Lights, Camera, Action: The exploding growth in Ottawa’s film, television and animation industries - MARCH 2, 2020
Canada’s film and television industry accounts for $8.9 billion in production volume and 179,000 full-time equivalent jobs. Once the epicentre of the country’s production industry, Ottawa has fallen behind in the spotlight to larger centres like Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, but the combination of award-winning producers and new developments on the horizon promise a significant shift. A purpose-built soundstage, new or revamped postsecondary programs, and the launch of the International Film Festival of Ottawa will help position Ottawa once again as a live-action and animation production hotbed.
Join moderator Ottawa Film Commissioner Bruce Harvey and an esteemed panel of local producers, as they discuss Ottawa’s role in the film and television landscape with a special focus on the city’s past as a production hub, its present period of growth, and what they envision for the future.
Ottawa Soundstage Campus and Creative Hub
In partnership with TriBro Studios, the Ottawa Film Office is building the city’s first soundstage campus and creative hub. Construction is expected to begin this summer with an anticipated opening date in fall 2021. This significant economic development project will create upwards of 500 new jobs and invest an additional $40 million in the local economy in the first few years alone.
The Campus will include:
- Four 20,000-sq. ft. soundstages;
- 25,000 sq. ft. of carpentry and art department workshops;
- 50,000 sq. ft. of office space (including creative hub)
Date: Monday, March 2, 2020
Location: Chateau Laurier
About Bruce Harvey, Ottawa Film Office
Bruce Harvey joined the Ottawa Film Office as Film Commissioner in 2014. A former entertainment lawyer, he started his own production company in 1990 and spent the following two decades producing film and TV projects. His film Almost America, a co-production with Italy, won a Genie Award (now the Canadian Screen Awards) in 2001 for Best Production Design.
As the Film Commissioner, Bruce’s main role is to attract screen-based productions to Ottawa to grow the industry’s economic impact.
Prior to becoming a producer, Bruce was a successful entertainment lawyer working with corporate and commercial clients on a variety of files, from intellectual property and labour law to contracts and taxation. When he’s not working, Bruce enjoys spending time with his children, watching films and TV shows, riding his motorcycle and playing golf.
About Robert Menzies, Zed.film
Robert Menzies has produced over 40 feature films through his Zed Filmworks production company (opened in 2007). These include the box-office hit The House at the End of the Street, starring Academy Award winner Jennifer Lawrence, and the thriller Penthouse North starring Michael Keaton. In 2016, I Am The Pretty Thing That Lives in the House, starring Ruth Wilson (The Affair) premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and launched worldwide on Netflix in October 2017. Also in 2016, There Are Monsters, written and directed by Bryan Bertino (The Strangers), starring Zoe Kazan had a theatrical run with critical acclaim. In 2017 the Emma Robert’s horror/thriller The BlackCoat’s Daughter, which also had its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, was released by A24. Most recently, Robert is producing Fatman starring Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins which will have a theatrical release late 2020.
ZED.film is an international film production company based in Ottawa. The company has been one of the most prolific small production companies since its inception in 2007 and it continues to move forward with creative and innovative films. In addition to producing many of its own films from conception to delivery, ZED.film also provides creative and production services to both Canadian and International partners.
Select projects: Fatman (starring Mel Gibson and Walton Goggins – in production), House at the End of the Street (starring Jennifer Lawrence and Elizabeth Shue), Penthouse North (starring Michael Keaton and Michelle Monaghan), I am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House (starring Ruth Wilson), The Blackcoat’s Daughter (starring Kiernan Shipka and Emma Roberts) and The Day (starring Shawn Ashmore and Dominic Monaghan).
About Marie-Pierre Gariépy, Slalom
With more than 25 years’ experience working in Franco-Canadian television and cinema, Marie-Pierre has collaborated with the industry’s key players. Her award-winning work with broadcasters such as TFO, Radio-Canada, TVA and the NFB has earned her a solid reputation as a talented and dynamic French Producer in Ottawa. By constantly encouraging a new generation of creators, she continues to diversify her art form by seeking to establish new associations with other Canadian creators.
Since 2007, SLALOM unites daring, innovative and talented creators around a common mission: to engage audiences with quality content. Under President and Founder Marie-Pierre Gariépy, SLALOM is an incubator for talent and ideas. On screen, wild ideas and passion projects become stories that unite and get recognized. SLALOM tells the stories of French Canada. Our content is tailor-made for audiences in search of authenticity. Entertaining, thought-provoking and surprising – these are more than just words. They are part of our DNA.
Select projects: La vie compliquée de Léa Olivier, La malédiction de Jonathan Plourde, Mehdi et Val, Motel Monstre, Toi et Moi, and Le Rêve de Champlain.
About Chantal Ling, Mercury Filmworks
As Vice President, Original Series & Co-Production with Mercury Filmworks, Chantal specializes in proprietary and co-productions. She works directly with Mercury’s international partners to develop, finance, produce, and support properties that are considered the benchmark in television animation. Some of her past producing credits include Hilda with Silvergate Media and NETFLIX, If You Give A Mouse A Cookie for Amazon, The Snow Queen for BBC and CBC, Rob the Robot for TVO, Team Hot Wheels for Mattel’s Playground Productions and Atomic Puppet, a Mercury Filmworks co-production with Technicolor and Gaumont Animation. Her two decades of experience has earned her multiple awards including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title, an Annie Award for Best Animated Series, Best Character Animation in an Animated Series, and Best Writing in an Animated Series, a BAFTA Award for Best Children’s Animation as well as a Gemini Award for Best Direction in an Animated Series.
Mercury Filmworks is an independent entertainment company. We are digital 2D and 3D animation specialists offering a complete range of film and television production services from concept and creative development, to design, animation, post & delivery.
- Hilda (in partnership with Netflix and Silvergate Media) – has won a BAFTA Children’s Award, Annie Award, and Daytime Emmy Award
- Mickey Mouse shorts
- Tangled (the series based on the Disney movie)
- The Lion Guard (series based on The Lion King)
About Chris Wightman, Atomic Cartoons
Chris joined Atomic Cartoons, a Thunderbird company, as the Ottawa Studio Manager in the fall of 2018 and supervised the establishment and growth of Atomic’s Ottawa animation facility. Under Chris’ leadership, the studio has expanded twice in less than a year and has grown to over 70 artists with plans to grow again significantly in 2020. Chris is responsible for Atomic and Thunderbird’s continued growth and production excellence in Ottawa, and valued collaboration with partners in industry and government.
A veteran media producer, Chris has worked in animation, news, documentary, live-action and sports television industries.
Award-winning Atomic Cartoons, a Thunderbird Entertainment company, is a full-service animation studio located in Vancouver which expanded into Ottawa in 2018. Atomic creates, produces and finances animation for distribution across multiple channels. Atomic Cartoons is an artist-driven studio that includes some of Canada’s most creative animators, directors, producers and writers. Adept at multiple genres and animation styles, Atomic Cartoons is recognized internationally as one of the leading animation studios in North America.
Select projects + news:
- The Last Kids on Earth (a Netflix series based on the popular book series)
- Recently opened a 3rd office in Los Angeles
About Peter Apostolopoulos, TriBro Studios
Peter Apostolopoulos is a Canadian business man, investor, actor and producer. He is the President of TriBro Studios and the COO of Triple Group of Companies, an international real estate investment management and development firm owned and operated by the Apostolopoulos family Based out of Toronto Canada. Tribro Studios is involved in the proposal to build a $40 million soundstage campus and creative hub in Ottawa.