Toronto and Montreal, December 20, 2022:
The Board of Directors of the Bell Fund has announced its decisions for the September 26, 2022 Short-Form Digital Series Program deadline. Bell Fund has committed $2.4 million to the production of 12 short-form digital series (8 English and 4 French), including 1.8M for production and 600K for audience development
The Fund remains committed to supporting Black, Indigenous, Racialized, and underrepresented communities, enabling all producer/creators, emerging and established, to tell their original stories.
Second season renewals lead the way for Zarqa, (FUNdamentalist Films), Farm Crime (Big Cedar Films), Second Nature (Blue Ant Digital) and Dating Unlocked (Border2Border). This speaks to the audience appeal of stories that range from true crime to a 2SLGBTQ+ dating show, a comedy about a divorced Muslim woman and a series that answers big evolutionary questions. Creator/showrunner Zarqa Nawaz will be shooting Season 2 in Saskatchewan with an all-women, and majority BIPOC, story room. Stories from my Gay Grandparents combines an intergenerational comedy and a late-in-life, coming out series, created by Perrie Voss (co-creator of Avocado Toast) and rising writer/actor Scott Farley and produced with digital series veteran Andrew McCann. Rounding out the funded series are Nesting, Near or Far and the Nature of Design, all from successful, women-led companies.
1.1. The following English-language series received production funding under Bell Fund’s Short-Form Digital Series Program:
|SHORT-FORM DIGITAL SERIES (English)
|Dating Unlocked, Season 2
8 x 20 min
|Daters compete in elimination-style relationship games to unlock the chance of a second date.
|Farm Crime, Season 3
Big Cedar Films
6 x 17 min
|From stolen sheep scandals to pigeon breeding Ponzi schemes, Farm Crime is a true crime documentary series investigating unconventional offences in farming and agriculture.
|Near or Far
8 x 12 min
|Explores the unexpected betrayals between Sadie and Lauren, twin sisters from an immigrant family, as they embark on drastically different paths for the first time.
8 x 8 min
|Since the romantic comedy dream hasn't panned out for best friends Anna and Rosa: no house, no partner, no baby; they go hunting for a baby daddy to knock them up so they can parent together in a new version of family.
|Second Nature, Season 2
Blue Ant Digital
26 x 8 min
|Examines the most extreme and fascinating examples of how plants and animals are forced to adapt to a harsh and changing planet earth.
|Stories From My Gay Grandparents
Play Management Media
10 x 8 min
|After Grandma and Grandpa survive a near-death experience, it catapults them to come out of the closet and grab life by the boas. With the help of their big-city grandkids, they make up for lost time as they finally start to live life as gaily as possible.
|The Nature of Design
Bee Video Production
Blue Ant - Homeful
8 x 11 min
|Explores the fascinating world of biophilic designs, which connect people and architecture with nature. This exciting new series uncovers public and private spaces that manage to incorporate nature in the most remarkable ways.
|Zarqa, Season 2
6 x 11 min
|Zarqa’s pursuit of a holier-than-thou, social influencer’s clout backfires when she gets cancelled, sending her life spiraling out of control as she claws her way out of her latest disaster.
1.2. The following French-language series received production funding under Bell Fund’s Short-Form Digital Series Program:
For further details on the series below, please see our French language website: fondsbell.ca
|SHORT-FORM DIGITAL SERIES (FRENCH)
10 x 10 min
|La dernière communion
Roméo & Fils
8 x 17 min
|Les racines du hip-hop au Québec
10 x 20 min
|Pa t’mentir Saison 2
8 x 20 min