Astral Media Announces New Mentorship Programme in Partnership with Women in Film and Television



    TORONTO, March 26 /CNW/ - Astral Media and Women in Film and Television -
Toronto (WIFT-T) are pleased to announce a partnership to create the
Astral Media Mentorship Award. This new programme is made possible by a
four-year commitment by Astral Media to provide a total of $100,000 towards
the mentoring and education of emerging producers who are in need of coaching
and development opportunities that will bring their projects to the next
stage. Applications are now being accepted and must be submitted to WIFT-T no
later than Monday, April 21, 2008, at 12 p.m. EST.
    Each year one producer, male or female, who is of a visible minority,
Aboriginal or disabled group will be chosen by a jury to participate in the
programme. The curriculum will involve a mentoring period in advance of the
Banff World Television Festival that will include the assignment of an
experienced industry mentor, meetings with broadcast executives and
participation in industry events and educational opportunities. The next phase
of the programme will involve the producer's attendance at the Banff World
Television Festival with valuable mentoring, pitching and networking
opportunities built into the existing festival schedule. The final phase of
the programme will provide the producer with an opportunity to connect with
his/her mentor on important subsequent steps to bring the project into the
next stage of development.
    "The Astral Media Mentorship Award is an important programme that will
create an opportunity for producers to receive the essential mentoring and
practical advice that is needed to bring a project from script to screen,"
said Michelle Marion, Director of Canadian Independent Production for
Astral Media's The Movie Network and juror on the Astral Media Mentorship
Award selection committee. "The Banff World Television Festival is an
important venue for discovering and developing new projects and with the
mentoring and preparation that will precede the event, coupled with coaching
at the event, this programme will ideally give an emerging producer the tools
and insight required to develop a polished project and deliver a market-driven
pitch that will set them apart."
    "This award is a great opportunity for a producer to make connections and
learn from the best in the industry," said Sadia Zaman, Executive Director of
WIFT-T. "We thank Astral Media for their support in nurturing
under-represented producers across the country and are enthusiastic to begin
this exciting new programme."
    Completed application packages must be submitted to WIFT-T by Monday,
April 21, 2008, at 12 p.m. EST. Applications will be reviewed by a selection
committee of industry representatives with final decisions announced in
May 2008. For eligibility criteria, program information and an application,
visit www.wift.com.

    Astral Media

    Astral Media is a leading Canadian media company, active in specialty,
pay and pay-per-view television, radio, outdoor advertising and iMedia.
Astral Media's solid and dynamic presence in the country's major markets rests
on its commitment to offer a unique combination of high-quality, targeted
media for all its audiences.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contact: Roopa Shah, Communications
Manager, Astral Television Networks, (416) 956-8584, rshah@tv.astral.com,
www.astralmedia.com

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