Morton taking reins at Canadian Academy


TORONTO -- Sara Morton, architect of Ontario's tax credit program for film producers, on Monday was tapped to replace Maria Topolovich as CEO of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television, which organizes Canada's film and TV awards.

Morton will start work at the ACCT's Toronto headquarters July 3, following Topolovich, who led the Canadian film and TV industry organization for more than 25 years before resigning in April.

Among Morton's main challenges will be increasing the domestic TV audience for the Genies, Canada's film awards, and the Geminis, the country's TV awards, after years of lackluster ratings.

"Ms. Morton is the ideal candidate for this position. She has worked with broadcasters, is knowledgeable about regulatory matters, is an expert on tax credits and financing structures, has worked with boards, lobbied with stakeholders and managed staff," ACCT chairman Paul Gratton said Monday.

Morton cut her teeth as an entertainment lawyer at Toronto legal firm Lang Michener before joining the then-Ontario Film Development Corp., a provincial government agency, to introduce tax credits for film, TV, computer animation and interactive digital media in Ontario.

Morton subsequently worked as an independent consultant to domestic broadcasters before, most recently, acquiring film and TV content for Bell ExpressVu LP, the domestic direct-to-home satellite service.

In a bid to drive ratings for the Geminis, the 22nd installment of the TV awards will be held in Regina on Oct. 28, with Canadian broadcasters Global Television and the CBC joining forces to air the event.