Everything about Reality, Lifestyle & Documentary, eh?

Bell Media Studios confirms international orders for new original Canadian docudrama series Disasters at Sea

From a media release:

Bell Media Studios announced today that Exploration Production Inc. (EPI) has begun production on new original Canadian series, DISASTERS AT SEA (working title). Commissioned by Discovery Canada, the docudrama is made possible in part by international broadcast partners Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Seven Network (Australia), in the biggest and most comprehensive partnership of its kind for an EPI production.

DISASTERS AT SEA is a six-episode series about the most mysterious and unexpected marine disasters in recent history, recreated in each 60-minute episode through the visceral first-hand accounts of seamen and women on their worst day, and for some, their finest hour. In each of the stories featured, there are heroes who exerted herculean efforts to save their colleagues, the environment, and valuable property. International rights of DISASTERS AT SEA are managed exclusively by Exploration Distribution Inc. (EDI).


Proving and disproving theories of catastrophic real-life events, DISASTERS AT SEA goes beyond the traditional documentary approach to explore six separate disasters at sea throughout the season. Often-conflicting reports leave the cause of the sinking unknown and mysterious, and DISASTERS AT SEA unravels these mysteries through a second set of key characters: the dedicated marine investigators whose job it was to separate fact from fiction, fill in the unknown, and identify cause and effect as they uncover the shocking chain of events, often with nothing more than tiny leads. The conclusions are dramatic, unexpected, and profound.

Designed to pull viewers off the sidelines and immerse them in the action, archival footage is combined with carefully imagined and evocative dramatic re-enactments that provide an engaging mix of factual and modern storytelling. To achieve this, the series includes CGI and special effects, bringing to life the wide shots of the ship in rough waters, and recreations to dramatically convey the catastrophic events.

Grounded in fact, each episode unfolds as a mystery, providing a suspenseful journey into the little known world of life at sea, and a tribute to the working men and women who sacrificed their lives for it all.

DISASTERS AT SEA (working title) is produced by Bell Media’s EPI in association with Discovery, and in conjunction with Smithsonian Channel (U.S.) and Seven Network (Australia). Series Producer is Alix MacDonald. Executive Producers are Marianne Kushmaniuk and Kelly McKeown, who is also Director of Production for EPI.




AMI-tv to launch Food Spin with Chef Aleem – a documentary series focused on food, accessibility and community

From a media release:

Accessible Media Inc. (AMI) announced today that Food Spin with Chef Aleem – a documentary series following the life of Toronto food truck owner Aleem Syed – will premiere on November 29.

A professionally trained chef, Aleem’s world was forever changed in 2008 when he was involved in a shooting accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down. His passion for food never wavered and he made it his mission to open a halal – and fully wheelchair accessible – food truck called the Holy Grill.

Food Spin with Chef Aleem follows his day to day life as he whips through the streets of Toronto drawing culinary inspiration from his Indian roots, experimenting with new foods, and connecting with the community by sharing his story and creative dishes. He’s accomplished so much, but with many aspirations still on the horizon Aleem must contemplate: what’s next?

To be accessible for those with sight loss the show features integrated described video – where Aleem describes his actions and surroundings during filming – eliminating the need for a secondary audio track.

Food Spin with Chef Aleem is produced for AMI-tv by Fair-Play. The 13-episode series kicks off on Wednesday, November 29 at 8:30 p.m. ET. Full episodes will be available online after the initial broadcast.


Prepare for Drew & Linda’s wedding with Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House

From a media release:

Jonathan and Drew Scott tackle their most personal project yet in preparation for Drew and fiancée Linda’s wedding in Property Brothers at Home: Drew’s Honeymoon House. Premiering on Monday, November 27 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on HGTV Canada, the five-episode series follows the Scott brothers as they complete a massive renovation of the couple’s first home together in Los Angeles. In a challenging twist, the whole-home reno must be finished in a matter of weeks to host their pre-wedding party. Since this marks Linda’s official welcome to the family, Drew and Jonathan’s parents, Jim and Joanne, and their older brother JD, will be there to make this project a true Scott family affair.

The series showcases the reconfiguration of an original 1920s-era, 3,400-square-foot home in a historic L.A. neighbourhood. In addition to the overhaul of the bedrooms, bathrooms and living area, the brothers showcase their fun creativity with stunning upgrades and modern amenities, including an entire wall of custom curved-glass windows in the kitchen that let in the California sunshine. New features also include a large third-floor deck with a hot tub and pergola; a backyard pool area with built-in fire pit and cozy seating; and a dedicated craft room for Linda.

