New to CBC GEM in December:
CBC Gem original comedy BIT PLAYAS begins streaming Thursday, December 26
Canadian feature films including MAUDIE and Academy Award™-nominee THE BREADWINNER premiere throughout the month (dates below), expanding CBC Gem’s extensive library of homegrown films
A Holiday collection featuring CBC Short Doc A SWEET & SOUR CHRISTMAS and titles including JAMIE’S CRACKING CHRISTMAS and BACK IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, among many others
LITTLE WOMEN, a coming-of-age story starring Maya Hawke and Emily Watson, begins streaming Friday, December 13
THE BIGGEST LITTLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD, from the producers of The Great British Baking Show, begins streaming Thursday, December 26
Comedies THE FAMILY LAW and THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, and political thriller, THE TUNNEL: SABOTAGE, highlight a long list of titles included in the new CBC Gem BingeFest collection, featuring full seasons made available on Thursday, December 26
CBC GEM ORIGINALS:
A SWEET & SOUR CHRISTMAS (Short Documentary, 2019, 20 minutes) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
Take out and eat in, Christmas Day at the King Wok restaurant means feeding families, one deep-fried chicken ball at a time.
KING LAJOIE (Short Documentary, 20 minutes) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
KING LAJOIE explores the kitsch universe of a small-town Québec Elvis impersonator. We meet his 88-year-old parents, his astrologer Therese, his octogenarian secretary, his hairdresser with magic hands, and a young impersonator who follows in his footsteps.
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND (Documentary, 2019) – Begins streaming Thursday, December 26
IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND is an exploration of the career, music and influence of legendary Canadian musical icon, Gordon Lightfoot. With unprecedented access to the artist, the film takes audiences from high school auditoriums in straight-laced, small town Ontario in the 50s, to the coffee houses of Yorkville and Greenwich Village in the 60s, through Lightfoot’s turbulent, substance-fueled arena shows of the 70s, and finally to the artist in present day.
BIT PLAYAS (Comedy, 8×10) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection
BIT PLAYAS is about two best friends living in downtown Toronto. Think the classic relationship of “The Odd Couple” meets the urban angst of “Broad City,” crossed with the playful magic realism of “Man Seeking Woman.”
LIONA BOYD: A WINTER FANTASY (Concert Film, 2017) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
Ever since her platinum album, A Guitar for Christmas, Liona Boyd’s classical guitar music has been part of the holidays. A WINTER FANTASY is a one-hour concert film that interweaves beloved traditional pieces, such as “Silent Night” and “The Huron Carol,” with Boyd’s own original material and the ethereal orchestrations of Peter Bond. Boyd charms the audience with her introductions to the songs and stories from her life. Spectacular winter scenery clips from Boyd’s homeland of Canada contribute visual beauty to this production. An intimate concert film, A WINTER FANTASY brings Boyd’s unique blend of romantic and serene classical guitar music to the screen.
HOLLY STAR (Romantic Comedy, 2018) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
Sloan (Katlyn Carlson, Going in Style) returns home for the holidays and gets caught up in a mysterious treasure hunt with her paintball-obsessed best friend, her tango-dancing grandmother and her childhood sweetheart.
JAMIE’S CRACKING CHRISTMAS (Lifestyle, 1×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
In this flavour-packed Christmas special, Jamie will be cooking up a bunch of epic dishes – both sweet and savoury – perfect for the festive season. You’ll also see Jamie hosting his big Christmas party, complete with gorgeous cocktails and irresistible nibbles, plus Jamie’s ultimate versions of seasonal party favourites, including hearty beef wellington, delicious spiced roast goose with all the trimmings, and his leftover turkey Massaman curry.
JAMIE’S CHRISTMAS WITH BELLS ON (Lifestyle, 2×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
Jamie Oliver is the person most of us turn to for advice on how to cook the most important meal of the year: Christmas dinner. Filmed at his Essex home and featuring family and friends, the programmes are packed with stress-free, sure-fire ways to cover the classics for a fab Christmas dinner – turkey, roasties, gravy, stuffing and veg – as well as fresh ways to get everyone in the Christmas spirit.
BACK IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS (Lifestyle, 2×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
On the heels of the highly successful Back in Time for Dinner comes BACK IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS, a lively, intelligent and revealing look at how family life has been shaped by the way people celebrate the holidays. Based on real historical evidence, the episodes take one intrepid family, the Robshaws, on a time-traveling adventure to discover how the marking of Christmas has undergone a revolution over the past several decades, transforming homes, hobbies and family dynamics along the way.
