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CRAVE, AMC NETWORKS’ IFC AND RTÉ GREENLIGHT SisterS NEW ORIGINAL DARK COMEDY-DRAMA SERIES FROM AND STARRING SARAH GOLDBERG AND SUSAN STANLEY

Irish-Canadian Co-Production Produced by Peer Pressure and Shaftesbury, in Association with Mermade and Gaze Pictures

TORONTO, ON (June 9, 2022)Crave, AMC Networks’ IFC and RTÉ today announced the greenlight of the new original comedy-drama series, SisterS, created by, written by and starring Emmy Award-nominee Sarah Goldberg (Barry) and Susan Stanley (Hotel Amenities). The series has been in development with Peer Pressure, Shaftesbury, RTÉ and Emmy Award-nominee Declan Lowney (Ted Lasso, Alan Partridge). Lowney is the establishing director and is set to direct the first three episodes of the six-episode, half-hour series.

SisterS is a dark comedy-drama about two women, born continents apart, in Canada and in Ireland, who discover they are half-sisters and embark on a road trip to find their alcoholic father. Real-life best friends Goldberg and Stanley make their writing debuts and star.

An Irish-Canadian co-production, the Crave, IFC and RTÉ original series is produced by Peer Pressure and Shaftesbury, in association with Mermade and Gaze Pictures. Crave holds the Canadian rights to the series, AMC Networks’ IFC and streaming service Sundance Now hold the US rights, with RTÉ in Ireland. Fremantle will distribute the series in all other territories. Filming is currently underway on location in Ireland, continuing through June 28, 2022, with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

“We are thrilled to be making SisterS, a character-driven comedic drama about how the absence of a parent in childhood can affect life in your thirties, and the macabre humour that can come with trauma,” said co-creators and co-stars, Sarah Goldberg and Susan Stanley.

“I am beyond myself with excitement at the thought of spending time with Susan and Sarah,” said director Declan Lowney. “I look forward to the thrilling balancing act required to bring the drama and comedy of these beautiful scripts to life. SisterS is a gift of a show for any director, and I’m so thrilled to be part of their family.”

“From the moment we read the script, met Sarah and Susan and saw the chemistry between them, we knew this project was very special and that we wanted to collaborate with them, to bring their story to the screen,” said Richard Cook and Angela Squire, Directors of Peer Pressure. “It is an accolade to their fresh and completely authentic writing that Declan Lowney joined us in the development of SisterS. We are excited for Peer Pressure to debut in the scripted space as emerging creative writing duo, Sarah and Susan, make their TV writing debut.”

“I am thrilled to be partnering with Peer Pressure to support the impressive writing debuts of creators and stars, Sarah Goldberg and Susan Stanley,” said Shaftesbury Chairman and President Christina Jennings. “SisterS is as darkly hilarious as it is personal, featuring exceptional Canadian and international talent and a tour de force creative team.”

“Sarah and Susan have captured a brilliantly honest and darkly comedic take on family relationships, both estranged and present. We are excited to take viewers on a wildly funny and entertaining ride,” said Kira Carstensen, Global Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Mermade.

“I am thrilled to join the team to realise the debut of Susan and Sarah’s SisterS,” said Ruth Coady, Film & Television Producer and Founder of Gaze Pictures. Their bold exploration of a complicated, passionate and extremely funny ‘sister’s’ dynamic is magnificent. I am excited for the audience to be introduced to these two superb female characters.”

About Sarah Goldberg and Susan Stanley
Goldberg, born and raised in Vancouver, was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work as “Sally Reed” in HBO’s award-winning dark comedy series Barry, which recently returned for its long-awaited third season. Goldberg is also known for her stage work, having earned an Olivier Award nomination for her portrayal of “Betsy/Lindsey” in The Royal Court’s production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play, Clybourne Park. She went on to play the role in both the West End and on Broadway. She is represented by UTA, Mosaic, B-Side Management and Hansen, Jacobson, Teller, Hoberman, Newman, Warren, Richman, Rush, Kaller, Gellman, Meigs & Fox.

Stanley was born in Dublin, moving to London to train at LAMDA. It is here that she and Goldberg first met. She is an award-winning actress playing leading roles in plays such as Portia Coughlan and The Beauty Queen of Leenane. She has also worked with new writers in acclaimed London theatres (Hampstead, Bush). She has appeared in a number of short films, including Hotel Amenities, winning Best Actress at the Malaga Film Festival in 2013. Along with Goldberg, she has written a screenplay for Focus Features. SisterS is her first piece of writing for TV. She is represented by The Lisa Richards Agency.

About Peer Pressure

Peer Pressure has a strong track record in the area of entertainment and has produced many award-winning documentaries and comedy programmes. These include IFTA award-winning In the Name of the Fada, Joy in the Hood, Hanging with Hector, The State of Us, Chasing the Lions and Des Bishop: Breaking China. DirectorsRichard Cook and Angela Squire have a long history working with comedy performers and writers as well as developing and nurturing talent from an early stage. SisterS marks the company’s move into scripted comedy drama. For more information: www.peerpressure.ie

About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital, established in 1987 by Christina Jennings, Chairman and President. Shaftesbury’s current Primetime slate includes 16 seasons of the international hit series Murdoch Mysteries and five seasons of Hudson & Rex, which are both available in over 120 countries worldwide. Other projects include five seasons of the critically acclaimed horror anthology series Slasher, starring Eric McCormack and David Cronenberg, and three seasons of Departure, starring Emmy® Award-winner Archie Panjabi and the late Academy Award-winner Christopher Plummer. For more information: www.shaftesbury.ca

