Outside the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel in June of 2016

There is no more beautiful venue for an annual media festival than the one held every June in breathtaking Banff, Alberta.

Festivals have had it tough in recent years; witness the shocking news that Montreal will not host a Just for Laughs comedy event this summer for the first time in memory, certainly no laughing matter.

One industry gathering, however, continues to be a steady draw. It helps, of course, that The Banff World Media Festival is so international in scope.

While deals are made, big name guests take questions and industry folk mingle with creatives, one of the main annual draws is the statue swapping. To that end, nominees for the 2024 Rockie Awards saluting international programs were just announced Thursday in Toronto. One hundred and fifty-five nominees from 19 countries were selected. The BBC leads the international field with 22 nominations with 20th Television next with eight. The USA, with 51 nominations,  edged out The UK with 50; Canada ranked next with 40 followed by France (8), Germany (7) and Taiwan (6).  

The main street of Banff on a rainy night in 2017

The Rockie Awards Grand Jury Prize is selected from the top programs across all 30 fields. Among this year’s grand jurors are Javiera Balmaceda, Head of Originals, Latin America, CA & AU at Amazon MGM Studios; Julie Chang, EVP, Business Strategy & Co-Productions at Blue Ant Media; Prentiss Fraser, President, TV Distribution at Fifth Season; Nichole T. Roberts, Head of Unscripted at Hoorae; Michael Thorn, President, Scripted Programming at FOX Entertainment; and Morgan Wandell, Head of International Content Development at Apple TV+

In addition to the Grand Jury Prize, there is also a $25,000 Rogers Prize for Excellence in Canadian Content awarded to the top Canadian production, as well as the Prix Francophone for the top French language production. Look for announcements on several other Rockies Gala Awards soon.


Gerry Dee works the Banff Rockie Awards in June of 2016

The in-person and live-streamed ceremony will take place on Tuesday,  June 11th at 5:30pm MT (7:30pm ET).There is usually a great host chosen to work the Rockie Awards; Gerry Dee (Family Feud Canada) killed it several years ago at one event I attended. Look for an announcement as to who will host this year in the coming weeks.

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