Announced earlier this week (yes, Friday is my catch-up on the news day) was the Canadian International Television Festival (CITF), which will open on November 16, 2013 with Bell Media, the Canada Media Fund (CMF) and the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) as key supporters. The not-for-profit CITF will be the first television showcase festival in Canada and will provide a familiar platform for the public, journalists, broadcasting students, advertisers, and the industry to discover and enjoy new and returning English and French-language Canadian programs.
The CITF will also salute the diversity of the global television community, in acknowledgement of Canada’s expanding presence internationally. On the big screen at TIFF Bell Lightbox, Canada’s top cinema complex, the CITF will exhibit full episodes and retrospectives, as well as previews and other short-form content; while on-stage and on the red-carpet, fans will see cast reunions, Q&As, script readings, and other live events.
“Content made for television has become even more important to the multi-platform media world,” remarked David Heath and John Galway of the CITF’s Board of Directors. “The CITF will become an annual event for creators to directly interact with consumers in a dynamic and supportive environment. Social TV does not get any more social than at a public festival.”
“Television has never been more engaging, relevant, and transformative,” said Kevin Crull, President, Bell Media. “We can’t think of a better way to mark this golden age of television than by supporting a public festival that invites viewers and creators to celebrate TV.”
The CMF’s President and CEO Valerie Creighton continued: “We are pleased to get involved with the Canadian International Television Festival. The festival model has been a great marketing tool for other cultural products in Canada, and this festival will enable Canadians to appreciate our home-grown productions in a whole new setting. Our partnership with the CITF will support our objective to rally the industry around the promotion of Canadian audiovisual content and get Canadians excited about the quality and success of our industry.”
Michael Hennessy, President and CEO of the CMPA said, “Further to Valerie’s comments, the Canadian International Television Festival also supports a group initiative spearheaded by the CMF and Telefilm. The new Eye on Canada campaign was announced in Banff and is making headway on Twitter and Facebook with the hashtag “eyeoncanada.”
Additional details about the CITF, including information about events, schedule, tickets, social networking, etc. will be made available in the months to come.