From a glimpse into the action off the ice of a Quebec junior hockey team to an investigation into one of the world’s most controversial corporations, Canadians can witness real life dramas from around the globe unfold right from their living rooms. documentary offers a Free Preview for digital cable and satellite subscribers this June as part of its Summer DocBusters lineup. Viewers should contact their local digital cable or satellite provider for more information on the documentary Free Preview.
Making its Canadian television debut on documentary, on Sunday, June 7, at 7 p.m.ET/10 p.m. PT, is The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning, chronicling the recent findings made by the world’s scientific community during International Polar Year.
The film focuses on new discoveries made related to the ozone hole, the diminishing populations of penguins and other marine life, the greening of the world’s largest desert, warming temperatures, glacial melting and an increased world sea level. Featuring interviews from polar scientists from Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Ukraine and Russia, a global cross-section of research on climate change is presented.
One of these featured interviews is with Dr. David Ainley, renowned penguin scientist who has devoted 40 years to penguin research, 30 of those years in Antarctica. Dr. Ainley was featured in Werner Herzog’s Academy-Award-nominated film, Encounters at the End of the World. The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning was written and directed by Mark Terry and produced by Polar Cap Productions.
Also airing this month on documentary, in its world television debut, on Saturday, June 20, at 6 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT, is the 2009 Sundance Festival hit Nollywood Babylon, a celebration of Nigerian cinema and the world’s third-largest film industry.
Coined Nollywood in the early 1990s for the world’s fastest-growing national cinema, this booming industry in the heart of Africa has created a wildly popular form of B-movies. The filmmakers transport viewers to the chaos of Lagos’ Idumota market where among the bustling stalls, films are being sold and unlikely stars are born.
Unfazed by low budgets, filmmakers like Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen seen in the film have created brash and inventive movies that tap into the country’s national identity. Storylines in these movies explore the growing battle between traditional mysticism and modern culture, good versus evil, witchcraft and Christianity. Nollywood Babylon celebrates the distinctive power of Nigerian cinema as it marvels in the magic of movies. Nollywood Babylon is an AM Pictures and National Film Board of Canada production, produced and directed by Ben Addelman and Samir Mallal
Free Preview programming highlights on documentary:
Raised to Be Heroes – Saturday, June 6 at 8 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Making its Canadian premiere on documentary, this film introduces viewers to Israel’s Refuseniks, a group of soldiers, now more than 1600 strong, who condemn their country’s military operations against the Palestinians. The gripping stories of Israeli soldiers are intertwined with that of Matan Kaminer, one of five high school seniors that together refused to enlist in the army because they believe Israel’s actions in the Territories are wrong.
Awaiting trial, Kaminer reflects on his controversial decision and the consequences he faces. Capturing a moment in the ever-changing political landscape of the region, Raised to Be Heroes uses the unforgettable experiences of Refuseniks to inspire an essential dialogue about peace, democracy and personal responsibility. Raised to Be Heroes is a National Film Board of Canada production. It was produced by Tracey Friesen and directed by Jack Silberman
Injustice – This new series premieres Monday, June 8, airing Mondays at 6:30 p.m. ET and Thursdays at 10:30 p.m. ET
A child serial killer terrorizes the city of Saskatoon; a high school student is tortured to death over the course of a weekend by a gang. The killer, a man who was pronounced clinically dead in an ambulance and later revived, embarked on a string of serial murders six months later. Injustice is a documentary crime series that looks and feels like nothing else on television. The eerie series explores tales of crime in the Canadian west, cutting from the past to the present, and to the historical conditions that lead to such heinous acts. Injustice was produced by Jarrett Rusnak from Dacian Productions in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Cranky – Tuesday, June 9 at 6 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
In its world premiere on documentary, Cranky tells the story of three teams preparing for and rowing in the Great Fogo Island Punt Race to There and Back—a gruelling 16-kilometre endurance race in open ocean. The film is set against the beautiful backdrop of Fogo and Change Islands off Newfoundland and Labrador.
Junior – Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
This fascinating documentary gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at Canada’s beloved sport, hockey. Documenting one complete season with Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team, Bai-Comeau Drakkar, Junior captures the daily lives of the managers and players, revealing that the heated competition and drama continues even off the ice.