About Mermade

Mermade is the digitally-focused sister company of award-winning production company Merman (Catastrophe, This Way Up, There She Goes), specializing in the creation of content of all shapes and sizes for social and streaming platforms, brands and publishers. It combines the best elements of storytelling, creative excellence and groundbreaking content you would expect from Sharon Horgan and Clelia Mountford’s Merman, with a focus on fostering and developing emerging talent from across the globe. Recent projects include Down From London for Topic, Chloe Combi’s podcast You Don’t Know Me, and social comedy sketch show Big Juice for Channel 4. Kira CarstensenGlobal Managing Partner of Merman leads all efforts for Mermade in the US and UK, Joshua Buckingham is UK Managing Director, and Melanie Donkers runs development for Mermade USA. For more information:  www.hellomermade.com

About Gaze Pictures

Founded in 2021 by Producer Ruth Coady, Gaze Pictures is a production house discovering, developing and producing bold scripted content. In her previous 20 years in independent production, Coady was an executive producer on Studio Canal’s Last Letter from your Lover, starring Shalene Woodley and Felicity Jones, directed by Augustine Frizzelle. She executive produced Darklands for Virgin Media UK & Ireland and co-produced My Salinger Year starring Sigourney Weaver and Margaret Qualley, directed by Oscar-nominated Director Philippe Falardeau. Alongside Amy Baer and Alan Moloney, Coady produced Mary Shelley starring Elle Fanning, directed by Haifaa Al Mansour, she also produced The Delinquent Seasonstarring Cillian Murphy and Andrew Scott, written and directed by Mark O’Rowe and co-produced The Siege of Jadotville for Netflix starring Jamie Dornan.

About Crave

Delivering more Oscar®-nominated and Emmy® Award-winning programming than any other service, Crave is Canada’s prestige entertainment offering, with HBO, SHOWTIME®, Starz, Hollywood-hit movies, a superior collection of kid’s movies and programs, and thousands of hours of acclaimed television series, specials, factual programming, and originals that can’t be found anywhere else. Crave is the exclusive home of HBO in Canada, delivering HBO’s current slate of signature dramatic and comedic programs, documentaries, films, and live specials, as well as titles from HBO’s extensive off-air library. Crave is also home to current SHOWTIME series and specials, and past SHOWTIME hits. Crave Original hit series include comedies Letterkenny and New Eden; Cravings: The Aftershow with Lainey Lui; Healthy is Hotwith Chloe Wilde; candid interview series Much Studios Presents: Mike on Much in Conversation With…; a series of original stand-up specials; the upcoming competition series Canada’s Drag Race; and the upcoming apocalyptic original comedic documentary series We’re All Gonna Die.

 

About IFC

IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now!, Brockmire, Sherman’s Showcase and Baroness von Sketch Show air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.

 

About Sundance Now

AMC Networks’ Sundance Now offers cross-genre escapism for insightful viewers seeking fresh perspectives, thought-provoking experiences and transportive journeys to far-off places. With a rich selection of engrossing dramas and romance, imaginative fantasy, gripping mysteries, to riveting true crime and intelligent thrillers, Sundance Now programming features empowered characters telling one-of-a-kind of stories from around the world – all streaming commercial-free. Sundance Now houses critically-acclaimed and award-winning original and streaming exclusive series including popular supernatural thriller A Discovery of Witches (Matthew Goode, Teresa Palmer), highly anticipated UK adaptation of the French hit Call My Agent!, Ten Percent, (Jack Davenport, Jim Broadbent), multi-Emmy winner State of the Union (Rosamund Pike, Chris O’Dowd; Patricia Clarkson, Brendan Gleeson), glamourous coastal drama Riviera (Julia Stiles), incomparably clever comedy Back (David Mitchell, Robert Webb), British true crime thriller Des (David Tennant), hit mystery The Drowning (Jill Halfpenny), French spy drama The Bureau, Australian psychological thriller The Secrets She Keeps (Laura Carmichael), acclaimed Swedish drama The Restaurant, British thriller The Cry (Jenna Coleman), Liar (Joanne Froggatt, Ioan Gruffudd), Motherland (Anna Maxwell Martin, Lucy Punch, Joanna Lumley), Next of Kin (Archie Panjabi, Jack Davenport), and Total Control (Rachel Griffiths, Deborah Mailman), to name a few; alongside riveting true crime series including The Night Caller, Secrets of a PsychopathThe SuspectThe Dakota Entrapment TapesThe Preppy Murder: Death in Central Park, No One Saw a Thing and Killing for Love featuring the Amanda Knox podcast.

Sundance Now can be enjoyed for $6.99/month or $4.99/month with an annual membership. No cable subscription is needed. Facebook: @SundanceNow – Twitter: @sundance_now

About RTÉ
RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann) is Ireland’s national public-service media organisation. RTÉ commissions a broad range of high-quality programming and content to meet the needs of multiple audiences. Further information can be found here: https://www.rte.ie/about/en/how-rte-is-run/2014/0310/601244-about-rte/

About Fremantle

Fremantle is one of the world’s largest and most successful creators, producers and distributors of Entertainment, Drama & Film and Documentaries. Operating in 26 territories we are a proudly independent group of content creators. We produce and deliver high-quality multi-genre IP including some of the biggest entertainment formats, most watched international dramas, award winning films and hard-hitting documentaries, amplifying local stories on a global scale. From Too Hot to Handle toMosquito Coast, Game of Talents to The Hand of God, Farmer Wants A Wife to ‘Got Talent’, Family Feud to My Brilliant Friend and The Investigation to Arctic Drift, our focus is simple – we create and deliver irresistible entertainment. We are also a world leader in digital and branded entertainment with more than 480 million fans across 1,600 social channels and over 40 billion views per year across all platforms. Fremantle is part of RTL Group, a global leader across broadcast, content and digital, itself a division of the international media giant Bertelsmann. For more information, please visit Fremantle.com, follow us @FremantleHQ or  visit our LinkedIn and Facebook pages.

