At a gala held last night in Toronto, hometown prodco Shaftesbury Films took home the 2008 Shaw Rocket Prize for live-action tween comedy Life with Derek.
The half-hour series was singled out by the international jury as one of three nominees along with Cookie Jar Entertainment’s Johnny Test Season 2, and Sinking Ship Entertainment’s preschool series Roll Play. The deciding votes, however, were in the hands of national student jury made up of some 700 grade four, five and six students from the Royal Conservatory of Music’s innovative Learning Through The Arts Program.
Shaftesbury chairman Christina Jennings and Suzanne French, VP of children’s and family were on hand to accept the US$49,000 prize for the best Canadian children’s program. Jennings pledged to donate half the prize money to PREVnet, a charity devoted to stopping bullying, and the other half to the Canadian Film Centre to sponsor a program to encourage up-and-coming children’s TV and film writers.