Doc channel expects growth spurt

Fall lineup looks to make the most of carriage on Bell, Rogers

CBC’s Documentary channel is planning a special raft of programming this fall, to coincide with carriage on Bell TV, Rogers and others that is expected to boost its audience across the country.

‘It’s an opportunity to put our best stuff on the air,’ says the CBC’s head of digital channels, Bruce Cowley.

The channel will debut a number of docs, many of which are original productions.

Included in the fall lineup is Scared of My Shadow by Vancouver-based The Eyes, about the North American tendency to overprotect children. Where’s My Goat? is the story of filmmaker Christopher Richardson, who subscribed to a service that gave livestock to needy families in Africa whenever he closed a deal with a commercial client. The film follows Richardson to Tanzania to see if the goats he gave really made it to their families.

Cowley looks for what he calls ‘universal touch points’ to ensure that docs on the channel resonate with a wide audience. He says he’s primarily interested in ‘socially based documentaries that have a human dimension to them.’ The channel must air 75% Canadian content, roughly 90% of which is made up of acquisitions.

‘There’s definitely an independent eye and independent perspective to the documentaries we air,’ he says. ‘If people want to pitch to Documentary, it’s definitely an [outlet] that supports independently minded filmmakers.’

From Realscreen Online