BANFF World Television Festival wraps up and PITCH IT! winners announced

    BANFF, AB, June 11 /CNW/ - The 29th Banff World Television Festival ended
on a high note today as the premier industry event came to a close. With a
presence from leading broadcast executives and decision-makers from 25
countries around the world and, according to feedback from delegates, its
strongest-ever line-up of speakers and sessions, BANFF was once again the
place where delegates made their ideas a reality. Attendance increased this
year, with close to 1,500 delegates. With the runaway success of its
sister-event nextMEDIA - The Future of Digital Content, the combined turn out
of the two events reached 1,900.
    Significant business was done in Banff this year. Among other news
Westwind Pictures, announced that Fox Network will be making a US version of
"Little Mosque on the Prairie". Shaftesbury Films added a Digital Division by
acquiring award-winning Smokebomb Entertainment. GlassBOX Television Inc.
announced $5 million of new venture and strategic investment, including
backing from some of Canada's leading media executives. Corus Entertainment
announced they will distribute original heavy programming using Husky Media's
global video monetization platform. Brightlight Pictures signed a deal to
produce a comedy feature with Brent Butt's Sparrow Media Company. The Movie
Network and Movie Central announced production dates for their original series
"Sanctuary", "Bloodletting & Miracle Cures" and "The Weight". BBC Worldwide
and Temple Street Productions announced BBC Worldwide will acquire a minority
stake in Temple Street and the two companies will enter into a partnership on
development, production and distribution. The Canadian Television Fund named
veteran broadcaster Paul Gratton as its new chairman.
    "It's fantastic to see so many new and returning delegates at BANFF,"
commented Jennifer Harkness, Executive Director. "This is testament to the
quality of our content, the success of our marketplace for ideas and the
business opportunities that BANFF facilitates."
    New programs this year included The Canwest Emerging Writers Program and
the Canwest Showrunner Training Program - developed to enhance, nurture and
encourage writers and producers to grow the television series business in
    "Banff always provides a premiere platform on which to hear from talented
writers and producers from around the world", said Christine Shipton, Senior
Vice President, Content, Canwest Broadcasting. "This year's launch of the
Canwest Emerging Writers and Showrunner Training programs ensures that the
next wave of home-grown Canadian talent is given a stronger voice in the
    Over $50,000 in prizing was awarded at this year's pitching sessions
where winners have the opportunity to turn their ideas and concepts into real
productions. This year's winners include:


    Anne Pick with "Bear Cave Mountain" won a development prize of $15,000
generously donated by Discovery Channel and the National Film Board. "Bear
Cave Mountain" was pitched as a spectacular nature documentary driven by one
colourful group of 'grizzly personalities' and framed the in the stunning
landscape of the extreme reaches of northern Canada in all its seasons.


    Jarrett Sherman won $10,000 for "OVERRULED!" a single-camera, teen comedy
series about the trials of Jared "Coop" Cooper, a cool, fun, articulate,
charmer of a 15 year old who one day discovers that his coolness, fun-ness,
articulate-ness and charm make him the perfect choice to become a lawyer on
the Banting High School's Teen Court.


    Tricia Lee won USD$10,000 for "Waiting in the Wings" which brings
together the backstage stories of an after-school community theatre group and
the drama of the teenage experience in a Slings & Arrows meets Degrassi: The
Next Generation half hour comedy. Tricia will also receive a $5,000 motion
picture film product grant as prizing for this year's Audience Choice Award
which is provided by returning sponsor Kodak Canada Inc.


    Larry Day won (pnds stlg)5,000 for "LOSE THE BABY FAT" a 30 minute
Lifestyle Physical Transformation Docusoap following new moms battle to lose
the weight gained during pregnancy while coping with the demands of a new

    For more information of this year's Festival please visit To view photos, please visit Save the date! The 30th annual Banff
World Television Festival will be held June 7-10, 2009 at the Fairmont Banff
Springs in Banff, Canada.

    About the Banff World Television Festival
    The Banff World Television Festival is a not-for-profit event produced by
Achilles Media Ltd., an international events management company serving the
television and digital media industries. Achilles Media Ltd. events include:
History Makers: International Summit of History & Current Affairs Producers,
nextMEDIA events, Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) and NATPE Mobile++ and
Just Comedy. For more information, visit The
30th Annual Banff World Television Festival will take place June 7-10, 2009
amid the spectacular Canadian Rockies at the Fairmont Banff Springs in
Alberta, Canada. For more information

For further information:

For further information: Nuria Bronfman,

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