Deal set to take city’s Farpoint Films to next level
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Winnipeg-based production company Farpoint Films has inked a deal to produce 150 hours of scripted and unscripted television programming this year for Super Channel, a national television network operating on a subscription model.
The deal was announced Tuesday morning, and comes with an option for the companies to extend the term by one year in both January 2024 and January 2025.
Since its founding in 2000, Farpoint has produced various television shows and films including Room for Rent, Menorca, Vandits, and Bachman, a documentary on guitarist Randy Bachman. The Swearing Jar, a 2022 movie, was shown at the Toronto International Film Festival, featuring Patrick J. Adams (Suits) and the Golden Globe-winning actor Kathleen Turner.
In all, more than 500 hours of content has been produced by the company, and Farpoint president Kyle Bornais indicated in a release that the deal with Super Channel will take the company’s work “to the next level.”
Scott Leary, an independent producer with Farpoint, told the Free Press that the company will retain international rights on any project created under the partnership, with Super Channel retaining exclusive rights to broadcast and distribute the content within Canada across its channels.
The deal highlights both companies’ strengths, with Super Channel’s international track record likely easing the path for Farpoint’s own distribution. Meanwhile, having such large support from the broadcaster from the get-go will allow Farpoint to focus more directly on the content it makes, Leary said.
“The exciting thing for us is that it gives us the opportunity to make shows that we know will sell internationally without having to find a Canadian broadcast partner to get the shows off the ground to start with,” Leary said.
Don McDonald, the president and CEO of Super Channel, which has been in business for 15 years, called Farpoint “a great partner.” Super Channel is owned by the Edmonton-based media company Allarco Entertainment. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Leary called the deal “quite substantial.”
The first two unscripted co-productions are already underway. Death of the Party is a “true crime doc series that takes a look at mysterious murders linked to house parties, banquets, concerts, festivals and events.” An Hour to Kill, will “micro-examine the most fascinating uninterrupted hour of a homicide investigation.”
Farpoint is also planning to begin production on three more films in the summer, with production and post-production set to be done in-house. The company’s distribution arm, a separate entity under the Farpoint umbrella, will be “taking the majority of them out to market” at Realscreen, the world’s largest industry summit focused on nonfiction film and television. That event takes place in Austin, Texas, later this month.
Leary called the deal “groundbreaking” in Canada in terms of its distribution structure and the size of the bulk order of video content.
“The real work starts now,” he added. “(We will) be very busy this year.”
Ben Waldman covers a little bit of everything for the Free Press.