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SHAFTESBURY AND COMPANY PICTURES COME TOGETHER TO OPTION ACCLAIMED CANADIAN BOOK SERIES BIRDER MURDER MYSTERIES

Birder Murder Mysteries is a series of novels written by best-selling author Steve Burrows 

 TORONTO, CANADA: Feb 28, 2020 Shaftesbury, the award-winning production company behind the global hit TV series Murdoch Mysteries, is partnering with the BAFTA-winning U.K. producer Company Pictures (Wolf Hall, Inspector George Gently, Shameless) to option Canadian author Steve Burrows’ book series Birder Murder Mysteries. The international partnership, which will bring together a roster of both Canadian and U.K. screenwriters, is the first joint venture for the two production companies. 

The series’ protagonist is Domenic Jejeune, a Canadian detective and avid birdwatcher who has been transplanted to the town of Saltmarsh, in Norfolk, U.K. Domenic has become a poster boy for the U.K. police service, using clues from the world of birding to give him a unique perspective on the most complex crimes. 

“Steve Burrows’ gripping books have engaged a vast audience of crime readers in Canada and the U.K. It will be exciting to see his homegrown stories reach an even larger audience with this new partnership,” Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury. 

“We are extremely lucky to have the wonderful Nick Hicks-Beach bringing Steve’s enigmatic detective to life for the screen. And with such distinctive stories and the haunting beauty of the Norfolk coast as the setting, I think this has the makings of an iconic and memorable new series.” Michele Buck, CEO, Company Pictures 

“I’m absolutely delighted. I can’t imagine a better way to bring the Birder Murder Mysteries to the screen than through this terrific partnership between Shaftesbury and Company Pictures.” Steve Burrows, Author, Birder Murder Mysteries 

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 library of award-winning kids’ programs, Shaftesbury has an extensive slate of new kids and family programming with series centred on inspiring interest in STEAM, including The Solutioneers, Miikshi, Stinky Science, and Emerald Code. 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 

About Company Pictures 

Founded in 1998, All3Media owned, Company Pictures has produced hundreds of hours of critically acclaimed, award-winning drama. Company Pictures has produced major drama series for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky, WGBH, HBO, Starz and other leading broadcasters all over the world and was the producer of triple Golden Globe award winning period drama Elizabeth starring Helen Mirren. Company Pictures’ credits include the Golden Globe and BAFTA-winning adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall for the BBC starring Mark Rylance and Damian Lewis, seminal BBC dramas The Lakes, The Village and Inspector George Gently. Their multi award-winning drama Shameless ran for eleven series and their hugely popular teen drama Skins enjoyed a six-year run, both for Channel 4. Their much-loved long running family series Wild at Heart ran for seven years on ITV. Company Pictures continues to produce high quality, distinguished drama that attracts the best talent and a global audience including The White Princess and The White Queen. Agatha Raisin (Series 2 and 3) starring Ashley Jensen and a re-make of the upcoming detective drama, Van Der Valk starring Marc Warren. 

For more information, please contact: 

For Shaftesbury: 

Jane Collins 

PR, Executive 

+1 (647) 323-8874 

jcollins@shaftesbury.ca 

Iain Christiansen 

Manager, Publicity 

+1 (647) 338-4590 

ichristiansen@shaftesbury.ca 

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SHAFTESBURY HONOURED WITH 5 CANADIAN SCREEN AWARDS NOMINATIONS INCLUDING BEST LEAD ACTRESS FOR FRANKIE DRAKE MYSTERIES’ LAUREN LEE SMITH

TORONTO, February 18, 2020 – Leading producer Shaftesbury has received 5 nominations for the 2020 Canadian Screen Awards, as announced earlier today by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television, with nods for Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries and Hudson & Rex. “We are so thrilled about this year’s Canadian Screen Award nominations for Murdoch Mysteries, Frankie Drake Mysteries and Hudson & Rex. With nominations in the performance and craft categories, this honour is yet another reminder of just how fortunate we are to work with such great talent – on both sides of the camera” said Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury. 

