“Life In A Day,” “Story of Us” formats head to Canada

Canadian adaptations of Ridley Scott's Life In A Day doc (pictured) and Nutopia's The Story of Us format are among 30 projects to receive funding from the Bell Fund's latest round of grants.
March 29, 2016

Canadian adaptations of Ridley Scott‘s Life in a Day documentary (pictured) and Nutopia’s The Story of Us format are in the works.

The projects are among a list of 30 television series and documentaries to receive more than CAD$5.4 million (US$4.1 million) in grants from the Bell Fund, which received 52 applications for the February 1 round.

Bell Media-owned CTV has commissioned Screen Siren Pictures to produce a 90-minute version of Life In A Day called Canada In A Day. Scott, Christine Haebler and Carlo Dusi are exec producing. Screen Siren is also producing a digital companion piece that will be built from user-generated videos uploaded to an online hub by Canadians.

The doc will go live in 2017 to coincide with Canada’s 150th anniversary and feature stories, reflections and celebrations of Canadians. Notable Canadians will also make their own films and challenge the public to do the same.

Originally produced by Scott’s Scott Free Productions, the In A Day format edits together crowd-sourced footage filmed by the public on a single day of the year and uploaded to YouTube. Fuji TV has aired Japan In A Day and BBC2 aired Britain In A Day. Scott and Anurag Kashyap are exec producing a Google-backed India In a Day film, directed by Richie Mehta and set for release this year.

Meanwhile, Bristow Global Media is producing a Canadian version of Nutopia’s The Story of Us docu-drama format for pubcaster CBC. The 10 x 60-minute series – called Canada: The Story of Us - will look at Canada’s present and past via dramatic sequences, CGI and interviews with notable national figures.

Bristow’s Julie Bristow and Claire Adams are exec producing alongside Nutopia’s Jane Root, Ben Goold and Phil Craig, who, Root says, has been working on projects with Nutopia since leaving Discovery Networks International last October.

Additionally, digital shop Secret Location is creating a companion app titled Canada: The Story of Us VR, with three immersive 360-degree virtual reality vignettes that will allow users to follow a story from Canada’s past.

Other unscripted titles to receive Bell Fund grants include the TVO/CBC documentary from Peter Raymont’s White Pine Pictures about artist Lawren Harris, Where the Universe Sings: The Spiritual Journey of Lawren Harris; W Network’s The Bachelorette Canada, produced by Good Human Productions; season four of APTN’s Mohawk Girls, produced by Rezolution Pictures; and season four of The Family Channel’s The Next Step, produced by Boat Rocker Media.

With files from Manori Ravindran

About The Author
Jonathan Paul is a Toronto-based writer into creativity, content, advertising, tech, comics, video games, film, TV, time and space travel.