Anne with an E is renewed for third season, confirming production will be based at Toronto’s Northwood Entertainment and Prince Edward Island, Canada
Netflix and CBC have renewed the series for a third season to comprise of ten hour-long episodes. The announcement has been made before the second season is aired on the Canadian CBC network. Netflix, which handles US and international distribution, released the second series to continued success at the beginning of July.
Anne With an E follows the adolescent orphan as she is sent to live in the fictional town of Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. Set in the late 19th century, the series is a modern reworking of the classic novel Anne of Green Gables which has spawned numerous adaptations over the years. Writer Moira Walley-Beckett, who has received a writers Guild of Canada award for her work on the show, works current themes into the adaptation. She notes that in the third season Anne will continue “transforming Avonlea with her unique spirit, fierce intellect and brilliant imagination” as the protagonist deals with “timeless themes of identity, deceit, sexism, racism, bullying, prejudice, and empowerment”.
As a remake of one of Canada’s most beloved cultural exports, it is fitting that the production has made use of Canada’s extensive production framework. Executive producer Miranda de Pencier announced, “I’m also very proud that we make our show in Canada with a wonderfully talented group of artists”. The third season will continue to shoot at Northwood Entertainment in Toronto, Ontario and Prince Edward Island (PEI), in Eastern Canada.
Location shoots on PEI provide enchanting shots of the lush countryside, wide expanses and red-sand beaches that are essential to the atmosphere of the series. The new season will start production this winter and is expected to be released in late 2019.
Northwood Entertainment was founded by the show’s De Pencier in a “mission to create a thriving home for creators with singular voices to reach broad audiences”. The co-production between Northwood Entertainment and CBC has certainly reached broad audiences. Sally Catto general manager of programming at CBC notes the show reached 4.5 million viewers domestically, while Netflix named it as its fourth most binge-watched show in 2017. Cindy Holland VP of original content for Netflix “through the storytelling of Anne with an E, the classic Canadian tale has transcended borders and found fans across our global membership”.
Toronto, Ontario is home to Northwood Entertainment and remains the top production hub in Canada and in recent years high-end production sky rocketed in the state. In 2016 foreign production activity increased by 49%, while 2017 Academy Award winner for Best Picture The Shape of Water exclusively shot within the state. In recent years Ontario has gained momentum as the home of large-scale TV productions as “Suits” and The Handmaid’s Tale and Black Mirror based significant proportions of their productions there.
The Ontario Film and Television Tax Credit provides a 45% benefit of spend to national and co-productions meaning Anne With an E should qualify. 85% of the film of series has to be shot in the state, and local cast and crew must be employed. 21.5% rebate is available to foreign productions with a budget upwards of CAD1 million looking to shoot in the state. VAT/GST/Sales tax is also recoverable through applications made via the Film Service Unit.
PEI has no formal tax incentive for international filming. Despite the natural beauty of the province, the lack of a filming incentive has meant that the island has mainly been used to authenticate adaptations of Anne of Green Gables.
Canada also has a federal Film or Video Production Tax Services Credit that provides a 16% payroll tax rebate for foreign productions. This jumps up to 25% for national and co-productions.
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