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CCF hires unscripted trio, reveals first slate

Julie Bristow’s development and investment vehicle Content Catalyst Fund (CCF) has hired a trio of unscripted specialists to support its growing portfolio of projects.

Vibika Bianchi

Vibika Bianchi, Maria Farano and Heather Findlay have joined the CCF as executive producers.

Bianchi is a curator, format creator and executive producer who has delivered unscripted content for the likes of HGTV, Food Network, Discovery and the CBC.

In addition to guiding the creation of lifestyle hits Property Brothers and Love it or List It, she has overseen local adaptations of formats including Undercover Boss, Come Dine With Me, How to Look Good Naked and Jamie Oliver’s Pressure Cooker.

Bianchi’s CV includes senior VP roles at Our House Media and Entertainment One, as well as nearly 11 years at Corus Entertainment, where she led the commissioning strategy for channels including W Network, OWN Canada and CMT.

Farano has 20 years of experience in developing and producing unscripted content. She has produced for HGTV, History, W Network, Slice, OWN, Discovery, ABC Spark and CMT, with credits including The Bachelorette Canada/The Bachelor Canada, Game of Homes, To Catch a Killer, Undercover Boss Canada, The Real Housewives of Toronto, Tornado Hunters and My Mom’s a Medium.

Creative executive and producer Findlay has played a key role in the development and production of content for Discovery, the CBC, W Network, T&E, CMT, HGTV, Travel Channel, Science Channel and Food Network. Her genre experience also spans factual, kids’ and food programming, with credits including Canada’s Worst Driver, Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip, The Great Canadian Baking Show and Keeping Canada Alive.

Former CBC and Bristow Global Media exec Bristow set up the CCF last year as a development and funding company that focuses on content developed, delivered and designed by women, about women.

The CCF, which entered into a non-scripted coproduction joint venture with international producer, distributor and channel operator Blue Ant Media in late February, has also announced its first slate of female-generated unscripted projects for the global market.

Highlights include Darkness in Daylight, developed in collaboration with producer/actor Folklaur Chevrier, which revisits the murder of nine-year-old Christine Jessop in 1984.

Home Made with Kara Beckmann is a renovation series featuring real-estate investor, builder and designer Kara Beckmann, who’s not afraid to take risks as she flips properties for profit.

Also in development is factual comedy I Have Nothing, on which CCF is collaborating with creators Carolyn Taylor (Baroness Von Sketch Show) and Zack Russel. The show follows Carolyn’s quixotic quest to choreograph a figure-skating routine inspired by her unhealthy obsession with the 1988 Calgary Olympics.


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