Bell Fund commits over $4.4 million to 26 TV, digital series

The amount is allocated across the TV Selective Program and Short-Form Digital Series Program, which includes the first scripted TikTok project to receive Bell Fund support.

The Bell Fund has committed more than $4.4 million in production and audience development support across 26 digital and TV projects in its latest round of funding, including the first scripted TikTok series to receive its support.

The $4.4 million covers two programs, with $2.4 million going to 14 television series – six English-language and eight French-language – through the TV Selective Program and more than $2 million to 12 short-form series – seven English-language and five French-language – through the Short-Form Digital Series Program.

The six English-language TV programs include three new series: the recently greenlit Citytv procedural Winchester & Wong (Pixcom; 6 x 60 minutes); T+E Channel’s Mission Unexplained (Blue Ant Studios, Content Catalyst Fund; 8 x 60 minutes); and Smithsonian Channel Canada’s The Dig Detectives (Yap Films; 6 x 60 minutes).

The other three include season two of APTN’s docuseries Gespe’gewa’gi: The Last Land (Rezolution Productions; 10 x 30 minutes); season two of CBC’s The Porter (Sphere Media, formerly Sienna Films; 8 x 60 minutes); and season two of TLN’s Searching With Chef Sang (Riverbank Pictures; 6 x 30 minutes).

The eight French-language TV projects include four scripted shows: TV5 Unis series Chromosome Y (UGO Média; 13 x 30 minutes); Radio-Canada’s Les yeux fermés (Aetios Productions; 6 x 60 minutes) and Fragments (Amalga Créations Télé 8; 10 x 60 minutes); and Série Plus’ Les Bombes (Sovimage; 6 x 60 minutes).

Rounding out the TV projects are four French-language docuseries, including Télé-Québec’s Être Ado (KOTV); AMI-tv’s La clé Deschamps (Iprod; 10 x 30 minutes); and Savoir Média’s Les origines de notre médecine (PVP DOC X; 6 x 30 minutes) and Louis T Veut Savoir III (Urbania; 6 x 30 minutes).

The Short-Form Digital Series Program has been split into an estimated $1.6 million for production and $600,000 toward audience development.

The English-language digital series include Five Fingers of Fury: Idle Hands (6 x 5 minutes) — the first scripted series distributed by TikTok that is supported by the Bell Fund — produced by Chickadee Creative Works; and two projects from APTN lumi: D dot H (Bottom of my Shoe Productions; 6 x 15 minutes) and Jason (TDEP Productions and Sir Perphoulous Films; 6 x 15 minutes).

Rounding out the English-language digital series are YouTube channel marbleKids’ Ainara’s Bookshelf (Turtlebox Productions; 10 x 11 minutes); CBC Gem’s How to Fail as a Popstar (Sphere Media; 6 x 20 minutes) and Macy Murdoch (Shaftesbury; 8 x 11 minutes); and Crave’s My Dead Mom (LoCo Motion Pictures; 7 x 15 minutes).

The five French-language digital short form series are Telequebec.tv’s Les Mal-Aimants (Les Productions St Laurent web; 6 x 8 minutes) and Talent d’icitte (Zone3; 7 x 10 minutes); Noovo’s 20h30 chez Mathieu (Bien Joué Films; 8 x 11 minutes); ICI Tou.tv’s Ça prend pas la tchas à Papineau (Trio Orange; 7 x 10 minutes); and Picbois Productions’ Post-cuisine (6 x 18 minutes) for the Radio-Canada foodie platform Mordu.

Photo of The Porter courtesy of CBC