Documentary and Factual Project Development Accelerator

November 21, 2017December 20, 2017

Documentary and Factual Project Development Accelerator

On Screen ManitobaFilm Training Manitoba and Doc Winnipeg partner to present a Documentary and Factual Project Development Accelerator.

You can still participate in this workshop.

This initiative aims to stimulate the production of documentary and factual content in Manitoba. It includes three workshops that will lead participants step-by-step through the development process and it includes up to 6 mentorship opportunities for emerging to mid-level writer/filmmaker/producers.

Leslea Mair will lead the workshops which will include practical exercises and case studies. For those who wish additional support, up to 6 mentorship spots are available. Mentors include Leslea Mair, Erna Buffie and Andy Blicq with All Access 2018 as a first pitching objective.

Participants may take one or more workshops without mentorship. Mentorship opportunities are still available

COMPLETED – Workshop I
Tuesday, November 21 –  6:00-9:00 PM – On Screen Manitoba Boardroom, 003-100 Arthur Street (ArtSpace Building Basement)

So, you have this great idea for a show…
Participants come to the workshop with up to three written ideas. The workshop will include case study (s) of local productions that were successfully developed from idea to concept. Participants will be given specific exercises/ recommended steps designed to refine ideas into concepts.

Within two weeks following Workshop I, mentorship participants will have a one-hour check-in meeting with either Leslea, Erna or Andy (mentors TBC) to review the state of their project (where has the initial idea(s) ended up as it was researched and refined).

Workshop II
Wednesday, December 6 – 6:00-9:00 PM – On Screen Manitoba Boardroom, 003-100 Arthur Street (ArtSpace Building Basement)

What’s the story, morning glory?
Participants will have developed their initial ideas further and this workshop is focused on refining ideas and concepts and will include another case study(s).

Within two weeks following Workshop II, mentorship participants will have a one-hour check-in meeting with their mentor.

Workshop III  
Wednesday, December 20 – 6:00-9:00 PM – On Screen Manitoba Boardroom, 003-100 Arthur Street (ArtSpace Building Basement)

Winding up for the pitch!
Timing, Access, Market Trends and broadcaster whims –This workshop will focus on how to prepare for the actual pitch. Participants will have fully developed concepts, ready for pitching at All Access 2018. The workshop will include a case study (s) and will focus not only on the best approach to pitching with some practice exercises but also explore the importance of pitching the right concept to the right broadcaster.

Following Workshop III and prior to All Access (January 15-17, 2018), mentorship participants will have a one-hour check-in meeting with their mentor.
Please submit a letter of intent along with up to three ideas to

Registration Fees:
$150 for all three workshops
$300 for all three workshops and three one-hour mentorship consultations
$75 each for 1 or 2 workshops only

$50 for each mentorship hour

For more information, please contact

Mentor Bios

Leslea Mair is a writer and producer based in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She has been the President and CEO of Zoot Pictures Inc. since 1998. From a background writing and directing experimental films Leslea moved into researching, writing and producing documentaries. She co-directed The Path to Shaolin in 2009, and has written and produced Zoot Pictures’ award-winning documentaries in the genres of current affairs, social issues, medical science and environmental science as well as series television. Leslea recently directed, wrote and produced the feature length documentary Losing Our Religion for The Documentary Channel and is in pre-production on a documentary about air pollution for The Nature of Things.


Andy Blicq is an award-winning, Manitoba-based, independent television producer, writer and director with more than 35 years of experience. Andy co-owns 4th Avenue Productions Inc. a film and television production company based in Gimli, Manitoba. He recently completed the documentary The End of our Memories. It examines the struggles faced by small rural museums. And in 2015 he wrote and directed a film about the Vietnam War, his seventh documentary for the CBC’s premiere series Doc Zone. Vietnam: Canada’s Shadow War won the 2016 Canadian Screen Award for best History Documentary Program or Series. He recently completed an assignment as Senior Story Editor on the factual television program Polar Bear Town, a hit series featuring Churchill, Manitoba, being produced by Winnipeg’s Merit Motion Pictures for the Smithsonian Channel in the U.S.A.


Erna Buffie is an award winning writer/director and a veteran of Merit Motion Pictures and the Canadian film industry. After twenty years in Montreal, where she cut her filmmaking teeth at the National Film Board and in the private sector, Erna moved to Halifax and from there back to her hometown, Winnipeg, to produce with Merit Motion Pictures. Her films have shown in festivals around the world and garnered numerous awards and nominations, including Best Director at The Canadian Screen Awards, best writing at Hot Docs and best short drama at the Genies.

Erna loves filmmaking and the opportunity it gives her to meet amazing people, film wondrous critters, hang out in extraordinary locations with a happy crew and work with the fabulous production team at MMP. Able to write herself into and hopefully, out of any corner, she’s not afraid to speak her mind. A born storyteller with a passion for writing fiction, she also loves making things grow.

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