July 19, 2010 – Whizbang Films Announces Start of Principal Photography on New Series, The Yard for The Movie Network and Movie Central

Starring Alex Cardillo, Shemar Charles and Quintin Colantoni and Executive Produced by Paul Gross, Frank Siracusa, David Eddie and Michael Mabbott 


(July 19, 2010 – Toronto, Ontario) – Whizbang Films, in association with Astral’s The Movie Network (Eastern Canada) and Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central (Western Canada), announced today that production has begun on THE YARD, a six part, half-hour miniseries about the day-to-day struggle for supremacy between two schoolyard gangs. Shooting will take place in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, through August 21st, 2010, and the series will premiere on The Movie Network and Movie Central in 2011. 


Executive produced by Paul Gross, Frank Siracusa, David Eddie and Michael Mabbott, the original series stars Alex Cardillo (Durham County, 18 to Life), Shemar Charles (Camp Rock 2, Overruled) and Quintin Colantoni (Flashpoint, Party Down) and newcomers Kofi Payton and Sarah Cranmer. Michael Mabbott (The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico, Baxter) will direct. 


“We’re very excited about the show,” says Executive Producer Frank Siracusa. “Even though the cast is strictly kids - most between the ages of 10 and 13, anyone who has ever stood in a schoolyard at recess will be able to relate. Reading the scripts brought me right back to grade six, but much funnier.” 


The Yard is a terrific example of the kind of genre-bending, boundary pushing original content that viewers have come to expect from The Movie Network,” said Aubie Greenberg, Director, Original Programming, Movie Services, Astral Television Networks. “Whizbang has once again put together a superbly talented cast and crew, and we’re excited to bring the unique vision of Michael and Dave to life in the The Yard.” 


The Yard, is set in an urban elementary school, and chronicles two rival gangs vying for control of the schoolyard. In this provocatively humorous series, we follow 12-year-old Nick (Quintin Colantoni) and his crew trying to walk the razor’s edge of maintaining peace and defending their turf against Frankie (Daniel Lupetina) and the Dos Santos brothers (Daryn Karp, Jared Karp), the ruthless crew who will stop at nothing to regain control of the Yard. It's a tough world out there: corruption, greed, violence, seduction and betrayal – and that's just recess. 


The Yard was created and written by Michael Mabbott (The Life and Hard Times of Guy Terrifico) and David Eddie (House Broken, Globe & Mail’s Damage Control). Thom J. Pretak (Cra$h & Burn, This is Wonderland) is producer. Director of Photography is D. Gregor Hagey (Pure Pwnage, The Border) and Peter Emmink (Living in Your Car, The Line) is Production Designer. Aubie Greenberg and Kathleen Meek from Astral’s The Movie Network and Julie Di Cresce from Corus Entertainment’s Movie Central are the production executives overseeing this series. 


The Yard is developed and produced by Whizbang Films. The Movie Network and Movie Central developed, commissioned and invested in the series. It is produced with the participation of the Canada Media Fund Rogers Cable Network Fund, the Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit and the Ontario Media Development Corporation and distributed by Whizbang Films Distribution. 


Whizbang Films is a dynamic producer and distributor of high-quality, award-winning dramatic TV series and feature films. Headed by Paul Gross and Frank Siracusa, Whizbang released the World War I feature film Passchendaele in 2008, which received five Genie Awards including the Golden Reel Award for highest box office for a Canadian Film. Visit: www.whizbangfilms.com.


The Movie Network is a member of the Astral family. Astral is one of Canada’s largest media companies. It operates over 100 of the country’s most popular pay and specialty television, radio, outof- home advertising and digital media properties. Astral plays a central role in community life across the country by offering diverse, rich and vibrant programming that meets the tastes and needs of consumers and advertisers. To learn more about Astral, visit astral.com


Movie Central is a commercial-free premium pay TV service available in western Canada. Movie Central premieres the best in Hollywood, international and Canadian films across nine 24-hour movie channels, including dedicated high-definition feeds, a Movie Central On Demand service and exclusive HBO content on HBO Canada. Movie Central is also the first window for Showtime content and home to cutting-edge Canadian series. A major force in the Canadian independent film and television production industry, Movie Central, through The Corus Made with Pay Fund, supports many critically acclaimed and award-winning Canadian series and films. Visit the Movie Central website at www.moviecentral.ca.  


Movie Central is owned by Corus Entertainment Inc., a Canadian-based media and entertainment company. Corus is a market leader in specialty television and radio with additional assets in pay television, advertising services, television broadcasting, children’s book publishing and children’s animation. The company’s multimedia entertainment brands include YTV, Treehouse, Nickelodeon (Canada), W Network, CosmoTV, VIVA, Sundance Channel (Canada), Movie Central, HBO Canada, Nelvana, Kids Can Press and radio stations including CKNW, CFOX, CKOI, 98,5 FM, Q107 and 102.1 the Edge. Corus creates engaging branded entertainment experiences for its audiences across multiple platforms. A publicly traded company, Corus is listed on the Toronto (CJR.B) and New York (CJR) exchanges. Experience Corus on the web at www.corusent.com.  


For more information, please contact:

Lisa Ghione Unit Publicist

(416) 520-8031