MURDOCH MYSTERIES – 3 nominations 

Best Photography, Drama Series 

Yuri Yakubiw 

Best Achievement in Makeup 

Debi Drennan 

Best Achievement in Hair 

Shirley Bond, Toni Mastropietro 

About MURDOCH MYSTERIES One of Canada’s most successful and longest-running dramas, Murdoch Mysteries (13 seasons; 204 x one-hour episodes; 3 x two-hour specials) has become a staple for CBC and broadcasters around the world with its winning formula that brings together compelling mysteries, unique slices of turn-of-the-century history, ingenious inventions and personal moments for each character. The series is licensed to broadcasters in 120 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 – 1 nomination 

Best Lead Actress, Drama Lauren Lee Smith 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 cross-section 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 – 1 nomination 

Best Photography, Drama Series 

Ian Vatcher 

About HUDSON & REX Detective Charlie Hudson (John Reardon), a cunning Major Crimes detective for the St. John’s Police Department, teams up with an unusual partner–Rex (Diesel vom Burgimwald), a former-K9 German Shepherd, whose heightened senses keep Charlie hot on the trail of his suspects. Together, they investigate puzzling crimes, from a kidnapping which reveals a much larger conspiracy at play to an art theft murder which runs deep into the world of high society. With Charlie’s deft detective work and Rex’s keen canine senses, this crime-fighting pair is unstoppable 

Murdoch Mysteries Series Social Channels: Facebook: facebook.com/MurdochOnCBC Twitter: @CBCMurdoch Instagram: CBCMurdoch #MurdochMysteries #MysteryMondays Frankie Drake Mysteries Series Social Channels: Facebook: facebook.com/FrankieDrakeonCBC Twitter: @CBCFrankieDrake Instagram: CFCFrankieDrake #FrankieDrakeMysteries #MysteryMondays 

Hudson & Rex Series Social Channels: Facebook: facebook.com/HudsonAndRex 

Twitter: @hudsonandrex Instagram: hudsonandrex (#HudsonAndRex) 

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 library of award-winning kids’ programs, Shaftesbury has an extensive slate of new kids and family programming with series centred on inspiring interest in STEAM, including The Solutioneers, Miikshi, Stinky Science, and Emerald Code. 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 

Jane Collins 

PR, Executive 

Shaftesbury 

jcollins@shaftesbury.ca 

647.323.8874 

Iain Christiansen 

Manager, Publicity 

Shaftesbury 

ichristiansen@shaftesbury.ca 

647.338.4590 

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Is ROX the new ROI
Is ROX the new ROI?

In today’s digital environment, brands interact with customers across multiple touch points, on multiple channels and along unique journeys. In fact, customers are increasingly involved in helping co-create the brand experience when they share on social media. Traditional metrics, such as return on investment, no longer capture the variety and breadth of interactions created by today’s marketing activities. Instead, many marketers are turning to a new measure, return on experience (ROX), to better quantify the impact of their activities. 

What is Return on Experience (ROX)?

Metrics like return on investment consider revenues and costs, but don’t calculate intangibles created by storytelling, social sharing, event engagement or the multiple other touchpoints that may impact a customer’s purchasing decisions. As a result, too much attention on ROI may lead marketers to prioritize less effective tactics. How should you compare the return of a banner ad campaign to branded entertainment if you don’t also calculate the opportunity for social media sharing and customer interaction? 

PWC’s John Maxwell, who leads the company’s Global Consumer Marketing industry sector, wrote an article that discusses the importance of brand experiences. “To keep up with accelerating changes in consumer habits and to acknowledge customer importance, companies need to focus on — and measure — people’s experiences with their products and brands.” 

Consumer habits are constantly changing, and technology is evolving at high-speed rates; “a revolution in technology has created the devices and interfaces that allow people to interact with companies anywhere and anytime and has enabled customers to influence a global audience with their comments or “likes.” 

Meaning that traditional ROI metrics are no longer enough to determine the success of a company and their marketing initiatives. “Evaluating whether your value proposition, capabilities, and portfolio of products and services will create shareholder value requires laser focus on how well you’re meeting higher expectations around the customer experience.” 

With new technologies and services being added daily, company’s need to thoroughly understand the consumers’ purchase journey  and determine what the key touch points and factors are that drive experience. Upon doing so, a brand can determine where in the company needs to invest more.  

Brands need to move the needle on those interactions during the consumers purchase journey and yield measurable results or return on experience (ROX). 

ROX also needs to address whether the company is driving the behaviors in the organization that are key to designing and delivering better online and physical experiences.

Now of course that doesn’t mean that traditional ROI metrics are to be thrown out the window; however, companies need to focus on both ROI and ROX. For example, in  PWCs Global Consumer Insights Survey, they asked more than 21,000 consumers in 27 territories around the world what type of advertising they thought was the most influential. 