Admired and treated like professionals, junior hockey players are already stars whose lives have very little margin of error. They are also teenagers as young as 16, who are already gambling with their future. Trainers, shareholders, agents, scouts and parents: all eyes are fixed on these elite young players, even though a fraction of this team will succeed in playing in the National Hockey League. Junior offers a candid portrait of an environment that engenders deep emotions despite its rough exterior.
The World According to Monsanto – Wednesday, June 17 at 8 p.m. ET
With 17,500 employees, a 2006 earning of $7.5 billion and operations in 46 countries, Monsanto is the world leader in genetically modified organisms (GMOs), as well as one of the most controversial corporations in industrial history. Since its founding in 1901, the company has faced numerous trials due to the toxicity of its products, from polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), to devastating herbicides like Agent Orange, used during the Vietnam war, and bovine growth hormones, which are yet unauthorized in Canada and banned in Europe.
Now, Monsanto has reinvented itself as a “life sciences” company where, thanks to its genetically modified seeds, engineered among other things to withstand Monsanto’s Roundup, the world’s bestselling herbicide, the company claims it wants to solve world hunger while reducing environmental damage. Where does the truth lie?
Based on a three-year investigation in North and South America, Europe and Asia, The World According to Monsanto reveals how Monsanto’s “renewed image” portrayed through their advertising hides its real agenda for market dominance, with harm to global food security and environmental stability. The World According to Monsanto was directed by Marie-Monique Robin and produced by Yves Fortin, Yves Bisaillon and Christian Medawar.
Just Say It! – World premiere on documentary on June 21 at 8 p.m. ET/9 p.m. PT
This film explores the bizarre and hilarious nature of people’s number one fear: public speaking. It examines the history and psychology of this fear while following Luke King, the film’s director, as he takes a public speaking class and attends Ontario’s largest provincial speech competition for kids. Just Say It! features candid interviews with Canadian celebrities including the CBC’s Peter Mansbridge, George Chuvalo and the cast of the Royal Canadian Air Farce as they attempt to help Luke shed some light on Canadians’ deepest fear.
Leaving the Fold – Tuesday, June 23 at 6 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT
In its Canadian debut, Leaving the Fold tells the story of five young people born and raised within an ultra-Orthodox Jewish world who no longer wish to remain on the inside. The featured subjects in the film grew up in a sheltered society where deviation from the rules of conduct is often punishable by ostracism, intimidation or worse. As young adults they pay a steep price for abandoning their parents and community to seek the freedom to make their own choices.
From the Hasidic enclaves of Montreal, Brooklyn and Jerusalem, the filmmakers unveil stories of conflict coercion and struggle. Leaving the Fold is a film about complex, spiritual journeys in the opposite direction. It was written and directed by Eric R. Scott and produced by Frederic Bohbot and Evan Beloff.
The Sweetest Embrace – Wednesday, June 24 at 7 p.m. ET/10 p.m. PT
Soorgal was only ten when he left his family in the mountains of northeastern Afghanistan. He was supposed to study for a year in Tajikistan, but it would take 16 years and a journey to Canada before he could return to his village. He was one of many Afghan children sent to Tajikistan during the Soviet occupation of their country. When civil war broke out on both sides of the border, many children were left stranded. Soorgul, along with his schoolmate Amir, were able to leave Tajikstan only after many years when Canada accepted them as refugees.
The Sweetest Embrace follows Soorgul and Amir on their treacherous journey towards the villages of their home country to reunite with their families.
Jump! The World’s Greatest Streakers – Saturday, July 4 at 6 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT
Jaume Marquet is an eccentric outsider striving to become famous by streaking in front of the cameras at major televised sporting events under his alter ego “Jimmy Jump”. Jump! The World’s Greatest Streakers follows Jimmy’s journey from Barcelona to Madrid where he attempts to streak at the largest football match in Spain – “El Classico” – live in front of 80,000 spectators and 100 million people watching worldwide. But if Jimmy wants to be the best, he has to compete with a handful of streakers who are all striving for the same crown, and his journey to Madrid will open the doors into the eccentric world of professional sports streaking.