After much deliberation and hours spent assessing some of the most inspiring and compelling short-films submitted in the inaugural Doc Studio Contest, TVO and an esteemed panel of judges, led by filmmaker-in-residence Alan Zweig, have announced the top five finalists who will vie to be named the first-ever winner of TVO’s Doc Studio Contest. Now it’s up to viewers to choose the winner.
At the close of the February 27, 2012 submission period, TVO received more than 80 five-minute films from accomplished, aspiring and amateur filmmakers across Canada. Taking inspiration from Zweig, (Vinyl, I Curmudgeon, Lovable, A Hard Name), TVO’s Doc Studio Contest required participants to reveal their vision of “Life in 5” – a memorable moment, a shift in perception, a secret no one else could uncover – through an interview-based, five-minute film.
Each of the five finalists have distinguished themselves for his or her cinematic skills and ability to convey an issue or reveal something about the selected subject in five minutes or less. Highly compelling and relatable, audiences will have the opportunity to view these films and vote online for their favourite from March 5 to March 12, 2012. The winning film will be aired on TVO in the spring and the filmmaker will receive a mentoring session with Alan Zweig as well as an industry pass to the 2012 International Hot Docs Festival.
“More than ever, it’s important to challenge and engage tomorrow’s filmmakers,” says TVO’s supervising producer, Jane Jankovic. “Each of the chosen finalists truly embodies cinematic vision and a passion for documentary filmmaking. We were truly impressed by the talent of these aspiring filmmakers and look forward to seeing who Ontario selects as the winner.”
TVO created Doc Studio to provide a platform for Canadian documentary filmmaking talent, in-development projects, exclusive interviews and online mentoring. The Doc Studio Contest was developed to support and encourage emerging film talent in Ontario. The five finalists are available for viewing online now and audiences will ultimately determine the winner upon casting their votes by March 12, 2012.
Doc Studio Finalists
Chloe Ellingson, FOUND
In the fall of 2011, while on a habitual ATV ride in the field behind his home, Dustin Rawding-Montgomery had an unexpected encounter with a missing man. “Found” explores the impact of this finding on Dustin’s understanding of chance, life and faith.
Coty Forth, LIGHT HOUSE
‘LIGHT HOUSE’ is a short documentary about Emmaline Madigan, the last lighthouse keeper of Pointe Au Baril. Emmaline was 17 when she started her life at Pointe au Baril. She married the lighthouse keeper and raised six kids there. After her husband’s death, she took over his duties. Unfortunately with emerging technology, Emmaline lost her position and became evicted in 1983. The film captures her journey in fighting for what she believes in.
Jay Irving, MARY
“Mary” is an in-depth look at a seventy-three year old spiritual healer – Mary Richter, on a mission to cure ailments via alternative health methods. This film is a psychological portrait of a person that deals with the lifespan of a human being and the deeper themes attached to life and death.
Dan Plexman, HOT UNDER THE COLLAR
Just over three years ago, Dan was injured in a work-related accident. Having endured third degree burns and falling 20 feet, Dan documents his journey to recovery in an impactful five-minute documentary where he acknowledges that, while life is very difficult, it’s all relative – because he’s alive.
Rich Williamson, JOE
At 25, Giuseppe “Joe” Garisto was a promising musician/songwriter, giving up an ordinary life in favour of his passion; he spent his days writing and recording songs – with dreams of becoming a rock star.
Now 33, Joe battles day-to-day with a severe anxiety disorder and an ever-growing dependence on prescription medicine. The film follows Joe as he comes to grips with missed opportunities and shares his hopes of realizing his dream before it’s too late.