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HUDSON & REX LAUNCHES INTRODUCTORY TECHNICAL TRAINING BOOT CAMP IN NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

TORONTO, June 8, 2021 – Hit Canadian television series Hudson & Rex in partnership with Access Reelworld has launched a new initiative to increase diversity in its crew hiring for season four, which starts shooting in St. John’s in mid-June. To this end, our first initiative is an introductory TECHNICAL TRAINING BOOT CAMP for residents of Newfoundland and Labrador who identify as Black, Indigenous or as a People of Colour.

Successful applicants will spend three days on the set of Hudson & Rex shadowing several technical departments. The goal is to help potential crew members find departments that complement their skill set as well as develop and identify additional training needs. Successful participants in the introductory technical bootcamp will be added to our “daily call up list” and be eligible for entry level employment.

This unique opportunity to be part of the TECHNICAL TRAINING BOOT CAMP pays a $500 honorarium and Pope Productions will cover transportation for successful candidates who live outside of St. John’s. Previous experience is not a requirement.

All applicants are required to register through ‘Access Reelworld’: https://www.reelworld.ca/access-reelworld-page

This database is the largest searchable hiring and job posting platform in Canada for racially diverse talent in over 100 job categories (above-the-line and below-the-line), and is a valuable tool for all production companies, broadcasters and streaming platforms looking to hire racially diverse talent for their projects.

Once you have registered at Reel World go to www.popeproductions.com
For more information and application forms, questions may be directed to info@popeproductions.com No telephone calls please.

This initiative is through a partnership with Access Reelworld and Rogers Sports & Media that provides on-the-ground experience to emerging crew members, directors and writers who identify as Canadian Black, Indigenous or People of Colour. Program sponsors for this year are Shaftesbury and Pope Productions, producers of the hit Citytv series Hudson & Rex. Stay tuned for more details about upcoming opportunities via Reelworld.ca and allinforequity.ca

“We applaud Hudson & Rex, Shaftesbury and Rogers Sports & Media for not only recognizing, but doing something tangible, to create more opportunity and access for racially diverse crew, creatives, and production staff through our Access Reelworld recruiting platform.”

“We are excited to connect our dynamic partners, Reelworld and producers of Hudson & Rex – Shaftsbury and Pope Productions, to further support the growth and development of diverse Canadians in the production industry, said Nataline Rodrigues, Director of Original Programming, Rogers Sports & Media.

About Access Reelworld

Launched in July 2020, Access Reelworld is a fully transparent and searchable recruiting platform for Canadian Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern and Latin American creatives in the screen industry.

We believe that creating a space for authentic voices at all levels of the film and television industries is crucial to building a better and more respectful world. Hiring diverse talent helps to tell well-rounded and informed stories and attract additional audiences.

Find racially diverse crew, creatives and production staff.

Our database is the largest searchable hiring and job posting platform in Canada for racially diverse talent in over 100 job categories (above-the-line and below-the-line), and is a valuable tool for all production companies, broadcasters and streaming platforms looking to hire racially diverse talent for their projects.

ABOUT REELWORLD.

Founded by Tonya Williams in 2000, the Reelworld Film Festival (non-profit) and Reelworld Screen Institute (charity) are groundbreaking initiatives in Canada that draw attention to the lack of racially diverse and indigenous talent in mainstream media – both in front of and behind the screen. Reelworld is the largest national platform dedicated to changing the face of the media landscape by empowering and showcasing Canadians identifying as Black, Indigenous, Asian, South Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin American talent in the screen-based industries.

About Pope Productions:

“Pope Productions has always been an inclusive and diverse company, advocating for rights of marginalized groups, including the LGBT+ community and supporting gender parity initiatives,” says Paul Pope, President of Pope Productions Ltd. “In light of recent events, we are reminded that there is much more that we can do. We are directly reaching out to Black and Indigenous Persons of Colour (BIPOC) who have an interest in working in the television production industry.”

About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 2 seasons of ratings hit Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment,

Peacock and NBC Universal, 14 seasons of fan favourite Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV and UKTV, four seasons of detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, four seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher with the current season being produced for release on Shudder, three seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, Dead Still for RTÉ, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. www.shaftesbury.ca

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Shaftesbury Mourns the Death of Paul Pope, President of Pope Productions and Executive Producer of Hudson & Rex

TORONTO (April 14, 2022) – Shaftesbury extends its deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones of Paul Pope, the beloved Executive Producer of Hudson & Rex and President of Pope Productions. Pope passed away suddenly the morning of April 14, 2022. He was 63 years old.

“The news is truly shocking,” says Christina Jennings, Chairman and President, Shaftesbury. “Canada has lost an amazing producer, a force in Newfoundland. Paul has been Shaftesbury’s partner on seven shows for over 15 years. Most recently, we teamed up on Hudson & Rex. Paul was a wonderful man. A spirited human. He loved life and knew how to live it. Paul will be sorely missed by his wife, Lisa, his two sons and all of us here at Shaftesbury.

