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October / 2003

News Clips
Canada's War: The Lost Colour Archives

What’s in Your Basement?

The producers of the documentary series Canada’s War The Lost Colour Archives: want to know, “What’s in your basement? Do you have colour home movie footage taken during the war years, either at home or abroad? Did you keep a diary or write a letter to a loved one overseas? Have you held on to letters and notes received during the war?”

Canada’s War: The Lost Colour Archives is a three-part story of Canada during the Second World War, told through newly discovered colour footage of Canadians at war and at home. Much of the footage has been stored in archives across the country and around the world, largely unseen by the general public, and in the private home movie collections of ordinary Canadians across the country. The series, produced by YAP Films Inc. of Toronto, will be broadcast on the CBC in June, 2004, to coincide with the 60th anniversary of D-Day.

Director Karen Shopsowitz and her team of researchers are “looking for those films sitting in people’s basements and attics, forgotten reels of 16mm or 8mm colour film, shot during the 1930s and 1940s. There’s a lot more footage out there than people would expect.” She is looking for footage shot overseas, because “it wasn’t unusual for some service people to take their cameras with them on their tour of duty,” but she’s also looking for home front footage.

“We’re looking for footage that depicts what life was like here in the 1930s and 1940s, and that can be as simple as a birthday celebration during the war years,” says Shopsowitz, director of the award-winning NFB doc My Father’s Camera. (see CSC News, December/2002). Researcher Rebecca Ruddle says footage “could be shots of ships in the harbour, a gas station with its gas pumps padlocked during rationing, training exercises, parades, sporting events during the war years between various military teams, Victory Gardens, holiday and birthday celebrations, street scenes and daily life . . . film that reflects this period of history, as long as it’s shot in colour.”

The director and her team are also interested in letters, diaries and other materials, which may be used to form the narration for each of the three documentaries. For more information or to speak to Karen Shopsowitz directly, please call, toll free: 1-866-927-3456, ext. 227, or e-mail her at: kshopsowitz@yapfilms.com.

CONSOLIDATION INCLUDES WFW
Investment Creates Comweb Group Inc.


Paul Bronfman, chairman and CEO of Comweb, one of Canada’s largest partnerships of independent entertainment companies, has announced that he has formally consolidated his Toronto-based company into Comweb Group Inc. and has brought in Tricor Pacific Capital Inc. as an investor in the process. It is the first time that a Canadian private equity firm has ever invested directly in the Canadian production sector.

The consolidation sees William F. White International Inc. (WFW), one of Canada’s
major providers of motion picture and television production equipment, Entertainment Partners Canada and Bulloch Film Capital Corporation (EPCanada/Bulloch), Canada’s foremost providers of payroll, accounting and financial solutions, become 100-per-cent-owned subsidiaries of Comweb Group Inc.

Vancouver-based Tricor Pacific Capital, with offices in Chicago, was attracted by the growth opportunities provided by Comweb’s partnerships. “We were courted by a number of investment partners, but we picked Tricor because its values were the best match with ours. It is the first time in our 15 years of operation that we have accepted an outside investor,” says Bronfman, who controls and is the major shareholder of the new Comweb Group Inc.

BIG TIFF DRAW: For the third year in a row, Osram Sylvania was the official lighting supplier for the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Osram XBO Xenon lamps projected over 28,340 minutes of film on 21 screens across the city during the world's largest film festival Sept. 4-13. To celebrate its involvement in the festival, Osram Sylvania held a draw in conjunction with product dealer CinequipWhite. For every purchase of Osram lamps, customers of CinequipWhite were eligible to enter a draw for a pair of VIP passes to 10 gala screenings at the festival. The winner at the contest was Stan Bioksic, a Toronto camera/steadicam operator. Shown drawing the contest winner are John Ferguson, vice president/operations at CinequipWhite (left), and Steve Duff, director, special lighting markets for Osram Sylvania.
BIG TIFF DRAW: For the third year in a row, Osram Sylvania was the official lighting supplier for the 2003 Toronto International Film Festival. Osram XBO Xenon lamps projected over 28,340 minutes of film on 21 screens across the city during the world's largest film festival Sept. 4-13. To celebrate its involvement in the festival, Osram Sylvania held a draw in conjunction with product dealer CinequipWhite. For every purchase of Osram lamps, customers of CinequipWhite were eligible to enter a draw for a pair of VIP passes to 10 gala screenings at the festival. The winner at the contest was Stan Bioksic, a Toronto camera/steadicam operator. Shown drawing the contest winner are John Ferguson, vice president/operations at CinequipWhite (left), and Steve Duff, director, special lighting markets for Osram Sylvania.


Bill White and Mark Prior, the respective presidents of WFW and EPCanada/Bulloch, retain these positions while adding the role of executive vice-president of Comweb Group Inc. They join Rick Nelson, who was appointed executive vice-president of Comweb in 2000, and remains based in Comweb’s Los Angeles offices.

HOT DOCS 2004 DATES
Michael McMahon New Co-Chair


The 11th annual edition of Hot Docs, North America's largest documentary festival, will take place April 23 to May 2, 2004, in Toronto. Documentary submissions for the festival's Canadian Spectrum, International Showcase, National Spotlight, Made In . . . and RealKids, RealTeens programs will be accepted on or before Dec. 15. A final selection of 100-plus documentaries will be presented to public audiences and international delegates from over 25 countries.

Hot Docs has also announced the appointment of Michael McMahon as the new co-chair of its governing board of directors. McMahon, the founding partner of Primitive Entertainment, has served on the Hot Docs board for three years, including one year as chair of its programming committee.

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