alongside Jeff Chan, Helen Haig Brown, Danishka Esterhazy, Erik Mockus and Andrea Bussmann. Additionally, during the DGC Visionaries panel event yesterday (Sept. 8), the organization announced it has launched a recruitment campaign to bring more documentary filmmakers into its membership. All told, the campaign includes various sponsorships at film festivals like the Calgary International Film Festival and the Vancouver International Film Festival, beginning with the TIFF Industry Conference’s “Doc Day” today.

IFC Films Unlimited expands to Canada and the U.S.

IFC Films’ recently launched streaming service, IFC Films Unlimited, has expanded to Canada and the U.S. The SVOD, which first launched in May, will be available on Apple TV channels (through the Apple TV app, iPhone or iPad) in Canada and will cost $5.99. It will feature content from three distribution labels – IFC Films, Sundance Selects and genre label IFC Midnight. The Truth (France, Japan), which opened the 2019 Venice Film Festival and will also screen at TIFF, is among the titles set to launch on the service later this year. The streaming service includes film titles such as Robert Budreau’s Born to be Blue (Canada), Christian Petzold’s Phoenix (Germany), Noah Baumbach’s Frances Ha (U.S.) and Matthew Brown’s The Man Who Knew Infinity (U.K.). The news comes six weeks after it was first announced that IFC, the Canadian channel owned by Corus Entertainment, will cease its operations at the end of September. At the time, various cable operators also announced that Cosmopolitan TV would also shut down at the same time.

With files from Kelly Townsend