Thirty years young, the Banff World Television Festival officially kicked off Sunday evening with the 2009 Banff World Television Awards for categories, followed by CBC/Radio Canada’s opening reception.
Hosted by E! Canada’s Arisa Cox and presented in the Festival’s host hotel, the Banff Springs, the awards ceremony presented Rockies to the best in individual categories, as decided by international jury hosts.
The UK’s Channel Four was behind six winners over the course of the evening. The Social & Humanitarian Program winner was The Qu’ran, produced by Juniper Communications in association with Antony Thomas Productions for Channel 4. The nod for Political Documentary went to Dispatches: Warlords Next Door, which was originally slated in the Investigative/Current Affairs category, but the judges felt the program, produced by Quicksilver Media for Channel 4, was more appropriate for the Political Doc field. For Music or Variety Program, the winner was Peter Kay’s Britain’s Got the Pop Factor, produced by Mike McIntyre Productions, again for Channel 4. The Arts and Performing Arts award went to The Curse of the Mona Lisa, from Oxford Film and Television for Channel 4, and Thriller in Manila, produced by Darlow Smithson for More4, took Best Sports Documentary. The sixth winner for Channel 4 was in the Youth Programs category, which saw Raw TV’s Battlefront take the prize.
Non-fiction awards that didn’t go to Channel 4 included Lifestyle & Information, which saw Canada’s Anaid Productions scoop the prize for the Food Network’s Family Restaurant: The Quons. The Reality Format award went to Blood, Sweat & T-Shirts, a Ricochet production for the BBC, while Paris 1919, an NFB production in copro with 13 Productions, Galafilm and Arte France, grabbed the History & Biography category. The Popular Science and Technology nod went to Inuit Odyssey, produced by Clearwater Media for CBC & APTN, and the Wildlife and Natural History honors went to Titus: The Gorilla King, produced by Tigress Productions for BBC and WNET. Frontline: Heat, produced by Frontline and RAINMedia, took the Environmental prize, and CBC’s Hockey Day in Canada was named Best Sports Entertainment Program. The Grand Prize winners will be announced tonight.
Of course, for the few days before the TV fest, Banff also played host to the nextMEDIA conference, bringing top players in the interactive and digital production realms together. Sessions of particular interest to producers on Sunday included Branded Entertainment: In the Trenches with the Experts and a spirited discussion on social media Twitter, Facebook and Linked In: Anyone Else Having Trouble Keeping Up?.
For more info on the Banff World Television Festival, check out www.banff2009.com.