Coy Bastard !

Journal Entry. Winnipeg
November 29th, 2007.

The Book of Don has been a busy place these past 48 hours.

Just when I was about to post on Morningside's 1980 Referendum show - the show, which in later years (once the bleeding had stopped) we ruefully called "Satan's Show", along came my little post on the Doc Channel. Thirteen emails and half a dozen phone calls later I've decided to wade into the sea of fire once more.

Tomorrow I'll get back to the original intent of this blog but in the meantime I think it's fair to say that the Doc Channel is as dead as Mulroney's legacy.

The little channel of My Winnipeg, Stupidity, Phase One and other marginalized films is soon to be re-born as part of a public broadcasting strategy hatched back in the Super Tramp days.

This is a blog not a news story so I don't have to attribute. But certain insiders have quoted me a restricted CBC report that Mark S. and Peter H. co-wrote for Bay Street in '79 calling for a multi-channel BBC-type broadcasting system.

CBC One - drama, comedy, and sports.
CBC Two - current affairs and news mag-type documentaries.
CBC Three - 24 hour news.

Fast forward 25 years throw in a kick ass internet web site, some token regional programming peopled by citizen journalists, a few community sponsorships to keep the yokels happy, and you have a pretty good looking "vision" for The Board to take up the food chain.

Slawko had an appetite for something like this a few years ago until Sheila Copps laughed his specialty channel apps out of town. He didn't have the money or the muscle. Or the Orders of Canada.

Mark and Peter do.

Of course, you still have to deal with the four "F"s - the French, the Fishermen, the Farmers, and the First Nations - but they will be "challenges" for another generation.

What does this mean for Canada's indie doc crowd?

They say that politics makes for strange bedfellows - well, they haven't got anything on this business. All is NOT lost for Canada's independent film makers.

Could it be that the ASPERS are going to save documentary making in this country ?

Quite possibly. Here's why.

Alliance Atlantis will soon announce a new NINE MILLION dollar "cinema documentary" fund. Four million will be tagged for development and finishing, the remaining five will be for equity.

And who's going to run this little life-saver ?

Not to be coy - really - but I DO want to preserve the confidence into which I was taken. All I'll say is that when the official announcement is made the DOC membership list will be smiling.

...and now, back to regular programming.

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