Five Weeks and Five Minutes to Discover Canada's Next Documentary Filmmaker

TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2012 /CNW/ - Are you passionate about sharing your documentary and having it broadcast on television? With just five weeks to go, TVO is calling upon Ontario's new generation of documentary filmmakers to exhibit their creative skills with the introduction of the inaugural Doc Studio Contest.

TVO is challenging aspiring and accomplished filmmakers, artistic visionaries and amateur film buffs across Ontario to think about all that can happen in five minutes, and then to capture it on film. Inspired by filmmaker-in-residence Alan Zweig (Vinyl, I Curmudgeon, Lovable, A Hard Name), TVO's Doc Studio Contest dares participants to reveal "Life in 5" - a memorable moment, a shift in perception, a secret no one else could uncover - through an interview-based, five-minute film.

"Asking filmmakers to submit a documentary under five minutes in length forces them to hone in on the true essence of a story," says TVO's supervising producer, Jane Jankovic. "The Doc Studio Contest is all about capturing what moves us and illuminates our lives and our world. There are thousands of untold stories out there. I can't wait to see what we get."

The winning film will air on TVO in the spring of 2012 and its filmmaker will receive a mentoring session with Alan Zweig as well as an industry pass to the 2012 International Hot Docs Festival.

"Hot Docs is delighted to support TVO's Doc Studio Contest," says Hot Docs' executive director, Chris McDonald. "Years before the Hot Docs Festival or the new Bloor-Hot Docs Cinema, TVO was one of the only places to see creative documentaries in this province. TVO has helped to nurture the public appetite for these docs, and we are very glad they did!"

Universities and colleges across Ontario are teaming up with TVO to show their support. Brock University, Humber College, Ryerson University, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of Ottawa, and many more are joining in to help foster talent from new filmmakers.

A panel of judges, including Alan Zweig, Hot Docs' International Programmer Angie Driscoll, and last year's Gemini-winning documentary filmmaker Michael McNamara, will evaluate eligible entries and select the top five films. TVO will showcase the five finalists on from March 5 to 11, 2012 and TVO's online audience will vote on the winner. The Grand Prize winner will be announced on March 12, 2012.

Entries can be submitted via YouTube or by mail with a completed entry form, a brief description of the film and a short biography. The contest closes Monday, February 27, 2012.  For complete entry details, visit the Doc Studio Contest page. Stay up-to-date by following Doc Studio on Twitter @tvodocstudio and liking us on our new Facebook page.

A leader in Canadian point-of-view documentaries, TVO devotes more than 50% of its primetime schedule to documentaries. That is 1,430 hours of documentaries per year, including commissions and acquisitions.

TVO commissions between 8-10 new point-of-view documentary films every year, more than any other Canadian broadcaster, focusing on point-of-view films that resonate with Canadians and spark interesting discussions and debate. TVO created to provide a platform for Canadian documentary filmmaking talent, in-development projects, exclusive filmmaker interviews and online mentoring.

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. TVO is funded primarily by the Province of Ontario and is a registered charity supported by sponsors and thousands of donors. For more information, visit

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Video with caption: "Video: Doc Studio Contest - Alan Zweig's Criteria". Video available at:

Image with caption: "Doc Studio Logo (CNW Group/TVO)". Image available at:

Image with caption: "Doc Studio Lights (CNW Group/TVO)". Image available at:


For further information:

Media contact:

Marco Ouji
TVO Communications
416.484.2600 x 2305


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