Based in St. John’s, NFLD, Pope was a dynamic force in the Canadian film industry, having produced or worked on hundreds of films. A founding member of the Newfoundland Filmmakers Cooperative (NIFCO), where he served as president for over 20 years, he has been instrumental in the development of a vibrant production industry. A generous mentor, he was a passionate voice for independent production at a national level with a long-standing tradition of supporting Canadian artists and ensuring that Canadian stories were brought to the screen.

In addition to his numerous awards and nominations for his projects with Pope Productions, he also received the Arts Achievement Award from ArtsNL, the Douglas James Dales Industry Builder Award, and an honorary Doctorate from Memorial University. Pope served on the board of Resource Centre for the Arts and NIFCO and has previously served on the board of the Canadian Media Producers Association and was Vice-Chair of the Canadian Media Fund.

About Pope Productions

Pope Productions is a St. John’s based media production company, helmed by producer Paul Pope. The company’s most recent television projects are the fourth season of Hudson & Rex for Citytv, which is now seen in over 100 territories worldwide and Departure Season 3 for Global. The company’s features and MOWs include the CBC comedy A Christmas Fury and festival favourites Hunting PignutBeat Down and Grown Up Movie Star, which scored a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for Tatiana Maslany. Documentaries include It’s MentalHeavy Weather Presents, the multi award winning My Left BreastLegends and Lore of the North Atlantic, and Going the Distance. From the historical dramatic miniseries Above and Beyond, to the classic comedy Rare Birds, and the outrageous series Drunk and on Drugs: The Happy Funtime Hour, Pope’s rich repertoire reflects its deep commitment to a vibrant production industry both in Newfoundland and nationally.

About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 15 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV, and UKTV, five seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher, four seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, and three seasons of Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, starring Emmy® Award-winner Archie Panjabi. Shaftesbury also has an extensive slate of kids and family programming including the global hit Life With Derek, as well as the new series Ruby and the Well for BYUtv and WildBrain, currently in production on season two. Other kids programs include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, What the Stink?, and Emerald Code. Digital projects include the global phenomenon Carmilla (created through a branded partnership with U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark) and the queer sports comedy Slo Pitch, recently acquired by IFC for a second season.

www.shaftesbury.ca

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SHAFTESBURY HONOURED WITH 19 CANADIAN SCREEN AWARD NOMINATIONS INCLUDING BEST LEAD ACTOR FOR YANNICK BISSON FOR MURDOCH MYSTERIES

TORONTO, February 15, 2022 Leading Canadian producer Shaftesbury has received 19 nominations across three shows, as announced today by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Nominated projects are Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries, and Hudson & Rex,

“We are thrilled that the Academy has recognized all of the hard work done by the cast and crew on Murdoch Mysteries, Franke Drake Mysteries, and Hudson & Rex,” said Christina Jennings, President and Chairman, Shaftesbury. “Their contribution to the success of our series is immeasurable, and we could not be more pleased that they are receiving this honour today.”


MURDOCH MYSTERIES 9 nominations

Best Direction, Drama Series
Sharon Lewis

Best Direction, Drama Series
Warren Sonoda

Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
Yannick Bisson

Best Guest Performance, Drama Series
Peter Keleghan

Best Picture Editing, Drama
Kathy Weinkauf

Best Production Design or Art Direction, Fiction
Bob Sher

Best Costume Design
Joanna Syrokomla

Best Achievement in Makeup
Debi Drennan

Best Achievement in Hair
Shirley Bond

About MURDOCH MYSTERIES

One of Canada’s most successful and longestrunning dramas, Murdoch Mysteries (15 seasons; 242 x onehour episodes; 3 x twohour specials) has become a staple for CBC and broadcasters around the world with its winning formula that brings together compelling mysteries, unique slices of turnofthecentury history, ingenious inventions and personal moments for each character. The series is licensed to broadcasters in over 150 countries and territories including the U.S., U.K., France, Finland and China.
Starring Yannick Bisson, Hélène Joy, Jonny Harris, and Thomas Craig.

FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES 7 nominations

Best Supporting Actress, Drama Series
Rebecca Liddiard

Best Guest Performance, Drama Series
Wendy Crewson

Best Sound, Fiction
Janice Ierulli

Mark Shnuriwsky

Best Costume Design
Jenifur Jarvis

Best Achievement in Makeup
Catherine Davies

Best Achievement in Hair
Cindy Lou Tache

Best Original Music, Fiction
Robert Carli

About FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES
Set in 1920s Toronto, Frankie Drake Mysteries follows the city’s only female private detectives as they take on the cases the police don’t want to touch. In a time of change and hopefulness, their gender is
their biggest advantage as they defy expectations and rebel against convention. Their cases take them through every crosssection of Toronto, meeting people of all backgrounds and means, as well as
historical characters, along the way. Frankie and Trudy’s fearless sense of adventure gets them into all kinds of trouble, but they always manage to find a way out. They are new detectives for a new world but is the world ready for them? Starring Lauren Lee Smith, Chantel Riley, Rebecca Liddiard, Sharron Matthews, and Wendy Crewson.


