Call for Projects: Science & Natural History Accelerator

May 19, 2017

On Screen Manitoba with support from partners: Film Training Manitoba, DOC Winnipeg, RBC, Integro, CBC and Discovery Canada will facilitate the development of up to five science or natural history projects in preparation for the 2017 World Congress of Science & Factual Producers in San Francisco November 29-December 1. Through a competitive juried process, participants will have access to development and market preparedness support along with feedback from CBC The Nature of Things and Discovery Canada.

In order to be considered for the accelerator, candidates must take part in a 2-day workshop June 6 and 7, 2017 and be members of On Screen Manitoba in good standing. While the session is part of the Science and Natural History Accelerator, workshop content will address storytelling, fact-checking, planning and execution of documentaries and series more generally, also. The cost is $100 + GST (includes a networking event and one-on-one meetings with instructors).

Following the workshop, participants will have until June 30 to submit final project concepts. A jury including broadcasters, development consultants and funders will select 3-5 projects. Selected projects will have access to about two days of work with development consultant Marie Natanson as well as additional market preparedness support for the 2017 World Congress of Science and Factual Producers.

Watch for further updates on the Science and Natural History Accelerator as dates for a CBC Nature of Things and Discovery Canada presentation in Winnipeg later in June along with a series of parallel workshops to be offered later this year.

Those wishing to apply for the accelerator must register for the workshop below providing a project idea (max. half a page in length) and a filmography by 5:00 pm May 31, 2017. Please contact Maryam Decter for more information and to register.

The Art of Writing & Directing Science and Nature Films 
Workshop Facilitators:
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 (to be released this fall) and is in pre-production on a documentary about air pollution for The Nature of Things.
Caroline Underwood is an independent Executive Producer and Wildlife & Science Documentary Consultant. For more than three decades, she has produced, directed and written for Canadian television, including award-winning documentary series and international co-productions. From 2008-2015 she was Senior Producer/Commissioning Editor for The Nature of Things, the CBC’s flagship science series. She has made films in many remote locations, from the Arctic to the Antarctic to reveal the beauty, complexity and the threats facing some of the planet’s last great wildernesses and their inhabitants. In 2001 she and her team took the first generation of HD cameras into the Arctic to document the impact of climate change on wildlife. She is a founding member and past president of the international organisation Filmmakers for Conservation and is on the board of the environmental film festival Plant in Focus. Current EP projects include: The Wild Canadian Year – a five-part blue chip wildlife series and “Equus: How Horses Made History” – a three-part anthropology & wildlife series.

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