Telefilm selects 15 films for $2.1 million theatrical doc program

Among the chosen are Suzanne Crocker's Hot Docs selection First We Eat and projects from Jennifer Baichwal and Jennifer Holness.
April 29, 2020

Documentaries from directors Jennifer Baichwal, Suzanne Crocker and Jennifer Holness are among 15 to receive a total of CA$2.1 million in funds from Telefilm Canada.

The English- and French-language documentary features are supported through the Theatrical Documentary Program to ensure high-quality production in Canadian documentaries. Among the films, six are produced from Quebec, six from Ontario, one from British Columbia, one from Yukon, plus one Ontario and B.C. coproduction. More than half of the docs are directed by women.

Crocker’s First We Eat (Drift Productions; pictured) is one of three selected documentaries that have already wrapped production, about a mother who challenges her family to eat locally while living near the Arctic Circle. It is set to make its world premiere with Hot Docs under the To Conserve and Protect program, although a new date for the festival has not been set since it was postponed due to COVID-19.

The other two films that have already filmed are Holness’ Subjects of Desire, produced under her Hungry Eyes Media banner, and Les Rose, directed by Félix Rose and produced by Les productions Babel. Subjects of Desire, which was one of four recipients of the Hot Docs Ted Rogers Fund, looks at the rise of the Black aesthetic in beauty standards, while Les Rose documents the kidnapping of Quebec deputy premier Pierre Laporte in 1970 by the Rose brothers.

The remaining documentaries are in pre-production, including Baichwal’s Disappearing Insects, produced under her banner Mercury Films. Additional English-language doc selections are Jay Cheel’s John Titor: Time Traveller (Low End); Sophie Leblond’s Lhasa (Metafilms); Red Stars (Iceball), written by Rahul Parekh and directed by Yung Chang; Simon Ennis’ The Board Game Movie (Honalee Productions and Musterios Entertainment); Brian D. Johnson’s The Colour of INK (Sphinx Productions); Bart Simpson’s The MAD World of Harvey Kurtzman (All in Pictures); and Nadine Pequeneza’s The Urban Whale (HitPlay Productions).

Rounding out the French-language documentaries are Iolande Cadrin-Rossignol’s Canada/Belgium copro L’océan vu du c?ur (Jane Losa Films and Les films du carré); Virginia Tangvald’s Les enfants du large (micro_scope); Mathieu Roy’s Goal (Productions Esperamos II); and Ayana O’Shun’s Le mythe de la femme noire (Bel Ange Moon Productions).

From Playback Daily’s Kelly Townsend

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.