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Breakthrough, Vast team on holiday movies

Canada’s Breakthrough Entertainment and LA-based Vast Entertainment have unveiled a partnership dedicated to developing and producing romance-themed Christmas movies for TV and streaming platforms.

Lane Shefter Bishop

As part of the alliance, Breakthrough and Vast will invite scriptwriters to projects, help to build Canadian content and grow opportunities for industry creatives in both the US and Canada to tap into the popular holiday romance genre, the companies said.

The alliance kicks off with three new titles – Mistletoe & Molly, Christmas Beneath the Stars and Secret Santa – which are all exec produced and directed by Vast’s Emmy-winning CEO Lane Shefter Bishop, as well as Craig McGillivray, Ira Levy and Michael McGuigan from Breakthrough.

Mistletoe & Molly is based on a novella by Jennifer Snow, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joshua Roach; Christmas Beneath the Stars is based on a book by Melissa Hill with a screenplay by Isabel Dréan; and Secret Santa is created and written by Dréan. Beverly Hills-based Miljoy Entertainment is also exec producing Mistletoe & Molly, while Paul Lepore, Marian Lepore and Andrew Bishop were executive producers on Secret Santa.

The three movies have already chalked up some sales, with US cablenet UPtv taking Mistletoe & Molly and Christmas Beneath the Stars, and Super Channel in Canada licensing all three titles.

Craig McGillivray

“Our partnership with Vast Entertainment allows us to provide a continuous offering of high-quality holiday romance TV movies,” said Craig McGillivray, Breakthrough’s VP of distribution, adding that the two companies aim to “feed the insatiable appetite for films of this genre.”

“Our partnership with Breakthrough is opening the door for both our companies to tell these stories to audiences around the world,” added Bishop. “Whether we’re bringing words to screen through books or original screenplays, our relationship allows us to pool our resources and incredible expertise to form a production powerhouse in this space.”

Breakthrough and Vast are already working together on the adaptation of best-selling British author Anne Perry’s popular William Monk Mysteries into a TV series.

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