Orgs unspool aid for Canuck docs

Six-month program will help up to six filmmakers

TORONTO — Canadian docu-makers will get a leg up thanks to the Canadian Film Center and National Film Board feature documentary program, a mentor-led scheme to develop original projects for international auds.

The CFC and NFB unveiled details of the six-month program, which will be tailored to the needs of four-to-six filmmakers, at a press conference at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto on April 22.

With recent Canadian films like “Up the Yangtze” smashing domestic box office records for docs, the CFC and NFB are looking to ensure Canadian voices hold their own on bigscreens everywhere.

“Canada has always been a crucial global player in the field of documentaries and nowhere more so than at the National Film Board,” said the NFB’s Tom Perlmutter, government film commissioner and chairman. “However, until recently the focus of documentary creation has been television, with its own specific needs and demands.”

Founded by Norman Jewison, the CFC is Canada’s largest institution for advanced training in TV and new media, and includes Sarah Polley (“Away From Her”) among its alum.

The new joint program will be managed by Jerry McIntosh, who brings more than 20 years of expertise as a director and executive producer for CBC Television and CBC Newsworld.

Documentary director Larry Weinstein serves as senior mentor for the program, and the NFB producer Gerry Flahive liaises for the government film commission.

Full criteria and application details are available April 29 at http://www.cfccreates.com/docs.

The NFB also announced its new five-year strategic plan, renewing its commitment to addressing the challenge of a rapidly changing audiovisual world.

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