NADIYA’S PARTY FEASTS (Lifestyle, 1×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
Nadiya Hussain is sharing her favourite party dishes, the perfect food to hand around and share. Like melt-in-the -mouth halloumi chips, smoked mackerel pâté choux and sticky lamb ribs. She also joins a group of school children as they deliver a big thank -you to 95-year-old volunteer Jack, lending a hand to Gilly who’s preparing one of her spectacular homemade trifles, and helps bake an extra-special cake for the surprise birthday party of twin sisters Sonia and Sunita.
JAMIE’S FESTIVE FEAST (Lifestyle, 1×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
JAMIE’S FESTIVE FEAST is a celebration of those lazy winter days at the end of the year. The festive period is the perfect time to kick back, spend some quality time with family and friends, and cook up some amazing dishes. Filmed at his Essex home, Jamie takes a walk through his perfect winter wind-down foods, including some stress-free, big-hitting winter warmers, such as oozy cheesy pasta and simple one-pot wonders, such as Bloody Mary beef. And with New Year’s Eve on the horizon, Jamie runs through his top ideas for party meals, from build-your-own posh pork kebabs to a tray-baked Keralan fish curry – a gorgeous finale to the year.
CANADIAN FEATURE FILMS PREMIERING IN DECEMBER:
MAUDIE (Drama, 2016) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
MAUDIE, based on a true story, is an unlikely romance in which the reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke, Training Day) hires a fragile, yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed, but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family, and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. MAUDIE charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man, and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter.
THE BREADWINNER (Drama, 2017) – Begins streaming Friday, December 13
Academy Award™-nominated THE BREADWINNER tells the story of Parvana, an 11-year-old girl growing up under the Taliban in Afghanistan in 2001. When her father is wrongfully arrested, Parvana disguises herself as a boy in order to support her family. With dauntless perseverance, Parvana draws strength from the stories her father told her, and ultimately risks her life to discover if he is still alive. Equal parts thrilling and enchanting, THE BREADWINNER is a timely and inspiring tale about the transcendent power of stories, and their potential to unite and heal us all.
BEING JULIA (Drama, 2004) – Begins streaming Friday, December 27
An intoxicating combination of wicked comedy and smart drama, BEING JULIA tells the story of a great actress who, at an important crossroads in her life, must figure out her role, both onstage and off. In London in 1938, beautiful and beguiling Julia Lambert (Annette Bening, The Kids Are Alright, American Beauty) is at her peak, physically and professionally. But, her successful theatrical career and her marriage to handsome impresario Michael Gosselyn (Jeremy Irons, Watchmen, Red Sparrow) have become stale and unfulfilling.
ACCLAIMED FROM AROUND THE WORLD:
- WORLD’S TINIEST MASTERPIECES (Documentary, 2018) – Begins streaming Friday, December 6
WORLD’S TINIEST MASTERPIECES follows micro-sculptor Willard Wigan whose art is so small it can fit in the eye of a needle. His entire collection – valued in the millions – could fit on a coin. For Willard, the desire to go smaller and smaller is his eccentric escape from a chaotic world. But how does he do it and why? Willard’s artwork is so tiny you need a microscope to see it. It is so fragile he once inhaled three weeks of work when he breathed in at the wrong time. In an attempt to beat his own world record, we follow Willard as he creates his tiniest piece of art to date. A piece so small it is invisible to the naked eye. Using cutting edge macro camera technology and CGI we follow Willard into his miniature world.\
- LITTLE WOMEN (Drama, 3×60, UK) – Begins streaming Friday, December 13
In this coming-of-age story, LITTLE WOMEN follows the March sisters on their journey from childhood to adulthood, under the guidance of their mother Marmee (Emily Watson, Punch-Drunk Love), while their father is away at war.
- SNOW BEARS (Documentary, 2017) – Begins streaming Friday, December 20
SNOW BEARS, the enchanting true-to-life tale of polar bear cubs and their mother on a 400-mile journey, from their birth den in Svalbard, to the pack ice surrounding the north pole. Narrated by Academy Award and Golden Globe-winning actress Kate Winslet, SNOW BEARS follows two young bears as they learn to survive. The journey is triggered by the arrival of spring, when the ice vanishes from the island of their birth and with it, the seals. The polar bears must follow their prey to the year-round pack ice in the far north.
