The Movie Network Announces Canadian Original Documentary Development and Production Slate

— April 27, 2017

– Bell Media’s premium Pay TV service in development and production on eight documentary features including two from counter-culture icon Ron Mann, and the original story of the Ganderites who inspired the Broadway hit “Come From Away” –
– Production wraps on CTV-commissioned original documentary about the Tragically Hip, MAN MACHINE POEM (working title) –

As the documentary world gathers at the 2017 Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, Bell Media’s The Movie Network (TMN) has confirmed its commitment to the development and production of a diverse array of provocative, compelling documentaries from some of Canada’s finest filmmakers. The list of eight new works commissioned by TMN includes Ron Mann’s GRASS 2, a timely sequel to his definitive look at marijuana; ANTHROPOCENE, the final chapter in celebrated documentarians Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky’s trilogy about the impact of humans on our planet; and TRIUMPH: ROCK & ROLL MACHINE, which charts the rise of the Toronto power-rock group in the ‘70s and ‘80s. “Canadians love documentaries, and we’re excited to be working with so many talented producers and directors to bring TMN subscribers a fantastic slate of must-watch titles,” said Tracey Pearce, President, Distribution and Pay, Bell Media. TMN original documentaries include (in alphabetical order): ANTHROPOCENE (Mercury Films), directed by Jennifer Baichwal, world-renowned  photographer Edward Burtynsky, and producer/cinematographer Nick de Pencier. ANTHROPOCENE follows the scientific research of the Anthropocene Working Group and draws on Edward Burtynsky’s rich body of photographic work to describe, explore, and demonstrate human impact – on a geological scale – around the globe. This is the final installment in a trilogy that includes award-winning films MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES and WATERMARK. ANTHROPOCENE’s Baichwal and de Pencier are also the creative team behind the much-anticipated CTV documentary special MAN MACHINE POEM (working title). With unprecedented access, the film gives a unique perspective into The Tragically Hip’s momentous and historic 2016 cross-Canada tour. Production has now wrapped on this feature-length project produced by Banger Films, in association with Shed Creative, with details of the theatrical release and broadcast to be announced in the coming months. COME FROM AWAY: FROM GANDER TO BROADWAY (working title) – In Development (MDF Productions Inc.), directed by Moze Mossanen (Unsung: Behind the Glee), and produced by Peter Gentile and Bill House. The 9/11 terrorist attacks stranded passengers for days in Gander, Newfoundland and the small community stepped up to shelter and support the “come from aways.” This documentary tells the real story of the relationship between the Ganderites and the travelers, and explores the hit Broadway musical inspired by their story. LEGACY: FRENCH IN NORTH AMERICA (working title) (co-produced by 90th Parallel Productions Ltd., Slalom Productions, and Groupe FairPlay), directed by Martin Cadotte (Champlain’s Dream, TOI & MOI). An exploration of the rich and varied historic contributions of the French in North America. GRASS 2 (Films We Like), directed by Ron Mann (Altman). In 2000, Canadian filmmaker Ron Mann’s Grass became a defining cultural document on marijuana, arguing that the effects of prohibition have been disastrous. GRASS 2 picks up where its much-beloved predecessor left off – documenting pot’s rapidly accelerating legalization, and tracking the rise of the multi-billion dollar industry in medicinal and recreational marijuana. TMN is also in production on another documentary with Mann, THE RICK KELLY PROJECT, which follows Greenwich Village denizens and musicians who drop in to one of the last guitar shops on Carmine Street. THE INCONVENIENT INDIAN – In Development (90th Parallel Productions Ltd., in co-production with the National Film Board of Canada), directed by Michelle Latimer (RISE) and produced by Jesse Wente (Director of Film Programmes, TIFF), Stuart Henderson (90th Parallel Productions Ltd.), and Justine Pimlott (NFB), Co-Producer David Oppenheim (NFB). Inspired by the best-selling book, THE INCONVENIENT INDIAN is a journey into the mind of leading Indigenous Canadian intellectual and storyteller, Thomas King. The film follows King’s voice on a journey through time –  yesterday, today, and tomorrow -– illuminating his “curious account of Native People in North America.” OUT OF THE MOUTHS (Entertainment One), directed by Deborah Wainwright. An observational documentary that tells the chilling story of a generation of children who have been raised in a world where their every move is released on social media to be judged, praised, ridiculed, and ranked on a quest for recognition and viral fame. TRIUMPH: ROCK & ROLL MACHINE (Revolver Films), directed by Don Allan (The Tragically Hip: Full-Fledged Vanity). A lightning ride through the lives, times, and music of Triumph, and an exploration of the ‘80s through the Toronto power-rockers, whose awe-inspiring theatrics set new standards for live rock shows.

The Movie Network is a pay television service available in Canada delivering premiere access to Hollywood hit movies, new and exclusive HBO content, critically acclaimed SHOWTIME series, and first-rate Canadian programming to subscribers. The Movie Network service includes five 24-hour multiplex channels – The Movie Network, HBO Canada, MExcess, MFun! and MFest. All five multiplex channels are simulcast in High Definition and joined by TMN GO, a multi-platform video streaming service, and The Movie Network OnDemand. The Movie Network is a division of Bell Media, which is part of BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company. More information about The Movie Network is available at


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Scott Campbell

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