Montreal and Toronto, December 2, 2021.
The Board of Directors of the Bell Fund has announced its decisions for the September 27, 2021 deadline for the Short-Form Digital Series Program. Bell Fund has committed almost 3M for the production of 15 series, including 2.2M for production and over 740K for audience development.
This program was launched in 2017 to reduce barriers to entry for emerging and established Canadian creators, enabling them to tell their original stories. The Fund remains committed to supporting equity seeking producers, racialized and underrepresented groups who identify as Indigenous, Black, Persons of Colour, LGBTQ2S+ and Persons with Disabilities. In this round, 8 of the 15 projects are from first-time applicants.
Among the 9 English-language projects is creator/showrunner Christopher Yip’s Streams Flow From A River(produced by Fae Pictures; streaming on Super Channel Online) which tells the story of a freak snowstorm which traps a dysfunctional Chinese-Canadian family in their rural Albertan hometown.
Tales From The Rez (from B.C. Producer Blackfoot Nation Films; streaming on APTN’s lumi) is a horror-comedy anthology series adapted from popular Blackfoot traditional tales and urban legends.
The Lady President from Frances-Anne Solomon; streaming on CaribbeanTales-tv, tells the story of Denham Jolly, a determined yet uncertain student from Jamaica, who finds ‘refuge’ in activist powerhouse Violet Williams’ boarding house. He quickly becomes her mentee and learns tactics to fight anti-Black cases in 1950’s Canada.
We are also encouraged by the advancement of women in key creative roles. In Killjoy Comedy(OUTtvGo), creator Shana Myara re-writes the old insult-comedy playbook putting the microphone in front of those who have historically been the butt of many jokes.
Among the 6 French-language projects, Naturalisations(produced by Couzin Films; streaming on Crave) tells the story of a group of friends that decide to sponsor a refugee. This new responsibility will change their lives forever.
Wipe Me Away 2 (produced by Babel Films; streaming on ICI Tou.tv) highlights the harsh reality of young, Afro-descendants in a disadvantaged neighborhood of Montreal.
In exploring little-known, Canadian stories, the women-led documentary series, Décoloniser l’histoire 2 (produced by Picbois Productions; streaming on Télé-Québec.tv) challenges colonialist/racist biases against Racialized and Indigenous people.
Following is a list of all supported projects.
1. The following English language series received production and audience development funding under Bell Fund’s Short-Form Digital Series program:
Short-Form Digital Series (English)
Edge Of Frame
Narcity Canada (YouTube)
6 x 8
A Canadian photographer battles natural elements, urban hazards, and his own patience in order to capture the beauty of urban wildlife and highlight the delicate balance between humans and their environment.
Hell Yes Entertainment
10 x 12
After fleeing the dark and demonic chains of his shadowy old home, Ezra, a killer gay vampire, takes a leap of faith and enters the modern world. A new-age take on a classic coming out story, Ezra Grey navigates his own insecurities and supernatural tribulations in the human world.
Blue Ant Digital
Love Nature SVOD and Animalogic (YouTube)
26 x 8
Exploring the magical world of plants and fungi, each episode focuses on a species with unique evolutionary adaptations. From carnivorous plants to mind-controlling fungi, this series brings you the most amazing plant species in the world.
I Hate People, People Hate Me
Turbo Bobbi Creative
6 x 10
Perpetually disturbed by the world around them, two twenty-somethings navigate their lives as outliers in Toronto's queer community. While the pair have their share of grievances with fellow queers and society at large, instances have begun to arise where the two must turn a magnifying glass on themselves, for a change.
6 x 20
Puts the microphone in front of Black, indigenous, racialized, queer, fat, women and gender diverse comics; those who’ve historically been the butt of jokes at comedy clubs—and re-writes the old insult-comedy playbook.
6 x 15
Tells the story of Denham Jolly, a determined yet uncertain student from Jamaica, who finds 'refuge' in activist powerhouse Violet Williams' boarding house. He quickly becomes her mentee and learns tactics to fight anti Black cases in 1950’s Canada.
7 x 15
Ian, a 20-something with cerebral palsy, navigates the pressures of adult life in a world not designed for wheels. A dramedy that shakes up the prevailing views on what it means to be living with a disability in the 21st century.
Streams Flow From A River
Super Channel Online
6 x 15
A father’s illness and a freak snowstorm trap a dysfunctional Chinese-Canadian family together in their rural Albertan hometown, for the first time in over a decade, bringing secrets and old regrets to light.
Tales From The Rez
Blackfoot Nation Films
Uncle Randalf, an Elder with one foot in the living world and one foot in the spirit world, introduces this horror-comedy anthology series adapted from popular Blackfoot traditional tales and urban legends.
2. The following French language applications received production funding under Bell Fund’s Short-Form Digital Series Program:
Short-Form Digital Series (French)
Décoloniser l'histoire 2
10 x 6
6 x 10
Je voudrais qu'on m'efface 2
8 x 20
8 x 7
6 x 20 min
Naturalisations (working title)
6 x 10 min
For further information: