New to CBC Gem in December 2020
The Exclusive World Streaming Premiere of CBC Films’ FUNNY BOY by Deepa Mehta (Dec. 4)
From the CBC Creative Relief Fund, Canadian filmmakers capture real moments from life in the pandemic in new short doc collection ALONE TOGETHER: PERSONAL STORIES FROM THE PANDEMIC (Dec. 4)
The Canadian Premiere of groundbreaking dramedy THIS CLOSE focused on two deaf best friends (Dec. 3)
International dramas include QUIZ (Dec. 4) starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), and beloved British series CALL THE MIDWIFE Season 1 (Dec. 11)
The Exclusive World Premiere of music-inspired CBC Gem original series FOR THE RECORD (Dec. 11)
Tween series include ALMOST NEVER Season 2 (Nov. 27) and the Exclusive Canadian Premiere of FIND ME IN PARIS Season 3 (Dec. 18)
THIS CLOSE Season 1 (Drama/Comedy, 6×30, United States) Begins streaming Thursday, December 3
In this trailblazing portrayal of two deaf best friends, twenty-somethings Kate (Shoshannah Stern, Supernatural) and Michael (Josh Feldman, Fridays) try to balance their personal and professional lives: she’s newly engaged and struggles to grow at work, while he battles self-destructive writer’s block after having his heart broken. THIS CLOSE is created by and starring Stern and Feldman, alongside Zach Gilford (L.A.’s Finest), Colt Prattes (Dirty Dancing), Cheryl Hines (Curb Your Enthusiasm), and Academy Award-winner Marlee Matlin (Children of a Lesser God).
- QUIZ (Crime Drama, 3×60, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
Starring Matthew Macfadyen (Succession), QUIZ is based on the true story of Charles Ingram, a former British army major who generated a major scandal after being caught cheating his way to winning £1 million on the game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Also starring Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Mark Bonnar (Catastrophe) and Michael Sheen (The Good Fight).
CALL THE MIDWIFE Season 1 (Drama, 6×60, Neal Street Productions, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 11
Set in the 1950s, hit British drama CALL THE MIDWIFE is a moving and intimate insight into the colourful world of midwifery and family life in London’s East End. The local community is introduced through the eyes of young nurse Jenny Lee (Jessica Raine, The Woman in Black) as she lives and works as a midwife alongside the Nuns of the Order of St. Raymond of Nonnatus. Created by Heidi Thomas (Upstairs Downstairs, Cranford) and based on the book Call the Midwife: A True Story of the East End in the 1950s by Jennifer Worth.
THE DETECTORISTS Season 2 (Comedy, 7×30, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
Odd couple Lance (Toby Jones, The Girl, The Hunger Games) and Andy (series creator, writer and director Mackenzie Crook, Britannia, Pirates of the Caribbean) forge their friendship as they embark on a journey of greed, betrayal, and redemption as they hurtle towards Danbury Metal Detecting Club’s greatest find ever.
DUE SOUTH Season 2 (Comedy, 18×60, Canada) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
The classic Canadian comedy features a cynical American police detective and an upright Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable investigating cases in the city of Chicago. Created by Oscar-winner Paul Haggis (Crash, Million Dollar Baby) and starring Paul Gross (Passchendaele, Men with Brooms), Beau Starr (Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers), David Marciano (Homeland), and Tony Craig (In the Shadow of the Moon).
CBC GEM ORIGINALS
FOR THE RECORD (Drama/Comedy, 6×18, iThentic, Canada) Begins streaming Friday, December 11 *Exclusive World Premiere*
Created by Julian De Zotti (Whatever, Linda; Ming’s Dynasty), FOR THE RECORD conspires to bring two soulmates back together – thanks to an interconnected cast of characters. With an iconic song from Universal Music’s catalogue underscoring the pivotal moment in each episode, music is the fabric that weaves these characters and stories together. Featuring songs from The Beach Boys (“Wouldn’t It Be Nice”), Johnny Orlando (“Phobias”), Bob Marley (“Redemption Song”), The Weeknd (“I Feel It Coming”), Nina Simone (“Feelin’ Good”), and Zeds Dead (“Stars Tonight”).
