The NFB-TVO Calling Card Program selects its winners to make new-media and
broadcast documentaries

TORONTO, Feb. 1 /CNW/ - The National Film Board of Canada (NFB) and TVO are proud to announce the winners of the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program - Unheralded, a documentary by Aaron Hancox and Allie Caldwell, and The Next Day, a new-media project by Shahid Quadri and Alex Jansen.

The Calling Card Program provides an opportunity for emerging filmmakers and new-media teams from Ontario to work with the NFB and TVO to create documentaries for new-media platforms or television broadcast.

Unheralded centres on the big personalities behind small newspapers in Ontario who cover the untold stories that matter to regional communities. Whether writing about dog shows and 100th birthdays, or telling stories of citizen opposition and community loss - local news reporters have a difficult job, especially when the readers are their neighbours. Unheralded will be produced and directed by Aaron Hancox and Allie Caldwell.

Aaron Hancox's work has been shown in festivals in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, and on CTV and the CBC. Cinema L'Amour, his documentary on the famous porn theatre of the same name won Best Student Documentary at the Montreal World Film Festival in 2006. Hancox brings to Unheralded flare and meticulous attention to character and structure.

Allie Caldwell is a documentary and video maker from Lakefield, Ontario. In 2006, she collaborated with Aaron Hancox on Cinema L'Amour, which won best student documentary at the Montreal Film Festival. Caldwell's work has screened in Montreal, Toronto and New York, as well as on CBC Television and on the NFB's CITIZENShift website.

The Next Day is a magic realism documentary told in an interactive graphic novel form, constructed from interviews with three survivors of near fatal suicide attempts. In this philosophical exploration, three subjects from diverse backgrounds, now removed from their attempts, each answer the same key questions about life, the decision to end it, and what comes after. The Next Day will be created by Shahid Quadri and produced by Alex Jansen (Pop Sandbox).

Shahid Quadri has been a web designer/new media consultant for the last 12 years. In February 2009 Quadri graduated from the Canadian Film Centre's Interactive Art and Entertainment Program, where he collaborated on a prototype of an interactive graphic novel in 3D space. This prototype marked a career transition from web design into interactive storytelling.

Alex Jansen owns and operates Pop Sandbox. Prior to launching Pop Sandbox, Jansen spent four years managing home entertainment with Mongrel Media. Jansen was co-producer of the feature film Walk Backwards, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2001 and was distributed by ThinkFilm.

"As Canada's public film producer and distributor, the NFB is committed to the discovery and development of new and emerging filmmakers," says Silva Basmajian, Executive Producer of the National Film Board's Ontario Centre. "We are excited to collaborate with both filmmaking teams on what we believe will result in an engaging and relevant story for all Canadians told in an innovative and creative ways." Rob McLaughlin, Director, Digital Content and Strategy, English Program, NFB says, "The NFB is eager to explore new ways to create and connect with Canadians in the age of the Internet. We're thrilled about the new-media project's potential to demonstrate what's possible with story and expression through the creative application of today's new technologies."

TVO plans to premiere both works during its 2010-11 programming season. "The winning pitch for Unheralded impressed us with its subtle humour and its affectionate appreciation of the value of the local press - a very timely issue," says Jane Jankovic, Commissioning Editor of TVO's Canadian documentary series The View From Here. Christine McGlade, Manager, Interactive and Digital Media, TVO, says, "We're really excited to be working with Pop Sandbox and the NFB on The Next Day. The work combines a very serious and moving subject matter with a surprising and beautiful interactive style. It's a great challenge for the documentary form."

About the NFB-TVO Calling Card Program

The Calling Card Program is an initiative produced in association with TVO with the participation of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC). Each filmmaking team will be awarded $45,000 and receive mentorship from members of the film and new-media community to take their docs from concept to television premiere or online launch. The winning 30-minute TV documentary will have its premiere broadcast on TVO's flagship Canadian documentary series The View From Here. The winning online interactive documentary will be launched on both NFB.ca and tvo.org. Unheralded and The Next Day will join an esteemed list of other Calling Card winners, such as the Oscar-nominated Hardwood, as well as Cheating Death, Woodland Spirits, Harvest Queens and 9 Months, 6 Blocks. For more information, visit NFB.ca/callingcard.

About the NFB

Canada's public film producer and distributor, the National Film Board of Canada creates social-issue documentaries, auteur animation, alternative drama and digital content that provide the world with a unique Canadian perspective. The NFB is expanding the vocabulary of 21st-century cinema and breaking new ground in form and content through community filmmaking projects, cross-platform media, programs for emerging filmmakers, stereoscopic animation - and more. It works in collaboration with creative filmmakers and co-producers in every region of Canada, with Aboriginal and culturally diverse communities, as well as partners around the world. Since the NFB's founding in 1939, it has created over 13,000 productions and won over 5,000 awards, including 12 Oscars and more than 90 Genies. In 2009, Neighbours/Voisins by NFB animation founder Norman McLaren was added to UNESCO's Memory of the World Register. The NFB's new website features over 1,400 productions online, and its iPhone app has become one of the most popular and talked about downloads. Visit NFB.ca today and start watching.

About TVO

TVO is Ontario's public educational media organization and a trusted source of interactive educational content that informs, inspires and stimulates curiosity and thought. TVO's vision is to empower people to be engaged citizens of Ontario through educational media. For more information, visit tvo.org.

Where to find TVO

Cable channel 2 (channel may vary in some areas), Bell TV channel 265, Shaw Direct channel 353.

SOURCE TVO

For further information: For further information: Media contacts: Melissa Than, NFB Publicist, Tel: (416) 952-8960, Cell: (647) 248-9854, m.than@nfb.ca; Angela Garde, TVO Communications, Tel: (416) 484-2600 x 2305, agarde@tvo.org


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