HUDSON & REX 3 nominations

Best Direction, Drama Series
Tracey Deer

Best Supporting Actor, Drama Series
Kevin Hanchard

Best Original Music, Fiction
Gary Koftinoff &
Phil Bennett


About HUDSON & REX
Detective Charlie Hudson, a cunning Major Crimes detective for the St. John’s Police Department, teams up with an unusual partnerRex, a formerK9 German Shepherd, whose heightened senses keep Charlie
hot on the trail of his suspects. Together, they investigate puzzling crimes, from catching a wouldbekiller before their victim succumbs to poisoning, to crossing international lines on the trail of a sinister
conspiracy. With Charlie’s deft detective work and Rex’s keen canine senses, this crimefighting pair is unstoppable. Starring John Reardon and Diesel vom Burgimwald as Rex.


About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is an awardwinning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 15 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV, and UKTV, five seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher, four seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, and
three seasons of Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, starring Emmy® Awardwinner Archie Panjabi. Shaftesbury also has an extensive slate of kids and family programming including the global hit Life With Derek, as well as the upcoming series Ruby and the Well for BYUtv and WildBrain. Other kids
programs include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, What the Stink?, and Emerald Code. Digital projects include the global phenomenon Carmilla (created through a branded partnership with U by Kotex/KimberlyClark) and the queer sports comedy Slo Pitch, recently acquired by IFC for a second season.


Maude DeMarco
Manager, Marketing & Communications
Shaftesbury

mdemarco@shaftesbury.ca
416.363.1411. Ext. 137

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UNLTD Acquires Shaftesbury XR Technology Division Creating the Leading XR Content Production Group in Canada

MONTRÉAL and TORONTO, Dec. 16, 2021 – UNLTD Inc. today announced that it has acquired the XR Technology Division of entertainment industry leader Shaftesbury. Shaftesbury is an innovation leader in immersive therapeutics for both Virtual and Augmented Reality applications. The acquisition of this exceptional team of XR innovators will accelerate UNLTD’s plan to build out its expanding business into the digital health sector. 

“We’re very pleased to have the Shaftesbury XR team joining UNLTD. The use of immersive technologies in the digital health market, mental health in particular, is one of the fastest growing and most promising areas of digital therapeutics. The Shaftesbury team’s expertise in creating XR apps for positive distraction and immersive therapies is the perfect fit to UNLTD’s expertise in creating immersive experiences for the prevention of social stressors such as bullying as well as empathy and awareness apps for conditions such as autism,” said John Hamilton, CEO of UNLTD. “We are also very excited to have Shaftesbury as a significant new shareholder in UNLTD as well as Shaftesbury’s visionary President and Chairman Christina Jennings as a new board member.”

“I have always been impressed with John Hamilton and Sébastien Gros’ vision within the XR space, so I am delighted to be in business with UNLTD,” said Christina Jennings, President and Chairman, Shaftesbury. “I am very pleased to sit on the board and to see this homegrown partnership put Canada on the map in the XR realm of digital therapeutics.”

As part of the transaction Ted Biggs joins UNLTD as Chief Product Officer and Brianna Lowe as Director of Product Development and Production.

“Our joining forces with the Shaftesbury XR team will accelerate the development of our immersive digital therapeutics business which is proving to be one of the most viable and scalable market segments for immersive technology,” adds UNLTD CEO John Hamilton.

UNLTD CEO Hamilton believes that combining UNLTD and Shaftesbury’s equally impressive track records in the XR space, and both companies tremendous experience in entertainment, will contribute to building the leading Canadian XR content studio. The companies’ products are highly synergistic providing significant product scale in this market.

About UNLTD

UNLTD is a world leading XR content studio with expertise in immersive learning, cinematic VR and branded VR and AR content. We currently offer the broadest experience of any XR studio in Canada. Creativity, innovation and storytelling are the foundations of our work. In the cinematic entertainment sector we produced the ground breaking Trinity VR sci-fi experience. UNLTD has also produced a wide range of virtual and augmented reality experiences for many corporate and non-profit clients. In branded content we have delivered experiences to top brands such as A&E, Universal Studios, L’Oréal, Fairmont Hotels, Bell Media, and Intercontinental Hotels. In immersive learning we have worked with large enterprise clients such as Exxon and CN Corporation. In the non-profit space UNLTD has produced several experiences targeting anti-bullying as well as autism empathy experiences.

www.go-unlimited.co

About Shaftesbury

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 15 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV, and UKTV, four seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher, four seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports & Media, and three seasons of Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, starring Emmy® Award-winner Archie Panjabi. Shaftesbury also has an extensive slate of kids and family programming including the global hit Life With Derek, as well as the upcoming series Ruby and the Well for BYUtv and WildBrain. Other kids programs include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, What the Stink?, and Emerald Code. Digital projects include the global phenomenon Carmilla (created through a branded partnership with U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark) and the queer sports comedy Slo Pitch, recently acquired by IFC for a second season.

www.shaftesbury.ca 

About Shaftesbury Technology

Shaftesbury Technology combines award-winning storytelling with emerging technology to create innovative and immersive experiences to engage audiences. Shaftesbury has harnessed this technology to improve the quality of life for children with innovative tools that teach, heal and transform. Partnering with broadcasters, brands and healthcare institutions, our content delivers dynamically adaptive and interactive experiences for all screens. Shaftesbury Technology has developed a Positive Distraction Entertainment Experience product that combines all the most effective positive distraction techniques with an innovative approach to adaptive gameplay that adjusts to an individual’s response. 