ALMOST NEVER Season 2 + Special (Comedy/Drama, 13×30, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, November 27
The Wonderland’s dreams of pop stardom continue to hit highs and lows as they finally get a manager who finds that signing them a record deal isn’t as easy as he first thought.
FIND ME IN PARIS Season 3 (Drama, 26×26, Cottonwood Media, France)
Begins streaming Friday, December 18; episodes released weekly
*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*
Season 3 follows Lena Grisky (Jessica Lord, The Next Step) as she completes her final year at the Paris Opera Ballet School, and competes against the ballet world’s elite to nail a spot in the Company while learning about her true identity as a Time Travel Heir.
LIFESTYLE AND TRAVEL
GREAT BARRIER REEF (Wildlife, 4×60, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 11 *Part of Wildlife Collection*
In GREAT BARRIER REEF, Sir David Attenborough climbs aboard the Alucia, a 56-metre research and exploration vessel, which allows him to take to the seas and the skies and give a perspective on the Great Barrier Reef that has never been seen before, with unprecedented access to some of the most remote parts of the Reef and its magical residents and visitors.
- INDIA’S WILD KARNATAKA (Documentary, 1×60) Begins streaming Friday, December 11 *Part of Wildlife Collection*
Narrated by Sir David Attenborough, INDIA’S WILD KARNATAKA follows the fortunes of some of the incredible creatures that live in the mountains, deserts, jungles and oceans of this diverse land. Filmed over three years, dedicated camera teams have captured the wildlife of Karnataka as it has never been seen before.
ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU: DIY Season 2 (b) (Lifestyle, 5×60, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 18
*Exclusive Canadian Premiere*
ESCAPE TO THE CHATEAU: DIY is back! Dick Strawbridge and wife Angel are once again on hand to offer advice and practical help to prospective chateau buyers, as well as new and established chateau owners.
JAMIE’S ITALIAN CHRISTMAS (Lifestyle, 1×60, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Saturday, December 19
This year, Jamie Oliver is drawing inspiration from the snowy Alps of Northern Italy to help viewers create their most delicious Christmas Day yet.
ALONE TOGETHER: PERSONAL STORIES FROM THE PANDEMIC
Selected and funded by the CBC Creative Relief Fund, Canadian documentary filmmakers have captured real moments – from light-hearted to serious – of life in the pandemic.
Collection begins streaming Friday, December 4
COVID & WHO I AM NOW (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Diana Dai)
A young Chinese-Canadian medical student was attacked during the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID & WHO I AM NOW explores Mary’s deep emotional journey and how she struggles with her self-identity amid rising anti-Chinese racism during this unprecedented time.
INENDI [SHE IS GONE] (Short Doc, 1×44, directed by Sarain Fox)
With a pandemic threatening to take our elders, Sarain Fox sits with her oldest matriarch, Mary Bell, to gather her stories and preserve her Indigenous cultural legacy.
KING COVID (Short Doc, 1×10, directed by Lulu Keating)
KING COVID is an animated short documentary about coronavirus from the point of view of the pandemic.
LAST NIGHT AT THE STRIP CLUB (Short Doc, 1×12, directed by Nicole Bazuin)
Andrea Werhun, a Toronto stripper, was ousted from her club by COVID-19. Now, she’s taking business online as a muse for lonely men, while struggling to realize her own creative ambitions.
LIFE OF A DOG (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Danae Elon and Rosana Matecki)
A short film about motherhood, childhood and two dogs during lockdown.
LOCKDOWN BABY (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Ian Mark Kimanje)
Pregnancy and birth are overwhelming on their own — but when a couple brings life into the world at a time when everyone else is preoccupied by death, they gather strength and get creative to show their kids what love looks like from a distance.
ME, MOM & COVID (Short Doc, 1×30, directed by Nik Sexton)
A Newfoundland family deals with the loss of their mother, a mentally disabled sister in lockdown and the stigma from a COVID cluster.
PATIENT PEOPLE (Short Doc, 1×16, directed by Corey Stanton)
Meet six new doctors who are working during COVID-19 — a world that’s very different from what they expected when they graduated from med school in 2017.
RECOVERY (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Sura Mallouh) Begins streaming Friday, December 18
Two young adults from opposite ends of Canada relive the experience of surviving COVID-19. As they struggle to cope with the long, unknown recovery ahead, their conversations become a form of therapy.
SAKHI-PITIYAHTE [BRIGHT LIGHT COMES FORTH FROM IT] (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Carr Sappier)
Inspired by the animate landscapes of the Wolastoqey community of Neqotkuk (Tobique First Nation), SAKHI-PITIYAHTE is shown through a poetic visual lens to capture the importance of nature, culture, and storytelling during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TOMOMI ON THE FARM (Short Doc, 1×12, directed by Craig Range)
When Tomomi lost her job in Vancouver due to COVID, her husband suggested they move to his parents’ elk farm in Saskatchewan. They arrived in the depths of winter – so began Tomoni’s time on the farm.
UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE (Short Doc, 1×20, directed by Tiffany Hsiung) Begins streaming Friday, December 18
With his industry on lockdown and no end in sight, Toronto chef Luke Donato tries to keep his culinary passion alive during the COVID-19 pandemic — even if it means teaching a group of misfits online.
NEW FILMS TO CBC GEM
FUNNY BOY (Drama, 1×107, directed by Deepa Mehta, Canada) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
*Exclusive World Streaming Premiere*
Based on the evocative, queer, coming-of-age award-winning novel by Shyam Selvadurai and helmed by prolific award-winning filmmaker Deepa Mehta, FUNNY BOY has been chosen as Canada’s submission to the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film. Shot on location and set in Sri Lanka in the 1970s and 80s, FUNNY BOY explores the awakening of sexual identity by a young boy named Arjie set against the backdrop of the civil war. As political tensions escalate to a boiling point between the minority Tamils and the majority Sinhalese, the boy comes of age in a society and family that refuses to embrace differences outside of societal norms. The film mirrors the oppression of the Tamil people with the marginalization Arjie suffers because of who he is and who he loves. Funny Boy chronicles a country torn apart by fear and abuse of power, while Arjie’s struggles to find balance and self-love despite the absence of empathy and understanding.
SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE (Animated, 1×90, United Kingdom) Begins streaming Friday, December 11
When Shaun decides to take the day off and have some fun, he gets a little more action than he bargained for. From the creators of Chicken Run and Wallace & Gromit, SHAUN THE SHEEP MOVIE was nominated in 2016 for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year at the Academy Awards, and Best Motion Picture – Animated at the Golden Globes.
DRIVE (Documentary, 1×78, directed by Scott Harper) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
Like the invention of the television, the smart phone, and even the internet itself, autonomous cars will change everything. They’ll make the world safer, greener, and less stressful. But what do we lose from the human experience in a driverless world?
WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY (Documentary, 1×89, directed by Alan Zweig) Begins streaming Friday, December 4
WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY surveys the often colorful history of Jewish comedy in America. From filmmaker Alan Zweig (Coppers, There Is a House Here) and featuring Marc Maron, Gilbert Gottfried, Rodney Dangerfield, Howie Mandel, Norm Crosby, Bob Einstein, Shelley Berman, Elon Gold, David Steinberg, and many more. WHEN JEWS WERE FUNNY premiered at TIFF 2013, where it won the award for Best Canadian Feature Film.
CLYDESDALE: SAVING THE GREATEST HORSE (Documentary, 1×78) Begins streaming Friday, December 11
One woman’s passionate quest to the Canadian Prairies to rescue Scotland’s Clydesdale horse from the edge of extinction.
WHAT’S WITH THE JEWS? (Documentary, 1×78, directed by John Curtin) Begins streaming Friday, December 11
THE BEST OF CBC:
Past and current seasons of CBC series, including hit competition series BATTLE OF THE BLADES; 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:
FORTITUDE Season 3
IN THE LONG RUN Season 3