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Extra: Rogers invests in diverse storytellers; 1895 Films launches “Artifactual” podcast

Rogers invests in equity-seeking storytellers in Canada Rogers Group of Funds will put CA$7.5 million in grants and investments towards the support of more than 60 original projects through the Rogers ...
September 23, 2021

Rogers invests in equity-seeking storytellers in Canada

Rogers Group of Funds will put CA$7.5 million in grants and investments towards the support of more than 60 original projects through the Rogers Cable Network Fund and Rogers Documentary Fund.

The goal of the investment is to highlight unique stories and diverse voices from across Canada, with the majority of projects selected coming from equity-seeking creators and will be made available across major Canadian networks.

Rogers calls the move part of its ongoing commitment to supporting Canadian content. The Canadian telecom giant commits part of its revenues to the Rogers Documentary Fund and Rogers Cable Network Fund to support the creation of Canadian programming, with selected projects featured on major networks and regional broadcasters.

The Rogers Cable Network Fund is an equity investor in programs that first play on a Canadian cable network. Selected programs include the four-part documentary series Black Lives: A Canadian History and Abroad, a series about the immigrant experience in Canada, offered in both English and Tagalog.

The Rogers Documentary Fund, meanwhile, is one of Canada’s premier funding sources for documentary films, supporting 49 new productions across the country in 2021, including 15 French-language docs, such as La Purge, which examines the historical discrimination against the LGBT community by Canada’s armed forces and public service, and A Cedar is Life, which focuses on the importance of the cedar tree for Traditional West Coast Indigenous communities.

Rogers Group of Funds has also partnered with the Black Screen Office and the Canadian Independent Screen Fund for BPOC Creators to create a new $750,000 fund to support Black and POC creators.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that we invest in diverse Canadian storytellers, from those who inspire us with thought-provoking content to those who deliver compelling entertainment programming,” Robin Mirsky, executive director, Rogers Group of Funds, said in a release. “Independent production is thriving in our country, and Rogers Group of Funds is committed to providing funding and support to content creators from equity-seeking communities, helping to ensure Canada’s rich diversity and unique stories are told.”

Artifactual podcast series from 1895 FilmsĀ 

Los Angeles-based prodco 1895 Films, founded by Emmy- and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Tom Jennings, is launching a new podcast series, Artifactual.

The series is being billed as an accompaniment to 1895′s existing documentary and non-fiction programming, and will come from the award-winning production team behind Apollo: Missions to the Moon, Diana: In Her Own Words, Challenger Disaster: Lost Tapes, The Lost Tapes: Malcolm X and The Real Right Stuff.

Artifactual will release a new episode every two weeks and run 15 to 25 minutes per episode. The series will delve into topics ranging from politics and religion to history, crime, sports, mystery and travel. The first episode, Eyewitness to the Lincoln Assassination, explores one of history’s most notorious assassinations, and will be followed bu Live from Pearl Harbor, about a Hawaiian radio DJ broadcasting the bombing of Pearl Harbor.

“I am thrilled that we’re expanding our storytelling across new platforms as we continue to bring history to life for a new audience,” Jennings said in a release. “The series will reveal tales behind amazing archival material scattered across the world — from libraries to universities, radio station basements and even grandparents’ attics. With this material as our lens, we can tell some of history’s smaller and more overlooked, but nonetheless very compelling stories.”

Armoza takes off with Celebrity Flight Club

ITV Studios’ Armoza Formats has announced the launch of its new reality competition, Celebrity Flight Club.

The format pits 14 celebrities against each other and see them enrolled in a real flight school and live together. They will participate in aviation training together and compete in various challenges, both on the ground and in the air, all while being evaluated by a professional aviation team. After a series of weekly eliminations, three finalists will go on their first-ever solo flight, and a winner will be named.

Celebrity Flight Club comes from Armoza Formats and Shabi Zaraya. Production of the show will take place at an all-inclusive, state-of-the-art production hub at a flight school in Poland.

“We always aim to bring unique and innovative spins to beloved genres and in the search to bring a new narrative to the world of reality, we have developed Celebrity Flight Club — a VIP competition that offers a fresh form of storytelling through 14 celebrities and their journey to take their first solo flight,” Avi Armoza, CEO of Armoza Formats, said in a release. “With the time in the flight school and the challenges and training, viewers will experience with the celebrities their highs and lows — bringing the most loved aspects of reality TV in a new, challenging way.”

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