Bell Media-owned pay TV channel The Movie Network (TMN) has unveiled a slate of documentary projects to coincide with the start of Hot Docs 2017.
In various stages of production and development, the slate includes the eOne-produced observational documentary Out of the Mouths, directed by Force Four Entertainment’s head of creative Deborah Wainwright. The doc looks at how social media has changed the way in which younger generations identify with the world.
TMN also commissioned a pair of projects from Toronto-based filmmaker Ron Mann (Altman). The first, Grass 2, produced by Toronto’s Films We Like, is the sequel to Mann’s 2000 doc of the same name. It tracks the rise of the multi-billion dollar industry surrounding medicinal and recreational marijuana. The other, also currently in production, is The Rick Kelly Project, which tells the story of New York’s Greenwich Village denizens and musicians who drop in to one of the last guitar shops on Carmine Street.
Also on TMN’s slate are two in-development projects: The Inconvenient Indian and Come From Away: From Gander to Broadway (working title). Directed by Michelle Latimer (RISE), Inconvenient Indian is produced by Toronto’s 90th Parallel Productions in collaboration with the National Film Board (NFB). The doc about the Indigenous Canadian intellectual Thomas King is produced by 90th Parallel’s Stuart Henderson, NFB’s Justine Pimlott and TIFF’s director of film programmes Jesse Wente, alongside coproducer David Oppenheim of the NFB.
Meanwhile, Come From Away documents the relationship formed between the residents of Gander, NL and the passengers that were left stranded there in days following 9/11. The project is produced by Toronto’s Peter Gentile and Bill House and directed by Moze Mossanen (Unsung: Behind the Glee). The story of the Ganderites and the travelers inspired the broadway musical of the same name.
Also on tap is the Martin Cadotte-directed film LEGACY: French in North America (working title), also coproduced by 90th Parallel Productions, alongside Ottawa’s Slalom Productions, and Montreal’s Groupe FairPlay. The feature-length film explores the influence of French culture in North America.
Toronto prodco Revolver Films’ Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine received the greenlight from TMN. Directed by Don Allan (The Tragically Hip: Full-Fledged Vanity), the film charts the career of Ontario-based metal band Triumph, which rose to prominence in the ’70s and ’80s.
Bell Media also had an update on its CTV-commissioned Tragically Hip documentary Man Machine Poem (working title), produced by Toronto’s Banger Films. The doc has now wrapped production, with Bell Media set to announce details of both theatrical and broadcast dates in the coming months. Directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, the film follows the legendary band’s 15-date cross-Canada tour in 2016 after the announcement that singer Gord Downie had been diagnosed with brain cancer.
TMN also confirmed that Anthropocene, which Baichwal and de Pencier made alongside Edward Burtynsky, will debut on the channel at a to-be-determined date. The doc about the impact of humans on our planet is the final film in a trilogy that includes Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark. Anthropocene began filming in the fall of 2015 and was shot in a number of countries including the U.K., Germany and Spain.