Telefilm Canada Supports 22 Docs Including Buffy Sainte-Marie Film

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Telefilm Canada announced financial support for 22 feature documentaries. The projects were selected from 76 applications to the Theatrical Documentary Fund. Headlining the announcement is Buffy Sainte-Marie: Power in the Blood, a portrait of the Academy Award winning musician and activist. The film is by Anishinaabe director Michelle Derosier (Spirit to Soar) and takes its name from the 2015 album that scored Sainte-Marie the Polaris Prize. Saint-Marie has appeared in previous music docs, notably Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World and John Walker’s short doc Buffy, but this is the first feature-length doc devoted to the music icon herself. The film is one of two music docs on the list along with The Concert That Broke Up the Beatles, directed by Ron Chapman, while profiles of other famous Canadians can be found in Martha Kehoe’s Doug Henning: Magic Man and Kate Kroll’s Lunatic: The Luna Vachon Story, about the wrestler whose story briefly appeared in Mad Dog and the Butcher.

Several filmmakers with recent hits from the festival circuit are back with new works. New films by Academy Award nominee Hubert Davis (Giants of Africa), Yung Chang (This Is Not a Movie), Darlene Naponse (Falls Around Her), and Steve J. Adams and Sean Horlor (Someone Like Me), are on the list, as is Lisa Jackson’s Wilfred Buck, which won the pitch prize at the Hot Docs Forum this year.

The list of projects represents productions from four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, and Manitoba. Telefilm’s announcement includes nine projects with women credited as directors or writers, and the roster features a range of perspectives from filmmakers who are Indigenous, Black, people of colour, or queer.

The list of projects supported through the Telefilm Documentary Fund is as follows:

Director and writer: Darlene Naponse
Production: Baswewe Films and Night Market Films
Province: Ontario

Black Ice
Director: Hubert Davis
Writer: George Fosty
Production: First Take Entertainment
Province: Ontario

Buffy Sainte-Marie: Power in the Blood
Director and writer: Michelle Derosier
Production: Buffy Documentary Productions
Province: Ontario

Doug Henning: Magic Man
Director and writer: Martha Kehoe
Production: Insight Productions
Province: Ontario

Everest Dark
Director: Jereme Watt
Writer: Michael Bodnarchuk
Production: Everest Dark Films, Killawatt Productions, and Michael Bodnarchuk Productions
Province: Manitoba

Lunatic: The Luna Vachon Story
Director and writer: Kate Kroll
Production: Black Moon Media
Province: British Columbia

Rebirth of a Nation
Director and writer: Kacim Steets
Production: Bunbury Films
Province: Quebec

Red Stars
Director: Yung Chang
Writer: Rahul Parekh
Production: Iceball and Flying Sparrow
Province: Ontario

Rediscovering Reality
Director and writer: Van Royko
Production: EyeSteelFilm
Province: Quebec

Satan Wants You
Directors and writers: Steve J. Adam and Sean Horlor
Production: Nootka Street Film Company
Province: British Columbia

Untitled Rock n’ Roll Revival Documentary
Director: Ron Chapman
Writer: Phyllis Ellis
Production: Screen Siren Pictures, Chapman Productions, and Films a Cinq
Provinces: British Columbia and Ontario

Director and writer: Kevin Hegge
Production: Low End
Province: Ontario

Wilfred Buck
Director and writer: Lisa Jackson
Production: Door Number 3 Productions
Province: Ontario

Director: Michael Toledano
Production: Yintah Film
Province: British Columbia

French-language projects:

Au lendemain de l’odyssée
Director and writer: Helen Doyle
Production: Productions Tatouages de la mémoire
Province: Quebec

Director and writer: Jean-Claude Coulbois
Production: Corporation de développement et de production ACPAV
Province: Quebec

Forêts urbaines : une planche de salut
Director and writer: Anne-Marie Rocher
Production: Productions Testa
Province: Ontario

Director and writer: Will Prosper
Production: Périphéria
Province: Quebec

La dignité des êtres chers
Director and writer: Jonah Malak
Production: Némésis Films
Province: Quebec

La garde blanche
Director and writer: Julien Elie
Production: Metafilms
Province: Quebec

Quand les Sprakkars se lèvent
(Canada-France-Belgium coproduction)
Director and writer: Doris Buttignol
Production: Films Extérieur Jour
Province: Quebec

Saigon, Liberté, Bonheur
Director and writer: Khoa Lê
Production: Les films de l’autre
Province: Quebec

Pat Mullen is the publisher of POV Magazine. He holds a Master’s in Film Studies from Carleton University where his research focused on adaptation and Canadian cinema. Pat has also contributed to outlets including The Canadian Encyclopedia, Paste, That Shelf, Sharp, Xtra, and Complex. He is the vice president of the Toronto Film Critics Association and an international voter for the Golden Globe Awards.

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