In brief: Star Trek production spend eclipses $250M

Plus: imagineNATIVE brings Oscar gold potential to Indigenous filmmakers in 2021 awards season and WIFT-T names the recipient of its Deluxe Toronto mentorship program.
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Star Trek: Discovery drives quarter-billion dollar spend

Star Trek: Discovery racked up $257 million in production spending during its first two seasons, according to a report from Motion Picture Association – Canada (MPA-Canada). In total, the report claims that the Ontario-shot project created around 4,200 jobs for local crew and other labour. In season one, the series hit a total production spend of $145.6 million, with around $81 million spent on local crew and labour.

The show, shot at Pinewood Toronto Studios, is produced by CBS Television Studios in association with Secret Hideout, Living Dead Guy Productions and Roddenberry Entertainment. John Weber (Take 5 Productions) and Frank Siracusa (Whizbang Films) serve as executive producers.

CBS has regularly brought its productions to Toronto in recent years, with the U.S. studio saying it has shot more than 250 TV episodes in Canada. Most recently, CBS opened a 260,000-square-foot studio in Mississauga. All six of its sound stages are set to be operational by the end of the year. According to CBS, the Mississauga studio is projected to generate around $200 million in annual production spending.

Alana Raymond nabs WIFT-T’s 2019 Deluxe Toronto Post-Production Mentorship

Toronto-based filmmaker and sound editor Alana Raymond has been selected as WIFT-T’s 2019 Deluxe Toronto Post-Production Mentorship recipient. The mentorship, which is now in its 13th year, offers an emerging creative a three-week learning opportunity to receive hands-on training on production equipment, VFX, project management, post-production and more. The Ryerson University graduate will also be awarded a cash honorarium, a WIFT-T programming pass and recognition at the 32nd annual WIFT-T Crystal Awards this December.

This year’s WIFT-T Crystal winners include: showrunner Esta Spalding; Solo Productions’ Mary Young Leckie; former TIFF VP of advancement maxine bailey; Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival executive director Tammy Frick; Ontario Creates program consultant Kim Gibson; and Oya Media Group co-founder Alison Duke.

imagineNATIVE becomes an Oscar qualifier

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has named the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts Festival as a qualifying festival for its Best Live Action Short category. The Toronto organization will be the first Indigenous film festival designated an Oscar-qualifier, and one of the few festivals in Canada to have the distinction. The winner of the festival’s Best Short Work award will be eligible for an Academy Award beginning with the 2021 awards.

Current qualifying bodies in Canada include the Toronto International Film Festival, the Canadian Screen Awards, the Calgary International Film Festival, the Edmonton International Film Festival, the Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinema, the Ottawa International Animation Festival and the REGARD – Saguenay International Short Film Festival.