UNLTD Press Relations
Brianna Lowe
Brianna.Lowe@go-unlimited.co

UNLTD Investor Relations
John Hamilton
CEO
john@go-unlimited.co

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PLAY BALL! IFC PICKS UP SOFTBALL COMEDY SLO PITCH

First Season of LGBTQ+ Series Set to Debut on IFC.com Later this Year

NEW YORK – June 29, 2021 – IFC announced today the pickup of the first two seasons of the digital comedy short-form series Slo Pitch, with season one premiering on IFC later this year. Produced by Shaftsbury, Slo Pitch is a mockumentary-style series following the comedic misadventures of the overly invested Coach Joanne and her queer softball team, The Brovaries.  Season two will shoot this summer in the baseball fields and parks in and around Toronto. Heralded as “wonderfully whimsical” (The Globe and Mail) and “…a hit right off the bat” (Toronto Sun), Slo Pitch stars Kirsten Rasmussen (Band Ladies, Second City), Gwenlyn Cumyn (BARBELLE), Karen Knox (BARBELLE), Lane Webber (Gay Mean Girls), Kaitlin Alexander (Carmilla), Khadijah Roberts-Abdullah (Sugar Daddy), Amanda Cordner (Baroness Von Sketch), and Chelsea Muirhead (From The Vaults).

Each season consists of 10 10-minute episodes with season one following the underdog Brovaries team as they battle their way to the championship game in their highly competitive beer league.  Season two will see the team continue their fight towards the championship title, as Joanne and teammate Sasha also plan their upcoming wedding.

Slo Pitch is an offbeat comedy that spotlights a memorable group of women with championships and beer on their mind. This women’s softball team embraces and celebrates every dimension of the LGBTQ+ experience except winning,” said Blake Callaway, GM of IFC. “It’s especially great timing for us to pick up this series during Pride month, as we continue to seek fresh, unexpected creative voices, to feature on IFC.”

Slo Pitch is executive produced by Christina Jennings, Scott Garvie, Karen Knox, Gwenlyn Cumyn and Michael Schram, and produced by Paige Haight. The series is directed by J Stevens, award-winning director of Soft Spot and cinematographer of the feature film, Hazy Little Thing, which made its world premiere at the 2020 Canadian Film Festival (in collaboration with SuperChannel), as well as the short film Pros & Cons (Official Selection of Telefilm’s Cannes 2020 Not Short on Talent program), and the forthcoming Body So Fluorescent, which won the OutACTRAto x Inside Out LGBT Film Festival “Queer Your Stories” Short Film Competition.

ABOUT IFC

IFC is the home of offbeat, unexpected comedies. Acclaimed series Documentary Now!, Brockmire, Sherman’s Showcase Baroness von Sketch Show, and Year of the Rabbit air alongside fan-favorite movies and comedic cult TV shows. IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc., and available across multiple platforms. IFC is Always On, Slightly Off.

ABOUT SHAFTESBURY              

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 14 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV, and UKTV, four seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher, four seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Sports and Media, and two seasons of Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, starring Emmy® Award-winner Archie Panjabi and the late Academy Award®-winner Christopher Plummer.

www.shaftesbury.ca

 

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AMC NETWORKS AND SHAFTESBURY ENTER INTO NEW STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP, FURTHER EXPANDING THE GLOBAL AUDIENCE FOR SHAFTESBURY’S CONTENT

New York, NY and Toronto, ON (February 2, 2021) – AMC Networks, the entertainment company behind some of the most popular and award-winning brands in television, streaming and film, and award-winning production company Shaftesbury, announced today they have entered into a new strategic partnership.  Through its investment in Shaftesbury, AMC Networks will gain access to Shaftesbury’s award-winning slate and expand its content and development capabilities in Canada. Shaftesbury CEO and Chairman Christina Jennings will continue to spearhead the creative focus of the company and lead the day-to-day operational control alongside Executive Vice President, Scott Garvie.  Jennings, Garvie and Shaftesbury board member Michael Levine will remain on Shaftesbury’s Board of Directors. They will be joined by  two new AMC Networks directors, Harold Gronenthal, EVP of Programming and Marketing for AMC Networks International, and Matt Graham, GM of the AMC Networks-owned Acorn TV streaming service. Shaftesbury and its shareholders were advised on this strategic investment by RBC Capital Markets.

The new partnership will create growth for Shaftesbury’s existing and future slate of content across all genres, creating more opportunities for Canadian creators in front of and behind the camera. The partnership also builds on AMC Networks and Shaftesbury’s existing production relationship. Shaftesbury is the studio behind some of the biggest titles on Acorn TV, including all 14 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries. In addition to Acorn TV, AMC Networks operates the entertainment brands AMC, SundanceTV, BBC America and the fast-growing streaming services AMC+, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK.

“This new partnership will leverage the broad expertise of AMC Networks and Shaftesbury to deliver significant growth opportunities for the development, production, distribution and reach of our content,” said Christina Jennings, CEO and Chairman, Shaftesbury. “Getting Canadian stories and creative talent in front of the international market has always been Shaftesbury’s mission – this relationship will give us a big leg up.”

“Christina has built a world class production company with a long track record and reputation for creating high quality content that resonates in markets around the world,” said Josh Sapan, AMC Networks President and CEO. “Shaftesbury is an ideal partner for AMC Networks as we expand our focus on sourcing premium content and IP for distribution across our own platforms as well as to third parties. In addition, this partnership will give AMC Networks enhanced capabilities to expand our productions in Canada.”

