Toronto-based prodco Shaftesbury Films has announced the creation of a factual division, Shaftesbury Factual, to be headed up by former Frantic Films executive producer and development consultant Rachel Low (pictured). She’ll join the new division as vice president, factual entertainment, reporting directly to Shaftesbury chairman and CEO Christina Jennings.
The company, known for its drama and children’s offerings, is behind such recent productions as Bloodletting & Miraculous Cures for HBO Canada; The Listener for CTV and Fox International Channels and Murdoch Mysteries for Citytv and UKTV’s Alibi.
‘The move into factual production is the next strategic step for us to further diversify our business and development slate,’ said Jennings. ‘Rachel is an accomplished, highly talented producer with a proven track record developing hit factual properties. She will bring fresh vision to our business and ensure we are positioned to succeed in the non-fiction arena.’
Before Frantic, Low served as president and executive producer at Toronto’s Red Apple Entertainment, acquired by Frantic in 2008. While there, she oversaw the development and production of over 150 hours of factual programming that aired on networks internationally. Projects developed and executive produced by Low include Pitchin’ In starring chef Lynn Crawford and airing on Food Network Canada; The Opener, a new one-hour series for Food Network Canada starring chef David Adjey; six seasons of Opening Soon; the syndicated series Masterminds; Chef School; Fink; Opening Soon by Design; Rags to Red Carpet for W; and Assault and Rescue, a one-hour for Discovery Channel Canada. Doc projects overseen by Low include Talkin’ about AIDS, a doc aimed at teens that aired on the CBC and other networks internationally, and Anatomy of Love for Turner and Discovery Channel Canada.
‘Shaftesbury’s commitment to the highest quality storytelling and extensive relationships with broadcasters and distributors in Canada and around the world make it the ideal home for a new factual entertainment division,’ said Low. ‘I look forward to working with Christina and the team at Shaftesbury to develop a broad range of innovative factual projects that will bring audiences closer to their world.’
The company is currently developing a number of factual projects to be announced this fall.