“About 35% said traditional TV advertising, the highest percentage among all the choices. This might seem like good news for the world’s biggest companies, because that’s where they still spend the bulk of their advertising dollars. But, dig a little deeper, and you’ll see the  desire for experience  staring us right in the face.” 

When looking at the millennials who have responded to the survey, it’s no surprise that they preferred social media advertisements that allowed them to have some type of interaction with the brand. “Although many companies partner with athletes and entertainers to market their products and services, respondents said that testimonials from real people who have authentic experience with a brand are more influential. Just 17% of survey respondents bought a product because of a celebrity endorsement, but 32 percent did so because of positive reviews on social media.” 

Understanding these statistics, it is evident that they are clear indicators of ROX and that, “investment into traditional advertising campaigns needs to be supplemented by enhancements to customer experiences along the purchasing journey.”    

Incorporate Emotion to Affect Brand and Business Positively

“Word of mouth has always been more valuable than advertising, but now there are billions of opportunities for word of mouth — through social reviews and sentiment — to make an impact.” – Matt Egol 

Don’t Cast a Wide Net

Global phenomenon Carmilla, produced in partnership with U by Kotex®, focused on reaching a tribe rather than a demo.  This approach allowed us to create content that resonated and spoke on a deeper level to this group. It also allowed this tribe to reach out to other members of the tribe and share the content. When people love your content and share, others will become interested and start watching it, too.

U by Kotex’s® branded web series Carmilla had such an incredible impact on its viewers, that they crowd-funded a movie.  Read the Case Study

This is ROX! Customers involved in the storytelling and creating an experience relevant to them while the brand gains consumer loyalty.

Conclusion

Maxwell ends off with this, “Consumers are focused more than ever on the attributes that make up the totality of their experience, it’s time for all types of companies to lose the ROI blinders and begin focusing more on ROX.” 

Find out how  Shaftesbury Branded can bring you a greater ROX and read John Maxwell’s full article  here.   

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SHE’S NOT AFRAID OF THIS GHOST: GHOST BFF SEASON 2 NOW IN PRODUCTION

Season One now available on KindaTV

TORONTO, November 18, 2019 – Babe Nation Films, Shaftesbury’s KindaTV and WhoHaha announced today that the Canadian Screen Award-nominated web series Ghost BFF has begun production on Season Two (8x5min). Created and written by star Vanessa Matsui (The Handmaid’s Tale, Shadowhunters, The Smurfs 2), Ghost BFFfollows two best friends – one alive, one dead – across space, time and the suburbs as they struggle to find themselves and right past wrongs following a suicide. The series will film in Toronto this November and will be available for streaming on Shaftesbury’s YouTube channel, KindaTV (worldwide, excluding the U.S.), and in the U.S. on the Elizabeth Banks co-founded platform, WhoHaha, and Whohaha channels.

Season Two of Ghost BFF sees Amy, a twenty-something painter who struggles with her mental health, newly single, broke, and trying to find her footing in life after her best friend, Tara, came back from the dead in Season One, throwing her life completely upside down. Amy is offered a huge opportunity to regain some of her old independence and finally find success as a working artist when an ad firm hires her for a lucrative project, but the pressure leaves her creatively blocked and severely anxious. A trip to the ER reunites her with Tara, who is back on Earth to confront her deep-seated anger with her mother in a desperate attempt to stay out of purgatory. Both Amy and Tara find themselves at a major crossroads in their lives (or afterlife, in Tara’s case) and needing each other more than ever to become the people they want to be. Season Two asks the question: Can a person really change? Or are we destined to stay forever stuck in a purgatory of our own making?

“We’re thrilled to be shooting the second season of this important series which promotes mental health awareness, and couldn’t ask for better partners in distribution than KindaTV and Whohaha” said producers Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott.

“I feel thrilled and privileged to be able to explore these complicated characters further and help break barriers surrounding mental health. My hope is that Ghost BFF Season Two makes you want to hold your best friend close, be gentle with yourself, and if you have been affected by suicide, make you feel a little less alone,” said creator and star Vanessa Matsui.

The series will continue to challenge the stigma surrounding mental health and further the conversation by building on the foundation set in Season One. The second season of Ghost BFF promises to bring even more light, laughter and openness to rather taboo topics like depression and suicide.

Season One is now available on KindaTV.

