Bell Media Announces 2016 Executive Producer Accelerator Lab Participants

— January 5, 2016

– Annual program is part of the $11.6 million Bell Media TV Skills and Film Development Initiative –
– Provides enhanced training to Canada’s next generation of executive producers –

TORONTO (January 5, 2016) – Bell Media announced today the five applicants selected to participate in the 2016 Executive Producer Accelerator Lab. Now in its third year, the annual two-part program is part of the $11.6 million Bell Media TV Skills and Film Development Initiative, and provides mid-level television producers with unique hands-on training to assist their career advancement within Canada’s television industry. The program begins Monday, Jan. 11, 2016. The 2016 Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab participants are:
  • John Griffith (Toronto)
    • A business affairs consultant for the film and television industry, John is also the producer of the award-winning feature A Little Bit Zombie, which was screened at a number of festivals, and the half-hour CBC comedy pilot HUMAN TOWN, winner of the 2015 National ComedyCoup competition.
  • Adria Budd Johnson (originally from Edmonton, currently resides in Toronto)
    • Adria is the writer and producer of several short films, and also produced and managed digital distribution for the feature film Best Day Ever: Aiden Kesler 1994-2011. She currently has several projects in development, including TV dramas BREAKER and BELLUM.
  •  Matt King (Toronto)
    • Matt is an international award-winning and Canadian Screen Award-nominated producer and president of LaRue Entertainment, a Toronto-based media company. At LaRue, he oversees the development, financing, production, and distribution of projects for all platforms, including the hit comedy series THE AMAZING GAYL PILE on NBCUniversal’s OTT subscription channel Seeso.
  • Jeff Kinnon (Vancouver)
    • A producer, writer, and director with more than a decade of industry experience, Jeff’s credits include Discovery, City, Sportsnet, and NBC Sports programming. He is also the co-creator of the factual documentary series JADE FEVER (Discovery) and HAIL MARY (City).
  • Sarah Timmins (Toronto)
    • Sarah is a film, television, and interactive media producer with more than 10 years of experience. She is also the founding partner of Toronto-based production company Corvid Pictures, whose projects include the international award-winning feature The Tracey Fragments and cult-hit comedy series TODD AND THE BOOK OF PURE EVIL (Space).
“We look forward to welcoming these talented producers to Bell Media next week, and providing them with the opportunity to learn from a variety of experts from all parts of our industry and experience the inner workings of a television network first-hand,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “The skills and knowledge they gain here will help them to advance to the next stage of their careers.” The two-part Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab program begins Jan. 11 with a six-week broadcaster internship at Bell Media’s Toronto headquarters. The group-based curriculum provides participants with exposure to the internal operations of a Canadian broadcaster and the opportunity to learn about the complex business model and economics of Canadian television production and its relationship to broadcasting through hands-on sessions with internal departments, panel discussions with industry experts, exploration of case studies, and coaching sessions. Following the internship, a select number of participants will be chosen for a specialized eight to 10-month production apprenticeship with a top independent Canadian production company or Bell Media In-House Productions. This placement will span of the life of one program cycle and is intended to expose the participant to the Executive Producer’s role and responsibilities, and provide meaningful access to the day-to-day running of a large-scale series. Companies that have hosted participants previously include Force Four Entertainment, marblemedia, RTR Media, Shaftesbury, and Temple Street Productions. Previous Phase Two participants have enjoyed fruitful careers since completing the Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab. Following her apprenticeship at Shaftesbury Films, Jennifer Pun (2014 participant) co-produced the feature film The Void and is presently working with Camillion Corp. on its development slate, which includes a Will Sasso project currently in development with Bell Media. Jennifer Little (2015 participant) has been working in an Executive Producer role at RTR, pitching shows to broadcasters as well as creating and developing digital series for the company.

About the Bell Media TV and Film Skills Development Initiative

The $11.6 million Bell Media TV Skills and Film Development Initiative is a suite of national mentoring and promotional programs, which ensure a comprehensive range of training for writers, producers, directors, and showrunners in the Canadian television and film industry at different stages of their careers. Currently, four of these multi-year initiatives are exclusively funded by Bell Media. The program supports the Banff World Media Festival, the Bell Media Diverse Screenwriters Program (Writers Guild of Canada) for emerging and mid-career writers from diverse backgrounds who intern in a writing room of a Bell Media TV series; the Bell Media Primetime TV Program (Canadian Film Centre), which provides series development for TV writers; the Bell Media Executive Producer Accelerator Lab, which provides immersive and experiential broadcast and production experience for mid-level producers; the NSI Totally Television Program (National Screen Institute), a training course for writers, producers, and showrunners to hone concepts with the goal of landing a development deal with a broadcaster; and the Telefilm Talent Fund (Telefilm), which helps fund and promote films from emerging and established filmmakers.

About Bell Media Independent Production

Bell Media has commissioned some of Canada’s most-watched and most-acclaimed original programming, working with the best Canadian independent producers in the country. Hit series commissioned by CTV include ratings success stories SAVING HOPE, MOTIVE, the record-breaking THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, and MASTERCHEF CANADA. CTV recently announced its first-ever serialized drama CARDINAL. Among the original scripted series on Bell Media pay and specialty channels are the internationally acclaimed ORPHAN BLACK, the smash-hit thriller BITTEN, Space’s most-watched original series KILLJOYS, Bravo’s most-watched original drama 19-2, award-winning dramedy SENSITIVE SKIN, upcoming cult comedy LETTERKENNY, and the new original drama FRONTIER. Bell Media specialty channels are also home to hit factual series HIGHWAY THRU HELL, COLD WATER COWBOYS, and CANADA’S WORST DRIVER, among others.

About Bell Media

With passion and an unrelenting commitment to excellence, Bell Media creates content and builds brands that entertain, inform, engage, and inspire audiences through the platforms of their choice. Bell Media is Canada’s premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio, out-of-home advertising, and digital media. Bell Media owns 30 local television stations led by CTV, Canada’s #1 television network; 34 specialty channels, including TSN and RDS, Canada’s most-watched specialty channels in English and French; and four pay TV services, including The Movie Network and Super Écran. Bell Media is also Canada’s largest radio broadcaster, with 106 licensed radio stations in 54 markets across Canada. Bell Media owns Astral Out of Home, one of Canada’s most dynamic and innovative out-of-home advertising companies with a network of more than 13,500 advertising faces in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Québec, and Nova Scotia. Bell Media also operates more than 200 websites; delivers TV Everywhere with premium subscription on-demand streaming service CraveTV, as well as its innovative GO video streaming services including CTV GO, Discovery GO, TMN GO, and TSN GO; operates multi-channel network Much Digital Studios; holds an equity stake in digital startup Hubub; is partners in Cirque du Soleil Media, a joint venture with Cirque du Soleil; and owns Dome Productions Inc., a multi-platform production company. Bell Media is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. For more on Bell Media, please visit

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