BREAKING NEWS: Canada Media Fund support for OPEN CINEMA’s Connecting the Docs

This post published on January 6, 2014

Happy New Year! 2014 is off to a great start, with some exciting breaking news!

Canada Media Fund partners with OPEN CINEMA!

We are absolutely thrilllogo for Canada Media Fund, Fonds des medias du Canadaed to announce that the Canada Media Fund has jumped onboard to support Connecting the Docs, a multi-city hybrid cinema series during the Spring 2014! The first event will take place on Wednesday January 29th, 2014: a screening of Millefiore Clarkes film ISLAND GREEN followed by live + virtual = hybrid discussion in Victoria, BC and Charlottetown, PEI. More details about the event here.

This excitingraphic for Connecting the Docs, sponsored by MediaNet, Canada Media Fund and Vancityg innovative project has evolved out of OPEN CINEMA founder Mandy Leith’s 2013 cross Canada documentary pilgrimage Get on the Doc Bus. During her 4-month journey from BC to Newfoundland, Mandy met with filmmakers, cinemas, festivals and funders to explore alternative distribution for Canadian documentaries and to plant seeds for a Cross Canada Community Cinema Network (CCCN). Multi-city hybrid cinema events are one important step towards making this project a reality.

We are so grateful to the Canada Media Fund (CMF) for supporting this bold vision for Canadian documentary. The CMF fosters, develops, finances and promotes the production of Canadian content and applications for all audiovisual media platforms. Find out more about Canada’s key media organization here.

A Cross Canada Community Cinema Network.

photo of Get on the Doc Bus projectThe idea behind the Cross Canada Community Cinema Network is to connect and support the many community screening programs in cities and towns across the country. There is currently no sector recognition, training or network affiliation for these local community building iniatives that screen documentaries, and the evidence suggests such a network is needed. Meanwhile, the emerging digital landscape is ironically placing increasing importance on value-added local screenings as a key ingredient in documentary distribution. A digital network or market of screening venues and programs across the country would benefit the filmmakers coordinating film tours, the audiences for in-depth non-fiction cinema, in addition to the local groups who are programming films.

What is Hybrid Cinema?

65174_10151243162737626_178115225_nOver the last year, OPEN CINEMA has been experimenting with using social media to extend community engagement on the topic of the film beyond the screening room. The live post-screening discussion is livestreamed and accompanied by an #opencinema Tweetchat on the topic, with the filmmaker as the virtual guest. The combined live + virtual engagement creates a hybrid event. In some instances, the film is also available for online streaming at the same time, which creates an opportunity for people at home to watch the film on iTunes or Distrify or Vimeo, and then engage in the post-screening discussion via Twitter, Livestream and other social media tools.

Connecting the Docs

This multi-city hybrid cinema project will provide an opportunity to beta test these live and virtual distribution opportunities, connecting documentary screening programs and audiences across Canada in dynamic innovative ways. Four and a half time zones make it challenging to coordinate simultaneous screenings across the breadth of the vast country, so we will be developing a format that takes this into consideration. Same-day screenings in towns and cities across Canada will be accompanied by virtual engagement on a variety of social media platforms throughout the day, along with simultaneous online streaming, where possible.

During Spring 2014, the OPEN CINEMA team will be collaborating with other local screening programs and working through the technical and practical considerations associated with this innovative model, with a view to developing best practices for all.

The following are the films that will be featured in Connecting the Docs!

Please Join Us – Live or Online!

We invite you to participate in these events in person or virtually via our LIVE page.

OPEN CINEMA welcomes enquiries from other festivals and screening programs interested in participating in Connecting the Docs! Please stay tuned for more details about events and opportunities to participate!

Subscribe to our Newsletter!

If you’re in Victoria, please sign up for the OPEN CINEMA newsletter to receive bi-montly updates on documentary screening activities in the Capital Region.

If you live elsewhere, please sign up for the Get on the Doc Bus newsletter to receive updates about opportunities to participate across Canada.

See You at the Movies!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *