Vancouver Industry News – 2/6

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So much industry news, so little time! Stay on top of local industry happenings with another Vancouver update – and remember to mark your calendars for exciting upcoming events in the coming months!

Vancouver’s iconic Rio Theatre has been listed for sale, the latest hit in a long string of sales and closures that have culled the city’s population of historic theatres. Famous for its support of indie film and music, cult movie screenings and altogether vibrant community, the Rio was quick to receive support from thousands. The building’s owners have put it up for sale for about four million dollars, and though any potential buyer would still have to honour the theatre’s remaining lease, it leaves the future murky with the prospect of demoviction. Corinne Lea, who runs the Rio, has launched a campaign to purchase the property – receiving support from over 13 thousand petition-signers and filmmaker Kevin Smith. If you want to save the Rio Theatre, visit their website to find out how to help.

Celebrate Black History Month in Vancouver by checking out the Vancity Theatre’s BHM film series. Some major highlights of the year include: the exclusive Vancouver run of Félicité, a Senegalese film on the shortlist for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award; Anita, a film about #MeToo pioneer Anital Hill (which will be followed by a Vancity Impact Talk on Violence against women); and Canadian Sharon Lewis’s sci-fi feature Brown Girl Begins, about a young black teenager in a post-apocalyptic world, who must try to resurrect Caribbean spirits to save her people.

Have you seen Altered Carbon yet? Now on Netflix, the 10-episode series was shot as the lead show for Surrey’s Skydance Studios, which opened in the Fall of 2016. Rumored to be one of Netflix’s most expensive projects, the dark sci-fi thriller has been commended for some stunning action sequences, but noted for having a disturbing juxtaposition of violence and sexuality. Starring Joel Kinnaman as a super soldier, downloaded into the body of a disgraced cop to solve the murder of an aristocrat, the series is an adaptation of Richard K. Morgan’s novel of the same name.

Bell Media, the Canadian mass media subsidiary in charge of networks such as CTV and CraveTV, have signed into a multi-year agreement with Starz to bring their content to Canada. Though individual Starz shows have aired in Canada previously, this is the first time the full Starz brand has come to Canada. Just in time, as Starz just launched the spy thriller series Counterpart and have more new projects on the way.

It’s official – BC has now passed Ontario for Canada’s top spot for film and television. Though both regions grew significantly in the 2016-2017 fiscal year, Vancouver’s multi-billion dollar boom was likely pushed to the top through the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon. The report was run by the Canadian Media Producers Association, and you can read more about their findings at their website.

The North Island College of Vancouver Island has completed the province’s first-ever TV and Film Crew Training post-secondary program. More than 135 students graduated the course, which specializes in the nitty-gritty behind-the-scenes labour of film and television. With the recent boom in production on the island, the lack of trained local employees soon became a problem, so both provincial and federal governments allocated almost half a million dollars to the creation of the program. You can discover about this vital trade course at NIC’s website.

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