- THE BIGGEST LITTLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD (Documentary, 5×60, UK) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
A team of 56 model railway enthusiasts and engineers led by Dick Strawbridge attempt to do what our Victorian forbears could not – build a railway connecting Fort William with Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. The only difference is they are doing it in miniature, building the longest model railway in the world, at 71 miles. The BIGGEST LITTLE RAILWAY IN THE WORLD is a joyful celebration of British eccentricity and of a little seen, but widely loved, hobby.
- KARENA & KASEY’S FOREIGN FLAVOURS Season 1 (Lifestyle, 10×30, New Zealand) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
Youngest-ever MasterChef winners and self-taught Maori cooking sensations Karena and Kasey embark on an epic culinary 10-stop tour around the globe. From Asia to Europe, and the Pacific to the Americas, the sisters are challenged to bring their unique style of cuisine to different cultures.
- THE FAMILY LAW Season 1 (Comedy, 6×30, Australia) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
Welcome to THE FAMILY LAW, the story of a sprawling Chinese-Australian family who are unlike any you’ve ever met. And yet, they may also be disturbingly familiar. Benjamin Law is a 14-year-old, slightly self-obsessed, clarinet-playing middle child who strives for mainstream TV mega-stardom, whilst trying to stop his parents from splitting up (usually with disastrous results). THE FAMILY LAW is a new spin on the family comedy. For the Laws, all communication can lead to misunderstanding and unlikely comedy stems from tragedy. This is a show about sabotaged expectations, growing pains, finding your place in the world, and the strange embarrassment we feel towards the people we’re supposed to love the most: our family.
- THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD (Comedy, 6×30, UK) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
Based on a true story, Romesh (Romesh Ranganthan) has reluctantly inherited the pub of his late, much more exuberant, positive father, who relished the role of landlord. Running a pub with a bunch of idiosyncratic regulars couldn’t be further from what hip hop-loving Romesh wants to do.
- THE TUNNEL: SABOTAGE (Drama, 8×60, UK/France) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
Season 2 of The Tunnel series, THE TUNNEL: SABOTAGE is set against the backdrop of Europe in crisis. When a prominent French politician is found dead on the border between the UK and France, detectives Karl Roebuck (Stephen Dillane, Darkest Hour, Game of Thrones) and Elise Wassermann (Clémence Poésy, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1) are sent to investigate on behalf of their respective countries.
- ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU Season 5 (Lifestyle, 7×60, UK) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of the BingeFest collection.
Dick and Angel Strawbridge continue to restore their 19th Century chateau and turn it into a profit-making machine in 2018. The chateau was, until recently, a derelict monolith that had lain empty for the best part of half a century. Over the last three years, they’ve renovated the majority of the chateau’s 45 rooms.
- VERSAILLES Season 1 (Drama, 10×60, Canada/France) – All episodes begin streaming Thursday, December 26 as part of BingFest.
Louis XIV is twenty-eight years old. In order to rule over the nobility and to permanently impose his absolute power, he launches the construction of Versailles, like one sets a trap. Louis XIV is a young king haunted by childhood trauma, the Fronde, a rebellion of the nobility against his father, Louis XII. Outstanding political strategist, manipulator, Machiavellian, he will “invent” Versailles in order to keep the Nobles away from Paris and under control; he is progressively transforming Versailles into a golden prison. He is also inclined to Romanesque passions, but how to live them out when one is the greatest king of the world?
THE BEST OF CBC:
- FAMILY FEUD CANADA (Unscripted, 60×30) – Begins streaming Monday, December 16
Gerry Dee hosts FAMILY FEUD CANADA, featuring two families competing to guess the most popular answers to fun, family-friendly survey questions, with a uniquely Canadian twist on the iconic format.
- Past and current seasons of CBC series, including crowd-pleasing dramas MURDOCH MYSTERIES, FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES, HEARTLAND, and ANNE WITH AN E; acclaimed comedies STILL STANDING, TALLBOYZ, KIM’S CONVENIENCE, BARONESS VON SKETCH SHOW and SCHITT’S CREEK; and classic CBC hits like THE KIDS IN THE HALL and BEING ERICA.
COMING IN JANUARY:
- The Durrells (Season 4)
- Safe Harbour
- Find Me In Paris (Season 2)