CBC FILMS will showcase the broadcast and streaming premieres of four original Canadian feature films this summer on CBC and CBC Gem and has confirmed funding for three new features, reinforcing the national public broadcaster’s continued investment in Canadian cinema.
New features recently funded by CBC Films include: AKILLA’S ESCAPE, which recently completed production, directed by Charles Officer and starring musician and poet Saul Williams and Thamela Mpumlwana (produced by Canesugar Filmworks); NIGHT RAIDERS, in pre-production, directed by Danis Goulet; and SAINT-NARCISSE, currently in post-production, directed by Bruce LaBruce (produced by 1976 Productions and Six Island Productions).
The following CBC FILMS titles will premiere on CBC and a CBC Gem in July and August. With more than 100 films and a new feature added each week, CBC Gem offers an unparalleled destination for audiences across the country to discover Canadian film.
AN AUDIENCE OF CHAIRS, directed by Deanne Foley (Drama, 2018)
Premieres on CBC and CBC Gem Saturday, July 13 (8 p.m. ET/9 AT/9:30 NT – check local listings for all markets)
Adapted from the award-winning novel of the same name by Joan Clark, the story follows an extraordinary woman (Carolina Bartczak, X-Men: Apocalypse) who risks everything for a second chance to be a mother to the daughters she thought she’d lost forever. AN AUDIENCE OF CHAIRS received four awards at the 2018 Atlantic International Film Festival, including Best Atlantic Feature. Produced by Wreckhouse Productions and The Film Works, and distributed in Canada by A71 Entertainment, AN AUDIENCE OF CHAIRS was shot on location in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and Sudbury, Ontario in 2017.
OCTAVIO IS DEAD!, directed by Sook-Yin Lee (Drama, 2018)
Premieres on CBC and CBC Gem Saturday, July 20 (9 p.m./9:30 NT/11 PT)
A mysterious, sensual tale, follows Tyler (Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace) on an adventure that will define her life. Escaping her overbearing mother (Rosanna Arquette, Ray Donovan), Tyler enters the rich and strange world of her deceased father, Octavio (Raoul Trujillo, Sicario), a father she never knew. Sexual identity, the occult, and the ability to distinguish fantasy from reality confront her along her journey. Chandler Levack of The Globe and Mail called it “a stirring psychosexual ghost story, led by a commanding Sarah Gadon as you’ve never seen her before” (the film received 3.5/4 stars). Produced by The Film Farm, and represented internationally by sales agent WTFilms, OCTAVIO IS DEAD! was shot in Toronto, Ontario in 2017.
MAN RUNNING, directed by Gary Burns (Drama, 2018)
Premieres on CBC and CBC Gem Saturday, August 17 (9 p.m./10 AT/10:30 NT/11 PT)
A doctor (Gord Rand, Pure) runs in a 24-hour ultramarathon over rugged mountain terrain as he avoids a complicated case involving a teenage girl’s wish to die. Produced by Burns Film Ltd. and Federgreen Entertainment Inc., and distributed by Indiecan Entertainment in Canada, MAN RUNNING was shot in and around Calgary, Alberta, in 2017. The film was nominated for Best Dramatic Feature at the 2019 Alberta Film & Television Awards (the Rosies) and Rand received a 2019 ACTRA Award nomination for his role.
LEVEL 16, directed by Danishka Esterhazy (Sci-Fi/Thriller, 2018)
Premieres on CBC and CBC Gem Saturday, August 24 (9 p.m./10 AT/10:30 NT/11 PT)
In a prison-like boarding school, two 16-year-old girls (Katie Douglas, Mary Kills People, and Celina Martin, The Other Kingdom) struggle to uncover the reasons for their imprisonment and find a means of escape. Also starring Sara Canning (A Series of Unfortunate Events) and produced by Markham Street Films, LEVEL 16 was shot in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, in 2017. Norman Wilner of NOW Toronto said “strong acting by Katie Douglas and Celina Martin and vivid world-building will get you invested in the outcome of this Canadian sci-fi film,” giving it a rating of 3/5.
Encompassing CBC’s continued investment in Canadian film including funding, pre-buys and acquisitions, CBC FILMS showcases homegrown storytelling to audiences across Canada on CBC’s broadcast and streaming platforms. CBC FILMS funding supports high-quality productions that reflect, represent, and reframe a range of perspectives through character-driven stories that are at the centre of the Canadian experience, spanning 24 features to date led by female, LGBTQ, Indigenous and diverse filmmakers. CBC FILMS strives to build audiences for our national cinema of the past and today, and to create an unparalleled destination for Canadians to discover homegrown film on CBC’s broadcast and streaming platforms.