Canwest & Hot Docs hand out CDN$338,000

First round of checks from new doc fund go to a Jennifer Baichwal project on lightning strikes, and a piece from Sarah Polley on storytelling.
September 11, 2008

Hot Docs and Canwest have handed out CDN$338,000 in grants and no-interest loans to independent doc-makers including Jennifer Baichwal, Sarah Polley and John Kastner.

The completion and development funding marks the first round of checks issued since the broadcaster set up the doc fund in April at the behest of the CRTC. Of the 124 submissions, those that scored completion funding include:

Act Of God, from director Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes), a feature doc about the after effects of being struck by lightning. Baichwal produces with Nick dePencier and Daniel Iron

Rosebud, about the flammable tap water of an Alberta town, from newcomers Cameron Esler and Tadzio Richards. Frederic Bohbot produces with Evan Beloff.

Cat Ladies, an ‘emotionally honest portrait’ of the oft-ridiculed feline fanciers, from director Christie Callan-Jones and producers Suzanne Mullett and Sally Blake.

Development cash went to six pictures, including Dark Chocolate from producer Lalita Krishna, based on the book by CBC’s Carol Off; and The Stories We Tell, a look at memory and storytelling from Sarah Polley who directs and will produce with Sonia Hosko.

‘The breadth of subject matter and the quality of the projects were really inspiring and impressive,’ said the selection committee in a statement.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.