Ghost BFF stars Matsui, Kaniehtiio Horn (Mohawk, Man in the High Castle), and Dan Beirne (Fargo, Reign, Flashpoint). The second season will see a bevy of guest stars including Steve Lund (Street Legal, Schitts Creek), Jean Yoon (Kim’s Convenience, Orphan Black), Dani Kind (Workin’ Moms, Wynonna Earp), Angela Asher (Bad Blood, Hard Rock Medical), Yani Gellman (Dynasty, Pretty Little Liars), and Gwynne Phillips (Kim’s Convenience, Sensitive Skin).

Created and written by Vanessa Matsui, the series is produced by Katie Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott of Babe Nation Films, and is directed by Lindsay MacKay (Wet Bum, Running with Violet). Matsui also acts as Executive Producer of Season Two and will direct one episode. Produced with the assistance of the Ontario Creates Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Fund, the Telus Fund, the Canada Media Fund and the Bell Fund. Shaftesbury holds worldwide distribution rights, excluding the U.S.

Ghost BFF Series Social Channels:

Facebook: facebook.com/GhostBFF

Twitter: @ghost_bff

Instagram: ghostbff

To download this release, and for more information on this and other Shaftesbury series, please visit the Shaftesbury media site at shaftesbury.ca/media.

About Babe Nation Films

Babe Nation Films is a Toronto-based boutique production company that champions female voices and stories. Producers Katie Bird Nolan and Lindsay Tapscott specialize in the hands-on creative development and production of character-driven narratives from a diverse slate of international filmmakers. Babe Nation’s debut feature, The Rest of Us, premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival; the film was written by Alanna Francis, directed by Aisling Chin-Yee, and stars Heather Graham, Sophie Nélisse, Jodi Balfour and Abigail Pniowsky. Babe Nation’s other projects include Calvin Thomas’s and Yonah Lewis’s feature White Lie, which also premiered at TIFF 2019; a contemporary adaptation of the famous Françoise Sagan novel Bonjour Tristesse, written by Durga Chew-Bose (Too Much and Not the Mood, FSG Originals); Alice, Darling, the second feature from Alanna Francis (The Rest of Us, TIFF 2019); and a limited television series adaptation of the Kit Pearson YA novels The Sky Is Falling, Looking at the Moon and The Lights Go On Again. Katie is an alumna of the 2016 TIFF Producers Lab and 2018 TIFF Accelerator Lab, where she studied under veteran producer Cassian Elwes, and Lindsay is an alumna of the 2019 Rotterdam Producers Lab. In 2018, Babe Nation was named one of Playback’s Top 5 to Watch, and in 2019, the company was nominated for the CMPA Emerging Producer Award.

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. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands, including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark and Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel. 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. www.shaftesbury.ca

For more information, please contact:

Meg Campbell / Manager, Publicity / Shaftesbury / 416-363-1411 x163 / mcampbell@shaftesbury.ca

Jane Collins / Executive, PR / Shaftesbury / 416-363-1411 x130 / jcollins@shaftesbury.ca

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GOVERNOR GENERAL ANNOUNCES 103 NEW APPOINTMENTS TO THE ORDER OF CANADA

OTTAWA—Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, today announced 103 new appointments to the Order of Canada — a list that includes Christina Jennings, the founder and CEO of Shaftesbury Films.

As mentioned on the website, Christina Jennings is commended “for her commitment to the Canadian film industry and for her promotion of women in this field.”

About the Order of Canada
Created in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of our country’s highest honours. Presented by the governor general, the Order honours people whose service shapes our society; whose innovations ignite our imaginations; and whose compassion unites our communities.

Close to 7 000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order of Canada. Their contributions are varied, yet they have all enriched the lives of others and have taken to heart the motto of the Order: DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM (“They desire a better country”). The striking six-point white enamel insignia they wear symbolizes our northern heritage and our diversity, because no two snowflakes are alike.

