×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Starlight shines on Loewy

Former Alliance exec joins film channel project

TORONTO

Veteran Canuck industryite Victor Loewy has unveiled his post-Alliance Films plans.

The former CEO is teaming with longtime colleague Robert Lantos and several major industry players on Starlight, a new digital TV channel devoted to Canadian theatrical features, TV movies and docs.

Loewy, who set up Vivafilm with Lantos in the 1970s and went on to co-found Alliance Films with him in 1985, did not reveal future plans when the distrib was bought by rival eOne for C$225 million ($228 million) on Jan. 9

However it’s now clear that Lantos, who quit Alliance in 1998 to set up Serendipity Point Films, had invited Loewy to join him on the Starlight project.

It was made public this week that an application for the proposed channel, to be considered for mandatory distribution on Canuck cablers and satcasters, had been sent to federal broadcast regulator the CRTC on June 1.

Loewy, Lantos and Canaccord Financial chair David Kassie have put up $15 million seed money and are listed as officers on the proposed board, which also includes Mongrel Media prexy Hussain Amarshi, former Serendipity exec producer Mark Musselman and former Canadian Media Production Assn. chairman Norm Bolen.

Bolen, tapped as Starlight’s prexy and CEO, told Variety the venture is “a once-in-a-lifetime” chance to address funding problems Canadian filmmakers face due to declining support from broadcasters and pay TV channels for domestic features.

If approved, the channel would be available to all digital TV subscribers in English Canada, some nine million households, at the estimated cost of 3¢ per day.

A unique feature of the proposal is an estimated $22 million annual fund that will provide full financing for eight-to-12 Canadian features a year — the only other financing required being government tax credits.

The fund would be run by the channel, which would have first broadcast window, and allow for theatrical and home video release.

“Canadians have told us they want to see Canadian films on TV so we’re filling a gap that’s been created in recent years,” said Bolen, referring to a survey commissioned by the channel last year and a 2012 Dept. of Canadian Heritage survey.

The CRTC will start hearings to consider applications for mandatory carriage April 23.

More TV

  • Imelda Staunton'Downton Abbey' photocall, Rome Film

    'The Crown' Has Not Cast Imelda Staunton for Seasons 5 and 6, Netflix Says

    Netflix is shooting down reports that Imelda Staunton is joining “The Crown.” “We are currently filming season 4 of ‘The Crown’ but have not commissioned any further seasons as yet, therefore any news on casting remains pure speculation,” a Netflix spokesperson said in a statement. Staunton, known to many as the despicable Dolores Umbridge in [...]

  • Baby Yoda The Mandalorian

    Baby Yoda Merchandise to Debut Ahead of Holiday Shopping Season

    Purchase Baby Yoda toys, you will. Fans of the breakout character from the Disney Plus series “The Mandalorian” have been surprised that there was no merchandise pegged to the character available upon the launch of the show, given that the Christmas shopping season is rapidly approaching. But according to an individual with knowledge of the [...]

  • Sean "Diddy" Combs Revolt TV

    Sean Combs Slams 'Illusion of Economic Inclusion' at Comcast Amid Byron Allen Fight

    Sean Combs has come out swinging against Comcast in a lengthy statement prompted by the cable giant’s legal battle with Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen. Combs accused Comcast of maintaining “the illusion of economic inclusion” in its handling of a carriage agreement with Combs’ Revolt TV channel. Combs was critical of Comcast for failing to [...]

  • Oprah Winfrey during a tribute to

    TV News Roundup: OWN Orders Celebrity Relationship Series '#LoveGoals'

    In today’s TV news roundup, OWN orders a new unscripted relationship series and Disney Channel orders new seasons of “The Owl House” and “Sydney to the Max.”  DATES ABC will live broadcast the “2020 NCAA Gymnastics Championship Final” on April 18. The semi finals will air the day before at 1 and 6 p.m. ET. [...]

  • Sissy book cover

    Showtime to Develop Series Based on Jacob Tobia Memoir 'Sissy' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Showtime is developing a half-hour dramedy based on Jacob Tobia’s memoir, Variety has learned exclusively. Tobia is a non-binary LGBTQ rights activist, actor, producer, and author. Their memoir, “Sissy: A Coming-of-Gender Story,” was published earlier this year by Putnam Books at Penguin Random House. The series, currently titled “Sissy,” would follow Tobi Gibran, a non-binary college [...]

  • Invisible Stories from HBO Asia

    Singapore Festival: HBO Asia Tells ‘Invisible Stories’

    HBO Asia has expanded its burgeoning production slate with six-episode half-hour series “Invisible Stories.” The first two episodes of the show, “Lian” and “Chuan,” play at the Singapore International Film Festival on Nov. 28. The series is by writer and director Ler Jiyuan, who previously directed part of HBO Asia Original series “Grisse.” “Like 80% [...]

  • Jane Galloway Heitz

    'Glee' Actress Jane Galloway Heitz Dies at 78

    Jane Galloway Heitz, known for playing the character of Lillian Adler on “Glee,” has died, according to an obituary posted in the Chicago Tribune. She was 78. The actress only appeared in person twice on the Fox show, once in the pilot and on another occasion in 2015, as her character’s image appeared in a [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content