Politics like you've never seen, starting November 7.
TORONTO, Oct. 24, 2017 /CNW/ - There's never been any series quite like it. Political Blind Date, a new TVO Original, produced in association with Open Door Co. and Nomad Films, brings politicians with different points-of-view together on a "date" to explore important issues through in-depth conversations. It's a fresh new format that will energize audiences when they see rival politicians meeting face-to-face, and speaking candidly as friends and colleagues about the issues that matter to Ontarians. The six-part weekly series premieres on Tuesday, November 7 at 9pm EST and on tvo.org as part of TVO's collection of thought-provoking online documentaries.
Each half-hour installment of the series explores a different political issue by first inviting two politicians to plan a date for one another. Each person takes the other to locations that bring to life an opposing side of an important debate. Both elected officials quickly move beyond the headlines and encourage each other to find common ground.
"TVO Originals like Political Blind Date share thought-provoking, in-depth debates that explore social, economic and political topics," says Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer of TVO. "The politicians featured in this program get outside of their comfort zones to explore a range of perspectives on the big issues of the day."
In the first episode, federal Alberta Conservative MP Garnett Genuis and Ontario Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith debate the imminent legalization of marijuana as they visit a cannabis dispensary, tour a production facility, and interview someone recovering from marijuana addiction. In the second episode, Toronto mayoral hopeful Doug Ford and federal NDP leader Jagmeet Singh tackle the hotly contested topic of transit, riding bicycles on busy streets and visiting a much-debated streetcar line.
"Political Blind Date is a fresh and engaging antidote to today's divisive political climate," says John Ferri, Vice-President of Current Affairs and Documentaries at TVO. "In this series, we ask politicians to drop their speaking notes, in keeping with TVO's journalistic mission to provide a place for in-depth and civil debate."
"We felt as a team that we needed a way to break through the partisan noise," stated Tom Powers, Series Creator and Executive Producer and Mark Johnston, Series Writer and Director. "We believed that if politicians had an opportunity to connect as human beings around issues that meant something to them on a personal level, not just as politicians, then we might capture real, heartfelt attempts to make change on the most important challenges facing Canadians."
The series also features Liberal MP Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillors Giorgio Mammoliti and Maria Augimeri, Mayor of London Matt Brown, NDP MPP Cheri DiNovo and others, covering topics like safe injection sites, correctional facilities, social housing, and more.
Political Blind Date is produced by Open Door and Nomad Films Inc, in association with TVO, and is written and directed by Mark Johnston.
As the technological extension of Ontario's public education system, TVO's vision is to create a better world through the power of learning. TVO provides learning opportunities for Ontarians through innovative educational products, in-depth current affairs, groundbreaking documentaries, and award-winning TVOKids resources both inside and outside the classroom. 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 tvo.org.
About Open Door Co.
Open Door Co. is in the business of producing, developing and acquiring "Content That Matters". The company was launched in 2005, by Tom Powers, President and Executive Producer. He is the Creator and Executive Producer of Political Blind Date and is a senior entertainment executive and lawyer with 15 years of high level experience as an executive producer and producer of prime-time television and critically acclaimed films. A CSA and Gemini Award nominee, Tom has produced 11 prime time series and 6 feature documentaries, including 4 seasons of Intervention Canada, based on A&E's Emmy Award winning series and the feature documentary Cracked Not Broken for HBO's Addiction Series. Open Door's clients include TVO, CBC/Doc Channel, HBO, A+E, Sundance, Bell Media, Corus/Shaw, SVT, SBS, NHK and Discovery, among others (www.opendoorco.com).
About Nomad Films
Nomad Films Inc. (www.nomadfilms.ca) recently celebrated twenty years of producing some of Canada's best documentary programming. Mark Johnston, the Director and Writer of Political Blind Date, is the founder of the company. Amanda Handy is the Producer of the series. Together, Johnston and Handy have created series like the landmark TVO series, Empire of the Word, and the Academy Award winning I Married My Family's Killer. Johnston has been a director or producer of more than sixty films, and Handy brings veteran business affairs experience from the dramatic television and feature film world. Nomad Films is experienced in treaty co-productions, and has worked with broadcasters around the world, including TVO, CBC (Nature of Things and Passionate Eye), BBC, PBS, Documentary, Sundance, CTV, ARTE France, WDR (Germany), NDR (Germany), NRK (Norway) SVT (Sweden), SBS (Australia), Discovery, National Geographic, and many others. (www.nomadfilms.com).
Where to find TVO
For further information: Media contacts: Aaron Ries, TVO Marketing and Public Relations Associate, 416.484.2600 x 2298, [email protected]; Virginia Kelly for Open Door Co. & Nomad Films, V Kelly & Associates, 416-839-9239, [email protected]