ABOUT AMC NETWORKS

AMC Networks is a global entertainment company known for its popular and critically-acclaimed content. Its portfolio of brands includes AMC, BBC AMERICA (operated through a joint venture with BBC Studios), IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, IFC Films, and a number of fast-growing streaming services, including the AMC+ premium streaming bundle, Acorn TV, Shudder, Sundance Now and ALLBLK (formerly branded “UMC”). AMC Studios, the Company’s in-house studio, production and distribution operation, is behind award-winning owned series and franchises, including The Walking Dead, the highest-rated series in cable history. The Company also operates AMC Networks International, its international programming business, and Levity Entertainment Group, its production services and comedy venues business.

ABOUT SHAFTESBURY

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 2 seasons of ratings hit Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment, Peacock and NBC Universal, 14 seasons of fan favourite Murdoch Mysteries for CBC, Acorn TV and UKTV, four seasons of detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, four seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher with season 4 being produced for release on Shudder, three seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Media,  Dead Still for RTÉ, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. www.shaftesbury.ca

For more information, please contact:

Jane Collins

Shaftesbury

jcollins@shaftesbury.ca

647.323.8874

Georgia Juvelis

AMC Networks

Georgia.juvelis@amcnetworks.com

917-542-6390

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SHAFTESBURY TECHNOLOGY LAUNCHES BUBBLE BLOOM: A FREE TABLET GAME TO HELP KIDS COPE WITH STRESS THROUGH THE POWER OF PLAY

June 23, 2020 (TORONTO) — With most kids isolated at home due to COVID-19, Shaftesbury Technology, the technology division from the award-winning production company Shaftesbury (Murdoch Mysteries), has devised a new creative solution to help children cope with stress.

Shaftesbury Technology has launched Bubble Bloom, the first of six Positive Distraction Games. After two years in development as a virtual reality game, Bubble Bloom was released today as a tablet app at an online event.

Positive Distraction Games help reduce a child’s stress level and create an engaged and relaxed state of attention. Research from recent college testing found that test participants exhibited a seven per cent drop in heart rate. Aimed at children aged six to 15, Bubble Bloom helps ease anxiety by transforming the user’s environment into a virtual underwater paradise with captivating imagery and calming music.

The app can be used on iPad and Android Tablets.

Drawing on 30 years of experience in producing kids’ content, Shaftesbury Technology is reimagining pediatric health and wellness through immersive media experiences. Shaftesbury Technology has built partnerships with leading pediatric healthcare institutions and university research centres in Canada and the U.S., which has helped with the development of evidence-based applications for immersive media experiences. This includes augmented and virtual reality, with a strong focus on children’s therapeutic support tools.

“COVID-19 has affected us all, and the lives of children have been uniquely altered,” said Christina Jennings, Chairman and CEO, Shaftesbury, at today’s online launch event. “We hope Bubble Bloom’s stimulating play environment will not only give children something fun to engage with but will also help provide some comfort and distraction during these times.”

“Bubble Bloom combines the lightness of play with the rigour of medical science,” said Ted Biggs, VP, Shaftesbury Technology. “It evokes ease, imagination and creativity, and can help alleviate situational stress and anxiety through mindful play at a time when kids – and parents – need it more than ever.”

“This pandemic has created a triple-threat for Ontario; a health crisis, an economic crisis and now a social crisis that has impacted many of our province’s youth,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, who participated in the online event. “As a passionate advocate for mental health, I’m proud that Ontario’s interactive digital media industry is playing an integral role in creating virtual platforms like Bubble Bloom that will help connect young Ontarians with trusted tools and experiences to support them during these unprecedented times.”

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE BUBBLE BLOOM TRAILER

Instagram: @shaftesburytech
Facebook: @shaftesburytech
Twitter: @shaftesburytech

About Shaftesbury Technology
Shaftesbury Technology, a division of the award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital which includes Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries and Hudson & Rex, is reimagining pediatric healthcare through next-generation patient engagement and positive distraction games. Shaftesbury Technology has been building partnerships with leading pediatric healthcare institutions and university research centres in Canada and the U.S. to explore and develop clinical applications for immersive media experiences including augmented and virtual reality and a recent focus on children’s therapeutic support tools. Product pillars include Positive Distraction Entertainment System (PDES) to help prepare children for surgery with play and modules for children who identify with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Backed by 30 years of production experience, Shaftesbury is at the intersection of entertainment, health and advanced technology with an international reach in over 120 countries.

About Shaftesbury
Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 13 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher for Netflix, two seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Media, and several new primetime series including Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment and NBC Universal, Dead Still for RTÉ, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. Building on a rich slate of award-winning kids programs, Shaftesbury’s growing roster of Kids and Family co-viewing programming brings fresh content to a new generation of tween and young adult viewers across all platforms. Current shows include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, Stinky Science, Life with Luca, based on the Disney hit series Life with Derek and Mary and Flo on the Go! based on the characters from Frankie Drake Mysteries. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands, including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark, Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel, and Futurithmic for Nokia. Shaftesbury’s technology division works with leading healthcare institutions and researchers to explore and develop clinical applications for immersive media experiences including augmented and virtual reality, including a recent focus on children’s therapeutic support tools. www.shaftesbury.ca

For more information, please contact: 

Jane Collins 

Executive, PR, Shaftesbury 

(647) 323-8874 

jcollins@shaftesbury.ca 

Iain Christiansen 

Manager, Publicity, Shaftesbury 

(647) 338-4590 

ichristiansen@shaftesbury.ca 

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SHAFTESBURY KIDS EXPANDS ITS DEVELOPMENT AND PRODUCTION SLATE AND COMMENCES VIRTUAL WRITING ROOMS FOR FOUR NEW SERIES

Animated series Mary and Flo: On the Go! brings two beloved Frankie Drake Mysteries characters into Shaftesbury’s family space 

Life with Luca picks up on family-favourite series Life with Derek 15 years later

 TORONTO, May 12, 2020 Shaftesbury, the award-winning production company behind the global hit TV series Murdoch Mysteries, is expanding the Shaftesbury Kids production and development slate to include four new series: Mary and Flo: On the Go!, Life With Luca, Miikshi and Stinky Science. This ambitious slate, led by Jennifer McCann, Executive Producer, Shaftesbury’s Kids and Family, has united key creatives from across Canada and established virtual writers’ rooms for each series. 

