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Archive: Feb 5, 2007
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Barna-Alper readies CÚline, has Pickton in wings
by: Feb 5, 2007 Print

First it was Shania, now CÚline is getting a turn. Toronto's Barna-Alper Productions is in preproduction on the MOW biopic CÚline, based on the life of singer CÚline Dion, to air on CBC.

Donald Martin (My Life as a Dog) wrote the screenplay from the book CÚline Dion: A New Day Dawns by Barry Gills and Jim Brown.

"It's a really well-known subject matter, so for our audiences - which are so fragmented - to know immediately from the title what the pic is about is really important," says Loren Mawhinney, VP of programming at BAP.

CÚline will hand the Ceeb another big audience not unlike BAP's Shania: A Life in Eight Albums, about country star Shania Twain, which grabbed 1.2 million viewers on Nov. 7, 2005.

"The thing with CÚline and Shania is that they were young girls with raw talent who made it, despite the odds. It's an inspirational story," Mawhinney says.

Filming is set to commence in March in Ontario, though BAP has yet to lock a director.

In other news, the story of accused serial killer Robert Pickton is also in the works at BAP, which is eyeing the still-unfolding story as an MOW for CTV.

The company has optioned the rights to a forthcoming book, The Pig Farm, by noted investigative author Stevie Cameron (On The Take, Blue Trust) and handed the adaptation duties to Peter Mitchell (October 1970, Cold Squad).

"We'd like to have it close to release after the trial," says Loren Mawhinney, VP of programming at BAP. Pickton is currently on trial in B.C., accused of murdering 26 women.

Mawhinney says BAP is also in "heavy, heavy development" on a companion documentary about the grisly case, fronted by Malcolm Clarke (Prisoner of Paradise).

Besides CÚline and the Pickton projects, the busy indie prodco has a slate of productions up its sleeve for '07, including the crime pic The Quality of Life: A Dominic Da Vinci Movie for CBC and Showcase, starring Nicholas Campbell. It is also producing the 13 x 30 scripted series Da Kink in My Hair for Global Television and the 13 x 30 lifestyle show Party Mamas for Alliance Atlantis.

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