Alumni funding + development support, series renewals and premieres roundup, fall 2020

Diggstown / Link to CBC

NSI Totally Television series in development

Heirloom from writer Oliver Brackenbury, developed through NSI Totally Television, is one of three flagship projects in development with the Baobab Film Collective.

Anatomy of Restlessness Films’ P.J. Marcellino – one third of the collective – has been working with Oliver on this one-hour rustic sci-fi series.

CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator

Four alumni are among those chosen for the CFC/Netflix Project Development Accelerator, an individually tailored development initiative running from September to November 2020.

Alter Boys follows a group of young men who are thrust into furtive practices of conversion therapy in an isolated camp veiled by the woods. The new camp director’s aggressive program leaves the men struggling to navigate one summer’s haunting interplay of hope and ruin.

  • #RELATIONSHIPGOALS (half-hour comedy/drama) from creators/writers Jennifer Holness (NSI Drama Prize, Telefilm – Canada Spark Plug Program, NSI Global Marketing) and Sudz Sutherland (NSI Totally Television).

#RELATIONSHIPGOALS follows Keisha Winters, a relationship blogger, podcast host and artsy divorced mom, who lives with her supremely capable daughter, Kelly, and her very Jamaican mother, Althea. Together, these women represent three generations of Black girl magic – all under the same roof, and all with strong opinions.

In girls Taylor gets ‘mistaken’ for a girl on the first day of high school. Instead of correcting everyone, Taylor runs with it and learns first-hand what it’s like to be a teenage girl – but is the perception of their gender more accurate than what Taylor is prepared for?

TV series renewed by CBC

Legal dramas Diggstown, from creator, exec producer and showrunner Floyd Kane (NSI Totally Television), and Burden of Truth, from executive producers Kyle Irving (NSI Global Marketing) and Lisa Meeches (NSI Storytellers), have earned renewals at CBC. Murdoch Mysteries is also in production, with NSI Totally Television alumni Mary Pederson and Simon McNabb as writers on the series.

Diggstown begins shooting its third season in Halifax in early 2021. Burden of Truth’s fourth season has been shooting in Winnipeg. Murdoch Mysteries’ 14th season is now in production in Toronto.

CBC New Indigenous Voices grads hired as crew on latest Gary Yates movie

Gary Yates (NSI Drama Prize, NSI Features First) is currently directing Sweet Autumn – a new Hallmark movie. The Winnipeg crew includes CBC New Indigenous Voices grads Mike Black (assistant locations manager) and Damian Frazee (location production assistant.) 

In front of and behind the camera

Seasoned with Love is now in production in Montreal. The film for Citytv was written by Gemma Holdway (NSI Features First, NSI Totally Television) and stars NSI Totally Television alumni Julia and Peter Benson.

Amplify premieres on APTN, September 11

Amplify, from creator and producer Shane Belcourt (NSI Totally Television), is a musical performance art documentary series amplifying the connection Indigenous songwriters have to the stories, culture, community and challenges and justice they stand up for.

Michelle St. John (NSI IndigiDocs) is also a producer on the series with Jim Compton (NSI Aboriginal Cultural Trade Initiative) as executive producer.

In each episode an artist takes the audience through the creative process from songwriting to the finished product.

Sean Garrity’s latest feature playing in theatres

I Propose We Never See Each Other Again After Tonight by Sean Garrity (NSI Features First) has been playing in Winnipeg since August 21 and just opened in Mississauga, Scarborough, Toronto, Surrey and Vancouver.

Watch the trailer.

Rogers Group of Funds support

Alumni films are among 29 new Canadian documentary films supported by Rogers Group of Funds.

  • Carved in Stone – producer Angela Heck (NSI Features First)
  • Children of the Church – producer Trish Dolman (NSI Features First)
  • The Grizzly Truth (fka Worst Team Ever) – producer Kathleen Jayme (TELUS STORYHIVE)
  • The Kids in the Hall – producer Jennifer Harkness (NSI Features First)
  • The Urban Whale – producer Joanne Jackson (NSI Global Marketing)

Telefilm support

Talent to Watch Program

Sixteen feature projects were selected including:

  • Alter Boys – producer Ryan Cooper
  • Mongrels – director/writer Jerome Yoo (TELUS STORYHIVE)
  • Querencia – director/writer Mary Galloway (TELUS STORYHIVE)
  • The Chinatown Diner – producer Thomas Affolter (TELUS STORYHIVE)

New this year, feature film projects will receive $150K (up from $125K) in support. Over $2.2 million will be invested by Telefilm and the Talent Fund in projects that include works in both official languages.

Indigenous Stream

  • Amber – director Ryan Cooper
  • Don’t Say Its Name – writer Gerald Wexler (NSI Script to Screen), producer Carolyn McMaster (NSI Features First)
  • Finality of Dusk – producers Lisa Meeches (NSI Storytellers), Darcy Waite (CBC New Indigenous Voices, NSI IndigiDocs), Kyle Irving and Rebecca Gibson
  • Ojiibikaan – producer Lisa Jackson (Featuring Aboriginal Stories Program)

(Also includes Alter Boys and Querencia mentioned under Talent to Watch.)

Production Program

Twenty English-language projects were selected including:

  • Bloodthirsty – writer/producer Wendy Hill-Tout (NSI DramaLab)
  • Hailey Rose (formerly Wilting Iris) – developed through NSI Features First by director/writer Sandi Somers, producer Scott Lepp
  • Indians in Cowtown – producer  Anand Ramayya (NSI Totally Television, NSI Drama Prize, NSI Global Marketing)
  • Orah – producer Floyd Kane
  • Skeet – producer Mary Sexton  (NSI Features First)

Telefilm Canada received and processed 136 applications under the Production Program for English-language projects with budgets of $2.5 million and below.

Keep the story going and donate today

At NSI, we’re passionate about nurturing storytellers because stories connect us all.

Please consider a donation to support our talented students as part of your charitable giving. Big or small, your gift will provide value-added essentials that enhance their training experience.

Tax receipts are issued for all gifts. Thank you for considering a donation.

• • •

Got alumni news?

If you're an NSI grad with news to share about your latest project, get in touch and we'll get the word out on our website in alumni news, and on social media.

Leave a comment