“It’s wonderful that 15 years later, we are working once again with Life with Derek writers Daphne Ballon and Jeff Biederman on a spin-off series Life with Luca.” said Christina Jennings, CEO and Chairman, Shaftesbury. “We are also delighted to be working with Rebecca Liddiard and Sharron Matthews (Frankie Drake Mysteries) and teaming up with Carmen Albano (Detention Adventure) in a fun new animated series that sees their characters travel the world. Think – History. Mystery. Sistery.” 

“It’s inspiring to see how creativity and collaboration have been driven to new levels despite the current restrictions,” said Jennifer McCann, Executive Producer, Shaftesbury Kids and Family. “Our strategy to create the most compelling Kids and Family programming for global audiences remains unchanged.” 

About the four new series: 

In development 

Life With Luca – (26 x half hrs) – Life With Luca is a live-action spin-off comedy series based on the long-running hit Life with Derek. The series picks up 15 years later, as Derek and his “Type A” personality daughter Skyler prepare to move in with aunt Casey and her extended family. What makes things complicated is that Derek’s daughter is way more like her aunt, and Casey’s “Type Z” personality son way more like his uncle. As Derek and Casey’s stepsibling dynamics are reignited, Skyler tries to adjust to her new life with an aunt she barely knows and FOUR cousins. But the biggest adjustment of all will be living with Luca, a charming yet rebellious prankster. 

The series is being developed with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. 

In production 

Stinky Science (26 x 3 mins) – In pre-production. With animation from Smiley Guy Studios, this smart and gleefully gross series explores the science behind why things stink. Vibrant animation, loveable characters, smelly songs and stink-loads of comedy blend together in this magazine-style show, produced, performed and hosted by the characters from the acclaimed Stinky Science books written by Ed Kay with illustrations by Mike Shiell. The series is being produced with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund. 

Mary and Flo: On the Go! (9 x 7-mins) Inspired by Shaftesbury series Frankie Drake Mysteries, with animation by Smiley Guy Studios, this animated series is currently in production and follows beloved characters Mary and Flo as they travel the world encountering famous women and men of the 1920s. Part buddy caper, part history lesson, these two fearless heroines solve problems, resolve mysteries and help people everywhere with a healthy dose of girl-power to fuel their adventures. The series was co-created by its two stars Rebecca Liddiard (Mary) and Sharron Matthews (Flo) along with Carmen Albano (Detention Adventure). The series is being produced with funding assistance from the Shaw Rocket Fund and the Canada Media Fund. 

Miikshi – (10 x 7 mins) – In pre-production. From creators Lindsay and Justin Lee, Miikshi follows the adventures of a shy but genius sheep scientist who saves the world one day at a time… quietly. Using her quick, resourceful mind and scientific smarts, this live-action puppet series provides a strong and unique female role model for a generation of STEAM-loving kids. The series is brought to life through hand puppets and model miniature effects. The series is being produced with funding assistance of the Independent Production Fund and the Shaw Rocket Fund. 

Shaftesbury has released its full library of new and legacy kids programming on the Shaftesbury Kids YouTube channel, to provide families with free and easy access to entertaining and educational content. Some of these series are also available on CBC Gem and Citytv in Saskatchewan. The programming available includes The Solutioneers (released Monday, March 30, with new episodes every Monday, Wednesday and Friday), Life with Derek (all four seasons on CBC Gem) as well as the all-new series, ClearWaterKids Challenge, also launching on CBC Gem in May. 

About Shaftesbury 

Shaftesbury is an award-winning creator and producer of original content for television, film, and digital. Shaftesbury’s current slate includes 13 seasons of Murdoch Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of detective drama Frankie Drake Mysteries for CBC and UKTV, three seasons of critically acclaimed horror series Slasher for Netflix, two seasons of Hudson & Rex for Citytv/Rogers Media, and several new primetime series including Departure for Global/Corus Entertainment and NBC Universal, Dead Still for RTÉ, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The 

Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. Building on a rich slate of award-winning kids programs, Shaftesbury’s growing roster of Kids and Family co-viewing programming brings fresh content to a new generation of tween and young adult viewers across all platforms. Current shows include The Solutioneers, Miikshi, Stinky Science, Life with Luca, based on the Disney hit series Life with Derek and Mary and Flo on the Go! based on the characters from Frankie Drake Mysteries. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands, including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark, Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel, and Futurithmic for Nokia. Shaftesbury’s technology division works with leading healthcare institutions and researchers to explore and develop clinical applications for immersive media experiences including augmented and virtual reality, including a recent focus on children’s therapeutic support tools. www.shaftesbury.ca 

For more information, please contact: 

Jane Collins 

Executive, PR, Shaftesbury 

(647) 323-8874 

jcollins@shaftesbury.ca 

Iain Christiansen 

Manager, Publicity, Shaftesbury 

(647) 338-4590 

ichristiansen@shaftesbury.ca 

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