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
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.