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Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises and Sky NZ Commission New Zealand Thriller THE SOUNDS

South Pacific Pictures and Shaftesbury to Co-Produce

 

all3media international on board as international distributor;

Starring Rachelle Lefevre (Proven Innocent, Under the Dome, White House Down), Matt Whelan (The Luminaries, Narcos) and Matt Nable (Arrow, Dead Lucky, Riddick)

Silver Spring, MD; September 25, 2019 – Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) and Sky NZ have partnered to commission New Zealand thriller THE SOUNDS with all3media’s New Zealand production company South Pacific Pictures and Toronto-based Shaftesbury co-producing. The 8-episode drama takes a missing person and a blissful marriage and turns it upside down in a sleepy New Zealand town, where nothing is quite what it seems. THE SOUNDS is created by best-selling author, Sarah-Kate Lynch, who is also the lead writer, with Peter Stebbingsdirecting the series. Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Ireland, and United Kingdom; secondary rights in Australia; and home entertainment and non-exclusive SVOD rights in New Zealand. The series is produced in association with CBC, who have the Canadian broadcast rights, while Acorn TV has the home entertainment rights and will offer the series to its Canadian subscribers. International distributor all3media international will distribute the series in the rest of the world. THE SOUNDS will premiere in 2020 on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original and in New Zealand on Sky NZ. Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) is the UK-based development division for the Acorn TV brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc., a privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks. The series is now filming on location in and around the greater Auckland and Northland areas of New Zealand through November 2019.

The new series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Proven Innocent, Under the Dome, White House Down) and Matt Whelan(The Luminaries, Narcos) and co-stars Matt Nable (Arrow, Dead Lucky, Riddick), Emily Piggford (The Girlfriend Experience), Peter Elliott (Tarzan), Anna-Maree Thomas (The Brokenwood Mysteries), Vanessa Rare (Last Man Standing), Tandi Wright (800 Words, The Returned), Morgana O’Reilly (Wentworth), Tainui Tukiwaho, John Bach (Janet King, Jack Irish), Josh McKenzie (The New Legends of Monkey), Adam Brown (The Hobbit), Emma Fenton (Filthy Rich), and Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home, Rake).

An eight-part psychological thriller, THE SOUNDS is set against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island and the exotic landscape of Marlborough Sounds. When Maggie (Lefevre) and Tom Cabbott (Whelan) move to the town of Pelorus to escape the oppressive influence of Tom’s family, they plan to start a new business venture that will reinvigorate the local economy and set them on a new life path. But when Tom disappears, unsettling facts about him soon come to light, and the search brings long-buried wounds to the surface. As Maggie struggles to navigate the escalating events, it becomes clear that in this small, seemingly close-knit community, nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises noted, “We’re thrilled to work with our partners at South Pacific Pictures, Shaftesbury, Sky NZ, and all3media on another exciting drama. With its beautiful setting, taut script, and stellar ensemble cast, THE SOUNDS will absolutely thrill Acorn TV subscribers around the world.”

Kelly Martin, CEO; South Pacific Pictures and Executive Producer of THE SOUNDS says, “South Pacific Pictures is privileged to be working with Sarah-Kate on this series.  It’s an intriguing and intense tale from start to finish, one that will keep audiences guessing right up to the last frame.  It’s a testament to the quality of the material that we have such a great line-up of partners on board with Shaftesbury, Acorn TV, Sky NZ, All3 Media, and CBC and that we have been able to attract such a stellar cast.”

“Sarah-Kate Lynch has created a gripping, character-driven tale of intrigue in THE SOUNDS – perfect material for director Peter Stebbings. This series is a thrill ride from start to finish, set in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. We are thrilled to work with such talented partners worldwide, including South Pacific Pictures, CBC, Acorn TV, All3 Media, Sky NZ, Sarah-Kate Lynch, and Peter Stebbings, as well as the brilliant cast led by the wonderful Rachelle Lefevre,” Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury / Executive Producer, THE SOUNDS.

Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises has commissioned several series including Agatha Raisin, Series 2 (Trailer) and Series 3 starring Ashley Jensen; the straight-to-series order of British drama London Kills, starring Hugo Speer and Sharon Small (Trailer); and fun British mystery Queens of Mystery, starring Olivia Vinall and Julie Graham (Trailer); as well as co-commissioned period mystery series Dead Still. Acorn TV has also recently featured the U.S. premiere of ITV’s highest rated drama in the past six years with true crime drama Manhunt starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) (Trailer), and UK’s highest rated show of the year and from the creator of Bodyguard with Line of Duty, Season 5 (Trailer); plus Australian mystery series My Life is Murder starring Lucy Lawless (Xena). Up next is the return of smash hit British dramedy Doc Martin, Series 9 (Thurs., Sept. 26).

 

——————

About AMC Networks

Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on basic cable television for nine consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now; Acorn TV; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.

 

About Sky:

Sky is New Zealand’s leading entertainment company and home to the best and broadest choice in live sport, movies, shows, documentaries and breaking news.

