Personal Profile – Ilana Frank

ILANA FRANK, Executive Producer

Ilana Frank is the award-winning executive producer behind ICF Films, (and previously Thump) a production company focused on creating entertaining and powerful long-form drama.

Frank’s illustrious career in film production began after several years of professional experience as a producer of theatrical plays.  In the mid-1980s she joined Toronto-based production and distribution company Norstar Entertainment as VP of Production.  In this role, Frank supervised the development of more than 20 in-house feature films.

In 1996, Frank established Thump Inc., a production company that released its first feature film The Life Before This in 1998.  The film starred Stephen Rea, Sarah Polley, Joe Pantoliano and Catherine O’Hara (who won a Genie Award for her performance).

Soon after, she moved to television production as the co-creator and executive producer of The Eleventh Hour.  Over the course of its run, the series was nominated for more than 30 Gemini Awards, chalking up wins in all major categories including Best Writer, Director and Actor.

In 2006, she teamed up with The Eleventh Hour director David Wellington on a a four-hour original miniseries for CTV entitled Would Be Kings, starring Ben Bass and Natasha Henstridge (who won the Gemini Award for Best Actress).  Frank also produced a one-hour pilot for Showcase entitled, Clean, and the 2008 television movie, Of Memory and Murder (CTV/Lifetime), written by Semi Chellas and inspired by the memoir Who Named the Knife by Linda Spalding.

Frank’s skills brought the predecessor of eOne knocking for a first look deal.  In late 2008, Frank secured a 13-episode order for the television series Rookie Blue.  It went on to six hugely successful seasons with Global and ABC.

Frank developed and produced CTV’s medical drama Saving Hope, (the most-watched Canadian drama of the 2013-14 broadcast year for CTV) completing an 85 episode run in 2017.  In 2018 Frank  executive produced two new one-hour drama series, a female detective series The Detail for CTV and Ion, and Burden of Truth for CBC, created by Brad Simpson starring Kristin Kreuk, picked up by the CW in the US.  The fourth and final season of Burden of Truth completed shooting in Manitoba during the COVID pandemic.

In 2019 Frank executive produced the hospital drama Nurses for Global.  The first season has been picked up by NBC.  Second season was interrupted in 2020 with COVID but returned to shooting and recently air on Global.

Frank has spent the remainder of COVID in active development particularly mentoring new writers.


Award-Winning Producer

Throughout her career, Frank has been known for giving now-recognized talent their first break. She has a unique ability to identify, nurture, develop and integrate talent into exciting and commercially successful productions. Her accomplishments in this area were recognized at the 2007 Writer’s Guild of Canada (WGC) Awards when she was awarded the Alex Barris Mentorship Award for her role in nurturing Canadian talent.
 According to one of nine nomination letters received for the WGC Award, “Ilana is a mentor, a bodyguard, a hustler, an advocate, a queen of ideas, a negotiator and a true friend. She isn’t detached or objective; she isn’t remotely hands-off. She’s passionate, engaged and ‘all-in’ all the time. She believes in the voices of the artists she works with and helps them realize their vision.”

In 2008, Frank received the WIFT-Toronto Crystal Award for Creative Excellence in recognition of her achievements and the dynamic quality of her work in screen-based media industries.