Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Call for submissions: CFC NFB Documentary Program

The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and National Film Board (NFB) have announced the 2nd edition of their documentary program. This program was successfully initiated last year by the two institutions with four participants. Yung Chang, Shelley Saywell and John Walker were already award-winning documentarians, while Sarah Polley was a graduate of the CFC as a director and also Academy Award-nominated for writing her film Away From Her.

The program last year was a six-month program in the first half of the year. This time around, it is expanded to run a full year starting in November 2010, interspersed in multiple modules. They encourage development for feature-length, mid-length as well as interactive documentaries. The program is for directors only unfortunately, and not producers.

The deadline for applications is October 15, 2010
CFC and NFB Announce the 2nd Edition of Successful Doc Development Program  
July 14, 2010
Pushing the Creative Limits of the Form

Toronto, July 14, 2010 – The Canadian Film Centre (CFC) and the National Film Board (NFB) are pleased to announce that a new session of their successful and unique documentary development program will begin in November 2010.  Created with the goal of developing successful original feature documentaries for Canadian and international audiences the CFC NFB Documentary Program's inaugural session was launched in January 2009.

This specialized program was created for accomplished Canadian directors with an original, demanding and distinctive documentary concept.  It is designed to help directors develop documentaries that will advance their artistic approach as well as the documentary genre itself, while exhibiting the potential to achieve commercial and critical success.  This immersive experience combines intensive think-tank style modules at the CFC with project-specific mentorship from some of Canada's and the world's greatest documentary talents. The application deadline for the new session of the Documentary program is October 15th 2010.

The results of the 2009 program have been creatively rich and rewarding. Four acclaimed directors – Yung Chang, Sarah Polley, Shelley Saywell and John Walker – participated in the inaugural program, and they benefited from the editorial support of top talents such as Sturla Gunnarsson, Wim Wenders, Kevin McMahon, Jennifer Baichwal, Tim Southam, Peter Mettler, Fernando Trueba, Ron Mann, Allan King and many more. Through the process they honed their documentary ideas into challenging and original projects. John Walker's A DRUMMERS DREAM premiered to high praise at Hot Docs in 2010 and was named one of 2010 Hot Docs' Top Ten audience favourites; Yung Chang's THE FRUIT HUNTERS won the top pitch prize at the Toronto Documentary Forum; Sarah Polley's THE DARK ROOM has commenced production and Shelley Saywell (winner for best feature documentary at Hot Docs 2010) has made great strides in the research and development of her film GHOST DANCE.

Documentary continues to evolve as a genre, with new audiences, new technologies and platforms pushing it in exciting creative directions. The CFC and the NFB, both international leaders in fostering new forms of storytelling, are expanding the program to encompass emerging forms of documentary expression including creative mid-length documentaries and interactive works.

“By responding to the specific challenges of individual projects, the CFC NFB Documentary Program adapts to the needs of senior filmmakers in ways that no other program offers,” said Slawko Klymkiw, CFC Executive Director.  “The proof is evident in the remarkable films that emerged from the first session.”

 “I am happy to renew the partnership with the Canadian Film Centre which is based on a common love of filmmaking and a desire to explore the full range of possibilities of the documentary as an art form,” said Tom Perlmutter, NFB, Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson.  “The first edition of our collaboration showed that even experienced filmmakers would benefit from an atmosphere of creative openness and risk taking. We firmly believe that the laboratory approach will be crucial in setting future trends for documentary filmmaking.  This is vital for our cinematic culture—the documentary remains the Canadian cinematic art form par excellence. A catalyst for cinematic innovation is exactly the kind of role that the NFB, as a public producer, must play.  We are fortunate to have in the CFC a collaborator sharing the same values.”

The CFC NFB Documentary Program is an immersive experience specifically tailored to the precise needs of 4 participants who will collaborate with industry experts in a professional environment, enhanced by a supported inquiry phase focused on concept development and may include shooting and editing work to demonstrate the power of characters and proposed visual approach. Participants' projects will be considered for production at the conclusion of the Documentary Program.

The CFC NFB Documentary Program is led by Program Manager Jerry McIntosh, who brings more than 20 years of expertise in the documentary field as a Director and Executive Producer for CBC Television. Multi-award winning and Oscar-nominated documentary director, Larry Weinstein serves as Senior Creative Counselor for the program and Gerry Flahive, at the forefront of innovative work with digital media and documentaries for nearly 30 years, is the National Film Board of Canada producer.

Full criteria and application details are available online at

About CFC
CFC is Canada's largest institution for advanced training in film, television and new media. A charitable not-for-profit organization, CFC is committed to promoting and investing in Canada's diverse talent; providing exhibition, financial, and distribution opportunities for top creative content leaders from coast to coast. CFC makes a significant cultural and economic contribution to Canada by launching the country's most creative ideas and voices in film, television and new media to the world. For more information please visit: 

About the National Film Board of Canada
Since its founding by documentary legend John Grierson in 1939, the National Film Board of Canada has been at the forefront of every major advance in documentary filmmaking, from its pioneering work in cinéma vérité and direct cinema to the development of giant-screen documentary cinema, from early experiments in community-engaged cinema to the latest in cross-platform media. Today, the NFB works with emerging and established creators and partners from around the world to produce acclaimed point-of-view documentaries on the issues that matter. For more information please go to:

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