Sky offers a suite of viewing choices to suit every New Zealander, whether it’s through the Sky Box and streaming service Sky Go for premium direct-to-home customers, or through its contract-free streaming services Sky Sport Now for sport or NEON for movies and entertainment. Sky also owns free-to-air channel, Prime. Unique New Zealand stories and free-to-air sport are a strong part of Prime’s line-up.

 

About South Pacific Pictures:

South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand’s largest screen production company and has an international reputation for producing world-class television and film. The company is in its 31st year of operation and to date has produced more than 5500 hours of programming. Drama series and serials, feature films, and more recently, entertainment, reality programming and documentaries are all part of the programming mix. The current slate includes work for New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and UK broadcasters.

 

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 RTE, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark and Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel. 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.

 

Acorn TV Press Contact: Chad Campbell, 301.830.6203, ccampbell@acorn.tv

 

Shaftesbury Press Contacts:

Jane Collins, 416.363.1411, jcollins@shaftesbury.ca

Meg Campbell, 416.363.1411, mcampbell@shaftesbury.ca

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Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises and Sky NZ Commission New Zealand Thriller THE SOUNDS

South Pacific Pictures and Shaftesbury to Co-Produce

 

all3media international on board as international distributor;

Starring Rachelle Lefevre (Proven Innocent, Under the Dome, White House Down), Matt Whelan (The Luminaries, Narcos) and Matt Nable (Arrow, Dead Lucky, Riddick)

Silver Spring, MD; September 25, 2019 – Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) and Sky NZ have partnered to commission New Zealand thriller THE SOUNDS with all3media’s New Zealand production company South Pacific Pictures and Toronto-based Shaftesbury co-producing. The 8-episode drama takes a missing person and a blissful marriage and turns it upside down in a sleepy New Zealand town, where nothing is quite what it seems. THE SOUNDS is created by best-selling author, Sarah-Kate Lynch, who is also the lead writer, with Peter Stebbingsdirecting the series. Acorn Media Enterprises has secured all rights in the United States, Ireland, and United Kingdom; secondary rights in Australia; and home entertainment and non-exclusive SVOD rights in New Zealand. The series is produced in association with CBC, who have the Canadian broadcast rights, while Acorn TV has the home entertainment rights and will offer the series to its Canadian subscribers. International distributor all3media international will distribute the series in the rest of the world. THE SOUNDS will premiere in 2020 on Acorn TV in the United States as an Acorn TV Original and in New Zealand on Sky NZ. Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) is the UK-based development division for the Acorn TV brand of RLJ Entertainment, Inc., a privately owned subsidiary of AMC Networks. The series is now filming on location in and around the greater Auckland and Northland areas of New Zealand through November 2019.

The new series stars Rachelle Lefevre (Proven Innocent, Under the Dome, White House Down) and Matt Whelan(The Luminaries, Narcos) and co-stars Matt Nable (Arrow, Dead Lucky, Riddick), Emily Piggford (The Girlfriend Experience), Peter Elliott (Tarzan), Anna-Maree Thomas (The Brokenwood Mysteries), Vanessa Rare (Last Man Standing), Tandi Wright (800 Words, The Returned), Morgana O’Reilly (Wentworth), Tainui Tukiwaho, John Bach (Janet King, Jack Irish), Josh McKenzie (The New Legends of Monkey), Adam Brown (The Hobbit), Emma Fenton (Filthy Rich), and Sara Wiseman (A Place to Call Home, Rake).

An eight-part psychological thriller, THE SOUNDS is set against the stunning backdrop of New Zealand’s South Island and the exotic landscape of Marlborough Sounds. When Maggie (Lefevre) and Tom Cabbott (Whelan) move to the town of Pelorus to escape the oppressive influence of Tom’s family, they plan to start a new business venture that will reinvigorate the local economy and set them on a new life path. But when Tom disappears, unsettling facts about him soon come to light, and the search brings long-buried wounds to the surface. As Maggie struggles to navigate the escalating events, it becomes clear that in this small, seemingly close-knit community, nothing and no one is quite what they seem.

Catherine Mackin, Managing Director of Acorn Media Enterprises noted, “We’re thrilled to work with our partners at South Pacific Pictures, Shaftesbury, Sky NZ, and all3media on another exciting drama. With its beautiful setting, taut script, and stellar ensemble cast, THE SOUNDS will absolutely thrill Acorn TV subscribers around the world.”