The twins’ older brother JD also lends a hand throughout the series. He helps the guys with several major projects, such as a beam installation in the kitchen and building a foundation wall. He also teams up with Jonathan on a few DIY projects, including refinishing the original pocket doors.

Not to be outdone, Linda dons a tool belt, wields a hammer and works side-by-side with Drew and Jonathan during each step of the renovation. Her creative touches are seen throughout the redesign, from reviving the old-world charm of the original living area to finding a fun use for the retro-style pink poodle wallpaper in the bathrooms.




Indigenous-produced docu-drama series “1491” reveals untold history of the Americas before Columbus

From a media release:

The Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) will present the world premiere of the docu-drama series 1491: The Untold Story of the Americas Before Columbus starting November 8th on APTN East and HD at 7:00 p.m. ET, APTN West at 7:00 p.m. MT and APTN North at 7:00 p.m. CT. The series is also slated to air on ZDFE (Germany) and SBS (Australia).

Based on Charles C. Mann’s best-selling book, 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, the eight-hour miniseries, produced by Animiki See Digital Production of Winnipeg and Aarrow Productions of Victoria, takes its audience on a journey dating as far back as 20,000 years ago through to 1491. The series focuses on the origins and history of ancient civilizations and groundbreaking achievements in North and South America in the areas of agriculture, astronomy, architecture, environment, governance, medicine, technology, science, trade and art.

The series is produced, directed and written by Indigenous Canadians and most of the 35 historians, archaeologists and cultural experts interviewed have Indigenous ancestry. The series features 20 drama scenes and an Indigenous cast of actors that provide context on Indigenous history in the Americas.

Mann’s critically acclaimed book dispels long-held theories that prior to European contact, Indigenous Peoples were largely nomadic, did not alter the natural landscape, and were not as advanced as other civilizations in the world at the time.

Award-winning filmmakers, Barbara Hager (Cree/Métis) and Lisa Jackson(Anishinaabe), directed the series in locations throughout North and South America. The series was written by Barbara Hager and Marie Clements (Métis). Other key creatives include composer Russell Wallace (Lil’wat), production designer Teresa Weston, costume designer Carmen Thompson (Nuu-chah-nulth), director of photography Bob Aschmann and narrator Dr. Evan Adams (Tla’amin).




Blind home chefs compete in AMI-tv’s inspiring, inclusive Menu Match-up

At first glance, AMI-tv’s Menu Match-Up seems like any other culinary competition program. Home cooks have to prepare tasty dishes using secret ingredients in a specified amount of time. Their foods are judged and a winner is declared. What sets Menu Match-Up apart from those other programs? The home cooks are blind or low vision.

Debuting Tuesday at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv, Menu Match-Up is the latest program—like Four Senses and Eyes for the Job before it—to spotlight blind or low vision people doing everyday things. Now Menu Match-Up pushes things a little further by testing these folks’ skills in the kitchen. They’re not doing it alone. Each blind cook is teamed with a sighted professional chef to pull it all together.

Hosted by Matt Basile of Fidel Gastro’s restaurant and TV’s Rebel Without a Kitchen, Menu Match-Up is executive-produced by Jonathan and Drew Scott of Property Brothers fame via their production company Scott Brothers Entertainment. That’s quite the pedigree for a project on AMI-tv and shows just how much Accessible Media Inc. is committed to creating unique, inclusive television for their viewers. You may have to be blind or low vision to compete on Menu Match-Up but you don’t need to be to enjoy the series. Home cook Dan and Jonny O’Callaghan of Bru Restaurant take on home cook Sylvia and Joe Friday of Calii Love. Who will impress judges Missy Hui of Fabbrica Restaurant, blogger Hubert Leung and Deji Oduwole of The Odu Group and win the trip for two to Niagara-on-the-Lake?

In the beginning moments of Episode 1, it really was up for grabs. With an hour to create an appetizer and a main course, the duos needed to build a partnership quickly. And, with mystery items like chorizo sausage, honeycomb, mustard greens, heirloom tomatoes and jalapeño-flavoured cheese snacks, it wouldn’t be easy. Sylvia and Joe went with a salad and pasta while Dan and Jonny opted for a tomato salad and version of Beef Stroganoff using the sausage. What I immediately like about the first episode of Menu Match-Up is that Sylvia and Dan were not only in on the planning but the execution as well. It would have been easy to have them chop while Joe and Jonny did all the work. That isn’t how it rolled out at all, proving that being blind or low vision doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in creating high-end food. Who wins the first instalment of Menu Match-Up? Tune in to find out!

Menu Match-Up airs Tuesdays at 8:30 p.m. ET on AMI-tv. Check your local listings for where AMI-tv is available in your area.