Kelly Martin, CEO; South Pacific Pictures and Executive Producer of THE SOUNDS says, “South Pacific Pictures is privileged to be working with Sarah-Kate on this series.  It’s an intriguing and intense tale from start to finish, one that will keep audiences guessing right up to the last frame.  It’s a testament to the quality of the material that we have such a great line-up of partners on board with Shaftesbury, Acorn TV, Sky NZ, All3 Media, and CBC and that we have been able to attract such a stellar cast.”

“Sarah-Kate Lynch has created a gripping, character-driven tale of intrigue in THE SOUNDS – perfect material for director Peter Stebbings. This series is a thrill ride from start to finish, set in one of the most beautiful regions in the world. We are thrilled to work with such talented partners worldwide, including South Pacific Pictures, CBC, Acorn TV, All3 Media, Sky NZ, Sarah-Kate Lynch, and Peter Stebbings, as well as the brilliant cast led by the wonderful Rachelle Lefevre,” Christina Jennings, Chairman & CEO, Shaftesbury / Executive Producer, THE SOUNDS.

Acorn TV with Acorn Media Enterprises has commissioned several series including Agatha Raisin, Series 2 (Trailer) and Series 3 starring Ashley Jensen; the straight-to-series order of British drama London Kills, starring Hugo Speer and Sharon Small (Trailer); and fun British mystery Queens of Mystery, starring Olivia Vinall and Julie Graham (Trailer); as well as co-commissioned period mystery series Dead Still. Acorn TV has also recently featured the U.S. premiere of ITV’s highest rated drama in the past six years with true crime drama Manhunt starring Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) (Trailer), and UK’s highest rated show of the year and from the creator of Bodyguard with Line of Duty, Season 5 (Trailer); plus Australian mystery series My Life is Murder starring Lucy Lawless (Xena). Up next is the return of smash hit British dramedy Doc Martin, Series 9 (Thurs., Sept. 26).

 

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About AMC Networks

Known for its groundbreaking and celebrated original content, AMC Networks is the company behind the award-winning brands AMC, BBC AMERICA, IFC, SundanceTV, WE tv, and IFC Films. Its diverse line-up of popular and critically-acclaimed series and independent films include Killing Eve, Better Call Saul and The Walking Dead, which has been the #1 show on basic cable television for nine consecutive years, as well as Portlandia, Brockmire, Love After Lockup, and the films Boyhood, Death of Stalin, and many more. Its original series Mad Men and Breaking Bad are widely recognized as being among the most influential and acclaimed shows in the history of TV. The Company also operates AMC Studios, its production business; AMC Networks International, its international programming business; the subscription streaming services Shudder, Sundance Now; Acorn TV; and UMC (Urban Movie Channel); and Levity Entertainment Group, the Company’s production services and comedy venues business. For more information, visit http://www.amcnetworks.com.

 

About Sky:

Sky is New Zealand’s leading entertainment company and home to the best and broadest choice in live sport, movies, shows, documentaries and breaking news.

Sky offers a suite of viewing choices to suit every New Zealander, whether it’s through the Sky Box and streaming service Sky Go for premium direct-to-home customers, or through its contract-free streaming services Sky Sport Now for sport or NEON for movies and entertainment. Sky also owns free-to-air channel, Prime. Unique New Zealand stories and free-to-air sport are a strong part of Prime’s line-up.

 

About South Pacific Pictures:

South Pacific Pictures is New Zealand’s largest screen production company and has an international reputation for producing world-class television and film. The company is in its 31st year of operation and to date has produced more than 5500 hours of programming. Drama series and serials, feature films, and more recently, entertainment, reality programming and documentaries are all part of the programming mix. The current slate includes work for New Zealand, Australian, Canadian and UK broadcasters.

 

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 RTE, Acorn TV, and Citytv/Rogers, and The Sounds for CBC, Acorn TV, and Sky NZ. Shaftesbury’s branded division produces original entertainment projects for brands including the global phenomenon Carmilla for U by Kotex/Kimberly-Clark and Turning the Tables for göt2b®/Henkel. 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.

 

Acorn TV Press Contact: Chad Campbell, 301.830.6203, ccampbell@acorn.tv

 

Shaftesbury Press Contacts:

Jane Collins, 416.363.1411, jcollins@shaftesbury.ca

Meg Campbell, 416.363.1411, mcampbell@shaftesbury.ca

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